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Fabia 1.9tdi intermittent non-start fuel system?

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#1 AndyRH



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Posted 20 March 2010 - 20:45


My Fabia 1.9tdi has intermittently been refusing to start, possibly due to the fuel system - has anyone experienced something similar?

Started a couple of days after an annual service/MOT - car wouldn't start - AA couldn't do anything - general garage couldn't do anything - and then on to Skoda franchise (near work). After several weeks, car returned; they had replaced two sensors (which had triggered faults on the ECU) and put in temporary wiring but two days later same problem. On to a different garage (since this time near home) and although they have been more responsive and communicative, problem reoccurred two days after return to me. It's difficult to diagnose since once the technicians have got it started one way or the other, the car starts absolutely fine and they need to wait a or two day for the problem to reappear.

Before, everytime the car was started, you could here a whooshing sounds (as the fuel system was primed) - now, I never hear that sound. But why?

When it refused to start, the AA technician did the usual checks and saw that fuel was reaching the fuel filter.

The ECU logs various faults and so has now been checked by a specialist but appears ok.

If anyone has experienced something similar, how was it fixed; it's been two months and probably 1/3 of the car's value so far.

Skoda Fabia 1.9TDi
02 reg 80k miles
previous owner drove 30k in 5 years; I drive maybe 20k per year majority motorway


#2 Confused_Cheese


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Posted 20 March 2010 - 21:07

Just as you mention the "whoosing" sound, I only hear this when the tank is less than about half full, if its a full tank i don't hear it... could be why you're not currently hearing it? Can't be much more help though mate

Edited by Confused_Cheese, 20 March 2010 - 21:07.

#3 MoggyTech



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Posted 21 March 2010 - 00:34

Fuel pump relay

#4 mcscotty



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Posted 27 March 2010 - 17:02

Hi Andy

Have managed to resolve this problem? My Fabia 1.9TDI (105k 53 plate) has the same issue. It has been off the road for the last few months due to it. I gave up taking it to the garage and not getting the problem resolved. It does not have the whoosh that it used to have on turning the key. Although my golf with the same engine (ATD) does not do this either.

So far I have had the fuel pump relay replaced twice, the fuel pump in the tank, feul filter, crank sensor and temp sensor all have not resolved the issue. I have also checked all the wiring and earth points. None of these has resolved the issue. The car will run in the drive all day with out problem. Take it out on the road and it will die after a few miles. Not always as sometimes it will go for 20-30 miles without issue.

As far as I can work out it does appear to be a fuel issue. I have managed to cause it to cut out in the drive and it appears to suffer fuel starvation. It cuts out after being under load. The garage have always managed to restart it either by just cranking it long enough or in one occation unplugging the ECU. I managed to start it the other day with a quick squirt of easy start. Did not want to use it but it was a last resort. It then would stop and start as normal.

I have my own fault code reader and there are never any fault codes. The garage have also run on there system with no codes occuring. They also checked the fuel pressures and these were also fine. They are looking are changing the ECU. I spoke with an ECU specialist who doubt that this was an ECU issue as the car runs fine on the drive.

I am at a loss to what the problem is.


#5 AndyRH



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Posted 09 May 2010 - 18:37

Hi Ian,

Still nothing definitive to report unfortunately and car is about to go on ebay as a "Spare or Repair".

My car runs fine if it can start but if turned off, even for just a few minutes, might not restart.

It might be a problem relating to the crank speed/position sensor, possibly being magnetised? This was the oppinion of the last AA technician; he managed to get the car started twice at the roadside (which was twice more than either of the two previous guys); this involved first time resetting the ECU (temporarily disconnecting; with the keys out); second time this didn't work but easy-start did (we left the engine running the second time).

I might have been wrong about the fuel pump priming; I now think Confused_Cheese is right and it only pre-primes when the tank is part empty; the car's priming fine just now but not starting.

Good luck with your car

#6 viewer



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Posted 10 May 2010 - 07:03

Just a thought. The garages checked fuel pressure when car standing, but this doesn't always mean there is fuel quantity under load. Has anyone removed the fuel filter and blown through the lines - flow and return? The sort of 'piece of paper-in-a-tube' blockage, which isn't a problem in smooth flow but flips up and sticks can be impossible to find.

#7 DavidY



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Posted 15 May 2010 - 09:27

I also had a 2002 1.9 TDI estate which also had intermittent starting problems. If you used it every day, it was fine, but after being left a couple of days it wouldn't work.

The Skoda dealer could never find a fault, because it was always working by the time I could get it to them (I got quite handy with the Easy-Start). Another symptom was that it would very occasionally lose power on the motorway (not a nice feeling!) but after a few seconds it would come back again. The very first time it happened, it had been driving down a very wet motorway so I wondered if water ingress somewhere had caused the problem initially.

From reading what happened to it on here after I sold it (to someone with VAG-COM), I believe it turned out to be a faulty cam position sensor, so it might be what your AA man says.

#8 AndyRH



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Posted 15 May 2010 - 11:48

Thanks for the interestig comments - if I had more knowledge and experience I might give it another go...

The Skoda-Seat garage did replace the engine-speed sensor; is this another name for the cam-position sensor?

anyway instead it's on ebay now...


#9 sniper29a


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Posted 25 May 2010 - 00:08

what about faulty vacuum throttle valve? (unsure what you call it in english). It may shut off throttle without reason, resulting in blockade of air intake into engine. thus not starting.