View Full Version : 1.8T starting problems after packrats

17-08-2007, 06:06 AM
I live in an area plagued with pack rats. These rodents nest under the hood while snacking on the underhood sound-absorbing padding and even worse, the engine wiring.

Now, in my 2000 1.8T NB with 36K miles, I've suddenly gotten a wide array of warning lights -- speed spoiler deployed at 10 mph, low oil pressure, electronic immobilization (= fake car key). So I was pretty sure that wires had been rat chewed, causing difficult stating and the rest. This is in desert summer heat where tough morning starts should be rare.

Off to the dealer. They check the system computer and find: bad air mass meter, bad overboost valve, bad kombi-valve (egr valve). They assure me these are mechanical, not electrical, failures. They find no new pack rat damage even though the engine looks like a messy college dorm room with seed pods and underhood padding scattered about.

Perplexed and annoyed, I have them fix some of the problems: air mass meter, overboost valve -- omitting the pricey kombi-valve ($520 parts and labor) which is not in stock anyway.

Will the car start easier, I ask? Yes, the new air mass meter will improve things.

No, starting is not easier.:mad: When I try to start the car now, the instrument panel lights up normally. The engine starts to crank then there's horrible silence while the instrument panel lights dim before the engine finally catches and runs.

What is causing this?

It seems to me there has be an electrical short somewhere. Would a broken egr valve alone cause this kind of starting problem? (And surely the egr valve is not causing the weird warning lights to go on.)

I am about to take the car to an independent mechanic. (I had expected going to the dealer to be an expensive way to get everything fixed right the first time.)