[ Home  |  FAQ-Related Q&As  |  General Q&As  |  Answered Questions ]

    Search the Q&A Archives

I have a 1991 VW Cabriolet. When I drive my car for about...

<< Back to general questions

Question by Junebug
Submitted on 7/15/2003
Related FAQ: N/A
Rating: Rate this question: Vote
I have a 1991 VW Cabriolet. When I drive my car for about 20-30 minutes and then turn it off, it doesn't want to start again until after it has sat for 30-90 minutes, depending on how long I've been driving it. When I turn my key to start my car, it just makes this clicking noise, which I believe is the cylinoid clicking over. Does anyone know what may be causing this problem with my car; and what I can do to fix it???? I've had my cylinoid replaced; and I've also had my starter rebuilt twice in the last 4 years. Yet I'm still dealing with this problem. Everyone I talk to doesn't seem to understand what I'm talking about; and even when they are there when I have this problem, they still have no answers for me. I LOVE MY CAR; but if I can't fix this problem, I know I need to get rid of it. Any suggestions you could give would be VERY helpful! Thanks! ~Junebug :O)

Answer by Rachel
Submitted on 8/8/2003
Rating:  Rate this answer: Vote
my 86 cabriolet recently started this same thing- only when i drive it over 2 hours.  i had a push button start installed and it seems to help sometimes, but noone really seems to understand what's making this happen


Answer by vw kulz
Submitted on 8/13/2003
Rating:  Rate this answer: Vote
Check your oil.  Mine likes heavier oil in the summer and thinner in the winter.  It may help your engine flow better.  10w 50 in summer and 5w 40 in the winter.  Also check all your houses especially the ones that connect anyway to the engine.  I have a 92 cabriolet and had problems with stalling when i changed the oil and checked the hoses it ran fine again.  good luck


Answer by Rex
Submitted on 8/16/2003
Rating:  Rate this answer: Vote
I had a pickup with this problem.  Remove your battery ground cable from the chassis and clean the corrosion from the hole and cable terminal.  Re-attach the cable to the chassis.  The best thing to do is drill a new hole.  Make sure the cable is secured very tight.  This should cure your problem.


Answer by Justin
Submitted on 8/28/2003
Rating:  Rate this answer: Vote
I have a 88 cabby and I had the same similair problem. I replaced a starter 12V relay (standard automotive). It has run fine ever since. Its a J-reg 1.8 turbo engine. hope this helps


Answer by Trav
Submitted on 8/28/2003
Rating:  Rate this answer: Vote
Actually the whole thing with the oil is true the cabby's like thick oil and run much better on it... i usually use 20w 50 in the summer and 15w 45 in the winter, also keep an eye on the oil filter you use.  If you use the wrong type it can set off your oil light.  I always use the K&N oil filter.  But if you use another brand look in the filter, if it looks like a spring is inside then thats ok but if it is hollow then it has a possiblity of setting off your light.  Now with your problem i would check for a good connection to the battery and if your battery is dead.  Also check your alternator if that is dying then it will drain you battery and will cause hard starts if at all.


Answer by Aimenviro
Submitted on 9/9/2003
Rating:  Rate this answer: Vote
It has nothing to do with oil.  I had the same problem on my 91 Jetta.  An after market VW mechanic installed a by-pass wire whereby the starter motor received all the cranking amps required to over-come this ridiculous mechanical problem that I think is designed only to put money in VW Dealership pockets.  It's not serious, just take it to an after market VW shop and I'm sure they're familiar with the problem and the solution.


Answer by Beachboyvw
Submitted on 10/3/2003
Rating:  Rate this answer: Vote
On the CIS engines it is called the hot start problem.  There are a bunch of posts on the internet about it.  On the digifant cars?, i dont know, sorry


Answer by Dave
Submitted on 11/3/2003
Rating:  Rate this answer: Vote
I had a 1977 VW rabbit I bought new, and at 30,000 miles developed the so called hot start problem that mysteriously disappeared one day at about 65,000 miles!

Four years ago I bought a 1987 VW Cabriolet and guess what?  The hot start problem was there.  I took it to a dealer and after $300 or so, it still wasen'tfixed.  I am going to try the hot start relay solution, but don't understand how VW get'saway with not fixing the issue and notifing owners.  


Answer by jrmtsm2003@yahoo
Submitted on 11/13/2003
Rating:  Rate this answer: Vote
I have many watercooled vw's with the same problem and it has always been a bad ignitions switch along with cleaning all the wire connections that you can find.


Answer by Chris
Submitted on 11/14/2003
Rating:  Rate this answer: Vote
I had the same issue with my 87 cabrio.  I was told by a VW mechanic to change the starter.  This fixed the problem.  The design of the exhaust being too close to the started causes the windings in the starter to melt over time.  Make sure you have a heat shield between the starter and the exhaust.


Answer by Jamo
Submitted on 2/21/2004
Rating:  Rate this answer: Vote
I had a 89 GTi 8v, if the car is cranking but not firing up, try a new fuel pump (underside near back of car). It also used to make a buzzing noise when hot. This sorted my problem. Best of luck mate.


Answer by SixSRacing
Submitted on 3/12/2004
Rating:  Rate this answer: Vote
VW has a bulletin on this very problem.  It only occurs in automatics, and usually is aggravated by cheap aftermarket starters.  A relay needs to be installed between the ignition switch and the starter solenoid and wired correctly will deliver more volts/amps to the solenoid.  Both VW and Bosch have step by step instructions available.  By the way, VW did create a service bulletin on this issue back in the mid 80's and letters were sent to car owners.  Any legitimate VW repair shop or foreign parts source is well aware of this and other common problems.  Good luck!


Answer by moms88cab
Submitted on 3/25/2004
Rating:  Rate this answer: Vote
would you have the site address where ican access Both VW and Bosch have step by step instructions fo r the relay


Answer by t1t2
Submitted on 4/16/2004
Rating: Not yet rated Rate this answer: Vote
I own a 1985 cabby...driving on the freeway in los angeles for 30 minutes then stop. Starting the car immediately...it won't car cools and it starts up!! Nothing to do with the engine oil...I think the heat is affecting the solenoid? don't know!!!


Answer by Jenn
Submitted on 4/28/2004
Rating: Not yet rated Rate this answer: Vote
OMG...I've been searching for this solution for a year.  We thought it was an oil issue, but it started after we had a brand new starter put in.  You can imagine how awful it is to sit for over an hour in 100 degree weather in AZ.  


Answer by Helpmeplease
Submitted on 5/15/2004
Rating: Not yet rated Rate this answer: Vote
I have a a 91 Cabriolet and it has an over heating problem, when we put the coolent in to make it cool down it still doesnt work and it over heats every time we drive it. Can someone please help me find a solution?



Answer by Paul
Submitted on 5/21/2004
Rating: Not yet rated Rate this answer: Vote
Can someone please give the address for the step-by-step instructions.  My girlfriend has the same issue and I just got off the phone with her as she is sitting in a parking lot waiting for her car to cool.  Please HELP!!


Answer by 1990VWCabriolet
Submitted on 5/21/2004
Rating: Not yet rated Rate this answer: Vote
My 1990 cabriolet has a problem its haunted!! the radio will turn on by its self and it will also pick the volume it wants. can you help
My email is ndavidson10@hotmail.com


Answer by Volks 1129
Submitted on 5/25/2004
Rating:  Rate this answer: Vote
For all you folks having a hot-start problem on VW'sfrom mid 1980's to early 1990's, here you go! This solution will cost you about $20 and you should never have the problem again.

This problem typically only arises on cars with Automatic trans.

Basically, the idea is to have voltage going direct to the starter motor solenoid through a switch wired direct from the battery.

A Ford Solenoid Switch (#SS581) can be used, and bought for less than $20. It has two terminals on top, and a terminal on each side. It should have a little attachment plate with a hole in it that attaches to the right hand back valve cover stud with a nut.
Trace the wires from the starter motor solenoid to the ignition. There are two of them and may be partially wrapped in a loom. One is black in color. The other is black and red and larger in thickness. The black wire should be left as it is. The black and red wire should be cut just above the valve cover, where it bolts down. On mine, it is about 4 inches from a connector on the ignition side. Crimp a round connector onto the end of the black and red wire from the starter solenoid to fit over the terminal on the right side (back) of the switch. Tighten it down with a washer and nut.
The upper piece of the red and black wire needs a round connector crimped on it, and is attached to the left (front) of the two terminals on top of the Ford Solenoid switch, and tightened down with a washer and nut. The terminal next to it is not used.
Cut a 24 inch length of wire, the same thickness as the black and red wire. Crimp a round connector onto both ends. The one end attaches to the positive terminal of the battery, and the other end attaches to the left side (front) of the Ford Solenoid switch. Hope I havenít missed anything. Start the car.


Answer by moms88cab
Submitted on 5/26/2004
Rating: Not yet rated Rate this answer: Vote
volks 1129

I made a diagram as per your answer /submission. I want to show it to you and make sure that I ll be doing it right ( ss581 install )
Please email me  engot@aol.com
thank you in advance


Answer by Arnel
Submitted on 5/27/2004
Rating:  Rate this answer: Vote
Seems VWs are just prone to hot-soak, won't-start conditions. VW has recognized that Rabbits, Golfs and Jettas from 1985 on (Bosch reman starters SR33X, SR34X and SR82X) also suffer from a hot-soak condition where battery voltage to the #50 terminal of the starter drops to less than 10 volts under high underhood temperatures, resulting in a car that won't crank.

If a complete check of the car's charging and starting system reveals no other problems, VW suggests a VW retrofit starter relay (141 951 253B) be installed in line between the T1 connector of the right engine harness and the T1 connector of the starter cable harness, which leads to the terminal #50 of the starter solenoid. Other required components and installation directions are available through your VW dealer.


Answer by 1984 Rabbit Cabriolet
Submitted on 8/30/2004
Rating: Not yet rated Rate this answer: Vote
Our 1984 Rabbit Cabriolet would not start back up after the oil got to 110C. We replaced both battery cables and engine ground wire. Starts good now hot or cold and charges the battery about 1 volt more on the gauge. Still going to have the starter rebuilt just to be safe.


Answer by Luigi
Submitted on 9/12/2004
Rating: Not yet rated Rate this answer: Vote
I'd had 2 cabriolets in both I had the same problem 88 and 89 ,but not any more because in my second one I learn first is not your selenoid or starter .
you need to install a cain of RELAY conected  to the starter (they install that on the superior level like on the side of the antifrise )conected to the starter because all the new cars have those from the dealer.
that way you starter dosent get heat all the time since they put me that a year ago I NEVER have the same problem.


Answer by miracleman89
Submitted on 9/24/2004
Rating: Not yet rated Rate this answer: Vote
I have been under the impression that my vw was overheating. But now I am under the impression that the car stalls out once it reaches a high operating temp. due to a fuel related problem I am not sure what to do I don't want to take it to a shop to pay someone to do something I am capable of doing myself I just don't know what it is I should do! Any advice? email me at miracleman89@sbcglobal.net


Answer by Jim
Submitted on 10/25/2004
Rating: Not yet rated Rate this answer: Vote
I had the hot-start problem today for the 1st time since I've owned my 91 cabriolet. Waited 30 minutes and tried to start again - started right up then. Thank you to the folks above who've posted the fix - I'm printing this page out for my mechanic.


Answer by LtangPE
Submitted on 8/2/2005
Rating: Not yet rated Rate this answer: Vote
Answer by Volks 1129 is the B-E-S-T and it really made sense.  I owned a 1990 Jetta for several years and I gave it to my son last year.  I aware of this hot starting problem all this time, it happened to me twice and both time I was able to re-started the car after it cooled down.  When I replaced the transmission three years ago.  I cleaned the starter and the associated wiring, terminals very well (very hard to get to the starter).  The problem went away.  However, my son just told me that now he has the exact same problem again.  Meanwhile I had done some search and talked to many VW mechanics, the problem seems to be when the car get older, the electrical components, wiring and connections get more electrical resistance due to wear and tears.  When coupled with high temperature, voltage to the starter solenoid (magnetic switch) would drop below 10 volts, which is not enough to cause the solenoid coil to produce enough magnetic force to engage the switch, therefore, nothing happens.  By by-passing and feeding the solenoid 12 Volts directly from the battery should fix the problem.  I'll do this modification shortly and report the result to all of you.  Hopefully this can be helpful to all of us VW owners.  


Answer by VWluver
Submitted on 9/4/2005
Rating: Not yet rated Rate this answer: Vote
it is the wire prob i just got it fixed in my 88cabby. the heat also expands the windings causing the windings in the starter to expand and jaming the armature. a vw started and the wire retrofit will fix the problem


Answer by 88Topless
Submitted on 10/26/2005
Rating: Not yet rated Rate this answer: Vote
Well heres my two cents.  After talking with other Cabriolet drivers its basically a bad design on VW.  They placed the starter to close to the engine exhaust which results in a hot starter.  In other words if your starter overheats you wont be going anywhere anytime soon.  Let the engine cool and hopefully you'll be on your way after a what may seem to be an eternity.  This problem is more prevalent in auto trans.  Ive got an 88 5speed and after owning the car now since 95 its only happened a few times.  Hopefully your mechanic is trustworthy and wont give you an estimate thats full of uneedy repairs.  Hope this helps.  Happy VWing.....Brandon in St Louis....  


Answer by mk017
Submitted on 10/28/2005
Rating: Not yet rated Rate this answer: Vote
Hot start problem with after market starter. I'm looking to get the Jetta TSB. I learned from www.alldata.com that it is TSB # 279202  issued in FEB 92.

here is some more info i pulled from the web.

To access complaint summaries for particular makes, models & years, visit NHTSA'sInternet website at www.nhtsa.dot.gov. Or for $20-40, you can get a computer printout of complaints or service bulletins from NHTSA'sTechnical Information Services, which can be contacted through NHTSA'sAuto Safety Hotline at 800-424-9393 or 888-327-4236. Specify make, model & year as the more specific the request, the less expensive the printout.

Technical Service Bulletins (TSBs): Audi/VW publish TSBs to help dealers diagnose & repair problems on vehicles. Some dealers will let you view TSBs. Some state Lemon or Secret Warranty Laws require manufacturers or dealers to make TSBs available on your vehicle. You can access TSB summaries via NHTSA'sWebsite at www.nhtsa.dot.gov. NHTSA'sTechnical Information Services, which can be contacted through NHTSA'sAuto Safety Hotline at 800-424-9393 or 888-327-4236, can also send a particular TSB once you identify it from NHTSA'sWebsite or its computer printout. ALLDATA provides free access to TSB summaries & sells copies of TSBs listed on its Website. You can also buy them from Audi/VW Service Publications. Call 800-544-8021 for ordering information. For your use, we have listed some of the more comprehensive TSBs on your vehicle. Check the above sources for other TSBs.

Recalls & Investigations: Call NHTSA'stoll-free Auto Safety Hotline at 800-424-9393 or 888-327-4236 (in Washington DC 202-366-0123) or visit NHTSA'swebsite at www.nhtsa.dot.gov-recalls and www.nhtsa.dot.gov-investigations respectively.

Small Claims Court: Go to small claims for advice on using small claims court to recover repair & other expenses. The Lemon Book (Moyer-Bell 1990) by Ralph Nader has an entire chapter on small claims court strategy, a state-by-state index & a chapter on your legal rights to help you better argue your case in court. You can order the book for $17.50 from CAS Publications.

Contact Audi/VW: Call Audi/VW Consumer Services at 800-822-AUDI and 800-822-VWUS or write both companies' President at 3800 Hamlin Rd., Auburn Hills MI 48326.


Answer by Jude
Submitted on 12/8/2005
Rating: Not yet rated Rate this answer: Vote
Check this site out. This is a Diagram to Create a Starter relay.



Submitted on 1/20/2006
Rating: Not yet rated Rate this answer: Vote
Remove stupid solenoid on starter all togther. Purchased cheap $10 starter solenoid for Ford Escort. Now run starter primary straight to new solenoid and mount it away from heat (near battery works best). To fix the starter itself long term, install some exhaust wrap on the down pipe and around the exhaust manifold. Problem solved for GOOD!


Answer by rosire
Submitted on 1/23/2006
Rating: Not yet rated Rate this answer: Vote
I have a 1992 cabriolet i love it but i need some parts for it and it leaks other than that it is awsome its a chick magnet


Answer by TedBeen there
Submitted on 1/27/2006
Rating: Not yet rated Rate this answer: Vote
For all of the above complaints. Had a '91 Golf with automatic. After a minor accident my car also had the dreaded start problem. The electrical system was check several time by VW and independent shops. It only happened when the engine was warm from driving. Starter and battery replaced by VW. Still had the problem; my car had an under hood temp sensor to control the fan. Gave a lot of thought and replaced the sensor. The problem went away. VW told me the car thought the engine was either too hot or in an over heat mode and this protected the engine from further damage. Give it a try.


Answer by jm92
Submitted on 1/30/2006
Rating: Not yet rated Rate this answer: Vote
i have a 92 cabby n its my first one n 1st i drove the car it overheat n steam came out from the hood i thought the car 'bout to xplode it turns out the xpansion tank hose leaks n i cange it to regular hose (same size) is that ok because evrytime i started it  the hose getting hot is that normal ....please some1 help me....dub_gti04@yahoo.com


Answer by Dustin H
Submitted on 3/10/2006
Rating: Not yet rated Rate this answer: Vote
Even though this may seem simple i think you have a problem with your ignition. I own a 93 cabriolet and had this same problem. I had the starter replaced (it was still on warranty thank goodness) but that didn't stop the clicking noise when i turned over the key. I came to find out after talking to many VW owners and mechanics that i should check the starter. After i replaced it, the clicking stopped and the engine cranked just fine. No longer did i have to fight to get the car to start and it runs great! Well except for my fuel pump, but that's a different story lol.


Answer by Dan
Submitted on 3/18/2006
Rating: Not yet rated Rate this answer: Vote
i got a 86 Jetta GL, 5spd manual and most of the time, i have to leave it on in the lot if im gonna be back within 15-30 minutes, otherwise it wont start, but sometimes it wont start in the morning after a long night off. It starts better if i turn the key to on position for 10sec or so, fuel pump whines, and then i start it, but it dont always work. i think what its doing is pumping fuel in the on position and not doing anything when i push the key forward. verification?


Answer by miata
Submitted on 3/29/2006
Rating: Not yet rated Rate this answer: Vote
i have this problem before, need a new battery


Answer by Dan
Submitted on 4/25/2006
Rating: Not yet rated Rate this answer: Vote
I have a 87 cabriolet.Well I had the same problem.Tried every thing.Only to find out it was the external fuel pump.Who would of guessed.after the car runs for a while the fuel pump heats up and stalls the car. then it will not start till it cools down.It get'sworst.You do not even hear it.At first it happend after about 30 minutes of driving.Now it happens after about 10 minutes.I changed the fuel pump and now it's great. Hope this helps  Dan


Answer by shortyroze
Submitted on 5/3/2006
Rating: Not yet rated Rate this answer: Vote
i have an 86vw and when i drive it it pumps like its caughing. As if i were pushing my foot on and off the gass after it does this for 5 mins or so it turns off. I LOVE my car and don't want to sell it but i have not been able to find out whats wrong with it some people say its that pump or something. if you can help me email me at
shortyroze@hotmail.com thanks


Answer by Bernard
Submitted on 7/23/2006
Rating: Not yet rated Rate this answer: Vote
I have a '90 Jetta. Drive it for more than a half hour and you had to wait a half hour before it would restart. I tried a new heatshield on the starter, and insulation between the exhaust manifold and the starter thinking it was a heat problem causing the starter to seize up. Nothing worked.  I finally found that the spade connector  on the red/ black starter solenoid wire and located next to the master cylinder was corroded and loose. I replaced it and PRESTO it's fixed.


Answer by tim
Submitted on 7/24/2006
Rating: Not yet rated Rate this answer: Vote
get a nice boat starter button i put it on the left side of the dash under the park brake warning light. run a hot wire from the battery to the button to the starter solenoid,be sure to put a inline fuse in at the battery, you can also put the button under the hood,just make a little bracket and mount it by the battery.


Answer by ku
Submitted on 11/3/2006
Rating: Not yet rated Rate this answer: Vote
iv got similar problems with my vw 92 cab.iv had eveything changed on the engine and it still has the problem. only thing left 4me to do is change the engine. HELP


Answer by Mary
Submitted on 11/22/2006
Rating: Not yet rated Rate this answer: Vote
I have a 1988 mazda mx-6 and when I run it for a while and turn it off, it want start. Just a clicking sound. please help!


Answer by spike
Submitted on 12/1/2006
Rating: Not yet rated Rate this answer: Vote
it may be your ignition switch ($30.00). Your switch is likely worn out, may be shorting out
temperature, dryness, humidity are factors that will noticeably effect the performance of a worn switch. sometimes working better than other times Your switch more than likely needs replacing.I hope I was of some help.


Answer by spike
Submitted on 12/1/2006
Rating: Not yet rated Rate this answer: Vote
it may be your ignition switch ($30.00). Your switch is likely worn out, may be shorting out
temperature, dryness, humidity are factors that will noticeably effect the performance of a worn switch. sometimes working better than other times Your switch more than likely needs replacing.I hope I was of some help.


Answer by Buckey1964
Submitted on 1/6/2007
Rating: Not yet rated Rate this answer: Vote
I just bought a 90 Cabby and I am wondering what size engine I can put into it? I believe it is a 1.8 right now but it is in need of another engine. It is a manual transmission


Answer by ADel
Submitted on 3/7/2007
Rating: Not yet rated Rate this answer: Vote
I have a 86 VW Cabrio.  Last week I was driving it on the interstate and it began to run poor and didn't want to accelerate when giving it gas.  It finally cut off in the road and won't start at all.  The dealership said it was a corroaded and deteriorated rotor and distributor cap. I had it replaced.  When I went to pick it up, it still want start.  Now they are saying the starter went bad, while sitting in their parking lot.  Want I see signs if the starter was going bad?  I have never had a problem starting my car. They are saying that you starter can go bad without any warning signs.  Also, because they replaced the rotor and distributor, could there be a problem with the timing off now?  Please help because to replace the rotor/dist was $198 and now they are asking for $482 to replace the starter.  Thanks  


Answer by janel
Submitted on 3/11/2007
Rating: Not yet rated Rate this answer: Vote
im having the same problem with my car making a clicking noise when i try to start it, but mine isnt a VW... it's a 2000 chevy cavalier.


Answer by Cesar RCD
Submitted on 4/3/2007
Rating: Not yet rated Rate this answer: Vote
I think I might be able to help some of you, I have an 89 jetta 1.8 8v (automatic)yeah...unless yours is an automatic too it might help, I had the same problem, after a while of driving and not even on the freeway, the car wouldn't start 'till 15-30 minutes later, turns out the starter needs to have a heatshield, it's located between the starter and the engine block, so you might wanna go to a junkyard (that's what I did) or your nearest VW dealer cause I don't think you'll find it at your regular Autozone or Kragen.


Answer by Kickflip34
Submitted on 4/26/2007
Rating: Not yet rated Rate this answer: Vote
My cabrio just had a new distributer put in it. The firing order is right but it still wont start. Dose any one now what is wrong?


Answer by TheManHimself
Submitted on 5/2/2007
Rating: Not yet rated Rate this answer: Vote
the answer is real simple it is a 10.00 problem... all you have to do is install a ford cylanoid between the battary and starer and i guarentee problem solved it took me a thousand dollars to find this out...


Answer by figa
Submitted on 6/12/2007
Rating: Not yet rated Rate this answer: Vote
Du musst ein Fachmann sein - wirklich guter Aufstellungsort, den du hast! http://www.obiettiv4i64.info/figa


Answer by sesso con cavalli
Submitted on 6/21/2007
Rating: Not yet rated Rate this answer: Vote
pagine piuttosto informative, piacevoli =) http://www.obiettiv4i64.info/sesso-con-cavalli


Your answer will be published for anyone to see and rate.  Your answer will not be displayed immediately.  If you'd like to get expert points and benefit from positive ratings, please create a new account or login into an existing account below.

Your name or nickname:
If you'd like to create a new account or access your existing account, put in your password here:
Your answer:

FAQS.ORG reserves the right to edit your answer as to improve its clarity.  By submitting your answer you authorize FAQS.ORG to publish your answer on the WWW without any restrictions. You agree to hold harmless and indemnify FAQS.ORG against any claims, costs, or damages resulting from publishing your answer.


FAQS.ORG makes no guarantees as to the accuracy of the posts. Each post is the personal opinion of the poster. These posts are not intended to substitute for medical, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. FAQS.ORG does not endorse any opinion or any product or service mentioned mentioned in these posts.


<< Back to general questions

[ Home  |  FAQ-Related Q&As  |  General Q&As  |  Answered Questions ]

© 2008 FAQS.ORG. All rights reserved.