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Golf sounds like it's running on 3 cylinders now nothing, help!

8226 Views 8 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  pauly4226
Hello all. I came back from holiday and my golf sounded like it was running on 3 cylinders, had to drive 50 miles to get home, I suspected a coil pack so replaced the spark plugs and No1 coil pack, then the car would not start at all, checked the coil pack resistances and they are all the about the same, (pins 1 to 3 = 25K, pins 1 to 4 = 384R, pins 2 to GND = 0.2R, pins 3 to 4 = 25K, al others pin combinations = open circuit), the oil pressure warning came on when I was trying to start it so I have replaced the oil and filter, still won't start. Coil pack 036 905 100A genuine VW/Audi.

The car will turn over and sounds as if it is going to start but does not, the battery power is now low and when I turn it over the immobiliser beeps, can this not starting problem be anything to do with the immobiliser or does it need to be put on a vag-com to find any faults registered.

I have a cheap vag-com which use to work but won't work now, sods law.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated, I have done mechanics and electronics for many years so I am competent enough to check most car things.

All the best

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Need to supply car details.
Charge batt as vag com won't work well if not charged.
If you have a gasser then I prob cant help.
Welcome to the forum.
Hello drx

The car is a Golf 1.6 16v 2003, 106,000 miles, she has been working fine for the last 2 years, I have only had to change the exhaust maf sensor and clean the EGR valve.
Update to problem, I checked all the coil packs and it appears that 2 of them wont give a spark, tried the new coil pack on all plugs and got a spark from all so replaced one of the faulty ones with the new one and the car is now starting but only running on 3 cylinders, I will replace the other faulty one tomorrow, hope this works.

The resistance readings are all the same including the faulty ones, this is what puzzled me.

I presume these are genuine coil packs that came with the car new so may chance it and call the dealer to see if these should have been changed through the recall.

All the best

I have replaced all 4 coil packs and the car is now working, the vag com still shows a fault with the lambda sensor but it is now a short circuit to ground, last time it was an open circuit, I will run it for a week to see if it sorts itself out.


Could well be the lambda is gone, you can tell whether it is the pre-cat lambda or post cat lambda from the fault code.
The coil packs had gone and the pre cat lambda sensor was giving an open circuit fault, this may have been caused by the soot due to 2 coil packs failing so I soaked the sensor in IPA overnight, this cleared the open circuit fault, with the new coil packs in and the car now running correct the sensor has a short circuit to ground, I will run the car for a week and see if it clears the fault, if not it is a trip to the shops to buy the expensive 5 wire sensor as there are none in any of the local breackers yards, already tried there.


this was the exact same problem i had, had to change two of the coilpacks instead i decided to change all of them at the same time, my precat/manifold lambda sensor is playing up too, cant seem to find any shops that sell this type as i tried euro car parts sensor and it was the wrong one they dont seem to have the 1.6 16v sensor, the dealers want £146 for the sensor so im saving up to get that for my car.
if its any consolation,had first 1 coil go down on the way to ed38 and then on the way home lost another coil.unburn fuel then triggered the lambda fault.fitted new coils ,cleared the codes and havnt had a problen since. would sugest before buying lamda sensors,clear all fault codes and see what comes up .hope this is of some help
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