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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I have bought a 1996 T4 with about 320.000km last spring, so now it's the first winter I'm spending with it.

I always noticed some white smoke and an irregular idling when starting, but now when it's cold it seems a bit worse.

I have done a video with the problem, I guess it explains better :)
https://youtu.be/qC3Hdm1uU9M

Could you please help understand if this is anything severe or it's kind of normal.

Thanks in advance!
 

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Smoke clears once all cylinders are firing.
Think I'd opt for faulty glow plug(s) and one (or more) cylinders a bit late in realising the engine is running.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks a lot for your help!

Is there any easy way to get the glow plugs checked/replaced "at home"?
I would imagine some expertise is required :)
 

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First check the fuse under the bonnet.

It will be to your left as you look under the bonnet inside a little box.

About a quid to replace the 80 Amp? fuse.

It can oxidise and fail. Check for continuity across it and if it draws a current when the heater plug is switched on via the ignition switch.

If one of the 4/5 plugs is working then a current will be drawn.

You could try pointing an infra red thermometer at the top of each plug to see if it warms. At six or seven pounds it is worth a try.

If one is gone, change them all. Can be done at home. Better if engine is warm.

Google vwt4forum glow plug change

Tip: When removing the 8mm nut on top of the plug put a bit of paper in the socket and a smear of Vaseline in the socket to stop the nut dropping into the innards of the engine bay.
 

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You can check continuity without removing glow plugs, just remove wiring as in post above and then use a meter. They should measure about 3 ohms. If much higher then on their way out,
You will need long bodied socket to remove glow plugs.
 

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Hey Fellas!
Had the same problem in worse imho.
Starts (even in cold) and falls dead right after one-two seconds. have to wait for every 5 minutes to start again, so it warms slowly up (or so it seems). Otherwise, if continuously trying to fire it up, itsounds like it lacks compression, the starter is rolling alone, and i dont wont to kill the new battery). finally after almost an hour and many 5-10 min firing attempt intervals, it starts!
initially sounds like not all cylinders working and when all fire up, the smoke of Mordor pops out. Also, when going uphill or hard or weighted, loses proper idle rpms again (like an asthmatic overweight marathon runner) and smokes.
Changed Plugs, Timed Pump, changed Cambelt, Changed Oil-Air Filters,Checked crankshaft pulley, replaced battery, rebuild starter...Probably more, i cant remember anymore... I think only the injection valves are left to be checked, because i suspect that someone of them either stucks open or remains closed. but cause of the cost to have the gasket opened and refitted, im still hesitant.
Found the forum and the topic and gave it a chance if someone had seen the same problem.
Anyway, group therapy is also appreciated :)
 
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