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Discussion Starter #1
Struggles to start on cold start, currently 5-10 degrees outside. When engine is warm less of an issue. White smoke on start up.
Here is a video of the issue
Thanks
 

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That is definitely struggling to turn over. You'll need to confirm that the battery is ok or replace it. The starter motor is another very good possibility especially if it's over 100k. Also, the main earth cable from the battery can break were the stranded cable crimps to the metal right angled fitting for the top starter bolt. It can break down slowly strand by strand.

You don't say how many miles you have but my guess is the starter, however, (cheapest first) check that earth cable carefully. If it is breaking under the rubber sleeve, or shows any signs of heat at all you could do what I did and cut it at the halfway point on the body with a dremmel and buy an aftermarket replacement for just the lower half. Buy a truck version because the (heavy duty!) 300A car versions are not good enough. I'm only guessing but the complete thing from VW is probably £80-£100. I think from memory mine was a 600A version for about a tenner.

The smoke could be just be because it is struggling to start. At least make sure the basics are there before panicking about all the horror stories you might read. Good luck! :)

 

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Starter speed sounds fine to me , I’d be checking glow plugs
Having listened to my 2.5 starting for 16 years now I know that one is pretty poor. There is a possibility that glow plugs or other faults are causing the starting problem but that cranking speed isn't helping. A poor starter motor drawing high current can ruin a battery over time too. When I get a chance I will post a video of mine starting cold with a new (now 2 year old) starter and the more recent earth strap and you will really hear the difference.

Shame the OP hasn't come back.. :rolleyes:
 
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