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  1. First, a bit of background. I have too much shite at my place. I really mean too much. How many you ask? I do not know is the honest answer. At the last count there were 21 Saabs (hence the user name) plus many, many others. These range from a Fiat 500 (proper one) to a Bentley T2 Turbo (been seen here before), a couple of Pre-war Rolls, an AC Cobra, a Chevrolet Astro plus all sorts of other weird stuff. Most have been bought cheaply as they needed work, some have been sorted, others still await their turn, and all the good expensive perceived collectable stuff has been SORNed and put away for the winter. This leaves me with an old Saab 9-3 diesel estate and the mortal remains of a P38 Diseasal as winter cars. The Saab is getting leggy and tired but is still a good reliable old bus. The P38 on the other hand usually breaks every time I use it, though usually gets me home, but needs fixing before I can use it again. As a result, despite being surrounded by shite, I found myself needing a back up car for the winter, should the Saab decide not to play for any reason. In true AS style I went to see a Volvo 240 estate that had been sitting for 4 years, but the rot had taken hold so for once I made the sensible decision and left it despite it being ideal. I wanted a spare car with a towbar so it could stand in for the Saab or the P38 when it inevitably breaks. Then the AS roffle for the Nippa came along so a couple of randoms were purchased, and true to form, someone else won that one. It did make me think about a small, economical spare car would make more sense, as I am sure* the P38 will behave itself now. So, a couple of weeks ago, a friend calls and offers me a 2001 Golf 1.4 Petrol, 82k miles, very tidy for a hundred quid. Downside was it had sat for 6 months at a local garage where it had been taken with a running fault and a dead cat had been diagnosed. Now, the only other VAG product I have owned was an air cooled beetle 30 odd years ago, and as a fellow ASer has said to me, you can spot the VAG driver as he is the one who has left his personality in the glove box, but it was only a hundred quid, WCPGW? A lifetime of avoiding VWs came to an end, and I collected the Golf, on the trailer behind the P38. Of course, the P38 got a tad warm on the return journey, so was parked in its usual spot awaiting attention and the Golf battery put on charge. It poured with rain all the next day, so the battery got a nice 48 hour charge. Of course, after this it was still as flat as a flat thing, so the battery was taken off my Morris Cowley Speedster (very much a summer car) and fitted to the golf.where it instantly, and noisily started, then stopped! The exhaust is completely fubared or disconnected, but I need to drive it up the ramps to see under it. Many retries on starting resulted in an instant start followed by an almost instant stop. Inside, for a search on the great god Google and it appears to be a common problem, with at least a dozen things that definitely cause it! Most common was an immobiliser fault easily cured* by removing and cleaning the connectors. Now I hate plastic, and modern cars are full of the stuff, but I bit the bullet and removed several acres of the stuff. Eventually located the immobiliser, removed the connectors and cleaned everything in sight, Put it back together (ie threw the plastic on the back seat) and tried again. Instant start followed by the same instant stop. I phoned my local older VW guru and moaned about modern car shite (he pointed out it was nearly 20 years old!) and said I would probably need VAG-COM to sort it. Not having this, I phoned a friend who has a snap on generic machine, and he agreed to come over and plug it in. This stated that the ECU was disabled due to a faulty water temperature sensor. God Google pointed out this is a very common fault with VWs and a faulty sensor tells the ECU it is over heating so shuts the engine down. This made sense to me, so off to the local emporium and a new sensor was purchased. Back to the car, several grazed knuckles later and the sensor is fitted. Turn the key for the moment of truth. Yep, you guessed. No difference. I now hate this car with a passion, having wasted several days over 2 weeks chasing this fault. I will not be beaten, On Friday I ordered a VAG-COM unit and currently await its arrival. This does of course mean the car is no longer so cheap but at least I will have it for future use, though the liklihood of another VAG product in my ownership was rapidly receding. Will take a break from typing this shite now to add a couple of photos, watch this space for the next installment....
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