I have a 200k+ mile 80q. Last few months, every now and again would
not start on the first key turn, but sounded like it would "catch" on
one or two cylinders, then die. Second key turn would start it. This
happened every so often, then the frequency picked up to almost every
time the motor was started.
Then, one day, the second key turn didn't start it. Had it towed, and
it started just fine for the mechanic. He went through it, and
couldn't find any problem. Cleaned up some contacts, added dielectric
grease in a few places, car ran well and started on first key turn.
For a week. Then the first key turn didn't do it, but the second did.
Then another failure, and another tow. Car worked fine at mechanic's
place. More replacement wire ends, diagonstic charges, car works fine
as an extended loaner to the mechanic.
Get 200 miles from home. Car fails. Subsequent tow does NOT result in
a successful start. Hooray! A failure to be diagnosed. Jumpering
past the relay did not produce any fuel pump action. A dying fuel
pump??? What a strange failure mode. All the other VAG fuel pump
failures I've ever heard of are sudden, or give warning through
noisiness. I have never experienced, nor heard of, a gradual failure
As a car, this one has been very reliable, and quite kind to our bank
account. It's even easy on gas when I remind myself to keep out of the
throttle. :) $250 on a fuel pump is a little higher than I like, but
I'll accept it if this one lasts for 200k miles.