90 VW Jetta -- Stalled Now Won't Start

Hey everyone,
I have a 90 VW Jetta GL (4 Cylinder) and have a peculiar issue:
It has been well maintained over its life (currently at 201k) and just
the other day I was driving it in cool, normal weather when all of a sudden after accellerating during a green light I felt as if it was in 4th gear (although I was in 2nd) and sure enough the low oil pressure light comes on and the steering wheel locks up (engine died). I park it, make sure there is oil, gas, no leaks and the battery is good...all check out fine.
Turning the key (but not starting) the low oil pressure light stays on. Trying to start the car, it starts to turn over then abruptly stops (not a hard stop...just doesn't turn over fully).
I don't think it is the starter, since I was driving when it happened. Neither do I believe it is a battery since I can power up everything in the car just fine (lights, stereo..etc), battery light doesn't come on and the problem occured while I was driving.
I believe the problem may be the alternator or, after reading a few posts here already, possibly one of the fuel pumps, although I never heard the "rough" noise people mentioned regarding fuel pumps.
Any ideas where to start are greatly appreciated, thanks all.
~ Jon
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I had a problem like that with my 88 fox recently and it turned out the rotor had skipped off the distributor shaft... Just a thought
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Turn the engine over with a socket wrench to make sure that it does fully rotate. Maybe the timing belt broke and also the engine is hydrolocking. If the engine does not fully rotate, then remove all spark plugs and try rotating it again.
Engine has to turn over before all other things matter. ;-)
And report findings!
later, dave (One out of many daves) http://vwdoc1.tripod.com /

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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

...
Back to basics. Fuel, Spark, Compression (I don't have to worry about the spark, I have a TDI :-) )
I would pass on the compression issue for now, it does not seem to be that. However could you describe " Trying to start the car, it starts to turn over then abruptly stops (not a hard stop...just doesn't turn over fully)." more fully?
I suspect fuel or spark. Spark is easy to check A simple remove the wire, put a plug on it and hold it against the engine block (with insulation between you and it) while someone turns the engine will provide a good spark if the spark is working properly.
You may want to check the battery and you can also check all the battery cables (both ends) to make sure you are getting good connections and that the battery - charging system is OK.
How about standard maintenance? When was the last plug, wire, fuel filter etc. replacement? How about the timing belt, when was it replaced last? Any other replacements - repairs in the last year?
--
Joseph Meehan

Dia duit
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Today I'm going to get a new battery, voltage meter and a Chilton's to see how I can test alternator and (if I have to) test the fuel and oil pumps. Also will check out the rotor on the distributor.
I change the oil regularly, but haven't done other maintenance in a while so maybe it could be something as simple as a spark plug issue.
Something that may really clarify the issue:
Just (a couple minutes) before it conked out on me, I had it smogged. The mechanic mentioned that he had to have it "jump started". And I should get a new battery or possibly a new alternator. But that leaves me wondering why the engine light then and not the battery light?
~ Jon
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Just something that may be of interest:
I replaced the transmission about 600 miles ago, but any issue regarding that I'd figure would be a lot more noisy.
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I'm wondering if your timing belt didn't jump a tooth or two, thus throwing the ignition timing off. If it's too far advanced, it can be a bear to crank, and act sort of like you are describing.
On 14 Nov 2005 09:30:03 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Ron/Champ 6
1963 8E5 Champ (Champ 6) 1995 VW Passat (Vanilla..yuk) 1994 Volvo 850 (Tilley) 1973 Volvo 1800 ES (Hyacinth Bucket)
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Problem solved, (changed battery). There is nothing wrong with the charging system, the alternator puts out enough volts (14v) at the right amperage.
Dead battery was part of the issue, the other was I noticed that a thin blue wire (female) that comes out of the same casing as the postive battery cable got disconnected from a blue wire (male) that seems to originate from the lower part of the engine block, just behind the alternator. I think it may be the knock sensor.
In any case she runs fine now, I don't need a new alternator and at most all I need to do is change the spark plugs, oil and belts.
Although replacing the tranny on it was a real pain in the butt, overall this car has been really easy to work on and maintain (hell of a lot better than my last car: 87 LeSabre).
Will defintely look at VWs when I'm browsing for a new car in a couple of years...thanks for all your ideas.
~ Jon
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The blue wire could be your exciter wire for the alt. if disconected the battery won't charge.
md
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In rec.autos.makers.vw.watercooled, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

The interior light would normally dim slightly while cranking. Does that light dim even more, or does it brighten up when the cranking stops on its own?
If the change in brightness is too small to distinguish, a voltmeter will be more sensitive to the change in system voltage at that time.
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Is it possible that you have a problem with your anti-theft system? I could not start my 2000 Jetta TDI. I would try to start it and it would stall out almost immediately. I had it towed to my mechanic and he got it started by setting off the alarm system using my remote control. This rest my alarm system and then the car started up right away. I think the problem ended up to be a problem with the key I was using.
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