VW Golf 1.9TDi (1996) cutting out - suspect electrical fault

VW Golf 1.9TDi (1996)... About a year ago, the car developed an intermittent electrical fault. Driving along or stopped and idling,
the engine just cuts out entirely. Still turns. No unexpected noises. Ignition coil light and speedo stop working. Other electricals appear to be ok (lights, radio, hazards, etc). After a period between a few seconds and 5 minutes, the ignition coil light lights up again, and the engine restarts. The problem is getting more and more frequent and frustrating on an otherwise good car. A year ago, I took it to a vehicle electrical specialist, but the problem didnt manifest and they couldnt find anything... any ideas?
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In rec.autos.makers.vw.watercooled, peterski wrote:

You could try connecting an extra ground wire between the engine and the frame. What is the ignition coil light? I had a car where that got rid of some weird symptoms.
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I assume you are talking about the glow plug light.
Next time it cuts out jump straight power to the shutoff valve on the top of the injection pump & see if it starts.
Craig

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Is it just like you turn the ign off? It could be the ign switch or possibly a relay. BUT since you say the engine shuts off and it takes some time for the ignition coil light to light up (are you referring to all of the lights in the dash?) that is why I suspect the ign switch.
Or it could be something very costly and time consuming to repair so maybe you should sell that TDi to me! <g> No it should be something simple to repair and it is a matter of monitoring the power to the different systems. ;-)
later, One out of many daves

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On Sep 19, 1:40pm, "One out of many daves"

Don't know if you still have this problem, but I had an almost identical problem with my 1996 Tdi Estate which started (very infrequently) about a year ago, but recently got much worse - it would cut out after a couple of miles almost every trip, although once warmed up the car would be fine.
Turns out it was a power relay (labelled 109) for the ECU, which is found just above the fuse rack (in the driver's footwell). Took it out and prised the cover off, and all the soldered joints were broken or very dodgy. After a quick resolder, the car is now fine, but I intend to get a new one from VW as a proper replacement. Apparently this is a known fault and VW upgraded the relay in later models. The old one (which I have) is black, the new one is grey.
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It seems that relay #109 is known for problems in TDI's. Some owners even carry a spare with them. I have not had a problem myself and I don't carry a spare, but the description that could be the problem.
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Thanks everyone for your suggestions. It was that Relay 109 problem! Cost 13 to buy replacement. And yes - the faulty one was the black "made in Tunisia" version, with absolutely no visible cracking or broken solder etc in the relay. Ive now installed the new grey one, and the car runs a charm again. Happy motoring everyone.
"peterski" wrote: > VW Golf 1.9TDi (1996)... About a year ago, the car developed
> an intermittent electrical fault. Driving along or stopped > and idling, the engine just cuts out entirely. Still turns. > No unexpected noises. Ignition coil light and speedo stop > working. Other electricals appear to be ok (lights, radio, > hazards, etc). After a period between a few seconds and 5 > minutes, the ignition coil light lights up again, and the > engine restarts. The problem is getting more and more > frequent and frustrating on an otherwise good car. A year > ago, I took it to a vehicle electrical specialist, but the > problem didn't manifest and they couldn't find anything... any > ideas?
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