1972 Volkswagen VW Beetle TroubleShooting – Engine Turns Over But Will Not Start
To troubleshoot this problem, you need to perform these steps:
- Check your gas gauge. Add gas as needed.
- Check your loose connection at coil, distributor, and spark plugs. Tighten any loose connections. Try to start the car. If car will not start, go to step 3.
- Pull any spark plug cable from terminal of distributor cap. Hold cable with insulated pliers with the insulation about 1/4 inch from the terminal of cap while cranking engine. Check for strong arcing sparks. If no sparks, go to step 4. If strong sparks are visible, go to step 9.
- Install spark plug cable on distributor cap. Pull cable from center terminal of distributor cap. Hold cable with insulated pliers by the insulation about 1/4 inch from a metal object such as engine case. Check for strong arcing sparks. If good, go to step 5. If not good, go to step 6.
- Inspect distributor cap and rotor. Install cable on center terminal of distributor cap.
- Turn ignition switch off. Disconnect black wire from coil terminal. Turn on ignition. Holding black wire by insulation, strike it against blower housing. Check for sparks. Go to step 7. If no spark, have dealer check the ignition system.
- With distributor cap off, have someone turn on ignition and turn engine over with starter. Check for spark between breaker points. If no spark, go to step 8. If good, have coil replaced.
- If there was no spark, check contact breaker points for proper adjustment. Install distributor cap. Check cable connections between coil and distributor cap. Tighten loose connections. Try to start car. If car will not start, have dealer check ignition system.
- Install spark plug cable on distributor cap. Remove spark plugs. If plugs are dry, go to step 11. If plugs are wet, go to step 10. Spark plug wet with gas indicate excessive fuel supply.
- Check condition of plugs. Replace as necessary. Clean and dry spark plugs, go to step 9.
- If the plugs were dry, connect cables to plugs. Hold cable with dry piece of cloth to avoid shock. Hold plugs against some metal such as engine case. Have someone turn engine over with starter. Check for spark between electrodes of plugs. If no spark, go to step 14. If spark, reinstall plugs. Go to step 15.
- Using starter, turn engine over with plugs removed for about 30 seconds. Reinstall plugs and start engine. If car will not start, go to step 13.
- Tap around outside of carburetor with wooden or plastic tool handle. Wait a few minutes and try starting car. If car will not start, have dealer check fuel system.
- Clean and dry ignition cables and spark plug connections. Reinstall spark plugs. Try to start car. If car will not start, have dealer check ignition system. Be extremely careful when disconnecting fuel lines. Be sure engine is cold. D0 not smoke, keep open flame away. Also be careful when removing fuel line clamp. After installing fuel line have clamp replaced as soon as possible.
- Pull the fuel line off carburetor. Hold line in a container. Have someone turn engine over with starter.
- If fuel comes out of line, have your dealer check your carburetor. If fuel does not come out, clean the fuel pump filter.
- After cleaning filter, reinstall fuel line on carburetor and secure with clamp. Try to start car. If car will not start, have dealer check fuel system.