Real common for VW diesels to get sticky rings, especially if you are getting oil smell in the exhaust.Compression will drop and get hard to start and act just as you describe. Best thing I've found is Auto RX to clean them out ( ) costy but it really works. Liqui Moly sells a cleaner called Oil Schlamm spulung that does a fair job but doesn't get it all.


Dave M. wrote:
Hi all,

My 1981 VW Dasher diesel (1.5L, mechanical lifters) has been getting
crankier on cold starts lately. I did a valve adjustment a few months
ago to get things in spec so that shouldn't be a problem. Power and
MPG is normal (42-45mpg). It's just the cold starts that are a

When the car sits overnight, I'll do 2-3 glow cycles when it's cold
(30-40F), and I have a rudimentary 'afterglow' setup as well. But when
I start it, it runs quite rough, and smokes terribly for a good 10-15
seconds. I need to keep my foot halfway down to keep it running at all
until it smooths out. And for the first 30-45 seconds, it may even
misfire at times. The afterglow doesn't change things, it acts the
same with or with the plugs on when cold. The smoke is
blueish/whitish, and smells of both engine oil and fuel, so I can't
pin down what the cause is.

Warm starts are fine, glow plugs are all good and verified with
ohmmeter AND current draw test, and the car doesn't smoke
significantly when warm.

Any ideas?


Dave M.
Boise, ID
1994 E500 - 95kmi  (Q-ship)
1987 300D - 261kmi (Sportline)

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