Golf 2013 2.0 diesel Intermittent Fault

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OK, bear with me please, Golf 2013 mk 7 2.0 diesel 115K, owned the car for 8 years I had a full service when I bought it at approx 45K, then all I've done since is an annual oil/filter change and a cambelt a few years back and then rear discs/pads last year. Otherwise no other repairs/maintenance! :oops:

I have noticed the car has maybe taken slightly longer to start first thing in the mornings over perhaps the last 6 months but very subtle if so. Over the last say three weeks the car has (every few days or so) had a sudden loss of power for a split second as if you'd hit the brakes, then behaves as normal, very subtle/quick, Mrs Mercury didn't even notice.

Fast forward to today whilst driving and a flashing glow plug lamp along with an 'error start-stop system' message and a lack in power, hardly anything when you put your foot down, unfortunately I was about 40miles from home all via dual carriageway and on long or steep ascents I had it in 4th gear with the foot on the floor and it would not go above about 55mph even with a good (90mph) run up.

Anyway got home, turned engine off, let the whole thing switch off and restarted the engine, it sounded like an absolute bag of spanners and really struggled to start but it did start, then there was a consistent glow plug lamp & Emission control/Engine management lamp displayed + the 'error start-stop system' message. I though I'd repeat the process and take a video which I did, exactly the same results - bag of spanners/just about started, both lamps on. Except somehow I buggered up the video so I went on to repeat the whole process ...

But this time when I turned the ignition it restarted instantly with no weird sounds and only the Emission control/Engine management lamp displayed. So took it for a test drive and it drove just fine apart from the lamp.

I arrived home and repeated the whole process, ignition off and car 'reset' as if I'd locked I down and got back in, re-started the engine and this time started just fine, no sounds, and no warning lights at all - the car is now seemingly fixed, an early Christmas Miracle perhaps or some annoying intermittent fault that will cost me more than my next years annual utility bill?

My understanding is that the glow plug lamp flashing is actually reporting 'fault in the engine management system' rather than anything to do with the glow plugs, which presumably would only affect the starting anyway.

I don't have anything to check the errors (if present), should I bother? Any thoughts or obvious/easy things to change or other insights? It's a while since I fixed my own cars but could probably do some simple stuff, otherwise book it into my local garage, VW specialist or I do have a Bosch garage not so far away? My plan at the moment is to just drive it as normal (avoiding motorways etc) and book it in to my local garage which I expect will be next week unless it fails in the meantime.
 
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Might be worth trying a cheap code reader first to see if it shows anything up. You can get them for about £15. Wouldn’t hurt to change the fuel and air filter after 70K too!
 
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Thanks, these are the kinds of things I can get onboard with! :) I'll dig my (unopened :rolleyes: ) Haynes manual out, I noticed on the Haynes YouTube fuel filter change video they removed and discarded all of the leftover fuel in the filter housing, is that strictly necessary? Guess it matters not as I'll need to get (one of those red fuel tanks) with some spare fuel to top up the new filter in anycase.
 
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Some crap can accumulate in the bottom of the filter so I’d personally empty it and clean it out.
A code read as suggested would help, common things to watch our for are egr valve and also dpf problems if it’s doing short journeys but no point guessing.
Watch out for shiny metal in the fuel filter housing when you look in there, could be an early warning of more sinister issues and time to punt the car on.
 
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Thanks, I have changed the air and fuel filters today, there didn't seem to be any evidence of any crud/shiny metal in the fuel filter, nevertheless I emptied the thing and refilled it with clean diesel as per the Haynes video (surprisingly diesel doesn't taste anything like as bad as I expected), all drives OK with no warning lights. I bought a code reader and it displays the following single code: P0322 - Ignition/Dist Engine Speed Input Circuit No Signal.

Then under the Menu: 3.1/M i displays the following:
MIL OFF
MISFIRE→N/A
MISFIRE→N/A
FUEL→READY
CCM→READY
CAT→N/A
HCM N/A
EVAP N/A
2AIR→READY
A/C N/A
02S→READY
H02S→READY
EGR READY

Whatever any of that means?

My journey's are a mixed bunch, pleny of 1 mile journey's as well as regular 10 mile journey's and plenty well in excess of those distances, certainly some dual carriagway stuff every week, the last week has included a couple of 70+mile motorway journeys.
 
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I know the light is out but did you clear the fault with the code reader? I normally clear historic codes first and then see which ones return!
 
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On my Diesel Golf the Glow Plug light 'Flashing" with engine hot and almost running was an Injector fault. One/2 cylinders not being fuelled correctly, As with your car car loss of power on hills, in fact the car was juddering before coming to a complete stop. Check the bolts holding the injector retaining bridges. Might be worth your while getting new ones, replace and torquing up correctly. As with many things on VW's the bolts can be the minimum size to do the job; that was the problem on the Golf I had - bolt on bridge between cylinders 1 & 2 failed and the injectors moved. When they moved the pipes connecting the 'Common Rail' to the Injector heads were loosened - not good as Diesel leaked out.

The difficult Cold Start problem was identified as EGR valve assembly coked up. Even a good run in 4th gear didn't sort it, £400 quids worth of parts + labour. Needed hooking up to 'VagCom' to identify.
 
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Oh, and check the 'Flow' fuel pump is working. The High Pressure pump will suck fuel from the tank but the fuel system will under perform and eventually fail as doing things it wasn't designed to do.
 
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On my last Audi, thinking back, I took the crank sensor off as had starting problems, it was covered in dust, cleaned it, and put it back... never needed replacing.
 
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I think the EGR could well need looking at by now - for starting issues and limp home mode particularly.
John
 
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On my 2002 Octavia, the glow plug light flashing meant the brake light switch was kaput!
 
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I’m pretty sure the brake light also cuts the fuel on VW's. That may be your problem.
 
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