Why is my 2002 Volkswagen Golf ticking over erratically?

I have a 2002 Volkswagen Golf TDI with the 1.9 ASZ engine. It has done 58,000 miles and is mainly used on motorway runs of about 65 miles each way. When the engine is cold, it suffers from a lumpy tick-over. I have spoken to the mechanics where I have it serviced, and they it would have to go to a main dealer to resolve it. A friendly BMW technician has the same view. As it runs fine once it has warmed up, I am a bit reluctant to spend £300 per hour (or whatever it is) as the problem doesn't appear serious and is only an inconvenience. What might it be?

Asked on 2 September 2010 by Morialta

Answered by Honest John
Probably a failed temp sensor/sender. They do only last about eight years.
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