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    1. Junior Member
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      96 Passat GLX Wagon
      06-04-2010 02:34 PM #1
      Hi, 96 Passat GLX wagon with random stalling problem - engine usually dies while sitting in traffic at a slow idle - but it's also happened backing out of the driveway or coasting at 60 mph. Originally I thought heat/humidity made it worse, but it's so inconsitent I can't be sure. Fuel filter and throttle body were just replaced - didn't help. Plugs are 2 years old, wires maybe too old - 6 years, fuel pump 4 years, Maybe it's the coilpack, or MAF or a vacuum hose or (?)
      Any suggestions?

      thanks in advance

      -forgot to say, it always restarts easily
      Last edited by MomGLX; 06-04-2010 at 02:46 PM.

    2. Member mk2glisean's Avatar
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      '91 Jetta GLI, '95 Jetta VR6 swap, 97 jetta GT beater.
      06-05-2010 01:16 AM #2
      having the same problem at the moment i believe its the oxygen sensor. Is it also hesitating on really light acceleration?

    3. Junior Member
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      96 Passat GLX Wagon
      06-05-2010 01:58 AM #3
      sorry you're dealing with it too, but also glad not to be alone...
      I hadn't thought about light acceleration hesitation, but you're right, it does seem to almost bog down sometimes unless I give it a quick burst of more gas. That's why I was thinking it was a fuel supply thing...I'll have to read up on the oxygen sensor.
      Are you going to replace yours or is there something else you can do testing-wise?
      Good luck!

    4. Junior Member
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      06-05-2010 04:56 PM #4
      Same problem has just begun with my very stock 96 GLX VR6 auto. Not fun when cruising in freeway traffic in town! Loss of power and sputtering down to stall. No codes show up on scan with VAGCOM.

      Was thinking fuel pump, but sounds like yours is not that old and perhaps not the problem. Maybe fuel pump relay? Does seem like its a fuel problem and not the ignition switch because of the sequence of it sputtering out then the warning lights come on instead of a sudden engine stop.

      It was a hot day last I drove, today is cooler and will try to do some testing.

      Was also thinking some bad or dirty fuel until your post. Helps to know someone else is having the same problem. It starts right back up.

      I thought about replacement of fuel filter and pressure test the pump, but seems there is something else going on based on your repair history.

      I've been without a functioning MAF for a long time now, but it's always kept running (rough). Replacing the MAF is on the agenda this month, but again don't think that is what is going on with the stall.

      Both O2 sensors were replaced late last summer and they scan within spec.

      Update as you can!
      Last edited by passatdunord; 06-05-2010 at 05:18 PM.

    5. Member
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      06-05-2010 05:47 PM #5
      I also suffer from a similar issue. I thought it might be caused by a faulty throttle position sensor, but I replaced the throttle body (and therefore the TPS) and that didn't fix the problem. I agree with those who believe it to be a fueling issue. I thought that my fuel filter might be bad, but this thread's original post would seem to rule that out. That leaves the fuel pump, MAF sensor, and fuel pressure regulator. I've ordered a new 4 bar FPR and I'll see if that fixes the problem.
      Kenji

    6. 06-05-2010 06:15 PM #6
      Have you check for any codes? do you have a CEL on? Go from there. it will tell you more or less what is it thats wrong with it.

    7. Junior Member
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      06-05-2010 06:27 PM #7
      No codes, no CEL. Several different engine on/off scans yesterday and today. No driving scans, though.

      Just light test driving today in cool weather to the gas station and back. No problems. Will try more tomorrow. This is going to be one of those confounding intermittent issues.

      Kenji Will be interested to find out what you learn about the Pressure Regulator

    8. Member mk2glisean's Avatar
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      06-05-2010 09:31 PM #8
      pretty sure its the o2 sensor but i am OBD1... I've noticed that it only starts to run ****ty when the car gets almost fully warmed up. This means it must be the oxygen sensor because the 02 sensor does not work until it is warm. The computer uses preset mapping for the 02 while the car warms up, then once the o2 is warm it then takes readings from that. If you find anything out in regards to the problem please let me know... i've also pretty much ruled out the MAF because it does not run on a closed circuit upon startup, if the MAF was bad or malfunctioning, it would run crappy as soon as the car is started. But who knows, I need some serious convincing that it is the 02 before i drop 90 bucks on one thats for sure

    9. Member
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      06-05-2010 11:12 PM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by mk2glisean View Post
      pretty sure its the o2 sensor but i am OBD1... I've noticed that it only starts to run ****ty when the car gets almost fully warmed up. This means it must be the oxygen sensor because the 02 sensor does not work until it is warm.
      This isn't the case for me. I can get my engine to stutter when it is still cold. However, I have my problem almost exclusively when the ambient temperature is on the warm side (i.e., when the weather is hot).
      Kenji

    10. Member dogyouare's Avatar
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      06-06-2010 10:22 AM #10
      ok on obd1 there is isv valve. some time it gets gumedup because of oil getting in there and not opening and closing correctly( and ohter **** can go in there) so take it off and spray with tb cleaner and see what come out of it. now for obd2 try this check plug and coil. also reset the computer unplug battery for like 30 min to reset and let it readapt ( yes i know vagcom can do it but still)... and post result.
      Last edited by dogyouare; 06-06-2010 at 10:24 AM. Reason: more info..

    11. Member
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      06-06-2010 11:21 AM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by dogyouare View Post
      for obd2 try this check plug and coil. also reset the computer unplug battery for like 30 min to reset and let it readapt ( yes i know vagcom can do it but still)... and post result.
      My issue has persisted through a spark plug change and an ECU reset. I can't vouch 100% for my coilpack, but a bad one usually throws misfire DTCs, and I don't have any.

      If you blip the throttle enough, the problem goes away. To me, this feels like a fueling issue, not an ignition issue.
      Kenji

    12. 06-06-2010 11:38 PM #12
      Same sort of problem!! I had codes read, they said o2 sensor , throttle body pos sens, or maf. I'm gonna start with fuel system, cause the guy I bought it from has never touched the gas tank. I also have a new MAF, tbps works fine. I also have a new CAT so I'm wondering if the mechanic put the old O2 sens back in. Gonna inspect more tomorow.

    13. 06-07-2010 12:04 AM #13
      Have you checked/cleaned your Idle Control Valve? (i think that what its called) I have had the same stalling problem from time to time and cleaning it cleared it up. I used a throttle body cleaner thats safe for electronic parts.

    14. Member renohuskerdu's Avatar
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      RIP: 97 Vento VR6 Euro lowered Climatronic; Range V8 tube/mud 4x4 beast
      06-07-2010 05:46 AM #14
      Quote Originally Posted by redJETglx View Post
      Have you checked/cleaned your Idle Control Valve? ...
      x2 - What he said. I have the same problem. My cousin runs a VW dealer and says cleaning up the entire throttle body fixes idle problems. In fact, if you find a throttle body at a junkyard you can just clean that puppy up well ahead of time, then swap it in.

      Somebody said there's some kind of voodoo sync op you have to do when you reinstall it. Hopefully a senior member can help us out on that. hint hint :bowdown:
      French dude neben Deutschland. Das Leben beginnt mit 5 Zylinder, 150 PS, Crapmo' stank malt licky. Das Bardle Doo?

    15. Junior Member
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      96 Passat GLX Wagon
      06-07-2010 01:08 PM #15
      thanks but if I understand it correctly, my car is ODB2 and doesn't have an idle control valve (?)
      and I just got a new throttle body... maybe it needs some voodoo ...

      it's much cooler here today - so the car ran beautifully

    16. Member dogyouare's Avatar
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      06-07-2010 02:39 PM #16
      wow u need to read other poster before u miss lead!!!

      yes obd2 car does not have isv.... ever herd of throttle readaption?

      yes ur tb opens up to idle the car there is no bypass like isv.

      cleaned the maf?

    17. Member dogyouare's Avatar
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      06-07-2010 02:42 PM #17
      oh and hmm sounds like ur collant temp sensor might be bad
      there are 2
      1 is for gauge
      1 is for ecu
      usually when the sensor goes bad it reads cold. so during colder time it will run good whille when its hot it will bogg down.

      do you smell rich gas from tail pipe? or any smoke?

    18. Member
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      06-07-2010 04:08 PM #18
      Quote Originally Posted by dogyouare View Post
      oh and hmm sounds like ur collant temp sensor might be bad
      I've had an overly rich A/F fuel mixture before (courtesy of a bad MAF sensor), and this issue is nothing like that at all. If the CTS was bad, we'd be having this problem all the time (i.e., regularly), and as the OP said, this is a maddeningly intermittent problem.
      Kenji

    19. Member dogyouare's Avatar
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      06-09-2010 11:33 AM #19
      well how does ur tail pipe smell rich?

    20. Junior Member
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      96 Passat GLX Wagon
      06-09-2010 02:00 PM #20
      I ended up getting a new MAF,
      The car is running ok right now, but it's also still cooler weather-wise, so i'm waiting to rejoice until after it warms up again

    21. Member
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      06-09-2010 05:28 PM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by MomGLX View Post
      I ended up getting a new MAF.
      I have a new MAF sensor in my attic that I'll install if replacing the FPR has no effect. Good luck!
      Kenji

    22. Member
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      06-12-2010 09:25 PM #22
      New FPR in place. Wish me luck...
      Kenji

    23. Member dogyouare's Avatar
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      06-12-2010 10:38 PM #23
      GL

    24. Junior Member
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      96 Passat GLX Wagon
      06-12-2010 11:39 PM #24
      Good Luck!

    25. Junior Member
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      06-13-2010 04:45 PM #25
      Wish you success, Kenji !

      MomGLX, how old was the MAF you replaced?

    26. Junior Member
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      96 Passat GLX Wagon
      06-14-2010 12:01 AM #26
      As far as I know the MAF was original, with almost 159K miles on it.
      I took it to a recommended garage where they tested it and said it was bad, sorry I don't know any of the tests numbers or anything to tell you.

    27. Junior Member
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      96 Passat GLX Wagon
      06-17-2010 01:17 PM #27
      UPDATE:

      the new MAF fixed it! it's been over a week, it's been hot and humid but it's still running fine.
      hope the rest of you get good results too!

    28. Member
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      06-17-2010 03:53 PM #28
      Quote Originally Posted by MomGLX View Post
      UPDATE: the new MAF fixed it!
      That's great! I haven't experienced the problem since installing my new FPR, but I haven't put that many miles on it yet. I have a feeling that a new MAF sensor is in my future.
      Kenji

    29. Junior Member andre100409's Avatar
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      06-19-2010 11:34 AM #29
      can someone post a video of your car actually stalling or dying...i want to see if its the same exact problem i have

    30. Member
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      06-19-2010 12:27 PM #30
      Quote Originally Posted by andre100409 View Post
      can someone post a video of your car actually stalling or dying...i want to see if its the same exact problem i have
      Seeing as it happens without any notice and while I'm driving, I don't think I'm going to be posting a video of it any time soon.
      Kenji

    31. Junior Member
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      06-21-2010 12:55 AM #31
      Agreed, it's random and unpredictable.

      The MAF may do the trick for mine. Since last summer have replaced two O2 sensors, EVAP purge valve, ECU coolant sensor (the blue one), the ignition switch (simply out of habit), backlight instrument bulbs (to make it look nice), fuel pump relay, cleaned grounds in the engine compartment, cleaned TB, adapt tranny and the TB, crackpipe. (how could I forget that )

      Kenji, did you try that backup MAF?
      Last edited by passatdunord; 06-22-2010 at 10:09 PM. Reason: Another Correct

    32. Member dogyouare's Avatar
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      06-21-2010 08:51 AM #32
      Quote Originally Posted by Kenji View Post
      Seeing as it happens without any notice and while I'm driving, I don't think I'm going to be posting a video of it any time soon.
      lol i agree

    33. Member
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      06-21-2010 05:35 PM #33
      Quote Originally Posted by passatdunord View Post
      Kenji, did you try that backup MAF?
      Not yet.

      I've driven a little with the new FPR, and while I'm still getting the occasional "stutter", the behavior seems to be better, although definitely not fixed. Frustrating. I'll probably stick with my current setup until I either get an afternoon to swap in my new MAF sensor (I have a VF kit so it takes a fair amount of effort to get to the sensor), or until the stutter gets bad again.
      Kenji

    34. Junior Member
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      07-13-2010 05:40 PM #34
      Replaced the MAF and forgot to include the ambient temp sensor in the list before. No longer stalls, but still idles rough so happy as can be because at least it's consistent now. It's like it can run if one problem, but two problems combined causes failure. Next step is change the oil.

      off-topic FYI for anyone still messing with this generation: There were no direct symptoms, but since I had an extra one and was desperate to 'fix' something, I changed out the ignition switch. There are three well documented methods for this, and I would like to propose a fourth which is a modification of method 3 - unbolt shaft Let's call this other way 3a - separating the two pieces of the steering shaft at the midway point where it's designed to collapse then access the switch securing screw same as 3. Not as easy to separate then rejoin as it sounds, though, so my suggestion is to go either with method 1 - wheel puller at the top end or method 3 - unbolt at the bottom end. Strongly urge you to reconsider if you're thinking about method 2 - cut off the sleeve adapter. This is what I ended up doing probably because this is the fourth or fifth swapout for the switch and that adapter sleeve refused to budge. But a sad surprise soon after when the dealer asked for nearly fifty bucks for that little adapter. So recommend 1 or 3, but not 2. Have a pic but apparently can't post it here.

      Glad I did this change; the switch it turns out was sloppy and the screw was loose. (Last change done by a dealer) au revoir and it's on to the oil change.

    35. Member
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      07-13-2010 06:01 PM #35
      I finally got around to replacing my MAF sensor after a long drive during relatively hot weather in stop-and-go traffic caused near-stalls on multiple occasions. I haven't put many miles on the new sensor yet, but no issues so far (crosses fingers).
      Kenji

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