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Volkswagen Jetta Starting and Stalling Issues



  • I have a 2002 Jetta TDI that will not pick up fuel when fuel drops
    just below half tank. Have checked the top side for vacuum leaks,
    etc.. Fuel gauge is correct and the problem is consistant.
    Does anyone have any ideas before I go into the tank?
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Sure sounds like a vacuum leak somwhere. A vacuum leak at the thermostatic "T" has been known to cause symptoms such as yours.

    If I were you , I would try replacing the fuel-filter. Pay close attention to the 2 Orings on the thermostatic "T" fitting that plugs into the fuelfilter. These 2 Orings are different size (and different color if you use German-made filter like a Mann)

    If you still continue to have issue, try using your oil-suker (that you use to change oil) on the fuel-filter to see if you can duplicate problem "manually".
  • Thanks for the input.
    I have been using after market filters. Might bite the bullet and buy a genuine VW. Could throw 5 gal. of fuel in the trunk just in case it's not the filter.
    I do have vacuum pumps and may have to start working my way back. Trying to elimate everything before going into the tank.
    Again, Thanks
  • I have a 95 Jetta manual trans that won't start after not being started for 3 months. Up until now I have have never had this problem. I am assuming it's because my car sat so long with out being started. It will turn over but not start. Any tips on how to get her to start?
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Are you touching the thrrottle pedal? If so, that may be a reason it is not starting.

    Also, check that your fuelpump is running.
  • I got it to start. All I did was put a bottle of gummout in it and 5 gallons of fresh gas. I then let it sit for 2 days and it started right up!
  • My daughter has a 2000 Jetta that has a intermittent starting problem. The car will work fine for weeks then will not start, turn the key and nothing. Some times you can leave the car sit and come back later and it starts. I have also had some luck or just timing when I tap/beat the fuse box over the battery, not sure if it has anything to do with the problem. Thanks in advance for any help.

  • I havea1998 Jetta that does the exact same thing. It is the ignition switch. I have had it replaced several times but it is a faulty part and will continue to go bad. The cure that I have found is to hold the key as far as you can turn it, and slam the drivers door. It gives the ignition switch the kick it needs to make the connection. That has worked with out fail for the last year. :) good luck!
  • ksiggmksiggm Posts: 1
    I have an 03 Jetta that on ocassions wont start immediately. When turning the ignition the power to the car goes out, only clicks once, then dash controls and all go off. I can open the door to the car and slam it shut again, then its good to go no problems. It resets my stero and clock but other than that no more problems for a couple days then it does it again. The only thing that happens intermittenly as well is that the clock will reset till 12:00 while driving ocassionally. There are no check engine lights on. The battery cables are on securely as well. Can anyone give me insight on how to get this fixed or what the problem may be?

    Thanks for your help
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    The ONLY thing which will cause all of that to happen is losing master power from the battery. Perhaps slamming the door jiggles a loose connection enough for it to work on the next try. I would suggest that you check/clean/tighten both of the large power cables from the battery and the other end of where they connect.

    Safety Tip: remove battery cables from battery before working on electrical system. ALWAYS remove the negatave terminal 1st and install negative last!!!
  • i have a 2001 VW Jetta 1.8t, 5-speed manual, it starts fine and runs fine for about 20-30 seconds and then loses all power (not lighting and such but engine power). Even when bringing the engine up to 3k rpm or so it will just lose all power, drop down to about 800 rpm, idle hard and then stall. I get no response from the gas pedal when i press it to bring the rpms back up. This happens when I am idle and also when im driving, does not matter what gear I am in either. I have had previous problems with the car running rough before, bucking bad and stalling when I stop at lights. We changed the O2 sensors, the catalytic converter, and the overlay wiring harness. Each of these things have fixed the problem for a short time but it has came back.Don't know where to go next, I have read that this year has had many electrical problems, as well as problems with the ignition coils. Just hopeing for some more insight on this and possibly a solution.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    This sure sounds as if it is starving for fuel. Have you checked the flow of fuel from the fuel-pump?

    Usually this procedure involves disconecting a fuel-line under the hood and putting the end in a container. Then enguage the fuel-pump and time how much fuel comes out to determine flow-rate.
  • I have a 2003 Jetta 1.8T. About a month ago it wouldn't start. The engine was turning but it wouldn't fire up. I had it towed and had the fuel pump replaced. It ran great for a few days but then did it again. I am having it towed yet again tommorow for the fourth time with the same problem. My mechanic called around and found out that there has been some problems with the fuel pumps for jettas. Could it be something else?
  • i have a 2003 jetta 2.0 and it has problems starting. whenever it is very cold outside it never starts and whenever its raining outside it never starts while it sits for a while. mechanic said he never seen anything like this from a jetta and assumed it could only be the starter and he replaced it but it stills does it.

    also, the engine light is on and stays on. mechanic says the car has a "cold" (whatever that means) and is common for the jetta to have but wont affect the engines performance.

    do any of u experience the same problems? and is the engine light directed towards y the car wont start in cold/raining weather? can anyone give any suggestions as to what is really the problem.
  • I have the same exact issues with my 97 Jetta! I hasn't been wanting to start in cold/damp weather, it will try to turn over but not 'ignite.' Also, years ago when I purchased it, the engine light would remain on, so the mechanic just permanently turned it off. It hasn't caused any issues.

    Regarding the not-starting thing, please let me know if you find any info or solutions! Thanks!
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Let me get this straight... your "mechanic" thought that the problem was the starter, charged you to replace it, and the problem remains unchaged.

    Then, the same "mechanic" says your car has a "cold"


    As for the non starting issue, why not TROUBLESHOOT to find out specificly why it is not starting then correct that problem?

    The CEL is lit for a specific reason and is easy to find out why. Use VagCom or AutoZone can pull the codes for you for free.

    You asked for some direction about what the problem may be... YOUR MECHANIC!

    HINT: Suspect the IGNITION SYSTEM is not firing the sparkplugs. The ignitor-coil and sparkplug wires are a GREAT place to start anytime you encounter engine problems related to damp weather. In the past, I have described several times in gory detail how to diagnose.... use the "search" function across all the VW forums to get details.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    Then, the same "mechanic" says your car has a "cold"

    I'm thinking maybe the mechanic had the cold and actually said "code" but the poster heard "cold" :confuse:
  • lealsleals Posts: 2
    if you have'nt corrected the problem yet? check the keyway on the crankshaft, if this has sheared the top half of the engine won't turn with the bottom. the car will not start if the cam and crank are not in time, i would not be cranking the engine until you check this. good luck
  • bigo0013bigo0013 Posts: 1
    OK i have a 95 jetta 3 GL, I have put new plugs, wires, ignition coil, dist. cap, distributor, engine speed sensor, fuel pump, maf sensor, new belts, catalytic conv., fuel filter and done an oil change on the car! I put it in the shop to take care of the exhaust leaks that were in it and the mechanic said there was a misfire code coming up, so he checked the plugs and now it wont start!! He also said that when the key in put in and turned forward that the speedometer and rpm needsles are jumping. Does anyone have any ideas or advice??
  • i bought a 2001 wolfsburg jetta in '08. its been a alright car for the most part. most recently i will get in my car and drive for about 15 min, stopping and going then all of a sudden the next stop sign i will stall out. i will start it back up and move along and the next stop it will stall out. after i turn it back on and sit my idles bounces reving and almost stalling then eventually stalling out after a couple mins. can anyone help me out for a little bit of advice?. i love the car and want to fix it.
  • hey i just bought a 2001 wolfsburg and i love the car but everything that you have mentioned is happening to me. i got the temp and 02 sensor changed and got new springs and i still have the same problems. just recently it started stalling out at stop signs and the idle will idle high and bog out then stall. if you find out anything let me know and i will do like wise
  • ClairesClaires Chicago areaPosts: 1,222
    My 2002 1.8T started fine as usual today, and I drove it about 3 miles to run into the bank. When I came out, it wouldn't start -- it cranked ok and no warning lights came on, but then did nothing -- it sounded like it wasn't getting gas. The windows and other electrical things seemed to be working ok.

    I had to have it towed to a mechanic. He called later to say that it had no problems starting, and that he drove it around but didn't notice anything unusual. He did find a mouse nest under the engine cover (eew), but said nothing had been chewed. He said there are no problem codes stored, and cleaned the throttle body.

    He's going to check the fuel pump tomorrow; is there anything else he should look at?

    (By the way, I had a certified VW mechanic to give it a full inspection last week at 70K miles, and he said everything was fine. He didn't mention the nest, so I'm guessing he missed other things.)


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  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    A no-start condition often logs details in the onboard memory. Hook your car up to computer and run diagnostics.

    Most folks use a Vag-Com to perform diagnostic-checks and troubleshoot all manner of other problems.

    Just this past weekend, my daughter complained that her ABS and CEL were lit on the dashboard. I used my VagCom to run diagnostics and printed out a report which showed a bad wheel-sensor and some mis-firing issues with the engine. Also one of her heated mirrors failed too.
  • ClairesClaires Chicago areaPosts: 1,222
    Thanks! He said there were no error codes stored in memory, but I'm bringing it back next week to give it a closer look. I needed to take the car so I could get to work and hey... it's running now!


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  • I've got an older 1989 Jetta. I've had some starting problems so I've replaced the starter and the wires connecting the starter. I've also replaced the ground to the engine.

    What happens is that it will normally start fine unless it has been driven for a long period (1/2 hour or more). When it is hot it will not start at all, not even turn over. I cannot hear the solenoid click or any sound whatsoever.

    I know there is a fuesable link somewhere but I don't feel this would be the problem as it will start fine as long as it is cold.

    Please give me some kind of idea where to go next.
  • andrea45andrea45 Posts: 15
    I bought an 03 Jetta 6 mo ago & the check engine light has been on & off ever since. I just had a diagnostic done & it came up w/2 possible problems; it's either the control fan module or the temp sensor. We replaced the temp sensor & it tests fine. Just had the control fan module replaced & it was fine the first day, but the check engine light just came back on! UGH!! I supposed I should have taken my car to a VW mechanic, maybe they would be more familiar w/this seems to be a quite common tleast w/the 03 model's. Can anyone tell me what the problem could possibly be?? I have to pass DEQ & only have 2 wks before my tags expire. (you cant run your car through DEQ & pass if the check engine light is on) Which is totally stupid because it passed the emissions part of the test. Help!!!
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    If you expect any help, we need the ERRORCODES which are being flagged as illuminating the CEL.

    BTW: You headed down the most common road that most rookies do.... the ERRORCODES tell you which sensors were giving unexpected signals... but you SHOULD NEVER assume that the sensors are the problem. (They are only the messengers)

    If somone tells you bad news, should you ignore the bad news and instead replace that person with somone else?

    And yes, the FEDERAL law says that the CEL must not be lit. The CEL only lites up when an EMMISSIONS issue is detected. (Again - mandated by FEDERAL law)

    PS: The word "emmission" does not only refer to what comes out the tailpipe. There are any number of 'emmissions' which could emminate from an automobile. (like Gasoline fumes or Oil fumes)
  • jodyjo4jodyjo4 Posts: 1
    Believe it or not I just got my 94 jetta back from the shop with almost the exact problem. I have spent 8 months fighting with this car, it would run fine and then suddenly it would lose power and the speedometer needles would bounce around like crazy. After 5 mechanics (2 of which finally told me to get a new car after 3 weeks of trying to diagnose the problem) I replaced the catalytic converter on the recommendation of someone else only to have the problem happen again. I got it to a Euro shop and as it turns out the panel cluster (speedo, tach, etc) was shorting out and causing the car to at times not start and at other times lose all power. I know this sounds crazy, but they diagnosed it by disconnecting the panel and the car ran fine. We replaced the cluster panel with a used one and the car has now gone over 200 miles without a problem. I don't know if you're having the same issue but it's worth a try.
  • andrea45andrea45 Posts: 15
    Hi Bruce,
    the error code im getting is: 2181. I got this code both from DEQ & a mechanic who did a diagnostic on my car. You mentioned that If the CEL lights up at a DEQ station, then it must have detected an emmissions issue..but then why does their report state that it "passed" the emmissions portion of the test? According to the diag tests, the problem appears to be related to temperature, but so far, the mechanic is still at a loss so he's taking off the fan control module & im paying yet another mech to diagnose my veh. ugh! this isn't fun anymore! :lemon:
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    "2181" is not a valid VW code... VW codes start with the letter "P"
    and range from "P1102" --> "P1854"

    Perhaps you mistyped the code?
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