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1993 Volkswagen Golf GL3: Problem only in morning, almost stalls after about six blocks

1993 Golf GL III, automatic:
Engine size: 2.0 Date on door 5/1993

I have an intermittent problem, in the morning my car will start fine, idle fine and drive well for about six blocks, but then it suddenly bogs down and goes sluggish like it is not getting gas or not firing correctly. It has not stalled completely, it just bogs down and giving it gas does not do much. I can barely coax the car to my destination about a mile away.

The weird part: A few hours later when I leave this location my car runs fine, starts fine, drives fine and I have no problems the rest of the day. Thus, I only have this problem in the morning, otherwise the car runs great.

Question: Could there be a sensor that is reading incorrectly in the morning, but is fine after it warms up? Perhaps the sensor is messing up the air/gas mixture. Any ideas would be appreciated.

NOTE: My check engine light is on, but I have not figured out how to pull the codes. In the middle console, above the ash tray behind two unused button panels, I have two diagnostic connectors, one black and one white (see photo). I think they may be 2x2 connectors, perhaps OBD1, but I am not sure.

  • I have heard a jumper cable can be used to get the codes to blink, but I have not found any documentation to confirm that for this year and model.
  • I am also not sure if an OBD2 scanner could read this codes if I use an 16 pin adapter. If anyone has input on pulling codes, either using a jumper or scanner, it would be appreciated. My local auto parts stores will not pull the codes.

Any input would be great. Thank you.

Have had a very simaliar issue mine was sputturing in the morning then engine light came on eventuallly mechanic changed the wires and a burnt coil - it happened again this time ¾ mile later and up a hill car still technically cold. I will add some fuel cleaner (tectron) mechanic said it wouldn’t hurt. Fuel pump whines a little but my Mech. says he’s heard them all and may be a non issue, going to bring it to him and he will attempt to duplicate problem and fix - will keep let u know.

Get your codes read at Autozone or Advance and check back. Could be the temp sensor is bad causing it to run rich when it is supposed to lean out. Also, wires, coil or cap could be bad and you only see it when the engine and air have the morning moisture present.