1998 VW Golf engin 'seizing' when accelerating



I had my 1998 VW Golf worked on in the past and found that it wasn’t getting enough spark due to faulty coils.

Current problem: For about the past 6-8 months my car’s check engine light has been on and off due to ‘misfire’. When trying to accelerate the car jerks and feels like it seizes up and doesn’t accelerate fast. It has only been getting worse over the winter. On a long trip I could only go 65 mph otherwise it would start ‘seizing’ (kind of a back and forward feeling). Going up hills it can’t increase speed otherwise it does the same thing.

Today, it got to about 35-40mph before shaking and ‘seizing’. It also quit on me while I was trying to go up a hill. I was able to re-start the engine after coming to a complete stop.

Also, after shaking/seizing, if I come to a complete stop and let it idle the car shakes terribly for about a minute and then smooths out.

Do you have any idea of what this could be? Could the other coils be going bad?


It sounds like a fuel problem, perhaps due to a faulty fuel pump or filter.


It turns out that the catalytic converter was getting blocked. The pieces that break inside it were melting into weird ball type shapes. We changed that and away she went!


Sorry. Changing the catalytic converter only REMOVED THE SYMPTOM of a deeper problem. Something (some things) caused the melt-down. An engine which only partially burns its fuel (a rich running engine) will send the fuel-rich exhaust to the catalytic converter where it will burn. If it burns enough fuel, from the engine running very rich, that burning can melt the catalytic converter.
Your mechanic needs to be educated (by himself, or you), or you need another (able) mechanic.


I agree with hellokit.
The bad catalytic converter was just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak.
You need a better/more thorough/more knowledgeable mechanic who can to find the fuel-related problem that led to the cat converter situation.


I don’t completly agree that the root could not simply be with the cat. its self.

Certainly the repair is not complete if you still get "check engine’ lights but if none are present why should we suspect a OBDII monitored system failure?

You guys are thinking of a system that is not operating within parameters but not setting a light? I have seen small vacuum leaks do this. I would be satisfied with a look at fuel trim,perhaps a cat temp (inlet,outlet) check, and no DTC’s. Really I would be satisfied with no DTC’s

Myself I have replaced more cats. for rattling than low efficency.