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2001 Audi A4 1.8T

Driving down the highway the other day, a lovely place to be stricken w/car problems, the accelerator seemed to just up and quit on me. I went from a solid 70mph to 30, then w/in five seconds it came back to life, thrusting us forward back to speed, then within another five seconds, it cut out and I just made it onto the shoulder. Had it towed home. . . it will crank, but won’t start, and now am wondering if it’s worth the fix. Any ideas?
Dealer just replaced a recalled part and gave me a supermarket list of to-fixes, none of which seem like they directly relate, especially w/out a check engine on or specific error codes. Have replaced the MAF sensor, Vacuum Check Valve, Gas tank/pump, Battery and Alternator w/in the past several years.
Any tips, advice, or similar stories of heartbreak are welcome. Thanks.

Would like to DIY if possible. Could also use advice on whether to sell for pittance, or donate. Just doesn’t seem worthwhile to keep pouring money into her.

Are you getting fuel to the engine? Are you getting spark? Is your catalytic converter clogged?

Coil Pack?

it went on the wife’s TT (same motor)

So sudden, seems electrical.

O2 sensor went previously, that just kills power and the check engine light did not always come on

In order for the engine to start you need three basic things, fuel, spark, and air. Starting takes a bit more fuel, so it needs to run “rich”.

There are a few ways to verfiy whther it’s a lack of fuel. probably the easiest is to gain access to the iduction system intake and spray some starter fluid in. If it fires up and then dies, it’s a safe bet that you’ve lost fuel supply. At that point you’ll want to connect a fuel pressure testing unit and check the line pressure with the pump running. If you have no fuel in the line, you’ll need to begin checking the basics: the fuse, the inertial sensor shutoff, and even the voltage at the pump. USE A REPAR MANUAL. If your fuel line is under pressure, you don;t want to get sprayed with gas. The manual will walk you through the steps to depressurize the line.

Your symptoms are so typical of the death of a fuel pump, that I’m guessing you’ll find the problem there. If the problem is not lack of fuel, it’ll likely be lack of spark. Again, there are a number of ways of verifying this. Perhaps the easiest is to simply see if a plug wire is firing by holding it close to the block. You have COPs, so it’ll be tricky, especially if yours are harnessed up.

Start with a repair manual. Post back.

What should you spray into the throttle body?
To check fuel pressure, doesn’t he just need to squirt the Schrader valve on the fuel rail ?

Also replace the fuel filter.

Starter fluid (ether). He should spray starter fluid. Just like I said.
How is he going to spray starter fluid into a schrader valve? Starter fluid comes with a regular spray button with a tiny plastic tube to stick into it.

There’s many possibilities, but I’m guessing from the symptoms (similar to running out of gas – I assume you’ve verified the gas tank is full) it’s a balky fuel pump or the pump screen is clogged or the gas line from the tank to the engine has clogged or come loose or some part in the electronic ignition system that has failed. Have you purchased gasoline at a new place lately? You might just have gotten a bad tank of gas, with water in it or diesel fuel instead of gasoline, or sand contamination, etc.

If you want to fix it yourself, the first place to start is to extact all the check engine codes stored in the memory.

Coil packs were a common failure with 1.8t and possibly recalled(still).

Thanks for all of the replies.
I am working on getting a repair manual, because w/out it I’m pretty blind. Any tips on where to find one? I’ve seen a few shady online sites.
My initial thought was that it had something to do with the fuel pump. However, I’m getting no “wheeze”–this was mentioned on another site.
I believe that the catalytic converter is another part covered by Audi. . .But I had no luck getting them to replace the MAF sensor a few years back–had to go to a VW specialist–and no doubt I will get the run around with that part.

If it’s electrical, I’m not sure I have a chance of DIY-ing the work.

I had just filled the tank from empty. That’s why it was the first thing that came to mind.

Gave it a try a few hours ago and it started up with the normal strong engine hum, and died in five seconds, no sputter.

And, finally:
The most recent recall–the part I just brought the car in for-- was for the coil pack. Could this be the failure?

If it were a coil pack and were nonfunctional enough to kill the engine 5 seconds after starting, the engine would not start at all. But your latest post does make me suspect the fuel pump even more than before.

Bentley manuals are excellent, not cheap ($130):

And the cat’s covered 8yrs/80k miles I think, so that’s on you now.

Any weigh-ins on my options to sell?

If you sell as-is, you will lose a lot of money. You have to fix it first, unless you don’t care about the extra cash. Wait until it’s fixed and then wait two weeks longer. If you still want to sell it after the recent problems have had a little time to wear off, then go ahead.