2001 VW Beetle dies when rpms drop while breaking

Just about a month we replaced the battery. After we did that the car started dying ever time we come to a stop. I asked the guy at napa about it and he said that we had to reprogram the computer in it and to just keep driving it. Well about 3 weeks later it was still doing it so I asked one of my customers who runs a auto repair shop about it and he said all I needed to do was have the computer reprogrammed. So he hooked it up and then asked me when was the last time I had a tune up and I said never and he said I was about 20,000 miles over due. The computer said that a vacuum hose was leaking and cylinder 1,3 and 4 was miss firing. So Yesterday my husband changed the spark plugs and wires with quality($250) stuff from napa now it’s still doing the same damn thing. I can not get this car to hold a idle. If I turn the ac on the car will stall when I push in the clutch. any ideas?

Let me state first I know nothing about the New Beetles. However, most fuel injection cars that I know of, have an idle control valve, which allows just enough air into the intake to control the idle speed, which on my car runs around 700 rpm. The computer monitors engine rpm’s and the little motor runs back and forth very fast (when working properly) to control the speed very smoothly and very fast.

It is hard to describe it by Internet, but your problem sure sounds like a sticky Idle Control Valve.

Of course, Murphy says other things can cause that, for example, the vacuum hose mentioned, which you don’t say explicitly was changed, can cause things like that as well.

Get the vacuum hose replaced or fixed, and then study the IAC.

I would suggest looking for a vacuum leak, or maybe a MAF issue. Has anyone checked to see if there were any error codes stored? Many auto part stores will read the codes and give you a report for free. Don’t look for the meaning of the codes, just get the codes (format: P1234) and post them back here.

I am worried about a 2001 Beetle apparently not having the recommended maintenance done on it. Your car has an interference type engine, which means if the timing belt brakes, it will cause very expensive damage and the engine will stop right there, maybe causing an accident. As I recall the original belt was good for X years or 80,000 miles which ever comes first!

Dig out the owner’s manual and see what maintenance should have been done and make sure to get all the maintenance that is now behind schedule done.

Note: Plugs and wires were likely due, but I don’t like the sound of " Yesterday my husband changed the spark plugs and wires with quality($250) stuff" It has been my experience that most of those fancy (expensive) wires and plugs are no better and many are not as good as OEM.