2002 Volkswagen Golf stalls immediately after starting

I have an intermittant though very pesky problem with my 2002 standard transmission Volkswagen Golf.

In warm weather the engine will sometimes cut out immediately after starting, whether or not I give it gas. It sometimes takes 30-60 minutes of restarting the car before it stops stalling out and I can drive it.

This became a persistant problem last summer, so I brought it into the dealer for service. They said it was the coil, though by the time the part came in, the problem had dissapeared and I did not have the repair done.

The problem has recenlty become persistant (again in warm weather) to the point that the car is completely unreliable. This time the dealer said there is no way for them to know for sure what the problem is. There best guess is that I need a new dash instrument cluster, which costs app. $1,000. If this doesn’t work, they will try other possible solutions, all at my expense. I do have an appointment with a local car repair shop for a second opinion.

Has anyone heard of this problem? Any suggestions would be much appreciated!

Thank you,

Laura-South Portland, Maine

I’ve seen similar behavior in VWs only after the gas tank was filled up. In those cases it was a bad evaporative purge valve.
But, in your case it’s likely to be something entirely different.

Keep in mind that intermittent problems can be very difficult to properly diagnose. You really want to avoid throwing parts at the car in hopes that the problem will go away. Preferably, you’ll want to find an independent mechanic that specialized in VWs.

Before you go for your second opinion, take notes of everything that happens, car-wise and engine-wise, before, during, and after, the symptoms occur. What car speed? What engine speed? Engine hot or cold? How long does the engine run before it stalls? Is the stall sudden, or stumbling? Are you using the correct octane gasoline? Has the fuel filter been changed recently? Has the air filter been changed?
Have someone disconnect, and reconnect, the MAF (Mass Air Flow) sensor electrical plug …just after the air filter. Just a w.a.g., nothing more.