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2002 VW Golf - Intermittent power loss

I have a stick-shift 2002 VW Golf. A handful of times in the last six weeks or so, I’ve been in fifth gear and felt something in the car shift a bit, and then I lose engine power for just a moment–and then it picks right back up within a second or so. Each time, I’ve been nearing the end of my gas tank–say, a quarter-tank or less–but I’m not sure whether that’s related or not.

Any thoughts? I wouldn’t know how to re-create this for a mechanic, or whether it’s much to worry about. Thanks!

You can take your mechanic for a ride to re-create this power loss. How many miles are on the clutch? Is it fuel injected? Do you get a check engine light? Have you had it checked for codes? There can be fuel system causes, but other things can cause this too, so getting a code check is important.

I assume it’s fuel-injected, and I believe there are 102,000 miles on the clutch–I bought the car used, but I’m fairly sure this is the original clutch.

I don’t get any lights, but I also haven’t had it checked for codes–I’ll be sure to ask them when I take it in. Thanks!

I have the same problem with my 2001 Golf. I am here looking for the answer, too!

I have a 2002 golf (manual) with similar problem, used to just hiccup a little on a low tank but now completely stalls out, then so far comes back. Have changed fuel pump, relay, filter and gas cap but no better. Got worse after a new timing belt. Runs fine as long as I top off the gas when it gets down to 1/3 of a tank.

I have a vw bora 2003 V5 with the same problem, hiccups when car reaches 1/4 fuel tank. Changed air flow meter, of course no difference. Was gonna change fuel pump next week but anymore after reading jowolgast’s post above. I also have a sensation of power lost and when cruise control over 100kmh, i have a feeling of very slight inconsistency… it doesn’t feel right,reason why i was thinking the problem might be with the fuel pump. Anyone figured out that problem yet?

Someone please help me!! I have a similar problem with my VW Golf, which I LOVE, but it is “driving” me crazy. It is a 2001, which is apparently a really bad year for golfs. Anyway, It is really strange, and if anyone can solve this riddle for me, I will be forever grateful. So, what is going on is that it will start up and run fine for several weeks, then, out of the blue I will park it
, and the next time I try to start it, it just won’t. It has electricity, and so is not the battery, and it doesn’t turn over or anything. I turn the key and the lights all come on, but that’s it. Nothing. Then, I will go back and try it again a few hours later, and voila, starts right up. It seems like pushing it a few feet forwards or backwards might help a little, but that might just be a coincidence. So it sucks. Because I have gotten to the point where I don’t want to drive it at all, in case I get stuck somewhere. Any ideas about what it could be anyone? I am desperate. I took it to the mechanic, and they told me it was some part of the starter, and replaced it, but, it wasn’t. So I want to try to get some feedback before I take it back in. Thanks!

Automatic or stick?
Did you check the battery connections to the starter and to the frame? There are interlocks that keep the car from starting when you’re in gear - they could be at fault as well, along with the starter switch.
Next time it doesn’t start, put a test light or volt meter on the smaller connection to the starter to see if it lights while someone starts the car. If you don’t have a voltage there, the problem is somewhere like an interlock or ignition switch.
What have you tried, besides the starter?

@heyroindi, if your car has an automatic transmission, the problem may be your neutral safety switch. It’s what prevents the car from starting unless the transmission is in park. Next time the car won’t start, try moving the shift lever in and out of park repeatedly. If it then starts, the problem is almost certainly a faulty neutral safety switch.

By the way, your problem symptoms are entirely different from the original poster’s symptoms. You would get better help if you started your own question thread.

Same issue here with my 2005 Golf GL. At about 1/4 tank, every time, I get a hick-up. I would compare it to how a motorcycle looses power when it is time to switch to the reserve tank. The other day I tried shifting into neutral as this happened and the car completely lost power so I coasted into a parking lot and it started back up after a longer crank than usual. I’ve never done anything major maintenance to the car except for a recent battery swap.

I have a 2005 Volkswagen golf with 165,000 miles on it. It’s a four-door hatchback and 2.0 L engine, and a manual transmission. My problem started about five years ago except at that point in time it was something that only happened occasionally. It turned into something that happens once every six months, then it turned into something that happens intermittently, then to something that happens when I’m nearing empty on my gas… Progressing to something that happens when I hit an eighth of a tank… And now I’m to the point where I cannot let my car get to a quarter of a tank of gas.

The problem itself has also intensified over the years. What once felt like an intermittent loss of acceleration has now to progressed to the point where my car will shut off regardless of what speed I am doing and I will lose power steering. It appears like my car stalls while I’m driving it if I let it get to a quarter of a tank of gas. It’s actually quite terrifying when it happens on the highway unexpectedly.

This brings us to the repairs that I have attempted to have done. Back when it first started a mechanic tried to diagnose it… he diagnosed all these other things, I paid him a lot of money, and he did not fix the problem. I’ve had mechanics fix the spark plugs and the fuel pump system. The only other thing I can add is for some reason it got worse after I had my timing belt and feel pump replacement fixed last August.

I am in need of help. I am a nurse practitioner student and I do not have the finances to buy a new car, but like most of us in this world I have to have a reliable one. I love this car, I am the first and only owner. It has been well-maintained and loved. No accident history whatsoever.