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2009 VW Routan SEL car turns off while driving

I purchased a new 2009 VW Routan back in 2009. Things went well for roughly the first 3 years. About 7 months ago the car just shutdown while driving. I pulled over and it started up again. I mentioned it to the dealer when taking it in for maintenance and they couldn’t find a problem. It again happened to my wife with our 2 little kids in the back. The car just shut off while driving and she couldnt start it again for a few minutes and the obviously concerned to drive it anywhere. We took it the the VW dealer service about 2 weeks ago right after the incident. they had it for about a week and replaced the battery and some electrical systems. It worked for a week and the same thing happened again today! It’s back at the VW dealer service department. Now I have zero confidence in this car and that the service department is capable of fixing the issue to begin with. I’ve read about a recall for the 2010 model for this issue and I’m gravely concerned I have a lemon on my hands and against a wall with no recourse. What are my options? I want to have VW replace it. It’s only 3.5 years old and I’m not going to keep driving a car that can randomly shut down. Any ideas? Advice? Thanks!


What is the fix for the 2010 model? It might fix yours/

“I want to have VW replace it.”

Assuming that you are referring to a Lemon Law settlement, I have never heard of any state’s Lemon Law that provided for buyback of a 3.5 year old car that functioned normally for its first 3 years. As Judge Judy likes to say, “I want to be 5’6”, but that’s not happening". So, rather than focus on solutions that are unlikely or–more likely–impossible, you need to focus on what is possible.

If–as I suspect–the car is no longer under warranty, you should be taking this vehicle to a well-reputed independent mechanic. The dealership would be appropriate for a warranty-related repair, but if this vehicle is no longer under warranty, you are paying the dealership more than you would pay an indy mechanic–and you are not getting good results for the money that you are paying the dealer.

Your VW is really a Chrysler made mini van. If VW can’t figure this out and you are out of warranty you might try a Chrysler dealer. You can also search to if Chrysler mini vans have had the same problem and if there is a Chrysler TSB covering it and a fix.

VW dealers really only see a few of these vans in the service dept. while a Chrysler dealer see’s multiple hundreds of them. That’s why a Chrysler dealer might have more experience on this one.

I’m surprised that VW hasn’t fixed this by now. We had 87 Jettas with the exact same problem. It is kind of annoying if not a real test of driving skills when you lose all power in the middle lane of the freeway moving 70+ mph (was). :evileye:

Problem is the main power relay, under the dash, accessible, and is the HOT relay. You’ll learn to drive in the lanes that are next to the shoulders,

Other than the stalling, how do you like the car?

" Other than the stalling, how do you like the car? "
[ Other Than That Mrs. Lincoln, How’d You Enjoy The Play ? ]


Hmm, so u think an 09 routan has the same under dash wiring as the 87 jetta? It’s only 22 yrs newer and built by 2 different companies! I would say fix it like the Audi A4 that keeps dying. It needs a new fuel pump and camshaft.

Well there can be any list of things causing it. Could be a computer issue, various modules like cruise etc. Or it could be simple like the COIL. On my companies 96 Ford Econoline Cargo van I noticed when driving down the highway it got real sluggish. I had the pedal right to the floor and it was unresponsive and died. It just so happened it did that on a real hot day. The dealer said replace the fuel filter, I did by myself. It did the same thing again days later in the heat, in which I bought a coil and tada, fixed.

If you are mechanically inclined you could have a code reader attached to the car when driving and when the engine stalls you could get some data. Personally that is something a mechanic should be looking at. Other than that, how is the distributor, cap & rotor, and spark plug and wires? Was it wet out when it happened, or real hot? If there was any moisture it means usually bad plug wires.

Hmm, so u think an 09 routan has the same under dash wiring as the 87 jetta? It's only 22 yrs newer and built by 2 different companies!

Well, we haven’t redesigned the wheel in a few years. I would suspect that the relay hasn’t been redesigned either. But I’m sure that some engineer guy tried a less than round wheel to mask engine noise. :slight_smile:

Could be coil. A good bet is to replace relay and coil. Both are easily done and inexpensive, The alternatives are expensive,

Drewman, that’s good advice . . .
but . . . I’d be surprised if that 2009 VW still has a distributor, cap and rotor.
I’m fairly certain that most manufacturers stopped using them a few years back.
They’ve moved on to coil-on-plug, or at least coil packs by now.

“I would suspect that the relay hasn’t been redesigned either”

longprime–You missed the detail provided by Uncle Turbo about the origin of the VW Routan.
Trust me–a Chrysler-designed van, made on Chrysler’s US assembly lines, with only some cosmetic features making it into a VW Routan, is NOT going to feature any VW relays in its wiring.

99% of that VW Routan is identical to the Chrysler version of the same vehicle, and the only things that differ are designed to fool the unsuspecting VW purchaser into thinking that it is something other than a garden-variety Chrysler minivan.

Bosch Relays?

MoPar relays?

Whoever made the relays, it’s still a good bet to check them out or replace. But if you really want to go for the ultimate, try the computer. :slight_smile:

Well, now that the OP has informed me, via a private message, that the car has an extended warranty, my attitude has changed a bit. While the dealership may be able to get away with charging a diagnostic fee, they shouldn’t be charging anything for repairing the car. And, under the circumstances, the dealership is the appropriate place to take the vehicle.

I suggest that the OP contact VW of America (toll-free phone number can be found in the Owner’s Manual), and ask to have the regional service supervisor inspect the car when he/she is next at the dealership. At that time, you can speak with him/her and impress that person with the seriousness of the situation. In my experience, these people have the ability to convince recalcitrant dealerships to make stronger efforts to resolve customer problems. And, since VW dealers are consistently rated the lowest in customer satisfaction, this dealership probably needs someone in authority to kick them in the keister in order for them to properly deal with this safety hazard.

Your original post, your said that you have 0 confidence in this car. So even if the dealer finds the problem, would you have confidence in the fix?

Thanks for everyone’s input on this.

VDCdriver, I called VW today and logged a complaint and opened a case. I like the idea of the regional supervisor inspecting the car.

Lonprime… if the dealer actually finds the problem and its resolved then Id feel better however its been twice now from 2 different dealer service departments telling me there is A. no problem or B. that the problem has been fixed. So not much confidence.

I look at it this way… no matter how safe and well built a car is we are always taking a chance on the road. There’s a million different ways to die or get seriously injured in a car crash. I don’t want to add to the chances of myself or family getting injured or killed by having a car that randomly shuts off to begin with.

I understand.
Our car was quickly traded for a new car, even though we had solved the problem. The car had fortunately stalled while at the mechanics and he quickly diagnosed the problem. He showed us how the relay was shorting against the case and by cooling, the relay would shrink away from the case. The replacement car, now 15yo and 200k miles, is still going strong with just regular maintenance. Son inherited this replacement 4 years ago and would like him to get a newer vehicle with more safety features.

Wife had no confidence after the final repair.
My Jetta continued for another 3 years when it had the same problem. Replaced the relay and sold it.

Thankfully the car turned off while the mechanic drove it at the V.W. dealership yesterday. Been told they escalated to VW. dont know what that entails though.