2010 VW New Beetle Mysterious Stalling Issue

Hi ya! I have a 2010 VW New Beetle. It fits me perfectly, and I’ve absolutely loved driving it. The headroom, legroom, and shoulder/arm room is incredible and really cannot be beaten in a car. It now has over 106,000 miles on it. I’m having an intermittent problem where the car will stall at idle - most often at a very long light. When it happens, I quickly put the car in park and then turn the ignition to off, then it will immediately start back up. It doesn’t make weird noises or throw codes with this. I have taken the car to be seen at the dealership and at a few different mechanic shops with no solution so far. With car prices being what they are, I’d rather fix my car and continue driving it than get something else. If I do have to get something else, I’d strongly prefer another Beetle either another New Beetle model or one of the more recent ones. If I do have to get a different car, what do you think about the reliability of a diesel model vs the gasoline engine? Additionally, would you recommend finding one of these as a certified model from a dealership so that there’s some warranty, or would you look at places like Carvana and CarMax instead? Thanks in advance for any advice!

Matthew Stafford, Nashville, TN

My guess is either a bad mass airflow sensor or idle air control module. I may be confusing the two, but that’s the first thing that came to mind.

Could also be a bad, or failing ignition switch.

Try some other non-dealer mechanics. There’s no need to take this 11 year old car to VW.

I know it’s annoying, but I think you’re way early on getting rid of the car. This is a fairly common problem, from what I gather.

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Has anyone tried cleaning the electronic throttle body?



I don’t think so. Thanks for the suggestion!

Great advice! Thanks. I now have an appointment next week at a body shop that specifically specializes in German cars. I’m hoping that will be helpful in getting this figured out!
EDIT: I’m taking the car to a mechanic/repair shop.

Body shop :question: Why :question:

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Trying to get it diagnosed and fixed

Body shops ( now called Collision Centers ) usually only repair damage caused by accidents . I have never seen one that also has vehicle mechanics but that dos not mean there are some.

Then I misspoke. Repair shop? Maybe that’s the proper term?

German specialist should be able to figure this out but from posts on a VW Beetle specific forum and VW Vortex the problem could be one of several things with the mass-airflow-sensor being mentioned most of all. Hope you can get this resolved,

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Stalling at idle isn’t an uncommon thing w/older cars. It could be caused by many different problems, so anything here is just a guess. Often the cause is a minor problem, for example it just needs new spark plugs and air filter. Or there’s a vacuum hose leaking. Beyond the good ideas above, suggest to ask your repair shop to check for OBDII diagnostic codes. If there are any, post them here, and you might get some add’l ideas. My guess, this is either a sticking throttle body, or a vacuum leak.


Sticking throttle body was the cause when it happened to one of our cars, took our mechanic a few minutes to diagnose and fix.

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