Bucking & Sputtering Engine

2005 VW Tuareg, 67,000 miles. Engine sputtering and bucking - but only under specific circumstance. If I drive the car over 40 mph for even a short distance and then turn the engine off, the car will start back up normally the next time I start it. But if I were to move the car, say, from the driveway to the street then turn the engine off, the next time I start it, the engine would sputter and buck at idle. It would also buck when I put it in gear and run roughly until I hit above 40 mph, then it would smooth out. Thus, the problem only presents itself if the engine is turned on and the car not allowed to run above 40 mph before it is turned off again.

The engine light is on, and the dealership says it’s cam adjusters not working right,i.e., meaning BIG $$ to fix. Does that sound plausible?

No one knows whether its plausible or not without knowing what the error code(s) is (are). When the check engine light comes on, error codes are stored. Presumably the dealer has pulled those codes from the computer. Don’t leave us guessing. (The error codes look like “P1234”)

Okay, found out from the dealer the error code reads “P0011”

If you are having cam adjuster issues on a variable valve timing vehicle…YES this can absolutely happen…bec your cam is not in the correct cam phase for the speed of the engine…since the cam timing is variable and adjustable and NOT adjusting itself…you will have all sort sof issues like this…absolutely. The cam timing MUST be perfect for any given RPM…otherwise it is out of phase and out of time (same thing)…which would do Exactly this…

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Must have been late - created a whole post based on a misread of the code

Fault code P0011 indicates a fault with bank 1 camshaft timing actuator. Essentially some parts in your engine are not “in sync” with the rest of the engine. This can lead to a host of engine performance issues.

Is that the only fault code present? Anything else useful the dealer told you?

If in fact the trouble lies with the cam timing actuators, then yes, it can be spendy.

Thanks all. When I asked specifically for the error codes, I was given only P0011. I was told the dealer service dept had to call VW and my understanding is VW came up with the diagnosis. I was quoted in the range of $4500 to $5000 for the repair work.

This morning I left the house and stopped at the dry cleaner which is just under a mile from home through the neighborhood streets. When I started the engine back up at the dry cleaners it bucked a bit, though not very severe. My office is about 3 miles away from the dry cleaners (through in-town roads), and by the time I got to the office, the engine was running smoothly. The problem only comes up if I drive a very short distance, cut the engine then try to start it back up.

Did The Dealer Mention A “Pass-Thru Vehicle Programming” TSB ? I Wondered If They Thought That Volkswagen’s Technical Service Bulletin Pertaining To 2004-2005 Touaregs - (Warm Restart And / Or Cold Start - Engine Stumbles And / Or Runs Rough) Could Help Your Vehicle.


Dealer didn’t say anything about a TSB. But this is the second time I took the car in for the same problem. The first time the dealer said that it may be a computer issue and that they would reprogram/readjust the computer so the engine light would come off - but if the problem occurred again, then it could be a costly repair. I don’t recall specifically whether “Pass-Thru Vehicle Programming” was mentioned that first time I went.