Car Stalls while driving, won't start for up to 30 minutes afterwards

I’m really bad with cars but I’ll try to be as specific as possible.

Car: 2002 VW Jetta

Basically the car will just stall out of nowhere while driving (not stopped at a light), I would say usually about 10-20 minutes after I started driving. After this, when I try to start it, it makes that noise like it is trying to start but the actual ignition doesn’t happen. it usually takes me about 15 minutes to start it up again.

In addition to this, when driving, the RPM seems to randomly drop off often, and the car also jerks frequently, especially when I press on the pedal quickly.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

First thing to check is the fuel pump. When they get old, they can intermittently fail in the very manner you’re describing. A simple fuel pressure test gauge csn tell the entire story.

What engine in your Jetta?


Thanks for the fuel pump suggestion, will check that tomorrow.

The engine is 2.0 L Inline 4-cylinder.

Then the problem might be with the crankshaft position sensor.

The crankshaft position sensor informs the computer if the crankshaft is rotating or not. If the computer loses the signal from this sensor where it thinks the crankshaft is no longer rotating, the computer no longer see’s a reason to operate the ignition and fuel systems so the engine shuts off.

If you wait long enough so the sensor cools down, it starts working again and the engine starts and runs.

One way to check for this is, start the engine when it’s cold. Then take a heat gun or hair drier and point it at the sensor. If the engine suddenly shuts off, you know it’s the crank sensor.


Good ideas above. A fuel pump relay on the fritz can cause this problem too. If this were an early 80’s VW Rabbit, I’d make that my first guess. But they’ve probably got that problem fixed by now. But it is something to consider at least.