Car will turn over but wont start :[

its a 1996 vw gti 2.0 it wont stay running. changed the spark plugs, air filter, distributor cap. itll crank but wont start. if i give it gas it will start. but you have to stay on the gas to keep it running. when you let off the gas, it dies right away. need help :[ could it be the mass air flow sesnor?

I had a similar problem with my Accord a couple months ago. I’d check the spark plug wires and possibly the distributor rotor as well. I doubt it’s the mass airflow sensor, because a previous car had an issue with that, but different symptoms.

You need to at least scan the car for any codes as a first step. Wild guessing a bit, I wouldn’t think it would be the MAF but either a major air leak or a problem with the Idle Air Control valve.

That would be assuming this problem cropped up out of the blue and there was nothing preceding this problem like timing belt work, etc, etc.