Clunky engine -- compressed air fuel line?

Check engine light went on right after starting 2002 Beetle and stayed on. Driving, the power was weak and nearly stalled at stop light. Clunking sound could be heard as well.

Checked oil – fine. Wondered about gas – and whether the gas cap was securely on. Opened gas cap and a spew of air came similar to opening a 2 liter coke. Never had it do that before.

My brother (knows cars but lives 300 miles away) thinks air spewing was irrelevant and thinks it may be a clogged catalytic converter.


Something is wrong with the gas tank vent/purge circuit. Get the codes read and go from there.

That CEL (check engine light) is just a kid in class waving her hand trying to get you attention because she has the answer. You need to have the codes read. Some places will read them for FREE. Try Autozone or Advanced Auto Parts. Get the exact code (like P0123) not just their translation into English and post it back here.

Regarding warning lights:

  1. if the coolant temp light comes on, shut off the engine ASAP

  2. if the oil warning light comes on, shut off the engine ASAP

  3. if a FLASHING MIL/CEL comes on, shut off the engine ASAP

    ASAP means driving to the berm of the highway right now and not waiting for the next exit.

But if the MIL/CEL is not flashing, then it’s not an urgent indicator.