Immediate stalling after start up

So yesterday I was dribing down the road, and my car just died. It shut itself off and I had to coast to a parking lot. When i get there I started it a few times and after 3-4 seconds it would just stall.

Its a 1996 VW Golf with less than 110,000 miles. Does any one have any solutions to my problem?

You’re describing what happens when an ignition module fails.

Ignition modules function in two modes. These are the start and run modes. During the start mode, the module allows full battery voltage to the secondary ignition system to ensure there’s a hot enough spark to start a cold engine. When the ignition switch moves to run position, the module switches to the run mode. This reduces the voltage to secondary ignition system because it doesn’t require as hot of a spark to keep the engine running. And it also prevents the secondary ignition system components from failing prematurely.

So if the engine starts, but stalls as soon as the ignition switch is moved to the run position, it could mean that the start mode of the module is functioning, but the run mode has failed.


Check the large black intake tube on top of the engine for the electrical plug that goes to the MAF (Mass Air Flow) Sensor. It may have fallen off because it may not have been properly reconnected when maintenance (air filter change) was performed.

If the engine is a four(4) cylinder, the sudden stalling could happen when the timing belt slips or chews off some teeth. Of course, other things (fuel, ignition, electric) can cause stalls, also.
If the timing jumped only one, or two, teeth, the engine may restart, may not. Have your mechanic check the timing belt. The timing belt, unless known for a fact otherwise, is original. It is six (6) years past due for its scheduled change, and tens of thousands of miles past due.
When the timing belt goes on the 4 cylinder engine, it causes damage, internally, to the engine. You may be lucky (or, Providence) that, on yours, it only slipped a tooth, or two.