Jetta stalling. No one can figure it out!


#1

I have a 2003 Jetta. It runs great until it just stalls out with no warning. There doesn’t seem to be any particular thing I do to make it stall. I could be accelerating onto the highway, just driving down a residential street, moving along at 60 mph, or just starting out of the parking lot. It happens when it is cold and when it is hot. It could happen twice in one day and then not for two weeks. I have taken it to the dealer, a VW specialist, an excellent auto electric specialist, and the local mechanic. No one can figure it out. I have so far replaced the fuel pump, ignition wires, distributor, several engine sensors, complete tune-up, all filters, battery, and some misc wires and hoses. All told, I have spent over $3000. replacing stuff and trying to cure this car’s ills. The dealer could not get it to duplicate the stalling. No codes have shown up at the VW dealer, the local guy, and Autozone. The auto electric guy drove it over 100 miles on one week with no problem, then it stalled on him. He immediately hooked it up to the diagnostic machine…and no codes! He was perplexed. Everyone tells me to trade it or sell it. I have two problems with that: A: I’ve put over $3000. into this car. B: How could I let some unsuspecting person buy this car and have it stall on them on the highway?


#2

How heavy is your keychain? Do you have more than just the VW key on it?


#3

No, original factory key, only one key on it.


#4

Does it act like you just turned it off (except the wheel doesn’t lock), or does everything keep working (like the radio, etc)? Does the A/C shut off, too?

Has the ignition switch been tested, or are they just assuming that it’s OK?


#5

The power steering and brakes turn off but the fan for the heater/air cond stays on. I don’t remember ifI ever had the air conditioner on when it stalled. Is it possible that 4 different mechanics all worked on the car and no one checked the ignition switch? I feel like the mechanics have all washed their hands of me and the car. The VW dealership just wants to keep throwing my money at it. They just happned to notice that I need struts and “it would be a good idea to do a tranny flush to make it run better and preent future issues.” If they can’t even figure out what is wrong with the car and I have aleady spent $3000.+ on it, why wold I want to keep throwing money at it for preventive maint? I’m broke and tired.


#6

The steering and brakes rely on the motor running, so that makes sense. I was more concerned about electrical things, but you hit those, too. When I mentioned A/C, I was more curious about the air movement (e.g. fan), than the air temp.

I would guess at the ignition, but there’s really no way for me to be any kind of sure. You can ask if they checked it out, but they may just say yes, whether they did or not.

You can try testing it yourself…when it’s running, try wiggling the key around. You can also pay very close attention to exactly where the steering wheel is when it shuts down. It may not be anything, but it’s something to check. You can also try knocking on the steering column to see if it jars it loose. Again, though, these are all just guessing.


#7

Early this morning I was driving the Jetta.l I had the windows up and the radio off. When I steppen on the accelerator I cold hear a high pitched sound, almost like an electronic whistle. When I took my foot off the gas it stopped. When I pressed harder it stayed the same, not louder or softer. Is this normal and could it have something to do with the stalling problems?


#8

An update: I drove the Jetta for 1000+ miles and had no stalling or hesitation issues. I gave the car back to my son. It has stalled on him 4 times in the past week. It starts right up again after stalling. The only difference other than driving styles is that I filled the tacn with premium fuel. My other son thinks it is the way my son drives. He has a tendence to hit the gas, back off, hit it again. It is not a smooth ride with him. I don’t do fast starts, I tend to ease on the gas and also to anticipate traffic light changes. I don’t drive like a little old lady, I go 65-75 mph on the main roads. Any suggestions?