Jetta (with a history of lurching and battery draining) that stalls in traffic

We have a 1999 4-cylinder Jetta with about 48,000 miles on it.

About two and half years ago it started having a very intermittent problem of lurching from a stop (the car was warmed up when this happened). In other words, it would be stopped at a traffic light or stop sign, with the brakes applied, when the engine would rev and the car would lurch forward no matter how hard the brake pedal was pressed. Mechanics were unable to diagnose the problem. It did this maybe three times over the course of nine months after which the car sat in a garage for a year because we were afraid to drive it.

After a year the car was taken to a shop to get it road-worthy again. The work included a new battery and a general once-over. The mechanic drove it around several times to see if it would do the lurching thing, which it did not.

It was then driven, though infrequently, until about two months later the new battery went dead. The shop recharged the battery and checked the electrical system to see if something was draining the battery. They replaced some minor thing but didn?t seem to have any real explanation as to why the battery had drained.

A few weeks later, the car started stalling when it came to a stop. It was warmed up and when stopped in traffic would stall out but would start again and then go. Again, this was an intermittent problem. At one point, it stalled and would not start again. But then later it started without a problem. During all of this, the check engine light has been on.

One shop told us it needs a new $600+ ignition coil. Another shop (this one was a VW dealer) told us it needs a new $800+ gas line. We need a third opinion!

Could all these things (lurching, draining, stalling) be related?

What should we do?

I can’t remember if the 1999 had a mechanical or electronic type accelerator. If electronic, I would tend to start my search there. If it is mechanical, I can’t think of any one thing that would fit all the problems. (Note: I am assuming the battery is not related).

Look for an independent mechanic that specialized in VW(/Audi). For more info sources go to yahoo groups and sign up for automatic emails from some VW group, maybe even Jettas. You need a trustworthy mechanic.