Jstuddering and clanking at acceleration and studdering at braking

I have a 98 Manual Beetle, not often driven, but always on long trips (+400 miles min.). I parked my car for about 5 weeks on a steep driveway head down. When I picked up the car last night, it started ‘coughin’ and clanking when I started the car and during backup died off a couple of times with loud metallic clanks and jerks. When I drove off, it studdered on acceleration until I picked up speed and the studdering stopped after a while of driving. But when I brake, the car shudders the same say as when I accelerated. It got a bit better later, but didn’t go away. Now I have the car parked on the street waiting to decide what to do after the weekend before I am suppose to take another lengthy road trip. The engine warning light also went on and off during the drive last night. I had been told a while back to expect a need to replace the return air exchange sensor at some point, would that have something to do with the problem? or other idea what is happening to the car? Is the car safe to drive back to my mechanic at home 400 miles away or something I really have to have done before the drive?


I would buy some “Dry Gas” additive. Your car may well have condensation in the gas tank, and gas with water in it can cause your car to run like this. Couldn’t hurt, even if it does not help. Pour in the “Dry Gas” and fill the tank.