Really Rough Running/Driving/Start-up Moist Weather

Looking for a little bit of help here. Do not have any experience with cars and have been striking out when phoning mechanics due to parts etc for German cars. I drive (or more recently used to drive) a 2002 VW Jetta which has been having extreme difficulty running correctly during moist weather. Initially, upon start-up, I will note a severe problem… it seems as if it’s shaky, very shaky, and does not want to move. Upon trying to move it ignoring it’s obvious signs, it does not want to take when I push in the gas…seeming to jerk or move incredibly slow. Usually feeling as if I can barely get it to move a 10 yards or so before being too nervous to push it any further. These issues seem to exist far far far more frequently in wet or moist weather (even a day or 2 after it has rained).

The car has always been well taken care of. If anyone could supply me with the possible causes, then I might have some better luck requesting services upon calling mechanics around the area… I am currently in college, away from home, and I absolutely cannot afford to get “nickle-and-dimed” by the dealership over every possible minor detail which could POSSIBLY need some tuning-up. It currently has just over 100,000 miles and has never had any major replacements.

I thank you in advance!!! PLEASE GIVE ME SOME ADVICE!!!

One possibilty is a problem with the Mass Air Flow sensor. This sensor measures the amount of air that enters the engine. From this measurement the computer is then able to add the proper amount of fuel to the engine. If this sensor fails to measure the proper amount of air entering the engine, the computer fails to add the proper amount of fuel. This then causes the engine to run rough and lacks power.

I suggest this because I have a coworker who had an 02 Jetta that displayed these exact same problems. And it was caused from a defective Mass Air Flow sensor. These sensors were a defective design where the coworker was replacing it every six months. The VW dealers knew these sensors were defective that they dropped the price from $150.00 to $20.00 per sensor.

After replacing the sensor every six months in the two years the coworker owned the vehicle, the coworker finely got fed up with this problem with the vehicle and sold it.


Very much appreciated, all the help I can get… all possibilities welcome and heard loud and clear. Thank you, once again.

Besides the MAF, here’s something you can try for free and it will tell if your wires are bad or good:
Get a clean windex or plant mister bottle, fill it with water and spray around the ignition wires on a nice day. You want to create a mist, simulating a wet day.
If the car starts doing weird things, your wires and cap probably need to be replaced.

I was also just thinking a simple wire/cap problem, although the MAF issue obviously sounds like a good bet. But I’d do the mister bottle first to rule that out.

Then I have a couple of other thoughts not about this problem in particular. First, don’t use dealerships. In general they just do things at much higher cost while trying to sell you much more stuff. They generally do not provide better quality service. Second - you’re a broke college student. As soon as you can get this damp weather issue under control get rid of the damn VW. If you’re a broke college student you get a toyota corolla or a ford escort or something. That VW will bleed you dry. If trying to fix this drags on - sell it on a dry weather day.

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, and THANK YOU! I have been bounced around quite a bit between coil pack issues, spark plugs, electric problems, etc…Unfortunately, I have had the car for quite some time and love it… not willing to give it up yet :frowning: . I really appreciate all the feedback and will definitely employ all the strategies you have offered me. I’m doing my best to stay away from these dealerships and you have provided me some insight into what could be a possible issue here.