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RPM slipping

Hi guys…

I’m on my way to california, and Ive been having car issues. I have an automatic 99 VW jetta with just over a thousand miles on it. I let sit for about two months and when I tried to drive it again the battery died about three blocks from home. We tried to tow it home and ended up ripping off the bumper. Now that I got a new battery Ive been driving it and when I push on the accelerator the car goes up to about 20 RPM then will drop back down and the car kind of does a slight jerk. It takes me a long time to even get going 30 mph. Does anyone have any idea what could be causing it? Thanks!

MH, As With People Adopting Pets, Unforunately, Not All Car/Car Owner Relationships Work Out.

That could have been an ear or tail ripped loose!

Should this Jetta actually have 1,000 miles on it in 10-11 years, one thing I’d be suspect of is the fuel/fuel tank. You could have some old gas, water, crud, etcetera.

How’d the battery die in 3 blocks of driving? Does that mean you jump started before this short drive? I’d be more concerned with the charging system.

By the way, I think you mean 2,000 RPM. Somewhere on the tachometer is a little “X 100”, I’m sure.

You know what you need? This car needs to go live with a caring, competent mechanic, at least until it is nurtured back to health. No offense, but I think you’d agree that you know next to nothing about cars.


I’m in CSA’s camp on this one. In addition to scant automotive knowledge, MH is apparently not very good about accurately stating the facts that relate to the car’s problem(s). The result is that this cannot be properly diagnosed from afar.

1,000 miles on a 10 year old car? Not bloody likely, but whether or not this is actually the case, I am going to speculate that the car’s charging system needs to be looked at by a competent mechanic.

In addition, the transmission may be problematic. The car’s maintenance history is a mystery to us, but I am also going to speculate that its maintenance has not been adequate, which can lead to a host of problems that are impossible to diagnose over the internet.

To try to put this in human terms, imagine if you sent an e-mail to an M.D., stating:

“My 10 year old child weighs one pound, and her body temperature is 9.8. While caring for her last week, I ripped her arm off. Sometimes her body jerks, and when this occurs, her blood pressure is 40/30. What is wrong with her?”

Based on what was reported by the parent, the M.D. might conclude that the child was already dead, or that the child was still alive but was being abused, or–hopefully–that the parent was just not very good about observing and reporting symptoms accurately. In any event, that M.D. would be as puzzled as we are about the real facts, and would be unable to give a diagnosis of any value.

Surely the OP is not going to be the one to repair this car, so CSA’s suggestion of taking it to a competent mechanic is the only suggestion that makes sense, given the skimpy, confusing, and potentially inaccurate details that have been offered.

If the battery was the original/getting old, it doesn’t surprise me that it died on you after sitting for 2 months. And now the new one is fine, yes? No need to worry about that then.

Like CSA and VCD suggested, get this thing to a good mom & pop mechanic and express your concerns. Don’t go to the dealer, they would just love to take your $$$$. Good luck.

“We tried to tow it home and ended up ripping off the bumper”

  • you didn’t have the tranny in park at the time by any chance?

Time to call the Humane Society for cars.

PETA - People For The Ethical Treatment Of Automobiles.

We may be looking at a case for a “foster home” or the “Old Volks Home”.


Well first off I think if you are towing a car home you would not be towing it backwards so I am doubtful of the tailpipe being ripped off. If the battery died on the way home that means your car is not charging and you need to check the alternator and belts as a car does not need a battery to run, but if the system is not charging you can run on battery. I think once you get the charging system going your other problems will go away.

First, I assume you were under some stress and maybe lack some basic car knowledge so the information you provide was . . Well it was interesting.

I will add that your car likely came with a tow hook and it should be in the trunk around the spare tyre, assuming no one has thrown it out.  I screws in and you tow it using the hook.  Sorry I could not let you know about this before the damage.  

If you have the owner’s manual, it likely has this information along with some nice photos. If you don’t have an owner’s manual, I would look for one on line and read it cover to cover, You might be amazed at what it says. :slight_smile:

It sat for two months and then when you tried to tow it you ripped the bumper off?
Now it has all it can do to get to 30mph?

My money says your brakes are frozen from sitting. You better get this addressed pronto… before driving it any more… or the load on your tranny will surely be it’s demise.