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Stumped in Ohio

My wife said that I should ask this question of the smarter of the two, not the good looking one. Knowing little about sibling rivalry, I’ll pose this to both of you.

My 1987 VW Cabriolet runs absolutely great as long as I limit my trips to 50-75 miles. On long trips at a constant speed of 60-65 mph however it’s an entirely different story. After about 100 miles I’ll pull off for whatever reason and get into a little congested traffic and it will “hiccup” once then go completely dead. Turning the key off and back on immediately it will start right up and not do this again until I’ve repeated the scenario down the road. This happens mostly when the weather is hot.

Does the fact that the car came from Denver (altitude) have anything to do with the problem? VW mechanics in-and-around the Dayton, Ohio, area are not able to help.

You won’t get Tom and Ray on this forum at all; simply a handful of people who try to help with problems.

Without knowing if the problem is due to lack of fuel or spark (knowing that helps to narrow it down a bit) my guess is that the problem is due to either a failing ignition module or a failing ignition switch. (electrical part of the switch)

Both of those are not unheard of on this era of VW when age sets in.

Another possibility (and a common problem) is a wiring fault in the fuse block.
This involves the fuel pump wiring which is run through several conenctors and into a 3 wire terminal. An aging, dragging fuel pump prods this problem along and this problem can be gotten around.

You did not state if you’re mechanically inclined or not but inspecting the fuse block wiring is not difficult nor is wiring around it.
If you’re interested I’ll tell you how to go about this and it’s only about a 10 minute fix, IF that’s the problem.
VW people should be familiar with this little glitch.

Coming from Denver could be a little problem, since the carburetor will likely be tuned for the higher altitude.

I would think carbs on VW’s were long gone by 1987, I bet this is a CIS car and they have a host of problems,really good theory with the injection type though.

My '83 VW was fuel injected. I doubt an '87 would have a carburetor.

Did you ever find an answer to this? I have the same problem with my 87 cabby. I’m reasonably certain it’s heat related and involves a part that must be cooled by the breeze, because as soon as I get out of traffic, it works fine. The person who runs this forum suggests it might be the main fuel pump, which might be overheating.