Volkswagen Vanagon performance


Until several days ago, my 1988 VW Vanagon (with Auto. Trans) ran very well. Then, on a recent 30 mile trip, the car lost power on every hill, to the point it almost would not get to the top. The car did downshift properly.

Here are the current symptoms:

1. Upon starting the car (which happens flawlessly), for perhaps 1 0r 2 miles, everything is OK.

2. Then, the car acts like it is starving for air(and/or gas), and, upon coming to a hill, slolws down, and if the hill is long enough,actually stops.

3. Upon shutting the engine down for perhaps 2 or 3 SECONDS(!), and restarting it, everything is again fine, , till the next hill.

4. I repeated this “test” 4 or 5 times, with the same result each time.

After first experiencing this odd behavior, I replaced the fuel filter, which didn’t solve the problem.

One other thing I noticed: Each time I start the engine, the idle speed looks to be about right (about 800 RPM); upon failure, as described above, just before I shut the engine down, the idle speed was about 400 RPM.