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VW doesn't like the rain

Oh, how do I explain this? Well, my 1991 VW Vanagon runs beautifully all the time except when it’s raining. If it’s raining and I go out and start 'er up, she’ll go, but only for about 10 minutes or so. Apparently the water gets in and does whatever it does during the process of driving.

What happens is… the van suddenly starts losing power, but it’s spotty, until the RPMs get so low the engine just dies. This takes all of about oh about a minute to go from normal driving to total loss of power. I can start her up over and over at this point, but as long as it’s raining or until she dries out, she just keeps dying over and over.

I have been feeling like it could be water getting in the gas somehow, so the last time this happened to me I decided to keep restarting her and moving her around as much as I could between stalls. At first I just ran her back and forth in about a 30 foot stretch. Well, I got sick of doing that after a while and got her back on the road and just kept restarting her. As soon as she started losing power, I’d just turn off the ignition and then restart. I could gain speed and got up to 45-50 while doing this. After about 10 minutes of driving she started acting normal again.

I have asked A LOT of folks about this. First thing everyone says is distributer cap/points. Replaced. Also replaced the fuel filter. Took her to a VW shop. Of course she was all dried out by the time they got to her. She ran beautifully for them. They even tried soaking down the engine (which also lends to my theory that the water is being either kicked up or sucked up by the engine during driving). They couldn’t figure it out. Told me to check all the grounds on the entire vehicle!

A neighbor loaned some electrical grease, made for motorcycles, and said to run a bit of it around the inner lip of the distributer cap and spark plug wires??? Haven’t tried it yet.

I’m thinking this already really bites when it’s raining, what about when it starts snowing!? I’ve only had her since late March, after the last snowfall here.

I got this vehicle as a fun alternative to a mini-van … seating for 7 and we fill 'em up … it’s my family’s daily driver and we really need her fixed!! Please help if you can!!!

Replace plug wires and distributor cap. Include coil wire and use good quality parts that fit!

As Waterboy wrote. I would replace the plugs where I was there if they are close to being due based on the recommendations in your owner’s manual. I would suggest use OEM brands.