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Hello, I've had a 2000 Beetle for 2yrs.I picked it up for my daughter. It had a "blown engine". I installed a new water pump, timing belt, coil, and right axle and the "blown engine" runs great! Fun car. It has about 110,000 miles on it. I am a GM guy at heart, but my daughter really wanted a Beetle. We have been driving it for a couple of summers, store it in the winter. We got it out recently, changed the oil, installed 4 new springs,(one was broken)and a new tank of gas. My daughter was driving it the other night, and it stalled on her. She pulled to the side of the road, put it in park and re-started it. It stalled three more times (20 miles) on her way home. It ran great for me the next day, but I put a new fuel filter in it anyway. No SES light, no codes. Today I was driving, came to a stop sign, it stalled and would not re-start. Crank, no fire. I noticed that the horn blipped when it stalled. I locked the doors, with the key and walked back to the dealership (GM) that I work at, grabbed the roll-back and went back to get it. I unlocked the door with the key, got in and it started right up! I loaded it, brought it home, drove it into the garage, installed a temporary fuel pressure gauge, and drove it around a while. I get 30psi on decel, 42psi on accel, 42psi on prime. No leak down. Am I barking up the wrong tree? Is there a "theft" gremlin running around? (remember the horn blip?)Did I reset something by locking and unlocking the door with the key? I've read about fuel pump relays. When I was cranking on it on the side of the road, I did NOT hear the fuel pump prime on key-up, but traffic was really noisy. HELP! Gas is $4.00 a gallon, and I want my Suburban to be sitting, while cruising in the "Germ", sipping fuel. Thank you for your time. Sincerely, Confused.
 

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It is probably the engine speed sensor. They can fail without leaving a code and can be very intermittent like you describe. Here is my thread on replacing it:

http://newbeetle.org/forums/2-0-liter-gas/60706-engine-speed-sensor-replacement.html

I've had issues finding a replacement one that will work now. Be sure to get the number off the old one and get the right replacement. With practice now I've been able to get them off or on in 15 minutes with just removing the top engine cover.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you Red99 ! I will take your information and run with it. I really appreciate your time. I hope to get the Bug "dependable" soon. I drove it all day today, monitoring the fuel pressure, thinking that if it were a theft issue, fuel pressure would fall off at stall. No stall today! But I look cool rolling with a gauge dust-taped to the windshield.;)
Does the anti-theft system cut fuel? would it/could it "activate" while running? Just trying to learn the systems. Thanks a heap for your info, Newt.
 

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You're welcome. Hope you enjoy your New Beetle!

I don't think the immobilizer would shut off the engine while it is running. It just prevents it from starting in the first place. There would be a light flashing on the dashboard also.

There is a lot of diagnostic information available from the ECU that is accessible using a VW-specific scan tool, a lot more than the standard OBD codes. The cheapest way to get there is using VCDS-Lite software on a PC and a standard USB-OBDII interface cable. Here is the web site:

Ross-Tech: Home

It would be useful to have if you keep your car for a while. You can change things about the car like horn beeps when locking, automatic door lock when starting out and automatic door unlock when removing the key. It also programs new keys if you ever need that.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Update:

Hello all. I was driving home from work tonight with my trusty fuel pressure gauge taped to the windshield, and the engine FINALLY STALLED! 60mph, just cruising, then BLAH. I clicked it into neutral, turned the key back, and then cranked. It started, shook and stalled. Tried it again, it started, I plunked it into drive and just kept on going, only lost 10 mph through the whole deal.
OK, my "auto repair" envelope does not have enough cash in it to buy the scanner/software YET, but I will. However, I do own a replacement crank sensor, it is resting on the passenger seat. Life, kids, and so on have not given me enough time to change it yet. I will soon, but here is my question:
WHAT DOES THE CRANKSHAFT SENSOR DO? I am mechanical, and do understand crank movement/signal to "turn stuff on" theory. No rotating signal=no.....what? I never lost fuel pressure during the whole stall incident. As I was coasting, I turned the key back (off) and then back on and the fuel pump primed, as it should. At the "start, shake, die" moment, the fuel pressure held strong. Sooo, does the crank sensor only trigger the coil? I'm figuring that I never lost fuel, so I am assuming that the fire was turned off, and the fuel pump is not affected by the crank sensor. Am I right? I am wiring diagram-challenged, so reading one won't help me. I am ready to throw the crank sensor at it, but I am the type of person who needs to know how stuff works. Does anyone know for sure if the crank sensor only triggers the coil, or fuel , or both?
Thanks again for all of your help!
 

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UPDATE! Threw a crank sensor at it and have had no problems since, except intermittent miss, which will be plugs and wires soon. Thanks everyone for your help! (I did not need to remove any parts from the car other than splash shields to switch the sensor.) "just feel your way...."
 

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Glad to hear the crank sensor fixed your problem! It sounded like a classic case with the stall at 60 mph. Exactly what happened to me, except the manual transmission carried me through the stall.

I missed your earlier post. The crank sensor is a Hall effect sensor (I think) that senses when teeth on a gear inside the crankcase pass by. One tooth is missing to give a home location so the actual crankshaft angle can be inferred from the signal pulses. The crankshaft angle is used to time both the ignition system and the fuel injectors. Without the signal from the crankshaft sensor the plugs won't fire and the injectors won't open, even though the fuel pressure is OK. There is just no way for the ECU to know when these things should happen.

The camshaft sensor is used only to figure out which fuel injector should be opened next. (ie. where the engine is in its firing order) With the 2.0 the plugs are fired in pairs (one coil for 2 cylinders), so technically you don't need to know the camshaft position to operate the ignition. All cylinders fire when they come to TDC whether they are on the compression stroke or exhaust stroke.
 

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Good day everyone! Just a quick update: Here we are, almost a year later. We woke the beetle from it's long winter's nap and have been driving it for about a month now and it is running flawlessly! The crankshaft position sensor definitely solved the intermittent stall problem. It was easy to change, not to expensive, and thanks to all of you, Bug's bug is dependable once again! This forum is a life saver! Many thanks for your help!
 
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