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Discussion Starter #1
I hate that my first post is about a problem with my beetle, but unfortunately it is...

My '02 2.0 Beetle is having issues. I drive 114 miles round trip everyday for work. About 20-30 miles into my drive, my beetle will sputter and the check engine light will start to flash. It will continue to sputter and struggle, but if I pull over and let it sit for 20-30 secs at the most, it'll restart fine and finish the trip like nothing happened. I'll have to drive it for a couple miles sometimes to get a safe spot to pull over, and it's like the car is just struggling to get power (going to around 4k rpm and barely doing 60mph). Doesn't do it in the afternoon or any other time (i.e. when I take it to my mechanic to look at it).

My mechanic is at a loss right now as to what is happening - we've tried a spray bottle with water to get it to bog down again (I've replaced the coil 3 times in it), and that does nothing. The one time I could get it to the shop with the check engine light on, all the computer would tell is random misfire, all cylinders.

I love my car and would like to keep it, but I'm not a fan of getting ran over on the interstate at 5am either. Any suggestion/advise is greatly appreciated!

Thanks to everyone in advance for any help they can be!
 

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~Feel the Sting~
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I hate that my first post is about a problem with my beetle, but unfortunately it is...

My '02 2.0 Beetle is having issues. I drive 114 miles round trip everyday for work. About 20-30 miles into my drive, my beetle will sputter and the check engine light will start to flash. It will continue to sputter and struggle, but if I pull over and let it sit for 20-30 secs at the most, it'll restart fine and finish the trip like nothing happened. I'll have to drive it for a couple miles sometimes to get a safe spot to pull over, and it's like the car is just struggling to get power (going to around 4k rpm and barely doing 60mph). Doesn't do it in the afternoon or any other time (i.e. when I take it to my mechanic to look at it).

My mechanic is at a loss right now as to what is happening - we've tried a spray bottle with water to get it to bog down again (I've replaced the coil 3 times in it), and that does nothing. The one time I could get it to the shop with the check engine light on, all the computer would tell is random misfire, all cylinders.

I love my car and would like to keep it, but I'm not a fan of getting ran over on the interstate at 5am either. Any suggestion/advise is greatly appreciated!

Thanks to everyone in advance for any help they can be!
My poor little 2002 went to VW recently for the coil pack recall. Ran like a top when I took it in. They replaced the coil packs, and I got the car back and drove home. Next day, when I started it up, it did exactly the same thing as yours. Sputtered, missed, chugged, etc. But it would usually start doing this after you warmed it up.

It turned out that somehow , VW managed to break the Mass airflow sensor and the throttle body. Not sure HOW, but they did.

They replaced the Mass Air Flow Sensor first, and that seems to have fixed a majority of the problem, then they also cleaned the throttle body and put it back in. No more chugging or loss of power.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the info, I'll mention it to my mechanic. Did your beetle do that when it first started or after it had been running for a while? That is what's frustrating about mine, is that it does it, like I said, within that first 20-30 miles on my way to work. Knock on wood, it's only doing it then, hasn't happened any other time (so far).
 

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~Feel the Sting~
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Thanks for the info, I'll mention it to my mechanic. Did your beetle do that when it first started or after it had been running for a while? That is what's frustrating about mine, is that it does it, like I said, within that first 20-30 miles on my way to work. Knock on wood, it's only doing it then, hasn't happened any other time (so far).
When the problem first showed up, it was when I turned my car on.

But then, it would ONLY happen after I'd been driving for maybe 20-30 minutes. I could start it up and it would be ok, then I'd drive around town, and suddenly, lose power. It would chug oddly, like it was only running on 2 or 3 cylinders. Then it would sometimes throw a CEL (check engine light).. and on occasion the traction control light would come on, so would the EPC light. After I shut it off, let it set, then turn it on, it would be fine for another 15-20 minutes.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I've done some research, and I think it's something that the other half and I can do this weekend. We'll give it a shot and see what happens.

Thanks!
 

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5/23/10 <3
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Spark plugs and wires?

You can try unplugging the MAF. If the car runs better, then thats likely your problem.
 

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I've done some research, and I think it's something that the other half and I can do this weekend. We'll give it a shot and see what happens.

Thanks!
Sorry for your troubles. Welcome to the org. I drive the same for my commute and when my NB gave me problems I felt the same way. Obviously you are already finding out some handy DIY's on here and as always, help is right here with you. Stick with our NB. Good luck this weekend. :)
 

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fix your own *&% computer
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Sorry for the troubles.
Usually, at least in my experience, I didn't get much of a sputter or "chug" when I had a bad MAF. Usually, the vehicle will just die, and then when you try to restart it, it will usually die right away.

Judging by the age and your driving distances, it may by time for a complete fuel system cleaning.

Let us know what you find out...it's sparked my interest.

Good luck.

Nate

I've done some research, and I think it's something that the other half and I can do this weekend. We'll give it a shot and see what happens.

Thanks!
 

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~Feel the Sting~
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Sorry for the troubles.
Usually, at least in my experience, I didn't get much of a sputter or "chug" when I had a bad MAF. Usually, the vehicle will just die, and then when you try to restart it, it will usually die right away.

Judging by the age and your driving distances, it may by time for a complete fuel system cleaning.

Let us know what you find out...it's sparked my interest.

Good luck.

Nate
What all does a full cleaning involve?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for all the info up to this point. Just an update, I cleaned the MAF (the best I could). Apparently, someone tried to remove it once before and stripped the tork screws. While in there, I also changed the air filter...the old one was a mess. It ran better for a few days, and I was getting better gas mileage than before.

Drove it yesterday to work, and the same thing happened in the same area. I took it to the mechanic because I finally got the check engine light to keep flipping out long enough to get him to throw it on the computer. As soon as he plugged it in, it stopped throwing codes :banghead:

After talking with my guy some more, we've decided to try a new sensor, because I know this one has never been changed.

What's really peculiar is my car ONLY does this on one stretch of interstate that runs along an old military base...alien interference? Just a theory.

Thanks for all the input from everyone. When the new MAF shows up, I'll let you know how the fix goes. If that doesn't work, then I'll be asking about the fuel cleansing.
 

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What type of mechanic is this? Do they have a VAG-COM? That should pick up ANY codes. If the CEL is on at all, codes are stored. They are there. Just because the CEL isn't on doesn't mean they are gone.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
He's the guy that's been working on my car for years (took it to him after a falling out with the stealership), and this is the first time we're both scratching our heads. He really is an awesome mechanic, and works on all our vehicles (1 vw and 2 mercedes) and always does a great job.

I shouldn't say it's not throwing codes, all it says is that there is a random misfiring of cyliders, and it's never the same cylinders. We've tried twice to get the codes from the car when it's having a temper tantrum, and that's when it will stop and just say random misfirings. I've had it hooked to computers at the three auto parts stores in my home town, and they're getting the same reading on their systems.

You can see where my frustration is; the car just doesn't want to cooperate.
 

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Have you changed the plugs and wires? Could the the coil too. Thats what misfire usually points to.

What about fueling issues? Fuel filter? Def. try a new MAF.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The coil has been replaced three times in the past 18 months. The first time, there was something wrong with the screw holding the unit in place, and it allowed moisture to get in. We checked for that being the problem again first thing, and nothing. The plugs, wires, and coil were all replaced the first time together. It's been doing it for the past few weeks, and we're in a drought here - there hasn't been significant rain fall or moisture in the air to cause it to misfire.

Fuel system is going to be the next area of investigation if my repair tonight doesn't work. (Fingerscrossed it does)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Update: It's not the MAF :(

Going to start looking into fuel and plugs and trying to figure it out from there.
 
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