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Newbie needs help!!!

1681 Views 17 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  janet986w
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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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).
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 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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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.
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)
Update: It's not the MAF :(

Going to start looking into fuel and plugs and trying to figure it out from there.
Final assessment of the beetle...
new plugs, wires, coil, and ignition.

Grand total $650...

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