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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Trying to diagnose a problem with my daughters 1998 Beetle. She was on her way to school and had been driving for about 15 minutes when the car died. It would start but only run for a few seconds and then die. Her gas light was on so I asked her to put gas in and it still wouldn't run for more than 5 seconds. The car was towed home and later that night I jumped it (she left the flashers on) and it started ok so I let it idle for about ten minutes and it stayed running with no problems. Tonight it started ok so I took it to put gas in and as I was leaving the gas station as I accelerated it stalled at about 3,000 rpm's but did not die. I drove it around and it will accelerate slowly up to 4,000 rpms but under load it will stall at about 3000 rpms. My buddy has an autolink scanner which he said worked on an Audi so I would think it will work on Beetle. I won't be able to borrow it until Saturday so is there anything I should check in the mean time. Just got the car and I'm still going through it but plugs and wires look recent. Car has 135,000 miles.
 

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If she was running the car so low on gas the light was on, I'd personally change the fuel filter before trying anything else. It could have debris or water in it from running the car close to empty. Besides, it's a cheap thing to do and it's a regular maintenance item.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Scanned for codes and this is what came up

P1543 Throttle Actuation Potentiometer Signal too Low

When I check live data TP% is 0 if I give it gas it stays at 0. Is this the reading for the throttle position?

Any thoughts?
 

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Ditto on the fuel filter. Low on gas most likely sucked all kinds of crap out of the tank. Our vert did the same thing and when I changed the filter it took care of the problem. I drained it and it was half full of water.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It's running now. It had the original fuel pump with 135,000 so I decided to replace it. I figured if it didn't solve the problem it'd be good preventative maintenance as I didn't see the pump lasting much longer anyway. Really easy job unfortunately that didn't solve the problem. When I removed the pump the tank and the screen had no dirt at all. I ended up bringing it to a shop that was able to do the "idle adaptation". I tried all different ways suggested for doing it with the key and none worked.
 
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