1998 Volkswagen Golf Water makes car cut off


Electrical problem
1998 Volkswagen Golf 4 cyl Two Wheel Drive Automatic 135000 miles

My car cuts off in heavy rain or if you drive through a huge puddle. In these situations, I only have 10 seconds to get off of the road, and then it won't start up until it dries off (maybe 15 minutes, maybe a day). This has happened about 5 times in the past 3 years. I have been told it could be the distributor cap, but that did not fix the problem. I have also heard that there is a crack in the lower part of the ignition switch, and that the dealership is the only place to get it fixed. Do you know anything about this? I understand it is a common problem on this particular model vehicle.

Do you
have the same problem?
Wednesday, July 9th, 2008 AT 11:48 AM

1 Reply

  • 42,120 POSTS

Hi pamelina77,

I don't know if it is a common problem or not but I think it is not the ignition switch.

It should be something to do with the distributor, its wires, some sensors or contacts that is not working when water gets into the way.

Check the most likely areas for water to be splashed onto while driving and see if there are any wire couplers or sensors that might be affected.

There are so many variants of Golf and if your model is equipped with crank sensor + distributor, I would suspect the crank sensor to be the culprit.

Was this
Friday, July 18th, 2008 AT 1:59 AM

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