1988 Other Volkswagen Models Engine power loss / stalling

  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • 133,000 MILES
My Vanagon started to have very brief but sudden power loss - as if the ignition was turned off for a second - while running at a steady 45mph. The tach would drop to zero for an instant even though the engine speed didn't change much due to the manual transmission being in 4th gear. The problem got worse, lasting longer, sometimes I had to coast to a stop. The engine would restart and run rough for a moment, then be OK for a while. It happened again on a long downhill grade with no foot on the throttle and would not restart for 15 mins. Finally I had to get towed to a VW dealer and they can't find a problem!
On an earlier occurrence of this problem I replaced the coil, but that has not fixed the problem.
Any ideas? Many thanks, Jim
Do you
have the same problem?
Wednesday, November 5th, 2008 AT 7:42 AM

1 Reply

Hello - Jim
Well we need to determine if it is a fuel or spark problem. My first suggestion is to go to Auto Zone or O'Reilly's and for free they can pull the codes to the car. Most important. Once they check your codes, if they find something and you don't get it fixed and need to get back with us, please make sure you tell us exactly what the code was, number and all. Example, if the code was E0568 O2 Sensor bad. Then make sure you give us all of that. While there for free also they can bring their tester out and check your battery, alternator and starter.

You never said what the dealer checked. So.

Next you need to check your fuel pressure to see what it is. Your pump may be slowing dying.

Next, I know you replaced the coil but remove a plug wire, put a something in the end of it and place it near something metal on your engine. WATCH how you hold it cause it will bite. Have someone crank the car and see if you get a good strong snapping blue spark. If you don't then it is electrical. If you do, then it is probably fuel related.
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Wednesday, November 5th, 2008 AT 7:25 PM

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