1996 jetta


schmaaron
12-02-2003, 11:39 AM
my jetta recently stopped on me on the interstate...tried starting it then..nothing. had it towed to a garage. initially they said it was just simple tune-up stuff and reaplcement of a coil they said i had burnt up while trying to repeadetly start the car when it had intitially stopped running. however, now they are telling me that they need to replace all the wires in my engine...not sure why and what could be next? has anyone ever had a problem with their jetta just stalling out while running or a similar problem? if so any thoughts on what could be wrong? and any thoughts on what really needs to be done to fix it? help. thanks, schmaaron

after reading a few other of the posts...wanted to give a littel mroe info on my car and problme. it is a 1996 vw jetta...no frills edition. not deisel and a standard. i have had little problems with it in the few years that i have owned it...have kept up on its maitenance regularly. have just over 120,000 miles on it and was hoping for more. have been driving it more extensively recently, but all highway miles. so this problme was very unexpected and i am preplexed that there was no signs of problem...just my car sputtering and then stalling on the side of the interstate. if anyone has any ideas of what could be wrong i would appreciate some advice on how to fix the problem. thanks.

VUU98
12-02-2003, 04:41 PM
I have a 98 wolfsburg jetta and a year ago, my car just quit on me. They checked a lot of things, but then finally it wouldn't start because it needed a new starter coil. the thing shorted out and zapped the entire electical system, but it didn't cause damage to the wires.

PSU Gene
12-05-2003, 03:16 PM
I have a 97 Jetta with 2.0 liter, it has 108,000 miles on it. Last year it started sputtering in hard rains. Then in the winter in the slushy smow just sputtered and quit. After sitting for awhile it came back to life and I nursed it to the local VW dealer. The next day they found no problem with the car, so I told them to hose off the engine and wala it sputtered. I was told I needed a major tune-up including a $180.00 Ignition Coil! I spoke with two back yard machanics and they both said a coil can malfunction from bad plag wires. I replaced the plugs, wires, rotor and cap, the problem seemed to go away for awhile. It gave me some trouble at times in strong rains and water puddles, but not as bad. Today it's snowing in central PA and it stopped for me this morning as I was driving in the slush. I have looked for water spray on the coil, but it seems dry. I finally broke down and search for a cheaper ignition coil price on the Internet, and I did on eBay. When it comes I'll let you know if it worked for me, but at this point in time I'm sure that really is my problem. I have also been told the VW had put some weak coils on there cars for a while. Look for the HUCO brand that replaces the original coil and is more reliable.

HeirMuench
12-05-2003, 06:29 PM
One thing to try.... when the engine is running, take a spray bottle of water and spray the spark plug wires. If you have a problem with them, you will see arcs from them when they are sprayed.

boschmann
12-05-2003, 09:48 PM
Ignition coils that short out (especially in wet weather) are very common, it has nothing to do with cranking it too long. It might not be a bad idea to let them replace those plug wires too if it's got 120K.

1 PRODIGY
12-06-2003, 05:28 AM
vw are built to last, theyre built for college girls that have useless bfs that cant do basic maintenance. lol.
ok, sounds like u jus really need to give it a full maintenance job. ( plugs,wires,dist,coil,etc u know everything ) i would take it to a diff shop cuz it seems like theyre jus takin u for a ride... it be best to take it to a vw dealership. they dont need to bs, u already bought the vw.and dont buy the generic maintenance parts, go for the premium bosch or VW parts from the dealer. i would check the ignition sensor, those have a tendency to go out. and the sensor is basiclly the only common problem for a vw in that year range to brake down, that i know of. like i said VW are made to last.with abuse.

PSU Gene
12-06-2003, 11:13 AM
vw are built to last, theyre built for college girls that have useless bfs that cant do basic maintenance. lol.
ok, sounds like u jus really need to give it a full maintenance job. ( plugs,wires,dist,coil,etc u know everything ) i would take it to a diff shop cuz it seems like theyre jus takin u for a ride... it be best to take it to a vw dealership. they dont need to bs, u already bought the vw.and dont buy the generic maintenance parts, go for the premium bosch or VW parts from the dealer. i would check the ignition sensor, those have a tendency to go out. and the sensor is basiclly the only common problem for a vw in that year range to brake down, that i know of. like i said VW are made to last.with abuse.

Hi 1 PROGITY,
I appreciate your addition to the AF about the VW ignition problem. Could you tell me the location of the ignition sensor? I have been a back yard mechanic since I was in diapers (no kidding, my Mom has a picture), taken some 44 years ago. I'm no expert, but I know my way around cars. Oddly enough the local VW dealer didn't mention anything about this sensor to me went the told me I needed a major tune-up, to solve this problem on my 97 Jetta. I replaced the rotor, cap, wires and plugs. I have a feeling my coil is weak, as they said, but at the same time I feel there is another culprit at work here causing the ignition failure. Any help will be truly appreciated.

dgromfin
01-14-2004, 06:42 PM
My 1997 Jetta has coil problems too... wonder if I can save some $$$ and replace them myself? Is this something an armchair mechanic can take on themselves?

PSU Gene
01-14-2004, 07:51 PM
My 1997 Jetta has coil problems too... wonder if I can save some $$$ and replace them myself? Is this something an armchair mechanic can take on themselves?

My 97 Jetta was no problem. I bought a coil on eBay (for about $75.00 shipped) and it worked like a charm. The other day I ran my Jetta in the pouring rain and it had no problems anymore. Before I replaced the coil it would have sputtered and most likely shut off, not restarted until it dried off from the engine heat. Replacing it is easy, but I think you will have to get out of you armchair (he he). Carefully remove the wire clip that holds the connector in place and gently pull off the wire going to the distributer. Then all you need is a torx driver (sorry I forget the size) to remove the two screws off the firewall. One other thing, buy a HUCO brand coil they are better.

teenie
01-15-2004, 04:46 PM
It's funny I ran into this post because it reminded me that there have been 3 occasions where my car was difficult to start, and all 3 times have been when it rained pretty hard.

As for doing it yourself, I recommend buying a manuel for your car. We do for every single car we buy. You'd be suprised at how much you can do yourself. For our Jetta, we use the Haynes manuel and they're available at almost any parts store for 10-15 bucks. You could get a more in depth manuel that costs a lot more (I've heard as much as 100), but if you're not used to working on your own cars you probably won't need something like that.

In 12 years, we've only taken 1 car to a shop, and that was because our Chevette (yes, we had one) had to have the motor taken 1/2 way out to change the started, and at that time, we didn't own a engine hoist. :(

tram1510
02-06-2004, 03:48 PM
Well how about that? I've been having some difficulty getting my 1996 Jetta GL started on wet days (in fact I just went and cranked it over as it's snow turning to freezing rain as I write). I changed the rotor and cap and purchased new wires - Magnecor - which I'm waiting to have installed. This morning the car lost power on the highway within a few hundred yards of the exit. Through luck, perhaps, and coasting, and other means, I got off the interstate and managed to limp to a service station. I put in dry gas and saw a shop that had done some work before but they were backed up and unable to do a thing today.
But here's the thing I observe. The whole underside of the engine compartment is open to dampness and salt from the road. As the ignition components age and get rimed with the crud thrown up from the road, they're subject to leaking precious electrical current to ground rather than through the sparkplugs where it'd do most good. I too suspect that the coil is probably deteriorating as well, so the whole chain of power from battery/alternator to the plugs is less than optimal. My research pointed to the Magnecor wires as probably the best product available, so I'm hoping that the starting will improve under all conditions with replacement of the old factory set. I'll let you know after Tuesday.

littlebilly
02-19-2004, 09:38 PM
Hi 1 PROGITY,
I appreciate your addition to the AF about the VW ignition problem. Could you tell me the location of the ignition sensor? I have been a back yard mechanic since I was in diapers (no kidding, my Mom has a picture), taken some 44 years ago. I'm no expert, but I know my way around cars. Oddly enough the local VW dealer didn't mention anything about this sensor to me went the told me I needed a major tune-up, to solve this problem on my 97 Jetta. I replaced the rotor, cap, wires and plugs. I have a feeling my coil is weak, as they said, but at the same time I feel there is another culprit at work here causing the ignition failure. Any help will be truly appreciated.
REPLY : re. no start, check thread of littlebilly "1996 no start/saga"
check or have checked the crank sensor, the speed sensor and the cam sensor- three different sensors. i am not familiar with ignition sensor and I am hearing a lot about bad coils, but if there is a good spark from coil, have a shop use a diagnostic meter/unit- most shops have 'em now and check those sensors.

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