1997 VW Jetta stalls on takeoff


Old 01-28-08, 05:13 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1
1997 VW Jetta stalls on takeoff

My daughter has a 1997 VW Jetta with the 2.0 liter 4 clyinder engine. It starts fine. Seems to idle a little slow but it doesn't 'miss' at idle. However, when she puts it in either reverse or drive (auto trans) it either stalls or runs really rough. The car runs fine at speed (city or highway) and only acts up when idling under load. If it were a different make I'd say it's the throttle position sensor. I've searched the internet for one for this make and model and it doesn't appear that they made a separate TPS. It looks like it's part of the throttle body (cheapest I found was $400 USD). So I guess I have two questions. 1) Any ideas why the car is stalling under load at idle, and 2) if it could be the TPS is there any way to test the one in the car before I spend (yes I said "I spend") the $ to replace the throttle body?

Any and all suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Jim
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Old 01-29-08, 09:04 AM
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 31

Inspect the air intake boot from the fuel distributor to the intake manifold. I suspect it has a crack in it. Under load the engine rotates on its rubber mounts and this boot will stretch. As it stretches it will open up the crack in the boot. This does two things. It allows unmetered air into the intake manifold which causes a lean condition and it also will cause the fuel distributor plate under the large part of the boot to drop reducing the amount of fuel being distributed to the fuel injectors causing an even leaner condition. The result is that the engine will stall the instant the crack in the boot opens up.

This engine doesn't have a TPS like other cars. It basically has a throttle switch that tells the computer that it is at idle or off idle and another switch that tells the computer if it is at wide open throttle. It relies strictly on feedback from the oxygen sensor to regulate the amount of fuel that is mixed with the air that is metered passed a round plate in the fuel distributor.

There may be other causes for your symptoms but this one is the most likely and the easiest for you to check. You may actually need to take the boot completely off to inspect it. Just be careful not to get any dirt into the fuel distributor. Check any vacuum lines attached to the boot also. Basically any source of unmetered air entering the intake manifold after the fuel distributor will cause this.
Old 02-16-10, 02:24 PM
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 1
What did this problem end up being? My 1999 Jetta 2.0 is having the same issue. Any help would be appreciated.
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Thank you,
Old 02-18-10, 09:38 PM
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Washington State
Posts: 312
Start with the basics fuel, spark had a customer today that brought their 99 with a 2.0 in it they had replaced all those expensive parts (dist,mass air flow, plugs )and still had the same problem.Upon inspection the fuel filter was OEM as was the air filter.Replaced those and the thing ran like new.Any sensor issues will throw a mil on those (check engine) and in this case the plugged air filter combined with the restricted fuel filter was causing the thing to lean itself out till it wouldn't run at anything much over idle.You could sneak it up there with light throttle. Sometimes its better to look at the basics first.These modern autos still rely on them to make everything else function. Good luck

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