97 Jetta GL dies right after starting, and while driving

About 2 months ago, I started having problems with my car dying. Over the last couple weeks, it has gotten a lot worse, and now today I canít even keep it going without it dying. Basically what is happening is right after I start the car, it dies immediately after turning over. I have to try starting it a bunch of times before it finally

gets going. But once it gets going, it randomly dies anywhere from 10 seconds after it starts, to a couple minutes. As I said, today I canít even keep it going well enough to drive half a mile down the street without it continuously dying. Before going to a mechanic and spending a couple hundred just for them to try and find out whatís wrong... I was wondering if anyone had any possible ideas of what it could be. My car is a 1997 Jetta GL 2.0 with an automatic transmission.

Oh I forgot to add this. Not even a month ago, i took my car in to have a premium tune-up thinking it would help the problem, which it didnít. So the spark plugs and wires have both recently been replaced, the fuel injection and filter have been cleaned, and whatever else they do at Pep Boys when you get the "platinum tune-up". The car also doesnít do anything note worth before dying while itís being driven. It doesnít sputter, lose power, or anything. It just dies as if i turned off the ignition.

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How many keys have been on the key ring you've been using? if you have a heavy bunch of keys it wears out the switch. Have you checked for spark when it doesn't start? Can you hear the fuel pump running when you turn the key?

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"samstone" wrote:

Not many keys at all. I only have my car, house, building, office, and safety deposit box keys, and a bottle opener and a PetCo Pals card. I was thinking it might be the ignition switch though, because my Jetta has 88k miles on it, and I have heard a lot of stories about Jettaís around my yearís having problems with the ignition switches around that many miles.

As far as checking for spark or listening for the fuel pump... I have no clue how I would check for that. I donít know too much about cars. Just enough to get me by. Iíll ask my co-worker to check it out today though.

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Check out the spark and make sure it is a GOOD spark, not just a spark but a GOOD spark. Or after it stalls and won't restart..............pull a spark plug to see if it is wet and black. I have changed sooooo many bad ign. coils in the Jetta 2.0s. DO NOT BUY AFTERMARKET IGN. COILS, only get them from the dealer. You pay more but they don't conk out after 1 week to 1 year. I have never seen an aftermarket ign. coil go past 1 year. :-(

Of course it could be something else. Did you get the Engine Check light?

Oh and when you find the problem you might want to install the correct spark plugs or at least check them to make sure they are the right ones. I just removed some Bosch Plats that were creating misfires and running issues on a '97 Jetta 2.0.

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dave
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"dave AKA vwdoc1" wrote:

spark

You

correct

The check engine light isnít on, nor does it come on when it dies. When I got my tune-up, they did but in the Bosch Plats. Theyíve been in not even a month. Should I replace them?

The reason I was thinking it was the ignition switch, is because when I start the car, if I hold the key forward a little bit, it will stay on, but when the key goes to the rest position, it shuts off. And when i finally can get it started and let go of the key, if I barely move it or touch it, the gets shuts off. But as long as I hold the key (not all the way forward in the start position, but in the rest position) after i start it, it stays on fine.

Like for example, after i turn the key and start the car, if i move the key back to the rest position myself, until i feel the click of where it should be, then the car stays running fine. But when I let go of the key, I can see the key continue to move back a bit past the normal position and then the engine shuts off. Thatís why i was thinking it probably has something to do with the electrical portion of the ignition switch.

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http://www.performance-cafe.com/product_info.php?cPath=6_159&products_id ź4 the above url : switch $20.00 the below url : replacemant procedure -- read it thru - ( skill level? - air bag ?tools?) http://autorepair.about.com/library/a/1a/bl284a.htm or call the dealer and get a 'quote' for them to do it,, ask for their labor time / part cost / tax

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It sounds like you have found a problem!

Correct it with an OEM ign switch, or one from the dealer. I have had a couple of aftermarket switches go bad as early as 1 week and I am too lazy to always have to replace them. I even rebuilt my original and it lasted a good 6 months which was longer than the aftermarket ones. Now I have one purchased from the dealer installed in my '91 Passat. 8^)

Two things for you to consider: 1. Proper removal and installation of airbag 2. Removal of steering wheel collar with a puller

A tech told me that he can do it from the backside without removing the wheel and turn signal switch. 8^o I have not tried this method!

BTW Leave the Bosch Plats in there until you need to change them. ;-)

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dave
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onyx wrote:

Check for recalls on this. I know there were some recalls on VW ignition switches in 97. Best - Chris

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