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auditech77, ASE Certified Technician
Category: VW
Satisfied Customers: 161
Experience:  12 years Porsche and Audi Technician
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My 2001 Jetta keeps losing power. It used to mainly happen

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My 2001 Jetta keeps losing power. It used to mainly happen when I was first starting, but today happened in the middle of the highway RPMs sat at 20 for a while, then down to 10 and I just sat waiting for it to move. Check engine light started blinking. I parked, prayed, started again and managed to make it home. Will it hurt the car to keep driving it? Whenever I take it in, it doesn't do it for the mechanics, so they haven't been able to fix the problem!
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: VW
Expert:  auditech77 replied 8 years ago.

If the check engine light is flashing then you are doing harm to your vehicle. When the light flashes that means that you are damaging your catalytic converter. This usually happens when the car is misfiring. Is the car running rough? If you press the gas pedal the rpms will not go up while driving? How about in neutral if you step on the gas?


Thanks, Auditech77

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Yes, it's running terrible (when it has these episodes)--rpms slowly go down and I barely roll along. More gas in neutral or Drive doesn't increase the RPMs. After about a mile, I made it to a parking lot. turned it off, added a little oil (b/c it eats oil like crazy even though I can't find a leak or burning). Started again, still doing same thing. Tried about 30 minutes later, it started slow, but by the time I get out of the parking lot, light wasn't flashing any more and went back to driving normal. That was last night, and this morning all was well, but I want to get it fixed so I don't fear starting my car ever time I need to go somewhere.
Expert:  auditech77 replied 8 years ago.
It sounds like you have an intermittent misfire. It could be that the engine is burning oil causing the spark plugs to foul out. When was the last time you had a tune-up?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I had a friend put in new spark plugs put in about 9 months ago and that seemed to help the problem for a while. No new sparkplug wires though--maybe that's the problem. I live on Maui and the dealer we used to have was really unreliable, so that's why I had a friend do it instead of paying the dealer $800 for a full on tune-up. That dealer is now closed, so I'm struggling to find a good place on this small island to take my car. I did also get a new battery in June--not sure if that's related--the symptoms seemed the same until it fully wouldn't start.
Expert:  auditech77 replied 8 years ago.
It could be the wires or maybe a bad sensor like the coolant temperature sensor. It could be sending an intermittently bad signal.
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