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Matt, Engineer
Category: VW
Satisfied Customers: 21725
Experience:  Mechanical Engineer with 20 years experience in the auto industry, 8 yrs in formula 1 engine testing
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My car started chugging at a low speed then stoooed moving,

Customer Question

My car started chugging at a low speed then stoooed moving, like I put on the brakes. I got it to move again for a mike or so, when it started chugging again, I parked it. Now it won't shift from park. Not even to neutral.
JA: How old is the transmission? Have you noticed any leaking?
Customer: It's a 2002, no leaking
JA: What is the model of your '02 VW?
Customer: 211,000 miles Beetle tdi
JA: Are you fixing your Beetle yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: Haven't tried anything, it's sitting outside a transmission shop now. I'm just hoping that it's something electronic. Have you heard of anything like this? Solenoid maybe?
JA: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?
Customer: I can't think of anything. Does this cost $
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: VW
Expert:  Matt replied 7 months ago.


as it won't shift out of park I'm suspecting a loss of electrical power

I'd suggest the next step is to measure battery voltage on the ECU fuses and across the main battery terminals

you should measure at least 12.5V with the ignition on and if you can get the engine to start the battery voltage should slowly increase from the static figure

I'd also check over the state of the high power fuses in the underhood fusebox , check over the 20A + items for cracks and corroded points

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Ok, are you leaning away from a transmission issue? Have you had experience with this before? The gear shifter moves just doesn't actually shift
Expert:  Matt replied 7 months ago.


well its the sticking in park that makes me think that its a loss of electrical , as the park lock is a powered device thats switched via the brake pedal and ECU

that and the loss of power really does sound like battery voltage ebbing away

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Ok! Thanks! If nothing else, you're giving me hope!
Expert:  Matt replied 7 months ago.

If the battery has power and the fuses look OK then

could be a lack of fuel pressure from the electrical pump at the tank.

1st thing to try is to remove the fuel filler cap and then flick the ignition on whilst listening for the brief ‘buzz’ of the pump

If the connections to the pump are corroded or damaged then the pump could stop at any time or could not be running at full speed. Check that its relay switches in and out and the relay contacts are clean and bright – replace the relay if in any doubt and do the same for the fuse,

also consider changing the fuel filter as if this partially blocked this too will reduce pressure.

You can also get this issue with contaminated fuel , if there’s water or dirt in the tank then either the petrol floats on top of the water or the filter sock on the pump is choked up – so if the other things check out then I’d consider pulling out the fuel pump and cleaning the filter sock

And one other thing to try is to loosen off the fuel filler cap, as there’s a 1 way valve built into the cap to let air into the tank and so prevent a vacuum from being created as the fuel leaves the tank to the engine

If this helps then replace the cap with a new item

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Ok, I guess I don't understand the fuel connection as the car runs just fine. I don't associate electrical with fuel. I'll check all of that
Expert:  Matt replied 7 months ago.


do you still need help?

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