Question about 1998 Volkswagen Cabrio

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1998 Cabrio will not idle

While my wife was driving the car today it stalled at a light. She got it started and parked it. I drove the car home, it will run if you keep the rpms around 2000 and stall it you let it drop. I thought thei might be the fuel filter and changed it but the car still has the same probelm,

Any ideas ?

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  • bshamm Feb 05, 2009

    I have a 99 Cabrio that recently became hard to start and idles low and unsteady, even when warmed up. It will often stall out before it is warm if you try to drive it and let off the gas between shifts or at stop lights. I did have a code come up that pointed to the MAF(mass air flow sensor), which I replaced. It didn't change anything, and I have not got another code. I just don't want to keep swapping 150 dollar parts on the hopes that I will stumble across it. Any ideas?


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I have fixed my problem with my car idling rough and stalling. I took off the intake manifold and all the intake hoses and vacuum lines. I cleaned everything with carb cleaner. I couldn't believe how dirty it was. Especially the plastic vacuum component that went from the valve cover to the intake hose. It was full of oily foam. I also took apart the electronics that control the throttle at idle. I wouldn't recommend this as it is very expensive if you mess something up. You have to file off two tabs to get it open, and I cleaned the contact points and checked the connections inside.

It has been about a month now and the car has been idling great, in fact it is running better than ever. I also found that the number one spark plug was arcing out through a small crack in the rubber boot. I used electrical tape around all the spark plug caps because the wires were only one year old, and apparently I had torn the rubber during re-installation and wires are 100 dollars.

I would highly recommend cleaning the entire intake track off the car to anyone who has this engine! It did wonders for me. I only wish I had done this before I replaced the MAF which cost 150 dollars and didn't fix anything.

On the down side, I now have a problem with my temp sensor or cooling system. :-( VW, not sure they are worth it sometimes. I guess I've had too many Hondas in the past. And I only have 115,000 on the Cabrio. Good luck everyone.

Posted on Apr 12, 2009

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Try diconnecting the battery for 10 mins and let it reset itself.

Posted on Apr 11, 2009

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