Question about 1997 Volkswagen Jetta

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1997 vw jetta stalling when raining

I have a 1997 jetta 2.0 automatic. I have a problem with it stalling when it is raining, when you start it it is fine but as soon as you shift into drive it wants to stall. If it will run it wants to stall every time you slow down or come to a stop. The rpms actually surge up a few times then it stalls. When it stalls it doesnt always start up right away sometimes it takes a long time before it will start. Originally we thought it was a fuel problem so we changed the fuel pump and filter. That didnt work so we changed plugs,wires,cap, and rotor.we assume it is an electrical problem but unsure what else it could be.It does have an anti freeze leak and ive heard of the the problem with anti freeze shorting out some wires, but why only when its raining. I dont know where to go next.

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  • vw jetta Jan 26, 2009

    same as freddies runs fine anyweather runs odd then dies when i slow down or stop wait 15 min. then starts up runs fine

  • buddy_ca Feb 19, 2009

    My 1997 GLX (VR6) hesitates and misfires in wet weather. There is a slow coolant leak around the hose leading down on the driver's side. Usually it goes away after running/warming up but not this time. There was snow in the engine compartment and there was a spark (arcing) on the outside of the plug wire on the end connected to the plug. I disconnected the wire and hand-dried it. After reconnecting it all six cylinders were running but there was still an arc on the outside of the plug wire. The wires/plugs were replaced about 18 months ago. When hesitating it's like the exhaust system is plugged and after stalling will not restart without a lot of effort and patience.

    Is my problem with a coolant leak, wire/plug problem or general issue with humidity?


  • RanMahan May 07, 2009

    My vehicle is a 1997 Jetta GT. I have replaced the plugs, wires, distributor cap and it still stalls out when it rains or is humid outside. Once it stalls, usually at a busy intersection, it won't start again for a very long time. I even burned out a starter trying to get it going. I am going to replace the ignition coil and post what happens. 

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The problem in the Jetta could very well be with the ignition coil. I had the same problem for a long time and tried the usual replacing plugs, wires, etc, but nothing seemed to work.

It ended up being the ignition coil which over time, managed to sustain very small cracks. Even a small amount of moisture would cause all sorts of problems.

I replaced the ignition coil and had no problems after that.

Posted on Feb 23, 2009

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I also have a 1997 Jetta that had the same stalling in the rain problem that I see everyone here has...BUT...I KNOW THE SOLUTION!!!! The coil in the firewall of your car (right below the windshield and the cars drains that drain our the water when it rains) is getting wet and causing the car to stall. My brother replaced this part on my Jetta and I never had another problem with the rain since. I have tried everything under the sun to resolve this issue and finally I found the true problem...THANK GOD!!

Posted on Jan 26, 2011

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Had the same problem. check the ignition coil, with engine running spray a little water on it, the car should stall, if so replaced coil.

Posted on Mar 05, 2009

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Revived had the answer. Initially the wires were suspect for this problem but I inspected the coil and noticed cracks in it around where the plug was arcing. As a temporary fix I sealed the cracks with silicone and the problems have vanished.

I'll eventually need a new ignition coil but it works in the meantime. I now realize why there was trouble anytime humidity was high.

Thanks for the input "Revived". :)

Posted on Feb 25, 2009

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I was having a similar problem with a 2001 Volks Cabrio. After a thick (spring) snowfall, the car would run for 15 mins, then stall. Could be restarted but it would stall again not long afterwards. Recently, the same thing would happen in heavy rain & humidity type conditions, so the problem was getting worst. I started the car on a dry & warm morning, let it warm up for 10 mins and then sprayed the ignition coil with a water bottle; car stalled right away. Simple solution; change ignition coil.
Ignition coil is located in the engine bay, at the top & center of the firewall (below the water drain for the windshield) . Square 3" inch, black plastic box, with 1 wire leading to the distributor cap and an electrical/socket connection. Let the car warm-up for 10 mins, then spray the ignition coil with water, the car may begin to hesitate and idle rough or seem to skip a beat, then it will simply stall. Means its time for a new ignition coil.

Posted on Jun 29, 2013

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Is ur check engine light on?
Where is the coolant leak from?
Also verify the big rubber hose from the air filter to the intake manifold. Check to see it ain't cracked or punctured, if so replace asap.

In the air box filter cover there is a sensor called MASS AIR FLOW, that may be defective as well, but don't replace it yet, get back to me first.
Hope this helps.

Posted on Sep 09, 2008

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Start the car, raise the hood and spray some water on the ignition coil, if it stalls, you need a new one. Spray the wires too, you will know when you find a bad wire or coil, you can hear it sparking and if it's dark enough you can see the sparks.
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pop off the distributer cap and dry it out well. Put it back on and it should work. This happened to my 97 jetta too...also if I go through large puddles at a quick speed this may happen too. There isn't good electrical contact with the moisture.

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