Question about 2003 Volkswagen Jetta TDI

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Starts but does not keep running

1.9 TDI engine quits after starting for a few RPM's

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Sounds like the immobilizer. Does the key light in the dash stay on when you turn it over?

Immobilizer is the code that the key has (it's actually a radio frequency identification or RFID chip). If the key code doesn't match the car code, the car will turn over but won't stay running.

If this is the problem, you'll need to take the car to a dealer to get the key recoded.

Posted on Sep 29, 2009

Testimonial: "Thanks, tried another key. Works perfectly. Awesome responce time on the solution. Thanks again."

  • San Juan Vet Sep 29, 2009

    Now you just have to scream at the service manager to get him to recode it without charging you $150! There is a software you can buy called that will let you recode yourself. If you ever intend to do a timing belt on your own, you can buy it now and save a bit later. Website is



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When it stalls out, remove both fuel filters and drain them into a measuring can. Take measuring can and see if contents fill even 1 filter. Then you will know if the filters are running dry and the engine is fuel starved.
It kinda sounds like you are losing fuel draw. As RPM climbs, the draw can not keep up above idle. Could be that fuel pump is playing out.
Other consideration is that problems are in high gear where RPM drops after advancing through gear range. Could be that there is a problem with the Crankshaft counter failing to Cue enough fuel for a load at Low RPM.
Think that experimenting with Downshifting or disengaging Overdrive when engine bogs, may provide clue.
Also check if engine has EGR, some only work in top gear, and as Diesels have Vacuum pumps, a failure could create stalling if EGR leaks.

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