View Full Version : Car stalls, what's wrong??

03-07-2005, 08:15 PM
Hey guys,

Recently, I've been having problems with my car. I'll go to start it, it starts fine, I'll move the car a few feet or so. When the RPM's drop back down as I push the clutch in for the first time, the car will just turn off. I then try to restart it and I have problems getting it started again. It cranks, but no start. I'll typically have to wait about a minute or 2 before it'll finally turn over again.

The weird thing is that once this 1st stall occurs, the car doesn't do it again until I start it up after it sits for about 30 minutes. Then it's the same routine. It never shuts off more than once at a time.

Any idea what to look for? I think the first thing I should probably do is VAG it, but any ideas about what the problem could be?

03-07-2005, 08:37 PM
what engine?

03-07-2005, 08:45 PM
you might want to try cleaning/replacing your idle control valve. I had a very similar problem and replacing it fixed it up fine for me.

03-07-2005, 09:18 PM
Originally posted by duffman13
you might want to try cleaning/replacing your idle control valve. I had a very similar problem and replacing it fixed it up fine for me.

Thats the first thing I would do as well. My car does the same thing everyonce in awhile mostly in cold temperture. Checked it out and mechanic told me it was the air idle control. If you unplug it, your car wont stall untill you turn it off. HOWEVER you will not be able to start your car with it unplug. ECS tunning has it on there website for about $200. (Cheapest I cound it) Look under engine, then intake. They might not have it, depending on the model of your car.

03-07-2005, 10:31 PM
What the heck is the idle control valve? If it fails or is failing, would it throw a code?

I have a 99.5 1.8tq by the way. It's non-drive by wire.

Also, I have a new front mount that I put in. It didn't ever do this before I had the FMIC, but it didn't start doing it right after I put it in either. I'd say I put on at least a couple thousand after installing the FMIC before the problems started.

Thanks for the input!

03-07-2005, 10:43 PM
i thought it would throw it code, but i didnt turn the CEL untill about a month after the problem started, and then turned off again a week later for some reason. Really dont understand why. A good way to check if it is the idle air controller it tapping it a few times, if the car stalls. FMIC has nuttin to do with it. I had work done on my car before mine started to act up and i thought the mechanic didnt connect everything correctly. that was the only thing that came up when he checked it out. Vaccum leak may be causing it as well, but i think its prolly the air idle controller. If i have time tomorrow i will take a picture of the air idle controler for ya.

03-07-2005, 11:36 PM
A bad IAC won't throw a code, generally. Might try just cleaning it first, sometimes they get gummed up and stick.

I'm having problems w/ my POS now too, probably something to do w/ bragging about not having any problems in all those previous threads... Mine won't start occasionally, well twice now. Both times it happened right after I started it just to move it a few feet and shut it off after only running a few seconds. But then the next day when I go to drive it... It cranks fine for a few revolutions( first time it started then stalled) then it starts cranking real fast like the TB broke or something. But if I just give it gas and pump it a bit it eventually starts to catch and stumbles a bit before it starts running like it never happened... WTF? I'm thinking the power output stage is getting weak or something just cuz they're so problematic, but I'd just be guessing....

03-08-2005, 12:06 AM
Cool, yeah, if you can take a pic of the IAC, I'd really appreciate it. So you're saying that I should start the car and while it's running, tap the IAC and see if the car stalls. Of course, if it does, then that would be the problem, correct?

Thanks for your help. I don't mind so much something going wrong as long as I can fix it relatively easily.

03-08-2005, 01:59 AM
i think you have a big vacuum leak (or leak in the intake piping)
but thats my 2 cents

And if im not mistaken the 1.8t dont have a iac, the throttle body is the iac, you can try clean it and reset throttle adaptation

03-08-2005, 03:13 PM
Where should I check for the vacuum leak? If I have a big leak, wouldn't the car not be making much boost? It still pulls hard.

03-08-2005, 04:59 PM
Try pressure test the intake system, cause you said it only started to happen after you installed the FMIC.

03-08-2005, 09:46 PM
Here are the pictures that I promised, but remember like Kil66 mention, the 1.8t may not have it.


This is the picture of the plug

This is the picture of it unplugged.

good luck!

03-09-2005, 01:58 AM
I'll try see if this is what is causing the problem. I'll go over the whole intake system and check if any hoses are unplugged or leaking.

It happened again today and I noticed that when I tried to start it while it was giving me problems, the voltmeter for the batt. was hanging around 12V or a little less while it was cranking. This might be a sign of a dying batt., yah?

Thanks for the pix lilbeaner... I'll check with the parts dept if there's a idle control valve on the 1.8s.

03-10-2005, 02:33 AM
Happened again today, but in a MUCH worse situation. I was driving when the car just shut off. Everything stayed on except the engine. It just cut out and the turbo timer started counting down. I've never had this happen to me while the car was in motion and I'm thinking it's MUCH more dangerous.

Any idea what the prob can be? I wouldn't think it's the idle control valve if the car was in motion when it shut off.

I checked the vacuum line from the engine to the BPV and it was connected and all intake tubes are connected...I can't figure out what's turning the engine off. [headbang][headbang]

03-10-2005, 05:20 AM
get a vag and see what codes are coming up. There's no use just flying blind and jumping to conclusions. if you can't get a vag, go to autozone and they'll be able to do it with a generic scanner.

03-14-2005, 01:49 AM
Update: Got the batt and alternator tested at Kragen and the tests came up fine. So it looks like the batt and alternator aren't bad.

I notice that the Voltmeter in the car runs a little low sometimes. It was hot on Friday so I had the A/C and the stereo on. It was around 12.5-13V which I think is pretty low. I didn't have any problems with the car shutting off that day (or since come to think of it) but I still think that's odd. Is everyone's that low?

03-14-2005, 03:44 AM
does it idle rough? sometimes

03-14-2005, 12:00 PM
lilegbeaner16, the ICV is an acknowledged problem with 12 valves (ask me how I know... [rolleyes]) but I don't believe the 1.8t's share the part.