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    Thread: Car randomly dies while driving on freeway

    1. Junior Member
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      2003 20th AE GTI, 2013 Passat TDI SEL
      07-26-2010 05:31 PM #1
      Within the past six months or so, I've had a problem that has randomly occurred twice that I have not been able to find an explanation for. I have an 03 GTI 20th with 115k mi.

      While cruising on the freeway (approx 70 mph), the car suddenly dies. The gas pedal suddenly does not work, the rpms fall down to zero, engine shuts off, red battery indicator light on instrument cluster turns on, power assisted steering doesnt work anymore, but all the electronics seem to work (radio, dashboard lights, etc are still lit up). After slowly pulling over to the side of the freeway, I am able to turn the ignition key to the off position and then start the car with no problems. So WEIRD!!

      Reading the forums, some people suggest fuel pump or MAF sensor but no definitive solution.

      A few months back, I took it to a shop to diagnose this issue with no results. They "inspected the electrical system" (which probably means they just checked to see if any CEL codes were thrown) and concluded everything was fine. I also took it to a dealer a few weeks back and they did a free "26 point" inspection and found nothing wrong with the car too.

      Anybody have any insight into what this might be?

    2. Member lilman1's Avatar
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      07-26-2010 05:41 PM #2
      whats done to the car?
      money can't buy you happiness but its a good downpayment

    3. Junior Member
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      07-26-2010 05:49 PM #3
      Car's completely stock.

    4. 07-27-2010 10:13 AM #4
      I know this!!! Its %100 your crank angle speed sensor is bad!!! It happened to me ages ago.. The sensor sits in the lower right block just below the oil filter housing.. Thank me later...

      Here's what it looks like...
      http://www.mjmautohaus.com/catalog/p...oducts_id=1367
      01' BT Jetta
      Disco Potato Club

    5. Member
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      07-27-2010 09:08 PM #5
      Quote Originally Posted by nivlag View Post
      Within the past six months or so, I've had a problem that has randomly occurred twice that I have not been able to find an explanation for. I have an 03 GTI 20th with 115k mi.

      While cruising on the freeway (approx 70 mph), the car suddenly dies. The gas pedal suddenly does not work, the rpms fall down to zero, engine shuts off, red battery indicator light on instrument cluster turns on, power assisted steering doesnt work anymore, but all the electronics seem to work (radio, dashboard lights, etc are still lit up). After slowly pulling over to the side of the freeway, I am able to turn the ignition key to the off position and then start the car with no problems. So WEIRD!!

      Reading the forums, some people suggest fuel pump or MAF sensor but no definitive solution.

      A few months back, I took it to a shop to diagnose this issue with no results. They "inspected the electrical system" (which probably means they just checked to see if any CEL codes were thrown) and concluded everything was fine. I also took it to a dealer a few weeks back and they did a free "26 point" inspection and found nothing wrong with the car too.

      Anybody have any insight into what this might be?
      dude this just happened to me on sunday.

      was cruising like at 60 and just shut off just like urs with battery light lite up, pulled over and didnt want to start the first time but the second time it turned on like nothing. extremely weird.
      SOFAKINGEURO

    6. Member DowNnOuTDubin's Avatar
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      07-27-2010 09:25 PM #6
      I've had the same thing happen to me. The first time I thought I ran out of gas and was able to coast to a gas station! It went away over time

    7. Junior Member
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      07-28-2010 02:47 PM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by EF9Si View Post
      I know this!!! Its %100 your crank angle speed sensor is bad!!! It happened to me ages ago.. The sensor sits in the lower right block just below the oil filter housing.. Thank me later...

      Here's what it looks like...
      http://www.mjmautohaus.com/catalog/p...oducts_id=1367
      thanks for the tip. can anybody else confirm that this problem is a failure of the crank angle speed sensor?

    8. Member
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      07-29-2010 02:10 PM #8
      Yeah man. This just happen to me Last week. I was Driving...battery light came on...after a 2 miles or so...lights started dimming then eventually went out so i pulled over and had to get it towed. It was My Speed Sensor and i also had a issue with the immobilzer

    9. Member jar_bond's Avatar
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      08-03-2010 02:20 AM #9
      this happned to me a couple months ago, and it turend out to be my fuel pump going bad.

    10. Junior Member
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      08-03-2010 02:47 AM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by jar_bond View Post
      this happned to me a couple months ago, and it turend out to be my fuel pump going bad.
      yeah...i've been suspecting the fuel pump too. i've been hearing abnormal/inconsistent sounds coming from under my rear seat (where the fuel pump is located) and figured i'd just order a new one. the symptoms seem to indicate a failing fuel pump. i'll let you guys know the results.

    11. Member Ryan E.'s Avatar
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      12-11-2010 10:37 PM #11
      Did you ever figure it out?
      Quote Originally Posted by nivlag View Post
      yeah...i've been suspecting the fuel pump too. i've been hearing abnormal/inconsistent sounds coming from under my rear seat (where the fuel pump is located) and figured i'd just order a new one. the symptoms seem to indicate a failing fuel pump. i'll let you guys know the results.
      Rigi Cola.


      "The VR6 was an orchestra of well-tuned cylindrical delights." - jalopnik.com

    12. Junior Member
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      12-11-2010 10:43 PM #12
      It ended up being the fuel pump for me. Replaced it months ago. Weird noises from underneath the backseat disappeared. Random car dying stopped. Everything seems to be running great now. I hope it's the same fix for your situaton.

    13. Member Ryan E.'s Avatar
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      05-11-2011 03:05 PM #13
      I finally changed the engine speed sensor but am still having issues. There was no communication coming from the sensor, but now my fuel pump sounds like it's making a sound. The car still will die on the freeway, holding the gas down for about 5 seconds makes the car go again. Gonna try and find out how to test the fuel pump with VCDS.

      Quote Originally Posted by nivlag View Post
      It ended up being the fuel pump for me. Replaced it months ago. Weird noises from underneath the backseat disappeared. Random car dying stopped. Everything seems to be running great now. I hope it's the same fix for your situaton.
      Rigi Cola.


      "The VR6 was an orchestra of well-tuned cylindrical delights." - jalopnik.com

    14. Junior Member
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      05-11-2011 03:12 PM #14
      from what i remember, testing a fuel pump required doing a fuel pressure test with a gauge that you connect to the fuel line (not a ODBC/VAG test). i didnt have the proper tools to perform one and figured instead of paying a shop to diagnose/perform the test, it would be cheaper to just replace the fuel pump. fuel pump cost me $160 at MJM Autohaus. There are probably cheaper options, but i wanted OEM.

      Quote Originally Posted by Ryan E. View Post
      I finally changed the engine speed sensor but am still having issues. There was no communication coming from the sensor, but now my fuel pump sounds like it's making a sound. The car still will die on the freeway, holding the gas down for about 5 seconds makes the car go again. Gonna try and find out how to test the fuel pump with VCDS.

    15. Member Brimjolt's Avatar
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      05-11-2011 05:23 PM #15
      had that happen to my mk3 Jetta. Def the crank sensor.
      Quote Originally Posted by Zhine
      Power sliding is not worth it, I realized I was addicted and have taken up a much healthier safer hobby called high school girls

    16. Member SuckerPunch's Avatar
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      05-11-2011 06:08 PM #16
      Quote Originally Posted by Brimjolt View Post
      had that happen to my mk3 Jetta. Def the crank sensor.
      read the thread next time

    17. Member redsoxreturns's Avatar
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      05-11-2011 11:28 PM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by SuckerPunch View Post
      read the thread next time


      I think if it were me, I'd check all my grounds before throwing a pump at it. I seriously doubt a shops "electrical check" would cover that, and I know a XX point inspection won't either.

      just a thought.
      Big Bopper to March Hare..We're still in the game okay? Understand this, that scag, and his floozy....They're gonna die!

    18. Junior Member
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      08-09-2013 11:51 AM #18
      I had my oil changed then shortly after my check engine light came on and the code was lean reading in bank one. I messed around with my maf and got the code before and used some maf cleaner and got rid of it. But now the car dies and the dash lights don't come on or anything turn the key nothing so what could cause that. I have fully power and acceleration when the car is running. Plz help with suggestion and by the way I think the car still has original fuel filter and the car has 85k

    19. Junior Member
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      08-09-2013 12:21 PM #19
      Sounds like a different problem than the original post based on the symptoms you are describing. I know this sounds ridiculous, but have you checked your battery terminals for corrosion? I've seen similar problems that make you scratch your head where power seems to get cut off unexpectedly caused simply by a bad connection to the battery.

      Quote Originally Posted by Zimm the Mkv racer View Post
      I had my oil changed then shortly after my check engine light came on and the code was lean reading in bank one. I messed around with my maf and got the code before and used some maf cleaner and got rid of it. But now the car dies and the dash lights don't come on or anything turn the key nothing so what could cause that. I have fully power and acceleration when the car is running. Plz help with suggestion and by the way I think the car still has original fuel filter and the car has 85k

    20. Junior Member
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      08-09-2013 02:29 PM #20
      I did have some corrosion and I cleaned it off which reset the car. The thing is I have all the normal power and accerlation that I usually have it will just shut off and there is nothing on the dash it goes black and the doors unlock I don't know what is going on. I have a short ram air intake and they sprayed something in the filter and then the check engine light came on

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