I’m hoping you can help with some troubleshooting steps. Today I was pulling away from a light with my Jetta at normal operating temperature, and the engine stalled in the intersection. It was idling normally at 750ish RPM while I waited to make a left-hand turn, and initially accelerated through the turn with low throttle input, but at about 10 mph the engine stumbled and would not respond to additional throttle input. I watched the tach waver below 500 rpm before the motor totally quit. It wouldn’t restart in Neutral or Park, so I waited for traffic to clear and pushed the Jetta to the roadside to determine what to do. While trying to restart the engine I noted all interior electronics were functioning normally and the starter cranked as usual, but the motor wouldn’t turnover on its own.
About three minutes after the stall, sitting on the side of the road, I cranked the motor again with the intent of recording the behavior on my phone, and this time the motor stumbled to life. It hesitated and ran rough for about 30 seconds and then purred normally, idling and responding to throttle inputs like nothing happened. I drove home (about 3 miles from the stall) with no additional problems.
Here are the facts:
1. Configuration: 2003 Jetta Wagon GL 2.0 (AVH engine code) with Auto transmission
2. 127,000 miles
3. Environment: 65 degrees, overcast, totally dry
4. Engine temp was 190 degrees according to console gauge
5. No codes stored and CEL never illuminated
6. Battery tested at 12.82 volts a few miles after the stall. Alternator is putting out around 13.85 volts, depending on load, so I’m not concerned about the charging system.
7. Interior and running lights were off, radio was on, AC was off.
8. Fuel tank was ¼ full with 10-day old Tier 1 gasoline.
9. The previous owner had reported something similar, but only on the highway, so I replaced the crankshaft position sensor as a precaution. Obviously I misdiagnosed the problem.
10. Air filter is new (Wix).
Any recommended troubleshooting steps or likely culprits?