Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Car sputters and shakes below 1500 rpms especially

asked by on

I have had this car for about a year, at first I would notice an occasional sputter when I was at low Rpms it's been getting slowly worse. I ran 4 tanks through it over the last month with injector cleaner. I also took the EGR off and it is pretty clean, not clogged in the least. The problem worsened within the last day or two to where it sputters and shakes pretty bad at idle and even some when I'm running higher Rpms. There also is no rhythm or pattern. It will randomly sputter a lot for 10-15 seconds then be good for a minute then sputter a bunch for 30 seconds. I'm not sure the last time the timing belt was changed but I don't know if that would make these symptoms or maybe just dirty Injectors that need to be manually cleaned or replaced? I'm really not sure what's wrong with it. Also there are no engine lights or codes on

My car has 163000 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

A: There is a common problem with this specifi...

There is a common problem with this specific year and engine of VW TDI's. The camshaft material is not hardened enough, which leads to abnormal wear of the lobes and damage to the lifters. The fuel injectors are also controlled by the camshaft, so it affects the opening of the injectors as well. A worn camshaft will not always set a check engine light, so based on the symptoms you described, I think it's very likely that this is your problem. A qualified technician, such as one from YourMechanic, should inspect your camshaft to diagnose the rough running issue.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Car cranks, but doesn't start

Hello. A no start problem can be caused by a number of things. If it makes a noise like it wants to turn over, but doesn't, then the starter may be bad or it can be a failure in the...

Q: Car air conditioning blows cool but not cold air

Air conditioning is a complex and delicate system. The only way to properly diagnose a system is with a lot of specialized equipment. There are too many variables to guess. A short list for a under-performing system are: a weak...

Q: Rough idle when engine is hot after 10 minutes of sitting

Based on the information you provided, It sounds like you may have sticking or leaking fuel injector. I suggest having the car looked at by a certified technician, like one from YourMechanic, who can diagnose your rough running symptoms and...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...