Q: Engine occasionaly and momentarily completely loses power, especially at freeway speeds.

asked by on

Engine completely loses power for a few seconds, usually at sustained high RPMs. Power loss, and occasional periods of low power and difficulty starting increase over time. Mechanic has replaced ignition coils 3 times in the last 5 years which fixes the problem - for a year or so. My question is, what is causing such a high failure rate? There must be an underlying problem that is creating this unacceptable, dangerous, and repeated failure. Thanks for your time!

My car has 70000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hello and thank you for your question. The ignition system on your Volkswagen 2001 is simple and complex at the same time. If you are having to keep replacing ignition coils every couple of years, there may be a problem with the ignition trigger.

Your computer in the vehicle picks up signal from the crankshaft sensor and camshaft sensor to signal a timing of when the trigger is to happen. When driving the vehicle at high RPM’s (meaning more than 4,000 RPM’s) then the camshaft and crankshaft sensors are probability not sending the proper signal to the computer. The computer sees this and cuts out the ignition until the signal is obtained.

I recommend replacing the camshaft and crankshaft sensors and retest the vehicle. If this does not fix the vehicle, then you may need to replace the computer in the vehicle. I recommend having a professional, like one from YourMechanic, help you diagnose your loss of power and make the necessary repairs to the vehicle.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1,000 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

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Engine occasionaly and momentarily completely loses power, especially at freeway speeds.

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Bought cheap crank shaft sensor, now a code is coming on.

Hi - regarding the crankshaft sensor - if the new one (cheap or otherwise) is not causing any misfire, it is just fine for now anyway. What code is "still coming up"? That is fairly important in the diagnostic process....

Q: Starting issue, fuel smell

A few things can cause rough starting like you have described. The usual culprits are issues with the battery, starter, fuel pump, fuel filter, or the ignition switch. I'd recommend enlisting a qualified technician to help you check these components....

Q: I have a vw and the rpm jumps up and down as if I'm pressing the gas padel

If the engine is not idling correct then you most likely have codes stored in the computer for the problem and would need to have the systems scanned to get the codes. You may have a problem with the throttle...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...