Q: While driving down the highway, car jerked, and stalled out.

asked by on August 15, 2017

I was driving down the highway when the car jerked hard, it continued for another 30 seconds before jerking again, and stalling out. I coasted to the side of the highway. When i got out, ignition off, the radiator fans were still running. I couldn't start the car at this time, as it wouldn't turn over. Probably running for 5 minutes before shutting off. Once they turned off, i was able to start the car again and get to the next service center. The oil was extremely low when I checked so I added a small amount and checked again. This time it was completely full. I tried to drive again, and the same issue happened, hard jerk and it stalled out. Fans ran for 5 minutes, and i got it to a parking lot where i could get it towed. The dealership said that they reproduced the issue, but couldn't find any error codes. I haven't had them do any work yet, as they quoted me at $250 just to find the issue. As an additional note, it was an extremely hot day when this started, close to 100 degrees.

My car has 147000 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

Hi Corey. The type of problem you are describing above is one of the more difficult ones to diagnose. It typically requires a mechanic to test drive the vehicle and replicate the symptoms (which apparently the dealership has done). The trouble I find is they appear to be dependent on error codes to illuminate to give them the diagnosis. In most cases, when a car physically moves while driving, it’s due to a mechanical component failure - typically in the steering or suspension system. This could range from CV joints, struts, ball joints and more. The problem with those components being the source is that they typically don’t cause the vehicle to stall. Some common reasons why the engine would stall or the car would jerk forward would include a fuel pump that is shorting out, a failing mass air flow sensor or even a vacuum leak. I’m not sure what repair advice we can offer - as the same thing we’d have to do first is complete a car jerks forward inspection before recommending any repairs. If you’d like to have a second set of eyes check out your VW, we’d be happy to assist.

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