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Just got the car out of the shop. Fifteen miles later started up a steep hill and noticed a loss of power, engine started shuddering and check engine light started blinking. It stopped blinking after about a minute before I could pull over, but the light stayed on. I noticed that the shuddering stopped when I was over about 1800 RPM but would come back when I dropped below that.

I got home and started the car a couple times. Both times the check engine light would blink for a minute or two then hold steady. Keeping rpms high enough seemed to cause it to stop blinking faster and kept it from shuddering.

I've noticed a couple times in the last month or two it kind of jerking briefly when the car was trying to keep speed while on cruise control and starting up a hill. It wouldn't do that if not on cruise control so I thought it was a minor issue with the cruise control. Now I'm thinking it was an early indication this was coming.

From looking through other posts here it looks like maybe it is an ignition coil issue, but there was no mention of the problem going away at higher rpms so I'm wondering if it could be something else. I'm trying to figure out if I should try to fix it myself, or get it towed to a shop (have AAA). I'm not one to dive into complicated repairs, but do occasionally do easier ones.

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Find someone with a vagcom in your area and ask them if you can use it to scan your car. Look for engine and tranny codes. If that isn't an option:
Try replacing spark plugs and ignition coils (they're probably due for replacement anyway so it won't be a waste of money). There's a pack shopdap.com that comes with all the coils and spark plugs (just make sure it's for your specific engine). Doesn't really matter if you get iridium or double platinum plugs. They both cost the same.
If that doesn't work, then take it to a shop that actually knows VW and is experienced with these car's. The B6 and B7 vw's are very difficult to work on and determine issues.
Really, you can just look up what common failures exist on the b6 fsi or fsi engines and see what the symptoms are for these failures.
 
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