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I have 1999 glx Passat automatic transmission. put in reverse or drive engine dies. Wondering if it’s something electrical or mechanical with the transmission. Don’t know a whole lot about it hadn’t been setting a while. Don’t know much history on the car 150000 miles on it. Looking for some where to start.
 

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Does the engine die as if it is stopped by a locked trans? If so, either the torque converter is internally seized or the locking system has failed in the locked mode (it usually fails in unlocked mode). I would expect the locking system has failed and it's probably a solenoid in the valve body (just my guess).

If it dies due to a low/rough idle you need to scan for codes and check for vacuum leaks.
 
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