Volkswagen Passat Forum banner

HELP! Power surge!

1212 Views 7 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  MasTRE
Well, something had to come along sooner or later. So here's my first engine problem, at 32k. I got the car used at 16k, a 2000 1.8t Wagon.

Description of problem: A few days ago I thought I had noticed some hesitation under moderate to heavy acceleration, usually above 3000 RPM. I don't usually drive hard all the time, so I just ignored it for a few days. Today I decided to test it. I drove the car normal until it was at proper operation temperature, then in 2nd gear at around 2800 RPM I hit it hard. Didn't floor it, but maybe 3/4th of the way. I got power (and heard the turbo) for half a second, then surge for another half second, then power, then surge. I heard the dreaded BEEEEEEEEP and CEL came on. I layed off and was looking for a place to pull over to stop the engine, but after maybe 10 seconds of normal driving CEL went off.

So.. What am I dealing with here? Is it a valve, N75, or what? Something I can fix myself? The car was purchased in NY but I recently moved to South Florida where it's very hot already, and car sits outside all day long. I'm pretty sure the heat damaged a valve or hose or something, even the driver's window is making some noise which it wasn't yesterday. I use M1 0W40 which I change myself at 4 to 5k mile intervals, there are no leaks of any sort and I haven't had any engine problems whatsoever for the 16k miles I've owned the car (which went on the car in 7 months).

Also, I have an aftermarket HU and the last time I was at a dealer in NY (for a recall) they couldn't read the codes from the VAG interface. I'm concerned that if the worst-case scenario plays out and I have to take it to my local stealer, they won't be able to read it - do I have to disconnect my HU?

What the heck, let me try my luck: can anyone recommend a good mechanic in the West Palm Beach area? I'm actually in Boynton Beach, so anywhere in between Boca and West Palm would work. Heck, I'll drive to Ft. Lauderdale if I need to, it's only 25 miles.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this is not something major. I would love to fix it myself, but I could only do simple stuff like replace a hose or a valve (if relatively easily accessible).
See less See more
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Have you changed the spark plugs yet or are they still the origionals?
Hmm, never thought of that - they are the originals. Think that could be it? I thought VW reccomended that at 40k miles. I can definitely try that myself, unless it's a chore to do on the 1.8t.
OK, so I've been doing a bit of research. The CEL I got was a blinking CEL. A few more notes:

- Engine always cranks right up, cold/warm engine
- Idle is super smooth, never had any idling problems (still don't)
- The problem has appeared during the past week

I'm gonna get NGK PFR6Q plugs tomorrow. Any writeup on how to do it other than this? There isn't one in the Information Forum. I hope it's not the coil packs too, or the ICM. Damn :(
As far as I know a blinking CEL is an emissions problem but I'm not sure exactly what it could be caused by. I got a red MIL CEL and I had a broken vac line.

But I agree with 1ReclusiveOrc that you shoudl definitely try replacing your sparkplugs and see if that helps.
you might want to take a look at your "connoectors" since you're going to be changing your spark plugs, the "connectors are the peice between your ignition coil and spark plugs(they serve the same purpose as spark plug wires), make sure ther are clean: no rust oil, dirt etc..., if so that might be part of your ploblem, they cost about $22each @ the dealer,good luck.... :eek:
FIXED! Whew..

good news guys! I replaced the plugs with NGK PFR6Q and my baby is no longer ill :) the old plugs were worn pretty bad, you could no longer see the electrodes on the bottom part. is this normal for a car with only 32k miles? I have pix if anybody is interested (maybe to diagnose).

anyhow, here's something interesting. I picked up an el-cheapo Haynes service manual just to have around. I looked at the spark plug section and THEY recommend you change plugs every 30k miles OR 24 months, whichever comes first. now, VW says to change them at 40k miles, and I don't know if there is a time clause. judging by my old plugs, I'm definitely gonna replace them at 30k! heck, they're not THAT expensive and now that I got the tools it'll just cost me ~$50 for the plugs + half hour labor. no biggie every 30k or 2 years. I'll change them again at 60k for good measure.

Alfredo - the coil packs looked healthy. lucky I have an ATW which has no ICM (one less thing to break!).
See less See more
here's a pic of the old plugs. again, these were the original Bosch plugs after 4+ years (2000) but only 32k miles. note how the electrode tip is not visible on any of them.
See less See more
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.