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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,

About 3 months ago I bought a 99 VW Passat GLS with about 95,000 miles for $1900. A week or two after I bought it the check engine light came on. I got it checked out and told it was an Evap leak. This mechanic's smoke machine wasn't working but he told me driving the car with the evap leak wasn't very likely to cause damage to the vehicle.

Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago and I'm driving home from work when the check engine light goes from solid to flashing and the car is shaking a good bit. I happened to be close to a different mechanic so I pulled in and left the car with them overnight. They ended up replacing the spark plugs and coils and doing a fuel induction service. They said that the Evap leak contributed to the issue with the spark plugs/coils and that if I didn't fix the evap issue I would likely have to get the spark plugs and coils replaced again within 5-12 months. Since the car is a beater, I figured I would drive it for a couple weeks before getting the evap leak fixed just in case the engine or tranny went out and made the whole thing a moot point.

Then today I was driving back from lunch and I could feel the car shaking again and the check engine light started flashing. I drove it back to work and the light stopped flashing and the car stopped shaking. Seems to be driving normal now.

What do you guys think is going on here? Do you guys think its relatively safe to drive the car home today, or should I get it to a shop ASAP? Also, do you guys think it's probably best for me to just try and offload this car instead of putting more money into it? I know it's hard to say without looking at the car, but just looking for some opinions on what you guys would do in my scenario. I'm hesitant to put any more money than I already have into the thing....

Thanks to all who respond, highly appreciate it!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Oh also, I was told the drive belt tensioner needs replacing also. Not sure if that is a factor as well... Sorry I'm not super mechanically inclined.
 

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Quick Update: I took it to a mechanic near my work. He told me cylinder 1 is misfiring. I guess I jsut need to take it to the place that replaced my spark plug and coils and have them fix it under warranty?
 

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It would be helpful to you if all the engine fault codes were known. Some auto parts stores will do the scan, so I'm told, or for free at places such as Aamco transmissions.

Forget the belt tensioner for now, but as one example of what could be the issue: the '99 GLS has a fault-prone ignition device on the air filter box, which are known to occasionally fail. But you really should get the codes to home-in on the problem. I expect that it will come down to an electrical device or wiring connection.
 

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It would be helpful to you if all the engine fault codes were known. Some auto parts stores will do the scan, so I'm told, or for free at places such as Aamco transmissions.

Forget the belt tensioner for now, but as one example of what could be the issue: the '99 GLS has a fault-prone ignition device on the air filter box, which are known to occasionally fail. But you really should get the codes to home-in on the problem. I expect that it will come down to an electrical device or wiring connection.
Yep, that would be the ICM (Ignition Control Module) on top of the airbox. The majority of the failures happened on cylinder #2 though.

Where are you located? Maybe a local member can assist or offer some advice?

in RE: about offloading and not spending any more money on it.....you will do that with any beater, really. On just about any car that old, you will rarely find one that does NOT require repairs shortly after it is purchased unless the seller has an extensive listed of recently replaced items.
 
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