Engine Stops Wen on the Road?


Asked by Mar 02, 2010 at 06:31 PM about the 1982 Volkswagen Vanagon

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a 1982 VW Vanagon which runs great most of the time. Lately when I'm driving down the road the engine just stops, no warning it just quits running. I've checked the spark and fuel while it idles and everything works, I replaced the filter and relay but nothing has helped, I've been towed 3 times now. I've checked for loose wires but everything seems to be tight, most people I talk to think it's the fuel pump, but an after market pump $180 here where I live and I can't afford to replace it and find out that's not the problem. Any help would be greatly appreciated, this is my only means of transportation and I need to get it fixed. I was going to take it to PEP Boys they wanted $89.00 and the VW Dealer wants $130.00 per hour both out of my reach.

P. S. The engine is 1.9 liter, gas fuel injection, external fuel pump and filter.

11 Answers


Mine did the same thing. You should try cleaning all of the grounds. There is one that connects the trans to the body, one under the ignition coil, and one one the top left of the engine. You sandpaper and polish them all up. Clean the wire on the starter. Big red one. It powers everything in the engine compartment. start there.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

Thanks Ryan, I'll give t a try. Already replaced the Fuel Pump, Filter and Relay and it ran great for about a month then started stopping again, now it won't start at all, the engine turns over with no problem, but won't start? P. S.I have the same engine as you do.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

I just had to re-solder the ecu. That could also cause it considering mine did the exact same thing. Get someone to help and try cranking it over and hitting the ecu with your hand. This can also be done with just the key on. Try hitting it and the fuel pump might turn on for a second. Thats what mine did.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

Well here I am, still trying to get my car fixed. After a month of trying to figure it out I gave in and took it to Pep Boys and paid the $89.95 diagnostic fee. After having my car for a week they said that it was the "Air Flow Meter" and the part was $316.25 and $50.00 to install it, so I went ahead and had it done, picked it up on a Saturday and it ran fine all day. The on Sunday it started right up and ran fine, I made a couple of stops and then it had trouble starting, but once started it ran fine (Same as when I took it in), then on the way home the engine stopped! After about 15 minutes of trying to start it (and running the battery down) it started and got me home. Now for the good part, Monday I took a chance and drove it back to Pep Boys and made it into the driveway when it stopped, blocking their driveway, I went in and told the service writer that after paying them $473 it was doing the same thing!!! Now another week has gone by and I called today and was told that it's the ECU but their having a problem locating one. I was told that the mechanic who is working on it will call me back today when he gets in. I have this gut feeling that I'm going to end up having to take them to small claims court after all is said and done, hope I'm wrong. And the saga continues...

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

ECU is expensive. www.vanagain.com has em. If its just the solder joints (most likely) send it to me and I will fix it. $50. Plus shipping.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

My 1982 vanagon is doing the same thing! Did you figure it out?

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

I had a problem like this as well.. not exactly how you mentioned but i certainly did one i took my 87 vanagon for a short roadtrip literally.My problem was that my vanagaon was suddenly stoping its engine and the only way to start the engine again was to get a push on 2nd gear to bring it back to life.I realized that the problem was that if i realeased the throttle,the revs start to obviously go down but instrad of kweeping them at ist minimum low revs,the engine was actually suddenly stoping.There I realized that the rpoblem was quite simple,it was due to an electrical issue,the one that turned out to be that my battery wasnt working anymore so my alternator wasnt holding any charge at all.So there you go,either it is your alternator or your battery but due to the nature of what youve just said,i guess i would diagnose it it definitelly your alternator.I hhope it helps and if it wasnt really it,please let me know what was it then!! Good luck!!

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

I had a similar issue. It turned out to be that the green wire that connects to the O2 sensor is shielded. Unfortunately the shielding and the signal wire were making contact occasional and this was causing the ECU to freak out from the bad data it was getting from the sensor. It started working again when I redid the end of that wire.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

It's now 2014. My '83 Vanagon A/T aircooled stalls when fully warmed up and coming to a stop or putting into reverse. If I get juice to it quick enough I might stop it from stalling. I've replaced coil, fuel pressure regulator, starter, fuel pump, some vacuum and fuel lines. My mechanic is stumped. Seems similar to lugging the engine with a manual tranny (not giving it enough gas when letting out the clutch). I've also redid 3 ground connections in the engine compartment.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

I have entry above. I bought a fuel pump relay which is above engine on driver side, attached to the sheet metal barrier at front of engine. I feel it has helped somewhat, but still it is stalling once warm, but a little less than before. I will change fuel filter once more even though it's got to be less than a 1,000 miles since I changed it last. I've been adding fuel cleaners and hope that maybe it's broken some sludge loose in the fuel tank and is plugging the filter.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

I have a 82 Wanagon, and my problem is that after driving for a couple of hours in a steady speed, the car starts failing, it never stops, but it feels like the engine will stop working. Any sugestions?

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.

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