1998 Volkswagen Cabrio won't start

Asked by Apr 01, 2016 at 11:20 PM about the 1998 Volkswagen Cabrio 2 Dr GL Convertible

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a 1998 Volkswagen Cabrio that won't start now. It
was having issues starting if it would rain or was damp
outside or would stall out in the car wash. If I let it sit to
dry out it would start again. Sometimes when I would shift
it would almost stall out at lower RPMs. Also, when
driving in the rain hit a puddle but would restart eventually.
It did the same thing as far as almost stalling out the other
day at when I would shift got it home and now won't
restart?? Replaced the distributor cap. Can you please
please help me. I am a single Mom and don't have money
for this. Thank you so much!

5 Answers

Tried to jump start it and won't jump. The alarm started to go off when that happened.


Usually if stalls when moisture wets wires or other things & starts arcing. You probably need to have someone look at wires see they see or hear arcing and if so replace. Could also be bad distributor cap & rotor, also replace. In fact have you ever done a simple up?


that is an old VW- it could be many things- you will have to have a mechanic look at it- with the wet thing, it might be the fuel injection- it could be the air flow sensor on that bosch L injection- sometimes the little plastic cap comes loose- but that is not necessary to have the little potentiometer get messed up- just a guess, so all these little "shoulds" and "coulds" will need to be washed away with a wave of the magic wrench- sorry you have only little money- since that is the case, you "should" think about getting a more reliable vehicle-


the ford guy showed up to tell us his ford is better hehe. Ussaly when water becomes an issue it ussaly means water is finding its way some where its not supposed to be. the fact the car starts aftera little bit of drying out would make me think the spark plug wires were getting wet. I had the same issue with my 98 gmc safari. No matter what you did during damp weather they Always sparked off every thing. any ways have the wiring harnesses checked for signs of cracks or split wires. also check the ecu for moisture. Its possible water has found its way into a broken seal. a good way to track down the trouble area is a water spray bottle and get the car running and jsut start wetting places down till it starts to have the troubles you are describing and then have a close look to see what is either broken worn out or exposed.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

I have a 2002 vw cabrio also. It was doing perfect until one rainy night last week when I hit a puddle and it stalled....ever since that night, it wants to stall anytime I hit water when its raining. Now it studders anytime I try to accelerate past 40 mph....is the best thing to do is check spark plugs and distributor cap?

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

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