Recently replaced headgasket - Now car is sluggish and gets 25% less MPG- Any Ideas?

Asked by Dec 13, 2008 at 10:19 AM about the 1997 Volkswagen Jetta GL

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Ok, I have a Jetta GL 2.0 (1997) with about 105K miles. Recently the head gasket started to leak so I pulled the head and had it completely rebuilt, then replaced the head gasket and put it all back together. The car cranked up and ran GREAT - but - There is a little bit of a stutter at low rpms when you first take off or shift gears (it is a 5 Speed) and it feels just a little sluggish. It is also getting 25% to 30% less MPG than before. The plugs are new and correctly gapped, the Rotor button is new, Distributor cap is new, Timing is set correctly - and Triple checked. Any one have an idea of what to look for or where to start with trouble shooting?

thanks!
Steve
slucent at hotmail dot com

6 Answers

985

botched job u may be loosing compression is my only thought there... also you could have a bad rewiring job... could be lots of stuff could you be missing something like a O2 sensor or something???

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

did you get the head looked at? its possible it could be cracked or warped

7,505

Start with a compression and/or leak down check on all cylinders to ensure that the combustion chamber is sealing.

70

Start with basics check compression in all four cylinders the proper way to do a comp check is with throtle wide open and pull the ECM fuse so you dont flood your Eng get 4 strokes out of every cylinder (you feel the comp tester pulse 4 times while holding it)

70

it is ok to have 10-15 psi difference anything higher is not good. Also most importantly you may be off a tooth on the camshaft check and make sure that you timing marks are aligned crankshaft and cam are aligned to their respective marks sometimes they move at initial start up I've had it happen. the dead giveawy that camshaft isoff distributor is moved to max adj it doesnt set at same spot prior to job

985

but you would know that right away wouldnt you??? ive seen it too but it was immediately obvious... when we had immediate engine failure that is... lol...

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