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I have a VW Polo Classic, 1.6L.

Just recently it started to be slightly jerky when in idle and whilst driving. There is also a loss of power, a strong fuel smell, and sounding slightly like a VW beetle.

I am thinking it is either:

  1. Spark plugs
  2. Fuel Filter
  3. Fuel Pump

Can anyone lend some advice on how to determine the issue?

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

Other possible sources:

  • Vacuum Leak
  • Other Ignition item (Plug Wires, Distributer, etc.)
  • Really poor fuel
  • Air Filter Blocked
  • Exhaust Blockage

I would start with the spark plugs. Take them out and see if they can give any indication as to the true problem. See this answer for more info (While you have them out, replace them if you need to). Then start checking/replacing easy items like: Looking for disconnected hoses, checking the air filter, etc.

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Thank you @jzd for the answer. I will start with the spark plugs and revert. – lordg May 21 '11 at 9:14

IAC, if it's fuel injected.

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Well, that sounds exactly like what my car had. Everything on your description matched what I was worrying about and at the shop they told me it was a faulty Oxigen sensor. The repair will cost me $300 dollars.

I was very worried because they jerking felt strong and I thought my car was done. haha (First car). Hope this helps.

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Hi I had the same problem with my Polo 1.6 2008 model the HT leads come with a metal surround that arc's against the cylinder head remove the metal surround and it resolved me problem

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