I just bought a 2001 VR6 manual 5 speed. For about the first month, it ran perfectly, but just last week, any time I shift into 3rd, the entire car shuts off for a split second and then comes back on. It will lose all power, radio, dashboard, even the power steering goes. It only lasts a second at most and then comes right back on, and it's not completely consistent either. Once or twice when I shifted to third it worked fine, another time only the battery light came on but nothing lost power. One thing that is consistent is that it is always when I shift into third, never any other gear, and never when I shift out of it.

Aside from that there are only two other strange things that have happened, but I don't know if they are related or not. After it started losing power like that, the latch for my trunk stopped working. It started working again soon after though. The other thing is that sometimes the power windows won't go in the right direction, you'll hit the down button and they'll go up or vice versa.

It has 192,000 miles and a lot of new parts, I'm guessing it is something electrical? I'm really lost. Thanks for any help you can give.

1 Answer 1


This is a wild guess. But I saw a 2002 TDI Jetta which had intermittent start issues, and wasn't always charging correctly. After investigation, I found that the battery - to bell housing nut was very loose. If you had something similar, which responded to motion of a shift to third, it could create similar symptoms.

Also, I would check your grounding under the battery where all the grounds tie into a bolt. I would check the ECU grounding as well. Look around for electrical cables which might be rubbing against things.

I have to say that your symptoms are new to me, but I would start looking for intermittent cables and grounding. And for any electrical rework.

Out of curiosity, does the problem happen when not in motion, but shifting through the gears, without actually engaging the clutch? Then does it happen if stationary, and you start to engage the clutch?

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