Vw Gti 98

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Okay don't know exactly where to begin. I have a 98 VW Gti. Its automatic, I dont actually know my transimission size or as you will quickly learn anything about cars. I however have what seems to be a big problem and no money and the desire to not go to the mechanic and get raped up the ass because he'll quickly realize that he can tell me anything and I really won't know what he's saying. OKay. Recently my car has had work on it. In december it got fixed because (as i recall) the spark plug wires were completely shot and something with the router was not working. This happened after a big rainstorm. My car freqently "acts up" after it rains particularly hard (I park on the street) After that my car was running fine except there was this clunking sound coming from the back like something was loose that also got taken care of in December just slightly later than the previous incident. That was a muffler problem. So thats all the recent work that has been done.
Now the problem started on Wednesday after it rained. It has been acting fine after rain and car wash since December up until this point. My car at first wouldn't start but eventually did however the check engine light remained on. When I started it again what happened was that you could clearly hear the engine having immense trouble starting and the rpm needle would continually fluctuate trying to get to the point it needed to be. IT would then stop and the car would settle down. I drove it like this (infrequently but still) until today . As you were driving the car shook a little but not particularly noticable, i was just very consious of listening for sounds. Today before going to work i had my boyfriend look at the engine while i started my car. You could visably see the engine shaking. I was thus worried to drive it and had to be dropped of by a friend to work. Another thing i noticed with the hood up was that my coolant was very low which was strange since i had filled it about 2.5 weeks ago and it was already past the minimum line by quite a bit. I have had problems with the coolant being low before so i had some in my trunk and filled it. Basically i have no idea if its and electrical problem caused by the rain or something else. I really don't have the money to pay too much to fix it and I cant take it home to Chicago (6 hours away) where i know a mechanic who can fix it for cheap. Does anyone have any ideas whats wrong with it? Thank you so much!

posted by  marta28

Well no one replied. But whatever. I took it in to get looked at yesterday. The engine was fixed instantly (just something that needed to be clipped back into place that whoever changed my oil didn't do properly)

However Ihave a coolant leak and a water pump (?) leak. The guy said I shoudl have all of my belts changed to (it has 68,000 miles on i) however he said all of this would cost $600 is that at all reasonable?

posted by  marta28

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