Jim Grant's Tech Tips
2000 VW Jetta , Slipping Timing Belt?
I am trying to analyze this problem. Hopefully you can help. I have a 2000 VW VR6 Jetta 5 speed. Recently when I accelerate, it sounds like something is slipping, then grabs and the car takes off. It seems to only do this in second gear and up. I can be going 20 or 80 MPH. I thought it was the clutch; however, if I am going down the highway and accelerate the clutch is disengaged and should not be involved. Could this be the timing belt/chain?
If a timing belt or chain slips in any engine there will be a notable loss of power, that will not return, or the engine will stop completely. From what you’re describing I would be leaning towards your first guess and that is a clutch problem. Once a clutch starts slipping the problem can only get worse. Take a tech for a test drive for their opinion on the problem. If it is the clutch starting to fail at least you can plan to have the vehicle repaired before it just stops moving.