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Volkswagen Jetta DTC P1255 And P1296

Q. I've been having this problem that is gradually getting worse. It started off as a once in a while thing. After driving for a bit if I parked and shut off the car for about an hour when I went to start it back up it would have a bit of trouble. When it finally did kick over the idle was really rough, fluctuating in a range of about 500 rpms gradually increasing until it reached about 2,500.

Volkswagen Jetta DTC P1255 And P1296

In the meantime a nice stream of exhaust smoke comes out the rear. smells a little rich too, then it would just drop back down to 900 and hold steady like nothing ever happened. So like I said, this was a once in a while thing and it never happened if the car was off for a few minutes or overnight just that one to four hour range. Well now it has become increasingly worse.

Even my cold starts are a little rough and it is almost a guarantee that when I start the car I'm going to have some trouble. At first I thought it just might be new plugs, so I replaced them. Even though they were a little banged up and probably needed replacing anyway it obviously didn't solve the problem. I'm convinced that it is a misfire in one of the cylinders.

Not sure what is causing it though and with no CEL I can't check via OBD, or can I? If anyone has any ideas short of randomly replacing ignition components your help will be appreciated.

Car is a 2001 Volkswagen Jetta with an automatic transmission, 50,000 miles. It has ABS, P/S and A/C. I did get two codes from the OBD that are P1255 and P1296. Any help is appreciated.


A. P1296 indicates a Malfunction In The Cooling System. For this malfunction the PCM does not turn the Malfunction Indicator Light (MIL) unless the malfunction is recognized after another engine start.

The two things that will set this DTC is a defective Engine Coolant Temperature (ECT) sensor or the thermostat. This would cause the symptoms you described to me.

Volkswagen does not list a DTC P1255 for this vehicle.

Volkswagen Jetta DTC P1255 And P1296

Additional Information provided courtesy of AllDATA

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