So oddly enough I just dealt with this issue. We have a 04 Jetta 1.8t wolfs-burg edition.
Over the last 2 years:
The car was kind of sputtering on acceleration. I didn't think much of it really. Maybe some dirty plugs, filters, or something like that. I went and changed or cleaned all that out. New plugs, seafoam cleaner, and it really didn't seem to make a difference. I just chalked it up to the age of the car so we got a new Wrangler. Gradually the car got worse. It started to choke while cursing on the interstate but come back right away. No check engine lights or warnings.
Yesterday: (July 25 2012)
Wife was headed home and it finally died on her on the express way. She said she couldn't start it and had the check engine light and EPC light on. I went out to help her (2 miles from home)and was able to start the car. Drive it to AutoZone to check the code and got P0321 read:
Word for word, letter for letter from the receipt AZ printed out.
Troubleshooting P0321 0.00
OEM Brand: Volkswagen
Ignition engine speed input circuit
Open or short circuit condition
1.- Poor electrical connection
2.-faulty CKP sensor
Anyway picked up the part at AZ and it cost almost $100. You can get it a lot cheaper
if you are patient enough. I couldn't wait, it had to be replaced the next day.
Anyway. A few tips. The sensor itself and is adjacent to the oil filter. Really hard to get to.
1. Put the car up on ramps and take out the filter. It makes getting to the sensor a lot easier. Some oil will come out but not enough to worry about. I's say there was about 6 oz of oil that came out. Bolt is a 10mm bolt. You will have to wiggle out the sensor. It will take a little time but it will come out.
2. DO NOT
yank on the clip, you will break the wired. (remove plastic covers on the engine) Get to it from under the hood and not below the car. Remember where the wiring goes, behind a large hose. You will have to un-clip the grey plug from the body of the engine and feed it through to where you can get to it from the upper engine compartment. A flat head screw driver will work to release clip lock.
3. Make sure when you have plugged in the new part, that you re-feed the wire behind the hose that it came out from behind. otherwise it will not reach. Clean the surface area and area around where the sensor is going to be. Mine was covered in crud. The Bolt has a pointed tip so it makes it easier to insert the the bolt. I started it with just my fingers and then went to the ratchet.
4. Clean off area around the oil filter and engine and put the filter back on. After that replace all the plastic parts you took off of the underside and engine and you are done.
All total this took me a few hours because the part had to be driven in from another location and I needed the engine to cool down before I could work on it. I even had my 11 year old niece working with me on this so it was not to difficult. I'm by no means a mechanic but I am not afraid to work on cars. If you can change your oil, you can change this part. I hope this helps everyone. I've since reset the check engine light with my iPhone
and its been running a lot better then I expected. There is no more sputtering on acceleration and on the highway
the car runs beautifully. I hope this helps other out there. All total I spent about 250, 100 for the part and 150 for a decent tool kit since I broke my last ratchet set. I am told that this can run you about $600-$1,200 at the dealership. Work time took a total of 4 hours as it was about 102 outside and 90% humidity. I had fun and was a great bonding experience with my niece.
Take off plastic guards
Location of the sensor
ALWAYS WEAR SAFETY GLASSES