Electrical issues that are difficult to diagnose—and sometimes intermittent—are typically due to ground wiring issues. The most troublesome ground locations are under the battery or at the engine.
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Repairpal verified 1990 Volkswagen Cabriolet problems
Ignition wire breakdown is common, resulting in misfires.
Reverse gear failures and noise in the manual transmission models are common.
Shifting issues due to internal problems in high mileage automatic transmissions can be difficult to resolve without transmission replacement.