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Volkswagen Jetta 2005 and earlier

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  • cwo4cwo4 Posts: 90
    I put Dunlop SP Sport A2's on my 2002 Jetta. The OEM Michelins were fine in their performance, but too expensive $120 ea to replace when compared to the Dunlops at $60 ea. I now have 12,000 miles on the Dunlops and they are doing fine.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,862
    The general consensus is for a stock tire, there are many other better choices. With that being said, I plan to use them as long as possible.

    I am told the resale market can be pretty brisk for OEM slightly used tire and/or stock wheel combinations. I have seen prices for 200-500 dollars (stock tire, wheel combinations). Obviously, it is what the market will bear.

    Some things also to consider:

    1. Keep your tire pressure within 85% of the maximum indicated pressure (so in the case of GY LS, 44psi x .85= 37 psi) (for my taste and application, 38 psi and above is too rough)

    2. because of massive over steer due to design and FWD/FE, putting 2 less psi (35 psi rear) in the rear will compensate somewhat for this tendency.

    3. For every 10 degrees temperature delta (change) is app plus/minus 1#

    4. operating temperatures elevate psi app 3/4 psi.

    5. The best way to check alignment is on the alignment rack (with a qualified alignment person), but one quick and dirty way to see if your alignment is good: use white chalk and color/white out a one in bar across the full width of the tread and drive it normally. Then do a visual.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    There are 2 other methods that can give you a rough feel for alignmenet.

    1) hose down a section of driveway then drive straight thru it. Then look at tread patterns on the dry to verify that the rear tires are "tracking" with the fronts.

    2) Use a tape measure to measure the distance between the FRONT of the front tires and the REAR of the front tires. These measurement should be identical.

    NOTE: #2 above was the OFFICIAL way that VW dealerships used to check/adjust alignment for many years. I was actually charged $35 for the "tape measure check"

    I would recommend you go to a SEARS and get an alignment. For $50 you get TWO alignments. One today and another near the end of "alignment warantee" they offer. (The only way they can warantee that the alignment "held" is to put it on the alignment machine again.)
  • adg44adg44 Posts: 385
    If I remember correctly, there were factory backed recalls on the LS's because they were all cupping.

    I even think there was some talk about it in here a few years ago.

    I would check with Goodyear and VWoA before I paid for new tires - this is a known problem.

    - Anthony
  • Hmmm..I am picking the car up Friday. I am debating if I should get snows for it. $300 decision. What do you guys think? The car will be in Western MA. most of the time
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    (tmak26b) I would not do it. Instead... put that $300 towards the ESP option on your Jetta. It is by far more valuable than any snow tires. (the ESP option is worth TWICE what they ask for it!!)

    A decnet set of all-season tires will more than suffice. I live in Vermont and have found no need to have dedicated snow tires for my Jetta. Realisiticly, There has NEVER been an occasion in my 25+ years of driving where I got stuck in the snow on the road. (perhaps in my driveway... but a snowshovel will fix that.)

    If the roads are SOoooo bad that you will get stuck, perhaps you should just stay home.

    If you have a "special case" where your driveway is long and steep or you live in the mountains, perhaps you may cosider dedicated snow tires. (But most folks with such a "special case" will own a 4X4 anyway)

    Cautious driving habits are farr more valuable than bolting on some snow tires and expecting them to make up for poor driving habits. (they wont anyway)

    Dont forget that having a set of 4 dedicated snow tires usually means having 4 wheels to mount them to and storage for them in the summer. If you choose to NOT have 4 wheels, then you will be putting undue wear on your wheels by the constant swapping tires back and forth. (especially aluminum wheels will suffer)

    QUESTION: Is there some specific reason you are considering getting dedicated snow tires?
  • It's a fact that all-season tires don't grip as well as snow tires. I have snow tires for my own personal car. I know how much better they are compare to any tires I have driven in the snow. FWD gives people a false sense of security. I know the LS will probably do fine, but I am always thinking safety for my gf, especially for her new car. I guess I will make that decision by Friday before I pick up the car.
  • My wife has an '02 GLS with the Goodyear LS stocks, and they haven't worked so great for her, especially in the sloppy stuff we get along the edge of Lake Erie. We just got a set of Blizzaks and they are a night and day difference as far as control and traction on snow, ice, and that slush that drives us all nuts.
  • Hi all,

    Like many other postings I have read here I am thinking about buying a Jetta despite all the reliability concerns. I absolutely love the Jetta from a looks / driving / price standpoint. However, after doing research I am very skeptical. Have the newer models improved at all from a reliability standpoint? I drove a manual 2003 1.8T GLS w/ the cold weather package and was quoted a price of $19,250, which seems reasonable.

    Does anyone know of any changes that have been made in the 2003/2004 model that would make it more appealing / reliable? Are Jetta's really that bad?
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,862
    If it were not for the TDI option, for sure I would not have gotten a Jetta. Having said that, my 2003 with 19k has been 9 mos without any problems.

    You may get totally lucky and get one that runs like a dream, is totally reliable and never has any major issues, but the % of problematic issues is much higher as is the % of cars that have them; than other cars such as Honda Civic, Accord, Toyota Camry, Corolla.

    If you are not prepared to do a lot of routine maintenance yourself, the cost will usually be parts at or below retail, plus shop time.
  • justinjustin Posts: 1,918
    at this point in the Jetta's life, a 2004 would be a solid bet, even the 1.8T. the 03 might be a good deal, but the 04 offers some subtle but classy updates, and isn't much more expensive at all. go for the 04!

    the problems they had were bad, but solved. coils are good now, windows are good now. the rest of the stuff like CEL's are typical of all cars on the road today in certain circumstances.

    good luck! you are right, even at 5 years old, the current Jetta is one of the best bargains around!
  • are a MUST in snow country. I dont care what kind of traction control you have, it can never take the place of winter tires. Traction control devices are of no use in braking, little use in cornering, no use in tracking and dubious use in acceleration.

    All it really does is slow the rotation of the tire to the slip level on acceleration, which on a non-winter tire in slippery conditions is a crawl.

    And with abs, braking non-winter tires would roll on indefinately. Whereas with winter tires you can actually stop with some semblance of distance control.

    Needless to say traction control mechanisms have virtually no effect on lateral slippage, whereas a winter tire's compound and tread pattern can really show their worth!

    Winter tires - a MUCH safer choice!
  • pernaperna Posts: 533
    First, if you do a lot of winter driving, snow tires aren't a horrible idea if you can afford them. That said, when I had my Jetta I ran the stock tires until 40,000 miles in some nasty Michigan winters. YOu just have to take it slow and use common sense (and get them rotated - every 7-9,000 miles!!)

    If I really had to have another VW, I'd either lease it or dump it when the warranty was up. Seriously. When you have stuff repaired under warranty (and you will), look at how much that repair would cost you if you were out of warranty.

    I hate to slag on VW, because they make solid, fun little cars but my Jetta was the biggest piece of junk ever. Absolutely horrid. If someone I knew wanted a Jetta I'd beg them to look at an Altima instead.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    (wetwillie) You misunderstood me. I never said "traction control" I said ESP. Perhaps you need to research the ESP option some more so you understand how it works.

    ESP uses a "yaw" sensor (same as used in jet fighters) which will 'feather' approprate wheelbrake to keep the vehicle tracking properly. It is UNCANNEY how well it works.... but it DOES work and it does help in cornering.

    I waited over 3 months for my Jetta because my wife INSISTED on the ESP option. (she was upgrading from a 4X4 Honda Cvic) I was skeptial about it at first... but now am a beleiver.

    As I said before, proper driving tecniques are farrrr more valuable than any snow tires. If one is sliding off of the road or cannot stop... one are going too fast for conditions.
  • adg44adg44 Posts: 385
    ESP might work better, but it's the same concept.

    I would have to agree though, and I have ESP on my Audi, snow tires would help more. What good is ESP if you have no traction to begin with?

    Traction control x 0 grip is still 0. ;)
  • Face it, technology means overall safety bottom line. I have elec traction control, abs, front wheel drive and split power differential in the transaxle. I still ended up in a wild fishtailing episode in the snow trying to change lanes slowly. The snow dammed up against the side walls and threw my momentum off. As I did my best to recover I ended up out of control fishtailing again in the opposite direction. There were 4 swings of the tail of the car before I was sliding 90degrees to 3 lanes until I had enough and gave full brake force to just stop completely. I ended up in the right shoulder lane facing 180 degrees opposite my direction.
    I truly found that I was not invincible with all of my safety stuff. ESP AND MAYBE 4MOTION WOULD HAVE REALLY BEEN AN ASSET. MY NEXT NEW VEHICLE WILL HAVE AT MIN THE ESP DEAL. COMPUTERS CAN MAKE CRITICAL DECISIONS FASTER TO KEEP US SAFE AS WE STILL CAN OVER REACT IN CORRECTING AN OUT OF CONTROL CAR.
    An extended warranty will help keep peace of mind. In addition these computer controlled functions go thru self test phases and are programmed to not do any assisting if they fail. A fault code would naturally be generated for a quick dealer diagnostic fix.
    As Americans, we may own any year car we want. Not everyone will work on their car vs. those whom will do it all.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Please allow me to explain myself a bit better. When I said "A decnet set of all-season tires will more than suffice." I meant it.

    Are you aware that the NOKIAN WR tire is designed to be run year round but has been tested to have BETTER TRACTION than 6 other DEDICATED snow tires. In fact, the NOKIAN WR tire has the "Severe Service Emblem" just like snow tires have.

    My original point of NOT having dedicated snow tires still stands. Instead, get some GOOD all-weather tires and sell the original tires as new.
    (Many new VWs come with very good Michelin Energy MXV4 Plus tires that should sell easilly.)

    Personally, I would simply insist that my new Jetta has the Michelin Energy MXV4 Plus tires and run those. (that is exactly what I am doing)
  • "Please allow me to explain myself a bit better. When I said "A decnet set of all-season tires will more than suffice." I meant it."

    You may have meant it but it doesn't change the fact that you're wrong. I have personal experience with the different configurations and to claim that all seasons are more than sufficient shows your lack of understanding in the physics of driving in challenging conditions.

    "ESP uses a "yaw" sensor (same as used in jet fighters) which will 'feather' approprate wheelbrake to keep the vehicle tracking properly."

    ESP is a form of traction control as is ASR and EDC. These do NOT supplant the need for surface adhesion that a dedicated snow will provide in the much more necessary function of surface control. The traction control devices, such as ESP, merely control the BRAKING and/or acceleration to the point of loss of traction (theoretically). That point of loss of traction is MUCH LESS with tires that are compromised for use in various conditions. A dedicated winter is NOT compromised.

    If you're STILL are a doubter, you need to check the FACTS. Looks for roadtests, by UNBIASED testers, that compare winter tires to "allseason". The Tirerack tests, for example, should provide you with the necessary data.

    You're reference to airplanes reliance on electronic controls seems to suggest that flying an airplane is not possible without use of these controls. That's absurd! How do think piloting a plane was possible before the advent of computers?
    In fact, the best pilots are those that could manipulate the various contols in varying conditions before giving up this contol to the flow of electrons. How often do you think Lindbergh checked his computer?

    Electronic controls certainly do help (when functioning properly) but they DO NOT preclude the need for the mechanical connection of the tire and the surface. That's why so many tires are end use specific. If a compromised tire will suffice for your conditions than so be it, but don't make the mistake of comparing an allseason tire to to a winter tire in snow counrty - there's NO comparison!
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    (wetwillie)I am quite aware of the physics involved with traction. I am not suggesting that electronic assist somehow REPLACES safe driving teniques. Additional traction is not going to replace safe driving tequnices either.

    It is my fault at not being good at at getting my points across. The bottom line is to end up with good traction under the highest percentage of driving conditions.

    Dedicated snow tires, of course, have the best traction under SEVERE conditions. But most people simply do not drive under those conditions. They stay at home. Additionally, dedicated snow tires have WORSE traciton under most other conditions such as dry or wet roads. I am not guessing at this, I have over 25 years of winter driving. I first used snow tires on a 1973 Chevy Impala.

    So, I am suggesting that, for most folks, 4 decent ALL WEATHER tires will actually be better for the conditions they will encounter. Instead of paying for 2 complete sets of tires and wheels, instead have ONE set of really good tires. Most folks cannot afford nor have the space to store the unused set of tires.

    The only people that NEED 4 dedicated snow tires are those that drive on snow-covered roads every single day. Id bet that is a very small percentage of most people.

    I know a persone that gets into an accident EVERY SINGLE WINTER. They have tried 4 snow tires and even 4 snow tires on a four-wheel-drive... it did not matter... this person just does not understand the physics and should stay off the roads when they are slippery.

    I cannot stress enough that it is the DRIVER less than the tires that control the vehicle.

    BTW... without the electronic assist, most Jet fighters would be IMPOSSIBLE for any human to control. They are inherently unstable and need the electronic assist just to keep from tumbling out of the air.

    Lindbergh did not need a computer you silly ;-)
  • Sorry for bringing this whole debate up, but before I get into the debate. I do have to say a few things.

    #1 I will not be going to snow tires with our brand new 04 Jetta because the car comes with the Michelin MXV4, not the Goodyear Eagle LS that I was expecting. I will ride these tires out for the first year. I will see how it goes here in Springfield, MA

    #2 We paid a little over $19K for our brand new 04 Jetta 1.8T GL with the automatic. I wouldnt pay more than 18K for a GLS 1.8T that is an 03.

    #3 We have roughly 200 miles on the car, no problem so far. I know there are more reliable cars out there for the price, but we think this is the best car out of our criteria. I will see how it turns out for us.

    As for snow tires and all-season tires, it's like comparing a Ferrari to a Honda Civic in performance. Other than dry traction, snow tires perform much much better than all-season tires. I dont care if you have traction control. You just cant outperform snow tires in the snow. I am not saying you cant drive around with all-seasons. But snow tires is just awesome in the snow. My Miata was climbing steep hills faster than my neightbours Expedition with the Wrangler RTS tires
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    The Wrangler RTS tires are not known for being very good under severe conditions. In fact, they are pretty POOR in the snow. (I know, my 4X4 has them.) The Wrangler RTS tires are, instead very, VERRRY long lasting. I have over 54,000 miles on mine and they just passed state inspection for another year.

    Do not be fooled by looking at the TREADS to determine the severe weather charactoristics of a tire. It is far more dependant on the rubber compound.

    Some rubbers, such as the high-silica rubber that Nokian uses on their WR tires, have a 'natural' tendancy to grip ice. I can tell you that the Wrangler RTS tires DO NOT have very good traction on ice.

    Some tires use DUAL rubber compounds that actually get STICKER as they wear down. The intent is to maintain traction for a longer period of time. The drawback to this approach is that the ability of a tire to excrete water is based on tread depth, not rubber compound. So such tires will hydroplane as easilly as any tire that is worn down.

    I have the Michelin MXV4 on my 2003 Jetta and find them quite adequate under severe conditions. I have gone thru unplowed snow that was up to the lower bumper. Using tried-n-true snow driving tecniques, these tires are just fine. They are also VERY highly rated for improving MPG. I have touched 52MPG on long trips and average 49MPG.
  • ponmponm Posts: 139
    I was at the dealer a few days ago having some work done when I mentioned to them about getting the transmission oil replaced in my 2001 vr6 5-speed. The car has 30K miles on it and I usually change the transmission oil in my other cars around this time. They told me there was no need that the transmission oil is lifetime and even if I wanted to change it myself it was impossible. They use a computer to remove, flush and refill the transmission oil and it is very important to refill to the correct level and that only the computer could do. I had my doubts but he swore that every month he has cars towed to him from places like jiffy lube who tried to change the transmission oil but botched the job. I still don't believe it though. Has anyone changed the transmission oil themselves or had any similar concers? Also, I was told that Vw plans on making a jetta with awd and the 3.2vr6(like the r32) and possibly call it the super jetta.-scott
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    (ponm) In some ways, the dealer is correct. The synthetic fluid in the tranny from the factory is considerd a 'lifetime' fill. There is usually no reason to be changing it before 100,000 miles.

    Many folks have tried 'other' fluids in the tranny with mixed results. The concensus seems to be that the factory-recommended fluid should be used when changing.

    I think they are feeding you some BS when they say that "only the computer could do" the work. I have never even HEARD of using a computer to determine the proper fill on a xmission. Your dealership sounds as if they rely more on the computer than on human skill. Be wary of service folks that try to replace human skills with computer equipment.

    When they say they have seen places like jiffy lube cause problems, I dont doubt it. I would bet they DO NOT use the factory-recommended synthetic fluid. Even filled to the proper level, the wrong fluid can destroy the xmission.

    I suggest you make some phone calls to other VW/Audi dealerships and ask about changing the xmisssion fluid. It only costs a phone-call to get some other input. (many dealerships even have toll-free numbers.)
  • adg44adg44 Posts: 385
    You don't need to change the tranny fluid - it is synthetic and will last 100k miles.

    Also, I tried redline MT90 in my GTI, made the shifts a little smoother when warm, but rocky as hell when the tranny was cold.

    It is a inverted 17mm bolt that is the drain plug for the tranny pan. You can change it on your own, I think it takes 2L or so, but it was well over 3 years ago when I changed mine so don't quote me on that.

    The thing with the computer is that I think they use a computerized pump to pump up into the tranny pan to fill to the correct level. You can do it by hand though with the proper tools.

    Stick with the factory fluid and don't worry about it for another 70k miles. :)

    - Anthony
  • ponmponm Posts: 139
    Thanks for the replies, I was more worried about the metal shavings floating around in the transmission than the fluid breaking down.-scott
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    (ponm) VW solved this problem many years ago with a simple addition of a powerful magnet which is permimently mounted inside the tranny housing. This may have been standard equipment even on the original Bug 8-).

    Changing the fluid WILL NOT remove these shavings from the magnet. (and it does not matter anyway)

    I realize that this does nothing for ALUMINUM (case) or BRONZE (sychronizers) shavings. Be assured that MILLIONS of VW transmissions have been flawless for over 200,000 miles with the original oil fill.

    I beleive that the transmissions are still assembled under strict German specifications. They are only INSTALLED in Mexico when the vehicle is built. (Refer to the window sticker to see the various assembly points for the tranny, engine, and other major assemblies.)
  • I bought a brand new 2002Jetta 1.8T and accumulated 68K miles mainly freeway miles and brought my car for regular maintanance on the same dealership. i even bought extended warranty up to 100k from SmartChoice2000 from the same dealer. Now the car has transmission problem that it needs to be replaced(worth $6000.00)but the insurance is now under litigation and the dealer will not fix it unless i pay directly. What are my options? I'm really frustated and angry. Pls i need your help!!!
  • mn_patmn_pat Posts: 67
    $6K for a transmisson, WOW!!!! How much is the car worth? Maybe, you're are better off getting rid of the Jetta and starting over with something else? I can't believe that a transmission costs $6000.
  • Call VW of America right away and file a case. You can also do it on-line at the VW site. If you bought an extended warranty that covers the trans they shouldn't give you any trouble. Why is it in litigation? My mecanic says a trans will go for $8 grand.
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    What kind of extended warranty did you purchase? Was it a VW brand insurance or a third party warranty?

    Read the fine print and see what is covered under your "extended warranty".

    It is always risky to purchase thrid party extended warrantys. Sorry for your problems.
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