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Volkswagen Beetle Maintenance and Repair



  • leob1leob1 Posts: 153
    She loved the car but it had problems:

    The battery would drain quickly and car wouldn't never fixed problem, it wasn't a "short"...just a bad battery and the dealer couldn't figure it out.

    The car's interior had a strong smell of gear oil and we never could find out why.

    The rear hatch stopped opening from the remote.

    The AC compresser broke right after the bumper to bumper warranty expired.

    I don't think mom will by VW again..

    Turns out a neighbor of mine has the Sport version Beetle...and she reported numerous problems as well.
  • icrmanicrman Posts: 23
    Yeah when VW anounced the "return of the Beetle" was my brother and I excited.
    Then sudden disappointment. Liquid cooled engine, in front. And a whopping price tag. The good beetle was still made in mexico, but dare them get to do the NAFTA thing. It was tabboo to try to import one to the US. Those old VW's where a well designed vehicle, easy to work on and inexpensive. But seems everyone is happy if they can spend alot of money for the same old pressed sheet steel, that is spot welded into a car.
    The true "New beetle" at the time was the GEO Metro, but naaa everyone wants all these fancy conveniences in a car, but then they complain about all the problems. My car never breaks down.
    And I get 40 plus miles a gallon.
  • carencaren Posts: 1
    Reesa: I have a 2003 bug convertible. About a year ago,while slowing down for a red light, I thought I ran over a log. Then, the "lock-up" happened again and again, finally twice this week. I have an appt to get it checked, other than that I also love my bug. But since this is happening more often (and I once had a ford with a bad transmission), I'm a little nervous about it.
  • Where can I find replacement headlight locking (non-)system (that inexcusably and irresponsibly cheap plastic method of locking/releasing the headlight assembly) for my 2003 New Beetle?
    My dealer is 50 miles away--and, besides, shouldn't any vehicle owner be able to do simple maintenance like changing the headlight bulb?--so I, of course, broke the plastic handle and now can't change my bulb. What's the part number and where can I obtain a replacement?
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    Try local junkyards. BTW, the reason why VW uses ""inexcusably and irresposibly cheap" parts produced all over the thrid world in their cars is that you people keep buying their crappy cars and paying a lot of money for them. And VW laughs all the way to the bank.
  • 600kgolfgt600kgolfgt Posts: 690
    Gee, that probably explains why my 3 "crappy" VWs (ranging from 20K miles to 134K miles) haven't had any major problems at all.

    Or is it because a lot of car buyers in their quest to be the "first kid on the block" to have the latest and greatest - buy cars that are in their first year of production, and complain when things go wrong. Of course things will go wrong in the first couple of production years - most automotive manufacturers are counting on the buying public to be their "beta testers" to work out the bugs. I don't care if you drive a VW, Honda, Toyota, lawn tractor, whatever - ALL vehicles have some bugs the first couple of production years. Don't take my word for it - just check out the forums from the other manufacturers and you will see a recurring theme.

    My secret - I buy my vehicles near the end of the production cycle (after the bugs have been worked out).
  • nate9nate9 Posts: 1
    I purchased a 99 New Beetle for my wife about 3 years ago at 18K miles. It is now about to hit 70K. Between 40K and now I have had the following parts go bad (all fixed at the dealership):

    window regulator
    window switch
    o2 sensor
    mass air flow sensor
    water pump
    two batteries
    trunk latch
    oil pan gasket
    valve cover gasket
    coolant pump
    coolant flange
    thermostat and o-ring
    fuel pump relay

    Currently I am waiting for the dealer to finish fixing a leaking vacuum hose. For the cynics, most items on the list occurred and were fixed independently of the other items (i.e. this car has been in the shop about a dozen times since I have owned it). Total repair costs (including two tow bills and about $300 to replace the timing and serpentine belts) are running around $2800. There's already enough icing on the cake, but why stop there:

    -a roommate cross-jumped the car when I was having my first battery problem and fried my instrument cluster. Dealer said $500 to replace. Dealer explicitly said "not likely to be a fuse". Took the car home, found the fuse, and replaced for $1. First encounter with dealer...

    -inside panels scratch easily and layers just peel off. Steering wheel paint or whatever it is slowly rubs off under normal use.

    -dealer keeps car overnight routinely (though not today, thank God). Here's the extreme: car towed in Monday night, alternator replaced, car picked up Friday at noon.

    -my reliable car is a 90 Corolla with 150K miles.

    Let me now change topic and take the opportunity to apologize in advance to the person who buys this bug, and from what I understand from consumer reports, any New Beetle.
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    Any thoughts on getting rid of the car? :lemon:
  • drdbrowndrdbrown Posts: 1
    The service rep told me that my new automatic Beetle needs to be "warmed up" before putting it in drive. I thought that went out with the horse and buggy. My symptom is an occasional jerky start if it is put in drive directly after a cold start (Cold? I live in San Diego so we are talking about 60 degrees being cold!)

    The Rep said something about a "Cold Safety Neutral Switch" that prevents the car from moving until it is warm. He seemed to be aware of the hesitation problem but I wonder if he is just blowing warm air up my leg. Any ideas out there?

  • df2df2 Posts: 1
    I've herd a lot of horror stories about the new beetle realibility in 1999 throuth 2000 modles. Have these problems been over come in the newer models?
  • toadytoady Posts: 1
    I am restoring a 1973 beetle and we are experiencing issues with once we have taken off, it will either hesitate like it is starving for fuel or it will just plain stall and it smells inside the car like fuel. We were told that by the person we purchased it from, that it sat for so long that we needed to run premium fuel through the tank, so we filled it up and have been running it through, it doesn't seem to be getting any better, I have been researching on troubleshooting, and I think it is the fuel pump and/or the fuel tank has contamination, does anyone have any experience or thoughts? I am new to this forum thing, so please bear with me.
  • vwnmdvwnmd Posts: 1
    I am having a problem with that pesky check engine light on my 1999 GLS Beetle. I thought it was my oil being low and overfilled my engine oil. I immediately took it for an oil change to drain all of the oil and fill it to the proper level. The dealer was able to tell me that there is a seperate engine oil light. He also said before that a loose gas cap or oxygen sensor could also be the culprit of causing the little to be on. Neither was the case. Can anyone share their experiences with the CHECK ENGINE light and what the service people said in your instance?
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    the tank is probably full of crud and warnish from chemically degraded old gas. You need to remove the tank and have it professionally cleaned or replaced. Maybe the same for fuel lines.
  • jasmith52jasmith52 Posts: 455
    My wife's 2002 GL Beetle had the check engine light come on. Took it to the dealer and had it fixed under warranty. It was an engine sensor gone bad (Cam position sensor ?? I can't exactly remember).

    The check engine light comes on for a variety of emissions related conditions. Usually when the emissions are high there is something wrong. It probably is worth checking the oil and the gas cap however you'll need a pro to look at your car to determine what is really wrong. Don't go replacing parts and sensors willy-nilly or you'll spend alot of money and probably not fix your car.
  • I purchased a new TDI Beetle in 2001 and have had nothing but problems. At 2000km it began leaking oil and by the time I noticed, it was almost empty. I had it towed to the VW garage where they told me "the head gasket must have been installed incorrectly when they made it". It was covered by warranty but it was a $2000 job. Then the instrument panel went...twice over the next year. As well as various other plugs and switches. Luckily that was all covered by warranty. In year 3 the brake booster went (not covered by warranty-$650 bill). The signal light switch has gone 3 times. The driver side door sensor went at about 25km. Glow plugs and bus bar are being replaced at the moment for $250. I think I've been to the dealership over 15 times and every time I get the same "oh that's weird, those things never go so early!!". But yet VW is not willing to do anything about it, even after the service workers admit that it must have been a faulty part to begin with. I think I've figured out that as long as one thing is wrong with the car it will stay that way, but as soon as I get something fixed, something else goes wrong.

    I love the look of the car and the great fuel economy but I just can't afford the upkeep anymore. It's got less than 65,000km too! I'm sorry to say that my previous car, a Geo Metro was built much better than this hunk. I will never buy a VW again.
  • Hi,
    Does anyone know if its possible to reset the check engine light or does a dealer have to do that? One of my glow plugs went and I was going to fix it myself but the shop told me there is no way to reset the light so they have to do that true?
  • I am having sort of the same problem. My coolant light keeps coming on red, and I took it to get looked at, and they told me that there is a tiny leak in the plastic part of the reservoir that the hose connects to, right along the line of the hose. They told me that the light was coming on because I was losing pressure in the reservoir due to the leak, and that it needs to be replaced. When I opened up the reservoir, the thing was about empty. They did not want to top it off because they said that it will overflow and make it worse. What I am concerned about is that if I don't get it fixed, that it may lead to other problems internally. Should I be concerned? Is there anything that I can do to sort of rig it until I can get the part and have someone put it in, and how hard is it TO put in? Is it wiser to go to the dealer (of whom wants to keep my car all day, charge me 90.00/hr, and it's only going to take 1 1/2- 2 hrs.)? HELP!!! My car is sick!!! :cry:
  • i have a 98 beetle which i got used a little over a year ago. since, ive had the back brake rotors replaced, the o2 sensor replaced, the driver side window has become stuck and will not go down, and the engine check light has not gone off for more than one straight week. the car hit 100,000 miles last week, and with it came some more issues. the stereo buttons will not press down, so its am radio or nothing. even before, the cd player produced a scratchy, static sound from the right front speaker. last fall the car got stuck in park often (its automatic), and even though i got it fixed, its doing it again. i still need to get the window fixed, get the oil changed, and get a 100,000 mile tune-up. is the cost worth it or should i trade in the car? and if i should fix it, any suggestions? please, help quick.
  • and in case it matters, its a 2.0L gas engine
  • pleunpleun Posts: 1
    Hi Bluboy, I have a 98 Beetle that is doing the same thing yours was at the time of your post. Did you ever get the problem figured out? I thought with mine it was the fuel injectors getting clogged up,I added some Prestone fuel injector cleaner, and the car ran perfect for 8 days, then went back to having the hesitation at accelerating and downshifting. I have noticed though, that the car seems to run fine when its not fully warmed up, when I go home from work, it starts to act up just before I arrive home. i have been told it might be the MAF, but not sure on that one. Can the MAF work fine until it gets warmed up? Let me know if you solved your Beetle problem. Thanks
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