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Volkswagen Beetle Maintenance and Repair



  • peppinopeppino Posts: 1
    I have a 98 beetle, 5 speed with 18,000 miles. Started experiencing starting problems a few weeks back (turnover not immediate). Yesterday starter quit altogether at mechanics while being checked out. Has anyone had this problem? Any chance VW may pay to fix with such low mileage. Dealer says its not his problem since 24 months has expired.
  • I'm just beginning to shop for a bug. I have never owned a bug and do not know anyone who has. I have always wanted one. What adivice can you give me on shopping? Will dealers sell below invoice? I have a five mile drive to work. What is the best bug for me (as far as motor size)? Do you have to get a bug serviced (oil change, etc) at the Volkswagon Dealer? The closest one to me is 2 hours away.
  • kjclowkjclow Posts: 29
    With a short drive, the engine won't really matter. It depends on what else your going to use your Beetle for. I have the TDI and really like it. Most people are happy with the car, regardless of the engine.

    The main problem that I have heard about getting the oil changed is that some of the quicky shops don't always pay attention to the recommended oil grade and level. Grade is important, espically for the deisel. The level is important for the turbo (both the 1.8 and the TDI). Too much oil will flood the turbo, causing early failures and possible fires. Currently the dealer covers the first three recommended services, 5k, 10k, and 20k.

    Go test drive a couple of different engines. The TDI is hardest to get and probably the one the dealer won't budge much on. When I bought mine, they wouldn't deal at all. If they don't have a bugs on the lot with each engine, then drive a Jetta or Golf with that engine. Same engine, just different body. You can also check out for other fanatics.
  • ftlftl Posts: 11
    I can't believe I have to take my baby(GAS) into the dealer to replace a head lamp!!!! This is crazy! I bet that's why so many are on the used lots already. It's too bad because I love the power it has! They still need to fix the drivers side mirror( it's a blind spot for your average high woman) and get better cup holders. It sure has been dependable though!!! 52000miles in 1 1/2
  • We picked up our Cyber Green (her choice - her car)2001 GLX Bug and she love it. The power of the engine and the comfort are a far cry from her last Beatle - a 1973 Super Beatle. The next day her air bag light come on and stayed on. We've been told by a family friend who has a good car knowledge and also has a Beatle that electrical problems with the new bugs are common. I find hard to believe because I did the research here on Edmunds and elsewhere and I didn't turn up anything to do with the electrical system being faulty.

    So we're taking it into the dealership on Tuesday and have them keep it for the day to figure out the problem. We hope this is just a fluke.
  • I've had my car since May 1999. One problem occurred during a cold snap last December. I had to have my heated oxygen sensor replaced. Was no big deal and have had no other problems with my fabulous car.
  • Here's something I've never encountered before on other cars. On my first fill-up, when I hit the switch on the driver's side door to open the little door to access the gas tank cap....nothing happened. It finally opened when I jiggled it for what seemed like several hundred times. The dealer recently replaced the door and the servo mechanism. I've met one other person who reported the same problem, as well as a Passat owner. Anybody else having this problem?
  • I have an 8 month old 2001 New Beetle - 4600 miles. About a week ago, I was driving when suddenly the transmission began to slip. While I was debating as to what to do about it, the problem went from bad to worse and in less than five minutes the transmission was grinding away - very awful sound. I had it towed to the dealer and a week later I finally got my car back - this was today.

    The problem, they said, was that the transmission bolts fell off. In addition to leaving me stranded on the highway, the engine shifted and also damaged the radiator fan, the fan casing and the fan belt - all of which VW replaced.

    I picked my car up today at 2pm, drove back to work and by 6:30pm this evening I was waiting for the tow truck again. Same symptoms - only this time there was an audible pop sound before the major grinding started up. I only drove it the five feet it took me to get it out of the way of traffic.

    The dealer said this was a fluke and that they'd never seen this on any kind of car - much less this one. But now I'm afraid to drive it even if they fix it again.

    Has anyone had this problem? When is it appropriate to file the car as a lemon? I was lucky enough to be in a good neighborhood during both of my breakdowns - but living in a metropolitan area, I won't always have that fortune.

    Thanks for any insight,
  • I've had the gas cap sticking problem, too, with my '00 GLS turbo. I've had to pry on it with a screwdriver while my wife pressed the release button. I finally sprayed it with WD-40, and bent the lid ever so slightly, and it doesn't seem to happen too much anymore. (I keep a screwdriver in the car, just in case.)
  • In a gas station, my 2000 gas cap door would not open after repeated switch operations. Asked a customer to press on the door. I then hit switch again. Door opened. Repeated. No problem. Filled up, went home, my wife and I tried 20-30 times to make fail. Could cause failure when I (carefully) didn't press door fully closed. Think that was what probably caused original problem. No problem since.
  • I've owned a New Beetle since Feb. of 1999. Believe me it has been nothing but trouble. The last thing was engine fan and relative components.

    I recommend to look very close before purchasing one.

    My web page is <> You can see all 40 items that have repaired on the car.

  • jameyjamey Posts: 1
    What are other TDI owners getting for gas mileage? I am getting anywhere from 36 mpg to 41 mpg depending on the amount of highway use. This is lower than I expected and the dealer is telling me the car checks out fine. I am not a fast or hard driver and I have about 7,800 miles on the car.
  • Our Turbo Bug has @30000 miles on it. My wife loves the car and how it runs and will keep it till it drops. However, she has strong reservations of ever owning another one. We have had it in for service way more than expected.

    First snow tore off plastic piece under engine. Warranty
    Plastic piece which runs between windshield and dash cracked in two. Entire dash was taken off to replace this item. Also the VIN number is on this piece. A replacement VIN number sticker is very difficult to get replaced. Warranty
    When the dealer replaced the plastic piece all of a sudden the radio didn't work.
    Dealer said the failure was "unrelated" and replaced the radio with a new one from another car on the lot. Warranty
    Check engine light came on. Dealer "cleared" the codes in the computer. Warranty
    Driver side window switch popped out. Dealer repaired under warranty. Window is now hanging up and will not go up automatically all the time. Dealer said this was "unrelated" to having the door panel off. Replaced window mechanism. Dealer replaced even though my warranty had run out. First fill-up after service, fuel door will not open. After my wife was stranded for two hours, we take it back to the dealer. They found a broken connector on the switch. They insist this was unrelated to them being in the door working, but replace the switch as a "good will" gesture. Dealer tried to get me to turn this in on warranty ($50 deductible). I refused.
    Check engine light is on again. Dealer replaced mass airflow sensor.($50 deductible)
    Thank God we bought the extended warranty.
  • wkohlerwkohler Posts: 74
    Just purchased a 2002 Beetle GLS with automatic and heated seats. Not many changes other than really nice looking wheel covers vs the old wheel covers that looked tacky and like an after thought. The really great news is the warranty: now FULL coverage for 4 yrs or 50,000 miles. VW realized the problems mentioned in previous posts, so they upped the warranty. The first service, oil change, lube, etc. is free (dealer incentive). VW does not pay for any more oil changes/services that was covered under the old warranty. Not a problem, as I can go through a whole lot of oil changes vs what it would cost to have air conditioning/transmission/electrical repairs etc. done. So far, an absolutely flawless vehicle.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    Good lord! Where did you read such hogwash about the turbo?? The turbo should easily last 100k and it would not cost anywhere near $4k to replace it! You definitely got some bad info there. There is no way people would buy these turbo-equipped cars if that was true.
  • I have a 1998 new beetle at 25300 miles. The check engine light came on as I started the car. I checked the oil, the gas cap and the car is running normal. Does the light come on automatically for service? if so, can I turn it off myself?
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    The check engine light is not meant to notify you of service and you cannot turn it off yourself. That light means you have some sort of emissions problem. More than likely a sensor is malfunctioning (oxygen sensor is common problem on VWs) or the gas cap wasn't put on tight enough. I would take it to the dealer and have them read the code that set off the light.
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    Hi everyone- Please note our Additional Resources box, on the left side of the page, where you'll find links to some helpful resources. For example, you'll now find a link to Edmunds' maintenance guide which also includes information about recalls and technical service bulletins for almost any vehicle from 1990 to the present.

    Keep your eyes open for other related articles, tools, and Town Hall discussions in that area. ;-)

    Hatchbacks / Station Wagons / Women's Auto Center Boards
  • Purchased 2002 New Beetle GLS (2dr Hatchback 2.0L 4cyl 4A) August 11th, 2001. Drove 1st 7 days without a problem. Car has been back to the dealer 3 times in 2 months for the same problem, and is still there awaiting repair. See below.
    QUESTION #1: Is there an advantage of working directly with VW or should I work with the BBB Autoline which provides mediation and/or arbitration which I am NOT bound to accept. QUESTION #2: Are there any expenses I may be overlooking? (see below) QUESTION #3: Should I pursue under the LEMON LAW in spite of their present offer?
    SYMPTOM: MIL, EPC, CHECK ENGINE lights, and engine revving while in PARK or DRIVE.
    SERVICE #1: Dealer "tighten connections on throttle body assembly". Approx. mileage 300. SERVICE #2: Dealer "replaced junction panel". Approximate mileage 700. SERVICE #3: (car in shop last 30 days waiting on back-ordered "electrical harness" from Mexico. VIN specific part per Parts Expediter.) Local VW rep indicated that there is some concern whether or not this will correct the problem. Approximate mileage 800.
    While it appears the LEMON LAW is in effect, VW of America response indicates willingness to repurchase and reimburse for some expenses.
    VW dealership provided me a rental while car is being serviced.... but it's not a New Beetle! They put me in a Cavalier. (grrr....)
    Sent certified letter to VW of America requesting remedy. Asked for:
    - replacement, prorated financing and insurance retro to purchase date, financing at or below original agreement, rental reimbursement until delivery of replacement, misc. fees licensing, taxes, title, etc...
    VW of America faxed letter which essentially offers to:
    - give full trade-in allowance equal to purchase price (replacement), prorated financing and insurance retro to purchase date. VW suggested I work with the dealership to have them agree to providing a rental until the replacement comes.
    Rental is important to me since I may be waiting 2 months+ for replacement. Not available in the immediate 4-5 state region. If I accept, I will benefit from refinancing at 4.9 % -- I currently have 6.49%.
  • according to your message, seems like vw of america is willing to repurchase and reimburse for some expenses. what are you waiting for????? immediately sell that piece of crap back to them.......
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