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Volkswagen Beetle Maintenance and Repair



  • badbugbadbug Posts: 2
    My 2002 Turbo had this problem at 15k (new clutch was put in) and now again at 46k. It will not shift into reverse or 1st. The dealer keeps claiming it is a wear-n-tear issue and is not covered. I'm going to have an independent dealer fix it RIGHT this time and take them to court. I gave them plenty of chances to address the issue.

    Good Luck...
  • badbugbadbug Posts: 2
    I need a lawyer to represent me (Sammyair)? Clutch went at 15K. After a few weeks of arguing with VW corp. and being insulted by the local dealership - women don't know how to drive a stick. VW Corp had it replaced as a "good will" measure. Then when I went to pick it up it up, I got in, started it, pushed the clutch in and viola the clutch stuck to the floor. GM wasn't on site so I got the Sales Mgr to witness the event. Very sorry, no excuse we'll make it right. Once again, got a call to pick it up. The car stalled on me and then on the Service Mgr (Colonial VW in MA). After a test drive we figured out if you fed it gas it would run without stalling. I was told they might be able to adjust it. (It's hydraulic you can't adjust it after it's in!)

    Anyway, brought it home (it was "running") but the clutch caught at the very top and you had to gas the car to get it in motion. Should have dropped it back off immediately. Instead I reported it time after time to VW of America (Corp) and was given the run around.

    Now, 46k have gone by and the lease is almost up but guess what the clutch just gave out again. Won't shift into reverse and first gear same issue) although you can jam it in which is what the tow truck driver did to get it on the flatbed. I believe North Shore VW did as well because Al told me you could shift it but now I'm jumping ahead.

    Next, VW had in towed to North Shore VW. It was the closest dealer. I requested SEACOAST. So, again I'm told its wear-n-tear even though the car has a history of this same issue. Car is still at the dealer after 10 days of phone calls back-n-forth to Corp. Nothing they can do unless I have the transmission pulled. OK, what's the estimate for a car with a known reported problem - $1700+. I'm told once again that's it how you drive that determines the life of a clutch. It doesn't matter that I've driven a stick for 20 years. Including 2 old beetles, 2 rabbits, 1 new beetle, and now my current new beetle. Customer loyalty means nothing to the dealer (their independent of Corp with their own policies) or to Corp. It's too bad. I was willing to compromise. I asked them to OK the repair or take the car back and terminate the lease or to take the car back "as is" and I'd start another lease in a new vehicle. Anything, but the standard it's not our problem. (Sidebar, your not entitled to a log of the calls you've logged with the Corp office - it's for internal VW use only.)

    In my opinion a "leased" car should run for 3 years PERIOD. I should not have to pay a year's worth of payments to fix a bad clutch when it was never fixed right to begin with. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the ignition coil issues a week into the lease, repeated problems with the windows, it was just fixed last month at Atamian after it fell into the door in the middle of a rain storm. (Low and behold one month later the window still goes up and down as if it is possessed when you depress the one-touch feature).

    Step up to the plate VW!!!

    I will say kudos to SEACOAST in NH who fixed the first ignition coil problem. However, I'm not going to take a chance that they would do the right thing at the cost of a very expensive tow.

    The curve's may attract you but what's underneath is JUNK... It's not even worth a fling in the form of a lease.

  • jasmith52jasmith52 Posts: 455
    well I can understand your frustration. Poor reliability is why VW has lost it's customer base and is losing money, Big Time, in the US. Do a search on this forum for VW clutch issues and you'll find many posts (eg. check out post 140 and some of the posts that follow).

    However having said that, It is my opinion that if VW is unwilling to fund your clutch issue that you will LOSE in court. Clutches, like brake linings, are a wear item and do indeed wear out. Since you are responsible for wear items, you are probably on the hook.

    The cost of replacement at $1700 may be the dealer rate but you can probably get it done for half that amount at an independent shop.

    Good luck, and please post back how this item gets resolved.
  • swamomswamom Posts: 1
    I am seeing Beetles everywhere! I am seriously considering trading and have been to a dealership and gotten great information regarding the car. I have been reading reviews and messages from several places and find that people either love their beetle or have absolutely nothing but problems. I am confused! Just needing some input from more happy beetle owners. Are you out there?
  • jasmith52jasmith52 Posts: 455
    Drive what you like !

    However be forewarned that a Beetle is not a Camry and you may have some issues. Some of the issues with Beetles can be very annoying and will drive you nuts.

    If you buy a new or a relatively new (used) Beetle then the quality seems to be somewhat better. Early years seemed to have many many issues. Also if you buy a convertible then some people have had issues with the convertible top and mechanism.

    My wife loves her 02 hardtop. She would drive no other car. We've only had 1 problem with the car (a sensor) that was fixed under warranty.

    My personal opinion is that the car is way way too expensive for what it is and that there are much better values out there. But what do I know - I'm a guy.

    Drive what you like !
  • Please can someone help me I am quite confused about a technical issue with my beetle. I just left the dealership because the airbag malfunction light came on, and when I looked in the book all it told me was to take it to the dealership ASAP. They told me my driver side seatbelt had a mechanism in it that was not operating, so my airbag will deploy if it is supposed to. It is going to be 600.00 to fix, and believe me this is not the first problem I have had with this vehicle.
    My question is has anyone heard of anything like this? Also I thought your airbags were supposed to deploy from impact, not some signal from the seatbelt? I mean what if you are not wearing a seatbelt? Any help would be appreciated.
  • jasmith52jasmith52 Posts: 455
    The second generation airbags are smart (maybe too smart). They have two charges in them that make the airbag deploy faster if someone is not wearing their seatbelt and (somewhat) slower if they are.

    If you are wearing your seatbelt then, you have a much lower risk of getting killed by your own airbag (it really happens) when you hit a trashcan or something. Short drivers that need to sit close to the steering wheel were especially at risk with the old style (1-speed) airbags.

    So it sounds like the sensor that tells the airbag system that your seatbelt is engaged is not working properly. If that were me I'd probably get it fixed. You don't want to find out that your airbag doesn't work correctly when you are having a crash.

    Check around, maybe you can get an independent shop to do the work for much less money
  • :sick:

    Help Help, I have a 2000 newbeetle which starts momentarily and shuts off....over and over.

    From posts in this forum and others I glean that my immobilizer system is not recognizing my key, unfortunately I only have one key.

    If I purchase another key with embedded transponder and get it cut to match my existing key can I use it to reprogram my immoblizer system without dealership involvement and if so how? Or is my first trip to the dealership to have them reprogram the system for me and remove cash from my wallet.

    ** The dealership says I need to bring it to them and the procedures on the internet are for cloning remotes only - not the keys. Thoughts and opinions please.

  • dtandtan Posts: 1
    I have a 2005 Beetle and after 2 months the airbag malfunction light also came on. The dealer had to "update" the system due to an old software version with the airbags. I would think that they would update the software before putting them on the lot to sell. I have had no problem with the airbag issue since. I have had the beetle in the shop now 5 times in the last 4 months!!! Not happy with my "new" purchase.
  • Had a friend who had the same problem with a Buick, for heaven's sake. Yes, they had to make a new key with a re-programed chip. Sorry.
  • sector1sector1 Posts: 22
    I posted a thread about remotes a page up just right here. It should get you going for the programming. Remember, the key blade DOES NOT have any transponder, chip or embedded
    programming in it. It is the circuit board transmitter , ok?

    Never go to a dealer for replacement, repair, reprogramming or any of this crap about your VW remote (unless you want your wallet chopped. If so, buy an axe...). Use the instructions I posted and do it yourself.
  • a few days ago my wife was leaving for work in her 99 VW Beetle, it started but she couldnt get the thing to go into drive. She tried two more times and it finally goes into gear. This morning she has no problem starting it up or getting it into gear. She heads to the atm puts the car in park and it wont go into gear again. so she turns the car off and then it didnt start. WHAT COULD POSSIBLY BE THE PROBLEM? HELP!!!
  • sector1sector1 Posts: 22
    Two of these things. Either the shift cables are loose or the differential is gone.
    Check both. I am getting rid of my 99. They are full of problems from all angles.
  • lilulilu Posts: 1
    :confuse: My car runs a high rpm's and other cars don't run like that. Also how do i check my Transmission fluid because i opened the hood and you can barely see anything I need help :cry:
  • sector1sector1 Posts: 22
    What number do you call high? All Beetles are electronically limited and run short gears but rpm over 2500. Unless your rpms per gear before changing are exceeding 4000, relax. You are recommended to switch gears on a stick at about 3000 rpms.

    Transmission fluid level is under the car. There is no dipstick and to check, the vechicle has to be leveled .... It can be checked by a mechanic for both manual and automatic every 15k miles.
    My question is : why do you need to know? Why are you worrying about this issue?
    The transmission is labeled "sealed" by VW and unless there is an obvious leak, you do not need to worry for the life of the vechicle. :confuse:
  • I just followed your instructions for programming my new remote. The remote does now work, but the car will not start with the new key. The VW dealer says that it is the security system, and that he needs to program it for me. Any truth to this?He did show me a brochure that says unless programmed correctly, the car will start and then immediately quit running. This is exactly what mine is doing. Any suggestions?
  • iwardiward Posts: 2
    We have a 2005 convertible and love the car with the exception of persistent problems with the radio reception (about to be replaced finally) and, more importantly, the worst ride of any car I have driven since my Austin Healey Sprite.
    The car feels like it is riding with no shocks or springs. Any slight bump in the road feels like an NYC pothole and the car bangs and rattles like a farm tractor.
    As one would expect the dealer says they can't reproduce the problem.
    Anyone else have this problem? I have no objection to a firm ride, this is lack of proper ride control.
  • sector1sector1 Posts: 22
    I need to know more on your situation in order to provide you with additional help.

    1. What year is your car?

    2. If the remote works, I assume you had it purchased from a part dealer, a scrap yard or the VW dealer itself and refitted a new or old blade. Where does the key blade come from? Was it cut from a blank you purchased from the net, was it cut from a dealer supplied blade or was it one that you previously had (like a damaged 2nd key) ...? Give me more info about the origin of the metallic key blade. Jetta beetle and passat key blades were simmilar but not the same. If you got a jetta or passat blade blank (by accident), cut it for a beetle and refitted it, your car will not start.

    There is no truth in what the dealer tells you unless this is a 2006 car equipped with a new sistem I know nothing about. The 2006's are relatively improved and redesigned vechicles and might include different components or systems.
  • sector1sector1 Posts: 22
    Second question I just noticed and forgot to address. You are saying the new blade will not start the car and then that it quits running. If it cannot start, how does it quit running? Please be more specific on which blade we are talking about and if we are talking about a second blade cut after a first one that used to start the car and quit running ... But then again, how did you manage to drive the car? I am confused.
  • I own 2001 NB with 15K miles. I have owned it since new with zero defects or problems. I am new to this forum because I now have a problem. The passenger side brake light is out. No warning on the instrument panel. The tail light works fine. I have a new bulb (assuming that is the problem). How do you access the tail light to change bulbs? Could this be another problem? Thanks.
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