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Volkswagen Beetle Maintenance and Repair

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  • odudeodude Posts: 6
    I am a recent owner (4/2006) of a 2002 Beetle Turbo S, and I have been told by former Beetle owners and a VW mechanic that it is imperative to always wait for that blue light to turn off before you take off- especially for Beetle owners with the 1.8L Turbo. I always warm up the cars I have driven in the past, but you are correct in that the blue light turns on even on days that are far from cold (I live in south Texas). Regardless, it is always best to warm up your car, so I say dont engage into gears until it turns off.
    I have had recent problems with having to replace a brake light that went out (that was a b**ch to do myself) along with a front headlight cover that popped off (still searching for a replacement without having to buy the whole light assembly!). Yet more issues have surfaced.

    A couple days ago my check engine light went on, and the manual says I need to take it to a dealer. I have 57K miles on it, so would anyone know why this light went on or the best way for me to fix the problem without having to pay a VW mechanic.

    And to make things more exciting, yesterday the EPC light went on. It has turned off once I drive more than 10 miles, but has been on and off since then. Again, manual says to take it to VW dealership. Any advice on this one?

    Finally, if that was not enough, the light which indicates that the ESP is engaged (a VW extra for aggressive driving) turns on and off independently, and I cannot turn it off by pressing the ESP button. What does this mean, since it turns on when I am driving carefully/pensively? I thought it turned on only during fast aggressive driving or in harsh conditions.

    Any advice is appreciated and I was curious if all these lights turning on and off are legit or an electrical problem- something I have read here is a major problem with Beetles.
  • odudeodude Posts: 6
    My 2002 Turbo S had the same problem. Once I exited the car and pressed the lock button to lock the doors and engage the alarm, only the passenger door locked.

    My only remedy, other than cursing at the car, was to press the unlock a couple times, then press the lock button. Most of the time, the driver door would then lock. If that didnt work, for some odd reason, I would just lock and engange the alarm manually with the key, turning right until I hear the alarm beep. This way always ensured the driver's door locked.

    However, I now experience no problems with the doors locking using the keyless entry, but I have no clue if I did anything to resolve it or if this is just another sign of my erratic Beetle!
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    no NO NO - Please do not idle any engine to warm it up. This is perhaps the WORST thing you can do to an internal combustion engine.

    An engine "wears" the most during the time while it is running but not yet at operationg temparture. This is because of the different expansion charactoristics of the various metals. Thus, it is important to get it up to temparture as quickly as possible without putting undue load on the engine.

    The quickest way to get engine up to temp. quickly is to DRIVE it. Just be gentle and do not accellerate quickly until the engine is warmed up.

    Other bad things that idling a cold engine can do are. (besides undue wear)
    *) Excessive blow-by can crud up the EGR.
    *) more engine-deposits (crud sticking to combustion chambers)
    *) Cold oil does not flow well.
    *) Takes longer to get heat into cabin.
    *) Waste fuel
    *) Bad for envrionment (more emmissions from cold engine)

    Please do not take my word for this... READ THE VW OWNERS MANUAL. It clearly states to DRIVE the car to warm up the engine.
  • odudeodude Posts: 6
    Thanks for the heads up. Every other car I have owned, which were not VWs, always preferred at startup to make sure that the engine was started and warmed before driving. My fault for not realizing that the mechanic who told me to warm up my engine and not drive until that light went off was actually a mechanic at the dealership I purchased the Beetle Turbo S (CARMAX).

    I am very appreciative that you corrected me and I am sure I am not the only owner who has been told about this incorrect way of starting the Beetle.

    You are correct about the manual indicating that idle engine warm up is not recommended. I know very few people who read their manuals with such attention, and though I read through the manual the first day I purchased it, I can see I missed a few things and will reread carefully the manual.
  • I have a 99 vw beetle 5 speed. Whenever i start off in first gear and second gear my car tries to go dead and sometimes completely does.. i dont know if it could be the clutch or fuel filter...if anyone has any idea let me know.
    thanks
  • My 2002 Beetle's EPC light kept coming on, had it changed, and now, 4 months later, it's on again, and it's drained my battery. This I can tell you from lots of previous experience. Install the 'rear brake light switch' light yourself. It's only $11.00 at your local VW dealership and they will give you simple directions on how to install it. A woman can do it (I did). If you are in a jam, and you can't get out of park, do this all at once: slowly start the car with one hand, take the car out of park to reverse with the other hand while at the same time taking one foot off the brake onto the gas. It sounds like a lot, but you can do it, and it will save you in a jam. I have no idea what the dealership will charge you to install the brake switch, but at $11.00, you or someone good with their hands can do it!! If you have to get a battery, they are expensive. Do it before you need a battery. Hope this helps!!
  • zigzag2zigzag2 Posts: 1
    i have a 2001 beetle and i started my car and the malifunction indicator lamp (MIL) lighted up at the dashboard and it took me maybe 30 seconds to start up my car and at the same time noticed that the fuel gauge was way pass the full tank level. please advise on what to do. thanks
  • bfish2bfish2 Posts: 2
    My fuel filler door won't open on my 1999 beetle. It's been acting up for months, now it won't work at all. I've been told there is a manual release inside the trunk. Can anyone tell me where it is? What needs to be removed to get to it?
  • aaronr121aaronr121 Posts: 91
    Wow... I've been sitting on this recall notice for quite awhile. Is this a common occurence with this repair? If it is, I don't want the repair done.
  • aaronr121aaronr121 Posts: 91
    I think I saw it once or twice. I think it's underneath the carpet. Just take a look on the passenger side of the car and you'll find it.
  • bfish2bfish2 Posts: 2
    Found it on the passenger side in the trunk compartment up above the carpet. Pry'd off a round plastic insert. Reached inside, yanked the cable and it popped open. Thanks.
  • Well, ive searched all over this and other forums, and I keep getting SOME similar answers, but not enough.
    I, like many, have issues with my beetle. The first is that the "blue" coolant light always stays on, regardless of engine temp (it IS at proper operating temp). once in a great while, the light will go out, but generally only for a few minutes.
    the second is that although the engine is quite full of oil and only has 60k on it, the oil light will blink at me at random times.
    Third, the EPC light comes on occasionally, but its NOT the brake switch, as its already had the recall done (twice, I believe) and the brake lights work fine. There are a few trouble codes stored relating to it, but the information I have is limited.
    After doing as much research as I could online, Ive found that the probable failure for the coolant light is probably the coolant temp sensor, although the light does NOT shut off when the sensor is unplugged (although that may in fact be normal).
    Ive found many, many complaints about massive oil sludging on the 1.8 turbo, causing the oil light issue (although the actual oil pressure has not been tested yet).
    Ive found thousands of complaints about the brake light switch effecting the EPC light, but that is not the case in this situation.

    how many people here have similar issues, and what did you find to resolve them? Chances are im just gonna throw an oil pressure sensor and coolant temp sensor at it, as they're reasonably cheap.. but that still leaves me with a failing throttle actuator, or something more sinister.

    Has anyone here dealt with anything like this?
  • jasmith52jasmith52 Posts: 455
    ManyBrews:

    I am not specifically familiar with your exact problem. However I will say this about electrical problems in general. They can be difficult to diagnose and expensive to repair. It just may be that you will buy and install an oil pressure sensor and a coolant temperature sensor and have the same problem. Meanwhile you've just spent $150 for zip.

    Just maybe it would be worthwhile to have a mechanic with a code scanner diagnose the problem. That may indeed be the cheaper solution. Keep in mind that electrical components are not returnable.

    I like you, had to learn the hard way and pay for my mistakes.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    The engine temp sensor is known to go bad on your 2000 VW. It is cheap to purchase and pretty easy to replace. (under $20 for the sensor and O-ring)

    Also, if your coolant is a tad low in the resivour, it will not satisfy the level-sensor. (which is plugged into the side of the resivour) It is OK to add up to a 1/2 cup of DISTILLED water to bring the level up.

    When you mention "unplugging" the sensor above... I hope you are NOT thinking that the LEVEL sensor on the side of the resivour is the same as the TEMPARTURE sensor which is elsewhere.
  • A code scanner wouldn't help in this situation.

    fortunately, I was correct with the failed OPS and coolant temp sensor, and the total cost was 35 bucks.
    The last problem (multiple codes for an issue with the throttle actuator (P1171, P1542)) seems to be quite simple. Upon inspection of the throttle, its BENT. Someone was in a wreck, and the repair wasn't caught or ignored previously. The voltage readings are all right on the money, but the problem is intermittent, and a smashed throttle body is a good place to start.
  • My trunk will close, it just won't latch. It's an electronic latching mechanism, and I hear that there is a manual switch somewhere in the trunk that will fix this problem, but for the life of me I can not find it. Is this just a myth? Or is there an easy way for me to fix this problem without having to take it to the dealership, where they'll charge me out of the [non-permissible content removed] for simple repair work?

    Thank you.
  • jasmith52jasmith52 Posts: 455
    I have had problems like this on cars of other makes. The cheap fix is to get some solvent/oil like WD-40 that you can spray on the latching mechanism. If it's just gunked up so that it won't move then perhaps the WD-40 can free it up.

    However if the latching mechanism is truly broken then you are due for a repair.
  • arch07arch07 Posts: 3
    Had the same problem with my 2000 Beetle and the fix was WD-40. Had to remove the inside covering to access the mechanism. The problem was that the solenoid would retract to unlock the lid, but would not return to the original position. It has an internal spring to return it, but it was just sticking. Haven't had any more problems for over a year now.
  • The temperature light on my 2006 VW New Beetle convertible has been coming on intermittently since I purchased the vehicle (new) in August of 2006. The temperature light comes on red, beeps and flashes for about one minute and then it goes off. I have taken my car to my VW dealership for repairs on five different occasions and they still have not been able to fix it. Every time I have taken it in a fault was not present and the light only came on for the service techs during two of the five visits. They have replaced the instrument cluster, expansion tank sensor and coolant temp sensor. When I picked my car up from its fifth visit for this issue, I was told by my VW dealership that VW would no longer pay for repairs for my temperature light problem for the remainder of my warranty until my Beetle breaks down. Has anyone else had this problem? If so, what ended up being wrong with your Beetle? Thank you very much for your help!
  • I had the same issue...took it in 3 times before the dealer discovered a small leak in the plastic reservoir tank...they replaced that and it's been fine ever since
  • aarnoldaarnold Posts: 10
    the chime for the keys in the ignition does not work. does anyone know which fuse it might be? does the beetle have a warning tone if you leave the lights on? if so which fuse is it? :confuse:
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Are you suggesting that the chime USED to work... but does not now -OR- Did you purchase a used car that is not chiming?

    The reason I ask is because the chime (and many other options) are programmable and the chime may simply be turned off.
  • aarnoldaarnold Posts: 10
    i purchased a used car that is not chiming. are the instructions in the owners manual?
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    The programming of the chime (and several other things) is not considerd a owner-settable item. One needs to hook up to the computer dataport below the steering wheel to enable/disable some of the options.

    Personally, I use a my VAGCOM software to do it.

    You have several options;
    *)Purchase a VAGCOM (if you have a laptop computer)
    *) Search internet for list of VAGCOM owhers in your area. (most are HAPPY to help out fellow VW owners)
    *) Pay dealer to do it
    *) Forget the whole thing -- LOL

    BTW: This link explains some of the items which are programmable.
  • jasmith52jasmith52 Posts: 455
    I am not certain about VW Beetles however...

    For another car that I have owned (a base Pontiac), these chimes only work if the original OEM radio is still in the car. If the radio has been replaced with an aftermarket radio it will be unlikely that the chimes will work. Somehow they run the chime elctronics through the radio. The chimes will work whether or not the radio (or the car) is turned on.

    Because of the chime issue I stuck with a pretty crappy (but original equipment) AM/FM radio that I would have liked to upgrade to a CD player.
  • aarnoldaarnold Posts: 10
    it still has the OEM system in it. i called the dealer and they said it would cost 50 dollars to turn them back on. i'm not that worried about it. but thanks every body for the info! :)
  • oldbugoldbug Posts: 11
    I see you posted #686 last October 29. Can you tell me if you ever got the rapid blinking turn signal fixed and what did you do to fix it if you did? My '03 New Beetle TDI does the same thing but mine's the right turn signal. Also, I can't seem to get the outdorr temperature sensor to display. It displays the three bars and won't reset.

    Don
  • kathyc1kathyc1 Posts: 138
    To think people are paying as much for these cars as a Honda Civic or a Toyota Corolla. I had a 1969 VW Bug with auto/stick shift I drove for 12 years and my father took over for about the next 10-12. I loved that car and was really excited when these came out. No way would I buy one now. My sister bought a 2000 in 1999. If she didn't have a really good mechanic she could take it to she'd have dumped it long ago because the interior is literally falling apart. Her mechanic says don't bother replacing anything because it will just break again.
  • Were you losing water? Or see any water leaks??
    I am having the same problem with my 2003 VW Beetle.. but no leaks!
  • Can anyone tell me where to locate the signal flasher for a 03 Beetle? Also, how do you get to it? Thanks
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