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Volkswagen Jetta Maintenance and Repair

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  • I'm new to a 2003 Jetta. 1) The yellow engine light went on. Someone told me it may be due to the need for an oil change (hardly believe them). Could this be true with the Jetta? 2) Also, I want to find the plug to run a computer diagnostic test (to see the exact error codes). Will you please share the location of this hook-up? Thank you!
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,080
    The windshield wipers on VWs are known to get 'stickey'. The only real fix is to lubricate the axles where the wipers pivot.
    This needs to be done about every 4-6 years. (depending on how much you use the wipers)

    This task is not as easy as squirting some oil somwhere. You really need to remove the wipers and dis-assemble the pivots. Then thoroughly clean off the crud and grease things up.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,080
    The computer diagnostic plug is underneath the steering wheel. (just above the clutch pedal below the dashboard)

    I have used my VAG-COM many times and can now get at that plug in the dark by just feeling under the dashboard.
  • Hello all, I've got a 2001 1.8T with 65,000. My CEL has been coming on and off for a few thousand miles. I took it to Aamco to pull the codes, but the light had gone off, however they still pulled four codes. After looking them up, they were: Catalyst System,Bank1 Efficiency Below Threshold; Long Term Fuel Trim Add.Air.,Bank1 System too Rich;Long Term Fuel Trim Add.Air.,Bank2 System too Lean; Connection turbocharger - throttle valve pressure hose. Also, after the car has warmed up, when i'm at a stop the idle seems to dip down well below 1000. Any thoughts as to what I can do or replace? Heard it might be the O2 sensor. Thanks for the help, i need it!
  • skm4skm4 Posts: 10
    I have a 2002 Jetta and have had the engine light problem for quite some time now. After spending approx. $1000 at the VW dealership, it is still on.... I always have the oil changed regularly and used the right oil weight...so, that is not the problem.
    Anyway, I just did the diagnostic test this past weekend.
    I was able to use it free of charge at a local Auto Zone, auto parts store. It is very easy to use. You just plug it in...the location is just under the dash on the driver's side. Very easy to get to and like I said..very easy to do. Just right down the error codes, and the guys in the auto parts store will look them up on their computer. My turned out to be ignition coil malfunction..so now I am checking on having that replaced. Hopefully that will solve my ongoing engine light problem.
    skm4 :confuse:
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,080
    Those codes point to the MAF (Mass Airflow Sensor) Basically what it is saying is that the onboard computer is "confused". The MAF is telling it is too lean and to squirt more fuel into the engine while the O2 sensors are saying "WHOA-- its too rich" coming out the exhaust.

    The MAF has "extended warantee" for most 2000-2001 VWs. (extended warantee 7 years 70K miles)

    I diagnosed this MAF problem with my daughters 2001 Golf using my VAG-COM and suggested she take it to dealership for free replacement of MAF. No troubles since new MAF was installed.
  • So, can I just take it to the dealer and ask for the replacement, or will they have to diagnose the problem first? I guess what I'm saying is, is it enough for me to say "I know I have this problem". thanks for the help!
  • Are you using your seatbelt?
  • Thank you! Very cool of you to share your info...
  • Thank you! Auto Zone loans out the diagnostic scanner/test in my area as well. Now I know where to look for the plug. This message board is great!
  • jags2jags2 Posts: 1
    :cry: Hi, I've a 2003 automatic jetta and here's my problem. When I start the car in the morning (I live in a cold weather city), I keep it running for 5 mins or so, but when I want to put the car on Drive, I can't move the stick, I press the brake pedal and try again but nothing happens. It's very hard and I can't move it. I left the car running for 20 mins and tried again and now it worked just fine. I don't have this problem during the rest of the day, just in the mornings or when it's too cold outside. Any ideas of what could be the problem? Thanks
  • Thank you so much for you help you are right on the mark about the soot in the tail pipe and that is why i thought is was burning oil. Where can i find this engine temp sender under the hood and is it easy to replace my self. I have been putting 10w30 to top it up so that o.k.?

    again thank you so much for you knowledge
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    You can use oil with a viscosity grade of SAE 5W40
    across all temperature ranges for normal driving conditions.
    However, if engine oil viscosity grade SAE 5W40 is not
    available, you can also use viscosity grade SAE 5W30
    or SAE 0W40 as long as it meets Volkswagen oil
    quality standard VW 502 00. Please remember that
    not all commercially available oils conform to
    Volkswagen oil quality standard VW 502 00 even
    though they may have the same viscosity.


    from: Choosing the right oil for your 1998–2006 Volkswagen with a Gasoline Engine
  • My 98 Jetta also has a hard start in the mornings, especially when its cold. I just had it in the shop where they replace the air flow meter and temp gauge but it still has trouble starting in the mornings. Please let me know if you find whats causing this issue.
  • My 98 Jetta is having a tough time starting up in the AM, especially when its cold. I just had it in the shop where they replaced the air flow meter and temp gauge but it still has trouble starting in the mornings. Once its started it runs fine. Please let me know if others are experiencing this same issue and any diagnosis.
  • mn_patmn_pat Posts: 67
    Had a similar prob in my 98 jetta, on cool and wet days it wouldnt start. It turned out to be the ignition control module. Super easy fix, no prob easy DIY. here is where i got the part, I got the $52 part:

    http://catalog.eautopartscatalog.com/smittys/ap/wizard.jsp?partner=smittys&clientid=aplusp- arts.com&baseurl=http://www.aplusparts.com/&cookieid=1M30TWQE71M30TWTKC&year=1998&make=VW&- model=JET-GL-002&category=F3&part=Ign+Coil+%26+Control+Unit
  • All I can say is WOW. I was, keyword here is "was", considering purchasing a 2006 Jetta until I read these posts. I am considering trading in my 1998 Honda Accord and looking at all similar vehicles. I really like the design of the new Jetta and the features that are offered as standard equipment. Unfortunatley, from what I have read the Jetta will never be as reliable as my old Honda. I am amazed that people with vehicles that are only 3 yrs old are having such serious problems. I also notice that VW dealerships are usually unable to diagnose problems and cannot repair the vehicle until the cost rise above $1,000. For the record these are the problems I've had with my Accord since it was purchased in Feb. 1998 with 8 miles on the clock:

    Recall: Ignition Switch Interlock
    Recall: Emission Control System Check Engine Light on
    Cooling Fan Motor Replaced
    Alternator Replaced
    Fuel Gauge Sending Unit Replaced

    The car currently is almost 8 yrs old and has 110,000 miles on the clock. It has not been "trouble free" but compared to the Jetta it is bulletproof. I must also say that all the dealerships that I have dealt with have been outstanding. They quickly service the vehicle only doing what I have instructed and have only recommended additional services per Honda maintenance schedules. The most I have ever paid is $800 to get the timing belt, drive belts, spark plugs and water pump replaced.

    Reading these post made me realize that the little things count. My car is on its 3rd set of tires, and 2nd battery all the hoses and lights are from the factory even the battery in the keyless remote is original.

    I don't want you VW guys to think that I am bashing VW I am just disappointed. I hate the design of the current Accord and will not purchase it. However I haven't seen many people post problems with the current Jetta and hope that VW has vastly improved their quality. With that in mind I think I'll wait and see how it holds up since it is the only car in that has the features I want at a reasonable price and a classy design that will still look good years from now. I have never owned a VW but it nust be outstanding when everything works since most of you guys sick with it despite the problems.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,080
    It is best to discuss the situation with your dealership BEFORE they do any work. Also have them agree that your car DOES-IN-FACT fall into the "extended warantee" for MAF replacement before they start working. It does not hurt to have a copy of the letter from VW about the "extended warantee" on the MAF in your hand when you arrive at the dealership. (Search the internet for a copy of it)

    The typical process is...
    1) The dealership must hook up your car to their diagnostic computer.

    -- if it shows a MAF problem... then MAF and everything else is coverd by the "extended warantee".

    -- if it does NOT show a MAF problem... then you must pay for the diagnostic even if they do nothing more to your car.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,080
    The "engine temp sensor" is located on the drivers-side of the engine pointing twards the firewall.(with electrical connector on end of it) There is a "clip" that needs to be removed and you may lose some antifreeze since the end of the sensor is actually touching the engine-coolant.

    (REMINDER: NEVER-EVER use anything but G12 antifreeze in a VW)

    I understand it may cost about $20 for the engine-temp-sensor and it has been "superceeded" (re-designed to be more reliable) several times over the past 5 years. (I think the newest engine-temp-sensor has a GREEN electrical connector on it)
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    Revan: Just so you know that the 2005.5+ Jetta really shares nothing with previous version. Our 2005.5+ is our first VW. I had some concerns with possible reliability problems too. Some things that reduced my level of concern were:

    While an extended warranty for a VW would be a little more expensive than an Accord it was not a huge difference. It was about a $500 difference for 100,000 miles. So that is about $50-100 per year more...that is not enough difference to make me choose one car over another. I did not buy a warranty, I just use the cost information to get an idea of what the real differences are.

    Many VW owners that have posted on edmunds and elswhere have indicated that their car was nearly bulletproof too. Generally people who have a lot of problems are more likely to post about it though. Not every Honda is problem free. I would not want to buy a car I don't like because its is expected to be "reliable" and end up being one of the unlucky ones who has a lot of problems. I'd rather go the other way and hope I get lucky with a car I like :) .

    VW has a better warranty than Honda.

    VWs hold their resale value very well, despite the reliability issues. So if the car is problematic, selling it would lilkely not be too painful.

    The old Jetta appealed to a pretty young group of drivers, for the most part. This could increase the number of problems for a number of reasons.

    VWs are, I think, a little "fussier" than a car like a Honda and I don't know that everyone who owns one treats it accordingly when getting service. Just one example is the oil...VW requires/recommends synthetic oil, but how many owners just go to a quickie oil change places and have whatever generic oil they are selling put in? I plan to take are to VW dealer or VW specialist for all service.

    VW has been beat-up so much over reliability problems, I figured they were going to really work hard to avoid problems with the new Jetta.

    I have read about people having problems with some dealership service departments too. I think that will vary with the dealership. I don't have much experience with that yet but we did have our Jetta in for 5 minor issues and all were taken care of in our one visit.

    I like the features and the way my wife's Jetta drives so much that I am now considering a Golf for myself in a couple years. (By then, it should be clearer if VW has taken care of the "reliability" problem).
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