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Volkswagen Jetta Maintenance and Repair



  • Well if one were looking for a short circuit then, that's a great place to start, seems to me.
  • I have a 98 Jetta that had some similar issues a couple of years ago. I like that you refer to it as a haunting because that is exactly how it seems! One night after leaving a second job I went to unlock my car and put the key in however it would not turn either direction. Since it was winter I thought maybe the lock had frozen although it seemed like a stretch since the key went in fine. So I tried to automatic button on the keyless entry (I tried not to use it much) and that didn't work either! I had to get a ride home and was worried I'd have to get a locksmith. Well the next day I went back and was able to get in the car just fine!?? Within a week the keyless entry was no longer working at all. I called the Jetta dealer here and was told it could be up to $200 to get the keyless entry reprogrammed so I said forget it and I'll just unlock the car with the keys. I continue to have issues with the doors locking on their own though. Sometimes I have had to get in the back seat and crawl over to the front because when I try to open the door it just won't open. I have also had to crawl out the back even when getting in the front because the door will mess up and have no resistance when I pull the handle to get out of the car and it has happened with the back doors as well. I have no idea what the issue could be but I don't even lock my car anymore because of it. I just don't have the extra money to take it in because it costs an arm and a leg to do anything to this car. I am now having other issues with it starting. I just spent $630 on a tune up and new AC Delco battery and it is still having issues starting. This morning it took a few times to get it started but once I did it wouldn't idle unless I had my foot on the gas so I don't know what is wrong now. I already had to take it back once because the battery cable was messed up or at least that is what the shop told me.
  • Could someone PLEASE tell me how to fix? I cannot connect my radar detector because the outlet/lighter does not work. The funny thing is that the one in the trunk works fine. ANY IDEAS??
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,083
    Just a wild guess.... FUSE?

    HINT: Read owners manual!
  • Many times if it's not the fuse, what has happened is that people buy accessory devices with a plug in that is not quite the right fit---so they tug on it to get it out, and they end up pulling off the wire behind the socket, behind the dash.
  • Hello! What is the process for adjusting the headlights on my 2001 Jetta?
  • You're probably going to need the Bentley manual for this as it requires diagrams and explanations that are rather complicated to jam into this little box. Or let a shop do it as they have the special equipment for alignment. Sometimes the public library will have a manual and once you can see where the adjusting screws are, perhaps you can find a blank wall at night and at least get a "rough" alignment going.

    I don't have a clear diagram to post but maybe someone else can fish one up for you. Each lamp has two adjusters.
  • I was told that Jetta's only take synthetic oil. I have a 2008 2.5, is that true or can I get a regular oil change. I bought the car used so I don't know what kind of oil was previously used. :confuse:
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,083
    Since you did not mention which engine you have... we cannot really answer the question. In general... if you have a turbocharged engine. you MUST use synthetic oil and premium fuel.

    Why dont you just read the owners manual?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,631
    Hopefully the car did come with an owner's manual, but if not you might check out some of the VW-focused discussions on the Web. A quick google search found several notes re synthetic being required by VW on the 2.5, which means if you don't use factory-spec synthetic and there's an engine problem that can be traced to non-spec oil, VW can deny coverage under the warranty.
  • ndmike88ndmike88 Posts: 154
    I'd go with the synthetic just for the added protection. Might cost a few dollars more but your engine will thank you for it in the long run.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    It does not matter which engine. The 2.5 engine also requires synthetic oil, according to VW. While VW does not specifically state that synthetic is required, only some synthetic oils meet VW's specs.

    There is really little or no cost to using the appropriate synthetic oil. Oil changes do cost about twice as much, but are only required about half as often.
  • I've owned this car since 2002 and its always had the first issue (running rough after reaching driving temp), however it's become WAAAAAY more frequent in the past year. I took it back to VW SEVERAL times in the first couple years and was told 1. vacuum leak... "fixed". 2. faulty MAF "fixed"-once by VW and again by us (after purchasing an OBD II scanner and having that code come up again, and again). and 3. "there's and intermittent fault, but we can't determine what's causing it". So I gave up taking my car to VW for ANYTHING because they weren't doing me any favors. Upon doing some of our own research, we decided to change out the temp sensor and the coil and neither of those have fixed anything. We've kicked around changing out the water pump, but that seems pretty invasive and we're not convinced that's the problem. There are also some prominent electrical issues- radio/accessory lights don't work, glove box light doesn't work, headlight alarm doesn't work, the temp gauge ALWAYS reads 190, door lock (rear driver's side) doesn't work, alarm light doesn't blink, etc. We've checked the fuses and they're all fine. Are these things related to each other and/or the running issue? Can anyone tell me what's causing the rough running/dying after warmed up?? Or the electrical issues??
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,083
    WOW... that is one long paragraph

    I will try to touch on some of your questions

    *) The waterpump MUST be changed when the TimingBelt is changed so it better have been changed at least once by now.

    *) The temp guage on 2000 model year is KNOWN to be a problem. If your temp-sender is not GREEN... replace it with green one. Available here for $15 On the 2.0 engine, it is very easy to replace. I have done it in the dark in about 15 minutes with my daugher holding flashlight.

    *)The rough running is either caused by
    1)Ignition system
    2)Fuel injection system

    Since the ignition-system has been looked at, I would suggest having the fuel-pressure checked. Also consider that an injector is failing when it is hot.

    As for the door lock / alarm system. There are some micro-switches in the door which may be malfinctioning. If the alarm-system does not "sense" that all the doors are closed/locked, then it will not arm.
  • podotpodot Posts: 1
    So, I have a 97 Jetta GLS and for some strange reason the headlights and heater turn off at the same time. Sometimes they just flicker and other times the turn off all together. The lights don't dim and normaly. I think that it is a bad ground connection but I have no idea where the ground is. Also it shocks me some times and I think that is leading to a bad ground cable. Does anyone have any thoughts or have experienced a similar problem
  • You most assuredly have an electrical short issue.
    A power wire is shorting out somewhere.
    It may be that a wire for the headlight under the dash is crossing over to the heater control or the heater control is shorted over to the headlight relay.
    Does the heater control allow you to set low, medium, and high?
    Take to an electrical expert.
    The extra cost invovled in searching this down will pay for itself in time spent by the expert rather than by an unseasoned mechanic poking around.
    Unless you can visually see the shorted wires under the dash with a powerful light source.
    Just had a customer with brake lights always on. Turns out the wife kicked the brakelight switch with her pointed shoes and broke it in it's housing. Since it was not in the housing the plunger was always out sensing the pedal was being depressed.

    Pray this helps.
  • Thanks! I did purchase the Bentley manual... (now I just need to study it...). Do you by chance know if someone makes an aftermarket kit to upgrade the assy to a brighter bulb?
  • hey have a qustion my thermostat will go to 190 but my heat comes out ice cold not sure where to start looking
  • The possible fix is in the heater control valve.
    Or the connections to activate the valve.
    Or a blocked heater core.
    Or blender door.
  • I have had this same problem. I am hoping you know the answer because this post is a bit old. Please email me back at
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