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Volkswagen Jetta Maintenance and Repair



  • mrbert29mrbert29 Posts: 37
    Thanks for that Jeffy. It seems then that after all was said and done I saved $200. So the next big maintenance is when? 70 or 80k? I bought the car used so don't have the manuals.
  • eliaselias Posts: 1,898
    hello mr bert.

    You may be a car-hypochondriac like me! :)

    The thud could be the sound of anything hot contracting. Or heating up.
    Those clicky-click sounds as the car cools off are similarly normal.

    The check-engine code should be able to specifically indicate whether it is O2 sensor or fuel-cap/evap-system leak. Neither is critical but each of those problems causes extra pollution. Ignition coil? Nah. Check-engine light is specifically/mostly for emissions/pollution-related stuff.
    Fuel system evap leaks are difficult to track down. mechanic with smoke-machine can do it quickest.

    No way will any "Seafoam" or any other fuel additive fix any significant problem or any symptom/issue you are reporting.

    In my experience, O2 sensors are expected to fail anywhere around 75k-150k. they are not too much $ to swap.


  • mrbert29mrbert29 Posts: 37
    LOL elias! Well ever since that first thud and then that weird backfire, yes all noises in that car get to me now!! Thanks for clarifying exactly the purpose of that check engine light. One question, what makes it go on but then turn off later. Is it not supposed to stay on until whatever is fixed? And I'm very wary about these fuel additives. What is your recommendation to fix clogged fuel injectors or to increase air going to gas mixture? Is that the purpose of the O2 sensor?
  • eliaselias Posts: 1,898
    edited August 2010
    :) Mr Bert - No the check-engine light doesn't stay on forever until something is fixed.

    The check engine light illuminates only after a certain threshold of repeated/stored codes/conditions/counts is exceeded.
    If the condition which illuminated the light disappears for the next N startups/runs, then the light will be turned off.

    You are right to be wary about added injector cleaner. All modern gasolines contain cleaners/detergents already - each refiner/distributor is required to use the same cleaners/degergents in the same ratios in all their different grades of gas.

    If fuel injectors are clogged, the fuel additive can maybe a tiny bit, but mostly it is a placebo..
    The real fix for clogged injectors is to have them high-pressure-cleaned outside the car - that has a cointoss chance of fixing them.
    If that doesn't work, then the only fix is to replace them. ($).
    Injectors don't last forever, but out of ~30 cars, only had to have them replaced on a 1989 camaro that had all 8 swapped under warranty like most 1989 TPI camaros.
    (I have never personally had to have injectors pressure-cleaned outside the car, except i think maybe the dealer had tried that on that one camaro before swapping them.)

    Purpose of O2 sensor(s) is for ECM to adjust fuel/air mixture for optimal burn for both mpg and pollution. So yes you are essentially correct about their purpose. Some engines have many O2 sensors, both before & after the catalytic converter.

    cheers !
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    The big ones are every 4 years or 40K mi, I left out the biggest item...replace spark plugs that would add $100-150 to the 40K. You should view and download the maintenance schedule for your specific model at
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Replacing sparkplugs adds $150 ???? On what planet?

    Let me do the math.... 4 sparkplugs at $2 each = $8

    Even if a moron installed them for the first time in his life, it should not take any more than 30 minutes. Dealerships charge about $70/hour so that would be about $35

    $35 + $8 = $43 to replace the sparkplugs!

    Personally, I do that easy stuff myself. Just today, I replaced the fuel-filter on my wifes Jetta TDI. (she purchased the filter for under $40 while she was out doing errands today.)

    There are no sparkplugs on my wifes Jetta.

    On the other hand, a timing-belt replacement (including the waterpump, accessory-belt, pullies, tensionors, seals and must-replace bolts) may cost $350 for just the parts. An experienced mechanic would take about 4 hours to do the job properly. Expect to pay over $600 for a TB replacement.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    edited August 2010
    On what planet does a dealer charge $2 per plug and $70 per hour for labor?

    Also I don't think they put in $2 lawn mower spark plugs. The platinum OEM plugs for the 2.5 engine are $13.55 each at, 5 plugs at that price would be nearly $70. Dealer labor rate is about $100 per hour.

    edit: Checked my receipt, I was charged $15.50 per plug and $65 labor, but then I got a $60 discount on that plus an air filter and final total with taxes and fees was $120 for the two items.

    We did that at 4 years and about 30K mi, I plan to push the next replacement out to a 6 year interval, at which time the car will be 10 years old and that will likely be it for plugs as it would be 16 years old another 6 years after that.
  • mrbert29mrbert29 Posts: 37
    Sounds like my VW dealership that quoted $103 to buy and install a new brakelight switch. I bought the switch from VW parts department for about $11 and had a buddy that used to work for VW install it. Literally took him 5 minutes. Total cost to me, $11 and 2 beers!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,408
    well then, your garage is not 20,000 square feet with 40 employees, so you have less overhead. :P


  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    I don't see a problem with what I was charged...the price of the plugs was in line with what I'd have paid and they charged about 40 minute of labor. Then there was a 20% discount that they somehow mis-calculated to be $60.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    I know this is the "Jetta" forum...but yesterday, I replaced the 4 sparkplugs in my daughters NB (New Beetle) and they cost $1.98 each at Autozone.

    I know the 5-cylinder VW engines are a bit trickier.... They have COP (Coil-On-Plug) technology and you have to remove the engine-cover to access them. (Those plugs for the 2.5L (P/N=101-905-601-F) are good for 60,000 miles so they are worth a few more dollars)

    Bottom Line: I still contend that $100 is too much to pay to get 5 sparkplugs replaced.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    edited August 2010
    Too much for you.

    Presuming high quality platinum plugs are used, I'm perfectly happy to pay someone else to do this job for $100 or so. I'm sure good platinums can be found for less than the VW price, but they certainly are not going to be $1.98.

    I am pretty certain that you are not going to find a dealer or any other mechanic, working in an actual shop, that is going to replace spark plugs for the $35 figure that you came up with...even if you are willing to use $2 plugs.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,408
    edited August 2010
    It's all about overhead. You can do your own laundry or you can pay someone to wash and fold it for you. Difference in price? You bet. One can enjoy one's thriftiness but it's not fair to call the laundry lady a rip-off either, even if it is $20 bucks for an armful of clean laundry rather than $3.50.


  • orsaleorsale Posts: 2
    Hi revmarket,

    Have same EPC issue and looking to buy the diagnostic tool, I understand at autozone is free to get codes read wondering if you can recommend a diagnostic tool based on your experience.

  • orsaleorsale Posts: 2
    What was the issue? I have the same issue with my car... EPC still on push accel pedal and response is slow
  • revmarketrevmarket Posts: 48
    edited August 2010
    Really only used what Autozone gave us to use while I worked there.
    Whatever your pocket can afford.
    Also your experience level.
    You can use it on your friends car to recoup the cost.

    Middle priced one should do the DIYer.
    If you are going to scan cars made before OBDII (around 1995 and older) get a dual reader. Has two attachments, one for the square and one for the oblong connectors.

    Wait for sale at AZ or buy online wherever you can get one.

    Hope this helps.
  • kajadamkajadam Posts: 1
    My jetta was running perfectly, but i saw leaking from the radiator. i was out of town and took it to a local mecahnic. he said the radiotor was leaking and that it would cost -500.00 to replace. After he returned my car to me i noticed 2 problems. 1. the hood would not shut properly, unless i dropped it very hard never did this. 2. the biggest problem is that i started to smell antifreeze fluid in my vents. we checked the hood and saw that the mechanic had topped off the antifreeze resivor. when i took it back to him, he said its now a heater core problema and he does not fix those. so then i took it to another place which did comfrim the heater core is also bad and it will cost -1000.00 to fix that.

    i had never had problems with the heater core or smelling antifreeze from my vents. my question is, would filling the antifreeze jug to the top mess with the pressure and blow of of the hoses in the heater core?
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    edited August 2010
    The VERY BEST "diagnostic tool" for Volkswagen/Audi is the VAG-COM It is so good that many shops use VagCom for VW/Audis.

    You buy the "dongle" and it plugs into your car and laptop computer. The software is FREE download and thye "upgrade" it often so you always have the latest-n-greatest version for free.

    I am sure you will review website I included above... but here are some hilights
    1) General Diagnostics capabilities
    2) Reset codes to turn off dashboard lite
    3) In-depth diagnostics for many of your cars systems (O2-sensor diags, Cat-converter diags... etc)
    4) turn on/off any of the programmable options (like auto-locking...etc)
    5) Manully operate any of the computer-controlled items for troubleshooting
    6) Only way to properly bleed the ABS braking system is by running ABS pump manually.
    7) It can log/graph any of the sensors while you are driving to aid in troubleshooting problems.
    8) Many more items I have never even used yet
  • djukidjuki Posts: 1
    i bought a 2009 jetta 2.5 and can't find oil filter.can someone please let me know where it is,and also what type of oil should i use.Thanks
  • jmr813jmr813 Posts: 6
    Less than a week ago, the check engine light came on in my 2006 VW Jetta, 2.5 engine, ~47k miles. I also noticed the fans in the engine area staying on for 30-60 seconds after I shut the car down. It has been ridiculously hot here lately so I didn't think much of that. I took it to an independent shop for diagnosis since it is out of warranty, and the independent shop said that the error codes were for fan control modules 1 and 2. The fan control module was intermittantly losing communication, and they determined that the right fan has gone bad, which in turn burnt up the left fan and fan control module, so the entire thing (both fans) needs replacement.

    I was quoted $1293 including tax from one shop and $983 incl. tax from another. Still waiting to hear back from a third for an estimate. Anyone else have experience in this area? I didn't expect it to be so ridiculously expensive! Do these costs seem reasonable?
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