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Volkswagen Jetta Maintenance and Repair

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  • fmuragfmurag Posts: 6
    I adored my 1999 Jetta GLS...for the first 6 months. Since then, the car has been in the shop alllll the time. My credit cards are maxed out with charges from repairs and rentals. One of the many problems that I had was excessive oil consumption with the 2.0L engine.

    After having VW check it out numerous times, I was told that it's normal for a car to consume lots of oil. Then, last December the engine ceased while I was driving. The car is still in the shop (5 months later). VW "customer care" has been less than apathetic about the problem.

    I finally contacted a lemon-law attorney in March. The attorney told me that VW has a plethora of lemon law cases pending. He said they are the most stubborn car company he has dealt with, but in the end I'll probably get my money back.

    For those of you having problems with your Jetta, don't stand for it!! The car is great looking, but poorly designed mechanically. See an attorney that specializes in lemon law cases and get a Honda! Good luck!
  • bluejettabluejetta Posts: 272
    It's preferred by most to use synthetic when you change your oil, but it is by no means required. If you do though, get your oil at Kmart or Wal-Mart as the prices at the dealer are ridiculous for synthetic.


    As for brands....I think they are probably all good and very comparable. I use Mobil 1, but that's just my preference.


    -Jim

    http://www.jettaownersclub.org

    http://www.bluelagoonjetta.com

  • i've got a question, when i take my car in for its first service, i know they say its free, does that mean i pay absolutely nothing? Exactly what is free?
  • bluejettabluejetta Posts: 272
    If you order the house-dressing (oil) then it's 100% free. Open the manual and see what they do on the 5K dervice. Everything listed there, they do...For free.

    -Jim
  • i know this topic has been talked about alot lately, but exactly what are the advantages of synthetic oil?
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    Although I realize that there are some happy VWs owners out there, there must be a reason why this board is always busy, more busy than other "problem boards". I loved the 1.8T jettas, but I AM SO GLAD THAT I DIDN'T GET ONE. Thanks guys.
  • flacaflaca Posts: 168
    Look at the other boards - every car even the infamous hondas & toyos have their problem board.
    AT least we are cute.
  • bluejettabluejetta Posts: 272
    The immediate advantage is that it's automatically pure. No matter how much you refine crude oil, there's always some 'crap' in it. It's never clean.

    Synthetic also lasts longer than 'normal' oil and has a lass chance of breaking down under abnormal conditions.

    That's enough for me. No chemical lectures needed. ;-)

    -Jim
  • bluejettabluejetta Posts: 272
    newcar31 whined:
    Although I realize that there are some happy VWs owners out there, there must be a reason why this board is always busy, more busy than other "problem boards". I loved the 1.8T jettas, but I AM SO GLAD THAT I DIDN'T GET ONE. Thanks guys.

    Okay then. Seeya.
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    Although it is not me whining, it is you guys whining about the cars that you are making payments on. I am glad that I am NOT whining about my car. I didn't mean to offend anyone, I am simply glad that there are owners forums like these that I can read BEFORE I make a major purchase. If you want to get hissy, get hissy with the people who drive the VWs on this board and swear that they will never get another one again (but they are cute though). You have to feel pretty strongly about something to make statements like that. Again, I realize that there are other problem boards for Mazdas, Nissans, Hondas, and Toyotas, and I have read them too. They pale in comparison to this one though. Refer to the numereous posts above. Sounds like my comment hit a little too close to home.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,806
    newcar, you have to realize that these boards are like the ER room at a hospital. You only see the sick ones. This forum is a like a magnet for complaints, which is good, but I wouldn't draw any conclusions about a car based just on the few posts you read here. There are a lot of Jettas out there on the road.

    Usually, it takes a couple of years to compile good statistics on a certain model year car.

    MODERATOR

  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    I understand that. But the sheer number of posts on this board compared to other cars was troubling to me. For instance, why are there twice as many posts on this problem board than the Honda Civic? We all know that there are WAY more Civics on the road than Jettas right? I am not saying that everyone should go out and buy a Civic (I didn't), but the number of posts on this board seem to be way out of proportion to the number of Jettas out there. Little things that go wrong with a new car wouldn't bother me, but windows falling into the door and excessive oil consumption are inexcusable to me if I am going to be paying for it for a while. Believe me, I wish that VW had a better track record than it does because IMHO, I think that the Jetta is a really classy car and seems way more upscale than the Japanese competition. I really wanted a Jetta 1.8T, but these people scared me away from them, and I thank them for being public about their concerns. Maybe someone at VW is reading these and they will make a better car someday. I also realize that every company makes lemons, but it is the PERCENTAGE of lemons that really counts. I used this site extensively when I was shopping for a new car and its too bad that I made a better decision at the expense of others' troubles, but that is the way it is.
  • mellismellis Posts: 150
    I own a Jetta Wolfsburg 1.8T and it has been flawless. I believe if you look back that most of the complaints have been about the 2.0l engine which is a dog and really drags down the overall reliability ratings.

    The 1.8T is an Audi engine that is used in many Audi/VW cars and is generally considered to be one of the 10 best engines in the world. The Jetta is an entirely different car (both performance and reliability) with that engine.

    Mark
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    Like I said, I know that there are people out there that have been lucky. I disagree that the Jetta is an entirly different car with the 1.8T though. It is the same car with a different engine. The engine may be more reliable and powerful, but is the rest of the car? Are the power windows different? Is the body hardware different? How many miles do you have? Another thing: If the 2.0L is causing so many problems, why has VW been using it for so long and why haven't they ironed out all of the problems? ALL of the 2.0Ls should be completly trouble free considering that it has been around for a long, long time. Soulja said that VW has replaced everything BUT the engine is his car which is an exageration, but I know what he is getting at. By the way, I love how those wolfsburgs look and I'd be really happy for you if you got to drive a great car like that with no troubles.
  • bluejettabluejetta Posts: 272
    Sorry to report, newcar31, but my Jetta has been flawless since the day I bought it. Oh...It's a 2.0 too. No oil loss either. I also drove a 1.8T and was not that impressed with it, but it's definitely a nice little engine. Just not the pocket-rocket that some claim it to be. Yes, it's faster than the 2.0, but not THAT much faster.

    Anyway, the biggest complaints I have seen since reading this and other forums (for the past year) are with the VR6 and the 2.0. There are numerous complaints on the VR6: Rotten egg smell, blowing black smoke at startup and running bad until warm, to name a few. The only real complaint I recall specific to the 2.0 is oil usage in some cars. That is apparantly due to some bad piston rings in some of the cars and does not effect all cars.

    The #1 complaints though come from the tweakers that chip and cam and over-tweak the 1.8T beyond what the VW model is designed for. IMO, if you're going to tweak this thing, you need to go all the way, or not at all. The engine is virtually the same as the Audi TT, except the TT's add-ons are designed for the horsepower it puts out. It has a different turbo, intercooler, etc. to handle the higher stresses that the VW is simply not designed for.

    What 'hits close to home', there newcar31, if you can even call it that, is when people that don't even own a VW come in and complain about VW's?!?!?!? What's the point of that? I sure as heck get no joy bugging the Accord owners and all the problems they are having with their cars.

    And I can say that, being a former Accord owner (1991-2000) and my neighbor owns (and hates) his 2000 Accord, and he (was) a longtime Honda fan also. I have had to follow him numerous times to the Honda shop, in my Jetta, to take his car in for repairs.

    In the meantime, I'll stick with my flawless 2001 Jetta, thank you very much. BTW: What kind of car did you end up with there, newcar31?
  • mellismellis Posts: 150
    With the 1.8T and the sports suspension the Jetta loses the econobox performance and becomes a sports sedan. Much different handling and performance.

    And my 1.8T has been flawless too. Not a squeak, rattle, or repair. 32MPG highway, 6000+ miles.
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    Like I have already said, I know that some of you have had no problems with your VWs. I didn't come here to complain about them, I just wanted to thank those that made their complaints public, this is my first new car purchase, and I am a very picky person. I wouldn't be able to handle it if the car I bought turned out to be a lemon, and from what I have read, here and elsewhere, VWs seem to have a higher occurance of lemons. I guess that is what you have to risk if you want one. I really wanted a silver Jetta 1.8T and my plans were to chip it, but it may void your warranty depending if the dealer wants to. (it is in writing, but I have heard that some dealers look the other way) I bought a 01 Mazda Protoge ES 2.0L because to me (and the car mags), it came the closest to that "German feel". If I was going strictly on reliability, I would have gone Civic or Corolla, but those cars are way too boring for me. I feel that the Protoge has a good balance between reliability and driving fun. I know it has nowhere near the potential of the 1.8T, but it is adequate, and has a better forecast for reliability which is really important to me. It also happened to be cheaper, 0 percent financing for 4 years, 6 months defered payment, and it handles really, really well. What the protoge lacks in my opinion is the quality look of the interior. In its class, the Jetta really shines in that department. The inside looks like an Audi. The seats in the Jetta are way better as is the instrument panel. I love the blue illumination, I have red--yuck. The 1.8T is a gem of an engine, I really like how it pulls from low RPMs with little turbo lag. One thing that turned me off is that some of the Jettas are made in Mexico. If I buy a German car, I would prefer that it come from Germany. This may not make a difference, but it is in my head. The Protoge is built in Japan. Mazda as a whole doesn't necessarily have the best track record either, mostly because of Ford's involvement and the RX7. The 626s had Ford automatics in them that turned out to be nightmares, and the RX7 was beautiful but wasn't the most reliable either. Funny how all other companies abandoned the idea of the Rotary a long time ago. The MPV now has a Ford engine and the Tribute/Escape has been plagued with recalls. The only truly reliable cars that Mazda sells are the "real" Mazdas that have normal piston engines and nothing to do with Ford, ie) Protoge (not for long, soon to be a Focus) and Miata. I am still jealous of your Jettas though, I guess I am a wimp though and couldn't be a risk taker this time around.
  • bluejettabluejetta Posts: 272
    Well...Now that you put it that way, on the level of a normal discussion, and not some flame-fest, the people here might actually respond to your comments.

    I appreciate that you shopped well for your car and picked one that you're comfortable with. Especially being your first car, that's what's most important.

    As for the VW's being made in Mexico, well, you'd be surprised what's being built down there these days. Cars, electronics, computers, peripherals and much more.

    I was skeptical about the Mexican Connection myself, until I met a member here and he actually visited the plant down there. He was very impressed, as was I and we put together a web page showing what a class facility this place really is. They did have some ramp-up problems back when the New Beetle was being built, but that was all resolved in a quick manner.

    Those kind of rumors stick around for awhile though, just like the ones that have plagued Mazda over the years that don't even apply to them anymore.

    If you'd like to "see" the Mexico plant, go to: http://www.geocities.com/jettaownersclub/mexico.html

    Good luck with your Mazda and I'm happy to hear you got something you're comfortable with.

    -Jim
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,806
    Statistically, VW has not been all that highly rated these past ten years, that is true, but they seem to be getting better and better. I have confidence in their product, but if you don't think Mercedes blow up buy a sandwich and a cup of coffee and sit in a dealer's parking lot early one morning and more likely than not you'll either see at least one tow truck or be able to talk to a few disgruntled owners.

    If you want an absolute guarantee that the new vehicle you buy won't break, buy a bicycle...and even THEN.....

    MODERATOR

  • mellismellis Posts: 150
    Chill out guy, I don't think that post was called for!
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    but jeez, tell people something that they don't know. I never said a certain car is immune to breaking down did I? Certain cars are LESS LIKELY to break down than others though. Who brought up Mercedes? A Toyota Corolla is more reliable than a Mercedes, statistically. That doesn't mean that people haven't had a good experience with a Benz. That also doesn't mean that I would rather have a Corolla than a Benz either. It's all depends on your priorities and financial situation.
  • I'm a new member of this board and really love all ideas which posted on this and I owned a 99 1/2 new body jetta with a vr6.I just want to share some of my experiences with jetta's owners and /or with someone has had a difficult time to make up their mind rather to buy a honda, nissan or mazda or a jetta. just had my jetta for a few months and as a second owner at 30k miles when I purchase mine,id' like to do a check up and service by myself in order to have peace of mind and getting to know more about my vehicle. According to manual book,it recommends synthetic oil and high octane fuel. oil will be replace at each 10k miles interval (of course,oil filter also)and brake fluids need to be flush at 20k miles or 2 years interval.I did as the book recommended,however i got an "check engine light"came on not too long after my first oil change and brake flush at vw dealership and to solve that problem i have to spent $950.00 for diagnosis,replace O2 sensor and the aux.injector blower motor (which went bad @ 33,000 miles).after that i noticed spark plugs wires had cracked @ corner where it bent and goes down to the tips which connected to the plug (every one of them)and i had to replaced all 6 wires and plugs (manual book requires to change spark plugs @ 40k miles interval)and buying plug wires and plugs was an unique experience for me.Dealership sold me wrong wires @ first (when i said it's 99,their computer showed old parts #)and they were sold as individually wire about $21.00/ea,order only and plugs,there not a lot of vw parts people work in service knows their products well enough to sell the right part @ the first time.anyway,after replaced all those parts my vr6 runs really good,compare with honda accord and camry v6 which i had owned before about performance and acceleration,the jetta vr6 can let these japanese cars smell dust,specially at highway driving like i've been doing this everyday commuting to work,i could passed a camry,mazda or accord v6 easily (not to race but lanes changing and reach the spot i want to be)the jetta did a great job.so,it makes me think about a high performance car,it will need good cares and routine service and all the expensive fuel and fluids that can make the car always @ top performance.of course it still depend on the owner's pocket and financial situation.i love the look of the jetta,thinking about to buy a BMW for my next car but compare the expensive of routine service for a beamer and a japanese car,it's a no match whatsoever (my previous toyo camry v6 and 92 accord don't need transmission fluids,spark plugs,brakes check until they reached 60,000 miles)the beamer requires routine service about $560.00 every 18k miles.
    finally,i think each manufacture car was built for each of us depend on our tastes,our lifestyles,our financial situation and our needs (the need for transportation and the wanted for pleasure it's a totally difference world-i think ???)-THANKS to all you guys for great ideas and great diccussions and thanks to the staffs of this board-keep up the good work.
  • luckie13luckie13 Posts: 2
    Hello everyone, this is my first post. I just sold my 93 civic today and what a piece of ..... I know honda's are suppose to be reliable and blah blah, but I had to fix more things on that car in 2 years than anyone has mentioned here about their jetta's. My parents talked me into getting it (more like made me)because of "how reliable and dependable" they are, even though I really wanted a Jetta to begin with. To make it worse it was my first car, so it gave me a horrible first car experience, with a minimum wage job to finance all those repairs.

    I'm not complaining though, more like celebrating that I have gotten rid of it. But now that I have a much better job I am able to afford the jetta I wanted in the first place.

    So now I need to decide on what model. I have read all the problems people have experienced, but have also read all the happy Jetta owners posts too. Now I'm just confused more than I was, because although there is a risk of any car being a lemon, I'm really trying to make a good choice on this car so I don't go through hell again.

    I like the '01 TDI, because of the gas mileage of course, but am not sure about the diesel engine, and what kind of repairs it may need in the future.

    Any suggestions on the "best" or most dependable or most satisfied with 2001 model for me and anyone, from a current owner already.

    It is very appreciated! Rachelle
  • twig93twig93 Posts: 38
    Lucky 13...if you are interested in a TDI...go for it! I have had mine since June 2000 and it is fantastic! It runs like a champ and gets 50 mpg. From what I hear, diesel engines go forever. The major expense will be the timing belt. That needs to be changed around 40,000 in the TDI. The guy who sold me my TDI said that they can't keep up with the demand for TDI now with the gas prices. VW is quite possibly building a diesel engine plant here in the US.

    I have not had (knock on wood) the troubles stated on this board mechanically or otherwise. I hear a few rattles inside the car here and there.....all were taken care of...they even replaced the seatbelt because it was vibrating and making a sound when no one was in it (passenger side). The only problems unresolved right now is that my trunk lid is slow to open and my AC needed to be charged. They are watching my AC and I will go in next week to find out about my trunk lid. You have to expect small problems like this the first year or so...when a car is brand new from the factory, some things need to be ironed out as the car is used.

    I owned a Ford ZX2 previously and had an oil leak that took 4 trips to the dealer to fix, an AC that smelled like vomit and cat urine every time I turned it on, windows that squeaked and barely moved, rusted alloy wheels, etc. I am now very happy with my VW and am sorry to hear about other's troubles.

    If you want to hear from happy owners of TDI's go to www.tdiclub.com It is a huge website of info. on the car and engine you are interested in. Good luck!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,806
    newcar, I think your post implied (perhaps you didn't intend it) that the statistical gap in reliability between VWs and most other cars was MASSIVE. My and other people's response was to argue that it is probably just a few statistical clicks off the mark, and b) that you can't judge a car's reliability record from what you see here anyway. You'd need better data to reach a conclusion like that, I think.

    MODERATOR

  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    But, I think the statisical gap between VW and Toyota is pretty large. I still wonder why Toyota has consistantly been the best as far as reliability. Do Toyota engineers eat different food? Are they aliens? What do they know that other companies don't? Why do they build boring cars with either bland or weird styling (there are a few exceptions to that rule of course). If they had nice looking, fun cars that were also reliable, they would be perfect.
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    while not a pleasing to drive from an enthusiasts standpoint, a Camry V6 5sp would blow the doors off of any US spec VR6 jetta.
  • mellismellis Posts: 150
    I can tell you from personal experience that a Camry V6 5sp will NOT blow the doors off of a Jetta 1.8t with an APR chip. :)
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    How can you fairly compare a modified car against a stock car? I was only pointing this out because vwdailydr2 was bragging about beating down camrys and accords in the VR6. Well, auto vs. auto and manual vs. manual, the Camry V6 is faster. We all know that chipped 1.8Ts are nothing to laugh about. But, and its a big but, a chipped 1.8T's 100,000 mile powertrain warranty coverage is questionable AND you are comparing apples to oranges. While more expensive than a chip upgrade, Toyota makes superchargers for the V6 Camrys and it keeps the warranty intact. That would significantly level the playing field if not making it unfair to the chipped 1.8T. ;)
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,806
    Okay, this topic is supposed to be for Jettas and VWs perhaps, but we should really be taling about Japanese cars in other more suitable topics. We seem to be drifting too far from what newcomers might expect to see here.

    thanks,

    Mr. Shiftright
    Host

    MODERATOR

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