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Volkswagen Jetta 2005 and earlier



  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Hi Cait, welcome! Different "trim levels" offer different features on the same basic car. You can research the trim levels of various used vehicles by starting here: Research Used Car Prices, Specs & Reviews. And as the title suggests, you can also find reviews and pricing information.

    Also, you can spend some time looking through the previous postings here. The Search This Discussion feature may be helpful to you in doing that. (It's a box just above the first post and just below the last one.)

    Good luck!
  • jwm5jwm5 Posts: 3
    This is my first post and I was hoping someone out there could offer some help. I have a 95 Jetta GLS with a broken interior door handle. Happened today. The lever moves, but no longer opens the door.

    I was wondering if anyone has repaired this on their own and how involved the task is. I know a dealer would probably charge a few hundred bucks for this. If it is not too complicated I was thinking of giving a shot myself.

  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    If you trully wish to try it yourself... you will have to pull the inside door trim off and then acertain why the mechanism is no longer working.
  • Joe,

    Had my tempgauge go high a few days ago. Water pump seized yesterday... :(

    Hope this isn't your problem - not sure how you could diagnose it??

  • hi everyone.. a recent mystery has recently surfaced on my gf's 2001 jetta ... her brake lites would come on in the middle of the nite.. after she had parked it for hours and made sure it was off when she first parks it... one time, it drained her battery completely..

    anyone have any ideas?? the mechanic has put in a new parking lite switch and it still does it... i'm thinking, but not sure, that her petal is losing brake pressure?? so the petal is pushed down?? i know, wild guess.. but anyone think its something else? or have any insight? thanks!!
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    brake lights draining the battery is a KNOWN issue. The switch on the brake-pedal has been recalled because of it. Dont PAY to have a recalled item replaced. Some VWs have 2 switches on the brake pedal. The correct one has to be replaced. (One is for the brake-lights and one is to allow for shifting out of park)

    As for your thought of the pedal "losing pressure". There IS NO PRESSURE in the systm when the pedal is not pressed. There is a SPRING that keeps the pedal in the extended position.
  • argh!! first off, thank you bpeebles!! for that info... what my gf forgot to tell me was.. (she forgot too) that she bought her car in 2 yrs ago and got the light switch replaced after the recall... after i mentioned to her that there's a recall.. her response: "oh yea".. LOL..

    i guess VW put in an defective switch even after the recall.. just like what they do with coils..
  • Apologies for this cross post with the wagons board but I'm on a tight timeline with this one.

    Quandry. We need a wagon for the kids. I'm looking at an 02 TDi Wagon with 52K on it and regular maintenance v. an 04 2.0L gasser with 6K on it. Both GLS. The 02 is under a 2 year extended warranty. 02 is only about $1000 cheaper at this point.

    From a cost of ownership standpoint/reliability standpoint, which one of these is the keeper? The TDi may not loom as large as for some of you since we're only driving 7-10K a year.

    thanks for whatever insights y'all can provide.
  • Well folks, it is time to leave the VW family and I just wanted to write the epitaph. Maybe this will be of use to new poster Cait above who is looking into used Jettas.

    I just traded in a 2001 GLS 2.0L manual 4 dr sedan, black with no options, after 59,300 mi. The car was what my college daughter HAD to have at the time of purchase. She used it at school for 3 years and then it was the wife's daily driver for the last 1.5 years.

    Looking over the records I spent $1760 in maintenance over tht time for about 3 cents/mi. Most of that came between 42,000 and 59,000 mi with new brake pads & rotors front and rear and new tires. As with other Jettas I have heard about, the rear brakes went first (surprising for me) and their rotors had to be replaced -- no depth left to grind them.

    We were free of the dreaded 2.0L engine "above average oil consumption" until 42,000 mi, but after that it started to need an extra quart every 6-8 weeks depending on driving conditions. DO NOT BUY a 2.0L Jetta if you are not willing to check the oil once/month and keep a spare quart of 5W-30 in the trunk for the times when you will need it -- you will. Oil consumption was at its highest when there was a lot of higher speed Interstate driving and lowest when we were just jogging around town. Having said that, however, while bothersome the need to keep up with oil is not that expensive or time consuming once you are in the habit of doing it -- it just leaves you wondering what else might go wrong that won't have such an easy fix.

    Two biggest drawbacks to this car were the standard interior cloth seats ("Format" cloth that year, i.e the "mouse fur" interior - and in black no less - which picked up every piece of lint in the county and held on to it for dear life), and the VW dealer system. All the VW dealers in our city (three) were uniformly below average in attitude, knowledge and service orientation. Makes you want to stay away from them the minute your free services are up -- although as you can read in the above posts there can be some dangers from abandoning them entirely for independent garages. I could understand that the dealers were bad in the 90's when they had poorer product to sell, but after the introduction of the New Beetle/Jetta/Passat lines over the past 8-10 years there is no longer any excuse at all. VW is a fascinating case study of a company who has been greatly successful in turning around the attractiveness of its products but a woeful failure in turning around the dealer system that provides the critical link between the end consumer and those same products.

    Still, the black Jetta was sharp looking (after the multiple treatments of Zaino & 3M Swirlmark remover I gave her), pretty reliable, generally comfortable, and certainly economical. Just stay up on the oil consumption in a 2.0L, avoid a 2001 "Format" cloth interior like the plague, find a good independent garage so you can stay away from the awful dealers, and hit the best VW web forums so you can learn from others what might be coming at you. This is not a car for "passive" owners but can be OK for an informed owner who is willing to put in the time.
  • lerxtlerxt Posts: 1
    Hey Folks, just wondering if anyone has come across a problem with their tail lights not working. That is, my Jetta's brake light burned out and I replaced it with an after market bulb. After that, the tail lights wouldn't work when the headlights were on and the car was in drive. The brake lights, turn signals and reverse lights all work. This isn't so bad during the day, but at night I fear that someone won't see me (not to mention the potential tickets I may get). If it helps, one of the license plate bulbs is also burned out, but I don't think that would be the cause, would it?

    Thanks in advance.
  • reddog74reddog74 Posts: 1
    I have recently noticed the same faint knock/rattling coming from the transmission or clutch area that 'redline21' mentioned (post #490 awhile back) in my '01 Jetta 1.8T w/ manual trans w/ approx 50k miles. As you described in your post, the sound will go away when the clutch is depressed and reappear what the clutch is released. I am curious if you were able to determine the source of the noise?

    Any information is appreciated. Thanks in advance.
  • mzjettamzjetta Posts: 1
    my '01 jetta coolant light comes on and when i refilled the tank about 3-5 minutes later it comes back on. i have been told to ride with the heat on to keep it from overheating. but how does this help the coolant from leaking out. i would appreciate any suggestions. i have been told it could be the thermostat, i truly don't know. :cry:
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    On some model years, there is a known issue of the "EGR cooler" leaking antifreeze into the intake plenum. It comes out the exhaust as a whisp of steam so you may not see it happening.
    The result is that the coolant-level will slowly go down with no visable leakage being seen.
    I am not sure if the 2001s had this issue.

    A bad thermostat is unlikely to cause loss of coolant.

    BTW: Make absolutely sure you are using the correct G12 antifreeze. (Pink color) If you use the generic "green" stuff, you risk ruining your engine.
  • Hi,
    I have a 2002 Jetta 1.8T with 50,000 Miles and I need to get new tires. I currently have the original Michelin Energy MXV4 Plus tires.

    What tires would you all receommend?

    The Michelin Energy MXV4 Plus got ok ratings on Plus&partnum=965HR5MXV4EPL&vehicleSearch=true&fromCompare1=yes&place=2#Survey

    I was considering getting the Michelin PIlot Exalto A/S they got good ratings +A%2FS&partnum=965HR5EXAS&vehicleSearch=true&fromCompare1=yes&place=0#Survey

    I'd be interested in feedback/opinions from anyone on good tires to get for a Jetta.


    I found
  • waiwai Posts: 327
    I happens to have my Taurus wagon install Exalto A/S at the rear and the MXV4 plus at the front, riding is very smooth and OK, very quiet and but steering response and handling is not that good. If you want better grip and cornoring, I think Pilot Sport A/S or Pirelli P Zero is the best option. If you only need to drive very few in snow, I think Dunlop Sport SP9000 high performance summer tire is very good ( right now they are on sale at Tirerack) with 280 treadwear rating and very good hydroplaning resistance and very comfortable ride and good handling.
    I have them installed on my 2004 VR6 to replace the Goodyear RSA at 13,400 miles (which is a junk tire, not good at any surface) I happens to drive SP9000 once in the light snow this winter, which is OK.
  • angsmithangsmith Posts: 1
    I am thinking about buying my son a 1997 Jetta and want to get some opinions from owners. He is 16 and it will be his first vehicle. I want to make sure it will be reliable.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    You did not ask a question so I am not sure what the intent of your append is.

    There is really no way to "make sure it will be reliable" besides take good care of it and hope for the best. All vehicles have their own individual problems to contend with.

    For my daughter, her 1st car was 1989 VW golf. She drove the wheels off that thing and learned a lot about car ownership in the process. She sold it at with over 150,000 miles on it and it was seen on the road for several years after that. For may daughter, I liked the SAFETY that VW offers. The Jetta/Golf have been leaders in SAFETY for a long time.
  • pegrobpegrob Posts: 2
    I have a 2000 Volkswagen Jetta VR6. It apparently takes a long time to start except on warm days. The dealer checked both started and alternator and both were good. The battery is a Goodyear Battery so they claim its an after market one so I got a Volkswagen battery. Still has a hard time starting, mostly in the morning or night not after each used. Unless it sits for 6hrs or more. Any ideas on what it might be? They changed the coils and plug wires but not the plug..Anything would help.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    It sounds to me as if your VW service folks are taking you to the cleaners.... so far they sold you a Battery (obviously not needed), coils and hi-tension wires.

    Now that they have sold you a bunch of expensive stuff, they send you on your way no better off than when you started.

    It should be trivial for them to use their computer hookup to log and diagnose the conditions when the problem occours. WITHOUT selling you any parts. (Of course... they are TRAINED to sell parts even if they are not needed)

    It sure sounds to me as if the cold-starting conditions are not operating properly.
  • pegrobpegrob Posts: 2
    Well according to them they did hook it up to their computers and found no type of power drainage. That's why they claim it was the battery which was at that time 4 months old. I explained at times my light would dim then get bright again so they changed my coils...Could it be faulty coils?
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    your starting problems could be attributed to a LOT of things... but i doubt it is the coils.

    Lets see if I understand your situation;
    *)Cold starts are very difficult
    *)runs just fine once it does start
    *)Once warmed up, it starts and runs just fine

    If I have this correct, This sure seems as if the "cold start system" is not kicking in like it is supposed to.

    Your car needs to be connected to a computer with a COMPENTENT operator at the helm.... not somone that just runs diagnostics. The cold-start system needs to be verified that it is enguaged when the engine is cold.
  • well if you have the code and the stock radio then you should be able to put in the code using the numbers....hit the first button to change the first number onece you have done all four numbers then hold the scan button till it beeps....i think that works thats what i did with my 98 vw jetta tdi
  • waiwai Posts: 327
    Is the code written on the owner's manual under the stereo booklet section? Mine is blank at that section.
  • splarrylsplarryl Posts: 1
    Hello. I have an '04 Jetta 1.08T sedan. I am having an "interesting" time trying to connect a recently acquired trailer to pull my Yamaha V-Star Custom (motorcycle).

    Two questions:

    1) The combined weight of the bike and the trailer is about 750 lbs. According to the trailer manufacturer the tongue weigh should be 10-12% of the towing weight, or not greater than 90lbs. With the maximum adjustment to the trailer, the tongue weight is about 130lbs. Anyone have ANY idea if it is safe (for the vehicle) to pull a 750lb load with a 130lb tongue weight?

    2) When I connected the electrical I blew the 10-amp turn signal fuse (repeatedly), with the trailer lights connected directly to the turn signal wiring. I belive I'm going to have to power the lights by wiring directly to the battery. If anyone can has any experience or helpful hints about trailer wiring, I will be very happy to hear them.


  • 2002jetta2002jetta Posts: 3

    You'd be more than safe as the Jetta is rated to tow up to 1,000lbs. Remember, the 1.8T is very powerful and is used to power to much heavier Passat. The tongue weight shouldn't be a problem because we've all loaded up our trunks with 100-200lbs of stuff with no problem.

  • 10641064 Posts: 2
    Hi guys! I have an 04 Jetta that came with 15" rims. I have recently installed 17x7 chrome rims (Eagle brand) with some 215/50 R17 Hankook HR II tires. Ever since I have had them installed, I have had a bad vibration noticeable in the steering wheel. It is especially bad over 50 MPH and gets worse with increased speed. The dealer that I bought them from has given my Jetta 2 front end alignments and has computer spin balanced my tires 3 separate times, unable to fix the problem. I then took my car to another reputable tire dealer and they also checked the tire balance and told me the tires were in perfect balance. They did tell me however that with Volkswagens when you instal aftermarket wheels you need hub rings to make the vibration go away. I contacted the dealer that installed the tires and told them what I found out and they contacted Eagle. Eagle said the rings would not matter but sent the dealer (sentrifical?)hub rings to put on my car. The dealer installed them but the car still vibrates. I am clueless as to what to do next. :cry:
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    I guess I'd ask for a refund on the wheels and tires that seem to have created the problem. Either what they sold you is defective, or they can not figure out how to properly install them.
  • :) How do you install a turbo timer and a blow off valve on a 2003 VW Jetta 1.8 Turbo
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Those are "loaded" questions. 8-)

    I would be very surprised if there is not already a BOV. It has to be there so when you "lift off" the throttle, the turbocharger is unloaded.

    As for the turbo-timer -- why do you think you need one? Like all other turbocharged engines, you should idle the engine for about a minute before shutting down. This cools the turbocharger bearings sufficently by flowing oil thru it.

    Besides, you should be running 100% synthetic oil that will not succomb to the heat in the turbocharger.
  • I want a louder bov also i just got an oil change and they did conventional oil is that a bad thing :(
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