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Do 1999-2003 Jetta's have known issues? (100k+)

any know issues with these models, I'm looking mostly at 1.8T, are they pretty reliable?


  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    edited January 2011
    I think it is safe to say that ALL vehicles have "known issues"... After millions have them have been produced over the course of many years, the "trouble-spots" become apparent.

    I think what you are really asking is known as MKIV (Mark four) VW platform which included Jetta, Golf and NB (New Beetle)

    Some of the early issues were resolved by voluntary recalls by VW (Window regulators, MAF sensor,EGT seonsor... etc.) Also, each of the available 4 engine-types had their own idiosyncrasies.

    The 1.8T which you ask about REQUIRES synthetic oil and hi-octaine fuel. It also falls undher the MAF sensor and coolant-sensor issues. (once replaced, they should not be a problem.) Of-course, the standard knowledge of how to care for a turbocharger should be understood also.

    Then there are issues of specific model years like the foam inside the front fenders which comes loose and thru vibration, wears the paint on the inside of the fender. In some cases, ihis causes rusting of the front fenders. The 12-year/ unlimited miles corrosion warantee still covers this problem to this day.

    There are still many of the MKIV VWs still on the road today. It is not unusuall to get over 150,000 miles on them. Here in Vermont, it is EXCEEDINGLY important that the body does not rust into oblivian before the rest of the car. This is why I like the 12-year/ unlimited miles corrosion warantee which is not found on US nor Asian makes.

    Your questio is kinda vague... Do you have a specific question which we can help answer?
  • Thanks for detailed answer!
    I took this car today for a test drive
    The car looks, sounds, and drives very nice, has good power, I was wondering if all the replaced parts means it's in good shape, or perhaps there are different problems needing attention, I mean, would it be safer to get a car that hasn't had allot of work done or vise versa, Thanks!
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,077
    I'd ask about the modifications - the non-stock parts. Were they self-installed, or done professionally?

    To be honest, none of us can answer this kind of question about an individual vehicle we haven't seen. Each used car is unique, and anticipated issues can be related to care & maintenance... and luck.

    If you are strongly considering this vehicle, I'd recommend asking to take it to a local mechanic for a check. Some of the recent services have been listed, which is nice, but it's hard to tell if belts and other components have been replaced as needed.


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  • I second this. Look for a garage that does VW repairs, or at the very least European cars.

    I have found such specialists in every city I have lived in - even now in Red Wing, MN (pop about 20k) there is a European-specialty repair shop that has proven his worth in maintaining my car.

    I bought a 2001 VW Jetta Wagon last year and brought it to my VW shop and they identified three major areas that needed service right off the bat - timing belt, brakes (easy for any mechanic) and a leak issue with the sunroof.

    Why? because they knew to look for this stuff.

    As they did the timing belt repair - they also discovered that one of my two cooling fans were not working.

    All said, a little over $1000 invested after the purchase and my car has been running solid ever since...but had I brought it to them before the purchase - I wouldn't have missed those issues and I could have either not bought the car or negotiated a fair price.

    All in all, I like my little wagon and it has been solid since I let my mechanics spruce it up.
  • Hi everyone...hopefully someone has some insight to what can be wrong with my car
    I've had my car for a couple of years and just recently I have run into a problem with my transmission.
    This is basically what is going on. I drive 40 miles to work when I drive in the morning and there is no traffic the car is fine. But in the afternoon when there is traffic the rpm gauge drops rapidly and bounces right back up to where it was once I let off the gas. Then after a while the rpm hiatus jumps to 4-5000 rpms when I'm only going 60 miles per hour and doesn't shift at all......but if I turn off my car and turn it back on it shifts normally . It only happens after awhile in traffic and always around the same stretch of highway. At first it had a check engine light when I took it in for service. When i went to pick it up they said nothing was wrong and the check engine light hasn't come back yet....any ideas?
  • I own 2001 jetta have heard and or experienced problems. Ignition coils were recalled 99to03 , problem on cars with cruise control. Both issues caused problems like: rpm surge, loss of power and stalling even while at high speed. some cars would accelerate on their own, ( guess the cruise control would activate unexpectedly, and accelerate to last set speed. This recall was for exterior lighting,hazard flashing warning light switch. As far as the check engine light, mine started coming on right after driving my new jetta off the lot. Had oxygen sensor replaced twice before warranty was up. Have not had check engine come on since. Hope this was helpful. Good Luck!!!!
  • I have an older base model Jetta GL that has had repeated transmission issues. At 91K, it has been replaced/rebuilt twice already. We are hoping to hang onto the car since my son will be driving soon, but don't know if it is worth the cost to fix? When the car is running but you are not engaging the gas pedal (so, coasting), a whirring, or clicking (like a card-in-the-bike-spokes kind of noise) occurs at the front end. We were told by our mechanic that it sounds like a transmission problem. Don't know whether to gamble and take it in to a tranny shop, as you never know the cost of the repair until they open up the transmission, and by then you are in too far to back out. Could it be something simple, or something other than the transmission? All gears still shift okay, and it was replaced ONLY about 6K miles ago...out of warranty as it is a spare car and we hit the 12 month expire on the warranty well before the mileage expiration. The rebuild included a new clutch kit. Any thoughts? Thanks.....
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