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VW Jetta Basic Maintenance Questions (Oil changes, fluids, etc.)



  • I have a '97 Jetta 1.8L automatic that came with the Owner's Manual but not the "Service Manual" which is apparently where VW has chosen to publish the maintenance schedule for this vehicle. My VW dealer cannot help - "Too old" - and I cannot find anything on the Web other than expensive (~$100) shop manuals. Can anyone tell me where I can find a Service Manual for this car? Or, can someone email me the (probably) one-page matrix chart showing recommended service intervals?

  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Have you tried PDFGENI ?

    NOTE: PDFGENI is a repositry for many documents stored in PDF (Portable Document Format). Some of them are compressed into RAR files. (WinRAR archiver) and need to be uncompressed before viewing.
  • I just bought a 08 Jetta 2.5 and I am going to do my oil changes myself. The question I have is the owners manual said to use 5w 40 and I can't find it. I also want to use the Edge synthetic oil made by Castrol. They only make it in 5w- 30 will this screw up my motor. They said its a 15000 mile oil. Do anybody have some insight into this? :confuse:
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    You are supposed to use oil that meets VW spec 502. VW's list from a few years ago has Castrol Edge listed as meeting 502, but indicates it is 5W-40. The list I have does shows the Edge 5W-30 meets spec 504/507.

    IIRC, our manual says it is "okay" to use 5W-30 if 5W-40 is not available. Personally I'd not choose to use the just "okay" viscosity, when the preferred viscosity is readily available.

    Edit: Elsewhere on the intenets, someone has posted that it is "European Edge 5w-30 that's on the VW list, but not the US Edge 5w-30. Despite having the same name in both markets, they're not the same oil." I guess you gotta see VW 502 on the bottle to be sure.

    Here is VW's oil list: df
  • I've been reading the Jetta engine forum (every post) all night, and want to thank the experts here now for all of their time and expertise. I will try to keep this brief, but despite that fact that its not a "dire emergency," I do hope I get a response when you have the time.

    I have a 2001 Jetta GLS 2.0 with 90K miles. The engine code is AZG and the tranny code is FDF. Not sure that helps, but I want to be thorough. I will be starting to share this car with my 16 year old daughter soon and I want to make sure she is safe. The problem is, I've been a somewhat neglectful (but very lucky) owner. So far, aside from basic oil/filter/fuel/tire changes, I've have:

    - A new MAF sensor put in at 80K miles
    - A few hoses replaced
    - Brakes replaced

    I think that's it. Unfortunately, I had kept my records in the garage and there was a fire, so I lost a lot of documentation.

    FYI, I have generally used synthetic oil, 5-40, except for occasionally top offs. When I refilled radiator I used water only (bad, I know).

    Today, I had some major repairs after my car began overheating a little.

    - Water pump replaced
    - Timing belt replaced
    - Tensioner replaced
    - Serpentine belt replaced
    - Thermostat replaced
    - Coolant flush and refill

    All of these were done for the first time at 90K miles -- I know, very bad.

    My question is this: I want to have other things looked at -- things I've neglected -- to ensure the car is as safe as possible for her. In reading through the forums, here are the items I think I should have done, inspected, etc. I would love your feedback on these items. Car is running fine so far, no codes, no issues -- I just want to be proactive and prevent something I SHOULD be expecting due to my neglect. Some seem basic and obvious, others might seem too paranoid. Please let me know?

    I am thinking:

    - another brake check up
    - axle/boot/suspension check-up
    - brake fluid change (been done only once, I believe, years ago)
    - new ignition wires?
    - new spark plug wires and spark plugs?
    - check ignition coil pack?
    - throttle body check?
    - check oil pump with pressure gauage?
    - check catalytic converter?
    - transmission oil replacement?

    Can some of these things (eg, throttle body) be checked even if they are not currently presenting a problem? And are there items I am overlooking?

    Thank you very, very much.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Both of my daughters drive 2001 VWs (Gulf and New Beetle) One has well over 130K miles and is still going strong.

    None of the things on your list are really "safety" items. (car wont blow up if you dont do them)

    Here is your list with my comments on each: (Many of your items are ALREADY checked by the onboard computer as you drive)
    - another brake check up (this is simple as visually inspecting the pad-thickness)
    - axle/boot/suspension check-up (Another simple visual-inspection)
    - brake fluid change (Should be done every 2-3 years lest rust can cause expensive repairs)
    - new ignition wires? (same as"sparkplug wires")
    - new spark plug wires and spark plugs? (It is about time to replace these... but not imperitive if engine is running OK... the CEL will lite if problems occor )
    - check ignition coil pack? (nothing to check... ... the CEL will lite if problems occor)
    - throttle body check? (nothing to check...... the CEL will lite if problems occor)
    - check oil pump with pressure gauage? (the oil-pressure sensor monitors this at all times, if there was a problem, the lite will come on.)
    - check catalytic converter? (This is tested by the onboard computer every time you drive... the CEL will lite up if it is not working)
    - transmission oil replacement? (good idea for longevety of the car)
  • mamx4mamx4 Posts: 10
    I live out in the country and since buying my Jetta new have had the real problem of getting it in to have oil changes. 10 other vehicles on the place including Harleys, and the only ones to go to the dealership to be changed are the Jetta and my wife's Beetle. Wondered how the dealership got all the screws out and changed the filter in an hour. Last time, wondered out around the corner to see and watched them suck out the oil with an extractor. Went to Harbor Freight today, bought a great quality oil extractor on advertised special for $119 down from $139. Still bought filters at VW, but Parts at the dealership is open till 7:30 most days, service closes at 5:30.
    So now my question. Everything, including the Harleys, run on Mobil 1. I changed everything over in the late 80's or early 90's after doing my own research and finding that sythetic is indeed much better. I would like to run Mobil 1 in the Jetta and Beetle, but which one meets all the gobledy [non-permissible content removed] numbers and specs? I have also emailed Mobil 1, but don't have an "in" anymore to engineering there. Does anyone out there know? I want these engines to sail past 300,000 and would love to see them going at 500,000, and I believe that Mobil 1 is the way to get 'er done.
    For what its worth, I just recently changed the transmission fluid to Royal Purple. The only thing we run in trannys and differentials including 4WD. VW wouldn't change it, told me was not compatible. I thought, hmmmmmm?, and contacted Royal Purple and had the opportunity to talk to one of their engineers who, after doing his own research, called me back a week later and felt that I was upgrading from what the dealership was using in my area and that Royal Purple was certainly as good, if not better, than what VW recommends.
    Living out in the country, it is much easier to order things by the case and be able to use it in multiple vehicles. Now that I am ready to change the oil, I would like to ensure that I don't mess up the engine in my baby with something that it doesn't like. Other diesels on the place are Ford, so I know there is probably a big difference.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    "gobledy [non-permissible content removed] numbers and specs" :confuse:

    Your owner's manual will indicate the oil you need to use, it's pretty simple, designated by a three digit number. I think the spec is VW 505 for diesel engines. The oil should indicate on the bottle what specs it meets. Mobil also indicates on it's website what specs their oil meets, for example: rovalsTitle
  • Mobil 1 0w-40 is VW 505.00 certified...and sold at "WallyMart".
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Perhaps so.... but the 0w40 may not meet the viscosity-requirement for the engine in question.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    I believe the engine was the 2.5, which specifies 5W-40, therefore 0W-40 should be fine.
  • 08jetta08jetta Posts: 1
    Need to know recommended change interval for auto transmission... What flud would be recommended?
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    edited March 2010
    Most of the VW fluids are pretty specialized european-specified liquids. Even the power-steering fluid and antifreeze is unique and not compatable with other stuff.

    You would do well to simply use what VW specifies and not even try to use a "compatable" fluid.

    Many VWs specifiy this VW partNumber ==> G052162A2 (Meets VW TL 52162)

    If you have TipTronic xmisison ==> G052990A2

    I usually order my VW supplies and parts from IDI Parts
  • I just bought a 2002 Jetta 1.8T used, and its missing some of the screws for the plastic cover over the engine. Should i just go ahead and take that off or should i get the screws and where can i get them. And also it seems likes it burning alot of water and antifreeze but it doesnt over heat anyone got any suggestions.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    The engine-cover is there mainly to look sleek and reduce engine-noise.

    In refernce to consuming antifreeze, you need to figure out where it is going. It could be anything from a simple leak... to a blown head-gasket. UNDER NO CIRCIMSTANCES SHOULD YOU USE ANTHING BUT G12 ANTIFREEZE... using anything else can cause corrosion/plugging of the cooling system which can lead to engine-damage.
  • Hi,

    I need help! lol! I have a cpl of problems with my jetta, one is that when i crank the car a high whining noise occurs and fades off, and it does this when idleing. Also i don't know how to read the dipstick... where should my oil level be? Also i'm loosin oil and don't know where its going? i'd appreciate any help on these problems.

    Josh Forbes
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    edited March 2010
    The 2001 2.0L is *KNOWN* to consume oil... it is not a problem as long as you check the oil often and keep it topped up where it should be. Buy cheap 5W30 oil by the case and carry in the trunk so you always have oil to put in the engine

    Under no circomstances should you allow the "oil light" to come on. This lights DOES NOT tell you that the oil is low... it tells you that your engine is self-destructing due to metal-to-metal contact of the moving parts. Never EVER drive with oil-lite on. Turn off engine immeadiately!

    Wining noise could be from many different things. It could be the power-steering pump. Does the sound change when you turn the steering wheel?

    If you drive a 2001 2.0L VW... you need to know how to use the dipstick because you should be checking the oil every time you fill the gastank.

    1) Vehicle should be sitting on level ground
    2) Let engine sit for at least 5 minutes after running so oil settles to pan.
    3) Pull dipstick out and wipe off oil. (Keep xtra McDonalds napkins for this purpose!)
    4) Push dipstick back in all the way till it seats.
    5) Pull out dipstick and look at oil-level.
    6) Level should be within the "hashmarks" on the dipstick.
  • Hi there,
    I just purchased a 2003 VW Jetta 2.0 about 3,000 miles ago and am now due for an oil change....but it seems to be more complicated then I expected.
    The previous owner did his own oil changes with synthetic oil.
    One shop say only German made synthetic, the other says it doesn't matter and the third says synthetic blend or bust...
    So my question is- at 61,000 miles, doing general freeway and road driving conditions WHAT TYPE OF OIL SHOULD I USE!
    Thanks for your assistance!
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Your 2003 2.0L engine does NOT need any special oil. (it may be the only VW engine which does not require synthetic oil...the turbocharged, VR6 and TDI all need synthetic oil)

    Use brand-name 5W30 oil in your 2.0L. I beleive 7500 miles is the factory OCI. (Oil Change Interval)

    Of course, synthetic oil wont *hurt* anything either... but it is overkill in the 2.0L.
  • jkorsingjkorsing Posts: 2
    hi josh, my name is jeff james,and i wanted to ask you about that nasty noise that you hear when you are you refering to when you step on the gas""",you here this noise?, my 2001 jetta gls runs great iv'e only had it for close to 2 months,and im experiencing this grinding noise when i step on the gas peddle,it later fades away when im going faster,the noise is driving me nut's,have you found or heard of a solution to this problem? thanks,jeff korsing :confuse: :confuse: :
  • jkorsingjkorsing Posts: 2
    i step on the gas and there is this grinding noise which goes away with high exceleration. "does anyone have a clue to this problem? :confuse:
  • how do i put more transmission in my friend 03 jetta?????????
  • asaasa Posts: 359
    edited June 2010
    Just for the record, the 2009+ Jetta TDIs take only VERY specific engine oils, SAE 5W-30. As of this date, only two are sold in North America -- Castrol SLX Professional LL03 or Mobil 1 ESP 5W-30. Read the labels carefully so that you buy exactly these types. Engine oils MUST meet the VW 507.000 specification; you can probably find a VW branded oil at your Dealer too.

    The new models use Diesel Particulate Filters (DPFs) and absolutely require these oils to keep the expensive DPF in working order.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    more transmission?
  • I have a 2006 Jetta with the Tiptronic transmission. I bought the car in 2009 with 15,000 miles. It now has 46,000 miles on it. I brought the car to a shop and wanted the transmission oil replaced. They told me that the transmission oil is a special type of mineral oil which does not have to replaced. Is this right? If not when should I replace the transmission oil. The manual says replace transmission oil every 40,000 miles on Direct Shift Gear (DSG) transmissions. Is my transmission DSG?
  • I also have a 2006 Jetta and a 2009 Jetta, both with the tiptronic automatic transmissions. This is not the DSG transmission. The DSG is the high performance unit that was in the GTI Jetta and the GTI Golf.

    I would check the owner's manual for service of the transmission. I don't believe you need the transmission fluid changed in your tiptronic transmission for many more miles.

    Bel Air Car Guy
  • The manual states that the transmission oil should be changed every 40,000 miles on DSG transmissions. So I guess the shop was right when they said my transmission oil does not have to be replaced since I have the Tiptronic automatic transmission.
  • Hello,

    I have a 2008 VW JEtta 2.5 S, ( 29k miles approx).
    My question is , can i get away with the usual engine oil change, or is synthetic oil best for engine life and efficiency in the long run?.

    Just want to get an idea on what others are doing.
    According to what i read on internet , ordinary oil change lasts 3k miles and synthetic like 6k miles.

    Let me know your thoughts.

  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    It really does not matter what "others" are doing... what really matters is what lubrication you should be using in your engine.

    As I recall, due to the issues caused by using dino-oil (from dead dinosaurs)... VW has specified for ALL of its vehicles to use synthetic oil.

    Instead of reading generic internet information, may I suggest that you visit the VW website which will tell you SPECIFICALLY what kind of oil and how often it should be changed. (Or read your owners manual)
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