Volkswagen Beetle Maintenance and Repair

pocahontaspocahontas Member Posts: 802
Here is the new place to discuss your VW Beetle problems. Thanks for your participation.

Hatchbacks Message Board


  • mpgmanmpgman Member Posts: 723
    How does the new beetle make it onto the hatchback town hall board? The last time I looked, only the tiny trunk cover lifted up.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Member Posts: 2,228
    The New Beetle is a hatchback so thus its on the hatchback board. The whole rear glass comes up with the "trunk lid", so that classifies it as a hatchback. Guess you need to look a bit more closely.
  • linzzlinzz Member Posts: 1
    Does anyone have starting problems with their 2000 beetle?
  • bethd1bethd1 Member Posts: 1
    Has anyone had any problems w/ the 2001 New Beetle GL?
  • giantbeaglegiantbeagle Member Posts: 3
    I have a '00 GLS turbo. I love the car, but it makes some strange noises:

    1. When I first open the driver's door, I hear the "whirr" of some small electric motor. What is that?

    2. Sometimes when I drive, I hear a faint "beep" noise, somewhere in the dash. Any idea what this is?

    3. Sometimes when I turn off the car, I hear a brief, high pitched warning sound. Any idea what that is?

    4. When I start the car, the blue "engine cold" light comes on. About 20% of the time, within 30 seconds or so, it changes to the read "engine hot" light and the high-pitched beeping sound goes off. Within a few minutes, it either goes back to blue or turns off. Of course the engine can't be too hot; I've just started the car, the temperature around here has consistently been in the 40s or 50s. I assume it's a sensor error. Anyone else have this problem?
  • phkckphkck Member Posts: 185
    the whirr is the fuel pump.
    beep noise could be from changing volume on the stereo or source (FM to tape or CD)
    the turbos continue to circulate oil after the car is turned off, may be the noise you hear.
    The temp light, mine goes from blue to nothing being lit up.
  • rickroverrickrover Member Posts: 601
    I have a couple of friends with New Beetles one 2000 Turbo, and a 99 2.0. Both have been rock solid dependable, as good as any Honda or Toyota. I have a 2000 Passat that's never had a single warranty issue, VW's really gotten their act together regarding dependability.
  • bluebug7bluebug7 Member Posts: 1
    I have a new VW New Beetle GLS (gas) and one of the things I noticed is that when I used the Mist feature on the windshield wipers after about 2-3 squirts, the car is filled with this lovely perfumed scent. I need to refill the reservoir now but the Dealership's Service Advisor thought I was nuts until he smelled it too. Does anyone know where I can get this Scented Windshield Washer Fluid?

    PS: I bought my New 2001 Techno Blue New Beetle on 3/02/01 & totally avoided the car salesman negotiation hassle by going through AAA's WHEEL-EZ car buying program. With tax & lic. I paid $21,000. Definitely worth it to not do the "let me ask my manager" thing!
  • maggienmaggien Member Posts: 6
    Drove the GLX 1.8T today and really enjoyed the ride. Did some 360s in a parking lot and it stops on a dime. Q - the turbo is still new - has anyone had probs with it or knows of others that have had probs? Is the turbo covered under the 10 year powertrain?
    Need something really reliable for South Central LA driving. Is this the car?
  • car2nscar2ns Member Posts: 15
    The 1.8T (turbo) engine has been used in Audis for several years. The technology goes back to the mid/late '80s, I believe. I have no worries about it for the long run. Keep the oil changed, treat the car well (let it cool down the last couple miles after running hard, or sit for a couple minutes after just getting off an expressway, etc.) and it should last a very long time.
  • cybergrnbugcybergrnbug Member Posts: 7
    I have a 2001 CyberGreen GLX 1.8T that I bought in 08/12/00 and its been great ever since no probs what-so-ever! I am very happy with my Beetle.
    Most people from what I heard have problems with the 98 and 99 New Beetles, but I think they worked out alot of the "bugs" in the Beetle for the 2000 and 2001 models. I know alot of 2000 and 2001 New Beetle owners that are very happy with their cars.
    If anyone has any questions about the New Beetle feel free to email me I love to hear from other bug owners or potential bug owners :)

  • wamowamo Member Posts: 1
    I apologize up front for the long post, but this could turn fairly serious and I need some help...I took my wife's 2001 New Beetle 2.0L Gasoline, in for its first 5000 mi service. About 25 miles later, the oil drain plug came out draining all the oil. We had the Bug towed in to the dealership. I had assumed it was a technician error but a VW service rep told me that while this was not a common problem, it had happend before. Out of about 1000 "first" oil changes she had processed, she had seen this happen about 4 times. I am sure it has happened to someone else out there and I want to hear about their experience. I am concerned about a number of things, especially concerning long term effects on the motor. I am envisioning a long series of trips to the dealership for more work after this incident, especially if the head is warped and VW does not want to admit it. I have seen other companies (not VW) willing to fix the cheaper symptoms of the problem under warranty to get the car running again, avoiding work on the more expensive "problem" (read:warped head) forcing you to keep bringing the car in for more work. When you complain, the response is "well, it is all under warranty so what is the problem?" Did this happen to you with your VW? How was your experience? Did you have related problems afterwards? If so, how did you get closure (if at all) Tell me about it please!
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Member Posts: 2,228
    Could you be a little more specific as to what actually happened to the engine? Did you drive the car until it was completely out of oil or did you catch it before that happened? What alerted you to the fact the drain plug had fallen out? Did the engine overheat? Only after knowing more specifics could anyone tell you whether your engine could have been damaged. Honestly, I have never heard of a drain plug coming out on its own unless the service people are simply not tightening it properly or there is a flaw in the threads of the oil pan. Either way, VW would be responsible for the repairs and it would be difficult for them to go around it. I would demand a completely new engine if any damage occured.
  • bckermitbckermit Member Posts: 2
    I love my Beetle but it has one serious problem that they can't seem to fix. The beetles engine will turn over but not start. It is as if the beetle stalls one second after starting. The problem is intermittent. They have replaced everything related to the imobilizer, control unit, and some sensors. All the service people at the dealer know me by name since I have been in so often. They are trying but they can't fix it.
    I would appreciate any hints at what is wrong and how to fix it as the warranty is expiring.
  • giantbeaglegiantbeagle Member Posts: 3
    Could it be as simple as a fuel pump problem? A recent column by those Car Talk guys said that fuel pumps can fail intermittently like you described when they're on the way out.
  • tzretusntzretusn Member Posts: 5
    We've had our TDI New Beetle since Jan, not one problem (other than a sharp edge on the back side the steering wheel behind the large metal spoke).

    Great ride.
  • satellite77satellite77 Member Posts: 5
    in response to bckermits problem:it does sort of sound like a fuel delivery system problem,however if it is the fuel filter i would be real curious as to why it would fail already! did not state the beetles current mileage...anyhow,i have had no real problems w/my bug(broken overhead compartment latch;dealership fixed free of charge...a squeek on the right side of the vast dashboard in cold weather;haven't really mentioned it to the dealership,i'm afraid that with the large design of the dashboard that,frankly,we may all have a few rattle/squeek problems...we'll see...peace
  • mscholtesmscholtes Member Posts: 3
    Bckermit, I had something similar happen to my 1994 Ford Probe (do not buy any Probes ever if you're concerned about safety). My manual would start up and continue going if gas was continually given, but it would die whenever put in neutral or stopped, and it was hard to start. After many trips to the dealer, finally the problem was replicated and found to be a vacuum sensor. Apparently, the suction wasn't keeping and that's why it would die. New to posting stuff here, but I thought I'd add my two cents. Good luck.
  • timadamstimadams Member Posts: 294
    My wife complains about the stereo system in her 2000 Beetle, and wants new speakers. It doesn't sound that good to me, but part of the problem is the high noise level (engine noise, mostly) when driving the Beetle. Has anyone replaced the stock speakers in a New Beetle? Any suggestions?

    The guy at Circuit City said they generally don't replace speakers in Volkswagons, as VW uses a diffferent impedence than most car and stereo makers. He sounded like he knows quite a bit about car stereos, but I've never heard of this before.
  • kjclowkjclow Member Posts: 29
    I have just passed my frist year with my nb. I put 13,000 miles on it and averaged 41 mpg with the TDI and a 5 speed. Most of the driving is city. Just a few minor things that the dealer took care of right away. Love the way it rides and handles.
  • peppinopeppino Member Posts: 1
    I have a 98 beetle, 5 speed with 18,000 miles. Started experiencing starting problems a few weeks back (turnover not immediate). Yesterday starter quit altogether at mechanics while being checked out. Has anyone had this problem? Any chance VW may pay to fix with such low mileage. Dealer says its not his problem since 24 months has expired.
  • curtisloewcurtisloew Member Posts: 6
    I'm just beginning to shop for a bug. I have never owned a bug and do not know anyone who has. I have always wanted one. What adivice can you give me on shopping? Will dealers sell below invoice? I have a five mile drive to work. What is the best bug for me (as far as motor size)? Do you have to get a bug serviced (oil change, etc) at the Volkswagon Dealer? The closest one to me is 2 hours away.
  • kjclowkjclow Member Posts: 29
    With a short drive, the engine won't really matter. It depends on what else your going to use your Beetle for. I have the TDI and really like it. Most people are happy with the car, regardless of the engine.

    The main problem that I have heard about getting the oil changed is that some of the quicky shops don't always pay attention to the recommended oil grade and level. Grade is important, espically for the deisel. The level is important for the turbo (both the 1.8 and the TDI). Too much oil will flood the turbo, causing early failures and possible fires. Currently the dealer covers the first three recommended services, 5k, 10k, and 20k.

    Go test drive a couple of different engines. The TDI is hardest to get and probably the one the dealer won't budge much on. When I bought mine, they wouldn't deal at all. If they don't have a bugs on the lot with each engine, then drive a Jetta or Golf with that engine. Same engine, just different body. You can also check out for other fanatics.
  • ftlftl Member Posts: 11
    I can't believe I have to take my baby(GAS) into the dealer to replace a head lamp!!!! This is crazy! I bet that's why so many are on the used lots already. It's too bad because I love the power it has! They still need to fix the drivers side mirror( it's a blind spot for your average high woman) and get better cup holders. It sure has been dependable though!!! 52000miles in 1 1/2
  • genghiscoengenghiscoen Member Posts: 1
    We picked up our Cyber Green (her choice - her car)2001 GLX Bug and she love it. The power of the engine and the comfort are a far cry from her last Beatle - a 1973 Super Beatle. The next day her air bag light come on and stayed on. We've been told by a family friend who has a good car knowledge and also has a Beatle that electrical problems with the new bugs are common. I find hard to believe because I did the research here on Edmunds and elsewhere and I didn't turn up anything to do with the electrical system being faulty.

    So we're taking it into the dealership on Tuesday and have them keep it for the day to figure out the problem. We hope this is just a fluke.
  • wayfarer75wayfarer75 Member Posts: 2
    I've had my car since May 1999. One problem occurred during a cold snap last December. I had to have my heated oxygen sensor replaced. Was no big deal and have had no other problems with my fabulous car.
  • sayhey9244sayhey9244 Member Posts: 8
    Here's something I've never encountered before on other cars. On my first fill-up, when I hit the switch on the driver's side door to open the little door to access the gas tank cap....nothing happened. It finally opened when I jiggled it for what seemed like several hundred times. The dealer recently replaced the door and the servo mechanism. I've met one other person who reported the same problem, as well as a Passat owner. Anybody else having this problem?
  • jenbarcelonajenbarcelona Member Posts: 1
    I have an 8 month old 2001 New Beetle - 4600 miles. About a week ago, I was driving when suddenly the transmission began to slip. While I was debating as to what to do about it, the problem went from bad to worse and in less than five minutes the transmission was grinding away - very awful sound. I had it towed to the dealer and a week later I finally got my car back - this was today.

    The problem, they said, was that the transmission bolts fell off. In addition to leaving me stranded on the highway, the engine shifted and also damaged the radiator fan, the fan casing and the fan belt - all of which VW replaced.

    I picked my car up today at 2pm, drove back to work and by 6:30pm this evening I was waiting for the tow truck again. Same symptoms - only this time there was an audible pop sound before the major grinding started up. I only drove it the five feet it took me to get it out of the way of traffic.

    The dealer said this was a fluke and that they'd never seen this on any kind of car - much less this one. But now I'm afraid to drive it even if they fix it again.

    Has anyone had this problem? When is it appropriate to file the car as a lemon? I was lucky enough to be in a good neighborhood during both of my breakdowns - but living in a metropolitan area, I won't always have that fortune.

    Thanks for any insight,
  • giantbeaglegiantbeagle Member Posts: 3
    I've had the gas cap sticking problem, too, with my '00 GLS turbo. I've had to pry on it with a screwdriver while my wife pressed the release button. I finally sprayed it with WD-40, and bent the lid ever so slightly, and it doesn't seem to happen too much anymore. (I keep a screwdriver in the car, just in case.)
  • beetlenoozbeetlenooz Member Posts: 2
    In a gas station, my 2000 gas cap door would not open after repeated switch operations. Asked a customer to press on the door. I then hit switch again. Door opened. Repeated. No problem. Filled up, went home, my wife and I tried 20-30 times to make fail. Could cause failure when I (carefully) didn't press door fully closed. Think that was what probably caused original problem. No problem since.
  • bugsinvwbugsbugsinvwbugs Member Posts: 1
    I've owned a New Beetle since Feb. of 1999. Believe me it has been nothing but trouble. The last thing was engine fan and relative components.

    I recommend to look very close before purchasing one.

    My web page is <> You can see all 40 items that have repaired on the car.

  • jameyjamey Member Posts: 1
    What are other TDI owners getting for gas mileage? I am getting anywhere from 36 mpg to 41 mpg depending on the amount of highway use. This is lower than I expected and the dealer is telling me the car checks out fine. I am not a fast or hard driver and I have about 7,800 miles on the car.
  • breeze6078breeze6078 Member Posts: 1
    Our Turbo Bug has @30000 miles on it. My wife loves the car and how it runs and will keep it till it drops. However, she has strong reservations of ever owning another one. We have had it in for service way more than expected.

    First snow tore off plastic piece under engine. Warranty
    Plastic piece which runs between windshield and dash cracked in two. Entire dash was taken off to replace this item. Also the VIN number is on this piece. A replacement VIN number sticker is very difficult to get replaced. Warranty
    When the dealer replaced the plastic piece all of a sudden the radio didn't work.
    Dealer said the failure was "unrelated" and replaced the radio with a new one from another car on the lot. Warranty
    Check engine light came on. Dealer "cleared" the codes in the computer. Warranty
    Driver side window switch popped out. Dealer repaired under warranty. Window is now hanging up and will not go up automatically all the time. Dealer said this was "unrelated" to having the door panel off. Replaced window mechanism. Dealer replaced even though my warranty had run out. First fill-up after service, fuel door will not open. After my wife was stranded for two hours, we take it back to the dealer. They found a broken connector on the switch. They insist this was unrelated to them being in the door working, but replace the switch as a "good will" gesture. Dealer tried to get me to turn this in on warranty ($50 deductible). I refused.
    Check engine light is on again. Dealer replaced mass airflow sensor.($50 deductible)
    Thank God we bought the extended warranty.
  • wkohlerwkohler Member Posts: 74
    Just purchased a 2002 Beetle GLS with automatic and heated seats. Not many changes other than really nice looking wheel covers vs the old wheel covers that looked tacky and like an after thought. The really great news is the warranty: now FULL coverage for 4 yrs or 50,000 miles. VW realized the problems mentioned in previous posts, so they upped the warranty. The first service, oil change, lube, etc. is free (dealer incentive). VW does not pay for any more oil changes/services that was covered under the old warranty. Not a problem, as I can go through a whole lot of oil changes vs what it would cost to have air conditioning/transmission/electrical repairs etc. done. So far, an absolutely flawless vehicle.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Member Posts: 2,228
    Good lord! Where did you read such hogwash about the turbo?? The turbo should easily last 100k and it would not cost anywhere near $4k to replace it! You definitely got some bad info there. There is no way people would buy these turbo-equipped cars if that was true.
  • mozgirlymozgirly Member Posts: 1
    I have a 1998 new beetle at 25300 miles. The check engine light came on as I started the car. I checked the oil, the gas cap and the car is running normal. Does the light come on automatically for service? if so, can I turn it off myself?
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Member Posts: 2,228
    The check engine light is not meant to notify you of service and you cannot turn it off yourself. That light means you have some sort of emissions problem. More than likely a sensor is malfunctioning (oxygen sensor is common problem on VWs) or the gas cap wasn't put on tight enough. I would take it to the dealer and have them read the code that set off the light.
  • revkarevka Member Posts: 1,750
    Hi everyone- Please note our Additional Resources box, on the left side of the page, where you'll find links to some helpful resources. For example, you'll now find a link to Edmunds' maintenance guide which also includes information about recalls and technical service bulletins for almost any vehicle from 1990 to the present.

    Keep your eyes open for other related articles, tools, and Town Hall discussions in that area. ;-)

    Hatchbacks / Station Wagons / Women's Auto Center Boards
  • jphickeyjphickey Member Posts: 2
    Purchased 2002 New Beetle GLS (2dr Hatchback 2.0L 4cyl 4A) August 11th, 2001. Drove 1st 7 days without a problem. Car has been back to the dealer 3 times in 2 months for the same problem, and is still there awaiting repair. See below.
    QUESTION #1: Is there an advantage of working directly with VW or should I work with the BBB Autoline which provides mediation and/or arbitration which I am NOT bound to accept. QUESTION #2: Are there any expenses I may be overlooking? (see below) QUESTION #3: Should I pursue under the LEMON LAW in spite of their present offer?
    SYMPTOM: MIL, EPC, CHECK ENGINE lights, and engine revving while in PARK or DRIVE.
    SERVICE #1: Dealer "tighten connections on throttle body assembly". Approx. mileage 300. SERVICE #2: Dealer "replaced junction panel". Approximate mileage 700. SERVICE #3: (car in shop last 30 days waiting on back-ordered "electrical harness" from Mexico. VIN specific part per Parts Expediter.) Local VW rep indicated that there is some concern whether or not this will correct the problem. Approximate mileage 800.
    While it appears the LEMON LAW is in effect, VW of America response indicates willingness to repurchase and reimburse for some expenses.
    VW dealership provided me a rental while car is being serviced.... but it's not a New Beetle! They put me in a Cavalier. (grrr....)
    Sent certified letter to VW of America requesting remedy. Asked for:
    - replacement, prorated financing and insurance retro to purchase date, financing at or below original agreement, rental reimbursement until delivery of replacement, misc. fees licensing, taxes, title, etc...
    VW of America faxed letter which essentially offers to:
    - give full trade-in allowance equal to purchase price (replacement), prorated financing and insurance retro to purchase date. VW suggested I work with the dealership to have them agree to providing a rental until the replacement comes.
    Rental is important to me since I may be waiting 2 months+ for replacement. Not available in the immediate 4-5 state region. If I accept, I will benefit from refinancing at 4.9 % -- I currently have 6.49%.
  • betaerrorbetaerror Member Posts: 4
    according to your message, seems like vw of america is willing to repurchase and reimburse for some expenses. what are you waiting for????? immediately sell that piece of crap back to them.......
  • revkarevka Member Posts: 1,750
    Fortunately, it sounds like VW is willing to work with you to resolve this issue. But to compare, with what they're offering, you may also want to check with your state attorney general/consumer affairs department for detailed information regarding reimbursement under lemon law.

    Btw, here's some lemon law information from Edmunds' Advice section that you might find helpful. On that page, look for the link to where you'll find state by state lemon law information. Good luck and please keep us posted.

    Hatchbacks / Station Wagons / Women's Auto Center Boards
  • iinsiciinsic Member Posts: 9
    Many problems, some major, some very minor. Oil leak (warranty), power window switches, low mileage brake caliper failure, 2 oxygen sensors, gas flap that won't close, driver's window that came off it's track. The latest scares battery exploded today when I turned the ignition. The engine compartment was smoking...people in the office building heard it. What gives with these cars?
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Member Posts: 2,228
    The battery issue is not unheard of. The battery exploded with a loud bang on my 97 Nissan Altima a few months ago. It has also happened to someone with a 95 Altima and a 97 Camry in these forums. It had no adverse effect on my car, so don't be too worried. The battery probably just had some internal short, something that is not VW's fault.
  • turkeybird1turkeybird1 Member Posts: 1
    My New Beetle ('99 TDI) battery also blew up (today).

  • 98bugger98bugger Member Posts: 1
    1.The window seal had to be removed after it came back secretly dented from the dealership. The power window engine burnt itself up twice in a month because of rubbing. [The dealer was replacing the driver's side window button in the inside of the door. (We have replaced this switch multiple times. They claim that it is impossible for them to have caused this damage.]
    2.The AC stopped working by the beginning of our second summer (the first summer was only a month or so long). The expansion valve was fixed/replaced.
    3.Anti-knocking module had to be replaced after only 39K miles
    4. 4 months after owning the car, the trunk wouldn't open. It was fixed by a dealership in Indiana who simply replaced the bad piece. The trunk had not been closing easily from the day we picked the car up. But Reydel (Edison, NJ) failed to fix it. At least three times, they just patched up the trunk piece.
    5. Last, but not least, OIL CONSUMPTION. We cannot drive even 2K miles before we have to add oil. We tried to bring it to two different NJ dealerships. They just changed our oil and said to come back in. however, we couldn't get an appointment to come back in. Finally, in November, our engine light came on. They replaced the purge valve (which they said could have been damaged by oil leakage-- not that they can find it). Two weeks later we are make at the dealership because another engine light came on. This time they replaced the mass air flow sensor and connector. This equal about $1000 in two weeks. You would think the oil consuption would be fixed. However, here it is January and we still are burning oil like there is no tomorrow.

    I love the beetle but cannot believe VW built it so badly.
  • Karen_SKaren_S Member Posts: 5,092
    The current VW Jetta Owners has been changed to simply Volkswagen Owners. This way all VW models (and owners) are now included in the Town Hall clubs.

    Please drop by and introduce yourself in Meet the Members.


    Owner's Clubs
  • ckinningckinning Member Posts: 3

    I've recently developed a problem on my 99 GLS where the car wont' start for about 1 to 2 minutes after I fill it up at the gas station. I'll work the Clutch and gas peddle for about 2 minutes till it starts finally and afterwards is fine till the next time I need to fill up the tank.

    I took it to the local import repair; the local VW dealership is too far away and has a bad reputation, and they have been working with VW for 2 weeks trying to understand why this is happening. VW is at a loss and my mechanic has been working on VW's for almost 20 years. They've checked the fuel line and gas cap pressure but the problem still keeps happening. The car basically acts flooded after a fill up and the check engine light keeps coming on.

    Any thoughts???


  • sl1029sl1029 Member Posts: 2
    Hi all - just purchased a new 2002 Beetle GL - I opted for the standard radio/cassette - and have now decided that I"m just not happy w/ the sound. It is not very "rich" - sound quality is similar to a "non-stereo" table top radio.

    What route do I use to increase the quality? New speakers? Completely new radio?

    I don't care about having a heavy bass, nor do I want a radio that can be heard three blocks away - just want some basic quality sound.
  • revkarevka Member Posts: 1,750
    You may also want to copy/paste your message into out ongoing VW Owners Accessories and Modifications discussion. Good luck.

    Hatchbacks & Station Wagons Boards
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Member Posts: 1,391
Sign In or Register to comment.