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Volkswagen Beetle Maintenance and Repair



  • I own a 1999 Volkswagen Beetle GLS with 116000 miles on the odometer and never had a stitch of trouble. I serviced her on time and maintained the vehicle. I won't changed it for nothing else. My vehicle is stick shift. What a wonderful car this is, i love it.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    The only advice I can give you is to stay away from VW if you want your car at home more than in the garage. A friend of mine has a lemon (how appropriate) yellow NB turbo automatic with only 41k miles on it, and has spent close to $3,000 on it since the warrant played out a year or two ago...A/c problems, electical problems, and outrageous service prices. She will never own one again because she can't afford it! I have spent one third of that (550) on my Honda repairs, a fan motor and winshield wiper pivot points. My car is ten years old with 155,000 miles though, very different than 40k miles. If you get one, hang a lucky rabbits foot from the rearview mirror!
  • Did you ever find out about your alarm? I had the exact same problem the other day. I'm hesitant to take it in because I haven't had a problem with the alarm for about a week.
  • lsimlsim Posts: 7
    Your comments are very much appreciated! I haven't bought the convertible VW yet however, can you tell me if your friend has driven in snowy weather and how does the car perform?
  • krickkrick Posts: 1
    My 2003 VW Beetle Convertible is in the shop getting a new engine. VW tech it
    was due to a slow oil drip from impropertly tightened oil filter (done by mom
    and pop shop).

    No oil light came on the day the engine froze. The engine light came on 5 mins
    before the engine froze.

    Should I go after VW America? They already denied my request that they cover for
    the cost of a new engine.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,855
    You may have to go back to the shop that installed the filter (consult Legal Aid re: Small Claims Court or go see a lawyer as a last resort) or see if your insurance might cover this as some kind of road hazard.

    If the VW tech will sign an affadavit as to what was found (leaking oil filter) you might be able to collect off Mom and Pop's insurance.

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  • I have a 2001 VW Beetle GLS and I was having problems with pick-up and acceleration. As soon as I had the MAF sensor replaced it was fine, it was still under warranty. I also had the problems before the check engine light came on.
  • twxeetwxee Posts: 1
    I have a 1999 New Beetle. I have the security code for my radio, but I enter it and nothing happens. How do I use this code to get the radio out of safe mode? Please write out the whole detailed directions for me. Thanks!!!
  • I just recently (1 month ago) bought a 2002 beetle 2.5 w/60000 miles and I have noticed that my car's rpm runs very high when on 5th gear (manual transmission), when I am going 60 it is at about 3200 rpm and when going at 80 it is at about 4000 and up from there. I am afraid of blowing up my engine or something since I usally drive in the freeway for about 2-3 hours daily. Anyone know if it is normal? or what it could be? or how to fix the problem? Thanks!!
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    They did not have a 2.5 liter engine until 2005 model year. Maybe 2.0?

    Not to worry. There is nothing abnormal about these RPM numbers. I have a Mazda 626 V6 with a 5 speed manual transmission and the RPMs are about the same as on your Beetle at those speeds. I have 134k miles on my car and the engine runs great. I had a 1992 Mazda Protege LX with a 1.8 liter DOHC 4 cylinder and 5 speed manual and its revs were in the same range too. And its engine was doing great at 125k miles when I sold it.
  • emilyhemilyh Posts: 3
  • emilyhemilyh Posts: 3
    my convertible drives good in the snow, but when the temp is freezing the windows freeze and its almost impossible to shut your door because they automatically raise and lower around the top. Also the owners manual says not to do the automatic wash because the soap can harm the top, but I have done it a few times when its really dirty
  • lsimlsim Posts: 7
    Thank you emilyh! Your feedback is much appreciated. I've been tossing the idea around in my head for about a month of wheather or not to buy this convertible 2006 bug. I still have not bought the car as of yet but haven't completely ruled it out. Thanks again. More comments are welcome at anytime.
  • Actually it is a 2.0 I wasn't looking at that... I appreciate the answer on that you take a great weight off my back because I was really scared about it and mostly unsure of if it is normal or not.


  • emilyhemilyh Posts: 3
    Isim-what other cars are you thinking about? I wouldn't get a beetle if i were you, at least not the convertible, its a pain in the butt!!! Im getting rid of mine and I've only had it about 8 months. Too much money for what you get!!!
  • Hey all!

    I have a 2000 Beetle 1.8 L Turbo. So far it has been ok, no major problems but I think it is the beginning of the end. It has 90,000 miles on it. I was on the highway the other day and it just quit running. It felt like it down shifted and I pulled to the side of the road. Turned it off and it wouldn't come back on. The lights worked and so did the radio. Seemed like it was getting enough power. The car won't start even if it is jumped. I have no idea what is going on. Anyone else have this problem? I'm guessing it is something electrical and therefore expensive. Please help!
  • noreonoreo Posts: 1
    Hi. I own '99 GLS. Recently climate control panel (switches) stop illuminating and I finally found that the light inside (behind) of the 0-4 switch (one in the middle) is out.
    So I need to replace it and I want to do it by myself but does anyone know where I can buy the light?
    And I wonder if anyone has had the same trouble...

  • Have someone see if it has a broken timing belt.
  • lsimlsim Posts: 7
    emilyh........I had my heart set on the convertible beetle however, I don't need to make any quick emotional decisions. My current car (Volvo) runs just fine. I'm thankful for your comments and the imput of others who have owned a bug! R U getting rid of your car because your window shattered or is it a collection of problems???
  • I also have a 2000 1.6 L Turbo and I have been a having a similar problem for over a year. The bug just sits now and is not driven. I have had several different dealerships look at the problem. One was finally able to "recreate" the problem but was not able to solve it. You can tell it is about to lose power before it happens. It usually restarts after sometime without jumping. Has anyone looked at your problem?
  • dawneedawnee Posts: 59
    My daughter really wants a VW Beetle and we were a little skeptical of the cars. Then we were told by 2 different people to stay far away from the cars if we wanted something that was reliable and didn't stay in the shop most of the time. One of 2 people said he had owned 3 of these Beetles and had major, expensive problems with all 3.

    My daughter still doesn't believe these cars have major problems because she sees so many on the roads in our area.

    Can anyone shed any light on this? Do these cars have a lot of problems?
  • jasmith52jasmith52 Posts: 457
    Do VW Beetles have problems - well yes especially the early ones. People seem to have problems with the power windows, turbo engines, electrical issues, and convertible tops. If you buy a new one or one built after maybe 2002 you should be OK cause they have gotten much much better. However, they are not up to the standards of the best Japanese cars.

    My wife loves her Beetle and would have no other car. We've only had one problem (a sensor) that was fixed under warranty.

    So if you love the car get a late model one and realize that VW's are not a Toyota or a Honda. Reliability isn't everything. Drive what you like !
  • Hi all!

    I've been reading posts in the New Beetle forum since September of this year, when my 2000 New Beetle with then only 52k miles on it started experiencing major problems.

    I bought the Beetle used in 2004 from an owner who hadn't used the car much and bought the car brand new in 2000. At precisely a year to the date I bought the Beetle, the "check engine" light came on, which was the beginning of the end of my previously happy relationship with my little car...

    I brought the car into a trusted mechanic who has been a friend of my family for years. He confessed to me that he had never seen anything like it: the car was registering 7 codes that, if were truly malfunctions of the car, the car would not be running. He had heard that sometimes the check engine lights in new VWs go off because of "computer glitches," and turned the light off and advised me to come back if it went back on.

    It did.

    I brought the car back and he was still baffled: the codes the car spit out weren't correct, as those issues were not wrong with the car. He did an upper engine wash and changed the brake pads and a rotor(which is a whole nother issue altogher). The check engine light remained off for a week, then returned a week later. Total: $350

    I live in MA and the car was due for inspection in September. In MA, the car cannot pass inspection with a "check engine" light on. I was given a reject sticker and told to bring it back once the car was fixed. By this time, my car was not starting consistently: there were days when it took me a few tries for the car to start, others where it was starting on the first try. At the same time as this symptom presented itself, the car was accelerating by itself while driving. I began feeling unsafe in the car.

    I then brought the car to a certified VW mechanic whom I had used with my 96 Golf (which, at 80k miles blew a transmission, which should have forewarned me). He agreed that there were 7 codes coming from the computer but told me he could fix two of them. One was some kind of temperature gauge in the car, the other had something to do with the engine revving by itself (sorry I can't explain exacts, I do not have receipt in front of me and I'm less that mechanically proficient). It cleared up both my starting issue and the engine revving by itself, I was estactic and thought my car was repaired. Total: $450

    The "check engine" light came on the next week.

    In November and December, my car was involved in two accidents. In both instances, I was rear ended by another vehicle. In the first, my car was in my work parking lot and I was not present. In the second, I was in the car with my foot on the break and was rear ended by a woman in a caravan who was not paying attention. In both cases, the owners' insurance awarded me checks for the body work damage to my vehicle.

    A few weeks after the second accident, I experienced some shaking in the front end of my car when I reached 35mph and over. I was very concerned about this and assumed this was an alignment issue probably caused by the second accident when I was hit while braking. I had an assessor look at the car while it was in the shop for body work and he determined that the shaking was not due to the accident but didn't suggest what the problem was.

    The shaking was even more violent when I drove the car home from the shop. I immediately brought it to the mechanic who quickly called me back to tell me that it wasn't an alignment issue, it was much worse: the front axle was completely bent making my car a "death trap." He said the only way the axle could have bent that badly bent is if I hit a HUGE pothole or if I hit a wheel extremely hard. Neither situation was explanatory (and if anyone knows any other means by which my front axle could have been so badly damaged, please let me know).

    Meanwhile, the "check engine" light was still producing strange codes when read by the computer. The mechanic shut the light off again and encouraged me to make an appointment with a VW dealer (whom I called and wants to charge me $100 to just READ the problem from the computer!)Total for axle: $375

    The day after my car was repaired, my brake pads were feeling thin--that feeling just before you know they will start grinding. The car's brake pads were all just changed in October, less than 3k miles ago. I am not a lead-foot or a constant braker. My alignment has been checked and is fine. This is the THIRD TIME in 6 mos. that my brake pads have needed to be changed. The car has probably only done 5k miles in this period. This can't be normal. The VW mechanic told me that, indeed, he has seen New Beetles whose brake pads must be changed every 4-5k miles.

    In conclusion: I've spent approximately $1175 in repairs on my car since September. The "check engine" light is still on. There is a bright red "Reject" sticker gracing my windshield. My brake pads must be changed for the third time since August. My door handles are doing the peeling that I've seen complained about in other posts. The car is loud. I'm annoyed.

    This weekend I am trading my car in as is. I'm tried of producing an extra $400 a month to repair my car and, from what it looks like on these boards, I have more costs to look forward to in the future as my mileage increases. I'm sure many of you have had similar experiences or might be able to allude me to some of the reasons my car has had some of the issues it has. Any information, comments, similar rants would be welcome!
  • My wife has a 99 beetle, she loves it I hate it. we have had constant problems with the car and the latest is with the electric windows and mirror control. the window controls have been replaced several times in the past and were not dificult to do but now the window controls on the driver side will not work at all. I took the door panel off so I could replace the mirror control and also check the wiring to the pw controls. while the panel was off I could make the windows work but not always properly, sometimes I pressed down on the button and the window went up and vise versa. when I reinstalled the door panel the window control stopped working altogether. Also when I tried to adjust the mirrors the new control switch does not work and makes the instrument panel in the dash light up. any suggestions would be appreciated,
  • I got my 2005 beetle convertible in January, had no problem with it until it reached about 12,000 miles and when I came off a ramp from a highway as I was braking the car jumped/jerked for about a second and then went on. The problem didn't happen again for a few days and that was at a traffic light in a built up area. I took it to the dealer and he checked it out and said he couldn't find anything wrong. But by that stage the problem was very intermittent and I took it back to the dealer and they reset the car to the factory setting. The problem still happened and a third time I took it to the dealer, the manager sat in car with me as I drove for him but it didn't happen that day, so he said to me "until they feel the problem they can't do anything " I feel like the car will keep jumping when I brake until I finally hit something in front of me . Any suggestions would be appreciated. thanks
  • I recently had to change the ignition switch on my 2000 VW New Beetle 2.0 GLS. After doing so, my check air bag & check engine lights came on. They had never been on before I changed the switch. I had Auto Zone use their data checker and they said I had faulty 12 sensors. When I went to have the emissions test performed it failed. They said I had 8 faulty sensors. The car has never had a problem until the ignition switch went out. Is there a simple solution to my problem, or do I need to spend a fortune & let the dealership repair all 8-12 bad sensors? Could there be a master reset button I don't know about? Zero fuses are bad. I checked the dash & battery fuses. Can anyone help?
  • jasmith52jasmith52 Posts: 457
    Could there be a master reset button I don't know about?

    Try disconnecting the battery for 10 seconds or so. That'll usually reset the computer.

    Other than that you need to have the car diagnosed by the professionals.
  • Thanks! I've disconnected the battery several times, but the lights remain on. I can't understand why no fuses have ever blown though. I guess I'll have to reluctantly take it to the dealship. Thanks anyway for your help!
  • I've read through all the post on the New Beetles. This is a Gas Beetle. I have had little problems with this vehicle but am now having problems with the 1998 New Beetle stalling/dying when coming to a Stop. It takes approx. 20 Minutes for the car to finally start, then it might not do this for 1-2 days. After this happens the check Engine light comes on. I Have read one post that said it could possibly be a Bad Power Supply Relay. If this is bad can it possibly be intermitten?? I have never replaced the Fuel Filter but can't possibly believe this could be the problem due to it will start after 20 Minutes. This seems to be only happening when stopping/ slowing down. The bug still gets up to 80 mph very easily. Any Help will be Appreciated.... Thanks Jeff
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    You could have a burned out electric fan motor. Suggest you ask the same question in this forum:
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