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Volkswagen Beetle Maintenance and Repair



  • 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 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.
  • 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 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 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.
  • 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 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 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
  • 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%.
  • 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 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
  • 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 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.
  • My New Beetle ('99 TDI) battery also blew up (today).

  • 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 Posts: 5,095
    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

    Edmunds Manager UGC Click on my screen name to send a personal message. Need help navigating? Check out Getting Started in Edmunds Forums.
    Need help picking out a make/model, finding inventory, or advice on pricing? Talk to an Edmunds Car Shopping Advisor

  • Hi:

    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 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 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 Posts: 1,391
  • I have just bought a used 2000 Beetle and I have been having problems shifting away from PARK. I have stepped on the brake and moved the steering wheel but I still was not able to shift.
    HELP appreciated.
  • lotus7lotus7 Posts: 3
    Am thinking of buying a 2002 GLS. What is the deal with the radio. Does it come with a CD player or not? If so, where is it-in the trunk? Also hearing that the sound system is not so good. What gives with that? Any other problems that I should be concerned with? Thanks
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    CD player, no. The 6-disc changer is a dealer installed accesory, to be installed in the trunk.

    The Monsoon system isn't that great for 2002. Or so I've been told.
  • lotus7lotus7 Posts: 3
    Any idea how much the dealer will charge for the changer? Or what the dealer actually pays for it on an invoice? It seems much easier to buy a Jetta or Passat than deal with this.
  • just bought a 02 and wasn't about to give my money to the dealer. Ebay baby. Dealer wanted $390 for the unit and $100 to install it. $490 bucks and then tax, I don't think so. I ordered one from ebay which is a VW factory OEM changer for his "asking price" of $265. All the changers were going within 15 bucks, so I got mine fast (only $8 bucks shipping). His email address is Excellent shipping and packaging. 3-yr warranty. No tax (internet purchase). Installation was easy. Detailed Directions in the box. If you have a drill and screwdriver, you could honestly do it in 10-15 minutes. I broke a drill bit, so pre-drilling for the screws was a pain, all it all just under an hour. The directions don't say to pre-drill the holes, but you have to. Line up the changer where you want it to be (front left corner right next to the "plug-in" wiring), drill your 4 screw holes, fasten changer, plug in, done. Here's his other info (this is not a panasonic unit with adapter, nor re-furbished or used). I've been burned a few times on ebay, so this has been researched and recommended. Details:

    Item #: 1334688291
    Item Price: 265.00
    Quantity: 1
  • Here is the website so you don't have to deal with the changer (I found it about 24 hours after I bought the changer---Doh). I planned on swapping the monsoon stereo for a MP3 player, but the faceplate is oval and I knew it would be a problem to find a good plate to fit a Din stereo. Here is the website for that faceplate. The changer is nice that it just plugs in, but it's in the trunk and takes up space.

    Have a Passat with VR6, in-laws have new Jetta with Vr6, and Beetle is the most fun. Jetta is faster, and Passat is roomy, your choice---electrical on all cars is bad, get an extended warranty! Beetle turbo is a blast to drive, wish the wife drove stick and the Turbo S came in exciting colors, our new snap orange turns heads. I'm also putting in a turbo boost controller that will get the 150hp 1.8t upto 194hp when I want it. Turn it off and it has the normal 150hp. very nice, but make sure you get the re-inforced valve.

  • and hit a deep pothole. Put the spare on, now I need a new rim, hubcap and tire. Any suggestions on where to look for this without being gouged by the dealer? Online salvage?? I looked on ebay but could not find the same hubcap. Thanks for your help!


    People are always putting on new wheels and looking to get rid of their stock.
  • The owner's manuel specifies premium unleaded fuel for the 1.8Turbo/Beetle 2000. With gas prices starting to rise, can an octane rating of 89 instead of 91 be used without harming the engine or affecting performance (regular driving)?
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    Yes you can use 89 octane safely, but it affects performance a bit.
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