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Volkswagen Beetle Maintenance and Repair



  • I have a 1999 volkswagen beetle and every now and then the transmission shifts hard,i took it to a repair shop and he couldn't figure out whats wrong, i'm getting different opinions someone said i need a new transmission and then another person said i need to replace the circuit board does anyone know what i should do ? :confuse:
  • i have a 1999 volkswagen beetle and every now and then the brake light comes on and beeps but the emer. brake is all the way down can someone help me ?
  • mpfflyermpfflyer Posts: 2
    Bought my New Beetle (convertable)in 2006. Now, one year later and almost 10,000 miles the same thing has started to happen in my bug. The temperature light comes on red, beeps and flashes for about one minute and then it goes off. This happens just about daily. "NO Faults" were found at the dealship this they could do nothing. :/.....I'll keep you posted......
  • Thanks... let me know, and I'll let you know!! But I do LOVE my car!! :)
  • jasmith52jasmith52 Posts: 457
    Sometimes when you brake if the brake fluid is low it will illuminate the brake light. This sometimes happens more often when the brake pads are wearing low and the brake slave cylinders are more fully extended.

    So check the brake fluid, and check the brake pads. If that's not the case then you have a problem with your brake system.
  • pdoftpdoft Posts: 2
    I have a 99 New Beetle w/ a 5 speed manual transmission and a 2.0 engine (not a turbo). Approx 77,000 miles. I am seeing red fluid puddle beneath the car. Any ideas as to what it is? Does this car use red coolant? What other fluid does it use that is red? The source seems to be mid engine. The consistency of the fluid is mostly watery but as the water evaporates, what's left has a slightly oily feeling.

  • jasmith52jasmith52 Posts: 457
    Red puddles beneath your car - That can't be good ! Maybe your car is bleeding to death and just want to be dramatic !

    It does sound like coolant to me. Power steering fluid feels more oily. The engine oil is brown or black. I don't know what color the manual transmission oil is but it will feel oily.

    Does it steam or smell like coolant when the engine is hot just after you have turned off the engine? Is the coolant overflow/recovery tank full ? Whatever you do don't let the car go without coolant. That's how you get stranded or burn up an engine.

    Check the hoses (radiator and heater hoses) and connections for leaks, (viually) check that the radiator doesn't have a pinhole leak.

    Is there a radiator cap that is leaking ?? (check that only when the engine is cold or you'll get badly burned).

    My bet would be on a hose or hose clamp or on a pinhole leak in the radiator.

    If you can't do these checks yourself get some professional help right away. Coolant leaks need your attention right away !
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    This is a great time for the standard reminder:

    DO NOT USE ANY ANTIFREEZE EXCEPT THE VW-spec (G12) PINK STUFF! There is nothing else that is compatable with it.

    You do not have to get it from a VW dealer....
    There are a couple companies that make G12 antifreeze.
  • my family has been buying VWs for over 25 years now, and we've ever model basically except the new beetles-anywhere between 1998-2007- They are the worst cars VW makes. Beetles and the 2000-2004 jettas are crazy massed produce so alot of stuff just over looked. i would suggest the Passats or golfs. I drive a 01Cabrio and love it. but the dont make those anymore. if your looking for a good convert. the eos is a really badass drive. if i were you i would seel the beetle and get a decent VW that will give you the full VW experience, VW owners should loves there cars they are incredible rides. :D
  • skylorddskylordd Posts: 2
    My daughter has a 2003 Beetle 2.0 with auto trans. When the a/c is switched on the car starts to shake. not a small vibration but it starts to shake. Any Ideas before I take it to the dealer $$$$$$$$$$. Had it to one repair shop and they checked it and said take it to the $$$$$$$$$$.
  • mbeck75mbeck75 Posts: 4
    I have a 2002 Beetle Turbo S that is doing the exact same thing and the VW dealership says they can find no problems with it. Is yours fixed? If so, what was the issue?
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    I would be VERY surprised if this is the "exact same" problem. How can you compare a diesel engine to a gasoline engine?

    Also, I would be EVEN MORE surprised if you get an an answer in reference to a 2-year-old posting.

    Perhaps if you described the symptoms you are seeing with you 2002 NB (New Beetle) we may be able to offer some help.
  • cokidscokids Posts: 4
    I have read through this board to this point and am just livid! I own a 2000 turbo. It's the cutest little piece of crap you've ever seen. Should i call her "Lemonaida?"

    Can't list all the problems I've had with this little gem! Is there a way we can ban together and redress our grievances with this company? Is there a lawyer reading this board? Come on! This shouldn't be legal!! What give?
  • randirandi Posts: 10
    Try the pump. My pump literally disintegrated, which is why the temp light was going on. It took my guy 2 days to figure it out.
  • randirandi Posts: 10
    Cokids: that is so weird, I was just thinking about this over the weekend. It's not just the Beetles thouhg-the Jettas have the same problems. If there is a lawyer on the board, let us know if we have enough complaints to file a class action suit.
  • jasmith52jasmith52 Posts: 457
    My experience with class action lawsuits is that the lawyers get millions and the plaintiff class gets a coupon for a free oil change or something like that.

    In my opinion, class action lawsuits are for the benefit of the lawyers, not the plaintiffs.
  • Hello
    I had planned to buy a 2007 beetle hardtop, but the posts I have been reading have scared me to death!!

    I currently own a 1998 Civic, so massive electrical, check engine, etc, problems are new to me.

    Have all the issues from the earlier models been corrected in the 2007 model or should i stick with the Hondas?

    Love my Civic just thought the Beetles were so cute.

    many thanks in advance for any comments. :confuse:
  • randirandi Posts: 10
    Absolutely do NOT buy a Beetle. Not only have the issues NOT been fixed, but VW refuses to even acknowledge most of them. At this point, the resale value doesn't even cover replacing the airbags, so you're gonna end up buying another car either right before, or right after you pay off the damn thing. Keep your Civic!
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    HUH? - My daugher has a 2001 NB (New Beetle) and loves it. In fact, the scrapyards around here do not have ANY parts for NBs... they claim that the NBs are "such good cars that there are none in the scrapyards"

    (Before you ask... we were looking for foglight lense that the dealership wants over $100 for)

    I am curious, what kind of electrical issues are you refering to... I would like to keep an eye open for them on my daughters NB.
  • eliaselias Posts: 2,120
    shoechick, this is a forum which is about maintenance issues for beetles, so of course you are reading about maintenance issues here.
    imho the primary issue with the 2007 beetle is that you can't get the 45 mpg diesel engine in 2007s!
    if you are interested in maximum reliability, you should probably consider only american or japanese nameplates, and avoid all the euro nameplates!
  • randirandi Posts: 10
    Wow, a 2001 NB with NO electrical issues? Mine is a 2001 and I'm on the low-end of beetles with problems. Let's see-we could start out with the offical recalls: brake lights and windows (I think there was a third, but I forget-anyone?); Then you have the slew of people with beetles that just DIE on them. On the highway. There is the insane burning of oil (not leaking, burning), which requires an oil change oh...every 4 weeks or so. Sometimes more, sometimes less for every beetle. Um...headlights go out a lot. I know my cooling pump disintegrated. Beetles have lots of engine problems. The lights go off all the time. I could go on, but just read backwards and you'll hear ALL about the electrical (as well as interior) problems of these cars. If your daughter hasn't had ANY problems-you got the golden goose there. For the rest of us-it was a very expensive mistake.
  • A plea for help from anyone... have a 2006 beetle convertible. I had the front hood and bumper repaired after it was hit by an excursion bus at a hotel. I went thru the insurance company and they had me use a local garage for repair work. When I got the car back the passenger headlight would not work. My husband took it back. The mechanic told him he had a hard time getting the light to stay in place. He (mechanic) ended up gluing it in. Well now the drivers side fell out today as I was driving it. Thank God the light still works and not to many scratches on it. I shoved it back in to check it. I then left a message to the garage about what had occurred. I got on this web site and read that there is a lock of some sort for the lamp fixture. I checked under the hood and there is one. It looks like a lock. I can't reach it . Can anyone tell me how?? : :confuse:
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    My My -- do you really consider a burned out lightbulb as an "electrical problem"?

    As for consuming oil... I am VERY aware that some early 2000 -> 2001 VWs with the 2.0L engine consume oil. My *other* daughter with a Gulf has this issue... in any case it is NOT a "problem"... just need to add oil once in awhile. No big deal.

    The window-regulator issue you mention was not just NBs... it was across all VWs and was promptluy fixed by VW at no cost to the consumers.

    The brake-light-switch was a situation whereas the brake-lights may stay on when parked thus draining the battery. Again, this was recalled by VW at no expense to the consumers.

    I beleive I have explained-away EVERY one of the "issues" you meintion. EVERY VEHICLE I HAVE EVER OWNED had some kind of recalls against it.

    There is no such thing as a perfect machine. If the manufacturer pays for the repairs...why the heck do you call it " a very expensive mistake." ?

    Just what are you expecting from your car anyway? Tell us what vehicle manufactured on planet earth has never been recalled for some goofy thing.... or worse (Like Honda automatic xmissins burning up, or Toyota engines sludging to death, or Suberu xmissions being noisy...etc)

    All in all, people should buy what they LIKE to drive.... every car will need some repairs at some point.
  • rcrrrrrcrrrr Posts: 1
    awesome information, it worked perfectly
  • cokidscokids Posts: 4
    I expect to replace an oxygen sensor ONCE in the life of a new car! I expect the windows to operate...meaning they should go DOWN and then back UP again, not get stuck in the down position. I expect the radio to work. I expect the gas cap door to open when I need to refuel! I expect the car to shift into reverse and not stick so that I can back up! I expect a new battery to not go dead when the car sits unused for 3 weeks. I expect the 'check engine' light to go on very infrequently, NOT 5 or 6 times a year!

    Does that about explain what some of us think we should be able to expect of a NEW car!!?? Stay away from VW Beetles as cute as they may be! There's more, but I've lost track of it all. It's THAT BAD!!
  • randirandi Posts: 10
    bpeebles: Um, I'm not sure why the sarcastic response to my posting. You asked a question and I responded with some of the more common problems.

    A burned out lightbulb, once, is NOT an electrical problem. Having to replace the bulbs every 2 months IS an electrical problem.

    Adding oil once in a while is NOT an engine problem. Having to add oil once a month IS an engine problem.

    My brakelights didn't stay on; they DIED. Different problem than the recall issue. Nearly causing an accident.

    Having 'check engine' and 'temperature' icons go off all the time ARE electric AND engine problems.

    You did NOT explain these cars suddenly dying at 60 mps on the freeway.

    As I mentioned, there are other problems with these cars which I didn't list, because if you peruse the older posts, you'll find them. I also mentioned that not every car has the same problems. I have never had my car die on the freeway, though it has died in a parking lot while I was sitting there. My interior isn't bubbling and falling apart too much, but some folks have interiors that are literally falling and breaking apart.

    I never said there was a perfect machine. That wasn't part of your initial question. I never said people should not like their cars. That also was not in your initial post. These two issues are not relevant here. You asked what the problems were and you got some replies. There was no need to yell at me in response.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    I would BET MONEY that you are using the wrong bulb in your brake-light sockets. The original bulbs are a European partnumber and many folks replace them with a simular (but not the same wattage) bulb which burns hotter than the originals.

    The original bulbs are about 3X more expensive so I understand why some folks do this. Truth-be-told, I used the cheeper bulbs once... and after they burned out within a few months, I went back to using the CORRECT European lower-wattage bulb.... burnout problem solved.
  • randirandi Posts: 10
    The brake lights that burned out were the ones that came with the car. I don't know about the bulbs for the front lights. I don't replace them myself. But I am not the only one who has burn-out problems. I will, however, mention your solution to my mechanic.

    ps. when you use capital letters, it's yelling. Please use the italics button if you mean to emphasize a word or a phrase. Otherwise I'm just going to consider you yelling at me, which isn't appreciated.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085

    I am really trying to help you out because you seem so disgruntled with your 2001 NB (New Beetle) With this in mind, I have reviewed all 9 of your appends to the various edmunds forums.

    I find it very interesting that your oil-consumption issue went away after the accident. I am assuming that the engine was not replaced, so this makes me very curious about what happened.

    As for your issues with various lightbulbs burning out... I also noted this started after the accident. My many years of experience (I am trained in electronics engineering) tell me that your car likely has a problem with a ground connection which was caused by the accident. Ground problems are often difficult to isolate/fix.

    The fact that your MPG has dropped from 54MPG down to 15MPG since the accident also smacks of a problem with the electrical system. The onboard computer cannot do its job with noisy electrical system. (bad grounds) This is because the signals from all of the sensors are inaccurate so the computer injects the wrong amount of fuel based on this bad data.

    Also your comment about the CEL (CheckEngineLight) coming on once in a while points to a possible ground problem.

    Based on your own appends, the bottom line for you is not really because you have a Volkswagen... it is the accident which brought on most of the issues.

    Please tell me more about your fuel-pump getting clogged. How do you know the fuel pump is clogging? I assume you already know that t The only thing that can clog the fuelpump is bad fuel. (That would also explain your stalling problem)

    I sure wish I had more details about the oil-consumption going away after the accident. That one is a real puzzler.
  • jasmith52jasmith52 Posts: 457
    Fuel Pumps fail because of debris in the fuel filter restricting the free flow of gasoline. To prevent this it is prudent to change out the fuel filter periodically.

    While the car may have a bad ground, I would first check the voltage coming off of the alternator. Burnt out bulbs are a good sign of the alternator's regulator failing which would allow the voltage to go too high. Other electrical problems can also follow the overvoltage issue.
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