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Volkswagen Beetle Maintenance and Repair



  • 2.3V5 beetle 54 plate.
    I drove away from being parked. My car didn't want to go although it started well.
    I put my foot on the accelerator to drive off, the car made a loud bang and smoke started coming out from the bonnet and into the car. I turned the car off , took the keys and jumped out, fearing it was going to explode! Once the smoke had died down I opened the bonnet. The engine cover was totaly smashed to bits.
    My car was recovered on a tow truck :(
    The garage say it is the manifold. What does the manifold do?
    They are stripping the engine back to see what other damage was done.
    What ever could cause this to happen? The car was running well..I had an MOT done only a couple of weeks ago. I have been told it will cost 2K to fix. VW garage :sick:
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Are you suggesting that the intake manifold simply blew apart? I would bet somthing else was the root-cause.

    I assume you have photos?
  • I have a 2002 New Beetle 1.8T Automatic.
    Recently the car has been sluggish in changing gears. Sometimes it even jerks a little when shifting from first to second. More noticeable during this first shift and when the car is hot (i.e. driven for a while). Doesn't seem to be normal and was not like this when I first got the car.

    The Car has 42K miles now. So I have taken the car for scheduled maintenance work at a couple of local dealers and they tell me this car does not need any Transmission oil change. The car's manual also does not show anything in regard to this.

    I wonder if this true. I mean, all my other cars (i.e. a few Honda's, one GM, one Chrysler) have needed a transmission oil change at least a few times in the life of the car.

    I did some research and no conventional or synthetic oil lasts forever. Am I missing something here or is the dealer pulling a fast one. Unless VW makes super oil that last forever...???

    Has anyone wondered about this or had their VW Beetle Auto transmission oil changed ever? What's the deal with this? :confuse:

    Is there a way to check the oil condition as I can't find a dip stick or oil filler port?

    Help... Thanks in advance for your replies...
  • I recently had the engine light come on. I got it checked at the nearby Autozone and it turned out to be a P0171 error. The first time I took into the dealership and they replaced the MAF sensor - stating that it was sticking the air flow valve.

    They also replaced the Oxygen sensor.

    Obviously they reset the error. Now about a week of driving I have same error back.
    Does anyone have any advise on what could really be the problem?

    I want to go more informed to the dealer as I feel they got my money but I did not get the fix..
    :sick: - Any advise is appreciated. Thanks in advance.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    I assume you already know that fail is:
    16555 P0171 Fuel Trim,Bank1 System too Lean

    You asked for more details... here is some technical stuff...
    =======start technical stuff =======================
    Your ECM has a memory look up table that tells how long the fuel injectors SHOULD be open, to give correct air-fuel. The Oxygen sensor monitors the exhaust to tell how incorrect the table is. The table is programmed when the car is new and everything works fine. As the car gets old you may have wear & tear and things vacuum leaks, etc. This causes the table to be off. THe O2 sensor tells the ECM how to tweak the fuel injectors back to give the correct air-fuel. Basically, the car learns how to correct the table for the current running condition of the engine.

    In your case the ECM (with O2 sensor) has determined that it has used up its entire fuel injector tweak-tuning range for correct air-fuel. You're running too lean and the car can't add enough fuel to bring the air-fuel back into range. Your either getting too much unmeasured air (air coming in besides through the MAF sensor) or you're not getting enough fuel pressure. That, or the MAF is measuring the incoming air incorrectly.
    ========end technical stuff=============

    The dealership replaced both of the most-likely (and most expensive) components which could cause this failure. (Keep in mind that a NEW part is not always a GOOD part.)

    If I were you, I would inspect ALL the vacuum hoses for cracks/leaks. If air is getting sucked in where it is not supposed to, this error could show up.

    There is an outside chance that low fuel pressure or whimpy fuel injector could cause this too.

    I also have to say that a TURBOCHARGED engine has some other possible items that can cause this. (you do have the 1.8T!)
  • I have a 2002 beetle with the 01M Automatic transmission, but it is in the shop being rebuilt at this time ($3500). My dealer refused to change the fluid when I requested it.

    I am no longer using any vw dealers.

    The problem I was having, was when the engine was droping below 2000 rpm, the transmission was droping out of gear and the rpm was increasing. I was taking the car to 55 mph and allowing it to slow on its own to 45 mph, the transmission would start to drop out.

    Take your bug to a local transmission shop and have the fluid replaced at least on a 25K basic. dealer are of no help!
  • Hi there everyone I have worked at a transmission shop for five years. I saw everyone's complaints and am willing to help with what I can :shades: . So for your sensor recurrence issue, it is actually quite common on a lot of vehicles. Sometimes your vehicle will have a code for a certain sensor having a problem the normal fix is to replace the sensor then flush out the fluid if the code comes back your transmission is probably coming apart internally and generating debris from some component. Good Luck! :blush:
  • I was wondering if replacing or rebuilding the transmission on an 03 Beetle solved the problems of slipping or not having a gear after 2nd (going into limp mode). Thanks Guys! :confuse:
  • keygokeygo Posts: 38
    Oh my god. I can't believe how much I am being told it will cost to replace a headlight. A half hour labor and a $20 part on top of the headlight. I can't believe it. I have never had a car where my auto parts place wouldn't put it in for free when I bought the bulb there. Love the car, hate the headlight changing. One poor design.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    With the NB (New Beetle), the ENTIRE headlight assembly slides out the front of the vehicle. Then, you can replace the bulb on your kitchen-table.

    Most people dont know this is how the headlight bulbs in the NB are replaced. It is a BRILLANT design given the lack of space under the hood to put your hands to replace the bulbs.
  • keygokeygo Posts: 38
    It only ended up costing $35 plus the bulb. Is this a doable job? The owners manual says to take it to the dealership because it requires special tools. In the realm of things, I guess $35 to get a headlight bulb changed is not the end of the world but it sure was a surprise to me.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    You paid a mechanic to replace your headlight bulb and complain that $35 for a 1/2hour of their time is a surprise to you? In the real world - It is not uncommon for a dealerships labor-rate to be $70/hour.... that is EXACTLY what you paid.

    By the time the dealership takes their cut from that... the guy that worked on your car takes home somewaht less than the $35 you paid. He has a family to feed and bills to pay just like the rest of us.

    Personally - I purchase a replacement bulb at wallymart and replace it myself in the wallymart parking-lot. I also replace my own oil, brakes and do most other repairs. I cannot afford the $70/hour for those tasks.
  • I am in a big dispute with our after market oil quick change store. I developed an oil leak and took it to our Car shop in Brighton Mi. Perfect Tune, (good place). They told me the leak was coming from the filter. I told them to replace as it was getting close to an oil change any way. When they removed the oil pan drain plug it was way over torque and difficult to remove. It bvacked out and pulled oil pan threads with it. They tried to over size it and use a bigger plug but the boss on the pan is almost flush with the inside of the pan structure. They had to replace the pan (435.00). I called the VW dealer and they said their standard repair process was to replace the pan. Does anyone have any expirence with oversized the drain plug hole???? Thanks......
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    It seems to me you learned some lessons

    1) never EVER use one of those quikie-change places.
    2) The aluminum oil-pan is very expensive to replace.

    Most of the people that do the work in those quikie-change places were not able to get a job as a real mechanic. Any money you think you are saving is a net long-term loss. They often use the wrong oil, and can really mess-up your car.

    Most cars use a steel oil-pan. Steel is much tougher than aluminium and can stand to be over-torqued. It also accepts oversized threads better. The aluminium oil-pan is more expensive to manufacture than steel. It is lighter and helps cool the oil. However, it is very thin and easilly damaged. (either by over-torqing or getting busted from road-debris)
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 7,748
    never EVER use one of those quikie-change places.

    Not unless you like the increased chance of things being done wrong and want to try and be sold a bunch of stuff that you don't really need. ;)

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  • :sick: Thanks for the answer. I am retired and do not do any of my own work due to health reasons. This is my wifes car. What I was looking for was a repair standard for this issue. I talked to VW dealer and they said it was to replace the pan. I also checked with Some Ford engineers I know and they said the same thing. I am looking for documentation so I can prove my case to the place.
  • vw0683vw0683 Posts: 1

    I have a 2006 VW beetle. When I go over bumps (train tracks, sewer grates etc) there is the normal jostling and banning sound. But then about 10-20 seconds after the bumps there is another banging sound. I took the car to the dealer and they tightened my license plate holder, didn't help. Took the car back, had them drive around with me and they heard the sound, so they replaced the driver's seat frame, even though the sound is coming from the rear end.

    Does anybody know what this sound may be or have any suggestions as to how to fix it?
  • :confuse: We have a 1999 beetle 2.0 automatic. We have had the transmission replaced at about 56k due to the internal cooler failed and put water in the transmission. The car now has 70k and the check engine light had been on for a couple of months but the car ran fine. last week we took it in for some other work and they checked the codes and replaced the ignition wires and the light went out for about 20 miles and then came back on. This mornig I started it , did not let it warm up, and after 1/2 mile the check engine light was flashing and it went into limp home mode. After I drove it another mile the light stopped flashing, still on, and it drove fine... This is the second time it has done this. My mechanic said he only gets around 4 to 5 lines of data when he plugs in his device. Please advise.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    First and foremost.... you need to understand FLASHING CEL means DO NOT DRIVE... IMMENENT DAMAGE WILL HAPPEN.

    The offhand note that it "drives fine" means nothing... lets hope you have not fried the catalytic converter or something else expensive.

    Use a Vag-Com to troublesohoot.
  • :confuse: I did not drive the car but a few feet when it went into the limp home mode. After it warmed up it drove with no notable degridation or performance issues. I have read all the horror stories linked to the check enfine light on. I was thinking that the map window with colder air runs the car too lean and as it warms up it gets back into a workable tabel to run. Does that make sense?
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    I assume you know P0171 means that the foreward O2 sensor has detected a lean condition.

    Most commont reason for P0171 is a cracked/broken or otherwise defective hose allowing air to 'leak' into the intake manifold AFTER the MAF sesor. (Between MAF and engine)

    Another possibility is the MAF itself not measuring the airflow accurately. If you have every one of those "oiled guaze" air-filters... (like K&N) then your MAF is likely destroyed.

    3rd possibility is the foreward O2 sensor measurng the lean condition improperly.

    I would approach this problem in the order I have suggesed above.
    1)Look for air-leak (replace all questionable rubber hoses
    2) Pull electrical connector off MAF and drive like that (forces "limp" mode safely)
    3)If that helps, consider replacing MAF
    4)Consider replacing foreward O2 sensor
  • :) Thank you so much for the information. I forgot to tell you I put some fuel injector cleaner in the fuel tank when it was at 1/4 tank and have not added any fuel since then. Would that make any difference? I let the car sit for two days and started it this morning with no issues after I let the blue cooling light go off. I did not wait for the cooling light to go off the other day when I had the limp home mode issue. I know it says to let the engine warm up until the blue coolant light goes off, how important is that???? Thanks again for your help....
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    You said ==> " it says to let the engine warm up until the blue coolant light goes off"

    VW says to DRIVE GENTLY (accellerate slowly) until the blue coolant light turns off... this is the same as all other vehicles ever made. One should always take it easy on a cold engine. Driving gently is the very quickest way to warm up engine without excessive wear-n-tear.

    You do understand that the only reason that the NB (New Beetle) has the blue light is because it does not have a formal temparature-guage on the dash to tell you when engine is cold. (VW tried to keep true to the Original Beetle which did not even have antifreeze!!)

    On the other hand.... letting a cold engine IDLE until it is warmed up is not good for it. An engine takes much longer to warm up when idling. This allows condensation and other nasties to form in the crankcase.
  • jrolfjrolf Posts: 24
    My dad just bought a 2001 2.0 liter vw bug and he wanted to put a new timing belt on it. Well we put the timing belt on had everything back on and started it up, it ran for about 20 seconds then it kind of clunked and died. we took the belt back off and put the timing all back to top dead center, put it all back together again now it tries to turn over but it is like it is hitting on something. Could timing be 360 out?? Can anyone help me please. :sick: :confuse: :(
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    I dont see how it could be out 360 degrees.... you are not supposed to allow any of the pullies move while the old belt is off.

    You may need "professional help" on this one. A timing belt that is installed wrong will allow pistons to hit the valves. This usually results in physical damage, bent valves and perhaps holed pistons.

    I guess you *could* remove the valve-cover to visually see the position of the cams.... but it is very likely that the damage is done and the head will need to be pulled.
  • If you look at the Haynes manual, it will say that there will be ECU problems when the battery is changed. Hesitation sputtering etc. They say the parameters needs to be reset. I am looking for the same solution as you were. I know this is really old, but nobody ever puts the solution down. Only the problems. What was your solution? I am eager to solve my beetles problem. Thank you for your time.
  • krojaskrojas Posts: 11
    edited March 2010
    Flodded bug, everything works fine, however there is a slight hesitation on the eng. while iddling in park. 2.0 eng. auto. Could it be an injector, ignition, computer any sugestion. Also can the trans. have water in it ? it drives and shift smooth. How can I check the fluid. And can someone tell me how can I turn on the fog lights on this beetle. Any sugestion will be appreciated thanks
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Hanes manual is just plain wrong reguarding VW. Some other cars may do this (Dodge... etc)

    Replacing battery may lose RADIO coding because radio thinks is has been stolen.... I have never heard of any other issue in VW caused by changing battery.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    By "flodded".... do you mean the vehicle was underwater? If so.... you should have ALL the fluids changed. (Xmission, steering, brake, clutch... etc.)

    To turn on foglights, did you try to PULL out on the headlight switch when lights are on?
    (I assume you know that law only allows foglights to work on low-beam)
  • thebug87thebug87 Posts: 1
    Three days ago my car started having some problems. I would be able to drive my car for about 15 minutes before it would shut off. I tried to restart the car and the engine turned over but wouldn't catch. After about 10 minutes the car started and I drove it home. I checked the oil level, air filter, fuses, and coolant. The following day I drove the car to my dad's and the same stalling issue occurred and it restarted after 10 minutes and I continued driving to my destination. At this point my car had about a little under half a tank of gas. We checked the vacuum in the gas tank, which seemed all right. I then drove the car for a while to make it stall, once stalled we turned the key and it would turn over, but, not catch. We then immediately opened the gas cap and the car turned over leading us to believe there is an issue with the vacuum in the fuel tank. We have since driven the car for over an hour and it has not stalled, however, the gas level is now lower than a quarter of a tank. So I am back to square one. The check engine light is always on in the car so I cannot tell if a sensor is bad.
    The car had similar stalling issues two years ago and the crank sensor was replaced. Four years ago the oxygen sensor was replaced.
    We are going to check the mass air flow sensor and lights. Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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