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Volkswagen Beetle Maintenance and Repair



  • SylviaSylvia Member Posts: 1,636
    A reporter is looking to speak with owners of Chrysler, Saab, Toyota or Volkswagen vehicles who did all the scheduled maintenance on their vehicle and still experienced engine sludge within the warranty period within the past year. If this describes your situation, please respond by 6pm Eastern on Monday, May 23, 2005 to jfallon@edmunds.com.
    Thanks for your consideration,
    Jeannine Fallon
    Corporate Communications
  • beetle3beetle3 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 1998 Beetle 2.0 gas with a similar problem. The temperature light comes on approximately 30 seconds after I start the car. It beeps and flashes for 40 seconds then turns to blue. Any idea what's wrong?
  • kolynkolyn Member Posts: 2
    hi there. i dont actually own a VW beetle. however have seriously been looking at them over the past week. however after doing research on the net. seems like maybe i shouldnt really buy one.

    one common problem i have read about is the temp gauge. or lack off.

    blue when cold. red when hot. but will also come on when not enough coolant in the radiator. full up with the coolant and see how that comes along. read alot about this problem.

    how is the vehicle anyway :)
  • kolynkolyn Member Posts: 2
    your engine is cold. :surprise: you need to wait till nice and warm before can thrash it. :shades:
  • cajun1cajun1 Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2003 turbo beetle and just Sunday (night of course) the temp light came on. I pulled over, checked the book and did everything it said. Nothing was wrong, fluids and fuses were all good. Called for a tow and the dealer still has it. So far, the sensor, cooling system, head casket and now a fan have been replaced. It still runs hot. Anyone else having this problem?
  • jasmith52jasmith52 Member Posts: 462
    Well if it isn't the temperature sensor, cooling system, head gasket or fan then the only thing else would be that the block is cracked.

    I assume that they replaced the thermostat and checked that the water pump was working ?
  • jl1jl1 Member Posts: 2
    I have been having some problems with my 2001 new beetle tdi lately. It started with the malfunction indicator light coming on, which has happened before, maybe one year ago or so, and I had it repaired. But now, the light came on again a few months ago and I have not taken it in to get it repaired. It seems to be running fine, maybe with a bit less power, but it seems to function okay. I hear this is a common problem with the new beetles. Is this correct? Then, last weekend, the glow plug light came on. It has been flashing since and sometimes it takes a couple of tries getting the car started, but I am able to start it eventually. Does anybody have an idea what the problem could be and if this needs to be corrected immediately? Thank you!
  • cajun1cajun1 Member Posts: 2
    Well, the thermostat wasn't replaced just the sensor for it and the water pump was replaced today. It still is running hot and they can't figure it out. :sick:
  • jasmith52jasmith52 Member Posts: 462
    They must have replaced the thermostat. They wouldn't have done all those other repairs without doing one of the simple things first.

    If it turns out to be a bad thermostat and they have done all of those other repairs then they don't belong in the service department.

    - Keep us posted as to what the problem(s) turn out to be
  • jophejophe Member Posts: 1
    Hey guys, I am new to the forum so bear with me: ) I do have two problems that I want to see if I can get some help on:

    2001 1.8 Turbo GLX

    1. Yesterday, I was driving through heavy rain, when I started to get a steady stream of water land on my left foot! I am guessing it was the door that was leaking, ut I wasn't too sure. but it was from the area above my left foot on the driver's side. Shortly thereafter, the same thing started happening to my girlfriend on the passenger side! Her right foot was getting dripped on. What is going on, and what should I do?

    2. Whenever I start my car, and put it into reverse, it feels like it is going to die on me. Is starts to put, and the brakes don't work. And sometimes it does die, and the battery light comes on. But the battery is less than two months old. And this problem has been ocuring for the past year.
  • jpowell1jpowell1 Member Posts: 1
    I'm considering buying a 2005 GLS Turbo 1.8 and after readiing awhile, think maybe a bug is not for me. Does anyone have positive feedback?
  • bugged1bugged1 Member Posts: 1
    Hi All,

    I have owned my New Beetle for 2 and a half years. The Beetle has 72,000 miles on it and this is the second time that I've had to have the fuel filter replaced and the ERG valve has been carboned up badly enough to not allow the car to start. The dealer has it and when I last spoke to the service people, they said that they needed 3 days and $800.00 to fix the problems. Is this an on-going problem that needs to be investigated by the Better Business folks or the Volkswagen Company?

  • nobeetlesnobeetles Member Posts: 3
    Any word on what is causing the stuck in PARK problem? I just started having that one. Have had most of the other problems (I hope) already. Such an unreliable piece of you know what. (1999 Volkswagen Beetle)
  • nobeetlesnobeetles Member Posts: 3
    Sorry but it is not that easy. Takes a special tool to move the lever, unless you are Arnold Swartzenegger. I have had to replace each side at least twice (each) now and we were only able to get the light out ourselves once. Yet one more defect in this miserable car/
  • nobeetlesnobeetles Member Posts: 3
    Even if they have worked out some of the bugs ( I have a 1999) I would run away from Volks as fast as you can. I will never buy another one. Only reason I still have this one is I am out of work and cannot afford another car. It has been most unreliable and added a lot to the stress I already have to deal with.
  • rocksweetierocksweetie Member Posts: 1
    My car had to be taken in a week and a half ago because it was leaking coolant and overheating big time. They replaced the leaky valve, fixed a minor oil leak, and the serpentine and timing belt cuz it was cracking. The day after I got my car back, it had trouble starting. Usually you hear the initial click and then the "vroom" of your engine starting. Well...mine just clicked and it took about 3 tries to start the car. When it did start it began to shake majorly...totally not normal. I was thinking they didn't put the timing belt on correctly...maybe it slipped a notch? To add to that, the check engine/malfunction indicator light (the yellow one that has to do with emissions), came on.

    The day I was going to take it back my car didn't start at all and I had to have it towed. This time they said it was a heat sensor and charged me some more money. (Damn them). So I got my car back yesterday...and what do you know, today I have the same problems with it starting...takes a few tries to get the engine started AND that freakin engine light is on again.

    Has anyone else experienced this? And if so, what was the problem?
  • bobrandolphbobrandolph Member Posts: 1
    The brake warning signal (three beeps) keep coming on and the emergency brake is not engaged. The "brake" light flashes as if the emergency brake is on. Anyone have any ideas why this is happening? I have a 2002 1.9 diesel and other than this problem I have been problem free and have 50,000 miles on it. I have enjoyed driging my New Beetle and plan on keeping it for a long time. Personally, I think it is a great car, other than this very annoying beeping!! I SINCERELY would appreciate any advice!!
  • natalieznataliez Member Posts: 1
    Help! Does anyone know how to replace the rear tail light on a 2003 beetle? Mine is blown and Kragen's computer shows no replacement, the manual says go to the dealer! HA! They want me to pay labor charges to replace a $3 light? This is crazy. Went to the dealer today, they said the entire light assembly has to come out and there is a special tool to use to do it, but of course I can't purchase the tool. Any ideas?

  • siouxlizsiouxliz Member Posts: 1
    I have a 1999 GLS, can't say that it has been bad, I have 164K miles on it and have only done the usual maintenance on it. However the red temp light recently came on and I had it in to the garage. They have replaced the thermostat, the cooling switch and it ran well for about 30 minutes , went on a road test and the light tured back on when it drove back in.

    They are now talking about either the radiator backing up possibly or the water pump... any ideas ?
  • mvw1977mvw1977 Member Posts: 2
    I'm so glad I read this posting. When the thermostat light comes on and your mechanic can't figure it out, tell him to check the water pump propellor. I just spent $1000 because the mechanic could not figure out why my car was overheating. He replaced the thermostat, gasket, timing belt, a bunch of seals and hoses before he "found" the problem. The propellor is hidden beneath the timing belt and can't be seen. Turns out it is made of plastic and when he found it, it was split completely in half. It was replaced with a copper one, which seems more logical.

    Summary: If mechanic can't figure out why the car is overheating, check the water pump propellor.
  • mvw1977mvw1977 Member Posts: 2
    Read my last post. Check the water pump propellor.
  • my_pocket_lentmy_pocket_lent Member Posts: 2
    The light comes on because you need brake fluid. Same thing happened to me, the tank is of cousre under the hood in the very back, and its thats number four i believe.
  • my_pocket_lentmy_pocket_lent Member Posts: 2
    I have a 1999 tdi, which by the way has died on my three times in the last week, so you have something to look foward to, but mine was starting to slow, and it was the mass air meter, its become such a common problem they started selling them re-conditioned, because its a 400 dollars part plus installation, luckily my brother is a vw mechanic, lucky for me!!! But I didn't know what was wrong with it for like a year until it got so slow I was going like 55 on the freeway.
  • mnfmnf Member Posts: 405
    Hi a very close friend has a 2000 bug and for some reason the horn does not work the fuses all look good any ideas ?? .. Thanks Matt
  • jowilkijowilki Member Posts: 1
    I have a 99 Volkswagen Beetle and for the past few weeks, when I start it up after a night of sitting, it will make a loud humming type noise from under the hood. It goes away after 3-4 minutes. It doesn't make the sound if I have driven it recently, only after it sits over night. It starts up fine other than that sound. Any idea of what it could be?
  • user777user777 Member Posts: 3,341
    mnf - you should be able to diagnose what is going on. i imagine you could check the operation of the horn by finding the wire leading to it (I presume there is only one, and the case of the horn is grounded). perhaps running a wire from the + (positive side) of the battery carefully to that wire will confirm if the horn is infact operational or not. you want to take care that you don't ground out the wire to the body of the vehicle which would cause a short circuit.

    presuming the horn is operational, then the problem may be the switch in the steering wheel. if not that it could be something they call the "clock-spring" which is the device that keeps electrical continuity to stuff mounted on the steering wheel (like airbag and horn switch, and cruise control or radio controls if they exist there, etc), as the wheel is turned clockwise and counter-clockwise.

    another thing that could be done is to disconnect the horn and connect a volt meter (Radio Shack, Home Depot, Lowes etc sells them) to the wire going to the horn and the frame (ground). Then you could tell if the horn switch is providing power to the horn when it is depressed or not.

    a horn is something I would obtain as a used part from an auto salvage shop. if the issue is the horn switch or clock spring, you might want to consult a repair shop. I'm not sure that is a DIY project.
  • shelly7shelly7 Member Posts: 1
    Did you ever get any information on the stuck in park problem? I have a 2000 Automatic that i just purchased and it started it on the second day we had it. It does it and then it doesnt do it. I am scared to drive the dang thing but really need some information.

    Shelly Pitts in Oklahoma
  • vanesakvanesak Member Posts: 1
    I had this same problem and found out it was the brake light switch. It was about $70 to repair at dealership.
  • mwyarrisonmwyarrison Member Posts: 1
    I have an oddball problem with my wife's 02 beetle. I went to rotate the tires, and the passenger side rear tire has this strange diagonal wear pattern. I'm thinking that it was just a badly banalced tire, but I also suspect the bearings. Does anyone out there know of a way to check the bearings without having to remove the brake calipers and rotor?

    - Matt
  • capriracercapriracer Member Posts: 907
    Diagonal tire wear is usually caused by misalignment aggravated by insufficient rotation and low inflation pressure.

    Hope this helps.
  • jl1jl1 Member Posts: 2
    Good luck with that, I've had mine replaced twice and it is happening again.
  • msalmonmsalmon Member Posts: 1
    I have. I did it the same way I changed my Mustang's speakers and they are still working after two years with out any problem. The speaker have a positive and negative just like any other speaker. I don't know what the circuit city guy is talking about.
  • bugmebugme Member Posts: 1
    Whenever I start my car, the blue (cool) light is initially on. The minute that I take my emergency break off, the light turns to red and it blinks on and off for aproximately 3 miles. Once i reach this distance, the light goes off. Any suggestions?
  • jasmith52jasmith52 Member Posts: 462
    Is the coolant level low in your car ?
  • jveazeyjveazey Member Posts: 1
    There is constant static on AM on the radio. No static on FM or when a CD is being played. Static is present with the engine running or off. Appreciate any help or ideas.
  • tdi guytdi guy Member Posts: 17
    I took my 2004 NB TDI to Wallace Volkswagen in Bristol, TN as the purge valve lever in the fuel neck broke. Wallace said there was nothing to fix as my car didn't come with one. Sure that I hadn't imagined having one for 12 months, I called VW Customer Service to get some help. They called after two days to say there was nothing to fix as my car didn't come with a purge valve. Incredulous, i asked how they determined that, and they said they spoke with the service manager at Wallace, who in turn said there is no lever to replace. Now, this is the same service manager who keeps trying to change my oil every three thousand miles as if it were a 2.0 Liter gas engine.

    I long ago came to the conclusion that Wallace can't service TDI's. However, I was disappointed that VW Customer Service can't figure out what comes standard on the cars they sell. Am I just having a bad day, or is VW Customer Service a waste of time?
  • bdymentbdyment Member Posts: 573
    I know this is off topic, but can someone jog my memory as to where reverse was located on the original Beetle. I owned a 1954 Bug--bought in 1957--. Was reverse--push down and pull back--next to second or was it push down and up, next to first gear? I think it was next to second, but I could be wrong.

    Thanks in advance.
  • bugged2bugged2 Member Posts: 1
    As soon as I saw my beetle I fell in love, it just fits me. He is a 99 and has caused me a world of problems, my sun roof only closes half of the time, it has no pick up, the headlights and tail lights need to be replaced often , the clear coat is peeling and the engine light never shuts off and they can't figure out why. I am starting to think I got a lemon instead of a lime.My question is did I get a defective vehicle or should it be falling apart due to the mass production oversees.
  • fish8fish8 Member Posts: 2,282
    You need to give us more information. How many miles on the car?
  • pippipippi Member Posts: 1
    So I'm having a bit of an issue. I have a 2000 Beetle and my trunk keeps randomly popping - in the parking lot, driving down the road, when I'm in it, when I'm not in it -- you get the point. I think it might be that my key is busted and constantly doing it, but I'm not sure. Has anyone else had this problem? Also, the dealer said it will cost over $200 to get a new key? Is that seriously how much it costs? That's insane.

    -Tired of pouring money into cars :cry:
  • mylemonmylemon Member Posts: 2
    believe it or not...Pep Boys only charged me $5 for the labor and changed the light at whatever the cost was (about $3)...Pep Boys has been great for this kind of thing.
  • mylemonmylemon Member Posts: 2
    I have the exact same problem. I think the dealership fixed it once, but in a few weeks, it was back to static. If you find out the answer, please let me know.
  • parker8parker8 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2.0, leaked oil out of the front oil sending unit, the brown one.... I replaced it. Its still leaking a little oil and now the oil light will come on, go off and somtimes stay on. I took it to a shop, they were mind boggled, they think its the rear main seal and/ or the oil pan gasket. Which i doubt cuz it doesnt leak when its sittin, just when runnin. I heard 2.0 's like to spill oil out the back of the valave cover gasket which is above the rear main seal, explainin why the monkeys at the garage would think it was the seal. You sound like a mechanically inclined individual and any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  • swof321swof321 Member Posts: 1
    I just bought a 2000 VW GLS Beetle used with 40,000 miles on it. When the engine starts up I get the blue warning light on the dash. After about 10 min or so the light will go off and not come back on until the engine is fully cooled. Has anyone had this problem before, or know what is causing this blue light to come on? Oh, one more thing, the coolant level seem to be ok under the hood.
  • aqtmouse4aqtmouse4 Member Posts: 1
    If you look in your manual, it says that is normal for the blue light to come on for a few miles. It does that with mine, its normal. :)
  • sothebysotheby Member Posts: 1
    this is considered 'normal'. New Beetles, Golfs and I'm sure other VW's have a miniature electric air compressor that sucks cool air from the air filter box (via a small secondary plastic hose) - and pump it straight into the exhaust chamber. This is to keep the No. 2 O2 "lambda" oxygen sensor protected from the higher-than-normal pollutant emissions during a typical cold start. When the engine warms up to a predetermined level, the blue light turning off indicates the electric bypass compressor turning off.
    SYDNEY Aust.
  • beetleownerbeetleowner Member Posts: 2
    I had a similar problem on my 2001 Beetle. It was a problem with a blown break light fuse. Replacing the fuse fixed the issue.
  • beetleownerbeetleowner Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2001 Beetle GLS with automatic transmission. When I put the gear in Reverse, sometimes it will go backward, and sometimes it acts as though it was still in Neutral and doesn't go anywhere. Because the problem is intermittant, the dealer can't figure out what the problem is. Has anyone else had this problem? It's driving me nuts.
  • jassbugjassbug Member Posts: 2

    Last week, 27 June My Driver's side window crashed on me, so I took it back to the dealer who replaced this with a "Super Kit". They replaced both windows.
    All ok. Then on June 28 My oil light came on and those ghastly loud buzzer.
    Pulled over, Oil very low...hmmmm just had it servied. Put some oil in at the next garage and drove it back to VW dealer. They said I may be loosing oil out through the Turbo. Could be a seal. They brought all levels up and told me to keep an eye on it. June 29 Coolant light then came on and stayed on. Now What!. Engine so hot was scared that I would blow it. Pickup truck arrives car back to dealer.
    They replaced the Coolant tank and switch. Kept car for a week, they said they ran it everyday to make sure it was running good.
    Collected Friday drove to work and 10 miles down the road, the oil light and coolant light are back on. Car has been picked up and sent back to VW dealer.
    They say they are completely baffled and do not have any idea would all this could be. Very helpful advice. So maybe this could also be the head casket, the fans did stop working, they seem to be spinning nicely now even though I checked the fuses and all seem to be okay. I'm puzzled as well and now scared as I drive home around 2-3am. Cannot afford not to have a car working properly. Only have 45,000 miles on the clock but from what I have been reading, I seem to be one of the lucky ones. If you come up with anything new, please post. I however I come upon a miracle, I'll post....Good Luck.
  • jassbugjassbug Member Posts: 2
    :cry: I just wanted to add, sorry my Beetle is 2001 Turbo. And of course sorry for any spelling errors. Excuse.....very tired and worried about my beloved Beetle.
    With all these problems, is this the reason why they are discontinuing this Model.
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