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VW New Beetle Problems



  • thanks for your post lounger -- in fact, that is exactly what my problem was -- they replaced the throttle body and it was fine all weekend. hopefully this is the end of it! bigm1 -- good luck!! I hope everything works out and the car gets fixed for good!! I understand your frustration to a certain extent -- keep us posted!

  • I've refrained from posting anything here because I still owned the thing. I do not recommend it. During the two years and 2 months I owned my 1999 Beetle GLS, the a/c constantly had problems (including dying twice), the driver's side window broke TWICE and the passenger window once, the battery died a year and a half after I purchased it, the tape player died, the cruise control didn't always work right (and at one point did not work at all)and my local service department was TERRIBLE! Because of them, in addition to the above repairs, an inside door handle was not properly reconnected after repairing the window, the auto lock switch was broken after reconnecting the inside door handle and the outside door handle was broken when fixing the other window. I had to fight with the dealership to get them to fix anything after the warranty expired (even though they "fixed" it under warranty once (or twice) before) and most recently, the dealership made me call VW headquarters to file a claim for the second break of the driver's side window! Then, when it came back and the outside door handle did not work, I had to fax a letter to the owner of the dealership and explain that if they have the vehicle for a week and it comes back with something new broken on it, they most likely broke it and should fix it for free! The service manager agreed with me, but when we went to pick up the car, they tried to charge us $200 for the repair! If you are going to buy one, I highly recommend a substantial extended warranty. I traded it in almost two weeks ago, with a value higher than blue book (they really wanted a sale in SF area) and was thankful to be done with it.
  • My 1999 TDI Beetle is going through some growing pains. I love this car but it is wearing me out lately! I purchased it new two years ago, and aside from some early quirky incidents with the glow plug light it has been REALLY low maintenance. And the MPG is fabulous--I only fill the tank once a month or so. So, in general, no problems. Until this spring.
    Within the past month (at 26,000 miles and five months from the 20,000 scheduled maintenance) I have replaced the fuel filter, the battery and now am looking at the passenger window, which started sinking into the passenger side door this morning. I called VW about the fuel filter, because the Owner's Manual says that it should be replaced at 20,000 and it wasn't--the gentleman on the phone said that he'd "have to look into it" because they had been replacing it at 30,000 miles, not 20,000. I offered the page number in my manual. Of course, I haven't heard any updates there. The battery really has me stumped--as well as my mechanic. He said it just didn't make sense to him that the battery should be dead at 26,000...but then he doesn't work for VW. The only VW service departments that returned my call within 60 miles couldn't set an appointment for three weeks.
    I understand that we Americans have grown accustomed to no-maintenance cars, and on some level we sound like whiners most of the time...but dropping more than $300 (not including the upcoming window repair), and having to use non-VW service because the dealerships are booked for weeks--that is exasperating. And now I'm reading about problems with clutches...yikes.
    I thought I would have this car forever, and I'm really thinking about ditching it. THAT'S really disappointing. I have a friend with a Jetta and he has had lots of problems with his power windows as well. He's an avid VW fan--talked his parents into buying one too--and he's switching to Suburu. I may just follow suit.
  • hi, i also have problems with my 2000 NB. it's 2.0L and burns oil. let vw fixed it with the "repair kit" they came out with. still burns oil, together with new problems. the engine is so noisy when the rpm hits 4000. also, engine temp light went on in blue, while driving on the freeway for over 30 minutes. the car is totally screwed. i'm waiting for BBB to contact me for an arbitration. but if i can trade that car in or sell it at a reasonable price, i'll get rid of it instead. i tried to trade it in at anderson honda, but they are willing to pay only $11,000 for that POS. please let me know where did you trade your car in for a value higher than blue book. thanks.
  • bigm1bigm1 Posts: 10
    The dealer finally looked up a fix in the repair manual. They ended up replacing wire connectors in ECM and wire connectors in throttle housing.

    Seems to be running just fine now and has for the past few weeks.
  • I have a 1999 New Beetle (black) with about 25,000 miles on it. I have written to VW because my paint is cracking in circles and wearing off... quickly. I know I take excellent care of the car, washing and waxing regularly, but fear that the company will blame owner care for the problem. So, in preparation for that response, I have checked out some other black New Beetles on used car lots in the area and found that they, too, are losing their paint. It occurs on any surface that faces into the wind when you drive... like the hood, the fronts of the protruding wheel wells, and the front bumper. In fact, on the areas worn near the rear wheels, the finish looks gray instead of black. I have already talked with a local dealer and all he could say was that it was out of warranty... nothing he could do. At 25,000 miles, warranty or not, this is wrong. Does anyone else have this problem? So far, I have only seen it on black exteriors.
  • I just started reading these posts. My wife has one of the first 98 New Beetles in our area. Last year the battery in her car failed. The guy from AAA who came out to jump start it, said his boss had replaced the battery in her Beetle. Of course at 6p.m. the only place we could find that had a battery was the dealer.
    She also has had to replace the driver's power window switch and the radio...she said the tape player is acting up again. I guess the problems are not so unusual.
  • My 2000 2.0 burns oil too! This is the first car I have that requires me to add engine oil, and the funny thing is, the dealership calls that 'normal'!

    I didn't know about it until a few months ago, when I took the car to a nondealer for my 15000 service (not covered by the 'free scheduled maintanence service for the first 24,000 miles'). No one in the dealership ever told me anything about burning oil. If this is normal, why didn't they say anything so I can properly maintain the car? I don't understand why VW schedule maintenance service every 5000 miles if they know that the car burns oil, and without adding engine oil, the car will consume ALL the engine oil!

    VW should really do something about it.

    Can we file a class action lawsuit under the lemon law or something?!
  • I bought a 99 Beetle and have had the following problems:

    -A/C did not work right off the lot
    -Battery died at 24 k, I had to pay $200.00 for the dealer to reset the computer
    -The trunk will not open with the remote, or using the console.
    -I just paid $277 to replace the driver side electronic window opener
    -Oil pan ripped open with a small rock
    -Door panel vinyl is coming off
    -Cap on emergency brake came off

    I will never ever buy another VW and would advise others to do the same. It is no wonder you see so many used Beetles for sale right now. I don't even feel good selling the car directly to somebody, so I will have to let the dealer have that on their conscience after I trade that piece of [non-permissible content removed] in.
  • I own a 2000 VW GL2.0...Beginning at about 3,000 mi., I have had the following problems:
    -electrical problem
    -clutch slave cylinder went out (towed)
    -ignition switch loose - replaced - still loose
    -A/C works intermittently
    -unstable idle hunt
    -suspension loud squeak over sp. bumps
    -interior door handles delaminated
    -gas intake switch broke twice

    My questions are these: I have had this car at the dealership six times to fix the squeaky suspension. It keeps getting worse instead of better, and the service dept. does not know what it is, just replacing parts. Also, does anyone know about the unstable idle/hunt problem? There is a tech bulletin on it, but when I asked for it at the dealership they would not give it to me, and said this is the way VW engines run. I also tried to order it from VW, and they were "out" of it. Now we are trying to make a deal with the dealership and VW to trade this car in for a new 2001 model without loosing our shorts! This may be a mistake after reading complaints on this site.
  • I'm starting to be bothered by the hardware problems that I have run into with my Beetle.
    It has 20,000 miles and is 17 months old and I had it in service for several times:

    - Fuel door didn't close ("repaired" twice)
    - Window lift switch fell off
    - Wheel cover fell off
    - Fuel door didn't open

    The VW "service" sucks. Despite having a repair appointment today, bringing it in at 12:30, they told me at the end of the day that they didn't get to work on my car due to scheduling problems/work load. They don't care that customers take time off work to accommodate their schedules, and how they get to work due to their delays. Quite upset here.
  • Finally, VW repurchased my oil burning New Beetle. I suggest everyone who has tons of problems with their VW to check out the lemon law of their State, and hire a lemon law attorney if necessary. After driving a VW, I think they are making cars that have poor quality and reliability.

    Below is a link to the Federal Trade Commission web site

    Oil burning is not a new problem of VW. However, according to the consent order from FTC, Volkswagen must place advertisements in national magazines, distribute posters to its dealers, and add statements to its owner's manuals which disclose the availability of arbitration to owners. These notices will also highlight the fact that arbitration is available to remedy certain past oil consumption-related problems. Under the consent order, Volkswagen also will make publicly available, for 1984 and later model cars, the product service bulletins it routinely sends to its dealers. In addition, it will also prepare easy-to-understand summaries of the more

    significant bulletins. Volkswagen will advertise the availability of service bulletins through new car window stickers, owner's manuals, brochures, and other printed promotional materials.

    Did VW really comply with the above consent order? How many VW oil burning victims bought the vehicle without knowing the previous oil burning issue VW has because VW didn't disclose it? If these victims knew ahead of time, will they still buy the vehicle? Oil burning victims, please document all your repair orders, and file a complain at the Hopefully, when the FTC is flooded with complains regarding similar issues, they will investigate into it. Also, remember to check out the lemon law, hire a lemon law attorney if needed, or check out the BBB arbitration program.

  • Hi Betaerror... sorry for the lack of response on where I traded my Beetle in: my computer died for a while. Anyway, I'm SO happy for you that VW purchased your car back! If anyone else wants to know, I traded my VW in at John Irish in Marin County, CA. They really wanted to make a deal on the new Liberty (pre-WTC)and sell, but had no incentives. (If anyone is looking to move to an SUV, I highly recommend the Liberty! 7000 miles and only an alignment problem that was fixed immediately!)
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,488
    How much oil did your VW burn exactly? I was curious because a certain amount of burning is acceptable with most manufacturers, but of course not an excessive amount. I was wondering what the Lemon Law interpreted as the bottom line.

    JANUARY Road & Track magazine has their long term update on their VW Beetle (50,000 miles or so) and it isn't pretty. Nothing DRASTIC happened, but the car seemed to fall apart after 20K miles. It's an interesting read if you want to look at it. Their car was a '99 model.

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  • I've read through most of the problems people are having with their New Beetles. I own a 1999 gls 5 speed with 38, 760 miles on it. I have also encountered having to replace the battery at 28,000 miles, headlight going out, Air conditioner going out (replaced under warranty) parking brake tip popping off, side mirror knob broke off...Oh yeah, and my car burns oil like water, but now I have a problem with my power steering. The car will steer fine until I slow down to turn into a curve...the steering will acutally become stiff. If I am stopped at a light, I can also feel the steering getting tight...actually like there is not any power steering. Once I accelerate, the steering loosens up again. Now check this out. I took my NB to Freeway Volkswagon of San Bernardino. They first told me the problem was a power steering pump. They replaced it for $289. I took the car home the problem was still there. I called the dealership who informed me they were backed up and could not get to my car until a few days later. I also complained to VW of America. Why? They were of no help. Finally got the dealership to look at my car again. This time they said I would need to replace the Rack and Pinion (however you spell that) Steering for $868. They did not take anything apart, it was just a guess after a few of the technicians drove the vehicle. It was explained to me they start with the least expensive part and work their way up. WHAT!!!! I picked up my car without the repair and had to nearly beat the Manager to get my money back for them repairing my power steering pump when that was not the problem. I was out one hour of labor. Needless to say, I don't know what is wrong with it. I was told that it could be the pressure switch. Anyone heard about that?? Please help. I am very upset and will damn near give this car to someone.
  • I have a 2000 tubo new beetle. First thirty days both power window switches drivers door broken. Arm rest latch broken. Interior dood handles delaminating. Poorly operating remote latches, gas,hatch. Dec 31 2001 all ready to go to lunch . Car won't start. Push start, take to dealer. "can you bring it back Wednesday? It's New Years Eve." No joke sherlock and my 20,000 Turbo NEW Beetle should work @^%$%^$@$^#!!!!. Buy a new battery $115.00 and installl battery in parking lot of dealership with the wrench from the tool kit, Car will still not start !!!! Push start car and go home. Try it again, it won't start. Push start car and idle in driveway for a few minutes. Airbag light comes on won't go out. I checked the post on this site. This has happened to folks before something about a low voltage condition. The dealer and VW obviously know it!! I have read all of the complaints and I could have written them all myself. A co-worker had an identical car and had identical problems.He sold his. VW is selling junk.
  • My beattle is only 10K and it's burning 1.5 qt per 1000 miles. This is unbelievable, I took it for the second time for an oil consumption test because the VW it's telling me that it's normal. Have anybody found any written document where it says that it's normal???? They haven't been able to show it to me...
  • We just got rid of our lemon. It was a silver 2000 NB GLX with the 1.8T & 5 spd trans. It had 18,900 miles when we dumped it. During that period of time the following parts needed replacement:
    Fuel pump relay
    Timing belt
    Timing belt tensioner
    Cam shaft oil seal
    2 valve cover gaskets
    Cruise control module
    Outside temp display
    Outside temp sensor
    Instrument console
    Rack and pinion

    The lower intercooler hose popped off requiring the car to be towed back to the dealer. The rear trunk lid could not be adjusted correctly. When we dumped the lemon, the airbag light had come on as well as the check engine light. The car was well maintained and not abused. It is a fine example of German engineering gone haywire.
    Beware of the NB. Look at car point for all the other horror stories.......
  • Hello all fellow VW owners. I know one thing I am going to purchase the extended warranty on this car. So far my only problem is the oil consumption. I use exactly 1 qt per 1000 miles driven. I know eventually the consumption will catch up with the engine or at least the catalatic converter. Since the oil isn't leaking it's gotta' be going out the tailpipe eventually.
    My driving habbits are pretty much the same.
    A daily 60 mile commute on a busy Highway. Rt 17 in North Jersey. I sometimes drive a little fast around 70. Normally it's around 62 mph. I am surprised that I use so much oil.I am equally surprised that the dealer & VW of America say that is the normal consumption on this vehicle. After reading the Manual I knew I was toast. It has an entire page on oil consumtion. VW might not spend time fixing the problem but they quickly added the disclaimer to the Manual.
    Oh well, Since I Love My New Beetle
    I'll be adding the oil. My Dad is a mechanic & you would be surprised on how tough it is to find the specified oil 5w 40 / The book says I can use 10w 40 so I'll have to settle. Because of the consumption I'll try to find the exact oil.
    Other than that I've been lucky.
    I am checking with the New Jersey Lemon Law people. They are going to send me an info kit.
    Hey Ya' never Know.
    Peace Love & Happy Motoring..
  • What problems were you experiencing to know that a rack and pinion was needed? Did you have it repaired? How much? It was explained to me by a individual who worked in an auto parts store that a rack and pinion will usually give you problems if the car was in an accident. Mine was not.
  • leptolepto Posts: 3
    Here it is! The beauty you've been reading about can now be yours!

    50K mi
    2.0L 115hp
    White/Black cloth int.
    100,000/80mo VW Masterguard Warranty (BadAss)
    $12,000 obo
    Southern CA area

    link to pics :

    i had some basic problems that were fixed under warranty (ie. window switch, dash replace, stereo update)
  • gozinggozing Posts: 4
    Help. Wife's GLX has been grand but with only 4300 miles and all the horror stories, I'm wary.
    How does one check the Automatic Transmission Fluid level?
    I think I've read the big fat owners manual from cover to cover and have not a clue!
    Must have missed something as apparent as the Rocky Mountains on a clear day but I can not find out how to check the fluid level in the transmission.
    Checking the oid is a snap.
    The engine oil level stays at full so consistently I suspect there is a can of oil down there not even part of the engine at all just there to placate me.
    But the transmission fluid check is a complete mystery.
  • hkb50hkb50 Posts: 1
    Help! My new beetle is in the shop because I burned up the braking system. They claim the parking brake was on, of course it wasn't but some how the system went into brake lock mode. Now, because I have 14,000 miles, I might have to pay for something I didn't do. Has anyone hear of any problems with the braking system on the new beetles? Please let me know. I can't afford to replace the damage, my car is only a year old.
  • I just found this message board -- and as sorry as I am that you've all had such problems with your Beetles, it feels good to know I'm not alone. After almost 3 years of complaining about my oil consumption problem, (1 quart every 1000 miles) VW finally agreed to replace the piston rings -- thus solving the problem. It took such lengths though -- visits to the seemingly useless service departments, calls to VW customer service -- and then when my car actually RAN OUT of oil (1 week after I added the usual quart) and broke down -- I wrote a pretty stinging letter to VW of America. It didn't happen right away, but I did become a bit of a thorn in their side until they FINALLY admitted there was a problem and fixed it. Don't even get me started on the broken power window buttons or the "one-touch" windows that magically go up and down without touching anything ... no more VW's for me.
    Too bad -- such great design.
  • odor1odor1 Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 Beetle (5,000 miles). The interior has a bad smell. Dealer said odor would disappear after additional driving. I drove the car 5 more months and 3,000 miles. Odor is as strong as ever.

    The odor smells like burning crayon. It is different than the sour smell that appears when the air conditioning is on.

    Today, I started a lemon law effort. The local dealer is completely arrogant and refuses to discuss the matter any further. The service manager now refuses to provide any warranty or scheduled maintenance service for my Beetle. VW customer care doesn't know how to listen; talking with customer care is similar to talking with customer care at an HMO.

    My 1972 Super Beetle didn't smell. My 1969 Fastback didn't smell.
  • I am the second owner of a 200 GLS (2.0) automatic. 9500 miles. So far so good and warranty service at local dealer is fine. My 2 year 24K mile warranty runs out in March. Dealer is pushing his Warranty service (7 years 70K for $1195 with no deductible). Any one have any experience with the VW plan? Is the price too high? Other plans like Warranty Gold,I SOURCE or other plans? Thanks
  • gslevegsleve Posts: 183
    is a decent policy many have had good success I know 5 indivduals personally had no hassles with their policies and all dealers accepted company's credit card for payment deductible on some of their policies was no higher than $50.00
  • A friend has a '99 New Beetle with the left brake light bulb burned out.

    How is the bulb to be replaced? Thanks.
  • wainwain Posts: 479
    these VWs seem troubled by electrical things.
  • iinvntiinvnt Posts: 1
    My 2001 Beetle has 26000 miles. I lost 2 quarts of oil over the last 3000 miles. This is worse than the oil consumption of most bad old american cars of the 70's! Atamian VW is my dealer in Tewksbury MA. As soon as I mentioned OIL, they kept on insisting that absurdly high oil consumption was normal. But, worst of all, VW agrees. VW has figured out that their engines are prone to burning a lot of oil. Their cheap solution is to write a memo declaring this glaring defect normal!
This discussion has been closed.