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VW New Beetle Problems



  • leptolepto Member 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 : http://home.socal.rr.com/lepto/bugpics.htm

    i had some basic problems that were fixed under warranty (ie. window switch, dash replace, stereo update)
  • gozinggozing Member 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 Member 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.
  • sushigurlsushigurl Member Posts: 1
    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 Member 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.
  • tombjrtombjr Member Posts: 4
    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 Member 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
  • fungus440fungus440 Member Posts: 21
    A friend has a '99 New Beetle with the left brake light bulb burned out.

    How is the bulb to be replaced? Thanks.
  • wainwain Member Posts: 479
    these VWs seem troubled by electrical things.
  • iinvntiinvnt Member 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!
  • texaszachtexaszach Member Posts: 119
    I ran a search for Beetle topics and am amazed at how many have been started or archived relating to Beetle problems. Has Volkswagen corrected the plethora of problems I read about or are the 2002 models still exhibiting these same characteristics? I'm starting to rethink my need of a 1.8 Turbo engine. One older post suggested buying a Golf GTI because it is still made in Germany and is better quality. Any and all feedback is welcome, friends.

    Zach in Dallas
  • fowvayfowvay Member Posts: 29
    Just out of curiosity, is the oil problem related specifically to the 2.0 litre model? I have not been hearing of troubles with the 2.8 litre, the 1.8 turbo, or the 1.9 litre diesel.
  • dgordon12dgordon12 Member Posts: 1
    My friend has a 2000 New Beetle. When the car is cold, the cold engine light comes on. That is normal. The light goes off after the car is warmed up. The problem is, after some time when the engine is warm and the cold engine light goes off, the light will come back on! The dealer can't seem to fix it.

    Has anyone else experienced this problem and, if so, did the problem get fixed and how?
  • puengineerpuengineer Member Posts: 1
    I'm considering the purchase of a 2002 GLS Beetle with the 2.0 L engine. Is the Beetle still having oil consumption problems (1 qt / 1000 miles), or was that with pre-2002 models? Did they ever get the problem "fixed" (really) or does the problem persist? Any thoughts / recommendations from any of you about my possible purchase?
  • mposh372mposh372 Member Posts: 4
    Add me to the list of 1qt/1000mi VW Beetle drivers. My beetle now has 46000 miles and the oil consumption has been about the same from day 1. The dealer is monitoring the consumption(and adding necessary oil) but so far it's "normal." Is it really a problem? What are the long-term effects?

    The only other problems I've had have been with the "MLI" indicator which was replaced free under the recall and with a airbag sensor which cost about $40 to have fixed. On the whole I'm pleased, unless, of course the oil consumption is going to cause problems that will surface at higher mileage???
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Member Posts: 1,391
    The only fix, has been to tear down the engine and install thicker piston rings.
  • fowvayfowvay Member Posts: 29
    From what I have learned VW built a series of 2.0 litre engines in which the piston rings were installed incorrectly. This was caused by the rings being marked incorrectly from the supplier. So, not all of the 2.0 litre engines have the oil consumption problem and the issue has been identified and corrected. However, as mentioned in the above posting, the only solution for the high consumption engines is to have them disassembled and new piston rings installed. If your engine isn't using a high amount of oil then it is unlikely that it will in the future but if it already is using oil then it is not going to improve until the inadequacy is corrected.
  • daryll40daryll40 Member Posts: 44
    Hello fellow New Beetle enthusiasts. About 6 weeks ago I bot a 2002 GLS with the "Rivera Blue" package...all the toys and the 1.8 turbo engine. Much to my delight, I have not had one single problem...none...zip..zilch...nada...at all and now have 1900 miles on it. I am hopeful that the quality problems that you folks are writing about have been ironed out for 2002 and, at the very least, the new 4/50 warranty will cover my butt..er...bug.

    All that being said, I do have one complaint. There is a tremedous amount of windnoise from the moonroof when open. Actually, it's two different problems. One occurs when it's open all the way...a harmonic vibration. That can be solved by closing it an inch or cracking a window. I have had this problem on other cars as well and just consider it a "variant" and not really a problem.

    The "problem", however, is that even if you just open the roof just a few inches, that pop-up thingie causes lots of wind noise. If I manually force down the pop-up-thingie, it is better but still noisier than other cars I've had.

    Also, my friend has a '01 GLS and has burned thru front tires in less than 7000 miles. They are lousy on vehicle maintenance so I suspect the tires were underinflated or some other reason. Nevertheless, I am wondering how tires wear on these cars?

    Any suggestions or even just other who can relate to my concerns. I will say that this is just a minor annoyance and I LOVE that Bug! I hope I still feel that way in 12 or 24 months...if not, I'll move onto something else.

    Daryll40, Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • mposh372mposh372 Member Posts: 4
    A friend of mine (1999 GLS) got almost 60k with the standard set of michelin's. I have about 30k with the standard michelins and 16k with a set of arctic alpin michelins (I switch the tires/rims for winter) and I don't see excessive wear yet.
  • daryll40daryll40 Member Posts: 44
    Thanks for the report on the tires. I feel better about it now! If possible, I have a few other questions...can you email me privately?

  • slafaversslafavers Member Posts: 1
    I bought a new 2001 VW Beetle GLS TDI (the diesel engine) way back in November 2000. All I can tell you is this car is a piece of junk.

    The car drove very well for the first 10,000 miles, then just started to detiorate rapidly. The suspension became so worn that it felt like the car had no shocks whatsoever, panels began to rattle constantly. And of course, VW called this "normal" wear and tear and refused to fix it. I just dumped this car a month ago and bought a 2000 Honda Accord, MUCH more sensible choice.

    Stay away from the Beetle, unless you want to drain your wallet.
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Member Posts: 1,391
    VW has a "silent recall" on the Goodyear Eagle LS tires for its accelerated wear. Many owners got free replacement set.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Administrator Posts: 11,148
    kd6aw1, I deleted your post -- one topic is enough, and since you claimed no actual experience with the VW Beetle, the post doesn't belong in here.

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    Need help navigating? kirstie_h@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.
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  • yellowbeetleyellowbeetle Member Posts: 1
    Hi! This is a response to bckermit post#5 and dbroschat #11....
    I also have a problem with starting up my 2000 beetle as the immobilizer icon popped up and wouldn't start. The dealer said that it is an instrument cluster problem and needs to be replaced. As my car is out of warranty, I would like to make sure that this is the problem and I won't have to go back there again and pay for the same problem. dbroschat, when u replaced the cluster at the dealer, did it fix the problem. It only happened to me twice and it was about a few months between each occurrence. Can you or anybody help? Thanks!!
  • poorelizapooreliza Member Posts: 1
    I was delighted to get a New Beetle, and reveled in its cuteness for about ten minutes. Then the problems began. The headlight went out, and was fixed improperly, causing the entire circuit to short out, which was quite costly to repair.
    The gas cap refused to open, and I had it "fixed" at the dealership for $200, and it still didn't work. They replaced the entire system twice, now it works.
    Everything breaks, the little plastic seat levers, the clips for the headrests, etc. I cannot afford to get them fixed because every repair is ridiculously expensive at the dealership.
    My air conditioner broke, both internally and when the plastic switches broke, the windshield wipers make the most god-awful screeching noise, one of the rear-view mirrors broke and was swinging around in the breeze...
    My advice is never to buy one of these cars, everything breaks and the repairs are ridiculously expensive at the dealership. We have put over $2,000 into the car just for repairs in the two years that we have owned it.
  • loperslopers Member Posts: 8
    Anyone know how to replace the headlight? The instructions in the Beetle Manual say 'have your dealer replace the headlight since you may cause damage to other parts of the engine'. The dealership wants $50 to change a silly light bulb. VW stinks!!!!!!!!
  • ttammy1ttammy1 Member Posts: 1
    I'm interested in purchasing a 2002 SLX 1.8 Turbo Auto. My intent is to keep the car for many years to come; however, it appears that the car has some "bugs."
    What should I know about this model before (if) I make the purchase?
  • aries4aries4 Member Posts: 1
    It has sadden me so to hear the negative comments about the vw bug. I was looking forward to buying one. This will be my first car. I want to keep in mind that the same situations cant happen to everybody. My vw may be different from everyone else's. I thought these cars last after all you still see the bugs with the trunks in the front running on the road. Could someone email me if they honestly believe this wouldn't be a good investment for a college student? ariesbuttafly@aol.com
  • firephoenix777firephoenix777 Member Posts: 59
    in my opinion, i rather get a reliable car and spend the time hanging out with friends in college (or study) instead of taking a car to service all the time and worrying if it will break down while driving on the freeway. i know ppl like to drive nice cars, but if you're in college, all you need is an affordable and reliable car that can take you from home to school and to wherever you want to go.
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Member Posts: 1,391
    Sensitive MAF (Mass Air Flow) Sensor
  • sailing216sailing216 Member Posts: 98
    We have a 02' orange turbo auto beetle and it's trouble free, so far. I do not like the auto tranny when the car is cold. As for a college student buying one, I would not recommend it. We leased ours which was a great move since we don't drive any highway miles. The car is a blast to drive, but I don't think it'll be reliable in the long run. My in-laws Jetta is an electical nightmare (00 GLX model with 56k), my 93 Passat...we'll I'm donating it to say the least. I sold my 89' Toyota Celica with 167k miles and it was as strong as the day I bought it. The beetle is a blast, but for the same money I'd pick up an Acura RSX or you can get a great deal on a year old Celica GTS. Both cars are just as much fun, faster, and extremely reliable. Bugs have lost their appeal and prices are dropping fast. This fall the convertible comes out (November 4th Autoshow in Miami) and those will have the cuteness for a few years, but people will forget the hardtops. For college students, Toyota, Honda/Acura, Nissan, Mitsubishi are the cars I'd look at with the latter 2's depreciation in the first year making them a good buy. Drive the Nissan Sentra SE-R or Mazda Protege MP3 for excitement, a year old Eclipse convertible for fun and sun, all about 18k or less.
  • cosmos3cosmos3 Member Posts: 2
    I purchased a New Beetle in 98 and it has been an absolute lemon - constant electrical problem - mass air sensor(about $400)- early tire wear - spent about $1200 already and it now needs another trip to that expensive shop as the engine light came on yesterday. I called the VW "advocate" and asked if they didn't have some kind of after warranty program - you know the answer. I drove Rabbit diesels for years and they were much better that this - even thought they rusted out. They need a lesson in PR.
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Member Posts: 1,391
    You got Goodyear Eagle LS was the stock tires (known for its horrible wear in VW's, many have gotten free replacements at the dealership)

    Mass Air Flow Sensor....big suprise here. A common MKIV problem. Luckily VW recently cut the prices down to about $55.

    At least you didn't have a window regulator problem.
  • fifilundfifilund Member Posts: 2
    Enjoyed the 39 month ride. 99 GLS. Green. Great little car. It didn't use oil. It didn't wear tires. (25000 miles) The car looked like the day I took delivery. My expenses where $15.00 for the 15000 mile change I had at the Good Year Dealer and 25 for a hub cap that fell off.

    I took extended warantee since I only had 24,000 warantee. I've owned 4 other VW's and I know the dealerships repairs are costly and not always correct.
    List of repairs covered. All window switches broke several times. The gas flap was repaired twice. Each time they said it was something different but the first repair it still was hard to close. The Bettle was always back on the road in less than a half day and being green was a great traffic car here in South Florida.
  • fifilundfifilund Member Posts: 2
    Enjoyed the 39 month ride. 99 GLS. Green. Great little car. It didn't use oil. It didn't wear tires. (25000 miles) The car looked like the day I took delivery. My expenses where $15.00 for the 15000 mile change I had at the Good Year Dealer and 25 for a hub cap that fell off.

    I took extended warranty since I only had 24,000 warranty. I've owned 4 other VW's and I know the dealerships repairs are costly and not always correct.
    List of repairs covered. All window switches broke several times. The gas flap was repaired twice. Each time they said it was something different but the first repair it still was hard to close. The Bettle was always back on the road in less than a half day and being green was a great traffic car here in South Florida.
  • gunnelsgunnels Member Posts: 1
    In the summer of 1998, it was my dream to own a brand new Volkswagen Beetle. I had never bought a Volkswagen before. In the past, I have owned a new 1993 Honda Civic and before that I owned a new 1989 Chevrolet Z-24.

    In October of 1998 I purchased a new red 1999 Beetle that I purchased immediately.

    My dream had come true, or so I thought. Unfortunately, I have had repeated and expensive repairs, none of which were my fault. One of the main reasons that I bought a new Beetle was due to its very good reputation and my belief that it would rarely, if ever, need any major repairs. I could never have been more wrong.

    Not only have I had to pay a lot of money for these repairs, but the entire service department at Alexandria Volkswagen has been extremely rude, inconsiderate and incompetent. The worst employee at Alexandria Volkswagen in my humble opinion is Cezar Garcia. Some of his unprofessional comments that come to the top of my head include, “Look, just chill out,” and “Hey, we don’t make the cars, we just service them.”

    Here are the specific things that have gone wrong with my car:

    1. Less than 18 months after I purchased my Beetle, three times in a row the car would not start when I tried to turn it on. Each time, I had the car jump-started. After the third time, I had my car towed to Alexandria Volkswagen. Since my car was still under warranty, luckily I didn’t have to pay anything. But, before I had my car towed to Alexandria Volkswagen, I called to let them know that I was coming and explained that this was an emergency. At first, they said that the soonest they could get it fixed was in 2 weeks. After complaining, they reluctantly let me tow the car there. When I took it there, they said that it would take at least a week to get it fixed, but didn’t offer to get me a loaner. When I asked to get a loaner, at first Cezar Garcia, the Assistant Service Manager, refused. It was only when I explained to him that I was entitled to a loaner, that he reluctantly gave in.

    They never did explain exactly what went wrong with my car, but apparently it had something to do with a computer malfunction. While this was under warranty, I still missed several important meetings at work in Washington, DC as a result.

    2. About 1 year later my driver’s side window collapsed inside the door through no fault of my own. It cost $300 to repair. When I was at Alexandria Volkswagen to get it fixed, more than 1 person told me that the same thing happened to them. Again, more valuable work time was lost for me.

    3. Less than 2 months later, every time I turned on my car a loud beeping noise would sound and a flashing red light appeared. According to Alexandria Volkswagen, the light appeared in error and it cost $40 to fix. Yet again, I had to take time off of work to get it fixed.

    4. Approximately 2 months after that, my low-beam headlights wouldn’t work because of an error in the electronics. I knew it had to be the electronics because both of my low-beams had burnt out less than a month before this occured and had to be replaced. The driver side low-beam cost $90 to replace at that time. When I took it to Alexandria Volkswagen, sure enough it was an electrical problem, which they said they could only “temporarily” fix because they didn’t have the right parts. This temporary fix cost me $80. A permanent fix will cost $100.

    5. About 2 months after that, my speedometer broke down, again through no fault of my own. I scheduled an appointment with Alexandria Volkswagen on a Saturday and told them what the problem was. The receptionist told me to just tell a service representative what the problem was when I got there which I did. Cezar Garcia, the Assistant Service Manager, told me that it would cost $78 just to look at the speedometer without giving me a cost estimate. The receptionist at Alexandria Volkswagen never told me that it would cost money before they could give me an estimate. Yet, I signed for it anyway after complaining. When I asked to speak to his supervisor Mr. Garcia refused. Mr. Garcia showed absolutely no concern about my complaints whatsoever which is what he always does every time I’ve had to deal with him.

    After waiting over an hour, I went outside to find my car in the parking lot. Mr. Garcia was outside as well and I asked him if anyone had even taken a look at my car yet. He told me that a mechanic looked at it, but that it was “too complex of a problem for a Saturday” and I would have to re-schedule the appointment for a week day. This made me very frustrated. After all, I specifically called beforehand to let them know what was wrong with my car. If they already knew there might be a problem getting it fixed on a Saturday, why didn’t they let me know upfront, I asked Mr. Garcia. His reply was “Look, just chill out.”

    Mr. Garcia never once apologized for the mix up.

    That was the last time I will ever go back to Alexandria Volkswagen. After that, I made an appointment with Martens Cars of Washington, DC. When I told them that I was having problems with Alexandria Volkswagen, their reply was “Yeah, you and everyone else.”

    The service people at Martens Cars thus far have been very helpful and friendly. Unfortunately, their diagnosis was repeatedly wrong. At first, they told me my speed sensor was broken and it would cost $195 to fix. I told them that this was covered under my Powertrain Warranty, which at first they did not believe. But, after they checked, they agreed that this was under warranty, to my relief.

    But, then, they called me to tell me that they were wrong. It’s not my speed sensor, but the problem is my instrument cluster, which would cost $750 to fix and is not covered under my warranty.

    Fortunately, they were wrong again, and called to explain that it would be under warranty.

    6. After that, my passenger’s side window collapsed inside the door through no fault of my own, the exact same problem that occurred with my driver’s side window. It cost $277 to repair.

    7. My passenger’s side door would not open from the inside. It cost $154 to “temporarily” fix.

    8. The air conditioning broke down and needs a new compressor. It will cost $1,879 to fix. Volkswagen said that they will cover 50% of the parts and labor, but it will still cost me over $900 to get fixed.

    My dream has now been crushed under a wave of bills and lost time at work. I don’t know if there is anything you can do, but after this experience it does not look like I will be buying the new Volkswagen that I planned on purchasing.
  • lostlovelostlove Member Posts: 4
    I loved the New Beetle. It was my dream car. And I hated it after 3 years of owning it - the repairs were so absurd. My car to date has spent well over 30 days in the garage and has cost more in repairs than both of my last two 10-year-old VW Fox cars combined. Now THAT is just pathetic. I finally decided to trade it in when my car started to consume oil at a ridiculous rate. My mechanic told me to call VW and just demand a new car. However, the 800 number proved to be pointless and it was already out of warranty (gee...). My car has had the wire harness re-engineered and hand-delivered to the garage, front and rear brake pads and rotors, both 02 sensors replaced, floor mat pegs "fixed", side seat holds "fixed", etc. In 3 years?! And then it starts to go through oil like no tomorrow? At 3k the engine oil light comes on - many times I've had to replace oil before the next scheduled maintenance. I take care of my car but JEEZ I don't want to have to replace oil every single trip I take with the car. I just felt like I pretty much was owning a 10-year-old car again, not a 3-year-old one. I finally gave up and traded in the darn bug. I probably will not buy another VW car after this. I loved both Fox cars that I had owned, but not this bug.
  • cranecrewcranecrew Member Posts: 27
    I own a 2000 diesel beetle, after reading just a few of these problems I thank my lucky stars that I bought the diesel. I've had it 24 months and I have 105,000 miles on it. The only time that it has been back to the dealer was to replace the driver's electric window switch. I use Mobil Delvac 1 / 5W-40 motor oil and change it every 15,000 miles. It doesn't use a drop of oil either. My only real complaint with the car is the blind spots, especially the huge exterior mirror on the driver's door. Have come close several times to hitting someone crossing the street cause I didn't see them. Oh yah', left front wheel bearing gave out at 100,000 miles.
  • bugrunnerbugrunner Member Posts: 1
    Bought my shiny new black GLS TDI in Feb 1999. My first brand new car. Now, it it August 2002, and let's see: Tires worn out, needs new rotors X 4, driver and passenger window regulators both replaced at $600 each, I've been through 5 headlight replacements at over $65 each; the glow plug relay is bad and needs to be fixed for $400, the trunk lock has been broken for a year now, and at an estimated $500 to start I will not fix it, the fuel door has been repaired twice, the remote holder over the mirror replaced once, the rear view mirror vibrated so badly I could not see in it, and $75 dealer oil changes. I regret the day I bought it. It is fun to drive though, but for a new car I did not expect to be infusing so much additional cash into it. This was my first and last VW product.
  • searchlightsearchlight Member Posts: 5
    Oh my I wish I knew about this town center earlier!!!!
    I bought a 2000 turbo glx (#1 we call it) it had 520 miles on it and left us stranded on rt66 in Northern VA. Towed to the dealer Tischer in Laurel, MD. After a week ++ they couldn't put humpty dumpty together again...transmission failed. The east coast rep replaced my car. Okay new car a month later....Day two of new car it freaks out and indicator light doesn't show what gear you are in. And will not go....it was the multi function sensor switch. The rep at the dealer could not believe I was back....Did I want to keep the car? Well you know damn was I naive. It went down hill from there. I won't bore you with details just the the horn, cd player, floor mats, hood release, twice the air flow sensor, instument panel, rotors and brake pads, I am sure I am missing something, had to be replaced....
    I bought an extended warranty the best investment I ever made!!!!!! They should be looking into this peice of crap they are paying for. I sold it.
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