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VW cabrio issues

lolasflolasf Member Posts: 1
edited March 2014 in Volkswagen
Does anyone else have this issue? I've taken my 1 1/2 yr old car into the dealer 4 times for the same electrical issue - the engine light and/or airbag light will be illuminated for days for no reason. I've even had it changed out by VW but this keeps on happening.


  • peggyppeggyp Member Posts: 7
    what happened to all the messages? Did they change the format. I am looking for messages from last month or so and can not find them.
  • krisc23krisc23 Member Posts: 7
    Peggy, I am with ya! It seems as though our board has been deleted.

  • cabrioglxcabrioglx Member Posts: 4

    Didn't see that someone already started a new topic =P Anyhow, i wanted to thank the person who suggested checking the groundwire (why wasn't this already grounded?) for the CD changer. That did the trick. My next question is where do you mount the changer? I temporarily mounted it on the right rear passenger side, in the space between the wheel well and tail-light, but that forced me to mount the changer side-ways(this position is not suggested in the changer manual). This seems to be the only place the changer will fit without intruding on trunk space. The problem is, CD's skip *alot* while driving on rough roads. Any suggestions or pics would help.
    Also, I heard on the news lately (California), that the police will start cracking down on drivers without a front license plate. But, when i got the car, it only came with one license plate. And there is no predefined area on the front bumper of the car for the plate. Are we suppose to drill holes ourselves? Or will the dealer take care of this for free? And there were no extra screws included with the black plastic mounting plate. Pics would be appreciated.
    I really hate to ruin the look of the car by mounting a plate, but i would rather not be ticketted for it either.

  • peggyppeggyp Member Posts: 7
    does anyone or did anyone ever own a 88. I might buy one for my daughter to drive around town but would like to know if that year the car had any recalls or problems. I love my 2001.
    any help will do. any site that I could read to find out about that year.
    Thanks Peggy
  • kodenamekodename Member Posts: 141
    lolasf: On our 2001 Cabrio the air bag light is on all the time. It goes into the shop tomorrow.
    If I learn anything from this I'll post it here. The old Cabrio post I used to frequent has gone , so here is where I'll be. Bill C.
  • umpleesumplees Member Posts: 1
    I have a 98 Cabrio. In May of this year, my air bag light went on. Last week I had the thing checked and had to pay $800+ to have the Air bag Control Panel replaced, which is NOT covered under my extended warranty. (safety restraint systems not covered, by the way)
    If so many of us are having the same problem, shouldn't we contact VW America about possible recall/replacement??
    Other Serious Problem: Since my purchase of this new vehicle, I have had horrid squeaky brakes. The service dept. at the dealer originally stated it was silicon on the brake shoes and that it wou'd wear off. 4 mos. later, said I needed to hose them down periodically. Now, 2 years later, they've instructed me to simply drive in reverse for a while. Yea, that's likely. Anyone else with this sound-barrier squeaky problem?
  • kodenamekodename Member Posts: 141
    VW dealership today apparently fixed our air bag warning light problem. The repair invoice states: Found resistance for spiral spring too high.Remove steering wheel and replace spiral spring. If I read the invoice correctly it is listed as .7 tenths of a hour to complete the repair. They also replaced a rear arm rest and listed that as 1 hour labor. This was done under warranty as the car is a 2001 GLX. Bill C.
  • missbevmissbev Member Posts: 1
    My daughter bought a 2000 Cabrio about a year ago. The check engine light kept coming on and the dealer kept replacing the fuel pump relay. Occasionally, they'd keep it for long periods of time (like a week) and replace more parts, trying to fix the underlying problem, which I suspect is something electrical. After about the seventh time, she filed for relief under the lemon law and forced them to buy it back.

  • dbode1dbode1 Member Posts: 1
    I just bought a "like new" 2001 Cabrio GLS with 3,100 miles on it. After a week of ownership, the check engine light came on and has been on for the last couple of days. Based on previous posts, there appears to be a problem with the check engine light and airbag light on numerous Cabrios. I'm with "umplees" and am going to contact VW America. I'm also going to have the problem checked out by my friend who owns a VW and import repair place. Has anyone with the check engine light ever had it successfully repaired?

    Dave B
  • medstudmedstud Member Posts: 1
    I am new here! Is the engine light the same as the MFL signal? If that so, I have had the light came on twice. However, it went away after 3 days or so. Before each incidence, usually what happened was that I could not start the engine at first try. Then after I tried the second time (and the engine started), the light came on. Both times, I waited for 3 days and the light went away. The light was not blinking...I did call the dealership and they said if the light was not blinking, it was not serious. They scheduled me to bring it in, but since it went away before my scheduled time, I did not bring it in. Has anyone noticed rattleling noises in the area of the key hole? I have had the noise comes on regularly for the last 3 weeks or so. It really bothers me!
    I have a Cabrio 2001 GLX by the way. Besides these minor problems, I am having fun with the rabbit! Thanks to all and happy driving!
  • kgallant46kgallant46 Member Posts: 12
    I have a '98 Cabrio and in the past 6 months, I have also had a squeaky (or squealing) brake problem. It sounds like a loud whistle and I have tried numerous times to get it fixed. No one seems to know what is causing the problem. One dealer told me it was an accumulation of brake dust, another said it was the metallic lining of the brake pads. I think both are wrong. Does anyone else have a similar problem??
  • dkouveliotesdkouveliotes Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 cabrio with the same problem. VW has replaced the spiral spring and now it makes a scratching noise every time I turn my steering wheel. VW refuses to take responsibility for their poor craftmanship. I have also had problems with the electrical system and the inside door handle's covering was peeling off. All in all I have had the car 15 months and have had it in the shop 8 times! VW service is horrible as well, I feel like an idiot for ever buying a Volkswagon. Does anyone want to ban together and make a formal group complaint through a lawyer for damages? If so, please email me at dina3346@aol.com

  • kgallant46kgallant46 Member Posts: 12
    I'm going to try another VW dealer about my squeaky brake problem and if it's not fixed, I'll try an independent mechanic. I get the feeling that my mechanical problems are solely caused by incompetent mechanics at the VW dealer. I'll post here if I get my problem resolved.
  • kodenamekodename Member Posts: 141
    First a comment. What happened to the activety on the VW cabrio board(s)? After the site change, not many people commenting. Maybe everything is fine and we are all too busy?
    Now if I may ask for some advice- On my 2001 cabrio at 60 mph or above there is a rattle sound that appears to come from the area at or near the passenger front seat. I cannot find it. IF I sit in the back seat at 60mph it appears to come from under the car.I don't think it's in the actual seat. I've crawled all over and not found it....yet. Any Clues anyone can share with me? Thanks. Bill C.
  • justinjustin Member Posts: 1,918
    This weekend I looked at a base model 5 speed cabrio, and a fully loaded GLX model. Sometimes I think that base (Even manual windows) is the way to go with a convertible. but then the leather in the GLX was quite nice. of course, they drove the same.

    does the electric top and heated seats and power windows in the GLX give anyone cause for concern? it seems like the base model has less possible issues....but it also does not have the luxury. opinions here? is the base model a safer bet or no?

    also - what are the "real world" MPG's for the Cabrio 5 speed? anyone have the automatic? is it slower than molasses? any generally cheap mods for the cabrio, performance wise?

  • bkirschbkirsch Member Posts: 9
    Hi all!

    Glad to find some of you again. Too bad our old board is MIA. I was on it from the very begining.

    I've been in car he.. since we last chatted. I finally filed under the Califonia Lemon law again. First time they promised to fix my car and gave me a car payment.

    This time, I want a new car. I figured since my car has 15K on it, let them give me a new one. That's another year out of this car. The latest issue is the seatbelt which has needed to be replaced 4 times. Does anyone else have seat belt issues?

    I'll let you guys know what happens.

    Justin, I have a GLX and while my car had been the shop 5 weeks out of the last 13 months, my only problem with lux. features was the heated seats and VW fixed them, they did no work when I bought the car. And I've had no issues since. Roof is great as well as the windows.

    Bill C, my car does not have that noise, so no help here. I think we need to track down Mike.

  • kodenamekodename Member Posts: 141
    I found the source of the rattle sound that seemed to come from the passenger front seat of my 2001 cabrio. Under the car there are several very thin shields between the cad.converter and the cars floor/underbody. These also run along a portion of the tail pipe behind the converter. They are a very soft metal and very thin. They were rattling against the floor pan at speeds above 45. and sometimes at lower speeds when driving over tar strips on the highway. I put a more severe bend on the outer edge of these heat shields and that eliminated the rattle. At first it sounded like it was coming from a loose spring or wire inside the passneger seat. Maybe this info can help someone in the future? Bill C.
  • krisc23krisc23 Member Posts: 7
    Some jerk (I am putting that politely) hit my car in the parking lot at work yesterday. I am so upset!!!! They took the paint off the bumper's corner, and unfortunately it is really noticeable.

    What I was wondering is if anyone has the Batik Blue Pearl, and if they had any after-factory paint applied to it. How did it match up?? What should I look for when I bring my car to get the bumper repainted.

    I hate low class people, could you at least leave a note when you hit someone because you apparantly do not know how to drive!!! (venting)

  • ragtop3ragtop3 Member Posts: 11
    This is a repeat of my posting on the board VW Cabrio Owners-sorry to be redundant for those of you reading both boards.

    After reading this board for over three months I've all but completely lost my desire to purchase a new Cabrio and am looking favorably towards a used Solara or, gasp, a new Sebring. Ironically, even a Chrysler appears to be more reliable than the Cabrio. I haven't read comments on any other board that suggest as many problems as those you have with your Cabrios. Safe mode. Fuel line trouble. Seats that won’t heat. Leather that peels-AAAAARG! I’d love to hear comparisons to other cars you all may have owned. Did they need to be serviced nearly as much as your Cabrios? My personal experience with VW was awful, I had an ‘87 VW GTI I called “the rattle box”. It was that was serviced 21 times for assorted problems including rebuilding the engine twice at VW’s expense. I’ve owned four different automobiles since that haven’t been serviced 21 times all combined! (Yes, each one of them was/is Japanese).

    Complaints besides reliability? With the top up it’s the loudest ragtop next to a Miata. Cabrios’ roll bar makes excessive noise at highway speeds with the top down. Even the dang seat belts flap around at highway speeds. Power? There’s hardly any to speak of. It really bothers me that the engine supposedly averages 24mpg with relatively poor performance while Sebrings and Solaras net 22mpg with head jerking V6 powerplants. I’m not buying a convertible to go fast but need to merge on the highway with relative ease. One last nit pik: ever notice all the new Beetles on the road with one headlight out? Is this indicative of the sub-par parts used in Mexico-built VW’s of which Cabrio is a part of?

    The most reliable 4 person ragtop out there is a Toyota Solara but at 32 grand it won’t be in my garage, at least not an ‘02. Saab has reliability questions and is even more expensive than Solara so that’s out. Mitsubishi–too small inside and kind of ugly anyway. Miata–an absolutely awesome performer but I simply don’t feel safe in it let alone prohibiting my 3 and 5 year old kids a fun ride on summer days. Chrysler– a great performance car at decent prices (when dealers loosen up-like now) but has American ergonomic and exterior design sufferings as well as ghosts from transmission problem years, supposedly pre-’97.

    Problem is I just love the size, style and relative affordability of the Cabrio. I love the rumble of the muffler with the top down. I love the way it handles and soaks up bumps, or potholes, as we call them here in Minnesota. I don’t know for sure but I believe it’s a fairly safe car compared to others due to the roll bar and side impact air bags. I never drive fast enough to merit a roll over but with all the nuts on the road who knows? Lastly, I love the way a smaller, front wheel drive vehicle drives through the snow and VW is known as a solid performer in this department.

    The two VW dealerships are twice as far as alternative brands for me. Each service visit means another car rental which begs the inevitable question-what price does one pay for reliability?

    Can any of you convince me that I won’t be servicing this car every 6 months for some idiosyncratic problem or another???

    I’m waiting until spring when the snow melts here in Minnesota and more importantly, the economy improves enough to take on a car payment. Any comments from you owners would be appreciated.
  • krisc23krisc23 Member Posts: 7
    Hey ragtop!

    I wouldn't rule out the Cabrio for a Solara...I would never trade mine for one. My friend has one the SLE V6, and that thing rattles like crazy. It is my understanding that that car is a chopped coupe solara, so to speak.

    It's too bad all of our complaining has turned you off!! I have had service on mine maybe 5-6 times since I got it in Feb. but I wouldn't trade it for the world. I love it!! I have the 5 speed, and I have no trouble with it's pickup. These frequent service visits had me irritated, but it was never a question of reliability, the car was always in driveable condition, I am just very fussy with things. My previous Nissan Altima was never back to the dealer - just put gas in her and that was it.

    Like you said, the car is great in the snow!! I have nothing to worry about this winter. In fact, I still have my old Nissan, and last winter I was going to drive it in the snow, but my Cabrio totally outperformed the Nissan!

    Convertibles are notorious for small rattles, leaks. But look what you get in return: a solid performing fuin little car. This is the only convertible I would buy less a BMW/Mercedes. Germans make the best convertibles.

    I had a LeBaron conv't, and that will forever dissuade me from buying another Chrysler...I will not elaborate...but 40K miles and a burned out engine...need I say more.

    Well good luck to you!
  • ragtop3ragtop3 Member Posts: 11
    That’s the defense I was hoping to hear, thanks for your response. Your right, I shouldn’t expect a convertible to be as quiet as a hardtop. I’m remain loyal to the cause of finding the least problematic one, however. A point in Cabrios favor for 2002 is the upgrade to a 4-year bumper to bumper warranty.

    I too am fussy about my cars. Fortunately, the Japanese vehicles I’ve owned alleviated the rattles, misfittings, and mechanical problems experienced with VW and domestic brands. Other than fluid changes My ‘95 Maxima has been into the shop twice in 6 years, once for a fouled fuel injector ( fixed under warranty) and last week for a burned out tail light bulb...that’s all! My ‘00 Toyota van has been in once for a inoperable seat belt, nothing more.

    Kris’ comments reminded me of a key observation in favor of Cabrios: the absence of what I believe is called cowl shake. This is where the car actually flexes abnormally from the lack of a hardtop. I test drove my dream car, a Toyota Solara, at a car dealer and thought we might buy it until I experienced it’s dreaded cowl shake. The entire upper portion of the car shook so bad over nominal bumps that I couldn’t safely see out any of the mirrors! I suspect it’s why this gold edition vehicle was on the used car lot with only 7000 miles on it. New Solaras don’t exhibit this problem so perhaps it develops over time. I enjoy test drives from used car lots because you get a peek into a cars’ future vulnerabilities without bothering private party sellers. The same cowl shake was experienced in a couple of used Saabs that I test drove as well, very scary stuff. I’ve driven about six new and used Cabrios without a hint of cowl shake, however.

    So there‘s a distinct point in Cabrios’ favor. Any others? Is it worth the risk? I appreciate the experience and words of wisdom you Cabrio owners have.

    P.S.-FYI, it’s all but confirmed that 2002 will be the last year for Cabrio to make room for the Beetle convertible this spring and Jetta convertible next year. Naturally, there’s already a waiting list for the Beetle convertible which could be all the rage depending on our nations economy next year. Hopefully we'll have a handle on the terrorist mess and begin seeing brighter days then...
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    The Cabrio is FUN, the Solara isn't.....VWs are drivers cars, and that's worth something if you are a real enthusiast. Besides, you can get lots of aftermarket stuff for them. You have to remember this is not a Benz, and some inferior materials and little glitches are going to happen. Me personally...I'd trade off some reliability for some fun, especially with a warranty. Of course, extreme problems, that I wouldn't like at all!
  • rampinojrampinoj Member Posts: 5
    As long as you settle for the fact that the car is not a BMW or Mercedes, I think you'll be happy. What you do get is a great handling automobile, a long heritage, and great fun. Get a 5 speed, and you won't mind the engine's performance.

    You can still get in a few days of top-down driving if you buy now. (Even in Minnesota). I've had lot's of late season top down driving in the Northeast. I have had my Cabrio since last October and have been very satisfied. Problems have been minor.

    I purchased my car after reading the published reviews, all of which were positive. I hadn't heard of problems until I started reading the message boards. Then I began to wonder if I made a mistake in purchasing this car. However, after 12,000 miles my only problem has been static on the Radio Disney AM channel. The dealer just replaced the radio under warranty. No questions asked.

    It's difficult to compare the quality and reliability from the message boards. My theory is that we VW drivers are enthusiasts and love to discuss our cars. Owners of other makes just don't have the farfignugin to write about their cars. The natural tendency is to express the bad stuff. The good stuff goes undocumented because we already know about it.
  • ragtop3ragtop3 Member Posts: 11
    Thanks for the comments from Mr. Shiftright, however, I have to completely disagree with you that the Solara is not FUN. What convertible ISN’T fun? The Toyota V6 engine and transmission are among the worlds' best, in fact, the transmission is the same one used in select Lexus vehicles WHICH has done pretty well for itself. I suspect your bias stems from thinking that convertibles need also be sports cars and the Solara certainly tilts more towards a luxury vehicle, hence the price tag. But I can assure you it’s fun, in fact it would hands down be my choice between the two if the price were the same as the Cabrio but it’s not, and I don’t think it’s worth roughly 10 grand more, especially after the cowl shake experience I had driving a used one.

    Rampinoj enlightened me that maybe some of the problems you all are experiencing are due in part to poor VW mechanics. This would perhaps reflect some of the troubles I had with an '87 GTI. His positive Cabrio experience is a tremendous assurance. I take great care of vehicles and generally get the same in return.

    I had a chance to drive an '01 Cabrio with 2400 miles a couple of hours ago and I can honestly say there’s a soul to that car that others seem to lack. It’s 30 degrees here with 35 mph winds so I couldn’t put the top down to review my previous complaints about the rollbar/seatbelt noise. I'm only looking now admidst snow reports because there's some good year end deals to be found.

    I’m perhaps coming around again...cautiously.
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