Volkswagen Cabrio

cabrioglxcabrioglx Member Posts: 4
edited January 2014 in Volkswagen

I'm starting a new discussion group because the old one seems to have disappeared. 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 don't see an obvious spot. Anyone have pics?
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.



  • rampinojrampinoj Member Posts: 5
    In my home state of Massachusetts, we have had the 2 plate requirement for some time now. The police will invoke the law at their discretion. I never took it seriously until I got stopped in my old Maxima and was informed that I needed to display both plates. It really killed me to destroy the clean appearance of the front end, but in the end I complied. The Maxima had the mounting threads just below the plastic skin of the bumper. All I had to do is punch through and bolt on the plate.

    The Cabrio front plate installation is not as neat. There does not seem to be any secure mounting hardware on, or under the bumper. The dealer who installed my front plate used self-tapping screws and made a real mess of it by drilling several holes before he finally got it right. Luckily the extra holes are now hidden by the plate. I think as far as Volkswagen. is concerned, we're on our own when it comes to front plate mounting.

    Thanks for starting a new discussion group. Hopefully the folks from the old "attn VW Cabrio" group will find us.

  • dotanukidotanuki Member Posts: 3

    I'm glad to hear that the groundwire worked for you. Happy I could help.

    As far as mounting the changer, I mounted my wife's on the shelf where the first aid kit is supposed to go (driver side of trunk). I'm not sure if it was supposed to come with one, but her car is a GLS, and there wasn't a first aid kit. The Panasonic changer I bought had mounting brackets, but they wouldn't sit level on the uneven floor. I looked into VW brackets, but the dealers around us in PA wanted $80 and up for a couple of pieces of sheet metal. Plus, I really don't like the fact that when VW mounts it for you, it sits in usable space on the floor. I ended up using industrial strength velcro to mount the changer. It holds perfectly, and can be removed with a scraper and some Goo Gone, although you can really see the velcro when you look in the trunk. Also, if I need to get behind that panel, I can simply move the changer and put it back when I'm done. You can get the velcro at Home Depot for less than $10.

    The only drawback, especially since you've already mounted the groundwire, is that you will have to relocate the cable and adapter for the changer. It's not that difficult since it is held down by a couple of retaining clips, but you have to remount the groundwire, and secure the cable to the floor of the trunk. I used black Duct Tape to hold the cable in place. It's the easiest way to keep the cable from shifting. The adapter will either hang from the shelf, or you can secure it to the side of the shelf using duct tape or velcro.

    Whew...sorry for the long post...

    Anyway, if you or anyone else would like, I can take a couple of pictures of the setup and post a link to them on the board.

    Let me know.

  • cabrioglxcabrioglx Member Posts: 4

    Thanks for confirming what i thought about the license plate. Looks like i have more work ahead of me once i get my CD changer working properly. Still not sure why i wasn't given the 2nd plate when i got the car, if this is the law...
  • cabrioglxcabrioglx Member Posts: 4

    The shelf for the first-aid kit was my first preferred location to mount the changer (btw my car did not come with a first-aid kit either).
    But, I didn't think the groundwire and adapter could reach all the way to the drivers side shelf.
    Currently, i have my changer installed in the little rear right passenger side in the little nook. Everything is working and the changer does not intrude on trunk space at all, but CD's skip more than it should(very annoying). I'm positive this is because i mounted the changer on its side, rather than one of the suggested positions. To get and idea what i mean; the changer has a top, bottom, front(where you insert discs), back, left side, right side. Positioning it on its left or right side, is the only way i could mount it without intruding on trunk space.
    But, i'll take another look and see if my cables will reach to the first-aid kit shelf instead.
    I definitely would appreciate pics. And i don't mind long informative posts at all =)

  • sf_cabriosf_cabrio Member Posts: 1
    Hi Everyone! This is my first post, I have a 2001 V.W. Cabrio, GLS with the stock stereo without a CD changer. I would like to purchase a new CD changer but am wondering what brand works for the Cabrio? Alpine, Panasonic? Also, I've been told I need an adapter to connect the changer with the deck. Circuit City wants to charge $119, just for the adapter. Is this an accurate price? Any suggestions/recommendations would be greatly appreciated!
  • lkuntzlkuntz Member Posts: 6
    Hi guys,

    Glad I was able to reconnect with the group!

    About the CD changer, my friend installed a Sony CD changer for me and all he needed was an antennae adapter and a wiring harness ($25 for both parts at Circuit City). This may be because I installed the whole stereo, so the deck and changer are both Sony. I've heard from previous posts in our other discussion group that the VW changer is quite expensive & it seems like people have problems with their radios going into safe mode if a non VW brand changer is used with the VW deck.

    I have a Sony detachable face CD player sitting in a closet I would be willing to sell, but no changer. Contact me off the board if you're interested: [email protected]

    About the front license plate, does the dealer have to drill the holes or can you just drill holes through the front yourself? I think I trust myself enough to do that . . . :) I just want to know if I could cause any serious problems by accidentally drilling into wires, etc. hidden behind the front bumper.



    97 green/black/tan

  • halogenhalogen Member Posts: 20
    Here is your opportunity to buy a guaranteed
    like-new, VW. original equipment, CD changer,magazine,cable,and mounting bracket
    for only $250 (postage paid).It is the exact
    model that is advertised in the VW catalog.
    (hardware also included)
    You won't be dissapointed !!!!

  • krisc23krisc23 Member Posts: 7
    I was wondering is anyone noticed wear on the leather seats...mine is wearing on the side of the drivers seat, and I can not figure out why. This is my first car with maybe I am not used to this. It has 7500 mile on it - 2001 GLX.

    Everything else is going well it seems, knock on wood of course. Had a lot of the problems you all said - with the check engine light, etc. My passenger seat still rattles. The dealer ordered a part last month, and am waiting to hear from them.

    I do love the car. It doesn't get the gas mileage I thought it would. I have the 5 speed. I also noticed it really hesitates when the A/C is on, but I guess this is common with cars. But you can't beat popping the top on a great day like today!

    Another tip I have, I live near NYC, so I have driven through several times on our dirty Manahttan roads up here without my boot on. This caused my headliner to look disgusting. A local detail shop where I get my car washed has a hot steam cleaning system. They did my headliner, and it got off all of the dirt. I had tried before with a regular steam vac and it didn't touch it. I thought it was there for life. It looks brand new. If anyone else is having this issue you should look into this steam cleaning. It is not something like the big green cleaning machine, it just used extremely hot steam to remove dirt. It uses no chemicals. if anyone lives in tri-state area - it is at the Orange Car Wash in Orange, CT.

    My lesson though was to use my boot, since I have the beige interior!!!!

  • perosaperosa Member Posts: 3
    Hello, I'm hoping somebody can tell me how to install the cargo net that came neatly rolled up in a baggie when I picked up my car. I seem to recall that this was discussed in the "old" boards, but I didn't have my Cabrio then!
  • krisc23krisc23 Member Posts: 7
    My door handles are starting to peel as well. Can anyone tell me if you have had this problem, and what was the dealer resolve? Will they replace them? Mine is a 2001...had it since Feb this year, 7000 miles.
  • sgerlachsgerlach Member Posts: 17
    My 2000 cabrio had peeling door handles also. Dealer replaced it without any trouble. They seemed aware of the problem and had the part in stock. If you have any problem with the dealer, call the 800 number for VW (in your huge owner's manual) and one of their "advocates" will intercede with the dealer. They then open a file (give you a number) on your vehicle to track problems.

    And even though I had the dealer install the cd changer, my radio goes into a safe mode on a semi-regulat basis. Dealer has replaced ignition, battery, and radio (on separate occasions). I'm on my third ignition switch and the car only has 19,000 miles on it. Each time the dealer assures me the problem has been solved. Then it happens again...they don't seem to have an answer. But I will take it in again before my warranty is up.
  • ottensteinottenstein Member Posts: 7
    I have a 98 Cabrio with a tan vinyl top with 52,000 miles on it. The car is 2 1/2 years and 28,000 miles out of warranty. For the past 9 months I have noticed that the outer vinyl layer of the top has become sticky. If I washed it the stickiness would be back in 2-3 days. 4 weeks ago I noticed that the fabric was pulling away from the back window leaving holes for water to come in. Obviously it's time for a new top. I called VW customer support and they had me have a dealer service dept. evaluate the problem. The Heritage VW service manager (Owings Mills, Md) indicated it was premature wear due to no fault of the customer. VW customer support within 2 hours called to offer to cover the materials cost for a new top replacement. All I have to pay for is the installation cost ($450 rather than $1550). They are even upgrading the top to a fabric one.

    I am very pleased with VW's willingness to provide this level of customer support even though the vehicle is long out of warranty. I never expected them to do anything. The dealer service dept has also been great in handling this. Kudos to VW for supporting us Cabrio owners!
  • 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!

    Just left a post in on the other Cabrio board but more of the old board seems to be posting here. So let me say HI!

    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 headache has been unbelieveable, but i love this car, so I'll give it another shot. 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.

    Kristin, my leather seats have worn a little also. It's the VW seats, look at other people's leather seats. I think it's that beige not the black. You might want to take it in. ]


  • lkuntzlkuntz Member Posts: 6

    Beth, I've had problems with my rear seat belts not retracting. It's not a problem with the retraction mechanism, but somehow there's too much friction between the retractors in the back and where the belt comes out of the top of the seat. I never did figure out a fix for that since there's nothing obviously wrong. I haven't worried about it too much since I hardly ever have rear passengers. If anybody has any suggestions, though, it would be appreciated!

    Justin, on our old board, I remember a few people saying their heated seats weren't real warm, so make sure you test them out to make sure they get as hot as you want them before you buy the GLX. Also, in my opinion, the power top is pretty useless since you still have to put the boot on, etc. It's not fully automatic and I'm sure it would be expensive to fix if something went wrong, so for me the manual top is just fine. It's very easy to put up/take down anyway. The power windows would be the only feature I could see being really advantageous. The heated seats are a nice luxury if they work well. In the case of the Cabrio, it might be a good idea to purchase an extended warranty b/c of lots of little things that crop up. One last answer to your question, my '97 Cabrio Highline 5 speed gets about 28-30 mpg (mostly freeway miles).


  • bkirschbkirsch Member Posts: 9
    Justin, since the heated seats have come up, their best decribed as seat warmers. On a chilly day they keep you warm, but they do not have the intense heat that my father's lexis has. they are nice though.

    Guys, had anybody actually had to go through with a lemon law case. It seems that VW is being difficult.


  • wikingwiking Member Posts: 1
    i have a 98 GLS w/ 49K miles, thus out of warranty. The car is in good shape and I've had it serviced regularly at my place of purchase.

    A while back the convertible broke - my service manager tells me that the conv. pump as well as the pistons are gone and have to be replaced. I've complained to VW Service which refuse to cover more than 50% of the material cost and then comes about $400-500 for labor - my out of pocket expense lands at close to $900.

    Is this reasonable? I'm very disappointed that such a major part would break after such short period of time.

    washington, dc
  • adaveyadavey Member Posts: 30
    i see that VW now has a 4 year 50k warranty!
  • adaveyadavey Member Posts: 30
    i see that VW now has a 4 year 50k warranty!
  • sgerlachsgerlach Member Posts: 17
    I've heard that VW was going to the 4 year 50,000 mile warranty with the 2002 models. However, I also heard that the 10 year powertrain warranty was not included. Perhaps, the assumption is that most VW owners won't have their vehicles for more than 4 years??

    I bought a 2000 VW cabrio....and I'm looking forward to purchasing an extended warranty that allows me to go back to my old mechanic. His service, knowledge and experience is better than the vw mechanics at my local dealership. According to an article we saw in a local newspapers, VW knows it lacks experienced mechanics and has plans to create a school for mechanics. I actually dread taking the car into the vw dealership....often one problem seems to lead to another. Lately, everytime I take the car in, I'm told that they have checked the problem and the car meets factory specifications. I guess with factory specifications, the car radio will go to safe mode, brakes will develop a squeal, oil filter might leak, etc. My vw dealership's service department is extremely busy....without an appointment, you may not get service. When I call up for an appointment, it may be 4-5 days later. I don't know if they are selling that many cars, the cars have a lot of mechanic problems, or the mechanics can't fix them and the cars keep coming back for service on the same problem (that happened a number of times with me). I have seen the dealership turn away a vw customer with an extended vw warranty - and told the owner she would have to make an appointment.
    Because I have a power top and after ten visits to the dealership in 23 months with problems, I definitely need an extended warranty....but not a vw warranty. It's too bad....I still love driving the car (when I don't have a problem). But I have been towed more with this car or required AAA to get me started in two years then I did with my Toyota 4Runner for 16 years.
  • bkirschbkirsch Member Posts: 9

    I would check out the lemon law. My car has been an absolute disaster. I'll now filed for the second time under the lemon law, and I'm going to make them buy the car back. VW people have been unhelpful, useless and at times unpleasent.

  • sgerlachsgerlach Member Posts: 17

    I don't qualify under the Lemon Law (not even under amendment for this year)...came close once... However, I highly recommend passing out copies of the Lemon Law to everyone else in the vw dealership waiting room while you are waiting for your car, it's amazing how quickly the dealership works to get you out of there. I also recommend calling the vw 800 number whenever you have a problem so everything is documented on their level. Make sure you get name of everyone you talk to...

    Beth, I have a friend that is an arbitrator for the National Arbitration Board....from what I hear they look more favorable on those claims that concern safety of the vehicle...

    I'm wondering if the mercedes are more the look of the new c-coupe.

    Good luck on your claim under the lemon law!
  • bkirschbkirsch Member Posts: 9

    Thanks for the best wishes. VW has just been aweful. They won't even return my phone calls. My seat belt is giving me brusies.

    My hearing is in two weeks.

    We'll see how it goes.

    Stay tuned!


  • 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)

  • cab_drivercab_driver Member Posts: 5
    Did you get your net installed?
    Let me know, I'll send e-photo.

  • cab_drivercab_driver Member Posts: 5
    What is a convertible pump?
    Are you refering to the water pump?
    What about the pistons?
    Are you meaning the ones in the engine?

    Let me know.
  • bkirschbkirsch Member Posts: 9
    Hi all!

    Had my hearing last Monday and it takes a month to hear. I think it went well, but it's so hard to tell. VW was a joke at the hearing. They are just so aweful.

    I'll let you know when I find out.

  • ragtop3ragtop3 Member Posts: 11
    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. I think I can already can guess Beths' comments...
  • rampinojrampinoj Member Posts: 5
    I have to speak from personal experience concerning Cabrio ownership. I have a 2001 that I purchased last October. Over the past 12,000 miles the car has been very satisfactory. I based my purchase decision on all the published reviews out there, all of which were positive. After I purchased the car, I began to read the message boards from actual users, and the impression was exactly as you described. I began to wonder if perhaps I had made a terrible mistake. Fortunately, I have not had any of the problems mentioned throughout the message boards.

    I think an important factor is the competency and integrity of the dealership when it does come time for maintainence. Demographically, the Cabrio, is very popular with females, and dealers may often see this as an invitation to take liberties when diagnosing problems. (Please don't take this to mean that I think females are ignorant concerning vehicle maintainence. As you can see from the posts on this board, we have a very savy group). I think the dealers may be contributing to the perceived quality and reliability issues by causing more problems by intentional, or unintentional mis-diagnosis.

    It could be that it takes a special person to appreciate a Cabrio. Owners of other brands may just not have the enthusiasm or farfignugin to take the time to write about their experiences.

    I know Minnesota is colder than Massachusetts, but if you buy now, I bet you'll still be able to get some top down driving. I've had my top down this entire week, and it's almost November! Never fails to put a smile on my face, and that's pretty important these days.
  • sgerlachsgerlach Member Posts: 17
    Someone asked me the other day if I would buy this car again (2000 cabrio gls). Interesting question. I told them to ask me again in another 6 months. I'm still not sure if the car is the trouble or the lousy inexperienced mechanics at the VW dealers. I don't believe the dealers are intentionally misdiagnosising and at my local VW dealer the waiting room is full of more men than women. I don't think they are paying salaries high enough to keep experienced mechanics - which would also explain the wait for an appointment of almost 4 days. At least one visit to the dealership resulted in two additional trips because the mechanics inadvertently hit toggle switches and forgot to lubricate the steering wheel before reassembling.
    However, if I wanted to buy a convertible today, I still would probably buy the cabrio for the same reasons I bought one in Oct. 1999 - safety, rollbars, ABS brakes, side air bags, price and crisp handling. But I also would have brought an extended warranty (not restricted to VW) and would have taken the car to my own mechanic from the beginning. Maybe then it wouldn't have taken so many trips to fix problems.... Although it does worry me that I'm on my third ignition switch in 2 years with a car that just hit 20,000 miles...
  • cab_drivercab_driver Member Posts: 5
    If I were not a single father then it would have been a tough choice between the Cabrio and the Miata.

    I wanted creature comforts and the Miata just didn't have much in that area.

    If you want performance then put in the higher octane gas and you will get it. I promise you all that I have no affiliation with Cheveron but I had played around with octane boosters and for $3 bucks I got a lot of spunk. So if I use the higher octane gas on a road trip the throttle gets away from me. I had deduced that the Techron (sp?) gave me the best throttle response. Then I heard from the local VW guy that this fuel (by name) was recommended by VW for use in their cars. OK enough but if you want spunk use that gas.

    So, even with my past excess oil use I would buy this car again. By the way, I haven't had that issue for a long time now and I am at @24,000 plus miles. I like my car because of the creature comforts that it has. If I wanted a cheap muscle car then the Mustang was my next choice. Between that one and the Miata they have good power to weight ratios. Could you imagine anything bigger than a 2.0 in a Cabrio? I would be getting bad gas milage and tickets. I would rather buy a cheap gas and then the "good stuff" when I wanted to travel.

    After my 24,000 mile service I filled up with regular cheap gas and I didn't have to fill up until 385 miles and I still had 2 gallons to go at fill up. These cars are supposed to have a 13 gallon tank right? That wast the best milage that I ever got! So they must have done something during the tune up to get me that savings. I'll let you know as soon as I know.

    Later Cabbers!
  • rampinojrampinoj Member Posts: 5
    Hey Mike,
    That's great gas mileage. The tank is 13.7 gallons, which means you got about 32 miles per gallon! You even beat the optimistic EPA estimates: (City Manual Transmission 24, Automatic Transmission 22
    Highway Manual Transmission 31,Automatic Transmission 28). I have been tracking my mileage since I bought my Cabrio last October. (I have a 2001 GL w/ manual transmission). My average over 13819 miles, 66 fills, is 26.7 MPG. Best was 30.9, and worse was 21.2

    As far as a good power to weight ratio, I have to disagree. My cabbie is 115 HP/2825LBS=.040 power to weight ratio
    A Ford Escort is 110/2470=.045
    To put things into perspective, a Porsche Carrera is 300HP/2900LBS=.103 (Did I mention the $50,000 price difference between the Porsche and the Cabrio?)

    So why is a Cabrio such fun to drive? I think it's the combination of road feel, handling, and having the maximum torque coming on at 2600 RPM. This puts those 115 ponies into action much sooner than a lot of other cars. Of course once the top is down, in my mind, I become Bob Wollek in a Lola Porsche 38!

    Keep on cabbin'
  • ragtop3ragtop3 Member Posts: 11
    I need to clarify that my comments regarding the Cabrio’s poor engine performance are in respect to the automatic transmission. I didn’t note a night and day difference with the 5 speed but certainly there was more pickup throughout the gears. I need to share the vehicles’ work duty with my wife who isn’t too fond of manual transmissions, a few too many years of stop and go traffic will due that to a person. Also, I had to replace the clutch on my ‘87 GTI after only 65,000 miles which seemed premature, IF i were to purchase a manual what’s the likely lifespan for a VW clutch?

    I’m interested in trying Mike’s octane booster idea (problem is I don’t own the vehicle). Maybe it would give the automatic some life. Last week when I test drove the ‘01 Cabrio the engine was cold, specifically 30 degrees cold, and there was absolutely no power when driving off the lot. I’ve never experienced such a lack of power before. After ten minutes or so I either adjusted to the ‘low octane’ power or it warmed up properly and drove with the power I’ve come to expect. Besides an annoying rattle on the passenger side I liked it, particularly how completely straight the Cabrio tracks compared to my two Japanese vehicles. THAT I could come to appreciate! As usual the car dealer hasn't called back about when the car was actually put into service, hence how much is left on the warranty. Nobody but nobody will lift a finger to sell you a car anymore. I guess this is why I keep trying not buying until spring when the selling frenzy starts again.

    I’m pleased with the few favorable rulings saying this car maybe worth the risk. Thanks in advance for the comments offered here.
  • bkirschbkirsch Member Posts: 9
    Hi all!

    It' so nice to start to see the old gang back on the board!

    So, much to my dismay, I lost my arbitration case. The arbitrator was unfair and bias as far as I'm concerned. I have filed compliant against her.

    My car still has issues, so yesterday, I talked to 5 lawyers. All 5 looked at my paper work and said that they are sure they can settle with VW. All took my case for free and if they win, I pay, if not I don't. The one I'm going with with will charge me $600, that's it. I'm pretty excited.

    The question of whether I would buy this car again is timely because VW has to give me my money back or give me a spankin' new 2002 cabrio -- the one with the 4 year warranty.

    And believe it or not, that might be what I do. (or I might just buy it again and get the great financing that is around these days). I'm not sure.

    I agree with sharrel, there are good reasons I bought this car in the first place. And there are few other options for a cute fun sporty ragtop around 20K with lots of features.

    I'll let you all know what happens.


  • lkuntzlkuntz Member Posts: 6
    Has anyone installed a Neuspeed hood strut brace? (I think that's what it's called.) It's a metal bar/brace that you install under the hood across the width of the car to prevent shimmeying. It's supposed to add stability and life to the car. Would it be worth the cost? Does it really add life to your car? I want to keep my cabby for a long time so I want it to last. How much should I expect to spend for installation or can I just drill holes myself?

    Also, are there any other modifications I can make to my car that are a must when it comes to increasing performance and adding life to the car? I've heard about the K & N filter being a good investment. Any suggestions would be appreciated. :)


  • mulligan2mulligan2 Member Posts: 59
    Any hope of VW dropping the 1.8t into the cabrio?
  • picklepickle Member Posts: 1
    I went to buy a Jetta, but my dad (imagine that!) convinced me to go for the convertible, since I always wanted to that kind of car (and a Jetta too). The whole "life is short" argument. Even tho I live in the NYC area, and won't use the convertible as much as, say, an owner in Miami. I hope no one takes this the wrong way - I look at is as a coupe Jetta with a removable lid - and very cute looking at that!

    Bought a 2002 GLX Cabrio and have been reading all the posts here & in other sites. I am worried about VW service & dependability. I will be positive but any reassurance would be good... I am very excited about my new car (green, beige leather). Warranty was a great feature too!

    Also FYI - the salesperson told me they are going to discontinue the cabrio (at least in US) for a short while (don't know when) and come out with a new Beetle convertible.. very interesting to see that!!
  • bkirschbkirsch Member Posts: 9

    Well, as far as the relability and service issue, you might be lucky and have no problems like some on the board or have endless issues like me. If you love this car (I did) and plan to keep it buy an extended warrenty. This car does have issues. But, he.. you only live once and it's a fun little car. And perhaps you'll be lucky. My best wishes.

    I'm not buying it again, but that is just me. VW has been horible to work with and the car was no good. But, on the other hand, I work with two people who have the car and have had no prolbems.

    Best of luck


    I just wanted to pass on the name of my awesome Lemon law lawyer to you. He's in San Diego. Perhaps he can work something out with VW. He's fee is $500. Email me directly if you want at [email protected] to get the details.

  • glewweglewwe Member Posts: 2

    Apologies in advance if this topic has been thoroughly covered- but: last week, I purchased a 97 cabrio with 44000 miles. I live in Minnesota, have driven a Jeep Cherokee for the past few years, and am learning to drive a stick shift, no less. We've had unseasonably warm, dry weather for November, but I am starting to get nervous. Does anyone have any good advice for driving and maintaining this car during the winter?

    Thank you!
  • rampinojrampinoj Member Posts: 5
    I live in Massachusetts. No snow yet, but it can get nasty real quick. I have a 2001. Last season I went with the standard all season tires that came with the car. Had some cornering and sliding issues, but not bad. Probably my own fault. The front wheel drive is a definitely a plus for traction.

    This season, I've just changed over to Michelin Arctic Alpin snow tires on all 4 wheels. I'll report at the first storm.

    Sorry about all the hassles with your VW. Please stay in touch.

  • kgallant46kgallant46 Member Posts: 12
    Well, that's the dilemma I'm in now (or soon will be). I have a '98 VW GL Auto that I leased in March 1998. I was in a car accident with an SUV in 1999 and I SURVIVED with no injuries. Witnesses were surprised I was able to walk away. I LOVE THIS CAR!!!

    Since the beginning of this year, I have had mechanical problems every 2-3 months. I've had my ignition coil, mass-air flow sensor and catalytic converter replaced THIS YEAR! Luckily all these things were under manufacturer's warranty or extended warranty, but it definitely worries me, especially since one of my problems (squealing brakes) has not been corrected after numerous visits to the dealer.

    I've oscillated between buying a new (and different) car to keeping the one I have, and with 4 months to make a decision, I STILL don't know what to do. I love having a convertible, and frankly, the Cabrio is the only one I like that's within my price range. But with all my problems, I can't imagine having anything else.

    So, would I buy this car again?? DEFINITELY!
  • sgerlachsgerlach Member Posts: 17
    Maybe the answer to whether you keep the car is an extended warranty. That was my least now I know I can enjoy the good things about this car without worrying about mechanical problems. My extended warranty includes rental car and the deductible is low - $50 per visit. I went with the company that my mechanic recommended and has dealt with before. Because I had an automatic top, this was very critical to me. I'm covered bumper-to-bumper for another 85,000 miles or 5 years. If I decide to get rid of the car, it is transferable for $55. - so another selling feature.

    Glad you walked away from the accident - friends never believe me when I tell them how heavy this car is...and all the safety features definitely pay off.
  • bgenebgene Member Posts: 3
    I have not posted to this board for a couple years and after reading some concerns I though I'd jump back in. My wife's 98 Cabrio is 37 months old and has had no mechanical problems or other concerns. It is just as fun as the day it was bought. The car was purchased in the SF Bay area and we now live in the Midwest, I will post again in the spring after winter driving. The only problem in the Midwest is you see very few of these cars here and a total of three strangers have tried to buy the car out from under her in the last 6 months (all female). When she stated it wasn't for sale they became even more determined like, name your price, or take my phone number and think about it. Not For Sale! I assume there are a lot more very satisfied owners who don't post and the negative postings are frustration (I would post problems if I had a bad car too). Hope this helps, 98 Cabrio, Auto, Puebla built.
  • mikessistermikessister Member Posts: 1

    I know my cabrio is not the same car today, but VW does (or did?) make reliable cars. My '86 cabrio has over 215,000 miles on it. It has been almost trouble free. It did not start to show its age until about 195,000 miles. Then within 3 months, I had to replace the alternator, the clutch bracket, valve job, and radiator. The clutch was replaced at 214,000. I still drive it 70 miles everyday, and am planning on keeping it even though I will be buying a new Audi A4 Avant sometime soon.
  • kgallant46kgallant46 Member Posts: 12
    Well, last week I decided to give up my beloved '98 VW Cabrio and bought an '02 Subaru Impreza Outback Sport. I'm very happy with my decision.

    Reliability became the final issue. Every two months, I was sending my car to the mechanic for repairs, and after hearing about my co-workers problems with her '97 VW Jetta, I decided that reliability is not VW's strong suit, or at least not now. Plus with all I've read on this website about VW's reliability (or lack thereof) and the lack of good VW dealers in my area, I really had no choice but to give up on the Cabrio. The final straw came when my car wouldn't start a few weeks ago, and my fear that it wouldn't make it to Denver for Xmas. (It barely made it back from Denver in July.)

    I wish everyone good luck with their Cabrios. Hopefully your experience will be much better than mine!
  • sblastersblaster Member Posts: 1
    Hello, I have been reading all of the information and stories that all of the fellow Cabrio owners have posted and I thought I would share my experience with you all. My wife and I decided 1 year ago today to purchase a 2001 GLX cabrio wht/blk. This is our 4th VW. 70 beetle,81 jetta & 87 jetta. I have had SMALL problems with all of my past Volkswagens but I feel that they have been some off the most FUN cars to drive of all of the cars that we have owned over the last 15 years. I originally thought about buying another Toyota but you know..they just aren't much fun to drive. This Cabrio has enough power,handles great, and hasn't had any problems other then getting 2 new keys programed the 1st week after delivery do to the dealership loosing all but 1 of the keys before we took delivery. The radio has gone into SAFE mode 1 time this year, oh well I had to put in the security code. I do hope that I don't have some of the oil burning problems or other issues that some of you have described but we are willing to put up with a few small quirks to drive a FUN car that has some personality. Happy Holidays
  • peggyppeggyp Member Posts: 7
    why are/were you in court about your cabrio? I bought one oct.'01. the paint is terrible and the leather on the handles have been replaced.
    i love my car but i hate the paint job. it is the blue/blue/beige. it looks as though some one took sand paper and put swirls on the car.
    the service rep...said can't do anything about it.
    where do you buy an extended warrenty..from VW?

  • halogenhalogen Member Posts: 20
    Hi there Georgia,
    Those swirls in the paint can probably be
    buffed/polished/waxed down to a tolerable
    shine.They are probably not the fault of VW.
    Have you tried any products? Meguiars makes
    alot of different products.
  • perosaperosa Member Posts: 3
    No,I haven't been able to figure it out yet.. (in all fairness, I haven't been trying very hard since I first gave up!).
    If you still have pictures, I'd appreciate them.
  • perosaperosa Member Posts: 3
    I'm sorry to hear all the slurs about the VW dealers... I recently moved from NYC to CA, and the "new" dealership is taking just as good care of me as the "old" one. My car only has 7000 miles on it (4000 of which were from the rambling cross-country drive), but performance has been excellent, and I LOVE MY CAR!
    Admittedly I haven't even owned it a year, but there hasn't been an instant in which I've been anything less than thrilled with it- and with VW service in general. (The guy who actually SOLD me the thing is a different story, but ah, well! : ))
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