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Volkswagen Beetle Body Work Problems



  • I replaced the entire top. That held up fine, but then the engine went out. got rid of it at that point. A previous VW, 2 years earlier, went to the shop for a month before they could figure out why it quit running and then just out of warranty, we had to replace the transmission. At this point, we had to swear off of them. We went to Toyota and never looked back. We have now purchased 3 Toyota products and are delighted with all three, one of them with 165,000 miles and no problems ever whatsoever. Sandra
  • I have read many complaints on the early (2003-04) convertibles and the rear window coming loose. Apparently, this is not just a VW problem, but many others also, such as BMW convertibles. It must have been a "new and improved" manufacturing method at the companies that produce the tops. In any case, it appears many owners have success by taking these car top issues to a car upholstery shop. These shops have various glues, stitching etc., and can get these windows repaired. It seems crazy that VW would suggest just replacing the entire top, but then again VW did not make the tops to start off.

    Try an auto upholstery shop first.

  • hotskins2000hotskins2000 Posts: 5
    edited August 2010
    What dealer did you get the clips from? What town and State
  • What dealer did you get the clips from? What town and state?
  • Whats the name of the dealer to get a repair kit for back window. I'm in Naples, Florida
  • The cloth around the window on my '05 beetle convertible was falling off almost completely (though the glass was still in place). The dealer quoted me some insane amount of money to fix (I want to say $400) and I took it to a place called the Buggy Doctor ( in Miami. Cost only $16.80 plus labor to replace all the clips. Try calling them if you need the clips. They were cheap. (Although I have to take it back in, this was in June and already the cloth is falling again... so not sure if that is a result of the clips themselves or the way they attached them)
  • I had my top open half way several days working on regluing back window. Now that I am closing, will not close by 2 to 3 inches to be able to lock down. Has anyone had this problem. I can potentially close manually, but do not know if this will create some error code that will then call for a trip to the dealership?
  • We also have a problem with our window on 2004 Bug. The top part of the window looks like it is going to fall out. I glued the bottom part and duct taped the top part. The dealer is no help they say you need a new top. We only have 40,000 miles on this car. We have not put the top down because we are afraid the window will fall out. I heard there is a place in Miami called Beetle works that has a kit to fix this problem We are located in Naples. Does anyone else have a solution to this problem. No more VW for me always some kind of problem.
  • Correct my last statement on Beetle works to
  • Well, not to be the barrer of bad news. I have a 2003 vw beetle convertible. The trouble started with the drivers window, then the passenger, then both back windows. The motors had to be replaced, and just found out that only last about 3 yrs., now I'm on my second round of window motors. Cable broke on my top, was able to fix but, now, the back window is coming loose(have to replace whole top 2500.00). The trunk won't open at all, no matter what I've tried. I am so unhappy with this car. Oh, transmission decided to start going out. I've been told that it will cost about 4000.00 or better to fix. I just want to scream. Its a money pit.
  • khaotik1khaotik1 Posts: 2
    The airbag light is a $170 peice...It is a sensor in the seatbelt that is bad. Just had to replace mine and VW IS NOT CHEAP. Their taking care of customers sucks bad.
  • I have a 13 yr old Plymouth Grand Voyager van with 208,000 miles on it and while I've had to make minor repairs, I've never had to replace a transmission at $8,000 after 5 yrs or window motors after 1 and 4 years. My bug is an '05 that I have not driven in over a year because I can't afford to have the transmission replaced. And, the convertible top never worked right, the liner keeps coming off and the headlights do not consistently work. I bought it brand new and took care of it. So, while there may be some validity to your comments there are a lot more out there that bought their car new and even when it went back to the dealer, they found "nothing wrong".
  • Where are you located? I love my '04 beetle, but I am constantly ending up at the dealership replacing something. Now my top is coming unglued from the window. I can't afford dealership costs, even though I have an awesome warranty; this last thing isn't covered.
  • my2008vwmy2008vw Posts: 1
    I have a 08 convertible, after just a few years I recently noticed the paint on my front bumper is coming off, I have taken it in to the VW here in my area they had a manager look @ it and now I have to wait on a "specialist" to come look @ it to see if it is there fault,and to see if they will cover it. I wanted to know if this is a common problem and if anyone has had this happen to them??
  • 5burfs5burfs Posts: 1
    The problems with the VW Beetle convertible. Mine is a 2003. Have spent over $5000 in repairs and still it's not working properly. I must wonder if most of this is the design/engineering of the car or is just VW in general with sub-par workmanship. Have replaced two motors for the windows. Spent over $1000 to "repair" the top and it still doesn't work. Airbag light replaced. Theromstats replaced. Now the alarm for the top has started to buzz when I take off from the stop position. Is there a class action suit anywhere about the lousy performance of these cars. Never Never buy a VW again. Shame on you VW!
  • I've had the same exact issues with my 2003 beetle. I have a VW mechanic that works on my car and he is the only mechanic who works on my car there. He told me that those cables and motors go bad after a while and its very expensive to replace them. I spent $130 on the motor for my drivers window. My drunk switch went bad and I had to use the key switch for a while. Then my passenger window motor went out too. As far as the transmission, they've been sluggish lately. My car was like that and he told me that there is a major recall on the transmission and it's free but the total work costs about $2,400 dollars. I had that done and now my baby runs like a pro. Then, the back window glue has been melted since last summer and it rains quite often in my car. He said that it can't be glued because they manufacturers glue failed and that the entire top needs to be replaced at a total of $2,400 and that doesn't include labor. But don't worry, it's not you , it's the car. I've spend almost a total of $3,400 on work for this car and I want to jump off a bridge every time something else breaks. And to make things better, a few years ago, my mom was driving my car, and hit a drain pipe (not paying attention) and broke the oil pan and cracked the transmission. The poor car was smoking to death and was completely empty of oil. Believe me, I can go on and give you a list of parts and prices for all of the work done. I'm fed up! And not to mention that I spend $54/week on gas which doesn't last the entire week. The thought of it makes me cringe. But hold on and be strong! You are not alone in this crazy beetle word.
  • Hey, I just snapped the plastic ball end joint that connects the flap to the motor on my girlfriends 2004 convertible new beetle. I was sad to see that I will be having to purchase the entire rod assembly instead of just one of the end joints. I've been searching for replacements all night and am not making any progress. Would you be able to attach a link of where you got yours from or help me out in any way. At this point I don't mind paying the 50$ I feel bad and just want to fix it before she kills me..
  • quellquell Posts: 1
    Hey there, I was able to find someone in Oakland Park who helped me fix the rear window. His name is Scott at Quality Interiors.
  • I have read several poor reviews on the Volkswagen best advice to anyone who owns one is to find a good foreign car repair outside a volkswagen dealership.after purchasing a used Volkswagen beetle,I went to a dealership to have a spare key made.when key was made,I was also presented with a long list of services that would be needed for my specifically at 80k miles,a new catalytic converter.and like clockwork ,when my odometer reached 80k miles ,emission light came on.took car to my mechanic,who replaced a small part for emission week later,light came back on.returned car to my mechanic,who has been checking it religiously.he told me there is nothing wrong with the car,except the computer wants to tell me there is.i have had some small issues,cable on convertible etc.,but feel my mechanic has saved me a lot of money by not going through Volkswagen service,especially after reading customer complaints.
  • barb63barb63 Posts: 1
    My 2004 Beetle has 54,337 miles and the dealer has made all repairs to date. Now I am informed the value body needs replacing at a cost of $1900. We've already spent close to $3,000 on repairs on this car, window rotors, brakes, transmission plug, etc..I could go on and on. This was an emotional buy and I loved the car but all the money spent in repairs on a car with this low mileage is crazy. Talked to a mechanic today about the value body and he was only going to be $200 less so taking it back to the dealer. I had extended warranty; however, it expired year and half ago and VW won't do anything to help now but offer a $1,000 voucher on new car which now after owning two other VW's, I will never buy another one. this was my dream car, my therapy car, but it's about done with low miles, it's breaking my heart. Anyone know of a class action suit against VW for this as I am told they know of the problem and refuse to fix it.
  • Sorry to hurt any feelings, but it's not the car. You have to change fluids constantly. Windows break, etc. but good solid car. As for the back window on convertable top, the only material that will stay together in heat or cold is just plain black gasket maker. make sure the window has enough wiggle room and use plenty between the canvas and glass. it is good at filling gaps and tears also.
  • get 3 or 4 tubes of the gasket maker it's the same brand at walmart autozone etc. just be neat. once it dries it's a done deal
  • Am seeking a solution to random, weird electrical problems:(in order of appearance over 9 months)
    -stall on starting, then won't start at all: new fuel pump and fuel pump relay, helps but still happens
    -new rear oxygen sensor but still codes this problem
    -new ignition because code called for it (gratis from the mechanic, as he can't figure this out!)
    -new main computer (ECM) because it blew out in a fantastic dash lite show
    -unsolved, random problems:
    --left blinkers freeze on, sometimes while driving but not using blinker, sometimes while locking car with key fob, sometimes in an abandoned parking lot with no one near!! Must toggle key fob repeatedly to cancel.
    --car alarm arms itself while holding the fob loosely in your hand and not pressing any button
    --cruise control quit suddenly and entirely never to be seen again
    --alarm for "you left on the headlights" is intermittent
    --new problem: car doesn't shut off when ignition is turned off. But shift into reverse and it shuts off nicely. This is random, has happened twice yesterday.
    --time/temperature gauge--temp is mostly blank, tho a couple times has read -126 degrees. Yes, minus!! Then it slowly warms up to -40 before going off completely. In sunny California, no less.
    --airbag warning light is on all the time, probably passenger side.

    Much searching by mechanic has been done. They feel so bad they can't find it, they aren't charging me for anything since the computer install 3 months ago. They are mystified! Dealership has been abominable, will NEVER work with them again! Can anyone suggest a fix? Please! I love my car and my husband now hates it!
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