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Volkswagen Jetta Maintenance and Repair



  • Hello all - I need some advice (i don't know anything about cars):

    Info that may be relevant:
    1) Purchased the car about 1 year ago
    2) 25,000 miles on it
    3) Most of the driving is on the highway, however I do take it to NYC every weekend and put on about 150 on it per month in NYC.
    4) Have run over a handful of pot holes and bumps throughout the year

    I've recently had my 2000 Jetta GLS in the VW shop and had to replace 1) Rear brake rotors and pads (made low screaching sound when braking) and 2) fan belt (engine seemed louder than usual).

    Question: Is the recommended work acceptable with the problems I've specified in parenthesis. I paid almos $700 for parts and labor, is this reasonable and common to the maintenance of Jettas or am I getting ripped-off?

    thank you in advance for any insights you can give?
  • seasaltseasalt Posts: 1
    Hello everyone! I have a Jetta GLS VR6 5spd with about 7000 miles on it. Since the first few hundred miles, my brakes have also been making a low screaching noise. This only happens when breaking at slow speeds. The mechanic at the 5000k check-up said it was due to a new kind of break pads that they use and the amount of moisture (I live right next to the ocean). They didn't need to be replaced. When I turn sharp corners my car kind of squeaks (it is not the tires) Does anyone else have this problem?
  • I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but a set of expensive brake rotors should cost no more than $150, a set of rear pads are about $40, and a fan belt should be about $25. It should take no more than 1.5 hours to put this on. Assume a "fair" shop rate of $40/hour (unheard of in a big area) and you're looking at $265.

    I was going to buy a TDI Jetta for a commuter. I'm starting to lean against that decision.

  • I have so far been incredibly pleased with my 99.5 VW Jetta GL except for...the grease leaking out of the doors..and some falling roofliner..and what seems to be "unfixable" airbags. The second day i drove my new car the airbag light came on. I took it in to the dealer sat around for two hours and they "fixed it" there were "electrical" problems. A few months guessed it the airbag light came back on .. i had around 8k miles and took my car in for an oilchange and to get the airbags fixed. Went to pick up my car that day...airbag light is still on but supposedly it was fixed...Sooo I wait until I take my car in for its next oil change and ask about the airbag the clerk tells me that unknown to me a part was ordered for my airbags last time i brought it in. So I left my car over the weekend and the airbags were "fixed" some spring was reconnected. One day later...THE AIR BAG LIGHT IS BACK ON. I called the dealer and they said they cant fit me in until the 21st of september. Obviously I am really mad...this is there problem they were supposed to fix it why should i sit around and wait weeks while i have potentially faulty airbags in my car. Does anyone know much about the lemon law? Do Airbag faults constitue a "serious" problem under the law. I am going to be at 24k in a few months so i want to get this problem taken care of ASAP. I will go to the dealer tomorrow and *demand* to get the airbags looked at before the 21st. But does anyone know what my legal options are? and is it really worth it?
    Thanks Much,
  • pat455pat455 Posts: 603
    Why don't you have a look at this topic in our Smart Shopper Conference:

    Lemon Laws: Links to Most State Laws

    I think that topic will connect you up with everything you need, but there are other topics throughout Town Hall on this subject that may be of interest to you. You can find them by using the Topic Search feature on the left side of this page for lemon law.

    Good luck.

    Community Leader/Maintenance & Repair Conference
  • thanks for the response.

    any idea of a free site and/or organization to call where i can enter parts and labor and the site/org. will generate a fair estimate so this will not happen again?

    also, besides bitching at the dealership and VW maintenance manager, is there any other suggested actions I can take to get my $$$ back and avoid having others go through the same situation...

    is it me or are the 2000 models are a piece of *$&@?
  • I bought a Jetta GLS V6 last August. From the very beginning the transmission has "lurched" on occasion when accelerating. The first couple of times it really scared me because the car would actually kick back some when I was accelerating. The mechanics for VW say that this is common in VW Jetta's. Seems like a transmission problem waiting to happen to me.
    Last week I brought my Jetta in for the 12month maintenance and because my air conditioner BROKE! They claimed they fixed it but the very next day it broke again! Has anyone had this problem?
    After reading everyone else's problems and having some problems myself with a one year old car I am ready to sell it. I think I would do better with a more reliable car like Acura or Honda.
  • This is a list of the problems I had with my New Jetta GLS. The defroster on the outside mirrors broke and had to be replaced. Then the selenoid went out. Next came the antenna which quit receiving and needed to be replaced. Next the power window lift on drivers side broke and had to be replaced. Then the brake lights went out and the center seat belt jammed after I put the rear seats down. The power for the gas cap went out and never worked again. The brake lights went out again, there was a full months wait on the part since there were over 3000 of these brake light switches on backorder from Germany. The rear center seat belt jammed again. I just decided not to get that fixed. Then the power window lift mech on the passenger side went out. The mechanic said it is a very common problem on Jetta's due to the cheapness of the part. The car was in the shop on average once every 45 days over the 16 months that I had it. I just sold it and went back to a Jeep Cherokee. PS the car sputtered when shifting from first to second. And the dash mounted cup holder is cheaply made and in a terrible place since condensation from a drink drips down into the power point (cigarett lighter). I do not recommend this car to anyone unless they enjoy spending time at the service dept.
  • cjw2cjw2 Posts: 1
    I've had numerous problems with my 96 Jetta Trek. To begin with, I've had the "typical" Jetta issues - problematic O2 sensor, starter that sticks all the time, cruise control and windshield wipers that work about half the time, etc. However, my two biggest problems are whoppers.

    About 1.5 years ago, while turning the key, the battery exploded. The dealership never figured out why this happened, but somehow they ruled out the starter or the electrical system. VWoA was totally indifferent about the situation, despite the obvious safety concerns I had. I might add that these guys have some major customer service issues to deal with - WOW. Nevertheless, I went along with their conclusion, thinking that it could possibly have been the battery (even though it was factory installed).

    Well, wouldn't you know it; last week while my dad was driving my car, the battery again exploded when he turned the key. Unbelievable! Once again the dealership is dumbfounded. They would like me to believe that it was another faulty battery. I can't even imagine the odds of having two faulty (VW!) batteries blow up in the same car. Oh, and by the way, the check engine light came on 2 days later. I haven't been able to figure out that one yet because the service dept. has been closed for the holiday weekend.

    Anyway, I haven't had the opportunity to share this new experience with VWoA, but I'm not really expecting them to be very helpful. If anyone has an explanation as to why my batteries are blowing up, I'd like to hear it. This makes me very nervous. I've only heard of this happening 2 other times in 96 Jettas. Once, the battery exploded and the car caught on fire (from the nhtsa website). The second was post #439.

    On a personal note, I have to say that Jettas are fun to drive, but it'll be a cold day in hell before I purchase another VW. It's just not worth all the headaches and safety issues.
  • Does anyone have problems with their new Jetta? I'm considering buying the turbo diesel and live in Cleveland, Ohio. Any problems starting the turbodiesel in the cold?? Thanks.
  • Hi all,

    First of all, I LOVE my new Jetta!!! Got a 2000 GLS VR6 w. black leather and spoiler about 2 months ago. Man, it's an awesome car!

    Anyway, I'm pretty new on stick, but I feel I'm doing quite well with it now. The problem I have seemed to pop up this weekend. All of a sudden, I can't seem to shift from 1st to 2nd without grinding the gears. You get that horrible noise and can feel it through the shifter. I can't figure out what I'm doing differently from the past 2 months, but a friend drove it last night (not for very long, though), and didn't have that problem. I haven't seen anything related to this on this list, so the evidence seems to point to me. But I have to shift SOOO carefully into 2nd (cringing as I do), and the rest of the gears are fine. Any ideas on what I might be doing wrong? And I'm about due for my 5k mi. oil change. Should I have them check it out while it's at the dealership?

  • For a similar discussion on 1-2 VW gear grind, check out the postings in the past few weeks under the VW GTI topic in the Hatchbacks discussion group.
  • wkrpwkrp Posts: 1
    I'm considering buying the 2000 Jetta GL, but after reading these problems, I'm beginning to rethink my purchase. Should I consider another vehicle such as a Honda. (I just love all the standard options on the Jetta!)
  • In the beginning...

    There was happiness.

    I purchased my VW Jetta IV in June of 1999...a decision that was very well researched...(as much as a new car can be). I test drove every car that fit within my price range and appeal list...

    The finalists: 1999 Jeep Cherokee Sport, 1999 Volkswagen Jetta

    Well, after 4 days of ebb and flow on price negotiations at the Jeep dealership, I said the hell with this and went to my local VW dealership (Rusty Walis - Dallas, TX). I again test drove a Jetta...base a mile away from the dealership and said..."this is my car". Loved it!! Got back to the dealership and picked out a Bright Green 5-spd GLS with the in-dash CD player and the sunroof/Avus rim package. I didn't even know about the "indiglo" lights. Loved the car...LOVED IT!!!

    then...stuff started happening.

    Some sunroof issues...
    Headliner cleanings from the sunroof issues...
    nothing big.

    Until I was doing 80 on 635 (psychotic expressway in Dallas) and my serv. eng light came on, the car's power shut down leaving no acceleration, little on the brakes and no steering...took the car out of gear...every light in the car flashed on and everything went back to normal (tell-tale first sign). Took it into the dealership...turned out to be the on-board chip...replaced...everything fine (from that point, I lost the new cool car under 5,000 mile delirium).


    1. more problems with the headliner. (cleaned)
    2. the rear seatbelt locked mysteriously
    (replaced...with one that sags and looks like
    they pulled it off of a salvage vehicle)
    3. The in-dash CD player was loose...(fixed-so I
    4. CD-player again...(replaced clips - so I
    5. Rear drink holder and ashtray broke...
    6. Driver side power window mount broken...
    7. Driver side window...chipped from falling from
    its cradle...(unrepaired/unreplaced)
    8. Cd PLayer III...the revenge...(switched
    places with the stereo...seems to be fixed)

    All of these problems, and barely over a year...great!! Called help, no care, no nothing...just basically asked me what I expected them to do. I said very calmly..."I don't know...maybe stand behind something that you sell..." ... dial tone. They hung up!!

    Talked to the General manager at the dealership (that would be Rusty Walis - Dallas, TX). Told him about my problems...his response...(note the quotations) "Wow!! That sucks. Yeah, that normally doesn't happen, know...they've got you're car back there in wash and prep...maybe you'll feel a little different towards it when it's cleaned up".

    What is that crap...
    Besides, I got it back and it looked worse than when I brought it in.

    Which brings us to today...
    A/C is going out. Jetta is at 24,043 on the odometer. Called and talked with a "service consultant" to ask if I could get my car in and still get the work done under warranty...(called the week before...they couldn't get me in...which I mentioned) His response (again note the quotes)..."No, extention on your warranty" (I pleed my case further) "Well, looks to me like you should have bought the extended know...that is why they offer that at the time of purchase"

    You're right...If I'd known I was buying problem filled car, I wouldn't have bought it. He ended up hanging up on me, too!

    The major point to all of this is, this information wasn't available to me when I purchased my vehicle...had it have been...I probably wouldn't have. I love the car, just hate the head-ache.

    Yes, a portion of these complaints are simply cosmetic...but...that's one to two days off of work or struggling to make other arrangements to my schedule/my life that I thought I was avoiding by buying a new car. (20 days without my car due to repair/service)

    The service definitely did not come close to expectation...
    the car has already littered the road of my expectaion with several let-downs.
  • Thanks for the response to my inquiry (#517). I currently have a 1994 Honda Accord. I'm logging about 60 miles/day to and from work so I need a reliable commuter car with better than average gas mileage. Sounds like from the comments and previous postings that the VW Jetta doesn't sound that reliable. I'm nervous in buying one now. I might just stick with the Hondas. I understand that the Civic will have a new body style in 2001. I might as well wait.
  • bub4bub4 Posts: 2
    Have 2001 Jetta 1.8T/automatic-lovely car-black w/beige leather(highly recomended!)Traded in Acura Integra 5-speed w/60,000 trouble-free miles. VW 1.8T feels like it has better acceleration even with the automatic! Has anyone experienced what seems to be a momentary loss of power,(say,2+seconds),when you are pulling out in front of a Mack truck and the engine seems to "doze off" for a bit? I know about turbo-lag but this has specifically occurred only a few times(just enough to cause me to increase my life insurance!); also, at light throttle when the shift into high gear occurs, the engine seems to "pull back", and hesitate before continuing on as normal. Otherwise the car runs and drives fantastically with great build quality,super interior and "mini-Mercedes" style. Just wanted to check in before I go to the dealer and am told that "they all do that".
  • VW's made in Mexico have extremely poor quality control. I strongly recommend staying away from those vehicles. It's just a matter of time before things begin to come apart. Good Luck to anyone who has one of these vehicles.
  • Hello all...I currently have a 2000 a4 2.8. I have a lot of problems with it. It is at 25K now, and have 4 major problems, from gas leak, to issues with the rotors. I want to get out of the car bad, before I lose to much more money with the miles. I am looking at the Jetta GLX or the Passat GLX. Any one have comments about the A4 vs. the Jetta?????
    Thanks for the insight.
  • Bub4 - the hesitation you are experiencing may be the result of the computer programming for the 1.8T (I also own one). As you may or may not be aware, the 1.8T engine is capable of producing a lot more power. The same engine and turbocharger in the Audi TT produces 180hp in one version and 200+hp in another version. I've read a couple of articles which call your hesitation a "hole" in the acceleration. The computer allows the turbo to spool up quickly in anticipation of your request for power (when you first start pressing the gas) and then backs off (saying you are only a 150hp engine). Don't know if this is what you are feeling, but there is a great solution that I recommend to all 1.8T owners . . .


    I just had the Garret chip installed in my 1.8T. If you thought your 1.8T was quick then think again. Completely different car (193 HP with only the chip). Absolutely smoke the VR6's - not even close. Feel the power the engine was designed to produce. Remember this is the same block, injectors, and turbo running in the Audi TT's. Can't push the pedal all the way down without spinning the wheels - insane. Had a socket installed also which allow me to replace my stock chip (a must if your dealer is not "chip friendly") Takes about 30 minutes to swap chips from start to finish. I let the salesman who sold me my car drive it today and it blew him away - had a grin from ear to ear.

    WHEELS FOR SALE - Can't keep the tires from spinning! Upgrading to 17 inchers. Selling my stock 15 inch alloys with Michelan tires mounted. Rims and tires have 5K on them. Accepting offers. Easy upgrade for those silly 14 inch wheels. E-mail me with questions or for pictures.

  • pat455pat455 Posts: 603
    Your best bet would be to take a look at the various topics in our Sedans conference on all three vehicles you mention. An easy way to find them is to use the Topic Search feature on the left side of the page, once for each model.

    Good luck.

    Community Leader/Maintenance & Repair Conference
  • I have a brand new '01 Jetta GLS that my daughter managed to have a minor accident with and discharge the front airbags. The damage was minimal; the front bumper cover was replaced. Currently, the dealer is unable to reactivate the air bag controller system. They have replaced the controller, the bags, the belts, and even the wiring harness; but still the system does not function.
    Is this a common problem with Jettas? The dealer has no idea what to do next, and VW wants the car shipped to MI to replace all the wiring in the car. This seems like they really don't know how to fix the problem. It doesn't give much confidence in the company if they can't repair their own cars.
  • I own a 2000 Jetta Vr6 5spd, lux pkg, and leather. Before I bought my car, I checked this forum, and it worried me. But I also checked consumer reports and VW Vortex, and I put this forum into perspective. I was still nervous, but I took the plunge.
    Well, I currently have 8,500 miles on my Jetta. And guess what? It's flawless. Nothing wrong, nothing to report, no rattles.
    Guess how much oil it used in it's first 5,000 miles. About 3 ounces, I'd say. And in the 3,500 miles since its first oil change, I haven't even seen a slight drop in oil level.
    This VR6 5spd gives me 32 mpg on the highway at 75 mph. It gave me 29 mpg doing 85-95 on a recent trip (with a 10 mph tail wind!). My combined city/highway averages no lower than 24 mpg every time.
    I took my car to Colorado and up the 7,500 climb to the top of Pikes Peak before it had 1,200 miles on it. I love my car. It's been better than my girlfriend's Honda Civic.
    All this said, I'd still probably avoid the 2.0L engine, and maybe the automatics.
    But my late 2000 Jetta has several fixes to earlier models' problems. They redesigned the window regulators (I don't know if I have the new ones). I have the new cup holders, and the redesigned rear center seatbelt.
    So I decided to check back in here and report the result of my plunge. Maybe I'm lucky. Or maybe I'm one of very few people who bother to post anything here if they have a good car.
  • I also have a VW that is flawless, except for some minor things most cars experience....bulb burnt out , new coolent sensor. Other than that no creaks, just a solid dependable car. Seems alot of people on this Forum have problems. If you go to you will see very little of this.
  • i have owned a 99.5 2.0L GLS, and now own a 2000 TDI GLS. With a combined mileage of 13000 miles, neither have shown any of the problems people have been having.

    One person mentioned the sealent coming out from the doors on hot days. This is mentioned in the owners manual as a possibility.

    The only problem i have had is the power window safe-guard seems to be a little tempermental, but that is not worth worrying about till it goes in for it's big service.

    So far, the engine has not put out any smoke, has started the first time since i got the car and has used no oil even when used over a couple long fast runs..

    Of course, saying this will guarantee that something will go wrong later today..
  • pat455pat455 Posts: 603
    ... "seems a lot of people on this Forum have problems."

    This IS the Maintenance and Repair Conference and this is a VW Jetta problems topic - so that is to be expected here! :-)

    Community Leader/Maintenance & Repair Conference
  • This is a known problem to VW, however you don't stand a chance getting it fixed. I ended up selling my car due to VW's total lack of customer service. Anyone who buys a VW needs needs lots time, so they can waste it waiting for repairs, must like driving rentals, you will do a lot of that. Finally you will realize that VW actually have no intention of repairing the car and then end up selling it at a big loss.
    Whoever thinks that German VW's are better than Mexican ones are wrong. German VW's are far worse, don't waste your money on a VW, I did but never again.
  • canadianclcanadiancl Posts: 1,078
    All of you that have encountered substantive problems with your cars and the dealers and manufacturer couldn't/wouldn't deal with them should check out the lemon law applicable in your respective states rather than putting up with the headaches or selling the car at a huge loss. There is a pretty informative article on lemon law in the October issue of Motor Trend.

  • I found nothing at the site that he had left...except pretty good reviews for VW 1999 models, go to
  • After experiencing all the problems I've had with the 2000 Jetta and Passat and reading all the problems that everyone had with the Jetta, I think this post may be helpful for anyone who would like to take some action. I do not know what the outcome is yet, however I think if enough people voice their concerns and problems there may be some hope for us to get $$$ back or at the least save those who are contemplating purchasing a defective Jetta 2000-2001.

    Sites to look at are: (for New Yorkers out there) (for rest of nation)

    My case with VW is still pending and will update everyone of its progress. I will post more info that comes along my way.

    Jetta fun car, however very unreliable. Will spend at the least $1000 per year for maintenance alone (repairing all defects in shop - NYC prices of course!!!)
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