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Volkswagen Jetta Maintenance and Repair



  • i was going to try and clean the MAF, to do so, do i have to use 100% isopropanol alchohol?

    thanks again
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Not many people have access to 100% IPA unless they are a chemist or the like.

    Perhaps you should consider one of the available commercial MAF spray cleaners. Even Carb Cleaner or Brake cleaner should work. (as long as it is not too caustic to the delicate components)

    If you do a simple web-search for "MAF cleaner", you will find all kinds of information.

    HOWEVER: If your MAF sensor has been contaminated with oil, the high-temp self-cleaning cycle may have just burned it up. Cleaning the MAF sensor will not fix this kind of problem. This is why using one of those "oiled guaze" airfilter is not a good idea.

    specific to VWs, there is always the MAF 101

    I assume you know about the extended MAF warantee?

    In the end.... I STRONGLY suggest you simple use VAGCOM to plot a graph of your MAF while driving. That is the only accurate way to diagnose a bad MAF sensor.
  • hey man,

    i checked out that warranty letter, thanks, but unfortunatly i dont qualify for it (i have 185,000km on my car)

    i did find some rubbing alcohol which is 99%, i did as you said (put it in the ziploc bag and fill with the alcohol etc.) and i am actually just waiting for it to dry, i am going to leave it overnight and then check it in the morning then if its dry i am going to reinstall it and then go from there, also i am putting in a new VW filter, so hopefully it works and save me from having to buy a new MAF

    i figure might as well try that first, i mean for 4 bucks (for the bottle) and a lil patience its better then running out and buying a new MAF right away

    i'll let you know how it works out
  • I have a problem with my '07 GLI that VW dealer doesn't know what to do with. The driver's seat squeeks under cornering for months now. The noise is coming out of the right hand side of the seat base (next to the arm rest), right at the crease between the upper and lower part of the seat. This area is covered by plastic, and I do not know where to even begin looking for the source. It is relieved when I press the left hand-side lever on the seat up or down but the squeek starts again soon.Has anyone had this problem before???

  • How difficult is it to replace the front, driver-side fender liner? I ripped it out going over a curb.
  • As wheels go forward they intermittently pause or slip as if on wet leaves. Front axle? Transmission? It's manual 5 speed. Had some steering bolts and seal replaced a month or so ago if that information helps. What may be causing this and to what type mechanic do I take it? Any idea of cost? I am not rich or stupid.:confuse:
  • I started checking this site more than two years ago when my daughter wanted to buy a 99 New Jetta with about 70 K miles. At first I was amazed that there were more than 4,000 messages about problems with Jettas (now nearly 5500!) but she was persistent, we took it to my mechanic (who said I would become his "best friend" but didn't find much wrong)...and we haven't regretted it since. The Check Engine light came on recently (at 90 K miles), which was my opportunity to get the Vag-Com software I learned about here and start diagnostics at home! Turned out the problems was an intermittent Engine Coolant Temp Sensor, which I bought and replaced--again with help from this site. So I saved some money, got a cool new toy (the Vag-Com) and, best of all, the transmission shifts a lot smoother now--an added benefit of having a working sensor. So: Thanks, pat & karens, and all the participants on this site! :) :)
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,602
    What "slips" exactly? Do you mean that the engine races for a second and the car seems to stand still, and then you let off the gas a bit and the car goes forward?

    If that's what's happening, I think you have a bad clutch.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • No, "Spin" may be a better term. Like if every so many feet there were ice, so the tires would get traction then slip or spin for a short period, gain traction, then spin again, etc.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,602
    Does it make bad noises when it does this?

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • ok, so i went to the dealership, and they scanned my sensors for me and said that the O2 and MAF sensor are all within specifications for the vehicle

    but yet i still get garbage mileage.....any ideas guys?? the guy at the dealership said that during the winter time i should see a drop to about 450km to the tank

    i laughed! i cant even break 350 with warm weather

    i dont know what else to do guys
  • While checking my OBD II for emissions (inspection expires 12/31/07) I see an error code P0600. Ther was no MIL on and I just came across it. Two weeks ago I had the transmission speed sensor (the one INSIDE transmission) replaced at the VW Dealer. Could this be their mistake? Wil it still pass inspection? HELP!!!
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    What do you get for straight freeway driving? That is the easiest to compare, other types of driving just vary too much.

    Even a car rated at 30-40 mpg will get poor mileage if you are, for example, only driving 2-3 miles at a time, expecially in the winter. I think my kid got as low as 15 mpg in an old Nissan Sentra...for which new adjusted EPA rating is 23/33. This was beacuse he was driving 3 miles to school and 2 miles to work in winter.

    For the Jetta III ('99 could be either III or IV, I believe), CR measured 17 mpg in their city test back in Nov. 1994. So if your driving is similar to their test and you put in about 13 gal when you fill it back up, 350 km could happen. What did you drive before and what mpg did you get for this same type of driving?
  • Has anyone else had any major problems with new 2008 Jetta's? I've got 2500 miles on mine, and a quote from the dealer going from $780 for a new transmission pan all the way up to potentially $4200 for a new transmission. The service tech is telling me I hit something (no matter how many times i've said I didn't), which means it's not under warrenty. All he'll say is I should call my insurance agen, which isn't particularly helpful given the fact that comprehensive insurance doesn't cover mechanical problems. Any tips for me? This was my first major new car purchase, so I'm new to this...
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    insurance doesn't cover mechanical problems.

    Sure it can, if the problem was caused by hitting something. For example, if you are in a collision and you need a new engine as a result that would be covered by insurance.
  • ahh...that's the catch that I obviously forgot to include...I haven't hit anything. In fact, the toughest this car has been driven was probably up a relatively steep gravel driveway, and in some construction zones (like over a road plate or two, perhaps a bit of debris but nothing large). I wish I'd hit something, it'd probably be easier...
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    Yes, but the tech is claiming that there is evidence that you did...apparently a dented transmission pan???

    You could just report the truth to insurance company, that you do not recall hitting anything, but VW tech is saying there is damage from hitting something and let the insurance company and VW sort it out from there. If you have a low deductible that would probably be the easiest route.
  • Ok, thanks for the advice. I actually called my sales rep at the dealer first, and am going to try and work through him and the dealer GM to get the situation resolved. If that doesn't get me anywhere, I'll work with my insurance agent like you suggested. I'm hoping to avoid that route, because I'd hate for the dealer's attempt to avoid a warrenty repair to end up with me having higher rates, but I can't afford 4 grand on a new transmission in a new car either...anyone else out there who bought a new jetta and has had major repair issues?
  • i am not too sure what i get to straight freeway driving, i was going to fill her up, take a cruise on the highway for an hour or so, and then fill her back up and take note of how much i had to put in and then do the math.

    i've owned the car for about a year now, i bought it used and have been having this problem ever since, i DO do alot of city driving, i drive to and from work and its not that far of a distance and bomb around with friends. i just filled up right now and my trip meter was at about 320km that was with some hwy, some city, but mostly city, its hard for me to judge now, cause there are, like you said, alot of varibles to consider, alot more now i think then when i was driving in the summer time (using the heat, defroster, revving the engine if i get stuck in a pile of snow, colder weather etc.)

    the guy at the dealership said that i should easily break more then 400 in this type of weather....
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    I seem to recall once being told by my agent that a single comprehensive claim would not affect my rate. I think he said if you have a series of them then it might.

    Even if it does, it would likely not be all that much, since the full premium for the comprehensive is pretty small to begin with.

    But of course, the better option would be to get it fixed for free under the warranty.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    i was going to fill her up, take a cruise on the highway for an hour or so, and then fill her back up and take note of how much i had to put in and then do the math.

    It may be difficult to know if your result is accurate based on such a short drive. If you go 60 miles, lets assume you actually use 2 gallons. If you are potentially off by even a quart when you refill, this would mean instead of 2 gallons your refill could show 1.75 to 2.25 gallons...resulting in a calculation of anywhere from 27-34 mpg, when actual was 30 mpg.
  • My daughter's waterpump has gone out midway on a trip between Texas and California. Apparently quite a laborious task to replace. While researching online to see if mechanic is being honest with labor, I saw some mentions of the importance of using VW brand coolant only. Is this true for the '98 model? Is it necessary when you are starting fresh, not mixing coolants? Can you switch to regular coolant then?
    Thanks for your input... a concerned mom... cj
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    Assuming you know it has never been changed, the coolant that is in a '98 Jetta is called G12. It is very important to not mix conventional coolant (the green stuff) with G12 because the mix will gel. As you can imagine having jello in your cooling system would not be good.

    Some say that you can flush all the old coolant out and then put the cheap stuff in. If it were me, I would not go that route for 2 can you be sure all the G12 is really out? and why would I want to switch to an inferior product?
  • Thanks for the reply Jeffyscott. Actually we don't know whether coolant was changed to regular or not. Daughter mentioned this info to mechanic yesterday and he said he'd take care of it. So hopefully he will.
    Again, thanks. cj
  • My 2001 Jetta 1.8T with 82K miles had the timing belt go on the highway (it should've been changed at 80k). I've been given estimates ranginging from $3-5K to fix valves and head. I already did the clutch at 40K for almost $2K.

    Is it worth it? I don't think I could get as much in a used car for the money it costs to fix it. Does this seem too expensive?
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    Ouch :sick: ...some recommend timing belt every 60K on VWs.

    $2K seems excessive, to me, for a clutch. It would seem if you are driving the same, you should be needing that again. If so, I'd look for a better price.

    If Edmunds is to be believed, your car is likely worth more that the current repair cost of $3-5K, unless it is in poor condition.

    If you wanted to save some money, you might see if you can get a used engine installed. Another option would be a rebuilt idea what that cost would be for your car. I once checked on this for a completely different vehicle and engine and rebuilt cost was just under $3K from a local operation that specializes in that sort of thing...that came with 3 year warranty (12 months on seals/gaskets).
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    the milage for TB replacement is based on 2 things
    1)Model year
    2)manual/Automatic xmission

    The older models had a lower-milage replacement interval and the newer models had a modified TB and associated pullies which allowed for longer duration between changes. ALWAYS READ THE OWNERS MANUAL FOR YOUR SPECIFIC VOLKSWAGEN.
  • I concur with bpeebles....

    Here's some more background on the timing belt issue:

    A breaking timing belt is usually the final sequence in a chain of events leading to the breakage.

    1) The original factory Water pump - Usually the #1 culprit if it hasn't been changed by 60-65K. The factory water pump (in VW's infinite wisdom) has an impeller made of plastic which usually starts to disintegrate around 60K. Chances are, pieces of the water pump broke off - which results in the jamming of the belt driven gear section of the waterpump. And since the belt is still moving - that resulted in the shearing and eventual breakage of the timing belt. I had the timing belts changed on my 2003 1.8T Jetta (@ 73,000 miles) and my wife's 2003Passat 1.8T (@65,000 miles), and in both cases, the timing belt had plenty of life left in it (The current timing belts are rated for 100,000 miles) - but the waterpumps were on the verge of disintegration.
    I ordered a complete timing belt kit for each car, which includes the timing belt, serpentine belt, tensioners, and an upgraded Beru waterpump with the metal impeller - which will last at least 100,000 miles (unlike the factory plastic water pump).

    NOTE: As bpeebles mentioned before, the earlier 1.8T models (1998-2002) came with the timing belts with earlier change intervals (usually 60,000 miles). The newer timing belts are rated higher (100,000 miles) - provided the water pump has been changed to the upgraded metal one. In this case, I never go beyond 90,000 miles between timing belt changes.

    2) Sludge. If the motor oil hasn't been changed at the proper 5,000 mile intervals with a minimum VW 502.00 spec oil (NOTE: Every oil on the list is synthetic), or better yet a motor oil that has been approved by VW for the newer 503.01 specification (Mobil 1 0w40, the German-made Castrol Syntec 0w30, etc.), the following events have more than likely happened:

    - Sludge builds up over time, clogging the narrow oil passages
    - The cylinder head quickly wears due to lack of proper lubrication
    - The timing gear tensioner fails - resulting in the timing gears seizing
    - As the timing belt is still moving, it shears (similar to what occurs when the water pump fails) and eventually breaks - leading to the expensive union of pistons and valves.

    I have a network of VW mechanics who consistently described to me the two scenarios above that are the main culprits of timing belt failure. In their experiences, it is VERY rare that the timing belt fails on its own without another component failing beforehand.

    The dealer will tell you that the timing belt broke first, but that is less than likely once you experienced inspecting a timing belt. The belt itself is very thick and of robust construction.


    B.T.W. - A complete timing belt kit (with the metal water pumps), tensioners, serpentine belt, etc. can be purchased for just under $300 at VW sites such as or (as well as other VW-related websites).

    Good Luck..
  • As a first time writer . . . please be patient. I recently purchased a 2002 Jetta 1.8T GLS w/ 57k. One week later, radio doesn't work. I've read of lots of radio problems and the offerings of the Fuse #42 fix. However, this has not worked as my radio does have power to it. Below is a pasted copy of a posting that exactly matches the problems with my radio. I have been unable to find it suggested solutions to this problem. Anything new out there? Suggestions?

    I just recently bought a used 2002 jetta and the radio does not play. The radio will cut on and cut off, it shows me the volume going up and down, when I put in a cd, I see everything functioning as if its reading the cd but no other buttons on the radio works besides the power/volume button. I get no sound and cant change channels, scan, or anything. When I turn the volume all the way down to 0 or minimum, I hear a beep come from the speakers so I think the speakers are hooked up,(but even if the speakers weren't hooked up that still wouldn't explain why no other buttons work) I've read some other forums and topic and keep reading about a safe mode, but my radio is not saying anything about being in a safe mode. Is this possibly another form of the safe mode. Has anyone had or heard of this happening before. If anyone has any info on this please let me know before I go tearing out the radio
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