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Volkswagen Jetta Maintenance and Repair



  • I have a 2003 Jetta and need to put a new cluster in but AllData is unclear on procedure for R&R - can you point me in direction of where you found out what's involved? Thanks!
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    I truly hope part of the "100s" you have spend was on a VagCom.

    A VagCom is perhaps the ONLY way to isolate your problem. And you would now own a VagCom so you can troubleshoot future problems.

    For me, my VagCom paid for itself several times over within a year. (Family has 3 VWs). In several cases, I was able to use VagCom to print out the failure and show to the VW dealership who in-turn covered the replacement parts under warantee.

    Peraps those "crazy looks" you are getting from the dealerships would be wiped off their face once you SHOW them you know what the problem is.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 18,387
    ..."Peraps those "crazy looks" you are getting from the dealerships would be wiped off their face once you SHOW them you know what the problem is. "...

    Now that would make going to a dealer FUN!
  • Isn't that the truth. That would be glorius. The stories we have been told everytime we go to the dealership is just that!
  • 600kgolfgt600kgolfgt Posts: 690
    To be quite honest, after the warranty ends, I wouldn't go anywhere NEAR a dealership outside of recalls and TSBs. I would look for a private VW mechanic, or better yet, a tuner who specializes in VWs. The service department at most dealerships are designed to get as many cars in, service them quickly, and get them out the door. Thourough diagnostics seem to be an afterthought - especially if they encounter a "squeaky wheel" type customer. The service department tends to tell that type of customer anything to get them out of the door (never to return to the premises).

    Between my trusty VAG-COM and one of three VW mechanics that I go to (in my area), my trips to the dealership have become few and far between (save for recalls and TSBs, of course....:) )
  • Thanks for that info. We bought the car used and bought an extended warranty for the car so my husband wouldn't have to work on it, but due to all the stories and all the money we have spent we have canceled the warranty and my husband is now working on my Jetta. Needless to say, he has been a mechanic for 30 years we were just trying to have something he didn't have to work on. He replaced the timing belt, water pump and did a few other things this weekend and I feel more comfortable with his work than the vw dealer. At least I know it is fixed and he will tell me the truth. The last vw dealer we carried the car to took the two small grills off the front bumper and hit the rearend and then denied doing it. There were bolts missing and several other things. No one wants to do anything about it either believe you's wrong-I called the corporate office of vw and they just took my statement...go figure.
  • 600kgolfgt600kgolfgt Posts: 690
    Not a problem... :shades:

    VWs tend to last a long time when properly maintained - so I think you'll be much better off having your husband maintain the vehicle (as opposed to the dealership where customers are treated like cattle)...

    Good luck....
  • cosmocosmo Posts: 203
    What you say regarding VW dealers in general may be be largely true, but each dealer should be judged individually. I have gone soley to the VW dealer for service and repairs since the late 1980's because the two premier VW/Audi technicians in town closed their shop and went to work for the dealer. I trust them more than the remaining independent shops. True, the guys who do the oil changes usually give me an extra liter that I have to suck out and use later to top off, but that's become a running joke between me and the service manager.
  • I understand that there may be some good vw dealers out there, but we haven't found one yet. They stole parts off my car, hit my car and left bolts out and the list could go on and on. If you have a tech that is putting too much oil in your car at the oil change and you are having to suck it out-something is wrong with that picture because over filling your your car with oil will blow seals. My Jetta is finally running good since my husband has been working on it. We plan on purchasing the VagCom soon which should also help.
  • eggenseggens Posts: 2
    Hi, I'm in the middle of changing the clutch on my son's 1997 Jetta. The kit I bought (that was for multiple years) came with a throwout bearing, but I didn't see anything that looked like one during disassembly. I saw something posted on another site that mentioned certain Jetta transmissions not having a throwout bearing.

    I just want to be sure before I reasemmble, as this project has been a huge pita. Anyone know anything that might help?
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    I have never heard of a clutch without a throwout bearing. What would take the load when the clutch is disenguaged?

    This is a great time to remind everyone that one should NEVER sit still with the clutch pedal pushed.... you are ASKING for premature throwout bearing failure. (Only push clutch pedal to shift gears!)

    Also, clutches that wear out have been mis-used. I have traveled over 200K miles without any clutch wearout. (Clutch lasts useful life of vehicle.)

    SECRET: Do not touch throttle pedal until clutch is fully enguaged! It is possible, I tought my daughter this trick and she can now drive a standard smoother than many automatic xmissions.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    I don't even know what a throwout bearing is, but I never drove the ways you suggest, nor did my kids or wife. We never had a clutch problem during the entire life of any of our manual trans vehicles (ranged from 110,000 miles to 150,000 miles).
  • 600kgolfgt600kgolfgt Posts: 690
    Assuming you have the 4-cylinder 2.0 liter Jetta with the 020 5-speed transmission, the release bearing is located at the aft-end of the transmission. Remove the green cover at the end of the transmission and you will see the release bearing. This is the type of job that can be performed without removing the transmission....

    I have a 1997 Jetta as well... :shades:
  • eggenseggens Posts: 2
    Thanks, 600kgolfgt. I was able to locate and replace the throwout bearing while I had the transmission out. I'm putting it back together and am a little panicked about something. I noticed that the clutch cable was way too easy to put back onto the lever. I seem to have almost no resistance; the pedal goes almost all the way to the floor before there is any back pressure. I know that the clutch is "self-adjusting", so I'm hoping this is normal and the transmission needs to be spinning to adjust (I haven't fired it up yet). But, I'm hesitant to button everything back up until I know I'm okay.

    Anyone have any insight?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,579
    apparently there is a procedure for compressing the clutch cable? Have you done this?

    If so:

    1. Make sure clutch cable adjustment mechanism is compressed.
    2. Coat clutch cable suspension point at the clutch pedal with grease.

    Clutch Cable

    3. Press the clutch cable through the bulkhead and suspend in front recess of the clutch pedal while making sure that the load plate is installed on the clutch cable

    4. Route the clutch cable and end piece through the bracket on the transmission and through the release shaft lever while taking care not to damage the plastic sleeve on the clutch cable.

    Clutch Cable

    5. Hook attachment parts onto release shaft lever
    6. Suspend the clutch cable in wire holder.
    7. Install the over-center spring. See: Clutch Pedal Assembly
    8. Depress the clutch cable several times.
    9. Check the operation of the adjustment mechanism.

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

  • 600kgolfgt600kgolfgt Posts: 690
    Or if all else fails, do what I did - replace the self-adjusting cable with a manual-adjusting cable. What you lose in self-adjusting capability, you gain in one less additional mechanism that can potentially break (I prefer the direct approach to clutch actuation)...:)
  • maylmayl Posts: 1
    Hi, this happened to me and I found the fuse was blown, check your fuses. Apparently this happens a lot on our cars because the dome light shorts out the fuse. I disconnected my dome light and it didn't happen again. Good luck.
  • Hi, I'm new to this forum, but I spent about 3 hrs. reading old posts and like what I've seen, thus decided to post few questions of my own. Any tips much appreciated.

    1. i'm driving a 01 Jetta VR6, and I get about 19-21mpg driving 90% highway, avg speed 80mph. I'm not complaining, but like anybody else, wouldn't it be nice to get 30mpg? :D One thing I've noticed is that I get about 24-26mpg when the weather is warmer over 70 F (I live in MN, by the way we expect snow this weekend). Any clues why the change in mpg with the weather, should I change anything to get better mpg?

    2. I do a lot of the maintenance myself, recently changed plugs/wires (from the dealer $, after reading too many reviews I decided to stay with stock); but use fram for filters (oil&air). for oil I use Mobil 1 synthetic 5-30 winter & 10-30 summer. Are those bad, is there a better brand that people use? :confuse:

    Just want to hear some opinions. :shades:
  • Ok we are ready to purchase the VagCom but how do you know which one to buy? Thanks!
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    For home use (single license), there is only really one choice. You purchase the cable (interface) that will plug into your Laptop computer to your car.

    If you are still confused, there are several helpful webpages to visit on the ross-tech website that can help guide you. Their What to buy webpage is very helpful.

    Also, you can just send an eMail to them. They have always been responsive to my inqueries.

    I assume that you know that anyone can just download the software as often as you wish. (I visit the VagCom site several times a year and download the most recent version.)
  • Thanks, we appreciate all your help.
  • grayson1grayson1 Posts: 5
    My Thanks to everyone who responded to my post a few months ago about my neighbor who insisted that my cat was peeing on her tires and causing her Jetta wagon to smell like cat urine.

    The information you all provided helped me document that a mechanical inspection was needed. When she refused to do it, she also had to abandon her legal threats. I never spoke to her again (although she confronted me in the parking lot whenever she could).

    Apparently, she had other issues that caused her to have to move away - far away.

    Thank you so much. I was really stressed out from her legal threats and I couldn't have survived it without you all!
  • tds654tds654 Posts: 2
    My wife has a 2000 Jetta VR6. She is only getting about 20 mpg. Is this normal for the V6??? Is there anything I could /should do to improve it?

  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    Revised EPA rating is 17/24 for automatic and 17/26 for manual, so 20 is certainly within the range of "normal".
  • jcuevajcueva Posts: 1
    Hi all:
    When I accelerate my Jetta at low gears, acceleration is very jerky like the car only feels me pushing the pedal intermittently. It does this all the time now, and twice, while driving, it drops into "limp-mode", and I have no acceleration whatsoever. If the car is turned off and restarted, the car goes back to jerky. The EPC light and the spinning tire come on when it goes to limp mode. The jerky acceleration can be felt mostly in 1st to 3rd gears, it is harder to feel in higher gears. Does anyone know what may be happening?
    I appreciate the info,
  • revmarketrevmarket Posts: 48
    Have the ignition coil checked,

    An ignition coil that is arcing will sometimes cause transmission like troubles without it actually being the transmission.

    Do not waste your money on an after-market coil. Spend the extra to buy an OEM from VW. Mostly the after-market one will not stand up to the extreme specs of VW engineering.
  • I bought my first Jetta when it was 7yrs old, did a few change overs like the Corrado owner above. (Or, I should say my bf did). Corrado G60 downpipe, new springs/sport suspension for a great firm ride and of course, the lower profile rims and tyres and I have to say for a black car and my first standard - never had any problems with the paint or even the clutch. The clutch was only changed once, when it needed it. And I had 11" Wilwood brakes on the wheels so they didn't even need to be changed during the 7yrs either. (And I'm not the easiest girl on a car, that's for sure). I take care of them for sure but, I will push them to their limits and do know more than most females, unfortunately. (Osmosis, I think)? His hobby sort of became part of our life. It takes us all over for his photo shoots and for TV spots to watch the cars he's built race all over as well.

    And for my first Jetta and having owned it for 7yrs and then selling it easily for $5 less than what we bought it for, I have absolutely no complaints. That, and the fact that I'm onto my second black Jetta and haven't had anything wrong with this one either - just bought a GLS that's fully loaded and is having an engine swap soon.

    First Jetta made it from Vancouver, BC down to Seaside Oregon on one full tank of gas so for fuel mileage, definitely beat out any other car I've had or he's had. Can't beat 600kms on one tank of highway driving. And my newer one (which is a '95 still goes about 570kms before you push it too far. I've never gone until the car has died). It's a 2.0ltr right now and I can say that with only a different exhaust system on it (all stainless steel from front to back) I can still beat a brand new automatic Camry off the line. And the pick up in fourth is far superior to most cars I get to try out.

    I know that Corrados looked great in their time and it was one of VW's sporty cars but, anyone that does play around with this line of cars or knows these cars really well and is going to give you the best output for your buck, will never recommend a VR6. VR6's were replaced with the 1.8Turbo because the VR6's were too finicky and were crapping out too soon. They overheat and die out too soon. Even with modifications, they are quickly going the way of the G60-which was a horrible engine. Overheat and die really quick. (That's why you won't see those in any of VW's cars anymore.

    1.8T is the way to go if you want more power and easily modified by chipping them. VW's are going more to the Audi side of the family so we're now reaping the benefits of the more expensive end of the family for the lower end prices. Another reason why VW doesn't want you to call the VW's A4's - too much like the Audi's. So they've reverted back to the original way of determining the years - MarkIV, MarkV, etc.

    As for your last comment about the Jetta being grossly under tired and having too much bodyroll, what do you think you're paying for when you buy an Audi? Look at the specs between the two and you'll be surprised - just like what I was saying...other than the same rims and lower profile tires - the chassis are becoming very similar these days. Have you not noticed the similarities yet? Befriend someone at VW or an aftermarket shop and they'll show you. You're going off the premise of, "it's gotta be better because it costs more."

    Check out the high end Jetta and then the Audi...the specs aren't that much different. (Sorry for the disillusion). ;)
  • gmangman Posts: 5
    Any 2006 Jetta owners out there that have received a letter about participating in a testing program? The letter is from Automotive Testing & Development Services (ATDS) and it seems a little weird. It appears that the study is sponsored by Hyundai. They want to borrow my Jetta for 3 days. In return they will give me a midsize car with a full tank of gas. After 3 days, my Jetta will be returned with a full tank of gas. ATDS will pay me 200$ for this two weeks after the test. The car has to be dropped off and picked up at the Hyundia Tech Center near Ann Arbor Michigan.
    Is this a scam or a legit test study? Anybody have experience with this kind of study?
  • Okay so i just bought a 2003 Jetta 1.8T about 4 months ago and itz running very weird..The car has a huge loss of power a 1989 Corolla can beat me no joke...bad pick up bad doesn't feel like 180HP...instead feels like 50HP...i got a check engine light for a cam sensor circuit malfunction and i was wondering if anyone would know if that could b a reason for the huge power loss..Thanks i appreciate it
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    A CEL may force the engine into "limp mode" and disable the turbocharger.
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