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Volkswagen Jetta Maintenance and Repair



  • jodar96jodar96 Posts: 400
    On some cars, removing the positive battery post for 5-10 minutes resets the check engine light. I don't know if that is the case with VW but you can try.

    If you do have another issue that makes the light to come beside your ignition coil, the light will come on again. So this is just a quick fix for the light to go away.

  • Thanks for th reply.

    Actually, I was able to get the c/e light to go off (a friend was able to reset the light . . . I drove it for about 100 miles and brought it back and it still failed . . . eventually the light came back on) but the car was still failing the emissions test. The light is not flashing like before . . . and hasn't flashed since I sealed the ignition coil and changed the plugs.

    I don't have the radio code so I will lose my radio if I pull the cables (not a big issue if I thought that was it but I'm not certain that will solve the issue).

    This is really frustrating!!!
  • The check engine light came on in my 2004 volks wagon jetta. I was advised I would need scheduled maintenance at 50,000 miles, Im currently a little over 51,000 miles. Could the light coming on be a reminder the maintenance is needed? I have noticed the car is slightly slugish.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    WHOOOAAA>... is your CEL "ON" or "FLASHING"? These are 2 very different conditions.

    "ON" means a simple failure which is OK to keep driving...but should be looked at soon.

    "FLASHING" means there is a SERIOUS problem which can cause harm and destruction to your automobile if you continue to drive it. (Like raw fuel entering the catalytic-converter which can burn it to a crisp.)

    To answer your question (which has been asked 100s of times before on these forums) To actually know why the CEL is on, you need to hook up a computer to the connector under the dashboard. Either locate someone with a VAGCOM, pay somone, or go to an autoparts store (AUTOZONE) who will get the code for you for free.

    Once you know the code... come back here and tell us what it is. At that point, we may be in a better position to help you.
  • It's simply on . . . no flashing.

    I took it to Autozone tonight and got the following:

    Troublshooting PO420

    The PCM has determined that the catalyst system efficiency for bank 1 is below threshold for the current engine operating conditions (Bank 1 identifies the location of cylinder 1, while bank 2 identifies the cylinder on the opposite bank.

    Catalyst efficiency low bank 1
    The oxygen sensors monitor teh catalytic converters ability to store oxygen.

    Probable causes
    1 Catalytic converter defective (failure possibly due to 2, 3 or 4)
    2. Engine misfire or running condition
    3 Large vacuumleak
    4 Engine oil leakage into exhaust valve guide seals, piston rings

    None of the above sound good!!!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,855
    Nos 3 and 4 not likely:

    If No. 3, your engine would run very rough at idle

    If No. 4, you'd get a cloud of blue smoke when you start up in the morning, and possibly blue smoke when you let off the gas at high speed. Notice either of those symptoms?

    A misfire would definitely make your catalytic converter unhappy.

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  • The car is not idling roughly nor is there any evidence of blue smoke when I start it up. I'll pay attention tomorrow morning. Seems to be pointing to an engine misfire.

    Any recommendations? Replace the plugs? Wires? (although I did just replace each . . . ).

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,855
    bad coil? Misfires can be due to a lot of things. I'm just guessing.

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  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Dont forget that #1 can be CAUSED by #2,3 or 4.

    It is possible that perminant damage to the Cat has happened BEFORE you replaced/fixed the wires/plugs/coil. Was the CEL flashing at any time (and the car driven)?

    Also, the O2 sensors themselves may be sending inaccurate information to the computer.

    It sounds to me like your next logical item (least expensive) to replace is the ignition coil.
  • So i send the girlfried to get a pack of smokes. She makes it 1/2 mile down the road, the car stalls out.

    I go through the checks and notice im getting no fire when i remove the spark plug.

    I notice when she turns over the card, the rotor isnt turning. I checked to make sure the rotor isnt sheared and its not.

    My question is after a 2 hour search online, is how do i remove the old distributor?

    Is there anything i need to watch for when replacing this? Do i have to be in top dead center? I would really love to find a PDF walkthrough but any info is appreciated as its our only car at the present and its Sat afternoon, and cant afford to be missing work.

    Any and all help is appreciated.
  • Actually, my timing belt lost a bunch of teeth, so it must be that ill take any suggestions on timing belt replacement :)

    Im fairly compatible so good luck to me /cry
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    Well, it's an interference engine, so you may have much bigger problems.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    So sorry for the recient demise of your 1996 VW 8-(
    As someone above mentioned, a busted timing belt can mean piston crashing into valves and serious engine damage. Perhaps you are lucky.

    Just curious ...
    Do you know when the Timing Belt was last changed?
    What is the recommend TB change interval for your 1996 2.0L

    I tried looking up on but their data only goes back to 1999 2.0L which shows a 40,000 mile TB check interval.
  • I have an '02 Jetta 2.0GL with automatic trans. and 100k mi. My check engine light came on and went off a couple times before getting checked. Once I did, the shop said I had a faulty catalytic converter. I'm not in any position to be spending money without necessity and the only issue I've had with the car is some hard shifting (which I wouldn't think has anything to do with the catalytic converter). Can I just blow off the "faulty catalytic converter" diagnosis and keep driving or am I going to do more damage or worse yet, end up on the side of the road???
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    I think Gates recommends 60K mi for changing timing belt on a '96.
  • My '01 GLS 2.0L Jetta failed inspection due to emissions. The diagnostic codes pointed to the bank 1 sensor 1 o2 sensor. I replaced my o2 sensor, then had the codes cleared. About 200 miles later my check engine light came back on.

    The codes I am getting are P0130 (O2 sensor Circ., Bank1-Sensor1 Malfunction sporadic) and P1103 (O2 sensor Heater Circ.,Bank1-sensor1 performance too low sporadic). I have a friend at the VW dealership who sold me the sensor. He wasn't quite sure what to tell me. He is gonna check for software updates then get back to me I guess.

    The Car runs fine. It had some "knocking" in the exhaust for a while until I replaced the o2 sensor. Now the knocking is minimal if at all. I really need to get his fixed so I can pass inspection. Does anybody have any ideas?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,855
    You need a test tool like VAG1526 multimeter or VAG1715 multimeter to check for the proper values from the sensors, and also to test the plug-in connectors and wiring for shorts or excessive resistance.

    Also, if you have an exhaust leak between the catalytic and the cylinder head, that's going to throw everything off as well.

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  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    That does not surprise me at all... A sensor which is flagging a problem DOES NOT mean that the sensor is the problem!!! The sensors are just your cars "messengers". Why shoot messenger because you do not like the message?

    The only folks that replace a sensor just because it is flagging a problem are 1) Paid mechanics trying to make a buck and 2) Shadetree mechanics that dont know any better.

    I am concerned that your O2 sensor HEATER circuit is throwing an error. (not the O2 sensor itself) You can use an ohmmeter to isolate that issue within a couple minutes.

    I agree with the last appender. You need to hook up to a laptop computer and capture some readings while you are driving. This is what a knowledageable repair person would do BEFORE blindly replacing stuff.

    As I have said MANY times before... VagCom is better than the VW shop software. (In the right hands.)
  • Thank you for reading my post! I have this'91 Jetta with no belts on it. I need to install new belts... Would anyone have a diagram so I could follow it? Your help is greatly appreicaited,

  • Hello there,

    I am trying to understand why my post was move to an existing post regarding an OS2 sensor.... I am trying to get help in replacing my drive belts..... Could yo help me understand?

  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Hi Steven, welcome!

    This is a general discussion for maintenance and repair conversation involving the Jetta, that's why it's the best place for your question. By placing your post in an existing discussion, it is more likely it will be seen by the people who participate here.

    Hope this helps!
  • I have a 2006 TDI 1.9 L Diesel w/about 88,000 mi. It recently starting shuttering when excellerating. This is a great problem when I want to pass another vehicle especially. There is loss of excelleration and is very slow to gain speed.This usually happens when it changes from 4th to 5th gear and sometimes just holds at 4th gear no matter how much gas I give it. It stills changes gears smoothly. Could this be a bad tank of diesel gas? The quick torque and excelleration is one of the things I've enjoyed most and have come to rely on in my many miles of driving. I really hope this isn't a transmission problem!! I do not see anything in my manual about the transmission.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,855
    With any diesel the purity of the fuel is of utmost importance. Do you use fuel conditioner and biocide? Also anytime you have a performance issue with a diesel, it's a great idea to change out the fuel filter (s).

    Diesel fuel tanks can accumulate crude and even algae (hence the biocide). You should be adding conditioner every couple tankfuls. Redline makes a good product, as does BGK.

    If filters and conditioner don't work, you'd have to suspect dirty injectors, which may need a strong dose of professional grade injector cleaner, like you get from a truck stop--not the whimpy stuff at Wal Mart.

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  • Thanx so much! That gives me some direction. My manual never mentioned the conditioner nor boicide nor did my dealership. Thanx!! ;)
  • What kind of oil should be used in my vehicle? I know it's synthetic oil but is there any I can buy w/o going to the dealership? How often should I really have the oil changed? What fuel filters do I have and how often should I change those? I just want to be more knowledgeable as I no longer trust my dealership. They over charge for everything and no one else will work on VW's anymore! I recently had to pay 127.00 for windsheild wipers!! outrageous!! :confuse:
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 18,439
    Oil that meets VW 507.00 specifications. The best is to verify this with your owner's manual. This (VW 507.00) specification is the latest and is"backward" compatible. The range for the OCI is between 10,000 to 30,000 miles.

    Unless you have triangulated information about your VW dealer ship and it DOES check out with multiple sources (TDI specific), stay away from the dealership.

    You may wish to check on for the local trustworthy parts vendor/ mechanics. I would be remiss if I didn't say it that is one of the good/bad things about VW TDI's. I am sure other OEM's that bring TDI's on line will have similar issues.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,855
    You might also look at Edmunds info on maintenance scheduling for your TDI:

    VW Maintenance Schedule

    The fuel filter on your diesel is a somewhat elaborate affair. You should have been draining the water separator every 5,000 miles and replacing the filter....oh...I'd say every 20,000 miles to be conservative or every 30,000 miles on the outside.

    If you don't have an owner's manual, you should order one from the dealer and read it cover to cover. There's a lot of good info in there.

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  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Here is the OFFICIAL LIST from VW.

    Here is another link which explains your pumpe-duse engine oil.

    Personally, I use the German-made Pentosin oil in my TDI. Pentosin is the factory-fill oil for VW and I see no need to not use an engine-oil that designd to work in TDIs

    I beleive your 2006 TDI has the pumpe-duse engine which calls for VW505.01 specification (VW allows for the new spec vw506.01 and 507.00 that engine but that oil is harder to find.)

    VW505.00 MUST NOT be used in pumpe-duse engines!! (that decimal-point makes a HUGE difference in the oil-formulation)

    In fact, VW added the ".01" to the specification especially for the pumpe-duse engines.

    BEWARE: Using the wrong oil in your pumpe-duse engine has been shown to destroy the camshaft. This is beacause the camshaft in that engine also drives the fuel-injection pulses. To fit int the extra cam-lobes, the designers had to make the cams skinnier than in other engines... thus the cams get MUCH higher loading and need the special oil.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 18,439
    Another reason to stay away from the dealer and/or make sure either you know for sure, or do it yourself in putting the correct specified and SPECIFIC oils. Dealers ROUTINELY put the incorrect oil in TDI's!!??

    Again, start with your SPECIFIC VW owners manual for the VW specifications. If you become remotely interested (i.e.,like bpeebles and I, etc) , , there are a few ongoing discussions/debates as to what is the best brew given the parameters you find yourself operating with and in. So for example, while I know and have faith the latest VW 507.00 specifications will work in my 03 TDI (non PD), I still use Delvac 5w40/Mobil One Truck & Suv 5w40.
  • 1993 Jetta 2.0L not starting (FOUND THE PROBLEM!!!!)
    I love my Jetta and so far I had not had many problems with it. One day it just would not start so I tried the old lock and unlock the door trick (the alarm on some of the VW’s have an anti theft device that does not permit it to be started when tripped). That did not work so I did the spark test; no spark was coming from the coil, checked the distributer, nothing wrong still did not start looked for a problem in the charging system every thing was ok. Man this thing had me stumped big time! Thinking no spark, new coil, new distributor, and check on the charging side. Still no spark what was I doing wrong? It had to be something simple, it just had to be! Systematical look at things starting system has only a few components to include the starter, solenoid, battery, switch, distributer, a couple switches, and coil. The only thing not checked was the ignition switch in the column, why not so then took the ignition switch out of the steering column and sure enough it was worn, a quick run to the parts store and a little tooling and I was back up and running!!!!! Who would have thought to look there? I was stumped because the engine was turning over when I turned the key. The no spark was the contact in the column being bad.
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