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Volkswagen Jetta Maintenance and Repair



  • ndmike88ndmike88 Posts: 155
    I'd go with the synthetic just for the added protection. Might cost a few dollars more but your engine will thank you for it in the long run.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    It does not matter which engine. The 2.5 engine also requires synthetic oil, according to VW. While VW does not specifically state that synthetic is required, only some synthetic oils meet VW's specs.

    There is really little or no cost to using the appropriate synthetic oil. Oil changes do cost about twice as much, but are only required about half as often.
  • I've owned this car since 2002 and its always had the first issue (running rough after reaching driving temp), however it's become WAAAAAY more frequent in the past year. I took it back to VW SEVERAL times in the first couple years and was told 1. vacuum leak... "fixed". 2. faulty MAF "fixed"-once by VW and again by us (after purchasing an OBD II scanner and having that code come up again, and again). and 3. "there's and intermittent fault, but we can't determine what's causing it". So I gave up taking my car to VW for ANYTHING because they weren't doing me any favors. Upon doing some of our own research, we decided to change out the temp sensor and the coil and neither of those have fixed anything. We've kicked around changing out the water pump, but that seems pretty invasive and we're not convinced that's the problem. There are also some prominent electrical issues- radio/accessory lights don't work, glove box light doesn't work, headlight alarm doesn't work, the temp gauge ALWAYS reads 190, door lock (rear driver's side) doesn't work, alarm light doesn't blink, etc. We've checked the fuses and they're all fine. Are these things related to each other and/or the running issue? Can anyone tell me what's causing the rough running/dying after warmed up?? Or the electrical issues??
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    WOW... that is one long paragraph

    I will try to touch on some of your questions

    *) The waterpump MUST be changed when the TimingBelt is changed so it better have been changed at least once by now.

    *) The temp guage on 2000 model year is KNOWN to be a problem. If your temp-sender is not GREEN... replace it with green one. Available here for $15 On the 2.0 engine, it is very easy to replace. I have done it in the dark in about 15 minutes with my daugher holding flashlight.

    *)The rough running is either caused by
    1)Ignition system
    2)Fuel injection system

    Since the ignition-system has been looked at, I would suggest having the fuel-pressure checked. Also consider that an injector is failing when it is hot.

    As for the door lock / alarm system. There are some micro-switches in the door which may be malfinctioning. If the alarm-system does not "sense" that all the doors are closed/locked, then it will not arm.
  • podotpodot Posts: 1
    So, I have a 97 Jetta GLS and for some strange reason the headlights and heater turn off at the same time. Sometimes they just flicker and other times the turn off all together. The lights don't dim and normaly. I think that it is a bad ground connection but I have no idea where the ground is. Also it shocks me some times and I think that is leading to a bad ground cable. Does anyone have any thoughts or have experienced a similar problem
  • You most assuredly have an electrical short issue.
    A power wire is shorting out somewhere.
    It may be that a wire for the headlight under the dash is crossing over to the heater control or the heater control is shorted over to the headlight relay.
    Does the heater control allow you to set low, medium, and high?
    Take to an electrical expert.
    The extra cost invovled in searching this down will pay for itself in time spent by the expert rather than by an unseasoned mechanic poking around.
    Unless you can visually see the shorted wires under the dash with a powerful light source.
    Just had a customer with brake lights always on. Turns out the wife kicked the brakelight switch with her pointed shoes and broke it in it's housing. Since it was not in the housing the plunger was always out sensing the pedal was being depressed.

    Pray this helps.
  • Thanks! I did purchase the Bentley manual... (now I just need to study it...). Do you by chance know if someone makes an aftermarket kit to upgrade the assy to a brighter bulb?
  • hey have a qustion my thermostat will go to 190 but my heat comes out ice cold not sure where to start looking
  • The possible fix is in the heater control valve.
    Or the connections to activate the valve.
    Or a blocked heater core.
    Or blender door.
  • I have had this same problem. I am hoping you know the answer because this post is a bit old. Please email me back at
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,595
    I' ve swapped brighter bulbs into my '97 Subaru and was quite pleased, but I don't know what your VW has to start with. So what I mean is I was able to compare my bulbs to the new ones before I bought them.

    If you mean some of these cheap kits on eBay to "upgrade" to Xenon, etc.---I'm pretty skeptical, as you can run into ECU problems.

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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,595
    That's the one I used I think!

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  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Installing higher-wattage bulbs would be a marginal improvement, would significantly reduce the life of the bulbs and has been known to melt the plastic headlight housing.

    The only SURE way to get better nighttime vision is to install the ecode (European) headlight units which are designed for improved nightime vision by way of better-focusing of the light.
  • jodar96jodar96 Posts: 400
    What is this? The car has 95K miles. It runs fine. it does the usual oil burning a quart every 700 miles that VW says it is normal!!.No oil burning is normal to me but since they had some problem making the engines right, they call oil burning normal.

    There is no coolant loss that I can see. the coolant level is constantly where it needs to be. Often water in oil has this sign. The miles are all stop and go and it never gets on the highway. My 2001 E430 gets this foam under the oil cap some times, but I do not notice it to be as bad as Jetta's.

    The oil changes are normal and on time at about 3K miles.

  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 18,387
    I am also led to believe that is about "normal". for both gassers, VW's 2.0 and 1.8T. But....

    In contrast, on a 03 Jetta 1.9 TDI pushing 114,000 miles. Oil consumption is at 1/4 to 1/2 qt (8 oz to 16oz) per 20,000 miles. This presents a dilema to going to a 25,000 miles OCI.

    Does one just change it out @ 20,000 miles, i.e. do not add as it (1/4 to 1/2 qt. 8 oz to 16oz) is still in acceptable ranges. Or does one top up and go the extra 5,000 miles.Of late I just top it and go to the full OCI.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,595
    Hard to say if this is normal or a sign of more severe internal oil gelling. You might want to consider removing a valve cover to examine the extent of this problem.

    If the entire valve train is covered in this goop, you have a serious problem. If it's pretty clean in there, then the little bit of foamy stuff is just normal condensation.

    In other words, you can't make a judgment about this issue merely from the oil filler cap. You have to dig deeper.

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  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 18,387
    Indeed at 100 k miles intervals (check your specific owners manual for each has different requirements) you are for sure due a TB/WP and Vag.Com tune. Part of the procedure is to indeed remove the valve cover. At that time YOU or the technician and or both can do a visual inspection and ...come to conclusions. If you want to take it to a more serious level, you can also do (UOA's) used oil analysis before, during, and/or after you open the engine.

    So for example at 100,000 miles (in addition to the TB/WP R/R and Vag.Com tune) my concerns were three fold: 1. visual camshaft wear 2. intake/egr clogging due to use of NON ULSD fuel 3. Sludge formation. I had swagged before the procedure little to NO camshaft wear 2. slight intake/egr clogging 3. no sludge formation. The news was better than swagged: 1. original tool markings on the camshaft 2. no clogging at all 3. no sludge formation at all.

    If I was so concerned, I would do the UOA BEFORE; so you can see if the spot UOA has predictive value. The subsequent visual inspection will confirm or deny what you and or the technician think or may have projected. My SWAG is no harm no foul. BUT.... if not, remediate and....

    Then I would do one to 2 UOA's AFTER: to check on the trendline.

    I have also read in passing that 2.0 and 1.8T engines are prone to coking (by product is producing sludge)

    So if you dodged the coking (aka sludge build up) bullet and the UOA/s indicates normal wear metals progression, indeed your 700 miles per 1 qt may indeed be normal.
  • wirelinewireline Posts: 1
    97 VW jetta 2.0 4banger manual
    When i turn the key i have power and the lights come on but nothing else happens
    New starter, ignition coil, battery, and battery connections, new distributor cap.
    all my fuses seem in working order. When i touch the starter bolts together with a screwdriver the starter teeth turn with a high pitch whine sound but does not turn the engine.
    Ive checked every electrical connetion that i can find and everything seems tight.
    anybody got any suggestions???
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    If you have automatic xmission, the shift-lever may "think" it is not in Park.

    If you have manual xmisison, suspect the switch on the clutch pedal "thinks" you do not have the clutch pushed.
  • heedroheedro Posts: 1
    Don't know if you got a answer to your problem yet... but I know exactly what its is
    The wiring harness in the drivers door!!.. if you take off the rubber boot that protects the wires by the door hinges you will find one of more wires that are broken... I had a total of 12, 8 of which the previous owner tried to fix with butt connectors... the wires get wet or move apart and the alarm system arms itself and the window rolls up!!!

    I messed around with the remote to disarm also cause it also locks the doors

    To temp fix it reattach all the broken wires.. and a perminatley fix, replace the whole harness for about 200$
  • I, added engine oil to an 06 Jetta, Diesel engine probably 1/2 quart over full, Air Bag Light came on in Instrument Cluster, will not go off. Could there be a link here?
  • fws4fws4 Posts: 5
    My 1998 S 10 developed a major flex-pipe exhaust leak, but before I could fix that, it also began idling very high (sorry, no tach) at all times. Could the exhaust be causing this idle?
  • revmarketrevmarket Posts: 48
    At the risk of sounding condescending:
    Why would you think the two were connected?

    Oil is to the engine what blood is the body.

    Adding more blood to the body would not make your hat not protect you from the rain.

    The airbag light signals that something is amiss with the airbag / passive restraint system in your car.

    A sensor has determined that the airbag might not deploy as it should.

    That should be handled by a professional.

    Since the airbag can be deployed by accident when not needed and cause injury or death.
    Please read your owners manual for precautions.

    Most cars must have the battery disconnected for at least 2 or more minute to make sure the airbag is not deployed while working on any part of the passive restraint system.

    An engine with too much oil may have that oil foam inside the crankcase and therefore cause damage. Remove the excess oil.

    Pray this helps.
  • revmarketrevmarket Posts: 48
    Has the check engine light come on?
    If so go to Autozone and have them read the codes for free.
    The can give you a list of probable causes.

    It may be that the Oxygen sensors are sending a signal to the engine computer sensing a lean or rich mixture. Then the engine is not going to run as smooth as it should. With the exhaust system compromised this surely could happen.

    Or if so equipped an idle air control valve could have become inoperable causing the engine over speed.

    Pray this helps.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Since too much oil in engine can be VERY bad for the engine, why did you not suck out the extra oil immedeatly?

    I am assuming you are using the oil-sucker method to change your TDIs oil so sucking it out is very easy.
  • I have a one year older model of Jetta and I often get that foam. My dad says its condensation. It's not just a Jetta thing though. I had a truck from the 80's that did that as well. I freaked out the first time I saw that...It looked like an alien from the movie "Aliens" spit into the oil tank neck. You just have to wipe it out.
  • Okay, my timing belt decided to shred itself whilst I was going about 5 mph in a parking lot. I was wondering what it would cost to replace it and also if it might cause any other sort of damage. And any other info...maybe...?
    But...that isn't my only car troubles...
    My car seems to be going through a lot of coolant and oil. I don't know exactly what the normal usage is for a 2000 Jetta 2.0L, but yeah.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    It is an interference engine, so you likely have major damage to the engine.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,595
    Well you can't tell if you had damage until you replace the belt, (since you can't do a compression test without a belt) at which time you might have to do everything all over again and pull the cylinder head off.

    Since you're losing oil and coolant, and since it's a Jetta, I think before I replaced the belt, I'd pressurize the cooling system and check for head gasket leaks, and also remove the valve cover and possibly the oil pan and check for engine sludge.

    No sense putting new parts on a bad engine. You need to start digging here.

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