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Volkswagen Jetta Maintenance and Repair



  • I just thought of something to add. If anyone out there has a carfax account and is willing to research it for us, her VIN# is 3VWSB81H2WM259498

    I thought perhaps there might be some usefull information in the vehicle's history, but we cannot afford the added expense right now.

    thank you,
  • Hi Joey,

    I'm guessing that the check engine light is on/blinking. That would be the best place to start. It sounds like it has some sort of misfire, so you should get some helpful codes.

    But, if I were to guess, I'd say something with the ignition system is faulty. I had the #1 spark plug go bad and the engine ran terrible, if it ran. One bad spark plug made my wife think the whole engine was toast. Not to say that this is your sisters problem, but one little part can cause serious problems.

    Has any of the ignition parts ever been replaced?

  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    You really did not give us enough details... Are ALL the cylinders misfiring? Does it run rough when it does run? Did you observe any smoke from the tailpipe (what color? white/black) Was it reciently refuled (bad batch of gas?). Does it run any different when the MAF is disconected....etc

    As eluded-to above, the very best way to diagnose a modern fuel-injected engine is start with the troublecodes stored in the onboard computer. They will point you where you need to look.

    You can use some of the 'tools' on the internet to locate someone with VagCom.

    Alternatly, many auto-parts stores will run the diagnostics for free and tell you the troublecodes which are stored in the onboard computer.

    Once you have the troublecodes, you can post them here and we may be able to help isolate the problem.
  • You can rent a loaner tool from Autozone. It is expensive but you get all your money back when you return the tool. It is an OBDII scan tool. Ask how to use it. I presume that you can not get the car to the parts store for them to scan it free.
  • I have an 00 jetta (low end model). It seems as though everytime I replace the headlight the other one goes out or the same headlight goes back out... not to mention taillights... Wondering if anyone else has had these types of recurring issues and if anyone has any suggestions. Thanks.
  • How do you get the housing off the engine of the 2010 Jetta to get to the oil filter?
    Once you get to the oil housing, does it take a 32mm socket to get the top off?
    The owners manual says to use SAE 5-40 oil, is it ok to use 5-30 Penzoil or
    Quaker State regular not synthetic oil.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Bulbs that burn out often point to a deeper electrical issue. I would start by checking regulated voltage to see if it is too high or spiking.

    Also consider cleaning up all grounds, battery-termanals (including distribution-box)...etc

    I would expect that cleaning all the connections will fix the problem.

    Just a couple days ago, my daughters 2001 Gulf was having apparent battery problems. A few minutes with my DVM (Digital Volt Meter) showed me that the problem was NOT the battery...instead poor connections was causing alternator output to be only 13.1Volts. (Not enough to run the headlights AND charge the battery) After cleaning up all the contact-points at battery and alternator... the charge-voltage was back to expected levels.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Not OK to use wrong oil! Why-o-why would you even question what kind of oil that VW specifies? When you bought the car, did you not understand what it takes to maintain it?

    5W40 oil is ONLY available as a synthetic. (dyno oil cannot span that much range of viscosity) Simply look for the xxx.xx designation that your engine specifies. (505.01, 507.00.... etc) There are several high-quality oils available (Pentosin, Castrol, Total Quartz...etc)

    I order all my oil thru TDI parts....If you look, you will find several places that offer 5W40 with VW spec. Or get oil from dealership.

    In a pinch, you can use Shell Rotella T 5W40 synthetic available at WallyMart. (NOTE: this oil DOES NOT meet the VW xxx.xx spec!)
  • jogousajogousa Posts: 402
    The following applies to Tdi Diesel engine.
    The top plastic cover pops up easily. It's held by round ball-shaped fasteners on left and right side.
    First, pull up the right side of the cover (battery side) with 2 hands straight up - one hand up front (radiator side) and one hand in rear (windshield side).
    Then pull the left side same way upwards - straight up!
    For the first time you have to yank it up pretty hard. Put some WD-40 or similar lubricant on those balls so that next time it's not that hard to pull it up.
    You need 32 mm socket and socket wrench (flexible). You can get the inch-equivalent ( 1" 1/4" from any PepBoys or Autozone store. You need flexible wrench because there is not much room for socket and wrench on top of the oil filter housing cap.
    As far as oil, I am assuming, you are talking about Tdi Diesel. If so, be careful to put the right oil (as bpeebles mentioned) the best source is, like he said. It;s got to be 507 00 synthetic VW type or whatever your manual calls for. You can buy from then an oil change kit (which I recommend) - it includes the oil, oil filter, rubber "O" oil filter ring and oil plug with washer.
    If you have a gasoline engine, follow your handbook for a proper oil specification.
  • jogousajogousa Posts: 402
    By design, each headlight (right and left) is on a separate fused circuit. Make sure you are replacing bulbs with the right Wattage. There are lot of aftermarket brighter bulbs out there that can be put in and some may melt the bulb sockets (happened twice on my Subaru).
    Also, check the fuse box that those bulbs are on and make sure fuses are OK. If you are putting higher Wattage bulbs you may have to increase the fuse ratings. Wiring will take it but the bulb sockets may not.
  • Thanks for the reply, My Jetta is a gas engine and I found oil at the Auto Zone that meets the VW specs. I still don't want to go one year or 10000 miles to have my first oil change also I had a couple bad experiences at the BMW dealer with them
    changing the oil, a couple of time I had to tell them to add oil after I got it back. Even though you get free oil changes for 3 years I found it better just to do it yourself and do it correctly. Also when I called the dealer about how to get the
    cover off and the oil, they did not want to offer up much information. I guess
    they wanted to make sure I brought it to them for service. This afternoon I'm going
    to try to get the housing off just to see where that oil filter is.
  • jogousajogousa Posts: 402
    I did the same - I've changed my oil at 7,000 miles and will do oil changes myself.
    I also have bad experience with oil changes at various dealers and quick-lube centers.

    Don't forget to re-set the instrument panel computer reminder, after you change the oil. If you don't know how, let us know. There is a simple procedure to do that!
  • My Jetta is gas but I did as you suggested and the housing came up. I'll be getting
    the 32mm socket and flexible wrench when I go to change the oil. Before I got on
    this site I called the service manager at the dealer where I bought my car and
    he told me the housing has a few screws that need loosened to get the housing off,
    which I could not find. He also told me the socket was a "speciality tool"
    50 or 52 mm. He seemed to really be trying to discourage me from doing this myself.Looks like its going to take a little more effort then some of my past cars but I'll get it. I bought my first car in 1968, 2+2 Mustang Fastback, and changed my own oil ever since. Never had a bit of engine trouble on any of them which I attribute to this maintenance. This dealer has a very good rating for doing maintenance is why I went there. Hope any warranty work I might have goes ok. Again
    Thank You very much for this information.
  • Wow,
    I never thought oil was a issue with the Jetta. Looks like I'll have to give my car the
    TLC I give my wife's BMW. Went on a couple of sites
    and it looks like Pennzoil, Plat. European, Castrol Syntec or Valvoline Syn Power
    full syn will meet all specs. Just have to find an automotive store who keeps one
    on these in stock here in Balt. MD
    I wasn't trying to find a cheap way out on this but was surprised that I had to go
    with synthetic oil. Oh well it take just as much effort to change conventional as it does synthetic oil, just a few extra bucks to replace them
    Thanks for information
  • jogousajogousa Posts: 402
    Click on this link for step-by-step oil change instructions. - - -filter-change.html

    It covers Tdi diesel engine but I think it's quite similar for gasoline engines.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Dont forget that it is FAR easier to use oil-extractor to change the oil. You dont have to mess with that engine-cover underneath with all the little rivlets holding it on.

    I can change the oil in my VW and change the filter... all from under the hood... in about 15 minutes without spilling a drop. The old filter-element and paper-towels that I use all go into a 1-gallon ziplock bag... ready to be taken to the recycle center with the old oil.

    For those of you who are 'skeptical' about topside oil-changes, be aware that the official Bently shopmanual suggest this is an acceptable way to change the oil.

    Additionally, you can actaully get MORE oil out of the engine using the topside tecnique. This is because you can suck all the old oil out of the oilfilter housing too.

    I also want to make it clear to the folks advocating anything less than the recommended 10K mile oil-change. DONT DO IT! Anything less than 10K miles is simply trhowing away the perfectly good oil in the crankcase, adding more used-oil to the envrionment and adding MORE wear to their engine. Not to mention the additional time and money you are wasting.
  • jogousajogousa Posts: 402
    That is a viable alternative although I do not support your conclusions.

    Underneath engine cover rivets are not such a big deal. Once that cover if off one can also see, check and inspect other components underneath the car - preventive maintenance and inspection never hurts!

    Proper oil change also calls for checking or a replacement of the magnetic oil plug and a washer (that plug may catch some metal debris that may be in the oil pan).

    Likewise, I can do the oil change in less than 20 minutes with proper tools on hand.

    Those who do their oil changes more frequently than 10K may have their own reasons for doing so. This has been discussed on these pages several times previously.

    It is assumed that used oil is re-cycled and therefore that has no impact on the environment.
  • Does anyone know the size of the rivits or screws that hold up that cover under
    the engine?
  • jogousajogousa Posts: 402
    Yes, there are 9 Torx T-25 screws and 3 Torx T-30 screws - so you will need T-25 and T-30 torx screwdriver or torx bits.
    Oil drain plug is 3/4" (19 mm) size.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    I feel compelled to respond.

    VW has been adding a pernminant magnet to the crankcase (and xmission) for over 30 years. These are not accessable from the outside and never need to be 'cleaned'. The magnet is capable of holding significantly more ferrous material that the engine will shed over its lifetime. I have never seen a magnet on the drain-plug of a VW. (Do they really do that now?)

    Folks that actually send in oil samples to a lab have proven that most wear particals occour over the first ~3K miles after a change.... then things settle out. Thus, EVERY time the oil is changed, it has to go thru this wearing-in. It is proven fact that more frequent OCI (OilChangeInterval) causes more wear. This is a MEASURED FACT and not some emperical feel-good data.

    I am not so sure that it has been discussed here in this forum too often. Only in recient years has VW started to spec the synthetic oil for ALL of its engines. Times they are a-changin and the old paradymes do not apply.

    I know it is hard for some people to beleive that modern lubricants/filters can go 10K miles. But in reality, the very same labs mentioned above have proven that one could go about 30K miles before the wear-particals start to show that the oil-breakdown is happening.

    Additionally, the drop-in filter cartradge is DESIGNED for extended OCI. (it is about 3X larger than previous spin-on filters that VW used to spec at 7500-mile OCI)

    It truly is a waste of time and money to change out perfectly good oil. I cannot even think of an upside to making OCI shorter than 10K miles.
  • Thanks, looks like I need everything to make short work of this job
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    If you don't drive at least 10k miles in a year (which is true for me), it's a good idea to change oil at least once a year. I do it twice a year on most of my vehicles (about 3750 miles OCI, with dino), and was on a 5k (about 8 months) OCI on my Rabbit with synthetic (same engine as Jetta) when I had to trade it for a bigger car.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    You bring us a very good point... however, I beleive the concerns about extended TIME has been addressed with modern synthetic motor oil. Let me explain... The concern about extended TIME is really a concern about build-up of acids in the crankcase.

    To combat this, the newer synthetic oils have a high TBN (Total Base Number). This charictoristic of the oil is intended to ALLOW for extended TIME between OCI.

    The chemistry is not that complicated... I think we all remember 7th grade science that taught us that a "base" is the opposisate of an "acid". Essentualy the high TBN gives a motor-oil the ability to "buffer" or "nutralize" the acid. In this way, the problem of acid build-up with an extended OCI is diminuished.

    Like I said in my last append... times they are a-changin and the old paradymes about motor oil may not apply any longer. The ONLY people that advocate 3000 mile OCI are folks that get PAID to change your oil. There has not been any technical reason for 3000 mile OCI for over 10 years.

    I guess if you used the 89 cents per quart oil from Wallymart... then you may need to change it often. However ALL the brand-name oils use quality additive-package which extends the useful life of their product in your engine.

    Dont take my word for it, use google to search for "motor oil TBN" and read for yourself.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    Do the new motor oils also address the old problem of water absorption?
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Oil and water do not mix... however they can form an emulsion. (looks like snot) During the winter, I often can see traces of this 'snot' inside the oil-filler cap after a week of short trips to work and back.

    Interestingly, I have noted that synthetic oils tend to resist forming the oil-water emulsion....but it still happens to some degree. (I actually switched to using synthetic oil in my V8 truck and immedeatly saw a reduction of 'snot' build-up.)

    This moisture can also rust-out an exhaust system because muffler can literally fill with water till it comes out the tailpipe. (perhaps you have seen water dripping out of a car tailpipe)

    The "fix" for water-droplets forming in crankcase and exhaust has always been the same... Drive your car long enough to get engine HOT for at least 45 minutes. This will drive the water out of crankcase thru the PCV system. (PCV = Positive Crankcase Ventalation)

    In the winter, I purposefully make certain that I drive for over an hour at least once a month. (Take my wife to see relatives or something...) Any cost of fuel is far cheaper than the damage the water can do to the engine/exhaust.

    Also, during this monthly drive, we run the heater at full blast which helps dry out all the carpeting in the vehicle. This virtually eliminates problem with windows fogging up on a cold morning. (no moisture in the vehicle to re-condense on the glass)
  • cosmocosmo Posts: 203
    In the winter, I purposefully make certain that I drive for over an hour at least once a month. (Take my wife to see relatives or something...) Any cost of fuel is far cheaper than the damage the water can do to the engine/exhaust.

    You are on a roll of giving some excellent information and advice with your recent posts on this topic. The above excerpt from your last post is exactly what I do with our Audi cabriolet on nicer days from October to April. It otherwise rests in the garage and lets the TDI's brave the fall and winter transportation duties.
  • jogousajogousa Posts: 402
    That is a good idea and actually recommended by VW.
    If you drive less than 10,000 miles a year (like me) or you have daily short commute trips of less than 3 (or so) miles (like me) it's recommended to change oil more frequently than the 10,000 miles interval. Last summer, when I was in Germany, I checked with VW and that is what I was told.
  • jogousajogousa Posts: 402
    Actually, in 2009 jetta Tdi owner's manual, on page 297, it is also recommended (more frequent oil changes, under certain conditions) as indicated in my earlier post !
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    I always kind of assumed the the 12 month recomendation was based on an assumption that if you are not putting 10,000 miles on in that time, then you must have a lot of short trips.

    We've been doing 12 mo changes on my wife's Jetta and that is typically about 7,000 miles or so. But the low annual miles is not due to particularly short trips, it gets driven about 11 miles each way to work (about 20 minutes). I'll probably just stay on the 12 month schedule after warranty, but I wonder if there is any reason not to go ~18 months and 10,000 miles.

    Speaking of time based maintenance intervals, VW has this bizarre one:
    Replace air filter element and clean housing, Every 4 years for vehicles driven less than 60,000 miles / 97,000 km in 6 years.

    I replaced ours at 4 years and 30,000 miles, I guess if we expected to drive 30,000 miles in years 5 and 6, we would not have had to change it. :confuse:
  • jogousajogousa Posts: 402
    Well, air filter is "checked" quite often during regular maintenance inspections. With time passing, even good looking (visual check) air filter may not catch all dust and debris. Vacuuming the air filter helps but not completely.
    I change my air filter every 20,000 miles as I sometimes drive in dusty or sand blowing areas. I change my cabin air filter every 10,000 miles ( due to high humidity in FL).
    Be aware K&N permanent oil treated air filters are not recommended for diesel engine applications! There is evidence that some oil residue from those filters gets into intake manifold.
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