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Volkswagen Jetta Maintenance and Repair



  • mrbert29mrbert29 Posts: 37
    Thank you very much jogousa for your response. I'm glad to hear that thee are less expensive options. I'm very disappointed and surprised that a vehicle of this make has this problem. The material they use is very cheap. In any case you said a local upholstery shop. What exactly are they? Are they in the phonebook as that or are you referring to a body shop? I see places specializing in wheels, windows and tints, but not one specialing in car upholstery. Can you clarify?
  • jogousajogousa Posts: 402
    edited June 2010
    I don't know in what city do you live in but "car upholstery" would be the shop.

    Alternatively, you can go to any auto body shop and ask them who does their roof lining replacements.

    Since this is a very specialized job (using the correct glue, etc.etc.) most likely even the car body shop would have this subcontracted to car upholstery shop.
    Car upholstery not only does seats but also roof linings, rag convertible top replacements, etc.

    This is not that un-common as you say and I would not that they use "cheap" stuff. The roof lining is usually thoroughly tested in climates like Arizona, where most cars have their prototype proving grounds and shops.

    I specifically know for example that Saab has one out there and they let cars sit on Arizona sun for one year with various mirrors directed at the car and in 1 year they can duplicate 10, 15 to 20 years of sun and heat exposure.

    In some climates you have to do that once or twice a car's lifetime, depending how long you own a car, relative humidity and other factors.
  • revmarketrevmarket Posts: 48
    If you want to do it yourself buy some headliner adhesive from a local car parts store such as Autozone.

    Since you inform us it is a small area.

    Read directions and carefully apply as stated.

    Have used the products and they work as stated.
  • mrbert29mrbert29 Posts: 37
    edited June 2010
    Thank you all for the recent responses with clarification on "car upholstery" and the type of adhesive for do it yourself work. I did apply a spray adhesive from 3M but that didn't work because again the heat seemed to have been a cause. Do any of you Jetta users know of a recall on this type problem? As jogousa mentioned this not common and I would tend to agree since I owned a Pontiac grand am for over 10 years which also withstood this type heat and never experienced this problem.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    Excuse me in advance if this question has already been addressed, but here it is:

    The car is a '02 Jetta 2.0 (non-turbo), with 62,000 miles. My interpretation of the Owners Manual is that you never need to replace the anti-freeze. Can any coolant be good at this age and mileage? Since we want to keep the car, would it be wise to drain or flush and replace the anti-freeze? It's the original that came from the factory, and I'm concerned about being penny wise and pound foolish..
  • eliaselias Posts: 2,120
    great question. imho it is wise to drain/flush with exact-factory-spec-coolant at least every 100k miles or every 5 years.
    i do not have solid evidence to back up that recommendation however, and I think my 06 jetta has 101k right now on its factory coolant ! I plan to replace the coolant at the 5 year mark if I can't find evidence it's been replaced before.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    Thanks, Elias.
  • cosmocosmo Posts: 203
    Keep in mind that eventually your timing belt and water pump will need replacement. The coolant will be, or should be, changed at that time. The water pump on our '96 Passat with the 2.0L started leaking at 80,000. The timing belt was still good, but I had it changed when they replaced the water pump to avoid additional labor and coolant costs later. If you change your coolant at 60K, you will likely have to do it again in less than 60K.
  • jmr813jmr813 Posts: 6
    I had this same problem on my '06 Jetta, however in my case, the entire rear headliner was falling down to the point that it almost obstructed my vision in the rearview mirror. I discovered the problem within my warranty period, and it was replaced by the dealer at no cost. They did have to call VW for an authorization though, as they said it it not always covered under the warranty. I haven't had a problem since then.

    I do live in Tennessee, where we can have pretty extreme temperature swings from summer to winter, and then even during one day in the spring and fall. It is not uncommon here for nighttime temps in the spring to be in the 40s, with daytime temps in the 80s. I was told that such temperature swings can cause the adhesive to deteriorate much more quickly, especially if a car is left outside all the time (as mine is - I do not have a garage).

    Hope this helps!
  • Changing timing belt again and need to know what size are the four bottom pully bolts are so I can replace. They were getting pretty soft the last time...

    Thanks in advance.
  • mrbert29mrbert29 Posts: 37
    I posted a problem in Jetta Noises, but have not heard a response. Anyway, I had posted an issue where as I am heading to a gas station for a refuel, there's intense knocking (more like thudding) coming from the trunk area. Then as I shut the engine off when I approach the pump, there's a loud bang. After I refill completely with regular unleaded as I always do, the engine turns, but doesn't catch. After discussing the issue with a former VW mechanic, he says pump the gas pedal as it turns, and sure enough the engine catches, and I'm on my way. Per his recommendation I also use STP fuel additive. No problem until 2 weeks later after a refuel the car refuses to catch until I again pump the gas pedal. 2 days ago, I'm at a stoplight and the car almost stalls, and I also hear a slight thudding near the trunk area again. So this morning, the check engine light comes on. Does anybody know what caused that thudding near the trunk? Could it BE the fuel pump? Is this thudding also caused by using lower octane fuel? I'm told it doesn't matter what octane is put into the car. Now that the check engine light has come on, could it be caused by a failing fuel pump? How long is the fuel pump supposed to last? Also, is using a fuel additive necessary and most importantly safe for the vehicle?
  • mrbert29mrbert29 Posts: 37
    I'm told that one of the main reason for water seeping is clogged water drains especially if you have a sunroof but I've been experiencing a similar problem, but it's the passenger footwell behind the driver that gets soaked. When I posted the question somebody responded that its because of a missing plastic piece on the door. However I don't know what they're talking about a plastic piece, but if you do then I hope this helped.
  • eliaselias Posts: 2,120
    mrbert, I didn't know there was a jetta-noises forum here! :)
    Anwyay, I can't imagine octane could be related to a "thunk in the trunk".
    Sounds like it's gotta be related to fuel pump, but I've never heard of one "clunking" before.
    Another possibility - could it be an exhaust piece rattling/banging around - maybe one of those "exhaust pipe hangers" has broken?
    Does your owners manual say a certain octane is required? If so, don't use a lower octane. If it says "recommended 91+" that means any octane down to 87 should be fine.
    Please tell us the error code that the check-engine light is indicating.
    A fuel pump can last for the life of a vehicle, but they can fail randomly too.
    Some fuel pumps are cooled by the gasoline itself - so if the tank runs dry - that can ruin a fuel pump.
    NO a fuel additive like "STP" is not necessary. But it's safe.
  • mrbert29mrbert29 Posts: 37
    Elias, thank you for the response, and I find it humorous too that my description of the problem is a reference to a sound. But when those sounds were being heard the check engine light never activated. It has since. So AutoZone checked the light coming on, and it indicated the car running "rich" and one of other several factors, such as O2 sensor, fuel cap not on tight enough, ignition coils, etc. So fuel problem or fuel system problem? The AutoZone rep said using "Seafoam" fuel additive could fix the problem. You have any response to that? As for the tank running dry, I did use to wait til the re-fuel light came on, but since that first thudding, I fillup at around half-tank. Now I'm hearing only a slight "coughing" noise at the start of the morning. Also, when I shut off the engine during this time, there is a sound of something if it has expanded and then it's shrinking back. When I did first hear that thudding noice, there was a backfire...loud bang. As far as ignition coils, there was a recent recall of starter coils, so about 2 months ago, VW did replace the starter coils or so they told me. Do you think something wrong with the coils? Or a sparkplug out? What's your take on the O2 sensor having to be replaced?
  • mrbert29mrbert29 Posts: 37
    Just out of curiousity, would the VW technicians check the timing belt during an oil change?
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Why would they? If I tell a shop to "do an oil change"... I would neither expect nor want to pay for them to do anything else.

    You need to "take charge" and TELL them what you want them to do. You should use the owners-manual as a reference for what the manufacturer recommends. TB inspections are part of the VW recomendations.

    Using the owners-manual as a guide, simply write down a list of items you want them to do and show them the list when you get there. That way, there is no ambiguity in what you expect them to do and what you expect to pay for.

    On the other hand, it is strongly NOT recommended that you tell them somthing like "Do a 40 thousand mile service".... They will see dollar-signs and likely charge you for all kinds of stuff NOT in the owners-manual recommended list.
  • mrbert29mrbert29 Posts: 37
    Point taken but the reason I asked was because I had owned a Jeep before and they had also recommended that I change the belt which was showing tears and cuts that if left unattended would possibly break. I don't believe their intention was to simply bilk me of $100 as I did see the cuts and pits. Actually I'm hoping we're talking about the same belt which is that black belt on the outside of the engine. As for just mentioning "do a 40k service" I agree being specific can keep money in my pocket. On that note, did you ever have VW do a high mileage service such as the 40k one? I actually had a friend who worked for VW do it for me as far as changing fuel & air filters, spark plugs. VW did the oil change as I have them do.
  • ops2ops2 Posts: 6
    The black belt you can see (unless you have some really big problems) is the accessory drive belt -- it takes engine power and turns the alternator, air conditioner, etc. The timing belt is inside the engine shroud -- it keeps all of the parts of the engine in synch - pistons, crankshaft, valves. Some good photos here
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    I specified what to do for the 40K service on our 2.5 Jetta. The dealer package for those who say "do 40K" is $500 and aside from a bunch of inspect/check items includes:

    Change Engine Oil & Oil Filter
    Replace Air Cleaner Filter
    Rotate Wheels Front to Rear
    Check & Adjust Headlights
    Replace Dust & Pollen Filter (where applicable)
    On-Board Diagnostic System – Check Memory

    Which to me, seems like it should cost about $200, plus whatever the diagnostic scan costs (which I don't know if that is necessary...doesn't a light go on if there is some problem?).

    The inspect and check stuff, seems like mostly things that are typically just routinely looked while they have you car, so that they can tell you if they find there is additional work they might do.
  • mrbert29mrbert29 Posts: 37
    Ah! Well as you can probably tell I'm less educated on car mechanics and such. Yes it was the drive belt to which I was referring and because I don't do crack, I changed that drive belt on my Jeep. But since it seems you do your own work, I wouldn't mind contacting you via this medium should I have any questions...thank you for the clarification.
  • mrbert29mrbert29 Posts: 37
    Thanks for that Jeffy. It seems then that after all was said and done I saved $200. So the next big maintenance is when? 70 or 80k? I bought the car used so don't have the manuals.
  • eliaselias Posts: 2,120
    hello mr bert.

    You may be a car-hypochondriac like me! :)

    The thud could be the sound of anything hot contracting. Or heating up.
    Those clicky-click sounds as the car cools off are similarly normal.

    The check-engine code should be able to specifically indicate whether it is O2 sensor or fuel-cap/evap-system leak. Neither is critical but each of those problems causes extra pollution. Ignition coil? Nah. Check-engine light is specifically/mostly for emissions/pollution-related stuff.
    Fuel system evap leaks are difficult to track down. mechanic with smoke-machine can do it quickest.

    No way will any "Seafoam" or any other fuel additive fix any significant problem or any symptom/issue you are reporting.

    In my experience, O2 sensors are expected to fail anywhere around 75k-150k. they are not too much $ to swap.


  • mrbert29mrbert29 Posts: 37
    LOL elias! Well ever since that first thud and then that weird backfire, yes all noises in that car get to me now!! Thanks for clarifying exactly the purpose of that check engine light. One question, what makes it go on but then turn off later. Is it not supposed to stay on until whatever is fixed? And I'm very wary about these fuel additives. What is your recommendation to fix clogged fuel injectors or to increase air going to gas mixture? Is that the purpose of the O2 sensor?
  • eliaselias Posts: 2,120
    edited August 2010
    :) Mr Bert - No the check-engine light doesn't stay on forever until something is fixed.

    The check engine light illuminates only after a certain threshold of repeated/stored codes/conditions/counts is exceeded.
    If the condition which illuminated the light disappears for the next N startups/runs, then the light will be turned off.

    You are right to be wary about added injector cleaner. All modern gasolines contain cleaners/detergents already - each refiner/distributor is required to use the same cleaners/degergents in the same ratios in all their different grades of gas.

    If fuel injectors are clogged, the fuel additive can maybe a tiny bit, but mostly it is a placebo..
    The real fix for clogged injectors is to have them high-pressure-cleaned outside the car - that has a cointoss chance of fixing them.
    If that doesn't work, then the only fix is to replace them. ($).
    Injectors don't last forever, but out of ~30 cars, only had to have them replaced on a 1989 camaro that had all 8 swapped under warranty like most 1989 TPI camaros.
    (I have never personally had to have injectors pressure-cleaned outside the car, except i think maybe the dealer had tried that on that one camaro before swapping them.)

    Purpose of O2 sensor(s) is for ECM to adjust fuel/air mixture for optimal burn for both mpg and pollution. So yes you are essentially correct about their purpose. Some engines have many O2 sensors, both before & after the catalytic converter.

    cheers !
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    The big ones are every 4 years or 40K mi, I left out the biggest item...replace spark plugs that would add $100-150 to the 40K. You should view and download the maintenance schedule for your specific model at
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Replacing sparkplugs adds $150 ???? On what planet?

    Let me do the math.... 4 sparkplugs at $2 each = $8

    Even if a moron installed them for the first time in his life, it should not take any more than 30 minutes. Dealerships charge about $70/hour so that would be about $35

    $35 + $8 = $43 to replace the sparkplugs!

    Personally, I do that easy stuff myself. Just today, I replaced the fuel-filter on my wifes Jetta TDI. (she purchased the filter for under $40 while she was out doing errands today.)

    There are no sparkplugs on my wifes Jetta.

    On the other hand, a timing-belt replacement (including the waterpump, accessory-belt, pullies, tensionors, seals and must-replace bolts) may cost $350 for just the parts. An experienced mechanic would take about 4 hours to do the job properly. Expect to pay over $600 for a TB replacement.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    edited August 2010
    On what planet does a dealer charge $2 per plug and $70 per hour for labor?

    Also I don't think they put in $2 lawn mower spark plugs. The platinum OEM plugs for the 2.5 engine are $13.55 each at, 5 plugs at that price would be nearly $70. Dealer labor rate is about $100 per hour.

    edit: Checked my receipt, I was charged $15.50 per plug and $65 labor, but then I got a $60 discount on that plus an air filter and final total with taxes and fees was $120 for the two items.

    We did that at 4 years and about 30K mi, I plan to push the next replacement out to a 6 year interval, at which time the car will be 10 years old and that will likely be it for plugs as it would be 16 years old another 6 years after that.
  • mrbert29mrbert29 Posts: 37
    Sounds like my VW dealership that quoted $103 to buy and install a new brakelight switch. I bought the switch from VW parts department for about $11 and had a buddy that used to work for VW install it. Literally took him 5 minutes. Total cost to me, $11 and 2 beers!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,591
    well then, your garage is not 20,000 square feet with 40 employees, so you have less overhead. :P

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  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    I don't see a problem with what I was charged...the price of the plugs was in line with what I'd have paid and they charged about 40 minute of labor. Then there was a 20% discount that they somehow mis-calculated to be $60.
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