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Volkswagen Jetta Maintenance and Repair



  • "I see there are more unhappy owners than happy owners."

    How did you arrive at this conclusion?
  • i LOVE my 1997 jetta. it is the best car i have ever owned (others were a 69 VW beetle, 89 toyota corolla, & 97 mazda protege). i will never go back to staid japanese cars nor will i ever consider a domestic after having this jetta. the car has 42,500 miles on it and i have had these issues.
    1.dead battery
    2.a small leak in a vacuum hose (which my mechanic, an independent mechanic who specializes in water cooled VWs fixed free of charge)
    3. an exhaust buzz under heavy acceleration due to a loose heat shield.

    go to if you want to see and hear from people who love their VWs. this forum is entitled "how often do jettas breakdown?" it's going to attract a lot of disgruntled owners, naturally. most VW owners love their cars and are fairly loyal to the brand.
  • What do you guys think a fair price is on a 2000 Jetta GLS with 27,000 miles on it?
  • Yeah! What's with this: "I see there are more unhappy owners than happy owners."

    I demand a re-count!

    Read post #766.
  • pat455pat455 Posts: 603
    If you haven't already, you should ask your question in one of the Jetta topics over in our Sedans Conference.

    The easiest way to find all of them is to key Jetta into the Topic Search feature on the left side of the page.

    Good luck.

    Community Leader/Maintenance & Repair Conference
  • Try reading this thread at VWVortex covering the same type scenario:
  • ok, we re picking up a 2001 1.8jetta on saturday, in nj we havent actually put money down yet, some of the comments that were made about all the electronic breakdowns, leaks, lights staying on, are really scary.( and a 2000jetta who engine is dead?? is that possible?? I though these new cars have a much better history of reliability compared to older models, what shall we do??
    i thought the purpose of buying a new car, is not having any worries about stuff going wrong, for at least 4 years. i currently have a civic, any recommendations, should be buy that extened warrenty??
  • Take this forum in context. It is a complaint forum, so what you will read here is complaints. This is not the 'I'm-so-happy-with-my-Jetta' forum. Just check any of the other threads here and you'll not buy ANY cars! They all suck! ;-)

    On the other hand, Volkswagen's customer service record is not number one. That is a fact. Another thing I have noticed from reading this and several other forums is that a lot of the previous problems with the new Jetta (A4 or MKIV) platform have been resolved.

    Try reading the forum. You'll read both complaints and praises of all VW/Audi built cars there, so it gives a more balanced view than does this valuable, but more negative forum base.

    I have not had one problem with my Jetta. We bought it in August and will be ready for its 5K checkup soon. Absolutely zero defects to date.

    But, you must weigh your own decision. Just don't do it soley on this forum. Go for another test drive! ;-) As for the extended warranty? I got one, but then I keep my cars for 8-10 years too.

    Good luck!!
  • I have a 97 Jetta GT. Have not had any problems with it whatsoever other then the occasional new belt or whatev', however, I'm really happy with mine. It already has 68,000 miles on it and it still runs strong! I think ya'll trippin'!
  • I think what the problem is here is shady mechanics who are robbing, you sheep, blind. That's what it comes down to. To ya'll who know how to fix your own car, you can complain all you want. I seem to hear stories in this discussion of people who take their cars to get fixed and then another thing goes wrong. Then two things go wrong, etc. Doesn't that sound sorta strange! Don't you think you may possibly be getting screwed by these mechanics who claim that your valve cover gasket is leaking so it's causing your exhaust manifold to have too much pressure, therefore blowing out your catalytic converter. Whatever. All of that obviously doesn't affect eachother, but that's my point. Unless you're on top of the game, knowin' about all that stuff, it's really easy for the regular consumer to get jacked by mechanics! In that case, you can blame it on the car all you want. And I'm sure a lot of times it is the car that's a lemon, however, just be aware of what your mechanic is really talkin' about. research it if you have to. I'm outeeeeee! And that's all I have to say! Audi L8z
  • I bought a VR6 GLS fully loaded last year (Dec 5) and put 15k on the clock with ZERO problems with the car. Not ONE. It had power, locks, sunroof etc. I just traded it in for a 2001. Same exact car but with a manual transmission (for more control), sport suspension and wheels, and Monsoon stereo. Also fully loaded (even more so really) and I will keep you posted on the reliability of this new one. All I can say is, if this car goes the same way I will be a VW customer forever. I bought the car at VWSpringfield in Northern VA. They gave me a fair deal and they did go out of their way to find this car for me. Good luck!
  • Our Jetta turns 4 months today. As cute as the day she was born! ;-)) Anyway, it's available at:
  • I would like to hear from anyone who has a diesel. How has the engine preformed? Would the car do okay in cold Montana weather with some mountainous surroundings. Is there enough power? How does it drive in ice and snow?
  • mdecampsmdecamps Posts: 115
    I have a 2001 Jetta TDI and it's GREAT!!! Forget everything you have ever heard about diesels....this beats all of the old ones. It's been a dream to start in the cold weather we've been having here in Indiana. It starts the same in 0-degree weather as it does in 70-degree weather. It's a good idea to let it warm up for a couple of minutes before driving off, though, because the engine is a little noisy when it's cold. It has great pickup and will smoke any 4 cyl on the road. I get close to 50 mpg on the hwy and about 40 in the city. I don't know why anyone would buy a car with any other engine. If you want to enjoy the great fuel economy, I would recommend getting a manual transmission. The only thing you should ever have to do to the engine is a timing belt change at about 60K. I've heard of plenty of people in Canada buying them. I think you'll be OK in Montana. Let me know!

    A satisfied VW owner....
  • I owned a 79 rabbit with the old Diesel engine, and if this new diesel is anything like the old one you will be very happy. drove my Rabbit for 328,600 mile before the unibody busted through, and the engine was still going strong. Only problem I had with the engine was the glow plugs would crack because the injectors would leak down on them and I had to to have the injectors repaired.
  • areakareak Posts: 2
    have a 2000 Jetta GLX (with automatic), that I have owned for about 8 months now. It has been a great car except for the fact that it has been in the shop for about 2 or the 8 months I have had it. I am already on my second transmission, and their is a loud howling noise coming from the rear gearbox again. I am getting really sick of taking it in to get looked at and serviced. I am taking it in again because it is shifting terribly, and sometimes won't shift between 1st and 2nd without a load pop. Has anyone else had these problems??? I like the look and feel of the car (when it works), but I am already looking at other cars, since the reliability has been horrid! Thanks for any help.
  • You need to start mentioning the words 'lemon' and 'buyback' when talking with your dealer/ VW Rep. You are one of the few unfortunate people that got a bad one. You need to start checking into your state's particular lemon laws.
  • muck9muck9 Posts: 1
    i've owned a '75 bus,2 '66 buses, '70 bus, '88 and '93 foxes, '94 jetta, and my fiance has a '70 ghia. The fact is, a VWs have to be milked. Most of the problems i've seen on this message board have been things that could have been avoided. for example, one idiot on here says that his brake pads and rotors went bad...well, brake pads go (thats a given), but don't let them eat up your rotors! replace them before that happens! In order to get the most out of your vw, make sure you know and understand how works a vw. and for you ladies, make sure your man knows how works a vw. OH, and NEVER BRAG ABOUT HOW YOUR VW IS RUNNING!! this is a sin in some third world countries. We all know that VW places a Poltergeist in the car somewhere along the assembly line. I'm not sure when.
  • bluejettabluejetta Posts: 272
    I am offering limited webspace and a private, invitation-only mailing list to all Edmunds members / Jetta owners. Please contact me at for more information, or visit the website at:, enter your email address and click on the join button.

    Please, Jetta owners only. This is a private, moderated list and is totally a for-fun, not-for-profit venture.

  • In December, we purchased a '97 jetta GL (JAZZ edition) with 22,100 miles on it as the third family car for our 17-year-old daughter to drive. We live in Vienna, Virginia, outside Washington,D.C. Since the car is out of the original warranty period, I want to find a good mechanic for all the routine maintenance. I've checked the yellow pages for independent garages "specializing in VW repairs," and made a list of a few. But I'd have a lot more confidence using a place if I got an enthusiastic recommendation from one of you local jetta owners out there. I don't believe the previous owner had the brake fluid replaced yet even though the car just past its two-year birthday in mid-October. He did change the oil faithfully on schedule, but we want to get the rest of the 2-year/20,000-mile service done before she puts too many more miles on the car (I noticed when I drove the car yesterday that she's put an additional 400 miles on it since we brought it home less than a month ago). I'd be forever grateful if someone could head me in the right direction.
  • tscolatscola Posts: 1
    99 VW Jetta TDI
    I have one word for you... GARBAGE. In fact if you are seriously considering buying one I will send you my repair bills from the last month and that ought to change your mind. I live in Wisconsin, the car is phenomenal in temps down to around 10 degrees, but once the temps dropped below that we have had nothing but problems and VW could care less. It has put on more miles behind the tow truck lately than under its own power. VW has several technical service bulletins out regarding this problem, but they can't seem to pinpoint the cause. They just tell us that it is "BAD FUEL" (the easy answer). We have tried fuel from three different reputable locations (all certified, 60/40 blend, winterized) plus we have added the antigel which VW recommends. Still having problems. Car will start fine and usually runs well for the first 15-20 minutes then dies. I could go on and on, but if anyone is interested in hearing more email me at and I would be happy to fill you in! Anybody want to buy a TDI?
  • megankmegank Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 TDI with 8,000 miles on it and not any problems!! I am in Minnesota and the temps have been extremely low this past month (often below zero), it always starts. I am thrilled with the gas money I am saving!! I highly recommend the new TDI, and I couldn't even try to think of a bad thing to say about it!!!
  • mdecampsmdecamps Posts: 115
    It sounds like you just have a lemon. There is nothing that you can say that will convince me that the TDI is not the best engine on the market. It gets 50mpg and runs like a dream! It's been below 0 a few times already here in IN this winter. Never any problems....if anything it runs better in the cold!
  • Hello all, I'm new to this board and I posted on the other site about my problems with the TDi. I was returning to Northern Ontario from British Columbia with my niece, great niece {2and 1/2 years old} and God son. I was in the back seat snoozing at 3 am with my niece driving. The car started to sputter and then quit cold in -40 temperatures. The car was towed to Regina Saskatachewan from the Alberta/ Sask. border or roughly 240 miles. The service manager in Regina explained the problem isn't really with the TDi but with the fuel. I had added a diesel fuel cold weather additive but still had the problem. The fuel gets so cold it jells {something to due with the wax in the fuel} This causes an O ring in the fuel line check valve to pull into the fuel line and causes a blockage.
    While I was at the VW dealers in Regina 4 more TDi's came in on flat bead trucks all with the same problem. The dealer effected repairs to the check valve and sent me on my way. 5 hours later and still 5 hours from home the problem reoccurred. I managed to keep the engine running this time and limped home at 50 mph in 4th gear with the check engine light on! I figured high fuel flows in cold weather were part of the problem so I kept the speed down. I told the service manager the problem might be the fuels...but what was VW going to do take on the petro companies? I think not! I'm now looking at installing a fuel line heater just prior to the fuel filter and the offending check valve. All VW can do is effect repairs to the check valve.
    I bought the car new in April and have put 22,000 miles on it This is the only problem I have had. I love the car but I'm a little leary of highway travel in very cold weather. - 35 degrees C and below. I have forgotten to plug the car in {block heater} on a couple of occasions on very cold nights. I wait for the glow plug light to extinguish and the engine fires up in protest but runs smoothly after about 1 minute.
    I have added a Hermann tuning box. This box unlike a chip can be un/installed in minutes. It raises the torque to 197 ft/pds and hp climbs from 90 to 115. Horse power sells but it's the torque that gives the thrill. I have more torque than the VR6 and the 1.8T. Because the diesel is geared so low I installed a Neuspeed short shift kit to handle the quick shifting needed to help keep engine revs in the proper power band under hard excelleration. I also run with a K&N air filter to take full advantage of the tuning box. I have purchased some alloy wheels 17in X8 in with fat Goodyears for summer running. I run my stock steel wheels with winter treads in winter. Even after modifications my mileage is exactly the same as before. 56/57 miles/gal. imperial. I can now pass with confidence without down shifting. This is just about the perfect engine if I can sort out the cold weather problem.
  • i have a 1999 wolfsburg jetta and love it but keep having some ridiculous problems. for instance, at 23k i had to have both front wheel bearings replaced, the rear power windows don't work, and now the starter at 35k is out. is this typical for this car? has anyone else had problems like these?
  • davc1davc1 Posts: 1
    I too have a 99 New Jetta GLX VR6/ I have an auto trans. I too have had that "whine" that many have complained about. Can someone send me what the dealer did to fix this. See posts from Nov.15,2000. Also, I have excessive valve noise from 2800 to 3900 rpm - intermitent though. An intake part was replaced at about 13000 miles. It seemed to work. But the noise is back. Anyone with the same problems? I am now just out of warranty. Will I get the shaft on this one? It seems that the warranty should cover it. Please respond. Thanks.
  • Since I think VW makes an excellent diesel engine and since I want the economy and longevity of a diesel powered car, I really don't have any choice other than a VW Jetta or Golf.

    Seems to me, VW's two year comprehensive warranty is not adequate and may reflect relatively poor quality control in several areas. One the other hand, a 10 year powertrain warranty is quite generous and thinking logically probably reflects a good powertrain. If I buy the Jetta GLS TDI I have my eye on, I think I will have to buy the extended warranty for peace of mind.

    Some specific areas are of more concern to me. Firstly the relatively poor dealership experience many posters have noted here. In my experience I dealt with very good Japanese dealers and very indifferent Chrysler and GM dealers. The dealer experience is very important to me and I'd hate to have new car problems coupled with a dealer who doesn't really care to fix them.

    Secondly I live in Western Canada and cold weather is an obvious concern for a diesel car owner. I wish someone could say authoritatively if are there or are not systematic cold weather problems (say below -30 C) with the TDI engine? petethepilot's experience would seem to indicate there are. (BTW, petethepilot weren't you much closer to the VW dealer in Medicine Hat rather than the one in Regina?)

    Anyone know if Canadian diesel fuel is generally any better than American diesel fuel quality? After all that's the excuse VW uses to explain why they don't make available in North America any of their other more powerful diesel engines they have in Europe.

    I want a very reliable new car. I do not agree that you can expect any car to breakdown regularly. My wife's 1980 Toyota Tercel survived 17 years and 240K kms with ONE non-maintainance related repair required before we finally sold it (the wire connected to the rear window defroster broke off). My mother's 1990 Acura Integra has had precisely zero problems. Even my 97 Dodge Grand Caravan ES AWD has had only two minor problems albeit it has only 66K kms (alternator wire came off and the service engine soon sensor is faulty) though it's fuel mileage is pretty horrid which is really why I want the Jetta...
  • Juuuuust over 1,000 miles on my brand spankin' new 2001 GLS 1.8T Jetta.... cracked windshield at the base. (so, NOT a rock) Could be from the cold (unlikely, hasn't been below 0 degrees) or just bad installation... ah. First trip to the dealer, and I'm gonna be cranky.

    Also, sometimes up a hill, the tranny will *clunk* into 3rd from 2nd. Anyone else have this, and is this a "new car break-in" problem, or something I need to complain about? The fiancee hasn't noticed it in her driving... but then again I dig the turbo a bit more. Experiences?
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    The service advisor at the dealership didn't make the windshield in your car, nor did he/she assemble the car. What positive outcome do you see from immediately assuming an adversarial role? Automobiles are production line products with thousands of parts, and as such there will be occasional problems with them. That's why new car dealers have service departments.
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