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Problems with the new VW Beetle?

pat455pat455 Posts: 603
edited April 2014 in Volkswagen
Let's discuss 'em here!

Community Leader/Maintenance & Repair Conference


  • Hi! I just bought a 2000 GLX, and it has been trying to stall lately. The only situation where this happens is when I put it in reverse, back up, stop, then change to drive - it wants to stall SOMEtimes, but not all the time. Also, we have put 3 tanks of gas in it and it has about 500 miles on it. It drinks premium unleaded (for benefit of the turbo). We have figured that is about 17 miles to the gallon!! That is BAD! I am hoping the dealer (appt. 02/17) can give us some insight about these things. Is gas mileage usually so bad on a brand new car? I have never owned a new car before...

    Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? ;-)
  • pat455pat455 Posts: 603
    So what happened when you went to the dealer? Was it any help?

    Community Leader/Maintenance & Repair Conference
  • I have a new 2000 beetle TDI that after 5000 miles the clutch burn up completely. We were coasting
    downhill in a parking deck when we noticed smoke in the engine compartment. At this point the transmission (5 speed)would not go into gear. The shop accused us of "riding the clutch" and reluctantly replaced the clutch.

    After approx. 20 miles on the road the problem reoccurred and the clutch started to burn again. The car went back in the shop. They claim that it was caused by air in the master cylinder. We'll see?!

    Anyone have similar experience with new beetle?
  • Hi. I'm considering getting a New Beetle, but I
    heard that the maintenance and repair costs would
    be extremely high compared to other cars in its
    class (like the Civic).

    I realize that most Beetle owners are probably still covered by warranty and free factory maintenance – but does anyone have info on what the car will cost to maintain after the first two years (regular service, tune ups, oil change etc.)?

    How about costs to repair? (This all started when I heard a vicious rumor that a new starter on a Beetle would run $900). Anyone have examples of a car repair and its cost for a New Beetle?

  • joemalejoemale Posts: 28
    went to test drive a new beetle. It's
    very fun. However, when I opened the sunroof,
    there was a sort of whistling noise.
    The salesperson said you had to crack
    a side window to eliminate it. Is this true?
    Can't you get some air without too much
    noise? Thanks...
  • deeskideeski Posts: 2
    Just leased a new beetle, 2000 GLS. Love the car, but the sunroof open even half way creates a VERY bad wind noise, as if there were a helicopter flying right over the car. Plus, I went to go start the car and it wouldn't start. Just a bad clicking noise when I turned the key. It turns out, my battery was dead and it was caused by the engine's computer. Happned 3 times and now waiting for it to be fixed. Anyone have this problem????
  • bug4pegbug4peg Posts: 15
    I have a 2000 GLS Turbo with the sunroof - Naturally it makes a lot of noise when it is retracted, why wouldn't it? I prefer to pop it up if I'm on the highway and then I reach under and deploy the spoiler manually, it helps reduce the noise.
  • corrado2corrado2 Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 GLS. I LOVE MY CAR. As for gas mileage. It stinks!!! I have 1500 miles on my car and I only get 18-20 miles per gallon on a good day. It's not even a TURBO. My boss has one too. He also complains bitterly about the gas mileage and has had many problems with his car. The check engine light keeps coming on in his car, Thank goodness so far I've had no nonsense.
  • deeskideeski Posts: 2
    Unfortunately, I am going through a rough time with this car. The dealership has had it since the week I got it. They say my Engine Computer is bad and then they got a new part for it and said that it can't be reprogrammed so they are getting another new part and they say that now something is messing up the fuel injection!!??? I am VERY discouraged and I feel like this is a black cloud over me!! :'( Can you elaborate more on the problems your boss has been having???
  • Your check engine light is a common problem throughtout the industry. If you are currently having this problem with a 99 or 2000 VW it is due to the o2 censor. There is a problem with the censors and they must be replaced, unfortunately they are also on a national back order, so if you bring your car in to have it replaced, expect to be without a car for 5 to 10 days while the part is shipped overseas. That is where I come in, I own a car rental company and have many VW dealerships as my accounts. I have been toying with the idea of putting Beetles in the fleet for 2 years now. What do you think? If you went in to a rental agency and were offered a Beetle for the same price as a Taurus, would you take the Beetle? Your input would be appreciated.
  • Besides being the rent a car guy, I am also quite the car fan. I usually go through 3 or 4 new cars a year and am thinking of getting a Beetle for myself for the summer. What do you all think of them? Are they fun to drive? I am currently driving a Ford Expedition and am looking for a fun toy for a few months. Is the beetle quick? Is it small, how small? How does it handle? Sorry for all the questions, but a car is an expression of yourself and you dont want to buy something you are going to hate.
  • pat455pat455 Posts: 603
    The best place to find people who have recently purchased or are thinking of purchasing a new VW Beetle is over in our Hatchbacks conference. You can check out New Beetle News for a start, but there are other topics you can find by keying Beetle in to the Topic Search feature on the left sidebar.

    Community Leader/Maintenance & Repair Conference
  • Just bought a 2000 GLS beetle and love it. So far I have not had any trouble. The gas mileage is not the greatest, but I was driving a 6 cyl ford taurus before this. The ride is great, the pickup is adequate. Noisey engine, but if it gives me no problems then I won't complain. I am very interested to see how people view the service at VW. I live in Central Connecticut and would like some feedback on which Dealerships shine.
  • I bought my 2000 GLS Nov99 and I love driving it. It is my wifes car and she also loves it. It is yellow. At 2650 miles the air bag light came on and a computer part had to be ordered. Took a week to get part and fix. Was told it may be unsafe to drive so we parked it and waited until part came in before driving it again. on the way home from the initial appointment to see about the air bag problem we noticed the horn no longer worked. A part for the horn had to be ordered and this took another 4 days with no horn. Again we did not drive it as I felt it unsafe with no horn. I have owned Toyotas now and in the past and these problems with a new car have me very concerned. Hope this is not the beginning of a nightmare. It is a fun car though. As my wife says, it is so cute. Good luck with your new Beetles.
  • bug4pegbug4peg Posts: 15
    I've had my '00 NB GLS Turbo Automatic for 5 months now, and I love it. I had the airbag light come on after about 3 weeks of ownership and the dealership reset the computer to fix it. Now when I have the lights on, occasionally the rear defrost light will flash between red, and a dull orange (it is bright orange when on). It's quite annoying, but it doesn't do it all the time. My husband has also noticed that the headlights will dim occasionally, he thinks it's when the fan comes on. Has anyone else out there had any problems like this? The car runs great, but my dealer is a full hour out of my way, and I don't want to take the vehicle in for them to tell me the light didn't flash for them ... you know how it goes.
  • weds28weds28 Posts: 1
    i have a 1998 nb tdi which has been a total and complete pain to own. i have thus far had to replace the resistor (controls the fan speeds for the heater/ac), both headlights (the full assembly), the plastic piece on top of the gear shift, the air something or other that allowed my power passenger window to work (or not work and drop down into the passenger door in this case), the battery and most recently the glow plug relay. i have had to have it towed 2 weekends in a row now. i have been in the shop with this car an average of once a month and am quite tired of it. i am selling it with 34000 miles on it and NEVER buying another VW as long as i live. the shop managers have been less than helpful and volkswagen customer service should remove the word service from their name altogether. hope this helps others.
  • edwardh1edwardh1 Posts: 88
    Bet it worked great in der Fatherland.

    VW will probably be slow to accept that a problem exists until it exists in Germany,
    and then will be slow to fix it, based on past responses to pattern failures in Rabbits and Jettas.
  • This is my third VW and worst one yet.
    I bought my beetle GLX in Feb. of last year by May my car had been in the shop at the dealers for over two months straight. It started with the airbag lights coming on over and over again. They "replaced" everything in that car but the vase. Now I am having terrible electrical problems. My speedometer goes, odometer, tac... Mile gauge, rear defroster... Basically you name it.
    My dealing with VW is absolutely horrible. The service department sucks and don't even bother trying to get someone at VW credit.
    I filed a lawsuit against VW in April of last year. IT is finally going to court next week. As far as I am concerned they can have their car. I have taken out an ad in my local paper warning people about VW and their crappy products.
  • chezemchezem Posts: 2
    I waited 2 1/2 years to get a new Beetle, so all the bugs would be out of it. That did not happen.

    The day I picked up the car in Beaverton OR at Herzog Meier VW, the Rear spoiler motor was broken. And to further impress a customer, the selling dealer refused to repair my car by borrowing a part off of one of their stock/inventory vehicles. They most likely knew the part was a back-order item. They told me I had to go to my "local" dealer in Salt Lake City for repairs. The dealers entire philosophy was "You bought it, now it's yours." After getting back home to Salt Lake City, it took the local dealer 2 weeks to get the part and repair it, good thing it was not a driveability problem.

    Less than 60 days into owning my new GLX, the computer module locked up, the airbag light warning light stayed on continuously, and the car refused to start once. Back to the dealer for "warranty" trip #2. Supposedly the computer had to be reset?

    Less than 2 weeks after getting the computer fixed, the AC went out, or should I say did not work. I had never tried it until then. I guess assuming a new car is fully functional is an unfair expectation of VW of America? Anyone out ther from VW of America care to take the time to respond, if your not too busy counting the revenue made by cutting corners on Quality Control at the time.

    I love the car, but I am not going to keep it, as I feel VW of America has passed on QC in the name of profit, and is churning out bugged bugs as quick as they can. BUYER BEWARE.

    I would side with many of you who have had elecrical problems galore, these cars are not what they are represented to be. I am going to trade mine off as soon as possible, as I am concerned about future breakdowns and VW of Americas total lack of QC and support for a "Premium" priced vehicle. Perhaps if enough of us contact VW of America, customer service line and let them know about our electrical ghosts, they will actually do something and recall the cars for CPU repairs?

    Good luck with your new beetles.......
  • myvwlemonmyvwlemon Posts: 14
    Go to and log your problems on the bulletin board. My jetta gls vr6 is nothing to praise! Post your VW Beetle problems at
  • I've owned a 1999 TDI Beetle since April 1999, and beginning in Jan. 2000 (8500 miles) when traveling up inclines or in any situation requiring throttle for more than 15-20 seconds, there is a rapid loss of power. At highway speed, this means slowing to 45 mph in a 65 mph zone! In Jan., the problem occurred intermittenly, but has become progressively worse. The "check engine" light began to appear in Feb. I live in a mountainous area and have had it in the shop approx. 30 total days since Feb. No one can find the cause of the problem, not for lack of trying on the part of the service staff (replaced engine control module, sensors, etc). They really are trying. Any ideas as to possible causes? Per the dealer, they know of one other in the country doing this, but no known cause.
  • chezemchezem Posts: 2
    Just lazing around cleaning my garage today, and had to reach under the beetle to pick up a bolt I had dropped. Much to my surprise, the drip pan/splash guard was gone! The dealer that did my 5k service for me at 3,500 miles evidently was so concerned about the bottom line that they skipped quality service/did not have the time to do the job right. Sure VW of America gives out "free" service for the first 20k miles....I think this one will cost me about $50 in lost time. Let's re-define free here folks.

    I would rather let the monkeys at Jiffy Lube do it, if this is the quality of service a "trained technician" at the VW dealer provides.

    Will have to take the car in and wait for the dealer to re-install the part they removed to due the oil change. As an owner, should I have to "watch dog" the dealers service, or could I expect quality service?

    A Frustrated New Beetle Owner, Tim
  • I purchased a NB in Feb. and I am having brake problems. I haven't even had this car for 2 months. When I press the brakes the car makes a terrible screeching sound. I can't get in to VW for a week or so and they tell me the car is okay to drive. Anyway, I haven't had any other horrible problems yet car wise but I had a terrible dealership experience and will never purchase another VW again.

    The Dealer made a mistake in writing up my lease (so they tell me). I leased my vehicle for 39 months for 15,000 miles a year. The total miles allowed was like 48,750 in the contract. After having the car a month the dealer contacts me and my husband and states that we have to come in and re-sign the contract (not telling us why). So, I told the dealer I was not signing anything until he explained to us what was wrong with our current contract. He stated that they allowed us too many miles that the 15,000 only applied to a 36 month lease and that a 39 month lease only extended and lessened the car payments and did not extend the mileage. I told him that that was his problem and that he should have not the mistake. But he still persisted to make it look like we had to re-sign or they would take the car back. So, I told him he could talk to my attorney. Then he became nice. After long negotiations, they gave us $1,000 for the mistake and we re-sign reluctantly (I didn't feel like making this into a lawsuit). Anyway, those of you who plan on leasing a NB for anything over 36 months make sure the dealer explains the mileage to you and know exactly what you are suppose to get before you sign. Let me know if anyone else has had these problems with VW. Thanks
  • bluebug1bluebug1 Posts: 1
    I've got a 99 1.8ltr turbo..thankfully I've had no problems. I have experienced the dimming of the headlights, and was told it was the compressor from the AC kicking in.
    Anyone with any ideas on this?
  • emerckxemerckx Posts: 3
    Just had the 40,000 mile service performed on my
    99 New Beetle TDI. The service included a timing
    belt- and tensioner change.The bill was $ 928.90.

    If you're thinking about buying a 99 New Beetle TDI,
    be advised that VW calls for a timing belt- and
    tensioner change every 40,000 miles on that engine.
    This is probably true for the 00 models as well.

    Given the $ 1,200 extra I paid for the Diesel
    option when I bought the car, and diesel fuel in
    the US costing about the same as gasoline, it made
    absolutely no economic sense to buy a New Beetle

    I enjoyed driving the car very much. But I've
    advertised it for sale. I never thought I'd say
    this, but I can't afford to drive a Diesel.
  • SporinSporin Posts: 1,066
    The 40k interval for Timing Belt change is a TDI thing.

    On the 1.8T it is 90k according to my manual.
  • emerckxemerckx Posts: 3
    The TDI timing belt will probably last way past 40 K miles. But the 1.9 liter TDI engine is an interference engine, i.e. pistons and valves will smash into one another with catastrophic results if the timing belt breaks. With VW's 100,000 mile powertrain warranty, it makes sense for VW to encourage TDI owners buy a new timing belt every 40 K miles. What I objected to was the steep bill for having that belt replaced, plus the fact that they had to have parts needed for that procedure air-freighted in. It took three days . . .

    Because such a large percentage of the bill was labor, I suspect that it's very difficult to service any Beetle engine. There's simply no room for a mechanic's hands to do what they have to do.
  • jcorraljcorral Posts: 1
    I have a new 2000 2.0 VW bug Gls automatic. The problem is the transmission takes 2- 4 seconds to engage in reverse. I took the car to my dealer and was told that the car has a fuzzy logic transmission and does not engage in reverse quickly. The problem is in parking on a hill or making a quick 3 point turn the car fails me and rolls forward. I drove a 2000 vw jetta and this was not a problem. My car goes from reverse to drive instantly, but from drive or park to reverse there is a 2-4 second delay. I am very dissatisfied and want to know if others have this problem or it this is really normal.

  • richsaprichsap Posts: 93
    Just a visitor to your VW forum. Regarding the transmission and the dealer's "fuzzy logic" response, I would suggest that you go to (another) dealership and ask to test drive the same model car as the one you own. If you have to be sneaky about it and their is only one VW dealer where you live, ask a friend to take the car for a test drive and see if the transmission does the same thing.

    I had a transmission "glitch" on my 2000 Hyundai, and by test driving a new car with the same specs, I was able to determine that I either I did not have a problem, or that ALL Hyundai cars suffer the same glitch. Saved me from waiting on the service department, and Hyundai a lot of paperwork, time and money.

    P.S. I've heard of "fuzzy logic" being used in a transmission in regards to the transmission/engine "adapting" to a driver's habits, but I don't think this would apply to this car, and especially to reverse gear.
  • dddoctordddoctor Posts: 1
    TALK ABOUT PROBLEMS. I wish we had never bought one. First the cruise control starting shorting out. They said a wire was crimped and they fixed it. Then the air conditioner went out. They said it was an EC control module and they replaced it. Then the AC went out again. This time they said they replaced the compressor. Then only sometimes when you turned on the AC the car would hum and shake, like you were in a Cessna Airplane. They replaced another part and the problem has not reoccurred. When we bought the car the dealer had already installed a spoiler. The rear hatch relocks half-way before you can get out of the car and open the hatch. It has been in the shop 7 or more time to have this fixed and it still only works right half the time. VW admits some fault and the area representative was willing to five us a cd player or make a car payment or extend our warranty for free. We are going to sell the car this month.
This discussion has been closed.