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Volkswagen Jetta 2005 and earlier



  • Drove the IS300 with the auto and hated it. Of course part of the problem was the transmission - you just can't get power to the ground with an auto. Plus the steering felt really numb. In fact the whole ride felt too if they'd over-insulated the vehicle. I like to feel the pebbles on the ground :) Anyway, the Lexus guy would NOT leave me alone over that car. Last time he called he offered me a 35k sticker IS300 for 29k. Nice looking ride and I like the quality of Lexus - though the safety issue still vexes me. One day I may stop in to drive the 5 speed version as this trip was made in June right before the 5's showed up on lots.

    Fisch: $20 for the tool? Dang. Sorry to read about your problems with over-torqued lugs.

    I guess for handling I've been spoiled by the Miatas in the family. And yes I've got the sports suspension. I drove a 2000 1.8T without one and passed on the Jetta immediately. The 2001's with the bigger wheels and suspension made a difference as excessive lean comes on quite a bit later. Still, if I'm gonna keep this car I need to lower it, get a chip and slap on a sway bar. Maybe after 1k in mods I'll be happy, rattles and all. :)
  • AnakinAnakin Posts: 410
    Go outside and get up near your rearview mirror. You MUST have a sunvisor, because I have one in my '02. It should flip down with the hinge against the mirror (so you have to grab it next to the window glass)

    It's easy to miss since it's so tiny.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I was poking around after work today, waiting for my co-worker who was catching a ride. I found the visor! :) It flips backward though, I thought it came down the other way. So I have it. :) Thanks for the advice. :)
  • venus537venus537 Posts: 1,443
    Have you given any consideration to the new Audi A4. Maybe this car will meet your needs. The interior decor is awesome. If you can swing it, get the V6.
  • justinjustin Posts: 1,918
    i have one. i have never ever found that it is useful...

    i thought the Lex IS car felt extremely tied down and totally nimble. The steering/handling/engine combo was great. It was the auto with the shifters on the wheel....kind of confusing. I bet the 5 speed is wonderful. I know that for 2002 that have started to tint the back lights on some colors. The round back lights need to come out, period. Looks soooooo.....bad. Might as well be a tricked out 94 Accord on the outside...
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    The center visor is cool when the sun is just in THAT place! My last two Proteges (99 and 01) had "extenders" on the end of the sunvisors to cover the area over the rearview mirror. The only problem with that was when I swung the visor around to the side and didn't duck back, it would knock off my glasses. :(
  • Too true about the taillights. I can't count how often I'll come up quickly on some modded Civic or Accord and think, "What's wrong with that IS...oh, it's a goofy mod."

    Venus, the new A4 looks VERY nice. The S4 will be amazing. I'm a tad worried about Audi quality though.
  • I just purchased my first Jetta... GLX... White/Black Leather. The first thing I want to do is change the headlights to those Cool Blue lights.... Anybody have any tips and/or suggestions on this matter.
  • AnakinAnakin Posts: 410
    Don't do it. It decreases night visibility, which makes it more dangerous for you. They are NOT Xenon headlights. You can't get Xenon headlights by buying a simple bulb.

    There are Xenon headlights available for the Jetta in Europe. A few people have ordered them, but they cost around $1500-2000.

    IMO, those blue headlights look really cheap anyway. It's easy to tell the difference between the real thing and the cheap K-Mart knockoffs.
  • Hi everyone,
    I need some advise. I am a student on a very tight budjet and i am looking for my first reasonable car. Basically I need realiability (especially for our Canadian winters), don't want to invest tons in repairs and just a car that will get me to school,work, home. I expect to do about 20 000km/yr and I always keep up on oil changes and general maintenance etc.

    Passing by my local garage, I noticed someone was selling a 4 door, 5-Speed 91 Jetta. It has 215 000 kms, some rust, visible repairs on the moldings but otherwise it seems in good shape. Took it for a spin and it seemed ok although i'm not used to driving manual. The thing that concerned me is that there was a light on the dashboard and buzzing of some sort, like a warning light. The guy said it was something he had to adjust. Any ideas what it could be? He's asking for $2000 CDN.
    I am wondering what you all think of this. Do Jettas have an overall good rating? In terms of quality, do you think this car would last very much longer...will it see 300 000? Is there anyone out there with this same car that can give me some advise? Or anyone that has had experience with Jettas, were you pleased or deceived with Jetta?

    Thank you so much for your help and advise. I appreciate all your time and patience. My first car is a big step and I dont want to make a mistake.
    Have a great day!! :)
  • I'd stay away from a 91 Jetta with alot of miles, especially with warning signs already, I don;t know how much 2000 Canadian dollars are but I think you're better off going with a Honda or Toyota in your circumstance, you're not looking for ultimate style, luxury, performance(from what it sounds like), what you need is a nice, reliable, affordable car, I say go Japanese(although I am thouroughly a European i.e. German man)
  • AnakinAnakin Posts: 410
    If you need a dependable, reliable car, go with Honda or Toyota. I bought my Jetta because it was fun to drive, but I knew that it could potentially be problematic.

    So far, so good, however. :^)
  • venus537venus537 Posts: 1,443
    If you're in a market for a car with that much mileage, how the previous owner/s maintained their car is more of a factor than whoever the manufacture may be. Well, within reason, that is. Stay away from those early Hyundias.
  • protege_fanprotege_fan Posts: 2,405
    My girlfriend and her sister own a 91 Jetta GLS (5 speed, air, sunroof) that they share. Their father got it for $5000 CDN about a year-and-a-half ago. The car seemed to be well maintained, but I'm not certain, as I was not there to partake in the deal. It has about 180 000 km on it now.

    We've had quite a few troubles with it lately. Belts, fuel pump, etc. It's a good little city car, and the first year we had it, we drove 600 km (one way) a few times in it. Now, though, I refuse to even go 100 km in it. The belts broke on me last year and I had to wait 4 hours for an AMA tow truck at 2:00 am in the freezing cold.

    Which warning light is lit on the dashboard? That'd be something important to find out.
    In my opinion, take a pass! Be very picky when choosing a car, especially a used one. I know a few people at work who have bought used recently. One person bought a 1987 Daytona (against my warnings) and one bought a 97 Sunfire. Both of them have had quite a few problems already.

    By the way, I know what it's like to be a starving student on a tight budget. I'm a recent graduate and very grateful to finally be making if only I can make my studen loans disappear... :)

    Good luck.

  • protegextwoprotegextwo Posts: 1,265
    Merry Christmas and have a happy New Year! Be safe and enjoy some time with your family & friends. Best wishes Jetta folks for the holidays and a hope for a prosperous New Year for all!

    God Bless,
  • protegextwoprotegextwo Posts: 1,265
    Paul, I made your killer Crab Cheese Dip for guests on Christmas Eve. They went nuts and ate every last bite! Thanks again for the recipe. That stuff is addictive. You "da bomb".

    BTW, My sister-in-law and here intended both drive Vee-Dub Jets. Hers a 1998 Jetta and his a 2000 Jetta! :-)))) I guess after they get hitched he can register at Town Hall as Jettaxtwo, LOL!

  • justinjustin Posts: 1,918
    so hard to say. i have a friend, in L.A. no less, that has an automatic Jetta, 1991. The thing is a rolling death trap, he never gets it serviced, and never did, and it will not die. It somehow gets him everywhere. It looks and sounds awful. The interior smells and seriously looks like it will just fall apart any day now. He won't get rid of it until he can kill it. It won't die. I had a Tercel like that too.....

    The difference is he had it since it was brand new. With a used car, you never know what the previous owners did with it. I would pass on the 91 Jetta and just put the money down on a new Elantra/Spectra and make $200/month car payments, or look for something else.
  • fischdafischda Posts: 272
    Hey man, how about emailing me that recipe for Killer Crab Cheese Dip?!! BTW, I've heard of killer whales, but not killer crabs. Are they more expensive than regular crabs?
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    Very funny. I knew something like this was going to start.. :) If you really want the recipe (it's very easy), I will send it to you.
  • I'm getting my 10k service tomrrow, and at my 5k service I had them use Mobil 1 synthetic oil that I gave them, but now I couldn't find Mobil 1, so I bought Castrol synthetic, is it ok to switch brands? Is castrol good?
  • vwguildvwguild Posts: 1,620
    Is installed at the factory for TDIs...
  • justinjustin Posts: 1,918
    taking my car in next week. my service guy said there is a problem with the switch, or a relay. either way, i get another turbo as my loaner, and it will only take one day probably. whew. i was worried that i was just crazy...;)
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    Another turbo as a loaner? Last time I took my car in and they gave me a loaner, they ended up sending me to Enterprise rent-a-car because they ran out of loaner cars. Enterprise gave me a 2001 Dodge Ram Quad Cab 4WD long bed pickup, because that was the only thing they had left. The beast had 55 miles on it, and averaged 9.6 mpg according to its trip computer. Thank God I didn't pay for gas though.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,042
    It's been below freezing here for a week now. I'd go insane if my Jetta's heated seats conked out on me now!

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  • justinjustin Posts: 1,918

    They didn't really conk out. They only work on setting 5, and on setting 5, well, my rear can't take setting 5 for very long at all ;)

    Seriously, I think I would enjoy a nice 2 or 3 setting for the long term, instead of HOT setting 5 for two minutes, ya know? I will keep you all posted on the outcome.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I turn my seat on 5 when I first get in the car in the morning. Feels really nice, even though the car is still cold until it warms up, about 5 mins. or so of driving. I turn the seat down to 3-4 when driving on it for awhile though. It's really comfortable at that setting. Leaving it on 5 for too long results in "hot cross buns", as a friend of mine likes to put it. :)
  • Well, we have our Silver, 2002 1.8 Turbo, leather, heated seats a month...
  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,711
    Do any of the VW 4-cylinder engines (1990-02) have any special maintenance requirements that have to be carried out? For example, do you have to have the timing belt or chain replaced, oil changed every 7,500 miles, or transmission fluid flushed every once in a while? From my observations, it seems that every VW, regardless if it's a Fox or Corrado, is maintenance-intensive. They seem to require lots of maintenance in spite of being well-built cars. I know people that spend a lot of time on their VWs than those who own old Chevys with lazy V-8s!
  • Does anyone have any advice for me on this car? I'm buying my first car and I like the look of this one, just want to make sure I'm not getting swayed by appearances! The car has 50,000 miles on it and the dealer wants $11,000 for it. From the research I've done it seems like a good deal. Any opinions? I'm also considering a Toyota Corolla.
  • sunilbsunilb Posts: 407
    just my $0.02, but if you are simply looking to buy a car to get you from point A to B with almost NO maintenance required, I would strongly suggest you get a Corolla. My wife bought a used one several years ago (when she was in grad school), and the engine is peppy, quiet, and the automatic is quite smooth. I wouldn't get an automatic VW, as I've heard too many varying stories on their reliability.

    If you are willing to spend more on maintenance, drive manual, and want a car with more "personality" then get the Jetta inspected by an independent mechanic that specializes in German cars.
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