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Volkswagen Jetta 2005 and earlier



  • it would be almost worth it to let the guy hit you. (No, I am not advocating this.)

    Just think of all the truly poor drivers, or good drivers who are temporarily distracted by other things who drive our streets everyday...wreaking havoc on the roads. If I let every bozo who cut me completely off cause the accident they were trying to cause, I would have totaled about 30 cars by now...but maybe a few of those drivers would wake up when they actually have to pay a few deductables for their bad driving...rather than hearing a few horns every now and then.

    Sorry for the complete troll post...but I read that and thought to myself (as an instinctual reaction), "I bet the guy flipped you off when you honked at him." It happens to me all the time, guy jumps my lane, if I bother to honk in protest, they just throw out the bird and press down the gas pedal.

    Troll, troll, troll.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    I got front row seats to one of the funniest incidents involving a lane change. I'm on a two-lane on ramp, ambling along slowly in my Jetta. For some reason the right lane suddenly becomes empty. I drop down a gear and punch it, veering over. As I zip down the lane I see a Volvo approaching from behind me going at a good clip. From the lane I just exited a too-cool-for-school cat in a sparkling, gorgeous BMW suddenly juts out in front of the Volvo. Brakes lock, wheels scream and the BMW and Volvo all come to a stop with the Volvo's horn screaming in protest. The BMW driver's response? Flip the guy off and pull out completely in front of the now stopped Volvo. Some people...

    Eugenics is not really a bad thing...
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    PF: I have my mirrors adjusted kinda like you said, and I always check over my shoulder for both left and right changes.

    Kyle: If this guy would have checked the mirror, he would have seen me. My front bumper was right at the middle of his car (between the doors) on a 1998ish Altima. I know he couldn't have checked the mirror if he didn't see me.

    Harlequin: I should have let him hit me, but the road was packed with people. If he would have hit me, I would probably have spun or something, then it would have become a chain reaction accident. Actually, the guy didn't flip me the bird (I probably would have pulled him over one way or the other if he had), but he tromped the gas and left me behind.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    First, thanks for posting.

    The MKIII Jettas (1994-1999) have a history of window regulator problems, MAF sensors going bad, and the side moldings falling off. Since the car has low mileage, is pretty new, certified, and will be covered by warranty, you might do well to purchase it. Also check out other bosrds here in the Owner's Club for the Jetta. These cars are pretty safe though, and you can feel good about putting your child into one of them.

    Good luck, whatever you decide.
  • chmeeeechmeeee Posts: 327
    Kinda quiet in here, eh?
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,868
    The MAF for the MKIII has not been a big problem and the window regulators were better than the current ones also. The MKIII regulator was a different design that if I could use it on my MKIV I would. VW power windows have always been a problem area but the current cars have been the biggest problem. The new redesigned part that is made of metal instead of plastic will hopefully solve the problem. As far as the side moldings, yep they should be carefully checked since they did have rust and falling off problems.
  • drumgirl1drumgirl1 Posts: 5
    Hello Edmundiers,

    I'm a student on a tight budget. A neighbour is selling a manual 1990 Jetta. It's in good condition besides some rust. I dont know too much about Jetta's of that make/year and I'm just wondering if any of you have had any experience with older models?

    Basically I need a "no frills" car mainly for city driving to get to school and work but I don't want to end up living in the repair shop. I understand repairs can get quite expensive on VWs. The car's got 175 000 Kms on it (about 110 000 miles)so it's had a long (healthy?) life. I've heard that older VWs are gas guzzlers and constantly in need of oil refills.

    Bottom line, considering my financial situation and driving needs, put in my shoes would you opt for it or turn it down? I'm really not picky as long as i can get around safely and reasonably cheap.

    Thanks edmunds fans!
  • justinjustin Posts: 1,918
    i would say run away from that car, but i can't tell you do that without telling you a friend of mine in LA got a 90 Jetta brand new. still drives it everyday, and HARD. about 130k miles on it, and he mentioned he has gone over 10k miles in Miami/LA traffic, and not bothered to get the oil changed (med student, then resident, etc). no power anything, a crank sunroof. good times in that car :) it is not rusting though. could be the Miami/LA thing i guess....he has had no problems except when an earthquake caused some plaster to fall from the parking garage and messed up the trunk. of course, the sunroof leaks, the car is LOUD and makes lots of noises. but it still RIPS down the road :) used to love the car, but feeling safe is not an option when i am in it anymore. just too old and junky.

    for you though, in your situation, i would say stay away from a car that is rusted with that many miles, no matter if you only pay $300. it is bound to need some money put into it in the near future.
  • kyleknickskyleknicks Posts: 433
    how many of you guys have 01 jetta wolfsburgs?? and how much did u pay for yours?
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    VWoA called me today re:my lemon law letter I sent back on 6/21/02. They said they regretted that they would not be able to repurchase my car (big surprise), but they would help me all that they could in getting the repairs done on it.

    So I took it to the dealership today for a couple little things, mainly to fix 2 parts that they broke last time I had it there. I usually go in and drop my car off, get my loaner, and leave. Well, now this dealer doesn't give loaners anymore unless they keep my car overnight. I argued with the service writer, telling her she didn't mention that to me on the phone (which she did not). So they finally broke down and gave me a loaner (1999 Passat 1.8T). The writer complained the whole time about working 10.5 hours, being tired, etc. (like I care).

    She then was talking via one of those Nextel 2-way radio thingies to someone in the service dept. about me. He said something about who I was, and then (and I quote), "he is a pain in the a$$". Those exact words! I WENT OFF in that dealership. I can not wait to get on the phone with VWoA tomorrow when I get to work.

    I cannot believe he would say something like that. Then the service writer acted like she didn't hear it, didn't correct him, or anything. She just went on the phone part instead the radio so I couldn't hear anymore of his comments.

    Tomorrow I am getting on the phone with VWoA and seeing what I can do to get both of them repremanded. I am not going to stand for that crap.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I have a 1999 Passat 1.8T automatic now. What a different animal from my car! In this Passat (with 28K HARD miles), the engine feels slow and dead from a stop, with no power left for passing.

    Is that the design difference between the old 150hp and new 180hp engine? If so, I am soooo glad I wanted for the 2002 turbo engine.
  • bimmer12bimmer12 Posts: 72
    Hey Guys:

    I was looking to purchase a Jetta and was contimplating between a Jetta GLS 1.8T and a Jetta GLS TDI. Since I do a lot of skiing and winter driving, traction control is very important to me. I noticed that the 1.8T has ASR while the TDI has EBC(Electronic Braking Control).. DOn't know anything about EBC. Does anyone know the differences and which one is better in snow? Also, can any TDI owners remark about the diesel's ability in snowy conditions? Looking at a 5-speed manual for both...

    Thanks and enjoy your day!
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    I have an 01 Wolfie with the sunroof and 6 disc monsoon. I paid 19.5k or so.
  • protege_fanprotege_fan Posts: 2,405
    My gf and I have a '91 Jetta GL. It has about 177000 km on it. It hasn't been too bad. It did leave me stranded one winter....I really wasn't happy about that!!

    But my gf says it gets pretty good gas mileage still (about 650 km/tank or so....730 highway) and I haven't noticed it burning any oil.

    Belts have been the biggest problem on the car though. We've had it in a few times to either get them replaced, or a bolt fell off, etc.

    It's noisy as crap in the cabin....highway driving is unbearable to me.

    Power-wise, it's not bad in the city or on the highway.

    The gear shifter is terrible. It's cable actuated and you the shifting feels loose and disconnected.

    Oh...and in the winter, sometimes the throttle will freeze down so that even if you take your foot off the gas, the revs continue to climb. It happened to me twice. Pretty scary the first time b/c I didn't know what was wrong and was afraid to stop and pull over!!

    Anyway, I'd say no to the car. If you do happen to get it, I recommend getting a repair manual (Haynes or Chilton) and keeping it with you. The one good thing about an older car like that is there are plenty in the junk yards if you need parts.

    If you really want no frills, get something like a Ford Festiva. can't kill the dang things and you can get them for like $2000 CDN!!!! Just don't get into an accident in one!! :O

    Good luck!
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I know the ASR is pretty good. It has saved my butt a couple times. I drove it once on pure ice, did not spin once. Truly a good system.

    Never drove a TDI in snow (only test drove), so I don't know about the EBC. It sounds like something that works to stop you though, not to help you go (like the ASR does).
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    Did you call VWoA? Response?

    I'd be furious if I'd heard a comment like that about me.

  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I tried to talk to the GM last night at the dealership, but when I asked for him, I was told he was not there. I am going to call VW customer service today and talk to them about the situation.

    And I was also surprised that the service writer didn't say anything to correct what the person on the phone said (she had her own attitude about having to work 10 mins. after her 6pm time to leave). All she did was flip the earpiece open on the Nextel phone she was on so they were talking privately (I couldn't hear him anymore after that). They did go on talking about my case though, but I don't know what was being said on the other end.

    Since VW already said they are not going to buy the car back from me (which I kinda knew anyway), I am going to just keep it until I turn the loan over (probably a year or two), then sell the car privately or trade it for something else. I can guarantee it won't be a VW though.
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    The best one to buy is the Bentley manuals.
  • target3target3 Posts: 155
    I would consider it. See if you can get some service history documentation, though.

    That car has low miles on it for a 1990 - it could have 100,000 left. I had a 1988 and had no problems at all. It got great gas mileage (31 highway). Unlike protege_fan, I liked the gear shifter. But I do agree that a Haynes manual would be a wise purchase. In the older cars, there are a lot of repairs/maintenance that owners can perform.
  • protege_fanprotege_fan Posts: 2,405
    Just today, while my gf took her car on a trip for work, her car stopped being able to go into 5th gear. She says if she tries to put it back into gear, it makes a terrible sound.

    About 2 years ago, I remember driving that thing on the highway and 5th gear popped out by I pushed it stayed in for a bit and then popped out again. Eventually it just stopped popping out...btw no terrible sounds made then.

    IIRC, we replaced the clutch (not me...a shop did..) just last year because of some major problems...and now this! This is why I avoided buying used! :(
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    either synchro is gone or the gear is gone or both
  • protege_fanprotege_fan Posts: 2,405
    It means money outta my pocket :(

    Thanks for the tip though.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    It's a 12 year old car, right? You said no problems with it really? Count your blessings that it's still running ok.
  • protege_fanprotege_fan Posts: 2,405
    Engine still pulls fine. When it idles it's fairly rough though. I personally won't travel long distances in it anymore, but it did a 600 km trip just last month, so I guess it's ok.

    It's a ' I guess it's really 11 years old. No real diff b/n 11 and 12's old and it was used when they bought it, so I have no idea how it was treated beforehand.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    That is another thing to consider. You don't know how the previous owners treated the car. Since it's in pretty good shape (I presume), they probably treated it pretty well.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I talked to VWoA today about what happend at the dealership the other day. (I wanted them to finish the work on my car before reporting them, for fear they would mess it up or something.) They had told me about not buying the car back (which I kinda thought would happend anyway), so I asked them about what I could do about having a car with these recurring problems. I suggested either a refund of 2 car payments (since the car sat in the shop for about 2 months of the 9 that I have owned it), or an extended warranty to 100K miles. The rep on the phone said she couldn't tell me anything of the case yet, but it's a good possibility that I would be considered for the extended warranty. If not, then I will just get rid of the car before the 50K warranty expires (another 2 years or so, with as much as I drive). I also was referred to another dealership, in case of problems in the future. We will see how that goes if the car has to go back into service again.
  • nixernixer Posts: 5
    After reading Lord knows how many post re: Jetta reliability and actually posting and getting some reassurance, I bit the bullet and negotiated a deal on a 2002 Jetta GLI at $1300 under invoice. What was interesting was my wife and one of my son's thought I was experiencing mid life crisis, I'm 56, but I have had 4 Bugs and a Rabbit in the past. German engineering is not a problem and the grin when I drive says it all. Hopefully, I will only be back on this sight to seek information and not relay horror stories of dealer incompetence and product failure.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    >>a 2002 Jetta GLI at $1300 under invoice<<

    I'm guessing that you meant MSRP because 1300 under invoice on a brand new model is a screaming deal and I'd like to buy my car from that dealer.
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    Congrats Nixer........

  • nixernixer Posts: 5
    Thanks for the congrats, fish8. Any yes, it was $1300 under invoice, not MSRP.
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