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Volkswagen Jetta Maintenance and Repair



  • tmac00tmac00 Posts: 8
    We've had a Wolfsburg since new (May of 98). Never had a problem, 66,000 miles so far. Just got back from Florida in February (2,500 miles there and back plus approx. 300 miles there). Car runs like a top. Three weeks after we got back Check Engine light came on. Any suggestions?, checked gas cap, air filter. Thanks for any help or advice. If anyone were to ask I would buy another in a heartbeat. Went to Florida with my wife and two kids ages 2 1/2 and 1, plenty of room.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    My 2002 Jetta had this dash rattle problem from day one. Another dealer (not by selling one, they are jerks) found the problem last week (broken clips in the dash) and fixed the dash for me this week when the parts came in. The car is great now! I am totally in love.
  • Bought a brand new Jetta Wagon, GLS last Thursday. Experienced problems with the Windshield Wiper controls two days later. Took it back to dealer's service department. First they said they could not find a problem. Then they finally located the problem and said they had to order a part and would call us in a week.

    Even though wiper controls are not the most imp't part of the car, I am VERY DISAPPOINTED that a car which has not been off the lot for even 1 week has an electrical problem which will take another week to fix.

    Any suggestions on what to do? Are there VW regional reps to whom I can complain?

    Thanks in advance.
  • wonderwallwonderwall Posts: 126
    i've had the check engine light come on twice. once i had to take it in and it came back with a small vacuum leak that costed next to nothing to fix and the second time the light went off after i refueled. i have a 97 jetta which is similar to your 98 wolfsburg. i think the later thrid generation jettas were a lot more reliable than the fourth generation, i.e. 99 and foward. i know quite a few people with 97 and 98 jettas and golfs and they are without exception very satisfied and have had excellent reliability. i know one person with 2000 jetta and i've actually seen him kick the car, if that tells you anything...
  • kajonesxkajonesx Posts: 2
    Just finished replacing the window regulator in my son's jetta. He was on a ski trip to Lake Tahoe when the driver side window dropped down into the door. $150.00 for the part at VW and a really pain in the [non-permissible content removed] job to replace. I understand now why VW charges $200.00 labor to do the job. The good news is that if you have the time, it doesn't require any special tools. If you have just a little mechanical ability you should have no trouble doing the job.
  • colmoecolmoe Posts: 1
    This is my first Jetta and it's a little over a 1 1/2 years old. The check engine and air bag lights are on. I have an appointment to get it fixed. Does anyone know what may have caused this and has this happened to anyone else?
  • tmac00tmac00 Posts: 8
    Thanks for the reply, wife gassed up the car light went out, go figure. The goalie on my hockey team is a mechanic, he will check the error codes to tell me what the fault was (when I get time !!). I'll keep you poste, thanks again.
  • rlui1rlui1 Posts: 93
    The check engine light ususally has something to do with the emissions system. It could be caused by something as simple as a loose gas cap or could be more serious. Please post what the dealer says. Don't know about the airbag light.
  • I'm normally on the dodge boards for my truck but the wife's jetta has been acting up lately (check engine light is on, auto gas door won't close). i know how to get engine trouble codes off my truck without using a scanning tool- just wondering if you can do the same with volkswagen. we have a 2000 GLS VR6, would appreciate any help...

  • mycalmycal Posts: 1
    Just got a great deal on a 98 Jetta GL with low miles, excellent condition, etc...but have discovered that water leaks under the trunk matt into the spare tire well. It is heaviest after a rain storm, but will also leak when washed.

    The rubber around the edges is perfect and I've been told by a friend that it could be from the weak seals around the rear lights.

    Wondering if anyone has had any experience with this?

    Thanks, Mycal
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391

    Many people on own one.

  • rileyyhrileyyh Posts: 49
    Hi. I am considering getting either a Jetta 1.8T or a Subaru Impreza WRX. Could you guys tell me your opinions? Also, one owner of a Jetta 1.8T has told me that, "once you are going 70mph, if you step on the gas, you get nothing." Is there little acceleration when you are already at a high speed? Thanks.

  • thanks 8u6hfd,

    but what if i just want to check the code, not clear it or change anything. on my dodge all i have to do is cycle the ingnition key a few times and any tripped codes will show in the odometer display or cause the check engine light to flash in a type of morse code. how bout something like that?
  • u sure he has the 1.8T? That's a common complaint of the 2.0 and I can attest it gets pretty lethargic at 70+ on the highway, but not always, it's weird, I've done 70ish on some roads(not proud of it) and have been able to fairly quickly accelerate to 85-90ish, but on the highway for whatever reason it is pretty bad, but the 1.8T is excellent. My cousin has a 2002 1.8T tiptronic and it is smooth and capable all the way up, after all it is electronically limited to 130 mph.
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    rileyyh: Jetta 1.8T versus WRX
    I have a Golf TDI, and have driven my friend's WRX. I'll tell you my impressions:
    Pro: Fast car 'nuff said.
    Sloppy shifter (even though it's a solid linkage, sloppy because of the soft rubber bushings)
    Lacks the refinement of a "Japanese" car.
    Like the Jetta/Golf, it's got some glove box & interior rattles.
    Wasteful cupholder in the dash design.
    Horrible stereo, even with the upgraded system (speakers/amp/sub). But it does come with a 6-disc in-dash CD changer.
    Engine is asleep until it hits 3000 rpm, when the turbo is spooled up.
    V6 gas mileage
    Transmission problems (most likely attributed to driving style)

    Conclusion: You buy this car only for raw speed and handling. Compared to the Jetta, it lacks the creature comforts and refinement to live with everyday. This would be my "second", weekend driving car.

    Jetta 1.8T
    Smooth and powerful VW corporate 1.8T motor.
    Lots of creature comforts
    Very refined
    Good suspension (even without a rear independent suspension)
    Nice cable shifter, smooth & precise (my WRX friend loves my shifter compared to his car)
    German Engineered (VW decided for higher quality materials, such as the "Soft Touch" plastic, which feels nice to touch)
    Excellent aftermarket (a chip will bring the car to the 200 bhp range for about $400)
    Turbo lag? What turbo lag? Makes 174 lb-ft from 2000 through 5000 rpm (thanks to a smallish turbo)
    Good stock stereo system
    Some Synchro problems (attributed to driving style)

    A little too much body roll ruins the confidence of the suspension tuning.
    Dash rattles
    Not quite the Japanese dash ergonomics
    Velour seats are a LINT magnet.
    Obviously not nearly as fast, nor handles as well as the WRX.
    Monsoon system (optional) is mis-wired (see for details), severly limiting its performance.

    Trading raw power and handling in exchange for some refinement, which makes a nicer to live with daily driver.

    Before the days of OBDII (about 1994-1996), you can easily check the codes yourself with no special tools.

    Because of the emissions requirements, we have OBDII, which requires a special scanner. It allows us to read and reset the OBDII computer.
  • rileyyhrileyyh Posts: 49
    In comparing the two, while I like the WRX better, I'd buy the Jetta because of all the options and cheaper price for it. The one major thing holding me back from Jetta is the reliability issue. In consumer guide, it said the Jetta has regained Recommended status because the 2001 jetta improved in reliability, but it was still only considered average reliability while the Impreza has been above average reliable for more than 5 years in a row. No matter how nice the car might feel, I don't like the idea of buying a new car that I may have to bring to the dealer for an average of 1-3 warranty servicing a year. Many problems don't even seem to be free (like the window dropping). Also, when I rode both cars, I really didn't like the suspension of the Jetta. I don't care for a soft ride, I'd much rather have a firm ride with little body lean. I'm wondering how much of a difference the Sports suspension would be cause that's what I would get if I get a Jetta. thanks.
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    The sports suspension is basically Eibach springs with stock dampers.

    The New Beetle has this suspension as standard equipment.
  • 8u6hfd,

    thanks for the reply, guess i'll have to bite the bullet and take her to a tech.
  • jbkreegsjbkreegs Posts: 11
    Rileyyh, it sounds like you already made your decision. I wish I was in you position. I bought a new 99 GLX VR6 in May of 99, and I wish I would have waited for the WRX. There are many things about my Jetta that I enjoy despite the problems, however after test driving several WRX's, reading reviews about them, and also comparing the WRX message posts vs. the Jetta problems posts on, in my opinion the WRX is much more car for the price.
    The WRX is a blast, 0-60mph around 5.6 seconds! Living in Wisconsin, there have been many a day when I wish I had the four wheel drive of a Subaru when needed, and also the fun-ablility of a turbo with that speed for that price.
    After test driving a WRX, climbing back into my jetta, I noticed how sloppy the handling on the jetta was, comparatively. Read the article in one of the popular car magazines in which they test the WRX against an Audi S4 and a BMW. Both are around $15,000 more, but rank lower on many tests.
    Get the WRX, and keep me posted on how much you love it. I will envy you. JB
  • vw2002vw2002 Posts: 3
    I have a problem with the check engine light on my 97 VW Jetta GLS. That light does not go away even after the engine has been started. I went to the VW dealer and he did the diagnosis, and said there was a secondly ... problem. But someone told me that it may be a problem with the oxygen sensor.

    I wonder whether anyone has a similar problem before and any suggestion is highly appreciated. Thanks!
  • dkrabdkrab Posts: 77
    I posted this in the Jetta sedans forum, but this looks like a more appropriate thread.

    I've been out of the VW camp since '94, but am thinking of jumping back in. Looking at a 97 Jetta GLX w/auto trans and 53K miles. If I am not mistaken, the VR6, which it has, is standard on this model. Also has sunroof, leather, Bose stereo. This car was well kept, and doesn't even have any door dings on it. What weak points should I be aware of on this car? I haven't driven it yet, but would like a list of potential problems to look for.
  • protege_fanprotege_fan Posts: 2,405
    FWIW, in Consumer's Reports, they list Electrical problems as being the lowest rating (greater than 14.8% problem reporting rate). Also, they give the 97 Jetta a black check meaning there is average reliabliity for that year.

    They don't say which engine this is for, but I'd have to say watch our for the electrical problems.
    Hope that helps.
  • wonderwallwonderwall Posts: 126
    i have a 97 with the 2.0 liter engine. no problems aside from the molding on the door likes to come off. i love the car and i'm sure you'll like yours even better with the VR6.
  • For all who have check engine light on, here is my short story on that.We bought a 2002 VR6 Jetta auto with the tiptronic, less then 100 miles the check engine light came on, dealer ran tests,found nothing cleared code sent me home, on way home light is on again, this time they keep it overnight and find that even though you couldn't feel it, the car was misfiring due to stuck valve or piston, can't remember what they said, but engine work was needed.I'm happy to say, they did the right thing, found us the same car, with larger tires, and added 6 disc and spoiler and climatronic, our first one didn't have that even though its a listed standard option and all this cost us a grand total of $300.00 more, so what started out looking like a nightmare, turned out great and our new car is a Dream.As an old Honda owner, so far so good and glad I made the switch
  • jphdxljphdxl Posts: 32
    We had the exact same problem with the #6 cylinder misfiring with less than 100 miles on it. Was your car a new 200hp VR6 as mine is? The dealer had my car more than a week while they worked with VW Techs to diagnose. They eventually sent the computer to NJ for reprograming and the cars been great ever since. As you said, you couldn't feel it while driving, so maybe all they did was disconnect my check engine light, haha :). My arrangement with them was that if the reprograming didn't work they were going to get me a new car (and had even located one a another dealer just in case). While I was pretty p.o.'d that a brand new car was in the shop for a week after only having it for a week, the dealer was good about taking care of me. Let's hope that was then end of the problem.
  • gonzomdgonzomd Posts: 3
    Any advice? My 1.8T has been in the shop 3 times in the first six months of ownership. Computers calls it a random misfire in all 4 cylinders. First misfire occured at 1600 miles and subsequent 3 at ~2000 mile intervals. I am now running regular unleaded(per VW advice), had fuel line cleaned of carbon and perfect good spark plugs replaced. Now they want to put a ECM which will widen my parameters and not misfire/not record. Problem is 6 months of unleaded gas has to have caused some damage to turbo plus value of car is depreciated. I could not sell this car for what it is worth once buyers know of 4 visits to the shop. Should I allow them to fix it or demand but back or replacement with more amenities.
  • msealsmseals Posts: 257
    Adding regular gas to your car will not hurt the turbo, what it could do it cause additional carbon deposits if it is poorer quality gas, like from Bob's house of gas and waffles. What should have happened is that the ECU should have adjusted the timing of the engine to compensate for it igniting sooner. Lower octane gas has a lower flash point, meaning that it will combust at a lower temperature. I hope this helps, I would have pointed to the ECU first before I changed the gas, but hey, they are probably thinking that you use some crappy gas or that you are already using regular or some sort of mix to begin with.
  • gonzomdgonzomd Posts: 3
    If i allow VWoA to attempt a fix with this ECM, will this detract from the spec HP. will it change how the engine runs.
    How about asking for a new jetta?
  • We didn't let them work on it,actually the dealer called us after it was in shop for two days and tried to move us into a new car from the first one, so they knew it was a problem and a problem that would probably not go away.The new one is doing great.
  • msealsmseals Posts: 257
    If you can, try and get a new one. I don't know what state you live in or what the lemon laws are but replacing the car is always a easy fix.

    Secondly, changing out your ECU should not affect HP unless it is not OEM.
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