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Volkswagen Jetta Maintenance and Repair



  • I rented a Maxima last fall in Fl. Fun car to drive. When I set the cruise control at 80 MPH the car hold the speed nice on the flat highway. It was fun watching VW Jettas blow my doors off. When I got home it was nice to be back into my Jetta 00 TDI, not a Japanese clone of an American boat (I mean car).
  • Sounds like something a good mechanic should be able to diagnose and fix easily. Ask friends and co workers if they know of a good mechanic.
  • Two questions about the 99 Jetta (Manual transmission )
    1) At 80 mph what does the rpm read
    2) What brand CD changers can I get installed (not at the dealership)? I've tried a couple of places, but no has the right adapters/changers.
  • I bought a '93 Jetta in April of '93. (Five speed/sunrrof/ac) Within the first 18k, the tailights were leaking water. The dealer told me there was a bulletin about the trunk stops causing this, and both rear lenses were replaced. Minor problems here and there (and other places) until about 70k, where the third complaint of oil consumption to the dealer revealed VW forgot one ot the rings during assembly. I have replaced rotors twice, both times with VW pads. (Dealer told me rotors would have to be replaced more often because of metallic pads.) No rotor problems and less dust with Bendix pads from local mechanic. I now have 115k and have probably spent $3500 on repairs outside of maintenance. That does not include a (common) sunroof rail problem (approx. $600), a fan switch that gets hot on "High" ($240), an AC compressor ($?) and a fuse block that needs to be replaced because the blinkers won't work (parts - $240) Both tailight lenses again have holes where the trunk lands (holes are now filled with silicone.)
    This was my third "long-term" VW, and as much as I like the style of the new Jettas, (still made in Mexico) and the Gti (made in Germany, aren't they?), I don't think I can. Drivers Wanted, but Mechanics Needed.
  • My first problem. This morning I turned on the headlights and the lights for the fan speed control, temp control, vent selection, A/C and recirculate did not go on. After a tap they did go on. Anyone else experience this?
  • Hmmm. I have a 1992 VR6 VW Corrado with 144K miles. The car is a fast and powerful as the day I bought it. I have out accelerated all of the above and I bought my car used for $13,500 with 43K. The car has every option available at the time of purchase including heated seats. I often have 4 adults in my car. Tough to get in (2 door) but once in, every one enjoys the ride. My point is VW are great all purpose cars. Not the most luxury, or bells and whistles but fun and pretty reliable. This is my 4th VW and I have had them all to at least 195K One I sold at 225K for $350 a 1978 rabbit. I have never done engine or trans work to any of them. They will last long enough to pay them off and keep money in your pocket to buy a round of drinks. I would say yes to all the VW's. Own one and you will understand. JD Powers thinks so. Oh yeah and the new VW's don't rust.
  • I have an 86 Jetta 1.6L diesel with 195,000 miles on it. It's still reliable after all these years. Aside from normal wear and tear (brakes, tires, shocks etc.), here's my experience:

    1) Have had some problems with lose belts (alternator in particular). This is more of a hassle than anything else.

    2) Stuff I replaced over the vehicle's life:
    - 1 power steering pump
    - Glow Plugs, 1 set
    - Full muffler system (cost about $400, did it myself easily)
    - 2 alternators (espensive on a diesel)
    - Master cylinder
    - Radiator
    - Just replaced clutch at 188,000 miles
    - Motor mounts
    - Front Struts

    3) In addition, the car's been in two collisions, one where I was rear ended by an SUV (body damage only) and another where I struck a deer (that's where the radiator replacement came in). I hit the deer with 170,000 miles on the car and it cost me $1,000 to get it fixed. That was 1 1/2 yrs ago and it still runs great.

    4) The only thing I've done to keep the car running is this:
    - Change oil EVERY 3,000 - 3,500 miles
    - On diesel, change timing belt EVERY 60,000 miles
    - I live in a somewhat cold climate (Baltimore) so I installed an aftermarket block heater (about $30 from . Really helps older diesels start up in cold months.
    - Pour one quart of ATF fluid in the fuel tank every month prior to fueling up. Helps keep the injector pump lubricated and cleans the injectors.

    All in all, I plan to buy another VW.

    For more info. on Jetta diesels, here's a link:
  • Regarding mid-80's Jettas, I drove an '85 from 1989, purchased second-hand at 47K miles, 'til 3 months ago, then gave to my daughter at 206K miles. It will need a cv joint in 5-10K more so I replaced it but she can still drive it. [I noticed at speeds above 70 there was a tremor in the steering wheel that came and went.] This was a wonderful car and very reliable. Oil change every 3500 miles [didn't burn any] but 33-40 mpg normally, dipped below 30 only if extremely cold Minnesota weather for several days. No unusual repairs, great for driving in snow--typically in snowstorms would drive on past the many other cars off the road. Manual transmission. I don't know much about cars mechanically but I loved not having to in that one. Made in Germany, not Mexico, don't know if that made a difference.
  • ramonramon Posts: 825
    You call that reliable?! Ah sorry. Didn't mean to jump on you. I got an 89 Sunbird made by GM and the only major repair I had was :
    - regular mantienance belts, lubricants & brake pads.
    - 1 alternator change and a muffler job!
    - Used regular dyno oil at 5000miles mark.

    VWs are like GMs of europe.
  • Why didn't the Sunfire guy put down how many miles his prized car has? It's very rare for a GM product to go over 150k without transmission problems, from what I've seen. As with any car, you're going to run into lemons, especially buying a used car where you don't know the original owner's maintanance, or driving habits. But!... I know of many friends, and myself having virtually no major repairs on VW's.
    A friend just gave away an '86 Jetta manual, that had over 300k miles, with never doing any major services to it.
    Another bought an old Rabbit diesel with 225K+ miles, and drove it for another few years without major costs.
    My brother now has my 95 Jetta that I sold to him a year ago with over 110k miles, where I drove that car hard every day, with spacing out a few maintanance things, and it's still running strong!
    Volkswagen has earned their reputation for VERY reliable cars, especially if you treat them as recommended.
  • Indeed..... I just traded my 95 Buick Regal GS last month for my 2000 Jetta GLS VR6, and one of the main reasons I traded at all was that the Buick, with only 68,000 miles on, needed "major" engine repairs to fix several "severe" leaks, according to the dealer's service department. I asked the service manager what caused it and he said "just the age". I wanted so bad to say "so you are telling me that a GM V-6 engine is good for less than 70K??" but I didn't want to hear the response. And it needed a new air conditioner - total of the engine and air was almost $3000. So I traded. Thats not saying GM cars are bad- theres lemons in them all, including VW's. But that thing about the age of the engine just made me want to laugh. I hope they never say that about the VW- the same family owns the VW dealership!!
  • ramonramon Posts: 825
    197,000 snow,rain, sun miles before trading it in. Good bye old friend.... Driven more powerful car. But that Sunbird SE sure was an old faithful. I think it's one a of kind coming from GM. Heard the current Sunfires and Cavaliers are crap.
  • My 2000 Jetta GLS VR6 experienced it's first problem. The temp control, vent selection and fan speed lights do not work. Anyone have this also?
  • Am considering the purchase of a 99 Jetta GLS TDI but a reliable car dealer said he couldn't sell me one in good conscience due to the considerable problems these cars have.....another dealer said they are mechanic sits on the fence

    HELP !!!
  • VWJET99, I know why you asked what does your tach read at 80 MPH. Like you, I was a little shocked to find out that the 2.0L engine in my '99 GLS was turning 4000 RPM at that speed. Hell, I drove my mother-in-law's Subaru Legacy Wagon once and that thing was turning less than 3000 at that speed. I think it's a little crazy. The upside is that when you hit the gas at that speed, it actually goes. On's forum, other Jetta owners remarked that it "beats it a little," as one person put it at highway speeds.
  • If you want in-depth information about TDIs go to This place has all the info you'll need. Please be aware you will hear some talk about problems but understand that TDI owners are a different breed of car owner. First the TDI is diesel and having a diesel you will find life is different, like going 650 mile between fill ups. One of the great things is you can achieve the good fuel mileage going 75 MPH. The next major thing you will find out is that there are pro/con opinions on diesel engine. A lot of good meaning people have very bad information on what diesels can and cannot do. Most TDI owners are expecting 250K miles out of the engine with some, me, expecting 400K miles. This VW diesel engine is a very good engine and in fact maybe one of the best in the world. Also remember diesels are used in passenger cars through out the world except in N. American, here we have a very strong bias against it. Only VW and that other Germany car company. Only buy the TDI for long term, if you’re going to trade out in a couple of years then go with the 1.8T. Hope I made myself clear.
  • error: "Only VW and that other Germany car company."
    This should have read "Only VW and that other Germany car company have diesel engine in car for N.America."
  • onlydivaonlydiva Posts: 1
    I purchased a new 1999.5 Jetta GLS automatic in Aug of 99. Love it except in Oct (with 3200 miles) it left me stranded. With the gear in Drive, just sat there at a light and revved
    the engine. Had it towed to the dealership, but they had it for 4 days and finally came back & said sorry- we dont see any problems and no computer codes.
    Been driving it ever since but it still does not sift right, and regularly slips between 2nd & 3rd gear. 2 friends just bought the 2000 Jetta but both with manual transmissions cuz they heard all
    sorts of issues were coming to light about the 1999 automatics. Does anyone know about this? Where can I get some info to take to the dealer so they will fix it?
    thanks for any help...
  • dlrempdlremp Posts: 3
    the telephone survey you received has got nothing to do with the dealership you purchased the car from. It is an independent company hired by VWoA(vw of america) to more or less check to see that the dealer is doing a good job. It is a thing called CSI to us dealers. Customer Satisfaction Index is a very important part of the delivery for the dealer. It is the dlr responsibility to ensure a 100% satisfactory deliver. From the cleanliness of the car, knowledge of the salesperson, and even if you were given all of your different finance options. the dealer will normally ask the customer to please be positive in their response but most of all honest. There have been dlrs loose their franchise rights because of chronically low csi scores.(gm is only one I have heard of)
  • dlrempdlremp Posts: 3
    the high rpms are due to the gear ratio in the vw.
    The beetle is the same way. the 2.0 engine only produces 115hp(but very fun 115hp)so VW has made up for that by giving you a lower gear ratio which makes it quick and fun from red light to red light and very responsive at highway speeds. What you sacrifice is, high rpms at high speeds.
  • dlrempdlremp Posts: 3
    read response 241 for the rpm explanation.
    the car has two cd changers considered to be "factory". one is an actual VW changer and the other is a panasonic changer. The cost of these through a dlr is only about 353.00. we install them everyday at the dlr ship i am employeed by. if you would like the part number get my e-mail from my profile.
  • wsommarivawsommariva Posts: 157
    Go to A VW only site. Many VW owners with tech knowledge. Post the question there.
  • breakerbreaker Posts: 8
    I had the exact same problem with my 99 1/2 Golf IV. I had it in yesterday for its 20K service and the dealer repaired the problem under warranty. According to the invoice it was an "electrically bad heater control illumination bulb." Have them check it out, they'll fix it, no big deal.
  • I've never owned a VW with an automatic, but from what my dealer tells me, they are having a lot of problems with them. Perhaps it's because Volkswagen sells many more of their cars in Europe where most drivers prefer manual transmissions, so they don't put a lot of effort into developing the automatic. Personally, I find the standard makes the car more fun to drive, that is unless I'm stuck in stop-and-go traffic.
  • wsommarivawsommariva Posts: 157 about a month I go for the 5,000 mile service and will have it replaced.
  • gregj777gregj777 Posts: 67
    I just got my 2000 VR6 automatic back from the dealership. They had to keep it overnight. I had all of the sudden heard a loud thud coming from underneath the car. First I was told that they found a bolt loose. When I went to pick up the car the work order said that the weld for the link rod was broke and they ended up replacing the lower control arm on the right side. I didn't get any info from the service department other than it didn't cause any permanent damage to the vehicle. They said they didn't know how it got broken. I didn't run over anything. Are there any mechanics out there who know what a control arm is and was this really serious? Could I have lost control or something had it not been fixed? It sounds serious to me but the service people acted like it was no big deal, which is fine with me, but I'd like to get another opinion.... I'm glad I have my car back!!!
  • wsommarivawsommariva Posts: 157
    ...Take it to a local mechanic that is recommended by friends and family. Have him/her put it on a lift and check it out.

    Go to This site has many members who know tech stuff. They will tell you what was replaced.

    I wouldn't worry at all about it. In my 20+ years of car ownership I have come to a conclusion that anything can be fixed on a car.

    I assume it drives just as well as before?
  • gregj777gregj777 Posts: 67
    yep... drives just as well... I love it!
  • betnoyerbetnoyer Posts: 6
    Sorry to hear about your problem. The dealer can call VW direct for hotline assistance. I had a similar problem with the wife car and after yelling at dealer, the dealer called and got the answer to fix the problem. As a consumer, you have phone numbers in your owners manual to call and complain. You may also write and send a certified letter to VW. I know VW cares, however, in my opinion, the dealers are paid to repair problems and not for diagnosis, consequently, some dealers won't spend the time to properly diagnois and the problem isn't resolved. I know that ours drives like an entirely different vehicle. We have 2 VWs. 96 Passat TDI and 99 Passat 4cyl At. The problem was the 99 Passat..Car had bad engine or trans control module. Unit was replace, works great.
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