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Volkswagen Jetta Maintenance and Repair



  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,448
    Power brake booster. Please hit the dealer with a rubber chicken and repeat "brake pedal falling?" "hissing sound?"

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  • just to clarify... the brake pedals aren't "failing". they are pressing down on their own and thus, clamping down on the wheel as we try to accelerate... the hissing sound comes when they release, do you still think the problem is with the power brake booster?
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Read that last append again.... it says FALLING not FAILING. A FALLING brake pedal is due to the internal workings of the brake booster allowing engine vacuum to "suck" the pedal down.

    The problem you describe is classic "brake booster" problem. The brake booster is the device which puts the "power" into "power brakes"... it meters engine vacuum to reduce the amount of force you need to apply to the brake pedal.

    When the brake booster starts to fail.... it "thinks" you are pressing the brake pedal and starts to apply the brakes for you.

    Your dealership is either boneheads or shisters.... either way, the problem you describe is NOT in any way related to the calipers. Your dealership should be ashamed of themselves for making you pay for calipers which would obviously not help the problem.

    A brake booster is not a new technology... the concept has been around for at least 30 years. How in the world can they tell you with a straight face that they dont know what the problem is?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,448
    Power brakes? That's even 50 year old technology!

    It's really lame that they couldn't diagnose this problem. Even if by some highly unusual circumstances it turned out NOT to be the brake booster, this is such a classic textbook symptom that I wouldn't fault them for replacing it anyway on a "good guess".

    But it IS the brake booster :mad:

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  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Mr Shiftright -- Although the concept of "power brakes" may be older than 30 years.... some manufacturers (Ford and others) actually used the hydrolic pressure from the power-steering pump to provide the power to the power brakes.

    The concept of using the engine vacuum became more widely used across various manufactures about 30 years ago. (I have the chiltons manuals from the 1960s and 1970s that show this)

    Also notable... some manufactures had a crude version of AntiLockBrakes in the 1960s which used flyweights at the wheels. Pretty amazing they did this without any fancy electronics.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,448
    Yes true but it was even common in 1950s's one from a '55 Chevy!

    I never heard of those anti-lock brakes. Very interesting idea!

    Maybe we should send these pictures to the VW dealer? :P

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  • awesome, thank you guys for the help. how do you suggest i go about asking the dealership to swallow the cost of the brake booster considering they've already done about $750 of work that we've fronted?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,448
    Well that's tricky. Might require face to face negotiation and a mild threat. Seems to me that a mis-diagnosis is a grievance that could be settled in Small Claims Court. A judge might disagree. My argument is that they hang a sign out front that says, in effect, that they are VW experts. One would have to presume from this that they know what they are doing.

    I think they should do it for free for you or at least free labor with you buying the part, if you wish to compromise generously.

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  • orbit9090orbit9090 Posts: 116
    NEWS: Volkswagen recalls nearly 800,000 cars

    Defective brake lights on Golf, GTI, Jetta, New Beetle and R32 are a potential safety hazard and should be replaced.

    February 26, 2007 - Around 800,000 Volkswagen vehicles have been recalled Monday because of faulty brake lights, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said.

    The 790,000 vehicles include Jettas, New Beetles, Golfs, GTIs and R32s...all in the United States.

    The specific years and models affected are:

    1999-2005 Jetta sedans
    2001-2005 Jetta wagons
    1998-2007 New Beetle
    2003-2007 New Beetle Convertibles
    1999-2006 Golfs and GTIs
    2004 R32
    The malfunctioning brake lights and brake light switches could fail to come on or remain stuck on.

    This recall expands on one announced by the carmaker last year, when 362,000 Jettas and New Beetles were recalled due to the same defective part.

  • My daughter has a 1994 Jetta with 124K. New
    Engine. It has started stalling now that the
    temps here are around 95+. Did not have a problem
    before temps got hot. If we let it sit for an
    hour or so, it starts right up and runs fine
    until it gets hot again. Had a trustworthy
    mechanic check it out and found nothing wrong
    with the fuel pump(s). My guess is vapor locking.
    Ideas?? Can I wrap the fuel lines to keep them
    cooler? Any ideas appreciated.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    old news.... (after all it is dated February 26, 2007) This is just an expansion of the 2006 recall for the same switch. (located near the brake pedal)

    My daughters 2001 NewBeetle has been recalled both times to get new switch. My wifes Jetta only on the second recall and my other Daughters Gulf on the second recall also.

    This is not really a big deal... if the switch fails, the brakelights will be stuck on and drain the battery overnight.

    If you have not received a recall notice by now... you are either not going to get one or it is your own durn fault for not having registerd your VW with the factory when you bought a used one. (You should ALWAYS register a used car with the manufacturer so they can notify you of recalls.)
  • campoutcampout Posts: 22
    Hello to everyone on the list. I own an '03 Jetta Wagon with the 1.8L turbo and just the other day the MIL light came on, not blinkling just steady. The car only has 25k since it was purchased in 1/03 but my question is could there be an emissions problem or does it just have to be reset? And if reset, is there a switch in the engine bay or does it need OBD to check it? Any help would be appreciated, thanking in advance.

  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    By federal law, all emmissions-related problems must illuminate the MIL. Also, based on law, the MIL may flash or reset itself based on the OBDII specifications.

    I would suggest you locate someone with a VAGCOM who would be happy to run diagnostics against your car. (search the internet for lists of VagCom owners in your area)

    Another thing you could consider would be some auto-parts places such as "Autozone" will read the codes for you free of charge.
  • I have a 98 wlfbrg jetta with same thing going on,did you find the problem yet? Mine likes to stall not only on the frwy but at stoplights,rush hour,any given time really or it might drive fine today. ??? Fun car when it runs.
  • joker55joker55 Posts: 49
    hey all

    does anyone else have this problem and/or possible solutions for it?

    While accelerating, with the windows down, i can hear this "tinny" noise coming from underneath the car, sounds like something metal is vibrating. it happens normally when i am accelerating between 20-30 miles and rpms are around 2500-3000, its really noticeable when going thorough tunnels, or along side a wall as i hear it echo

    a friend told me it may be a possible transmission problem. i thought this to be true seeing as when i went from Park to drive and stepped on the gas, i would get a small lil jerk before i got going

    so i had the transmission fluid changed,complete with new pan gasket and filter and still notice the noise, though the Park to drive problem is fine now, and shifts are very smooth, even when gunning it

    what i am wondering is it possible that not enough fluid was put in during the fluid change i was told to go back in 2 weeks for an inspection to check for leaks.
    is it even a problem with my transmission?. is this normal VW noise (i've only owned the car a few months now)

    if anyone can give me any thoughts and suggestions that would be great.


    :confuse: :lemon: ?????
  • cosmocosmo Posts: 203
    With the sound you describe at those RPM's, I'd suspect a loose heat shield is vibrating.
  • I had the same kind of noise on my '97 that eventually turned into more of a rattle over time. The outer metal covering(I guess you could call it) on the "middle muffler" had loosened due to corrosion. I just ended up cutting it off. I would suspect something like that or a heat shield, as noted earlier, since it usually happens at certain speeds/rpms/vibration levels. Your fluid level was probably low, but I don't think the two were related. By the way, I also had the same slipping you did because I was two quarts low.
  • Is there a fuel additive available for the 2.0 L VW Engine. My Jetta has done about 72k and while I change oil regularly at 3k miles, i feel degradation in performance.
    If a fuel additive reduces some gunk build-up, it would be great.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Any reputable gasoline additive should clean out the injection system.

    Also, it is possible that your MAF has degraded over time and is contributing to your perceved performance reduction.

    I also STRONGLY suggest you do not change engine oil every 3K miles. It is a waste of your time and $$ with no benifet to your engine. Only the folks that get PAIED to change your oil recommend a 3K mile OCI (Oil Change Interval)

    In fact, it has been shown (using oil analysis) that MORE wear particals occour during the 1st 3,000 miles or so after an oilchange. After 3,000 miles, the oil tends to "clean up" by showing a sharp drop in wear particals.

    There is no need to deviate from the owners-manual when it comes to OCI.
  • joker55joker55 Posts: 49
    hmmm very good to know, i know its not the heat shield on my cat thats wielded on there good, i never thought to check the "middle muffler" (i know now what your talking about)

    what is the point of that cover/shield anyways? was it difficult to take off?

    thanks again for your help
  • It wasn't extremely difficult to take off. It was just more of a pain. If I had a torch and a lift it would have been real easy. For a while I used a piece of metal wire, like the kind you hang pictures with, and tied it around the muffler tight to keep it from vibrating. But eventually, one end where it is attached to the muffler completely rusted itself free.

    I don't know that it is actually a cover, but more like an outer covering that is part of the muffler itself.

    Good luck.
  • joker55joker55 Posts: 49
    i took a loook under the car today and looked at where the middle muffler is, and saw that there was a cover on top of the muffler, not attached to the muffler but instead fastened to the bottom of the car.

    is this what you removed? it seems like metal but very thin, i can bend it a bit, but cant pull it off the screws which it is fastened to (i can see the screw tip and an odd looking washer on top of it there are a bunch of them) is this what u had to remove?

    sorry for all the questions i just don't want to go ripping out something i really shouldn't, and i really wanna get rid of this noise, its driving me crazy!!! lol

  • Do you have a 99.5/GenIV Jetta? I never had a cover like that. It sounds like it is similar to the shield over the cat. Can you remove the cover to get to the muffler?

    In my case, if you can picture a cross section of a muffler(minus the baffles,etc) having two layers. The outer layer is what came loose. I will try and get real pics this weekend.

    I know what you mean when you say it is annoying.
  • joker55joker55 Posts: 49
    yeah my jetta is a MKIV, the shield that i see is two pieces. the first piece starts just before the Cat and extends to where the resonator is (i think thats the "middle muffler" we've been talking about) that is where the first piece connects with the second piece and then the second piece extends over the resonator and back towards the end of the car.

    the only thing i am concerned with is will there be enough clearance if i take that out to ventilate the heat from the exhaust/resonator?

    thanks again
  • bpeebles: I know you have replied to my posts in the past which is why I'm going to ask you specifically about my car.

    I have a 2001 1.8T Jetta. Today, my AC stopped working and then about four hours later I was driving and the same light that indicates the emergency brake is on came on along with a very annoying beep. The beep sounds alot like when the car is on and the door is open.

    Earlier today, I foolishly idled with my AC on full blast for 45 minutes and my car almost overheated. Can the mistake of idling like that have caused my compressor to go out? and can I have done any electrical damage (i.e. the emergency brake light and beep)? Please let me know what you think. Thanks!
  • i am almost certain that the sound is coming from the front end of the car.....
  • is it runing hot? if so i would try to flush the colent system. some cars have a shut off at a certain temp.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    The brake lamp along with the alert-tone sure sounds a lot like the warning one gets when the emergancy-brake lever is not fully in the DOWN position while driving.

    Try to re-create the lamp and sound by lifting the emergancy-brake lever a little while the vehicle is moving. I would bet money that you will get the same thing you had before.

    The the German engineers added this alarm to Volkswagens to tell you if you had not fully released the emergancy-brakes and tried to drive.

    As for your AC....have you allowd enough time for the vehicle to sit? An AC system can get "froze up" and no air will pass thru the evaperator. If the AC still does not work after sitting overnight, the next step might be to hook up some pressure guages to the AC system and see what is going on .
  • I tried to pull up the brake and let it down, but the brake is as far down as it will go.

    My AC still does not work after sitting overnight. I had a family friend who knows a bit about cars look at it. He looked at the pressure and he said my pressue wasn't too low, but he couldn't get a 'charge' to start up my compressor...? So he thinks it may be my compressor that's the problem... which he said is really expensive :(
    I'm planning on taking it in first thing tomorrow morning. If you can think of anything else please let me know! Thank you so much!
  • "SEA FOAM", SEA FOAM" SEA FOAM"!! Preventative maintenance.

    Greetings, I own a 2001 Jetta VR6. Nice car...until...
    recently, the check engine and ECP? lights came on and the car went into "limp" mode (30 mph failsafe) on the freeway.
    We took it to the dealer and after diagnostics, they reported that it needed a Mass Airflow Sensor ($250.00), a water temp sensor ($15.00) and a (Gulp) a new throttle body assembly ($1200.00). Total estimate: $1700.00. (Yikes!) I'm way to cheap for that.
    I work in a vehicle service center, so I spoke to some of the mechanics in our shops. They said between the miles on the car (77k) and not always running premium fuel, the fuel system (throttle body, sensor, etc) were probably "gunked" up. So, they highly recommended SEA FOAM fuel / engine treatment.
    Results: No lights and the car runs great!
    So, my do it yourself approach was:
    I CAREFULLY cleaned the Mass air flow sensor with "CRC" Mass Air Flow Sensor Cleaner (go figure). Spray the cleaner on the element, but DONT TOUCH IT.
    I also sprayed an entire can of carburator cleaner into the throttle body. Make sure to open the butterfly throttle valve and spray the crap out of it.
    I also changed the air filter.
    Finally, I poured an entire can of SEA FOAM into a full tank of premium fuel.
    The car has been running great and it only cost me about $30.00 in additives, cleaners and a filter.
    SO, if this proceedure can resolve these issues and save me from a $1700.00 service bill, it only makes sense that SEA FOAM is a great periodic preventative additive. I plan on adding a can every 4 to 6 months.
    Good Luck. :)
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