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Volkswagen Jetta Maintenance and Repair



  • Thank you all for your useful information!

    I have a Honda Civic (which has been trouble free), and I was looking at the new Jettas. They are really nice cars, and the interior is beautiful. I love the features too.

    However, due to the apparent list of problems, I have decided to stick with Honda -- either an Accord Coupe or New 2001 Integra (Prelude replacement). I am just too scared to get a Jetta after all of the problems I've read about. It's a shame too for such a nice car.

    One thing that really swayed my opinion was that of the guy in Dallas who purchased from Rusty Wallace. I am from Dallas too and certainly don't want that kind of service of something goes wrong. My Honda Dealer (Lute Riley) has a great service department (although they do try to get you on the initial price).

    I saw an article today that Honda was named "Best Enginemaker" by a panel of engine experts and designers.
  • ramonramon Posts: 825
    That's only refering to the S2000 engine and that Honda Insight thingy. So uless you want to buy either on of those cars then you can go for it. Otherwise, Honda too has their fair share of downers.
  • I purchased a 2000 GLX (auto) recently and I've noticed the same whining noise that is mentioned in quite a few posts in this forum. However, I have not seen any posts describing if VW has identified what causes the noise and what can be done about it. Can anyone help? Thanks in advance.
  • I Bought my new 00' Jetta GL (auto) one month ago, and no regrets. I heavily researched this purchase beforehand and I was truly hesitant at first (partly due to all the people venting at ;) . But now I have no regrets, and ive sold my Accord, and im keepin' the Jetta. 2,000 miles so far and havent been back to the dealer yet (knock on wood.) The car is simply awesome, and why you would by any other sedan over it (within the price range) boggles the mind.
  • ramonramon Posts: 825
    well good for you. U are a lucky winner of a decent Jetta from VW. Ppl said that every mfg has a lemon car once a while. Its completely inverse for VWs. You get a good car every once awhile. =)
  • Here's the latest scoop on my pending case with VW (posts # 508 and 538):

    VW has decided to reimburse me for the work done on the Rear-Braking system (Pads & Rotors). This is almost a $500 job in NYC (labor rates and parts are outrageously over-priced - along with everthing else in NYC!!!).

    Reason it was valid: Rear braking system was worn out however, front braking system was OK. According VW, they have had numerous complaints with the same issue - apparantly VW replaced the rear braking system parts with non-VW parts and that maybe the reason Rear-Braking system is wearing down faster than the front.

    Food for thought: The entire process took me about 3-4 weeks - calling customer (CS) service and talking to the numerous CS specialists regarding this case. They first told me that VW has decided not to reimburse me, however persistence and asking to talk to the supervisor will get you somewhere. At first they will say it is normal wear and tear, however if you keep asking how the rear-braking system wears down faster than the front-system: that may actually spark something... (at this point ask for a supervisor) and be prepared to be on hold for 30min (this is where speaker-phone comes in handy).

    Although I am happy that I got approval for reimbursement, I am still cautious regarding the car. If this happens so early in the life of the car, the thought of 2-3 years down scares me. Still thinking of getting rid of the thing. Money is not in the bank though. I still need to send the work receipt to VW, get it processed, draft a check to me and send it out. Looks like another 1 mos. process for me. I'll let everyone know how it goes regarding the actual reimbursement process.

    Goodluck to all!!!
  • Where is the oil filter in a VR6 located? I was trying to look for it, but i couldn't find anything. Do i have to remove the plastic engine cover to get to it? Thanks
  • Thanks for posting your comments on Resources and Action. I have a 2000 Jetta GLS that constantly guzzles oil. It ran out of oil at 3000 miles. At 4000 miles, I needed a new oxygen sensor. VW "cleaned" the first one, and replaced it the second time in the shop. Since then, it takes about 1 qt/1000 miles. I've been told that the oil consumption would level off after 10,000 mi, and now I'm being told that 1 qt/1000 miles is industry standard. I'm currently having an oil consumption test done, but I've been told that VW won't do anything about it unless we prove that it's burning in excess of 1 qt/1000 miles. I don't want to wait to finish this test (through four oil changes) to take action. I'm going to investigate the lemon law. I've had it with this car. If I can't get my money back, I'm going to get rid of the car.
    I'll keep you updated on what happens.
  • I'm curious about the location of the oil filter too, as I was thinking about doing my 15K change this weekend. I always did my own until I bought my Saab, and on the Jetta I can't see it....
  • I have a 99 jetta last car was a 97 gti vr6 i had no problems with it but the glx is a different story.first my distrbitor block is craced i took it to the dealer and they stated that this is common in jetta's.i fact it hapend to my brothers 96 my rear pass. window broke and would not roll up.and my newest problem is that my wipers no longer work on hihg or low but that ever so convinent one setting delay wiper still works.Just wanted to know if any body ells is having these problems. also i have a grinding sound that comes from my brakes when i am going slow almost like they are worn out but they not whats up with that.
  • Bought this car for my fiance'. We can't say enough good things about the car. Our only complaint so far is the cloth material used for the seats. We have a black interior and the lint these seats attract is amazing. I have a 6 hp shop vac and a hair brush and still spend an amazing amount of time cleaning the seats. The oil filter is behind the radiator and there is a plastic piece that must be removed from under the car before you can see it. The driver door seal seems to stick to the door occasionally and make a noise but I think the dealer can fix this when we take it in for the 5,000 mile service. The wheels gather brake dust easily but that's expected. Overall we're very happy with this purchase. It's a white GLS 1.8T with a manual tranny, the cold weather package and monsoon radio and black cloth. Awesome!!!
  • My wife and I just bought a 2001 GLS V6 Automatic (we wife was against the manual transmission here in San Francisco). We've only had it for 2 weeks and already a couple of issues: 1) the exhaust sputters and coughs at stops, and 2) regardless of the road, the car veers strongly to the right (I would normally chalk this up to tire pressure, wheel balancing or alignment, but I read about this issue from another owner here on Edmunds). If anyone has had similar episodes with their new vehicles, or any insights at all, please let me know.

  • Hondas do have some problems, as does any car on the road. But they have FAR fewer than Volswagon.

    There are almost 600 posts in this Jetta forum alone, most of them with horror stories. The Accord Maintenance board only has about 50 posts, and about half of those posts are complimentary.

    Sorry man, but after reading all of these posts here, it seems obvious to me that Jettas have some real problems that need to be dealt with. It seems to be a lot worse than the occasional minor defect.

    And the engine article was referring to the entire engine family, not a specific model.
  • ramonramon Posts: 825
    that's the point i was trying to make. I wonder if it rivals KIA or Hyundais.....
  • pat455pat455 Posts: 603
    for jschlitz and anyone else concerned with comparing numbers of posts in one make/model "problems" topic to another.

    It is a mistake to use that as a yardstick for the expected reliability of any vehicle. First, you have to know how many of each model is sold to understand the percentages of problems. And you have to keep in mind that since this the "Maintenance and Repair" conference, it is an open invitation for discussion of issues as opposed to merits of any given vehicle.

    All of that said, I think jschlitz has misinterpreted how "busy" this topic is vs. the Honda Accord Problems topic. This topic has 553 posts in just over 13 months.

    The Accord Problems topic is in its second iteration. The first one began the end of December '99 and was a consolidation of multiple various Accord problem topics. When it reached 611 total posts in June of this year, it was frozen and redirected to "Part 2" which now has around 300 posts.

    One reason it has so many posts is that there is an experienced Honda tech hanging out there who is willing to discuss members problems in detail, resulting in multiple posts over a single - sometimes minor, sometimes major - issue.

    Again, I do not think you should judge either vehicle on the numbers of posts in these topics. Do your other research, check out the Sedans (or Coupes or whatever conference is appropriate) topics on the vehicles you are interested in, check Consumer Reports, and whatever other resources you can find.

    And don't forget that if you are going to compare numbers of problems reported, you also have to know numbers of units sold to check out the percentage of problems per unit. Or locate that information on independent websites, it exists.

    Sorry for the length of this, but I don't want anyone to be misled just based on the number of posts in any given topic.

    Community Leader/Maintenance & Repair Conference
  • The VR6 will always sputter in the mornings. Minte though pulls to the left instead of the right- but then I'm a Democrat - could this be some wonder of German engineering melding the car to the driver?
  • The oil filter is right in front, and is very easily accessible from below. It is a cartridge-type filter. Some dealers sell them at discount, and they are readily available from other sources, like Rapid Parts. I usually call Rapid Parts and purchase several at a time, as we have two cars with the VR6.

    To change the oil, use an Allan wrench to remove the plug in the bottom of the cartridge housing. A regular strap wrench can be used to remove the housing. But purchase a large socket, which makes it easier. I think the size of the Allan wrench is 6 mm, and the socket is 36 mm. I purchased the socket at NAPA Auto Parts.
  • According to, year-to-date:

    Honda has sold 273,518 Accords.
    VW has sold 98,695 Jettas.

    So, there are approx. 3-times the number of Accords sold so far this year as opposed to Jettas. Using oversimplified statistics, if we assume that the vehicles are of the "same" quality, then there should be 3-times as many Accord complaints as Jettas.

    I'm having a hard time finding specific complaint statistics on the web. But I do know this much -- every auto and complaint forum I can find has a lot more angry people at their Jettas than their Accords. It doesn't take a statistician to figure out that the ratio of complaints is certainly not in the Jetta's favor.

    Honda is repeatedly mentioned as the "benchmark for quality" in car magazines and web sites for a good reason.
  • Thanks for the info. I might run down to the dealer and buy a few filters.
  • I have no such problems. The window problem is very common in VWS also unfortunately. Even if you car is out of warranty VW may pay for it since it's obvious to them that the original parts are bad. Ask the dealer to call VW if you are out of warranty.

    The brakes could be due for pads or an adjustment depending on your mileage. Have your mechanic check them out. That distrib problem is new to me, hopefully not too expensive if you are out of warranty.
  • My VR6 sputters for about 10 seconds on a cold morning and then runs perfectly. If you experience sputtering at all stops then have the dealer look at it. As far as pulling to the right or left, the dealer should be able to correct that problem easily.
  • ramonramon Posts: 825
    has this unknown leak. Brought it back 3 times....and the dealership tried to fix it. But it still leaks. Last I heard they've found out it's the coolant. It could be another ghost chasing to me. But we'll see if there's gonna be a 5th time. He is quite pissed off and disappointed. He is hoping that VW would buy back the car.... yeah wutever.
  • For those of you with lint problems on cloth interiors, buy one of those sticky lint rollers and go to town with it. I just got one a few day ago and my seats look good as new.
  • Im considering buy a new 00/01 VW Jetta VR6, but like any good American, Im researching this car first. And I stumbled upon all these complaints. I mean this car sounds like a lemon fresh off the lot. But really is this a good investment? I like the car a lot, but if its choc full of probs, is it worth it? Any advise or opinions, would be apprecitated.
  • pat455pat455 Posts: 603
    Welcome to Town Hall.

    Please remember that since this is the Maintenance and Repair Conference, it is quite natural to find any topic here focused almost solely on problems.

    Have you looked at the other Jetta topics in Town Hall? You can use the Topic Search feature on the left side of the page for Jetta - take a look at the topics in our Sedans conference to see if there is a more positive perspective on this vehicle.

    Good luck.

    Community Leader/Maintenance & Repair Conference
  • I have a 1989 Jetta Wolfsburg with about 230,000 miles on it. This car now uses about 1 qt. of oil every other fillup, but it didn't use any oil at all until it had over 100,000 miles on it. The only thing I have ever done is maintenance. It looks good, and is still fun to drive. But it doesn't have air conditioning, and I'm sort of tired of a stick shift in traffic. The car I had before this one was a 1978 VW Rabbit. I put 175,000 miles on that one, and should have kept it. I didn't baby either of these cars, but I did get full maintenance once or twice a year, always fixed everything, and changed the oil on the recommended schedule. Have VWs really changed as much as some of these posts reflect? Both of mine were German-built. I'm really tempted to go for a third one, but I wonder if the quality is the same.
  • Stats:
    2001 Jetta GLS 2.0 Automatic
    Luxury package
    Cold Weather Package
    Monsoon Package

    Born on Date: June 2000
    Birthplace: Mexico
    Color: Blue Lagoon (Blue on 10 cups of coffee)

    We traded a 1991 Honda Accord LX for this little sweetheart. My wife wanted another Accord. Our Honda was an awesome car, but was beginning to show signs of its age so rather than put mega $$$ into expensive 10-11 year old maintenance we bought this Jetta.

    Delivered by dealer defect-free on August 28, 2000 and remains so in its still short life of a mere 1500 miles.

    Buying the car was painless and we got an awesome deal on the only Blue Lagoon Jetta in the area. People are honking and waving at us all the time (esp. other VW owners) and everyone is in awe of this beautiful color.

    We took it in for its CarePoint spiffing and a half-dozen people came out of the showroom to see it. Dealer has been very accommodating. They are installing the CD changer next Tuesday.

    It's almost kind of embarrassing! But, we sure love this car.

    And then (after the fact) I stumble on this forum. Am I concerned? Sure, but then I would also be concerned buying a Honda these days.

    My neighbor (long time Honda fan) absolutely HATES his 1999 Accord and would love to have his '91 back. Front brakes are grinding/squeaking and the airbag light is on. He says the car handles like a pig and he does not enjoy driving it at all.

    When we went car shopping we never even considered another Honda due to his and other friend's problems with newer Hondas.

    Anyway, we have no complaints about our Jetta so far. We stayed conservative with the GLS 2.0. I was not interested in the higher maintenance and super high fuel costs of maintaining a 1.8T or VR6. The only other consideration would be the TDI, but we fell in love with this blue!!!

    Drivability vs. a Honda is no contest. The Jetta is much more of a driver's car. Today's Hondas have that sluggish, sloppy, wooshy feel of an American car.

    Yes, the 2.0 doesn't have the legs that our Honda did, but the power band is different. Honda was much hotter off the line, but struggled in mid-band unless punching it pretty hard. The 2k-3k rev band for the (2.0) Jetta is awesome and nice for those country drives on the windy roads that this car just begs for.

    Oh sure I'd love to have the turbo or the VR6 and put it through its paces, but I'd just wind up getting a ticket and I'm just more conservative these days, so I'll just read all the stories here. ;-)

    In the meantime, I'll report in from time to time with a monthly report card and (hopefully) nothing negative to write about.

    Okay...One negative thing: We have the black cloth seats. Love the seats and the cloth just looks awesome. Except that we also have 4 cats!!! You could have a 200hp vacuum and it still wouldn't suck off all the lint/hair. Cheap fix: Duct tape and 10 minutes of your time.
  • lord have mercy, do we have another alabamian in the house? haha!
  • Bought a 2001 VR6 about a month and a half wife has a 2000 VR6 that has been a
    dream...not the case with mine.

    Off the lot, I noticed a stall between 1000 and
    1500 happened without fail, accelerating
    or decelerating, in gear or out of gear. I was
    told it may be the engine block and scheduled a
    time to have it serviced.

    Before I could bring it in for service, the
    battery light came on and stayed on for an entire
    day (I'm at about 500 miles at this point), at the
    end of the day, returning from dinner, the car went
    haywire...all of the internal warning lights were
    flashing on and off, the car was revving and
    decelerating on it's own and it eventually stalled
    out and would not start back up, when I tried to
    start it all of the warning lights, etc...flashed
    on and off and all I heard was a clicking noise.

    I had the car towed in a week and a half ago to
    the dealership and was told that they were certain
    (right) that it is a battery or, more likely,
    alternator problem.

    So now I'm at war...the dealership has had the car
    for over a week (10 days) and continues to tell me
    that the parts that they need are on order.

    Has anyone heard of problems like this with the
    2000 or 2001 Jettas? I
  • That is a true horror story! My troubles are, as of yet, less severe.

    I know that it is common for the V6 to cough and sputter for a short while (on "cold mornings" most say), but is it A) common for the exhaust to also spit up a black, chalky residue at these times, or B) to continue this sputtering at stops within the first 1 hour of driving? Forgive my lack of true VW experience/knowledge, but this just doesn't seem right...
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