2002 Volkswagen Jetta



General Comments:

2002 1.8 Turbo Jetta, had it since 2006 and been in the VW dealership shop 7 times.

Okay, now for something totally new. On average 3 times a week, my Jetta needs to warm up for about 3-4 min before it will go anywhere. I mean, I try to leave, but the only thing moving is my RPM's. It's like something needs to warm up then it goes... and runs fine, until the next morning.

Does anyone know what this is?

Frank in GA.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 9th April, 2009

2002 Volkswagen Jetta TDI


My transmission went at 61800 miles.

My turbo went at 75000 miles. Now I have no power going up hills and my engine light is on.

General Comments:

I love the gas mileage, and when it is running well I have no complaints.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th April, 2009

2002 Volkswagen Jetta GLS 1.8 turbo gas


Transmission shifts hard from 3rd to 4th gear. water pump, temp. sensor, air flow sensor...

What a piece of...

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 26th March, 2009

2002 Volkswagen Jetta GLS 1.8L


Want to waste a lot of money on repairs? Buy a Jetta


My 2002 Jetta GLS has been a lot of problems for me.

Had needed a new cat converter and sway bar bushing links 2 November's ago, an O2 sensor about a month later, a coolant switch this past November, brake switch from the recall two Decembers ago. Also replaced the timing belt this past winter, and two tires, headlights, tail lights, brake pads (2 years ago) etc etc. Probably have put about 5-7 grand into this car in the past 3 years.

It's in the shop today for 4 new rotors, as mine are all corroded/rusted, and new sway bar bushings.

It also has a heck of a transmission problem (automatic), in the cold of NH, it's fine, shifts smooth etc. As soon as the outside temp hits 50 or higher, I start having issues. It takes a few long seconds to actually engage into drive or reverse. Then when shifting from 2nd to 3rd, it does some weird and very inconsistent stuff. Most days (warm days only) it has such a hard time shifting into 3rd, that it pulls back and then slams hard into gear. If I can feel it coming and lift off the gas, it is not such a hard slam. Other things are sometimes it quickly revs up to 6-7 RPMS abnormally, before squealing and finally shifting.

It also has a high pitched "scream" or "hum" when the gas is being pressed.

I've taken this to transmission guys, mechanics, etc and no one will touch it because it's a VW and the entire transmission is in that dumb plastic case. My VW guy does all except transmissions, and I'm dreading taking it to a VW dealer due to the cost and hassle.

If anyone can help me and has similar issues, please email me at nh03076 at gmail dot com. PLEASE!!

General Comments:

Money pit of a car.

If it can go wrong, it probably will.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 26th March, 2009

2002 Volkswagen Jetta GLS 1.8t


The VW 2002 Jetta 1.8t Auto is not for lazy, ignorant, financially strapped people...


These cars are not for maintenance ignorant Toyota owners, if you buy one of them new, you need to be a car freak and literally smarter than the dealership you bought it from.

To make these cars go the long haul to 200,000 miles, it helps to have owned it from the start. You have to follow its maintenance schedule like a religion. For example, dealers may suggest that you use full synthetic oil when changing every 5000 miles, but most people don't want to spend the extra money, so they go cheap on oil changes with bad long term results, (the engine will sludge up and seize, resulting in Big $$ repair costs). You should only be using 5W-40 Full Synthetic oil, every 3000 to 5000 miles, (this data is in the owners manual). You should also be using an extended length oil filter (a Mann or Mahle filter are preferred).

There are many VW forums out there that will help you with maintenance issues like VWvortex, but you have to actually spend the time to read stuff.

One big problem with these cars is the automatic tiptronic transmission. If you bought the car new, the dealer would tell you that the transmission was "sealed" for the life of the vehicle and the transmission fluid was never meant to be changed, well, for them, the life of the vehicle meant a 4 year 50,000 mile warranty, so they didn't care about what happened to the car after then. Turns out, new owners should have been changing that transmission fluid at 30K, 60K and so on.

The vehicle also has some built in design problems, like its wiring harness that lays on top of the valve cover unshielded. The wiring harness cracks over time with heat and cold cycles (you'll notice the car missing or perhaps running rough) and needs be replaced, it's not a expensive part, but it's $300 or so in labor.

Also its Bremi coils aren't the best designed product, so eventually one of them will start to fail, causing the car to run rough, you'll just need to replace all 4 coils and you'll be back in business.

Another big maintenance item is the timing belt, VW says it will last until 105,000 miles, but don't believe them, it really needs to be changed at around 80,000 miles, some would change it even sooner at 60,000 miles. Neglecting your timing belt could cost you about $3000 in engine repairs.

I follow maintenance schedules like a freak, so our car, (that we bought new) has 130,000 miles on it and is still going strong, although the transmission is shifting hard between 1st and 2nd gear, (my mistake was that I listened to my VW dealership, who said the transmission was sealed, never needing maintenance), now I have to do some research to learn how to solve the problem with the least amount of $$ damage.

While car was under its extended warranty of 85,000 miles we had to replace the following:

Air conditioner compressor pump,

Broken window, dropped inside door and broke, fixed under recall.

Front strut bumpers.


Normal maintenance stuff that we've replaced since then:

Timing belt, timing belt tensioner and water pump.

All brakes and rotors.

Main accessory belt and its tensioner.

Fuel filter.

New coils.

We're on its third set of tires.

General tune up stuff, flushed all fluids..

At 130,000, most of the front suspension components are worn out, so that stuff is going to be replaced.

In summation:

1) Don't believe much of anything the dealer tells you and above all, don't trust them.

2) Find a good private, local mechanic that really knows VW's that will let you bring in your own parts.

3) Take personal responsibility for your own property, and do lots of homework about the proper maintenance on your vehicle.

General Comments:

When the car is running at peak performance, it's really a lot of fun to drive.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st March, 2009

20th Aug 2009, 16:31

I would totally agree. I drive a '93 jetta that my dad drove off the lot brand new, it's just coming up on 120k miles and because we've taken care of it I'm sure it's got at least another 80k left in it.

7th Dec 2009, 19:48

It's so true, look at all the people on here that have trouble. They all say "Dealer said... Dealer this... Dealer that..." A VW is car that needs to be taken care of (properly) and it will run for a long long time. I've seen my uncle and father's VW's both go for 400,000 miles and they still had the original drivetrain. Coincidence?

My Jetta has ZERO problems too, and it's runs like a champ with 130K. Not much, but it's not even showing signs of wear yet. When they are taken care of, they just go and go.