2002 Volkswagen Jetta GLS 1.8 turbo


Sexy and fast, but not dependable


Valve cover gasket/CAM adjuster seal at 116,000 miles.

Catalytic converter at 118,000 miles.

Strut mount bushings at 117,000 miles.

Center armrest at 1,000 miles.

Exhaust gasket leak, and brake booster line leak at 70,000 miles.

And other things that I can't think of right now...

General Comments:

OK... so I got my Jetta 1.8T 5 speed automatic with tiptronic last year. I loved the car at first, but then my check engine light came on, this is where it starts.

I brought it to my local dealer to have them tell me what is wrong, and basically what do I need done to my car. Well after about an hour, they came back and told me that I have a MAJOR exhaust leak in my exhaust gasket and a major brake booster line leak... got those fixed $290. But then they went on to write a list of what is wrong with my car. I need my catalytic converter ($750), strut mount bushings ($240 IDC about this one, it's a normal "wear and tear" part), fuel filter ($75)! I was blown away at $75 for that, valve cover gasket and CAM adjuster seals ($336). And things like that.

Well I got them fixed, and was told that the car should be treating me fine since I fixed all of them. That was a crock of bull. I have this issue now that when I go out in the afternoon in the winter to go somewhere, the car will think that it changes gears into second, when it really is stuck in first. Then moves onto third, but yet it's still in first. I have brought it to the dealer and they ran a transmission diagnostic on it, and said it's fine. But why would it give me this trouble when the car's cold??

So now I need to let the car run for 20 minutes before I want to go anywhere. I know it's good to let your car warm up before you go, but 20 minutes... really?

I got a new shifter assembly because I was told that could be an issue, so I did it... $200.

I love this car, but it is not dependable. I was told by a VW expert that it sounds like my temperature sensor in the trans is going bad, and that could cause it, but the only way to get that fixed is to replace the whole tranny!!! Big $$$.

If you have any suggestions or if you have had this problem with your Jetta, please email me... shanedj2001@yahoo.com. And I don't want any crap emails either, I just want a genuine person who has had this issue, and only this issue. Thanks!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st February, 2010

19th Feb 2010, 21:01

I have similar issues. Also went to dealership for a free diagnostics check since they were working on a recalled part. I bought a Haynes repair manual at a local auto parts store for 24 bucks and planning on performing some of the minor repairs myself; I'm using the dealers diagnostic. If you have the space, some tools you may want to give it a try; the book is meant for the home mechanic. I almost forgot, soon timing belt replacement at 75,000 miles ---$1000!!!

2002 Volkswagen Jetta


Check engine light has been on since I purchased the car.

Sunroof doesn't work.

The inside of my car floors are always wet.

The blinker continues to make a clicking noise after the signal is off.

My window on the driver's side fell into the door.

Coolant is always running out fast; car starting to overheat.

It makes a whistling noise when the car starts; sounds like an airplane.

General Comments:

The car is good on gas.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 7th January, 2010