2000 Volkswagen Beetle GLS 2.0 Gas from North America
Well built and solid German car feel, but you will pay for maintenance!
Summary of Repairs:
Being I purchase this car used (only 14K miles), I inherited a problem the previous owner was unable to resolve, and the dealer was in denial of. I found out about this issue when at 25K miles, my fuel light came on with this loud beep noise it had never made before. I soon noticed a whole array of noises that the car had never made... like a beep when the lights are left on, a tone when the door was ajar, etc. Well it turns out that the insturment cluster had been pulled out at 10k miles (according to the dealer) when the previous owner had complained about all the warning tones stopping. The dealer took out the insturment cluster, found nothing wrong with it, then replace it. It then mysteriously started working, so they said all was fine.
I told the dealer that all was NOT fine, and this is a symptom of a previous unresolved problem. They Said it was unrelated, and refused to fix it as it was out of warranty. I called an begged VW Customer Relations, with no avail. At 35k miles, the speedometer ceased to work. Again they said it was unrelated. I paid $280 to have the cluster replaced and my keys reprogrammed. All is now fine with the cluster now. Sounds to me like the dealer was in denial!
At 50k miles, I had the rear O2 sensor fail. The dealer wanted $120 labor + $28 for the part. This replacement took me 10min to do.
At 90k miles I needed to replace the accessory belt. The dealer wanted $78 labor. I did it myself in 1min and 30 seconds. Easiest belt I have ever replaced!
At 98k miles It was time to replace my timing belt. The dealer wanted 8hours labor. I did it myself in 4, having never worked on a VW before this one. Are we seeing a pattern of overbilling for hours.
Keep in mind I would always get a qoute from 2-3 dealers, to ensure they were quoting right.
Incredible brakes. I brake VERY hard, and still on the original pads. The front pads were at 50% when I checked at 105k and the rear at 25%.
Clutch still works great, but since it has to fail some time, I called to see the replacement cost. The dealers want between 12-$1300 for this. They claim the parts are almost $600. I found the parts on the internet from a place that claims the get them from the SAME manufacturer as the dealers for a total of $218. I think I will be doing it myself...
All in all, I bought this car because I was so impressed with it's solid controlled ride and handling. It is every bit German as any BMW. After over 100k miles, still drive the exact same way! No creaks or noises either!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 7th November, 2003
22nd Dec 2003, 13:55
Well written review. It sounded very similar to my experiences with my vehicle and with the service.
My vehicle has been quite solid. After reading all of these reviews I feel incredibly fortunate and yet hesitant about my own vehicle. I can attest to the outrageous quotes given to me for minor repairs.
29th Dec 2003, 12:32
Since writing this review, the vehicle has been wrecked beyond repair. Cruise control set at 65mph, into the back of a stalled car on the freeway. No warning or chance to slow down.
I walked away with just seatbelt bruises. The vehicle does not even look that bad, until you look under the hood. One of the transmission mounts even came off completely. This vehicle may be small, but absorbs shock exceptionally well!
9th Jul 2009, 20:27
I had a 2003 Beetle and the back brakes and lights kept going out all the time. They kept "fixing" it under the warranty until the head lights went out on a dark 2 lane highway one night, and I almost wrecked the car. They claimed to have fixed that too, and when it happened again I traded the lemon. That car was owned for about a year and was in the shop 9 times. DO NOT BUY ONE, no matter how cute they are.