29th Jan 2007, 11:22

I have a 2003 Beetle with numerous problems, headlights, rear lights, turn signals. After paying for the replacement of many bulbs Volkswagen finally admitted that there might be a housing problem. The biggest and most significant problem with the car would be the leakage of water. I have had the car to the service department twice for several days each time to replace the head liner once and dry the car out. I first noticed leaking in the front lights under the visor, then there was water coming in from the back side window and soaking the back seat. With the last incident the passenger floor was saturated. I complained to Volkswagen a few times about the dampness of the car and moisture on the inside windows, but they said this was normal. They cleared all the drains and now say that this is my problem as fir needles are clogging the drain ports, I live in the Pacific North West so rain and fir needles are here to stay. Has any one else had this problem?

16th Feb 2007, 00:37

I bought a brand new Beetle in 2000. Unfortunately, I had another new lemon 6 months later as the first lemon was in the garage at least once every month. The second lemon was good in the 5-year warranty period. Last week, I received a fax from the service consultant that there were 21 faults of my car. I wonder what'd happened to my car just out of the warranty period. It seems to me that a "healthy" body check up for 5 years ended up as a unpredictable "terminal" illness one year later.

9th Apr 2007, 13:53

I bought a used 2001 Beetle in Sept 2006. Initially, I too noticed large oil consumption. Then, I stopped taking the car to Walmart & took it to Jiffy Lube where it turned out Walmart was not using the synthetic oil I requested & paid for. Although Jiffy Lube cost more, I haven't had ANY oil consumption between oil changes. I also had a problem with the passenger side headlight going out. I had the dealer replace it with a bulb I bought, thinking it would be cheaper. When that bulb blew out six weeks later, I paid a lot more for a VW bulb, but haven't had to replace it yet! And if I do, its under warranty for a year anyway! My most recent annoying problem has been with the trunk latch. Sometimes it doesn't want to close until I use the key several times. The dealer said it needed to be replaced for a cost of $150. But I love my bug! Its been my dream car since I was 16 years old and I was so happy to see it make a comeback, bugs and all!

16th Jul 2007, 10:32

I have a 2001 VW bettle that has a musty smell to the air conditioner when first starting the car in the morning. I never see any water on the ground from the AC after stopping the engine. The dealer told me that there was no water release hose. How can this be?

5th Oct 2007, 12:38

I bought a 2001 New Beetle in 2004. It has been a great car except for the oil consumption and the passenger headlight goes out every month or so. The bulb is very difficult to change yourself. After reading these comments I am going to try expensive synthetic oil to see if the oil consumption slows down. Also it seems if you overfill the oil it ruins your catalytic converter.

21st Oct 2007, 18:52

Wow!! I didn't realize so many people were having problems with their Beetles. I have a 2001 Turbo Sport Beetle. I had it in the shop at least three times for the turbo when I first purchased it. When the water pump went out, I was told that the material it was made of was a hard plastic, a piece had broken off and was the culprit. Now, I have this mysterious water leak. Whenever it rains, the driver side (front and back) floor are saturated! No one seems to be able to find out what the problem is. The car has been in the dealer and the body shop. How the water is getting in remains a mystery. My car smells like mildew for weeks after it rains. I love driving it and love the way it handles. I would appreciate any suggestions. You can email me at elmira0417@yahoo.com.

13th Dec 2007, 08:23


Re: Oil consumption - Burning oil like crazy - Solution: My garage said that particular model requires a high mileage oil, which I have used for 6 months, and it corrected the problem.

23rd Jan 2008, 11:27

I have a 2002 GLS Beetle, which for the most part, has been trouble free. Other than the normal maintenance, I had to replace a thermostat sensor which cost around $150.00 for the part and labor. However, I also have been dealing with a water leak for about 2 years--it's an on and off thing. It mostly affects the passenger side, primarily in the right rear. There is a stain above the rear window, next to the light fixture. It's terrible that there are no answers to the problem and it's especially disconcerting to me to know that VW has labelled this as a "normal" phenomenon. I am worried about mold and more importantly, rust or corrosion forming under the headliner and the carpeting.

16th Feb 2008, 02:43

I purchased a 2001 New Beetle GLS 5spd Man May 2006 with 33,300mi. One owner, and had all the service records. I was working at the dealership at the time and got a great deal.

Nothing came up until winter 2006. Now, the owners were from Bellevue, WA (I'm in Spokane) and may have never known this, but the car wouldn't start during a cold spell (-5 and colder). After a tow to a VW dealership, it was the coolant temp sensor. $85 and a bit of frustration later, good to go.

I made sure to take her to a garage that KNEW how to oil change a Beetle during winter when I couldn't do it. I made sure the correct oil and weight was used (5w40 per manual), and had normal consumption.

The paint has come off on driver handle, as well as knob for side mirrors, and arm rest side plastic piece broke. Cosmetic and insignificant.

Air bag notification went on right after New Years 2008 (at 53k miles), only remedy is a VW shop to reset computer.

I did have one quirk a month ago. Went to start the car (was about 32 outside), turned, but didn't start. Check engine light blinked yellow (as a warning). I took key out, started it again, same thing. Tried one last time, and she chugged as if I needed to pump gas to bring up RPMs, then was fine after about 30sec. Hasn't happened since, and could have been operator error- who knows.

Besides these and wear and tear, the Beetle was perfect for my work and college needs. A safe, reliable, fun car for a mid-twenty year old, I love my green machine.

Dealership and prior owners aside, a good car comes down to maintenance, care, patience and some research. Chilton's, Haynes and the manual are key and actually do help, believe it or not.