24th Nov 2008, 16:20

Hello everyone, I have had my Beetle since 2002 and haven't experienced any major problems until now. All of a sudden my Bug is guzzling oil; my friend is a mechanic and he said some kind of gasket is messed up and oil is going into the engine. With the windows, I had that problem once I rolled down my window to speak with my ex-mother in law and it never went back up, there was a recall for that problem back in 03 I believe. Well we'll see what happens, I plan to get a Mini Cooper or another Beetle, :-)

24th Nov 2008, 20:41


I have just moved to the USA, from the UK and fancy a Beetle Convertible as the weather here is good. A 2004 for around $10k with 40k miles, looks great but... I read you are all having a nightmare. Have any friends not had these problems or your run on luck?

I know it will be a 4 year old car, so I do not expect show room condition, but give me the good news...?



20th Jan 2009, 00:54

I have a 2003 Turbo Beetle with 70k miles on it. Almost 6 years and running (mostly) strong. I'm just now experiencing difficulties.

The windows were never a problem for me. The trunk thing, yes. I have a trunk release button on my key fob, and I have to push the button twice to open my trunk. No real hardship there.

I've a manual transmission, so no being stuck in park. No parts have fallen off of my car either. The acceleration on a turbo model is great. I still get good gas mileage. I've never had any oil or sensor problems.

The only issue that I'm having with the car is that now the heater will squeal when I'm accelerating. I've been told this is a belt that needs replacing, so I'm hoping it won't be too costly.

Other than that, one huge warning: DON'T underestimate how low to the ground you are! If you hit a thumbtack, you'll blow your tire. If there's the smallest pothole, you'll lose your tire. If there's an incline at high rates of spade, you'll scrape up your front or back end. You have to drive it carefully if you're not on a flat surface.

Other than that, I adore my beetle!

24th Jan 2009, 21:35

I have a 2003 TDI and it has 94000 miles on it. I used to have an issue with the check engine light but they reset it at the dealer after doing some checks and it hasn't come back on. This is my first diesel and I made a grave error that I will never make again. I constantly run my cars to the red-line in fuel (I should say before this) and I did it again a couple of months ago. I was running late for work and just blew it off because my bug seems to go forever on a tank. But in reality this is not so. I ran her out of fuel and had to have her towed into the dealer to bleed the lines etc. It was a costly error. Now I panic if it gets below half a tank...lol. Overall I must say mine runs like a dream. It has great punch off the line and rides great. I've had to do maintenance issues that every car requires. But I do have the hatch problem I've seen mentioned a lot. Now my right passenger side headlight is out on both low and high beam. Does anyone know if this is just a bulb issue or electrical?

27th Jan 2009, 13:56

I am the sad/ proud owner of a 2003 VW Bug Convertible. I bought my car in 2005 with 10,000 miles on it and it has been a love/ hate relationship since. All of my lights have been replaced- blinkers, headlights, brake lights and some of them twice. I have gone through 3 batteries!!! 3 batteries on a car with only 66,000 miles on it! And they cannot figure out what is killing the batteries.

The minute the car hit the 50,000 mile mark it started to fall apart. Both of my back windows had to be replaced because the regulators died, but on the Convertible Beetle you need to buy a complete window set which costs $475.00 for the part alone. And BOTH broke within a year so it cost me over $1000 for new back windows.

I have had the same problem with my check engine and brake lights etc coming on and now all my sensors for Coolant and Engine Temp needed to be replaced as well. I know I can ride around with the check engine light on without damaging the car, but it makes me mad to see it shining there right in my face.

So it is a maintenance nightmare! I had a Suzuki with 150,000 miles on it and only had to replace the battery once, replace the starter at 110,000 miles and get the AC repaired at 125,000. Costly little car to maintain, but... it looks so cute! And there is nothing like driving with the top down. I try to think of these things (and the fact that it is paid off) when I have to fork over the $100's to fix it.

I am buying Japanese next go around, like my mechanic dad advised me to do before I bought the car.

20th Apr 2009, 11:10

I have a love/hate relationship with my 03 Beetle convertible. It is the cutest and sweetest little car and I enjoy driving it... when it's not in the shop.

I got my car used in June of 09 with 38k miles on it. So far we have had to take it in 8 times for repair;

- Headlights out

- Check engine light on - replaced some sensor to fix it

- Torn CV boot

- Driver's side window wouldn't move up/down -needed alignment and clamp replaced

- Car wouldn't start - replaced battery

- Car wouldn't start - replaced power supply

- Left blinker out

- Back window will not move up/down - in the shop today!!!

My car is under warranty, but somethings are not covered, and if they are I have a $100 deductible every time I take it in - gets expensive.

Think twice before before buying. HIGH MAINTENANCE CAR!

It's a cute car, but not worth the trouble.

19th May 2009, 11:32

It's simply incredible... I've experienced almost identical problems with my 2003 Beetle as everyone here! Electrical, mechanical, cooling, interior, service department, etc.. etc.

The weird part is, apparently, people still don't do research on cars before they buy them... I was one that made that mistake.

I now keep encountering people that want to buy a Beetle or other VW product... I then beg them to do research and not end up in the same boat all of us have. These are intelligent people also... it's just that a false reputation of quality VW/German engineering is so instilled into all of us, they just think they'll end up with a quality vehicle... Wrong!!!

17th Jun 2009, 18:58

I love my 2003 bug.. manual transmission... and haven't had any real problems with it...

Other than THE WINDOWS; they randomly go down when I want them up, and make a horrible screeching noise on the way up.

My airbag light has been on for months, and apparently is going to cost 360$ to replace the sensor. Me and the airbag sensor man have just become friends. haha.

My check engine light just recently came on, and now it's been stalling when I slow down and shift into 2nd..

For everyone that seems to be having trouble with their trunks... did you know you have to hold the trunk button on your key in for 4 seconds before it opens???... German engineering... hope that helps!!!