1997 Volkswagen Jetta GLS 2.0 4 cylinder from North America


I would not buy another VW due to reliability and maintenance issues


1/98 - Front passenger seat belt lock failed/replaced

3/98 - Front passenger seat belt casing cracked/replaced

11/98 - Left signal flasher replaced & left rear window bolts replaced - had sheared off

2/99 - Replaced all 4 tires at 15,000 miles & replaced right rear taillight lens - I broke that

6/99 - Passenger side repainted - paint was chipping and flaking

8/99 - Ignition switch failed/replaced - now need 2 keys as dealer would not match doors to ignition, Driver side front window bolts replaced, sheared off

8/99 - First O2 sensor light warning

11/99 - O2 sensor & fuel vacuum pump replaced

1/00 - High beam switch replaced, was broken by tech when replacing ignition switch

3/00 - Front brakes replaced

6/00 - Battery case cracked, leaked acid, ate away base of power steering reserve tank, replaced both

3/01 - Driver seat cushion replaced, had split

3/02 - 40,000 mile service - all belts replaced, throttle body assembly cleaned, more O2 sensor warnings

8/02 - New front tires at 40,800 miles

3/03 - Front brake pads and rotors replaced

4/03 - Stick shift cover replaced

12/03 - Blew right front tire

2/04 - Front windshield replaced with no discernible cause

2/04 - Right headlamp replaced

5/04 - Rear struts replaced after seal on right side blew out

9/04 - Exhaust system replaced after exhaust pipe sheared in half at front support for muffler

10/04 - all tires replaced - 62,700 miles

1/05 - driver seat cushion replaced again - I only weigh 220lbs, replaced crankcase breather tube that had split

3/05 - Front brakes and rotors replaced again - 68,600 miles

4/05 - Replaced leaking valve cover and air intake gaskets

6/05 - Replaced front passenger window motor

8/05 - Replaced parking brake handle, button snapped off - replaced handle cover too

12/05 - Battery replaced - 77,700 miles

12/05 - 80,000 mile service - Timing belt & tensioner replaced, O2 sensor replaced again, throttle body cleaned again

2/06 - Replaced starter when ceramic insulator failed

9/06 - Driver side front window motor replaced

9/06 - Replaced front tires - 87,700 miles

1/07 - Replaced front brake pads.

General Comments:

I love the car, I hate the car.

Check engine light is almost always on now. O2 sensor is too sensitive.

Handles great, accelerates well.

Goes through tires like crazy. Some of that is due to my driving habits.

I only mentioned the highlights that I documented.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 23rd January, 2007

14th Feb 2007, 09:40

It seems as if you just drove the hell out of it. Heavy druiving account for most of the problems you encountered.

12th Apr 2007, 07:13

Sounds like most of your issues were stuff that has nothing to do with VW. Tires, turn signals, taillights, battery, come on man. And you admit to hard driving.

1997 Volkswagen Jetta TDI TDI from North America


Avoid VW at all costs


The trim on the driver's door has been replaced 3 times and has fallen off again.

The check engine light has been on since 60,000 miles. Three expensive repairs later and the light is still on at 114,000 miles. I don't know how to sell this car since it has a check engine light on and no VW dealer can find the cause. They tell me to ignore it. Any advice would be appreciated.

General Comments:

I will never buy another VW product. I have spent $8000 in various repairs, not including maint.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 16th November, 2006

16th Dec 2006, 03:13

Try disconnecting the massairflow sensor and then reconnect it. It worked for me.

25th Mar 2009, 18:48

The Jetta TDI is a great car, BUT you will need to do repairs, and very often the "mechanics" at the dealerships just don't understand the older TDIs. You need to study (TDIClub.com is an invaluable info source) and be prepared to do some repairs yourself. The Vag Com diagnostic software program for your home computer/laptop is a must. With it you can often diagnose what is causing the light issue, and reset it without a trip to the dealer.