1997 Volkswagen Jetta GL 2.0L from North America


It is a good economical car, stay away from the dealer


I took the car in to the dealer to see why the check engine light was on. It turned out it was at the same time it needed regular service. The mechanic told me it would cost $120.00 to fix the problem. I asked him what the code in the computer said and he said it was the secondary air system. I refused the repair and took the car home. I inspected it myself. A small hose had worn and come off. I trimmed the hose and replaced it. The check engine light went off. He also recommended replacing the air conditioner belts. The car had approx. 40,000 miles on it. I ran it another 45,000 miles before I replaced them. They were still in decent condition.

My wife left some earrings on the dash. They fell down into the vents and clogged the tube that vents the condensation from the air conditioner. It rotted out the bottom of the condenser. That cost me $1,000.00. It was not repaired at the dealer. This other guy was actually nice to me. He saw the side moldings were coming off and put them back on with good tape for no charge. He made a mistake and disturbed the air bag on the steering wheel. He fixed it and told me about the problem after. It is a great asset to your car to have a mechanic you can trust.

The car began to shake very badly around Christmas time last year. I left it with the dealer for a week while I went on vacation. While I was gone they replaced the front brakes and rotors. They needed it. They did nothing else. When I got back the same shaking was still there. They didn't do a thing to fix what I had come there for and the car sat the entire time. When they did finally call me about the repairs the "Salesman" started talking about spark plugs and wires. I am not sure, but, I don't think they cause the entire car to shake. Again the VW dealer isn't good to me.

The right rear tire was destroyed. The tire was cupped and had ridges running in odd patterns all over the tire. I know something is not right back there. The dealer and other car shops don't seem very interested in fixing the problem. They will sell me new tires though.

The drivers seat cushion has cut it self in half against the seat bottom. I replaced it within 2 years of buying the car. It cost me $30.00. I did it my self. It is now 4 years later and it needs to be replaced again. This time though the seat cushion is $120.00. It is a dealer only item.

General Comments:

Overall the car has been good. It gets 30 mpg and has hauled my little kids around since they were born. It has had all the normal seals and gaskets replaced that a car with 135,000 miles on it does. My only real complaint is the VW dealer. They seem to be pushing things I don't need and repairs that aren't necessary at the time.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 4th August, 2004

11th Mar 2005, 23:26

FYI, my girlfriend's 2000 Hyundai Elantra had a problem where it shook a lot and it turned out she needed new spark plugs and wires. I don't know if this is your problem exactly, but the guy may not have lied to you on this one. :)

18th Aug 2005, 07:10

You must also take in consideration that you had cupping on your rear tire. This is going to be a drivability problem. Take your vehicle to a shop and have them do a basic front end check and rear drivability inspection. More than likely they'll tell you that struts, top mounts will be most pertinent to your problem. Secondary items would be inner outer tie rods, link pins and/or bushings, trailing arm (usually not if you don't hit objects) and other misc. suspension parts. Hope this helps.

1st Mar 2008, 05:30

VW Dealers overall are bad. I have tried dealers in different cities, different parts of the country. They all seem to be rude, try to sell you things you don't need, and just generally jerk you around. That is my experience. But I love the cars, just the service is bad.

1997 Volkswagen Jetta TDI 1.9L diesel from North America


Nothing. When I purchased the car I had the timing belt, hoses, belts, headlight bulbs, and air filter replaced all just preventive. I also had the oil changed, and radiator flushed.

General Comments:

I love this car, great ride, great handling, great car! I average 40mpg, but that is 90% in town stop and go traffic. This car only has 90hp, but has plenty of get up and go. I can pass just about anything, and have excellent takeoff and great hill climbing.

Interior is spacious enough for me, my wife, a 3yr old, a 4yr old, and there is room in the middle for a fifth passenger to sit comfortably. I'm 6'2" and have plenty of room.

I recommend this car to everyone, I plan on keeping this one for a long time to come.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th August, 2004

20th Apr 2005, 16:43

I get 50mpg on the highway with my 1997 TDI.