1997 Volkswagen Jetta GT 2.0L from North America


What's up with the cigarette rocket launcher


Maf/Airflow went out at 94,000. Cost $532 at the VW dealer to fix/repair.

Cigarette lighter shoots out like a rocket launcher.

All belts needed to be replaced at 94,000.

Gas gauge is starting to fail.

The brake light will come on only when I go up hills. What's that all about.

VW dealers are a problem. I was told by a VW dealer that VW transmissions have "lifetime oil" and should never be replaced until you start leaking oil.

He also told me I should never, ever...open the hood.

General Comments:

Driving this car is like driving in a box with wheels.

My next car will defiantly be domestic/USA. Parts and maintenece on these German rides just cost to much.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 26th September, 2003

1997 Volkswagen Jetta GT 2.0L from North America


A great car when it works, a nightmare when it comes to repairs and dealing with the VW dealer


Replaced MA/Airflometr, hose, and guide at 94,000 miles. It cost $522, parts and labor, to fix.

Replaced cap, rotor, plug wires and spark plugs at 94,000 miles. It cost, parts and labor, $368 to fix.

Replaced cam-belt, tension, ps belt, and serpentine belt at 94,000 miles. This work cost, with parts and labor, $437.35 to fix.

General Comments:

Prepare to fork out some cash if your Jetta does ever break down.

The dealer, without making it clear, tried to tell me I needed a $300 upgrade, a airflow/MAF hose with a heater. The one I have on there works just fine.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 24th September, 2003

5th Dec 2003, 01:35

$368 for cap, rotor, and plugs? Come on! I just did that myself for $30 and it took me less than an hour. I'm not a mechanic. Your dealer is sucking your blood! Go to a mechanic, not a dealer. $368 is for a complete tuneup with valve job!

1997 Volkswagen Jetta GLS from North America


Nice looking car, but not worth the hassle


Problem 1: When my girlfriend and I drove away from the dealership and got to our destination, the passenger side door would not open. We went back to the dealer who then "fixed" the door. Two days later, the same thing happened. I took it back to the dealer, who "fixed" it again. Now, it consistently will not open unless you jiggle the handle a certain way and pull hard. Most times I have to open the door for people because they cannot get it open themselves. I have had a mechanic other than the dealer try to fix it to no avail.

Problem 2: The car stopped running on the Ohio Turnpike. It would start, run for a short while, and then stop. Soon the running increments became shorter and it would not run at all. Got it fixed - the problem ended up being that some wire was not plugged in.

Problem 3: Stereo does not work. I have had people hook up the antenna several times and within weeks it pops out again. Also, when I'm using the compact disc player, I often have to push in the face of the player to get the music to start again.

Problem 4: Miscellaneous quirks - Sometimes the air conditioning will not come on. If I restart the car, it will work. This is frustrating if I do not turn it on right away and am driving down the road when I realize I need to restart the car. Same thing happens with the windshield wipers. The emergency brake light stays on even when the brake is not engaged. I have to unlock the car doors before I unlock & open the trunk. If I open the trunk with the car doors locked, my alarm goes off. Very embarrassing at the grocery store.

General Comments:

None of these quirks prevent me from driving my Jetta (with the exception of Problem 2), but they are frustrating enough that I am now in the market for a new car and will not consider a VW.

On a positive note, there is ample trunk space and the heated seats are comfortable.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 23rd July, 2003

24th Mar 2005, 07:34

I have a 1997 VW Jetta Trek and had the EXACT same problem with my headlights and windshield wipers. I would be driving and try to switch them on, but they wouldn't work. If I stopped the car and restarted it, then they would work. The problem was the ignition switch, which I had replaced. I haven't had a problem since that time.

I also have the EXACT same problem with the alarm going off when I try to open the trunk while the doors are locked. I have to unlock the doors and then open the trunk so the alarm does not go off.

Another problem I've had is the with the electronic locks in general. A while a go I had problems starting my car because the locks stopped working. I had to pay over $500 to fix the locks because I was afraid to get stranded somewhere and be unable to start my car. I still have problems locking my car. I jiggle the key and keep jiggling it until the car finally unlocks.

I've replaced the starter twice on the Jetta since I bought it in 1999.

25th Feb 2007, 14:37

I have the same issue with my passenger side door. After awhile, even the jiggling and pulling hard stopped working. It *sometimes* opens if it's warm enough out, or it's been sitting in the sun.

That's only one of *many* things wrong with the car. sigh.