1998 Volkswagen Jetta GT 2.0 from North America
My kids love their Volkswagens; I hate em because I have to fix em
135000 km replaced:
Front wheel bearings.
Front disk brake rotors and pads.
Front strut mount bushings.
Front outer tie rod ends.
Emergency brake cable.
Engine timing belt and serpentine belt.
At 150000 replaced the engine water pump.
Door moldings fall off and have been glued several times (no mechanical fasteners used in production, design flaw).
DOORS WILL NOT UNLOCK IN COLD WEATHER. Design flaw, doors automatically lock after 20 seconds so you can't leave it unlocked even if you wanted to! An air/vacuum pump mounted in the trunk is used to actuate the locks, cold air is apparently not as dense as the engineer, again another design flaw. Official dealer response is to park the car in heated parking; IDIOT!
Plastic rear bumper clips and rubber fuel filler door stop fell off and had to be replaced.
Fog light lenses have both broken.
Ignition key switch is sensitive, and if jiggled while driving will stop the engine, turn off driving lights OOPS! If your car does not stay running, just wiggle the key a bit.
The vehicle is fun to drive with adequate power and relative economy.
Tight handling, sturdy solid feel, and is quiet for an econobox, with good trunk space.
My daughter loves her Jetta for its boxy appeal.
The local dealer could use some talented mechanics. The check engine light was on after I replaced the timing belt, so I asked the dealer to check and adjust timing. On their advice the belt needed to be replaced. I explained that it was a new belt and that is why I asked for the timing adjustment. They then advised that the tensioner should also be replaced, which I approved. Check engine light was still on after a $1000 service bill. I checked the timing myself and discovered that it was off and was never adjusted properly. I have since found a good independent VW mechanic, only costs half as much, because they fix it right in half the time.
And now for the punch line. My son just bought a 1999 VW Golf 2.0 and we spent the weekend replacing the water pump and timing belt and fixing a coolant leak. Looks like the muffler is also due with his next paycheck.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 5th July, 2009