1999 Volkswagen Jetta Wolfsburg from North America


Nice car, but the electrics have been frustrating


I've had two window motors repaired/replaced ($300/each time).

I had the front brakes and rotors replaced at about 57,000 miles.

Just had the battery replaced at 59,000.

Radio volume has always been an issue (volume increases as you turn it down).

Stereo speakers are fuzzy.

Now, it's been stalling and bucking. Check engine light is on. Mechanic says it needs a new throttle body ($600+) and a new MAS (Mass Air Sensor) ($300+).

General Comments:

Love the car, but it's starting to cost me a lot and the problems don't seem to be easy to solve.

I'm losing my patience with the repair process.

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

Review Date: 20th July, 2005

1999 Volkswagen Jetta GL 2.0 from Mexico


Junk piece... sorry for all VW drivers


When I got this car, it had 85k original miles, but its engine and all pumps and all belts seemed worse than those on my previous car, a TOYOTA Corolla with more than 120k miles.

In the first week, trying to get the humming noise away, I changed the alternator, power steering pump, drive belt tensioner and drive belt. All parts cost me more than 400 bucks. After this, it was driven in an acceptable state for about one week before it made a noise again. This time, it was the timing belt and water pump that needed to be changed.

I also found the 2.0 i4 engine with 115 hp is kind of under-powered for this car. When I drive on the highway at 80mph, the engine is always roaring at more than 3600 rpm. No wonder it gets so worn down at just 85k mileage.

The other problem that bothers me is the remote access and power lock system. Sometimes the remote doesn't work at all, even after I installed two new CR1606 batteries (9.98$ from the dealer). Sometimes one of the four doors can't be locked down, although the alarm system seems activated with the beep and flashing red light comes on.

The last bad thing is most of its parts need to be ordered from dealer, which usually means extra money. Parts, such as brake pads, coolant, power steering fluids etc., from auto parts stores are highly unlikely be able to installed properly.

General Comments:

Nice looking, good handling, bad quality, bad design for DIY-ers.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 17th July, 2005

18th Jul 2005, 19:19

"The last bad thing is most of its parts need to be ordered from dealer, which usually means extra money. Parts, such as brake pads, coolant, power steering fluids etc., from auto parts stores are highly unlikely be able to installed properly."

Two points of advice:

Order your parts online, not at the dealer. All of the items you have mentioned can be ordered online for a fraction of dealer prices.

If you live in Mexico, It's highly likely that you'll be able to find a trustworthy Volkswagen repair shop there. Jettas are everywhere in Mexico (most are built there also) and I bet there are quite a few people who know how to work on them other than the dealer. Save yourself money and find an independent shop. Your car is out of warranty anyways, so why go to the dealer? Even if you don't live in Mexico - find an independent shop that specializes in Volkswagens.

Volkswagens are hardy, durable cars when maintained properly. They are light years more fun to drive than their Japanese/American competition as well. I wish you more years of happy motoring.

22nd Apr 2008, 22:10

Well, if you're looking to DIY almost any car nowadays, good luck (unless you're willing to settle for a Lada).

I've had my '99 (plain brown wrapper) DL Jetta since late 2000 and have, too had my share of issues. The only time it let me down though was when a water pump let go. It took almost 270000km before I had to consider exhaust replacement, and I only did that so I didn't get the attention of dragging exhaust components, the noise and sparks, AND the nearest garage who may not have the components at the ready. It was elective surgery. I've done eastern Ontario to Manitoulin in the dead of winter, 3 beefy guys plus all camping gear for a trip-on-the-cheap east coast and back, 6000km in <12 days, horsing it most of the time, nary a whimper, even from the passengers who slept, all components worked fine, except for the auto tranny miss-shifting when hot. Temp prob. Now have over 300K on this somewhat sad looking Jetta, but she earned it, and the mill's still only 1/2 litre short of oil between changes. This baby owes me nothing, steps out fine, stops very well, starts every time, radio works OK, doors and windows OK, some noisy trim, some plastic air dam dangling, but, hey, if I can rooftop 3 kayaks on a 10 year old car, not make payments, and it's NOT made in Japan, I'll drive 'er. Yes, that's 300K, yes, less than 1/2L oil consumption, yes, 270K on the original exhaust. Just how were you boo-birds treating your Jettas?