I got the car in 12/2004 (42K miles):
12/2004 - Three flat tires (faulty valve stems).
12/2004 - Emergency flashers stopped working.
12/2004 - Turn signals stopped working.
01/2005 - Turbo failed (needed for a TDI) @43K.
03/2005 - Passenger window fell down (clip broke).
06/2005 - CEL (check engine light) came on. VW reset code/non-issue @~46K
08/2005 - Hurricane Katrina! Diesel went up by $1.40/gal and costs 30% more than gas.
04/2006 - Airbag light came on (declined $800 fix).
05/2006 - Radio stopped working; BUT, removing the fuse, waiting 60 seconds, and then putting the fuse back made the radio work again.
06/2006 - CEL came on again; misdiagnosed by VW as mass air flow sensor.
07/2006 - Brake lines started leaking.
08/2006 - Replaced brakes.
08/2006 - Brake lines continued leaking (was some valve).
08/2007 - Armrest fell apart.
03/2009 - Driver's window started falling down randomly.
08/2009 - A/C compressor died
08/2009 - Replaced brakes and rotors
10/2010 - Sunroof won't close unless I use the key and leaked (eventually recalled)
2005-2011 - Never once a successful 4-tire alignment, even with 4 new tires!! (3x tried 2005-2006).
I gave up most routine maintenance after summer of 2006, and started doing my own brakes and oil changes (OK, sometimes me, mostly my husband).
This an update to the review: http://www.carsurvey.org/reviews/volkswagen/jetta/r70815/
(...and sorry for misspelling Volkswagen in my first review. I was very upset at the time.)
My primary objective in purchasing this car was to get a very fuel efficient car. Secondary was getting nice bells and whistles to make long distance driving comfy. The car only satisfies its primary objective.
- The car is cheap to own. After giving up on mechanics in 2006, I've spent about $2,500 and fixed very little on the car. I paid the car off in 2006 and have enjoyed no payments since.
- The engine is solid. We had to reseal the valve cover gasket, but that's not so bad.
- I cannot make the car get less than 42mpg, and it's usually around 46mpg @70+mph. I have a 40 mile round trip commute to work. I feel very efficient!
- It's the easiest clutch I have ever used (probably a great training clutch), and it's never needed replacement.
- I like the heated seats, even when they were overheating (recall).
- VW is by far the WORST car company I have ever dealt with (I've dealt with Ford, Chevy, and Toyota, too). When my CEL came on, they said it was the mass air flow sensor and estimated anywhere from $350-750!!! Instead, I let the car fail emissions, and the inspection results showed a different code entirely - the CTS. When we got the first flat tire (3 days after owning the car), we found there was no tire iron included with the car. The VW rep actually asked me what I did with them before dispatching a tow truck without the reverse lug tire iron! The first 30 days I owned the car in 2004/2005, I only had possession of it for 7 days TOTAL. The rest of the time, it was in the shop. I purchased an extended warranty, and VW fought me on every issue every step of the way. The dealership was openly hostile to me towards the end. (Today, 8/19/2011, I worked with a great guy at the VW dealership, hence the 2 rating instead of a 1).
- WTF happened to requiring basic tools? It's like they built the car with VW mechanic job security in mind (though probably a more common problem nowadays). **Thank you Advance Auto for the loaner tool kits!**
- I have been turned down by SO many mechanics because they refuse to work on VW vehicles. Other mechanics have tried to charge a premium for even diagnosing the car. Still more mechanics won't work on diesels.
A Diesel in General:
- This was my first diesel, so it took some time noting all of the diesel stations. Don't assume they have diesel at a gas station.
- Tractor trailer diesel fuel pumps ARE TERRIBLE to use! They are built for a large tank, so they don't always stay on properly.
- Diesels are smelly.
- It's normal for my little VW to sound like a tow truck in the winter.
- Have a trustworthy mechanic familiar with diesel engines (and VW-friendly) before making an investment.
- Get the book!!!
I seriously dislike the car, but it satisfied my primary reason for purchasing it. Sometimes I kick the car (but lightly... the door might fall off).