Hello there, I'm the original poster and I thought I would check in to update folks on things.
First regarding the previous comment on oil changes, I would have to partially disagree with the comment made. Oil that looks "dirty" isn't necessarily bad at all. That is a common refrain from mechanics who appreciate the lucrative business of doing oil changes. There is absolutely no way to determine the condition of oil just by looking at its appearance.
I went 10,000 miles (16,000 km) on my oil between the 20k and 30k services. To see what was going on in the engine, I had a sample of the old oil collected and sent it off to a laboratory for a Used Oil Analysis. The results came back showing that the oil's additive was almost completely gone, telling me that the 10k interval is probably about right for the kind of driving I do (mixed city/highway). There were no signs of wear (as would be evidences by metals or particles in the oil) and only very minor fuel dilution (well below the level of concern).
My car burns approximately 0.5 quarts/liters of oil per 10k miles/16k km. I did not add any oil between the changes, which tells me that if I had topped off the oil, I would have been more than fine in terms of the oil additive not wearing out. For those reading this site who aren't familiar with cars in general, keep in mind that EVERY car burns oil, even if it is a very small amount. Also, while my car may be able to go 10,000 miles between changes (using synthetic oil of course), a car driven in a hot climate and/or lots of stop and go traffic would very likely need oil changes at a more frequent interval. If you want to know how your car is doing, just have a Used Oil Analysis performed (costs approximately US$20-30) plus postage.
Regarding the car in general, it continues to be dependable and fun to drive, and I have now passed 31,000 miles (49,000 km). The only repair I have needed is the replacement of the remote control key battery. Nothing else has been needed except regular maintenance. Fuel economy has improved further, and I now get ~27 mpg (US) (8.7 L/100 km) in mixed driving and up to 34 mpg (US) (6.9 L/100 km) on the expressway.
Owned a VW 2006 2.5 Jetta for 4.5 years, 70,000 kilometres.
Recalls on headlights and ignition replacement.
Problems with trunk lid remote release solenoid, which fails to lock.
Annoying clicking noise associated with how full the gas tank is - when coming to a stop.
High revving engine on start-up (a real pain as you can't drive for 30 seconds).
Safety locks for rear seats are great IF you have kids.
Plastic grille crackles when cold.
Gets average gas mileage; good on the highway; performs well in city, spacious inside and in the trunk, not overly comfy but okay - utilitarian style - meets specs, but you can't really embrace this car.
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