1998 Volkswagen Jetta LX from North America - Comments

15th Sep 2003, 21:06

My dream car, the 2000 Cabrio I always wanted, became the biggest nightmare ever. I am not surprised that the car is now extinct. Within the first year purchased, I had two factory tires blowout and the start of a major factory alarm problem. The alarm had been checked 4 times before finally being replaced. The windows never worked properly, even after 4 visits to the dealership. The cars faulty door latch needed to be replaced, (after it opened while the car was in motion!).The engine light went on 4 times over the course of my lease-I was told "it's no big deal until the light actually starts blinking". The tachometer would race into the red instead of properly idling. My favorite was after 2 years, my first time going to inspection resulted in rejection-the factory gas cap was faulty. VW refused to replace it. I had to purchase a new one and return for re inspection. My trade in had over 100,000 miles and was in better condition. And at the end of it all, the leasing company charges you for a dent you need a telescope to see. This was the worst car I ever owned-my first new car. I will never buy a VW again in this lifetime. All I can say is thankfully, I leased. I feel sorry for it's next owner!

28th Sep 2003, 23:48

I feel your pain brother. I have a VW Jetta, its about to hit 100,00, and I'm just praying that nothing else goes wrong.

13th Oct 2003, 16:02

My first experience with VW was a rabbit (along time a go) very bad experience. However I decide to give VW a second chance with my 1999 Passat and had another bad experience with it (check engine light, water leaking, noise interior and worst of all a blown turbo seal at 50Kmi). I would stay away from VW even though they are nice looking cars! Needless to say, I sold it.

9th Mar 2006, 12:09

How odd, I've owned several VWs (77 Rabbit, 86 GTI, a Fox wagon, 93 Passat wagon, 98 GTI and now an 06 Jetta) and have loved them all. I owned the 86 for 15 years, racking up over 188,000 miles and gave it up only because the floor boards were getting soggy with rust: gave it to a local youth group who refurbished it and sold it. Bought my 98 with 65k miles and drove it up to 201k. Other than stuff I broke (hitting a curb, bending an a-arm, etc.), I never had an issue with any of them. Of course, I am a big believer in preventative maintenance and never let anything go amiss for long... Maybe I've just had good luck, but after nearly 30 years, I've not been disappointed yet! Most of my auto troubles have come from American brands and a couple Subarus my ex-wife HAD to own...! Don't get me started on those heaps!

31st May 2006, 12:53

I own a '99 Jetta (120,000 miles). It has been a problem since day one. I had to replace the plug wires (@ $120) because everytime it would rain the car would die. Missing drivers side door molding, can't use AC or car will stall, both rear windows won't go down, now the passenger side front won't. The battery went dead and I had to go to a stereo installation shop to have it removed so I could get the code for it. It's now starting to leak anti-freeze and the alarm system seems to have developed a mind of its own. It arms itself, won't let me start it, I disarm it, it arms itself again, and the process continues. So now everytime I start the car I have to open the hood and use a screwdriver to turn the starter over and bypass the alarm. I'm selling this car and never buying another VW again!

31st May 2006, 16:57

Plug wires are normal maintainance and I had to do it to my car to because eventually the car will run crappy when dry as well.

31st May 2006, 20:03

My 1998 Jetta (owned since new, 111K now) has been a pretty good car. I think the exhaust system failed a little prematurely at 75K, but otherwise I replaced wheel rear bearings at 95K and the engine coolant flange at 100K. I wonder if the car of the previous commentor is leaking in the same location. It cost me $7 in parts to fix. I think this is a very reasonable amount of problems for a car that has been on the road 8 years and has over 110,000 miles.

15th Jul 2006, 12:31

I own a 98 VW Jetta GT 2.0. I have had nothing, but bad luck with this car. What I see in all the other comments above is that everyone seems to have a problem with the alarm system. Today, that problem exists. The alarm has a mind of its own and I can't figure out how to reset or bypass the alarm. I recommened anyone who reads these comments to stay away from VW. They are very well known for their electrical problems and as wells as their engine coils. Stay away from them.

25th Jul 2006, 14:27

I'm in a family of all Volkswagen owners and a few friends drive them too. I have had alarm problems with my 98 Jetta, but nothing too serious. A lot of times, I was dealing with a shady dealer. I have heard about the 1999 Jettas having electrical problems, and I do think all Jettas from 99-01 were recalled. I, nor anyone in my family, have had problems, which is why all have some kind of VW. The previous commenter said it right when cars need to be maintained. Also, cars should be driven correctly. Compared to all my other friends who don't drive VWs (they drive Fords, Toyotas, etc) I've had the LEAST amount of problems and have paid the least in services and repairs. Like all cars, you need to be careful when you make a purchase.

8th Aug 2006, 18:06

Hi

I have a 1997 Jetta with a problem with the alarm system. The battery died and when I replaced it the alarm went off. You are supposed to be able to stop the alarm with the key unlocking either the driver or passenger side doors. I have tried this several times without success. Any suggestions on how to disable the alarm or get rid of the alarm permanently?

8th Nov 2007, 13:19

I currently drive a 98 Jetta. It is my 5th new VW (77 Rabbit, 80 carburated Rabbit C, 81 Rabbit GL, 89 Jetta Wolfsburg, 98 Jetta GLS). It will probably be my last VW, even though I love to drive them and think VW's styling is a hit. My last purchase was a 05 Ford Escape Limited, the first domestic car I have bought. I love it, even if it doesn't corner like my Jetta.

I am having many of the problems listed above, but have never had alarm problems to date. As I write this, my Jetta is in the shop having the ignition switch replaced. Since the change from daylight savings time, I have been hurrying home from work so as not to risk driving in the dark without headlights. Besides the lights, the A/C and wipers don't work unless I keep my hand on the key. Not easy to do and shift through the gears. Only the driver's door window will work all the time. The other three work on occasion.

Like I said before, this Jetta will be my last VW, even though my daughter keeps telling me she wants a Jetta. I do not allow her to drive mine because of the problems.

14th Feb 2011, 12:58

I bought a 1998 Jetta, and from the get-go, it was saddled with electrical problems. The alarm (blinking LED on driver side) & auto door lock will intermittently work. Checked all fuses and relays, & all are OK. The cruise control doesn't work. The glove box lock & coffee cup holder latches & vanity mirror covers all broke. I had never had this experience with my Nissan Sentra & Honda CRV. I believe the Japanese model cars have more attention to even the small details inside, & the materials used in the interior of the cars, better. This is my first and last VW.

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