19th Apr 2009, 13:24

I own a 1999.5 Jetta (base model). I leased it new and then bought it. Just rolled 100K. I have a love/hate relationship with this car.

Car runs fabulously. Always has. Any issues I've had have had to do with normal wear and tear. I would definitely buy another VW for this reason alone. I expect to drive this car until I need something different. I did have the O2 sensor replaced during the recall--everyone I know who owned a VW from '99 to early 2000's has had this issue. Also recalled was an issue with the front seatbelts, and the heat shield for rattling. You bet I took advantage of the recalls with all the little issues this car has.

Stumbled upon this site Googling what to do about the middle seatbelt in the back (finally just sliced it so the seat would go back up). Many of the issues here are the same ones I've had. Whenever someone asks me if I like my Jetta, I say I love it, the engine is fantastic, but it's all the little plastic pieces that have been the bain of it's existence. They cost a FORTUNE to replace, and I've never been able to afford to replace them. I think I had an estimate done once and it would be between $1000 and $2000 to fix all these things.

Besides all the plastic things, the underneath of the car has been an issue. This includes the bumper, which dislodges easily. You have to be really careful parking where there's a curb or parking block. The smallest scrape can cause it to unhinge, and don't even get me started on the buildup of snow in the wheel wells having an issue with it as well. As a result of snow, the belly pan had to literally be torn off the car when it was discovered it was dragging on the ground. This is after I backed out of my driveway and the snow took the bottom lip of the bumper right off, along with the two little grills.

Had the oil pan replaced when a rock hit the bottom and caused the oil to leak out. Replaced it again when a mechanic stripped the plug during an oil change. I've actually been turned away from oil change places because of issues with the oil pan--they refuse to work on them.

I'm probably forgetting things that have gone wrong (like the horn stopped working a couple years ago), but for a 10 year old car, I've had surprisingly no major repair issues. Someone mentioned they figured the car for a lemon. I do NOT consider this car a lemon even with all the little issues. Obviously the engineering on the body and parts is less than favorable, but don't affect the performance of the vehicle--"German engineering" is still at play in this car's performance and longevity.

3rd Jul 2009, 03:54

I own a 2001 VW Jetta 4 cylinder automatic engine... I just changed my gasket due to a very bad over heating that caused the plastic covering inside the top cylinder to melt with the engine oil. Which also spoilt the oil pump. Now all these things are now fixed, but the car will start and after 15-20 minutes drive it will stop and won't start until after 40-60 minutes later when the engine cools off... we have tried changing the coil; same problem, any help... please, I have spent over $1,000 to get to this stage...

15th Jan 2010, 23:03

After locating center wheel caps for only $8 for my 2000 VW Jetta this week on ebay, I decided to check around to find another way to deal with the ridiculous dealers cost of my 2000 Jetta VR's broken glove box and broken center console lid. This all stems from an incident from last week, after the panel next to the moonroof controls suddenly fell down in a shower of retainer clips while I sat at a red light. During my search for do-it-yourself fixes not requiring super glue, I stumbled upon this forum and was amazed to see how many people have encountered the same frustrating issues as I have.

I love my Jetta - to a point. Things started getting wonky about a year after getting it (original owner). Check engine light, again and again and again. So many very expensive repairs (several thousands) over the years. I'm the original owner and I've grit my teeth every time I have to take it in. I have no choice but to keep it now (I'm since disabled) and would still hesitate to do so.

That said, this past summer, the air conditioning died. I took it in to the dealer to see what they could do and they wanted an obscene amount of money to fix it. The guy at VW was unbelievable rude when I asked him how labor could be so expensive, and he launched into this rant about their techs having only VW training and all other types of mechanic training isn't accepted there... whatever. I looked up an air conditioning guy and took it to him. He still had to buy the part from my dealer (crazy) and I was all fixed up and blowing cold air for 1/3 what VW quoted. This was only 3 months after having my transmission replaced (warranty thank god).

My passenger window dove into the black hole 2 months before that.

Now here's the kicker, my car only has 52k miles on it at the beginning. But for the transmission, all of the major (quite a few) came before I hit 45k. Looking back, with the knowledge and experiences of friends and family and their vehicles over the same period of time, I have to say I would not by another VW, nor recommend them. Our Nissan, purchased that the same time has been in the shop and only for minor recall work. We should have bought 2.

9th Apr 2010, 13:38

Wow, I really wish that I would have done my research before buying my car! I have a 2000 Jetta that has just hit the 100k mile mark. I purchased it used in 2003 & was extremely happy because of the safety features on the car. Ughhhh!!!

The day after I bought it, the check engine light came on. MAF problems. I had this diagnosed for $75.00 and then have to have it replaced for $180. Three months later, MAF went out again, I decided to buy a used MAF on ebay & replaced it myself in 15 minutes, and my cost was approx. $25 after shipping.

My transmission started acting up at this point, car jumping, slipping, etc., one repair place told me the entire transmission needed to be replaced, my reliable repair guy told me it was the MAF AGAIN!

Then, MAF and catalytic converter go out at the same time - VW repaired under warranty.

With that being said, next to go was a cooling fan, replaced at $85 with a very kind hearted VW mechanic.

After that, in the heat of a Florida summer 2004, my condenser unit went out on my AC... $850 later, replaced it and had my airbag light come on... clock spring (still haven't had that fixed)... airbag system will not work now - so much for safety!

Hmmm... Water pump impeller disintegrated, ($200) Also had to replace a temperature sending unit.

I have problems with low engine oil & no noticeable leaks. Vacuum hoses, coolant hoses, normal wear & tear.

I have had the brakes done numerous times, seems to need replacement every 6 months.

I am now having issues with the transmission again, my repair guy seems to think it may be a wiring harness, after he replaced a transmission sensor... diagnostic machine isn't getting any type of warning signal from the transmission... but the car is slipping going from park to drive, 1st to 2nd & 2nd to 3rd. It sometimes slips out of gear while I am driving & slams itself back into gear scaring the heck out of me & almost causing an accident!

My tumbler in my ignition went out, leaving me stranded. ($250)

Then a week later, my compressor for my AC went out (another $800).

My door lock just broke, I can't even unlock it manually. My remote keys stopped working. Had to break a window to get into my car. (Note, small back vent window is most expensive to replace - best to break a door window.) ($225) - I haven't even tried to get my lock fixed yet, I can only imagine how much that will cost!

The interior is falling apart piece by piece on a daily basis. Neither cup holder has worked since 2004. AC vents have all but fallen apart. Large springs have been found under both seats just lying on the floor. CD player works when it wants to, alarm works when it wants to (before lock broke). I cringe every time I think about what is going to break next!

Next time, I will do much more research before buying a car! I will never recommend a VW Jetta to anyone! I have had Hondas that ran forever with minimal problems. I also had a 91 Jeep Cherokee that never had any issue besides a water pump. (I traded it in for this car)

14th May 2010, 14:15

I have a 2000 Jetta VR6 that I bought new. Yes, the glove box door, center console and plastic parts are broke/peeling. This car has just turned 200,000 miles, has the original clutch and runs great. I am on the third set of brakes, original exhaust and have replaced the struts/shocks once. I drive this car to and from work daily (80 miles round trip) and has newer left me stranded. You can have your rusting Hondas, I'll buy a new TDI if this car ever quits.

20th Jan 2011, 21:39

Don't speak too loud or quickly knock on wood.

I have a 2002 Jetta TDI with all the similar problems as above, plus an FM modulator which has rusted out above the headliner, so we don't have FM radio.

In addition, I noticed that the driver's side door started to rust last fall. When I brought it to VW the service manager, he took a photo of it and said that VW Canada would probably blame it on a stone chip and it won't be covered under warranty. I never heard back from them and expect that to be their answer.

I love the car, aside from the cost of all the little repairs. I've come to the point where I ignore the flashing check engine lights and perform minimal maintenance, because the more the mechanics tinker with it, the more problems that seem to arise.