20th Feb 2003, 16:42

I bought a 1990 jetta because thier cheap to maintain, parts are easy to find, two words, wrecking yard,

26th Feb 2003, 14:37

My red 1990 Jetta (Christine) is in the shop right now having the starter, flywheel, and radiator replaced, and I am also having the valve cover replaced because it is leaking. My car has been in the shop 11 days, and it is costing me about 1,000-though this is including some costs for general maintenance, like a tune up, and belts and hoses. I have been losing my mind!

Basically, I needed a new car. Oh well, I guess it is cheaper than actually buying a new one. : (The car only has 126,000 miles on it.

I really do think the car is great... until something goes wrong, which is at least once a year, and usually quite expensive. My car has attitude. I guess in the end, I can't complain too much... for the most part she's always gotten me where I need to go.

11th Mar 2003, 16:52

In October 2002 I bought a 1991 Jetta GL. The car's 1.8 liter engine has been replaced by a 1.6 diesel. All I can say is I love my Jetta, the car is very easy to service, and most importantly it returns excellent MPG. I am a student in Ireland, and my "tank" as my friends fondly call it is my only mode of transport, I have also had problems with my door handles, but my mechanic told me to grease the handle.

My car never gives trouble starting as it has a manual transmission, the automatic VW gearboxes are prone to failure of the inhibitor switch causing starting problems. This was a common problem on my old '79 Golf auto (Rabbit in the US) but replacing this component solved the problem.

I hope my suggestions/comments are of help to somebody. My only message is that the Jetta in my opinion is 10/10 all 'round (except the doorhandles). And my advice is buy diesel, they are indestructible!

17th Jun 2003, 14:40

I bought a 91 jetta gl about a year ago and I to have had constant problems. Radiator, power steering, the brakes went out entirely due to a switch dying, lights died..etc...etc.

But it drives wonderfully (you know when it's driving) goes FAST without much effort, good breaking...etc.

For a car with 170,000 miles on it it's not so bad. I'd buy another VW... but only a newer one.

You can't expect an old car with over 100,000 miles on it to be problem free.

25th Dec 2007, 21:35

I have owned my 1990 Jetta for six years now and have 389,000 km. It is the original motor and trans. It uses about 1 litre of oil between oil changes. I have changed the clutch, drive axles, 1 battery. The shame is it looks a bit rough, but it will not die. I get a 30 mpg around town and 38 on the highway. Its as reliable as an anvil. It has had some issues, but what car doesn't. I'd buy another one tomorrow if this one died.

10th Jul 2008, 16:06

I have a camper '89, and due to starting problems, have been advised to replace the inhibitor switch. Can anyone please tell me where this is located and what it looks like?

17th Nov 2008, 16:13

The Jetta I'm working on is a piece of crap.

19th Apr 2009, 21:33

Knowledge is power.

Get a manual, if not for yourself, for your mechanic. Better to start out with a mechanic who doesn't need a VW manual, then you can read up on stuff you can do yourself.

That, and they do things 'weird' at VW, that a domestic or Japanese import mechanic might not be able to interpret correctly.

20+ years of driving mk2 jetta/golfs, and 89-92s mostly use Digifant, which, when sensors fail over time, will make the car run poorly.

It's a love-hate thing. This was the last of the 'simple' cars, before the computers really took over. 85-90 Jettas are German made, 91-92 Mexico, and Golfs, North America and Mexico. While most of the parts are the same, I tend to prefer the German-assembled variants.

Then again, folks, how many 85-92 cars out there are even still running, let alone desirable?

13th Sep 2009, 12:18

I was given a 1991 Jetta GL from a neighbor who wanted to get rid of it 8 years ago. I wish I still had it. The thing would not die. When I got it, it had over 200k on it, when I finally traded it in, it had almost 400k on it. lovely car. Although she had some minor issues from time to time: I had to replace both front axles and there was a problem with the seal on the distributor cap. Other than that, she never let me down. I am now seeking another one.

10th Oct 2009, 22:28

I have had my 1990 1.8 manual Jetta for over 8 yrs. now. and I love every minute of it. Yes I have replaced ; Radiator, alternator, windshield, going on my second tranny, needs front end work, opened the exhaust, 2 door handles work. no radio. But, can; still do 120 if I need it, get over 30 mpg in town and close to 40 mpg highway (love that fifth speed). This car will not quit. I will do my best to refurbish and keep it running. Yes I would buy more VW's. Ich bin ein VW.

2nd Apr 2010, 09:43

I have been working on and buying/selling mainly Jettas for the past 13 years. I have my entire neighborhood buying these from me and they are great vehicles. After reading some of the comments, it is very easy to determine who can and does work on their own VWs. If you are not mechanically inclined and depend on the garage to do your work, you will be taken advantage of. Parts for these vehicles are easier to come by than most other crap out there, and I agree with other comments: How many 25 year old vehicles of other makes do you see consistently on the road?

1st Jul 2011, 14:16

Thank you! All of the bad reviews I see on this site are from people who can't do their own repairs. There are a few things you should know about VW's before buying them! Their electrical systems fail, so be prepared to repair them! The CV shafts wear out, especially if your boot falls off the shaft. I have replaced so many of these I could do it with a blindfold on now. And tires are regular maintenance. It sounds like this person didn't even know how to change their own oil.

Listen people, if you don't know how to do simple tune ups on your car, and don't have someone who can do it for you, then don't buy an old car! Period!!! Save yourself some hassle, and go and lease a car or something.