1998 Volkswagen Jetta GLX from North America - Comments

25th Nov 2005, 21:26

I too also own a jetta. 1998. I love driving my car. Except within three years of owning it I had to replace: whole exhaust system, all my trim, some computer parts, throttle body, all spark plugs and wires starter, my right wheel fell off while driving on the interstate (thank god the car started shaking like a unbalanced washing machine so I slowed down in time). My car also needs oil put in every 1500 miles or it goes below the minimum level. It is also a load car and likes to randomly shake. But I have put so much money into it that I cannot afford a new car. I have gone from female car idiot to being able to fix my own problems. I love after market parts catalogues.

20th Jul 2006, 21:48

The brake light/ headlight/ wipers/ fan problem is likely a bad ignition switch.

4th Jul 2007, 16:32

I whole heartedly agree with the above. the check engine light has been such a pain; I've put more money into the car in repairs than I originally paid for it. I've had to replace the coolant system, the water system, 3 of alternators in the power window systems ($300 a pop), the mass air filter ($700 alone), not too mention a bunch of other smaller things. I hate this car; I can't wait to get rid of it.

14th Mar 2008, 14:12

Reading all of these problems makes me laugh out loud. I have dealt with so much of the same stuff! The coil pack has been replaced twice. The driver side window motor went out. The molding has/is falling off both front doors. The real killer is the exhaust gas recirculation pump. Replaced twice at a cost of about $1100 each time. Still, I love that car. When my friends drive it, they all get out and do the same thing: "wow"! they say.

18th Jun 2008, 21:53

Wow, sounds like my experiences. Door trim moldings fell off. Just replaced the FOURTH power window - the window regulators I guess were crap, per Volkswagen they have all been replaced by newer models (at $300+ each installed, ouch). High rpm's, reluctant to shift - last time I brought it to the dealer to have this serviced, they told me I needed to replace the transmission fluid, but this was well ahead of schedule. Now it's 8000 miles later and it's doing it again *sigh*. Also, change your water pump and timing belt together every 80000-90000 miles - when they fail, bad things happen.

Look, the car is built very solid, it's a smooth ride with a lot of interior space, very comfortable interior, never had any problem with the engine itself... but repairs are frequent and pricey. Beware!

9th Feb 2009, 18:55

Well I've had this car a little over a year and all I've had to do this far is replace 2 window regulators and a middle exhaust pipe had been completely rusted. Oh and the underneath is completely rusted. Gotta get that fixed. Other than that is been nice and dandy. Oh yeah my side moldings feel off too. Anyone know where to get new ones?

11th Mar 2009, 10:47

1998 Jetta GL.

I got this car from a guy that ran the heck out of the car and never did any maintenance. So I replaced almost the whole suspension, fixed the speedometer because it did not work, fixed an A/C leak, fixed the cushion the seats myself, fixed all door trims, replaced clutch, shift gear components and check light on because of bad MAF.

So literally, I had to revive the car!! Did it for the because I am a VW fan.

I own 2 Jettas at the moment (94, and 98), and yes I have to be checking them on weekends. If all maintenance is done religiously, you'll have fun with them. Specially racing guys with newer cars in curvy streets! I leave them biting dust with a 2.0..

27th Jul 2009, 14:13

Hello, I own a 1998 VW Jetta GL. Over that past year, I have sunk around a grand into repairing a loss of power problem. My car will not accelerate past about 20000 RPM. It instead starts to die. I can't get it to shift, and going up a hill, I have NO power. Anyone else have this problem? If so, how did you fix it?

What I have done so far:

1. Replaced plugs wires and distributor cap.

2. Cleaned the throttle body

3. Replaced vacuum hoses

4. Thought I had reset the computer, maybe not.

So, how do you reset the computer? Also, does anyone here replace their own transmission fluid?

Thank you.

15th Oct 2009, 01:09

I have a 1998 Jetta GLX that I got 3 years ago with 70000 on it. I have 115000 on it and I haven't had any problems with it. Maybe the last owners of the cars never took good car of the cars. It doesn't matter what car you own, they all have problems if you don't take care of them.

3rd Feb 2010, 18:08

I own a 1998 Jetta P.O.S. I mean GLX, great little car, but it is falling apart, and like all of you, this car is unbelievably expensive, $1050 for a water pump, $800 for an alternator!!! I mean the cost would be understandable, but the car is not a Porsche. I hate this car, I hate this car.

If you are a total VW fan, good! If you are looking for a VW, buy a brand new one and dump it before the warranty runs out. MONEY PIT. I hate my 1998 VR6 Jetta and I want the world to know!!

24th Feb 2010, 07:21

I own a 1997 Jetta GLX 6-speed, made in Mexico and purchased new by me in June 1997.

It is fun to drive, the body integrity and paint and interior fit and finish are superior to anything in its price range (then AND now).

In my opinion, the vehicle has also been mechanically reliable and relatively low-maintenance.

I would say that the key to being satisfied with the overall reliability of your VW is to take it to a mechanic who REALLY KNOWS Volkswagens, and/or to read up and learn to service the vehicle yourself. Do the scheduled preventive maintenance, and you should get years of service from your VW.

My Jetta has slightly over 120k miles, with the only major problem being failure of the exhaust gas recirculation pump. It failed more than two years ago and I haven't re-replaced it because the only thing that it appears to have affected is to cause the check engine light to remain continuously lit.

In an effort to save money I took it to an unsophisticated mechanic who jacked around with the car for over three weeks, claimed he replaced the air recirc pump, and basically did nothing else.

Less than 1 month after the "replacement" the check engine light came on again and has been on since that time. I currently need a new exhaust system - parts to be evaluated by my current very competent mechanic - but I can't complain about that since the cat and exhaust system that I am running on are original equipment. (Anyone else think they could get nearly 13 years out of another manufacturer's OE exhaust system?)

The car has only started to show some rust bubbling in the past year, the leather is in fine shape, and with continued TLC and a little body work, I expect to drive this car for at least another 5 years.

18th Jun 2010, 19:00

Just wanted to let you people know that the Jetta parts aren't even expensive! If it's 800 for an alternator, then you're being ripped off.

Do your research! Learn a thing or 2 about "ANY" car you own...

I've been to Cali and back to Maine, as well gone up to Oregon and down to Florida!

Whoever is complaining about window regulator; you've gotta be kidding me!! The point is, it's an all around reliable car when you know it won't leave you stranded somewhere...

One of the things I've also learned, is if you've had problems with your parts, it's usually the PERSON who fixed/installed it...

Do some CSI work and find out what's causing those problems. Anytime you have a problem, and the dealer/shop says "I've reset the computer, even though I don't know what's wrong with it", you need to find ANOTHER shop!!

29th Mar 2011, 13:17

I had the same problem with my 2001 Jetta. I took it to the shop and they replaced a fuse in it. It only cost me 40 dollars, but the issue is resolved.

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