17th Sep 2005, 00:15

I've owned my 1996 VW Jetta GL for 3 1/2 years. Knock on wood I had very little problems with it. Just regular repair work like new brakes all around, rear muffler, front and rear struts, ball joints, coil pack, wires, timing belt, and router cap and button. Overall I am pleased with my jetta. The only thing I have a problem with is the back passenger door latch. Anyway I hope you don't listen to everyones negative comments, remember it's all in how you treat your car, treat it good and it will treat you great!

Thanks Adam.

28th Oct 2005, 03:14

I have a 96 VW Jetta. All I can say is that they are FUN to drive, when it runs. I will start when I bought the car in 2001. Before I drove it off the lot I found that there was a crack in the windshield washer fluid holder (whatever you want to call it, I'm a girl, lol!), they fixed it for free two weeks later. Two weeks after that (4 weeks after I bought the car) it wouldn't start. It would spudder went I got it started and then stall. It was the coil replaced it.

Then I kinda lost track of the time frame for what what went wrong when. So in a nut shell I have replaced the coil twice, spark plugs and plug wires several time (about $90.00 each time), fan motor, coolant fitting, O2 sensor three times, A/C more times that I can count, transmission rebuilt once and all sensors replaced twice, starter, driver side door lock and latch twice, oil pump, and the sensor on the oil pump.

And now I have two bent wheels that I have to get fixed (no I didn't hit any curbs or holes, I'm very careful about that) they were bent when I bought the car. The back wheel bearings need to be replaced. The struts need to be replaced. The O2 sensor needs to be replaced AGAIN!! my brake light comes on sometimes and flashes and flickers.

I'm sure I have forgot something, oh yeah, timing belt twice. Anyway this car has cost me SO much money. Like I said they are FUN to drive, but I will not own another VW!!!

8th Jun 2006, 09:01

I own a 1996 Jetta and although I LOVE VW in general- I think this a bad year for the Jetta. I do not have time to tell you all the problems that I have had with my Jetta, but after reading the other list of problems I just have to say ditto.

18th Aug 2006, 20:45

Great car! Mine has the 2L 4-cylinder engine. Runs great! Gets 30+ MPG. I am now replacing the Oil Pressure sensor (the blue one) because its leaking like a sieve. The part was a special order at less than $6. Air Conditioner leaks a little bit. Remember this Jetta is 10 years old, with over 140,000 miles. Not too shabby.

30th Aug 2006, 15:42

My 1996 VW Jetta - the oil pressure light and buzzer won't stop going off. My mechanic assures me the oil pressure is fine so it must be electrical. But he said he can't fix it because VW doesn't share the details of the electrical instrument so he doesn't know what connects to what. So he said I had to take it to VW. This is a new mechanic do you know if he is correct? Thank you!!

12th Sep 2006, 09:39

I have the same problem with my '96 VW Jetta. The oil light comes on and the buzzer won't stop going off. It used to stop buzzing when the car got over 3,000 RPM's, but now that doesn't even work. How annoying. The oil is full, the engine doesn't run hot. Anyone know how to fix this?

24th Sep 2006, 01:15

I also own a 96 Jetta. 3 words: piece of crap.

28th Sep 2006, 07:45

I own 1996 Jetta GL. When I bought this car from the auction, I didn't know the transmission was bad. I had to buy a used transmission from the junkyard for $1300 including labor.. Then, it ran good a while.

Then I had to change the right front axle, which cost $70. The car still can't pass inspection due to the brakes and right front bearing. I spent around $800.

The car needs front and rear motor mount, water pump, valve cover gasket, steering gear boot. This car has cost me a fortune and still I'm not satisfied with it.

13th Oct 2006, 17:59

I bought this car used in 1998 and it's been a very reliable car since.

However, I drive stick, so I don't have a quarter of the problems people tend to have (involving the transmission).

The major gripe I have is the outer material of the car. It's no secret the door moldings fall off, so it's a bit shady VW doesn't just replace these for cheap.

The plastic front mud-flap underneath the bumper is another common problem. One slightly high cement parking-end and you'll easily dent/bend/break that sucker. And the hubcaps fly off easily with a nudge on the curb. These are annoying body issues, but not critical to replace.

Otherwise, routine maintenance, new muffler, new brakes, new timing belt at the specified miles (I think 45K), new battery--and a broken driver-side door lock are pretty much the only major things done to the car. Though brakes, muffler and timing belt are probably considered routine maintenance.

So really, the new battery and door lock are the only "surprise" problems. Given, the battery lasted 9 years, and the door lock broke after 10.

Overall, I've been very pleased with this car and found it very fun to drive.

30th Nov 2006, 13:44

I have a 96 Jetta GL. 180 000 kms. It's in good condition, but I have had some of the same problems. Now I notice when I'm at highway speeds, the engine "chugs" a bit like it feels I'm letting off the gas quickly. Does anyone know what this could be? Please reply to koolmike500@hotmail.com

Other than that, I just got a set of rims 17 inch with low profile tires.. The package was only $1100 Canadian. It's amazing how much better it looks now with the rims, so if you can afford it I suggest getting some for yourself.

I had the ignition problems, new clutch, springs and coils, brakes, general maintenance.

Overall I love my red Jetta, and would for sure get another one. GO VW!!!

3rd Dec 2006, 09:22

I have had three V-dubs a, 2000, a 2004, and my 96 which I still have, all I can say (it's already been said in this thread).is luv your dub. Regular maintenance is key with any German car. Yes they are expensive to maintain, just do it.. They are designed this way. If you buy one just make sure it has been taken care of. they are very easy to work on yourself and a vw dub dealer will give you any info you request. I have even gone to the dealer and photocopied parts of there service manuals, it's easy, just ask... I just replaced the valve cover gasket (typical vw leak) and breather hose, only takes about an hour or so. Anyway it's disappointing to see so many people having problems with their's, but like any car it's all about how it was cared for (well except a few...neon, firefly and the ECONOMY cars ---Economy says it all). keep your car clean and lubed up, including all latches, rods...anything that moves and you will have a car that will last.. Cheers, German car lover.