20th Jun 2010, 18:58
I too have a 1996 Jetta that I pamper to death. Just recently I started having "problems", too many to state. I really believe it has to do with mechanics. Make sure you deal with a person with VW experience, wrong parts or inexperience will definitely mess your car up. I have run into too many mechanics who cannot diagnose properly - my two cents. Noel, Orlando Fl.
22nd Jan 2011, 17:47
Hi, I own a 96 Jetta, and for the most part love it. Except for my rear bearings failing 3 times, and the door molding and lock issue, it's been a good car. And for the alarm issues, do what I did, install a push start button, it's a better anti theft device if you find a good enough spot to hide it.
3rd Mar 2012, 03:01
Hello. I've owned my 96 Jetta for a while now... and there is something you guys need to know.
1. If you buy it used, don't complain about VW's sucking if it's already broken. Blame the owners that didn't take care of it. i.e. timing belt needs replaced every 75k.
2. For God's sake, if a little motor or sensor goes out, pay the 40-80 bucks for it and PUT IT IN YOURSELF. You guys are paying over 1000 for a window motor or lock fix? Take the door panel off, pop the bolts, put the new one in... You're just jacking yourselves.
3. If your car is broken. i.e. ignition (stalls in rain, wet weather) just replace the system. After market plug wires run 130$, a new coil for 200$, and new plugs are 5-10$ a piece. All you do is take off the old and put on the new... p.s. if you buy cheapest parts, they WILL break sooner. Just go online to like GermanAutoParts and have OEM or find aftermarket parts (most times a lot cheaper than Advance or Autozone's cheapest parts).
A VW is made for people with passion for autos. If you buy used at 100,000 miles and drive it off the lot, and it's jacked up, don't blame VW for the 4 abusive owners, and the screw ball that sold it to you.
P.s. don't buy automatic VWs, or something almost ten years old with auto locks and windows.. then you don't have to replace them. I personally don't lock my car... there is nothing in there worth taking. This year is famous for locks and window motors going out. But that's about it.
If you have problems elsewhere, buy a manual and fix it yourself. Don't pay a mechanic that's never worked on it before 80-120$ an hour to guess, when you can get a Bentley or Haynes manual for 40$...
Don't let those Hondas push you around. If you treat it like you love it, and YOU want to fix it, you will gain know how, and she will treat you with love back.
3rd Mar 2012, 03:04
If your bearings "failed", your tire with hub and all would fly off. It's almost ten years old.. you gotta replace that stuff.
4th Mar 2012, 01:28
Sure enough, I get your point, no car is maintenance free, and old VW's need a lot of maintenance.
However not everyone wants to spend valuable time being a DIY mechanic, taking away from work or family time. No one wants a car they have to fix all the time as a daily driver, maybe for a project.
Many of us just can't be bothered, whether we are wealthy, or poor, to play backyard mechanic on our only days off. I have mechanical skills and can work on cars, but prefer to buy cars that need no work and run well, so I can pursue other hobbies as well. I also need something reliable for work, as missing one day of an important contract due to a broken vehicle can be costly.
I have had problems with my newer VWs, but I would steer clear of any high mileage older models big time. Unless you are a hobby mechanic who enjoys constantly working on cars, stay away from these. A well maintained, low mileage model would be a good bet, but then again, that can be said about pretty much any car ever made.
Since I don't like to tinker around with unreliable cars, I always buy senior owned, well maintained, low mileage cars. Never had any problems with these cars. I have had the best luck with early 90's Honda Accord/Acura Integra, and 80's/90's Chevy Caprice/Ford Crown Victoria full size. They will run over 300k easy. My 02 VW Jetta and 99 Golf were problem ridden at low kms, very low quality in comparison. I drive a lot for work and can't afford to have something unreliable, so no VW for me. Bad experiences! Even my 05 Taurus and 02 Elantra that have low ratings were much more reliable and low maintenance than my VWs!