I myself also have a 98 Jetta GT. I too have had to fix odd parts on the car numerous times. To comment on the stalling when in high humidity or damp weather... you may want to look into having the ignition coil replaced and/or sealed. I had the same problem with stalling, etc. and that was the problem... replaced the ignition coil and never occurred again. I have been truly lucky to find the best VW mechanic who does not over price his labor and uses genuine VW parts... he is the only reason I still have my car to this day.
To expand on the last comment regarding stalling, yes, it does sound like something isn't sealed correctly and that the moisture is short-circuiting the spark before it reaches the plugs. In addition to the coil mentioned by the other owner, you should consider replacing the spark plug wires, and also the distributor cap, if this year has one. We had a totally different car that did exactly the same thing. It wouldn't start or would die in the rain, but spraying WD-40 on the wires and inside the distributor cap would displace the water and it would start right up.
Same exact thing with ours !!!
Replaced the cap etc twice. Coil once and spark plug wires two years ago. And another coil today!
Car drives like crap in rain or damp weather. (among the list of other problems). Love the car - hate the problems.
My 1998 VW JETTA... What can I say? Like everyone else, my car runs fantastic until it rains. I didn't even move the car during this rain storm and it still won't start. I just don't understand. Cars are supposed to be reliable, not konk out on you because of a little moisture in the atmosphere. I am ready to get rid of this wonderful ride I have, but it's not so wonderful when I am drenched!
My car does the same thing when I hit rain... replaced the plugs and wires... this helped as it does start back up at least now with in 10 min or so... great idea on the Ignition coil... I will get that checked..
Motor on the windows go out often/need new breaks often/front seat is lose/and that chip that remembers how the common driver drives is such a pain... as when anyone else drives it then seems like the transmission has so many issues... until I get back in and it gets used to me driving it again...wouldn't own another.. but have loved it when it works...love to drive it!! so sad... such a great car isn't more sound!
Well, I have a 98 Jetta (GT) too. I live in Seattle and it's very rainy here. However, I never had this problem so far! This is a nice car, but with lots of problems! Below is a list of the ones I remember:
Transmission: Had to rebiuld it because the rear gear went out (I've seen other oweners with the same problem) - manual transmission. Had to change the clutch, which is normal, but the bill was more than my expectations! Also, the clutch cable broke once!
Emergency Brake: In a cold winter day, it froze and then broke due to the rust. Couln't move the car so it had to be towed away! : (
Exhaust: The entire exhaust, including catalyst converter has been replaced.
Electrical: The fog lots don't work (problem with the interior switch).
Audio: As someone else mentioned, the sound went crappy!
Body: The door trims were falling so I had to glue them to the body!
It is a fun car to drive. However, after 100K miles, everything goes wrong with it. The parts are too expensive. There aren't many mechanics that know how to work on VWs and they usually do a lame repair job!
I also own a Jetta GT. Like one guy said it seems like it's in the shop more than on the road. I just got the clutch changed. The reverse gear slips out while I'm backing up. While driving one day my e-brake cable seized up and had to cut it. The muffler seems like its going soon, very soon. The sound system I can't say much about since the best option is to replace everything with after market parts. And yes this car is running me a lot of money just on labor costs. I love my car and have great mechanics, but it's a headache to keep up with maintenance.
Well all I have to say, is Volkswagens are very touchy cars, and you have to take care of them, so they can take care of you.
My 98 Jetta has 147000 miles on it, and I'm replacing my original clutch now!!! I am a Volkswagen technician, and I hear these things all the time, but as long as you're on top of the maintenance, the car should be OK.
Volkswagens aren't for everybody; they are great cars, and it's a gift to be able to work on them; it just takes time and patience.
I also have a 1985 Scirocco with no problems at all, and 140000 miles, so those of you who say my car has too many problems, maybe it's not the car, and its the driver which is 99.9% of the problems I see besides warranty.
Have a 98 Jetta GT. Problems so far:
1. Transmission oil drip; was told that the transmission pan is porous. I experience hard shifting when it's too low. I'm keeping it topped up every oil change, which I've been doing every 1.5-2 months.
2. Exhaust system. I cycled through two mechanics because they couldn't fit the exhaust so it wouldn't rattle; at the end both were embarrassed at having so much trouble.
3. Trim falling off. I replaced one myself at 50$ and it's starting to fall off again. I'm just going to rip it off and leave it; I want the world to see the transformation to crap that is happening.
4. Speakers are just bad.
5. Glove box handle busted. Too expensive to fix, so I'm not using it. Generally, the car feels like plastic; not impressed with how it's aging.
6. Ball joints worked on twice.
7. Replaced timing belt.
8. Replaced gaskets.
9. Replaced spark plugs.
Right now, it's in the shop because it won't start! Lights turn on, but nothing else.
There's always good and bad stories for most vehicles. I find myself in the middle of a bad one. I 'was' an avid VW freak; got hooked on the old Rabbits. But I'm afraid to say that the last three years have turned me against VW. Dealership guys keep trying to turn me back, but it's over. Can't say that I overly enjoyed the Jetta as much as I did the Rabbit from before. I won't miss it, unlike the Rabbit. My next car defo won't be a VW (or Audi).
No longer signaling 'V' to other VW drivers : (