7th Jul 2008, 02:40

I have a '98 Jetta and I don't have too much good to say about it. It has been to my mechanics and to the VW dealership numerous times for maintenance or I should say to repair issues. As of right now we have 1 operating window (front driver side). The units to make them move up and down continually breaks (plastic part). They have all been replace at least twice. I refuse to fix them anymore, they are taped shut for now.

Major electrical problems: Headlights are not working, so if I drive it at night I need to hold the high beam switch with one hand and drive with the other (good thing it is an automatic). If I want my dash lite up at night and I turn on the switch while holding the high beam lights the windshield wipers will start working. Also, AC worked for a week or two after it came out the dealership and has not worked since.

I have seemed to run into the opposite problem that everyone else is having as far as it starting when it is damp. We have problems when it is very hot outside. I turn the key and there is no response. It seems like I hear a clicking noise on the floor but it does not turn over.

I'm ready to trade it in and get a Honda ('89 Civic my other car) and I have not had any problems out of it and I'm working on 370k miles.

14th Aug 2008, 19:27

I have a VW Cabrio 2001. I have encountered EVERY ISSUE IMAGINABLE, but the most debilitating and intruding on my life for the past 5 months has been the stalling out/ rough/ jerky driving in the rain or humidity. I literally plan my life around the rain and whether or not I can do things. Luckily, I have access to a car to get to work on rainy days (or even when it has rained over night), but it is getting to a point where I have to sell the car by the end of the month.

No mechanic (I have gone to 3 and spent entirely too much money) can figure out why the car stalls in the rain. I have had a full tune up, the spark plugs replaced, the distributor cap checked, and any other possible cause of this issue investigated/ fixed. The last mechanic sprayed the engine with WD40, which did not work. NOTHING had fixed this problem!

I AM NEVER buying a VW again...

6th Sep 2008, 23:29

I have a 99 early model GL, and for the first time today experienced the starting problem. I went to get in the car and turned the key, and it goes to start but just doesn't seem to want to turn over. It turned over, then shut itself back off. I feel like I'm draining the battery. All lights in the dash work, as well as the head lights. Everything has power to it.

I can say like all the other people, I have had a lot of issues with the car:

All 4 windows got their window regulator replaced.

Transmission got fixed 4 times.

The shocks got replaced.

The muffler rattles when in reverse.

Rpms are high.

Speedometer was fixed.

The speakers sound horrible.

One head light is brighter than the other because the high beam light bulb kicks on, on the left but not on the right, and when using high beams the left high beam goes off and the right goes on.

I don't know what else to do with my car.

26th Nov 2008, 11:31

I have a 1998 Jetta GT. I love this car. I have had it for 5 years. Sure little things happen, but they are easy to fix and easy to get at. The glove box latch issue I read on an earlier post happened on mine. I had it fixed in no time with no expense. A pin popped out of position. Brakes, shocks, exhaust etc.. I have changed. Very simple to do, and parts are easily available. They are normal wear parts. My car has 265,000km on it now. I have put 135000 of them on. The engine runs great, uses no oil between changes at 5000km intervals, and has lots of pep. As for the stalling problem... I had a cracked coil, and a bad spark plug wire. Open the hood when wet and you will see the spark jumping through the leak. Again easy to change. Do get quality parts though. I thought I would save some and buy cheap spark plug wires. 10 months later these crappy wires had corroded off internally. I then bought lifetime warranty ones for $20 more and had no problem. This is a great driving, reliable car. The car is so easy to fix even if you are not a mechanic. Just buy a cheap Haynes manual for $20 bucks and you can probably rebuild the car if you have to. I am sure my Jetta will give me half a million kms and still be running strong as long as it is maintained half decently.

11th Dec 2008, 14:29

I have a VW Jetta 97!!! I moved to Oregon, and the humidity and rain does not go hand in hand with my car!

It won't start when its rainy or humid out!

Why do you think that is?

Please Help!!!

Email me at nikkidarjeeling@gmail.com.

19th May 2009, 05:41

I own a 1998 VW Cabrio with 122,000 miles. I love the car and was thinking of getting some of the minor body repairs done and keep it for me young daughter. That was just a dream. Now the headlights have gone off and will only come on if you pull and hold the high beam switch. When this happens, the brake light comes on and stays on. Wiper, AC, and all other accessories will not work except the radio. VW of North America claims they have never heard of this problem, though I have read of many similar complaints... can anyone help since VW customer service don't care?

22nd May 2009, 22:00

98 Cabrio owner, I'd first check the fuses and see if any are blown. Most likely you have something shorting out, possibly a wire. If you are mechanically inclined, you can buy a VW Bentley manual and diagnose from looking at the wire diagrams. But it's impossible to diagnose electrical issues when not looking at the car personally. If you lived in the New Jersey area, I'd consider buying this car from you, or charge considerably less to fix it for you.


13th Oct 2009, 12:24

Own a 1997 Golf k2 and having the same issues with starting/stalling in the rain. Had the ignition coil replaced in 2005, spark plugs/distributor/cables could afford to be changed. What is the average lifespan of an ignition coil on these models? Would like to avoid having it replaced again since it was a few hundred dollar fix. Hopefully once the plugs/cables/dist cap are replaced, I won't have the issue, but just in case...

Let me know at chadhoyle1223@gmail.com? Thanks.

3rd Nov 2009, 00:27

My 1998 Jetta has an issue with the brake lights... when the light switch is not on, the brake lights work fine... when the light switch is switched on, the brake lights stay lit all the time... when I push the brakes, no response as the brake lights stay on... any hints on what this issue may be?

17th Apr 2010, 19:59

I purchased a 1994 Jetta GL III, and I drove it from San Jose, California. It drove great and has a lot of pep, but a few days later it stalled, starting in the early morning after the car warms up; the rpm needle starts jumping up and down, and the oil light flashes and buzzer goes off, but other than that, I love the car and wouldn't trade it for nothing. I have had 5 Volkswagens, and I regret getting rid of the other 4. This one I will keep.

1st Mar 2011, 14:02

My daughters 1998 VW Jetta (Wolfsburg) stalls in the rain. She broke down on the road yesterday, and before she could walk to a phone, the car had been towed ($300). She hates this car with a passion, but I cannot afford another at this time. It seems from reading comments online, that this car is prone to stalling or not starting when there is moisture in the air. The VW mechanics offer no help at all. My next step is to spray everything down with wd-40. I have since been told by just about everyone that this make is one to stay away from.

22nd Mar 2011, 15:24

You probably need to change the coil or the distributor cap and wires.