16th Apr 2005, 10:13

My 1996 GLS has been nickle-and-diming me to death. You're all correct - it's good-looking and that's about it. In the three years I've had it, I've had to replace window regulators, two thermostats, two oxygen sensors, the ignition, both door locks fell out (haven't bothered to replace them), camber bolts (was only getting about 6 months out of tires), two wiring kits, the coolant reservoir, the clutch, and I could go on and on. Now, the throttle body is bad--I'm learning how to "heel & toe" like race car drivers to keep it from stalling rather than make another expensive of a repair on the thing.

Oh, and it only has 57,000 miles.

Forget it, don't get it!

29th Jun 2005, 07:47

After all of the frustration I've been feeling, I found this site. It actually makes me feel better to hear other people vent about how awful their Jetta's have been. Reading the other posts, I've nodded my head along saying "yes those are the same problems I've had too". I have had windows go down that will not go back up, 2 oxygen sensors replaced, the alternator went after owning the car for 3 months and then again about 1 year after that, the passenger side rear door will not even open (and the window will not go down), transmission repairs more times than I can even count & numerous other problems here and there. I should have known my Jetta was going to bring me nothing, but grief when I drove it off the lot and about half-way home the rear-view mirror fell off! I will never buy another Volkswagen again.

10th Aug 2005, 12:19

I have a 1996 Jetta with 195,000 miles on it. I have never had any major problems with it.

25th Oct 2005, 20:30

My '96 Jetta Gl has been great and I've had no major problems. I'm the 2nd owner and there were no problems before I owned it, either. This car has been great to me.

27th Nov 2005, 16:21

I have a 1996 Jetta GLX VR6 and I have had problems, problems, and more problems. I bought the car from a dealer with 105,000 miles on it and as soon as I got it home the transmission started acting up. When the car is cold and you put it in drive there is a 1-2 second delay before it engages drive. Once the car is warmed up, this problem goes away. The VW dealers have told me this is Normal. I find it very annoying and almost dangerous at times. Other problems include: both back windows stopped working, Passenger side window stopped working, All 4 wheel bearings had to be replaced (the only last about 30,000 miles tops and cost 350.00 EACH to replace!!) The ABS no longer works, Engine check light comes on constantly. I could go on and on... A Jetta is NOTHING, but trouble and it is VERY expensive to repair. I would NEVER buy another VW.

3rd May 2006, 11:10

I just got a 96' jetta for a graduation present. Everything was fine in the beginning, but then the radio went out and the power door locks stopped working OH and the alarm Won't stop going off!!! I have no idea what to do! so if this has happened to someone pleas help!!!


3rd May 2006, 16:46

Obviously somebody didn't like the fact you graduated.

Best advice is to trade in the car or sell it outright. Read the reviews of Jettas here and you will see your problems are just beginning.

20th May 2006, 20:13


I was incredibly distraught by my no longer functioning power windows.

I have a '96 Jetta that is in need of many repairs. As a 24 year old girl recently out of college, I also have a lot of loans to repay. Fortunately, I have several uncles who are familiar with vehicle repairs. I spent the past 10 hours with one uncle and we completely dismantled the rear passenger side door and cleaned the power window motor. It is now working again... the copper brushes simply needed cleaning. Most people would spend around $300 to get this fixed (for one window!), and it cost us 6 hours. Further, I did a little investigating and discovered the wires had broken in my driver's side window. I spliced those back together, and once again, it is fully functional. MORAL: Find someone handy. Spend a little time, and you could save yourself a LOT of money and be empowered at the same time!!! We're taking on my clutch next!!

30th May 2006, 18:19

I just bought a gls jetta yesterday and you make me feel like I should sell it right when I buy it, but it looks so nice and as far as I no these cars do awesome on gas and I only paid 1700 for a 96 GLS Jetta, but I will go with the last persons comment and investigate the car before spending only god knows how much on something you could probably just clean or something stupid.

31st May 2006, 01:48

I own several older VWs. 79 GTI (lots of mods,) 82 Rabbit Pickup with some mods, 85 Vanagon Westfalia, 98 New Beetle TDI, 2002 Jetta TDI. It seems the newer they are the more problems they "can" have. The older ones are simpler and their problems are more well known. The newer ones are more complex and their problems can manifest themselves in many forms. I have been fixing them since they were new. This is 30 years now. So I know that some things break from time to time. But, if you keep up on things, you will be ahead. I keep my cars for decades, typically. It is "cheap" fun for me. The reason I am here is I was looking for window repair information for my New Beetle. Window failed today. I found the parts for $25 new, but heard of a recall. We'll see if they fix it or not. I have been going to the same VW dealer for a couple of decades and they have been a VW only dealer since 1967. So they know their stuff and basically I do too. So I let them fix the stuff I don't want to. Point here is, that you too can do some of the things your car needs. Become informed (internet is GREAT,) find parts sources and go and do it. I have found instructions (better than the manual) on how to approach the repair of my window. So if the dealer cannot do it cheap or for free, I will. No big deal. It is Summer and my car sleeps with a cover, so I am not worried. So learn about your car, pamper it and it will do you good. I know it has worked for me. Good Luck.

22nd Aug 2006, 00:45

Hi! I own a 96 Jetta GLX. I've only had the car for 2 months and I bought it from a private owner and I haven't had any problems whatsoever with it... until tonight! The car has automatic everything, and I locked it from the switch on the inside. Ran into a friend's place, came out and put my key in the door, turned it and nothing happened, the doors didn't unlock, the car didn't beep to tell me it relocked NOTHING! I'm very frustrated and was wondering if anyone had a similar problem like this and if they knew of any way to fix the problem without going to the dealership people. Email me @ aclong05@yahoo.com. Thanks!!