23rd Mar 2009, 13:34

WOW! In the recent week I have replaced a water pump, auxiliary water pump, thermostat, thermostat housing, reservoir tank, radiator, and various other nickel and dime objects, all totaling nearly $2000.

My car doesn't over heat while sitting idle, but as soon as I start driving down the road, boom, overheats again??? Does anyone know what I may be missing on fixing in this black hole of a money pit.

8th May 2009, 09:08

Just letting you know anyone who is looking forward to the love/hate relationship of owning the 1.8t Jetta from years 99-2001. You are going to have issues; if you don't want to deal with them, go ahead and sell your car.

So far I have had to replace the thermostat, belts, water pump, a multitude of gaskets, cooling lines, new turbo, all oil in and out lines, and some of these are about to be on set number two at 150,000 miles.

Go ahead replace the water pump, thermostat, and belts every 70,000 even if they seem fine. This goes for the Golf 1.8t as well. People may say this is crap, but I have seen at least 15 VW's in this range have these problems and do nothing about them, and end up with a major repair instead of just forking out the $500 every 70k, or much less if you can do it yourself; regular upkeep with your car will save you from the black hole :)

Check out forums like vortex and you can find DIY's for all of these. It will take a bit longer doing it yourself, but you will save the $65 an hour or more in labor (the job above is a minimum 3 hour job at a good shop). Talk to people that have had their cars for a while, you will find that most VW owners will lend a helping hand faster than anyone else.

These engines do run a little hotter than average, so look into an upgrade on your cooling systems; the 1.8t comes with an average inter-cooler... if you plan on chipping your car, get a new one; go on vortex, there are great used kits for cheap!!! Once you get the hang on the up keep, the cars problems will become far less frequent and much cheaper :)

4th Jul 2009, 07:35

I have an 2002 Jetta 2.0. Yesterday it started overheating while driving. The coolant level seems fine and the fans constantly blow out cold air.

Any ideas?

13th Jul 2009, 13:08

I have 01 Jetta 1.T 60k over heating. I can change out the water pump, but if some one knows what all needs to be removed from this car in order to make the change, that would be helpful.


14th Jul 2009, 17:09

I have a 2001 1.8T Jetta. Recently after I drive it for a while and turn it off at (for example) a gas station, it does not turn on again. It cranks, but does not catch. I was wondering if anyone has had this problem? It does not overheat and the dealership was unable to duplicate the problem. They did everything to get the car to not start, but it would continuously start for them. I know it only happens after it's been on the road for at least a half hour. Nothing in the car indicates that it should not start, it just doesn't. Please let me know if anyone has encountered this problem and what they did. Thanks.

9th Aug 2009, 09:16

Hi. I have a 2003 Jetta automatic with about 64,000 miles on it (bought used so no warranty). My car is sporadically overheating. It usually happens when I have the A/C on and may also have something to do with humid days, but not sure.

Anyway, I will have the A/C on and then it will be blowing air that is cool, then change to air that is not as cold, so then I will look at the temp gauge and see that it is rising. I have tried turning the car off and going to listen near the grill to hear if a fan is on, and I do hear a fan.

I have taken it to a VW dealership for basically all repairs. When I took it in a month ago for the overheating issue and my electronic gauges (ABS, battery, airbag etc) were acting wonky (coming on and then brakes acted funny), they said it was the alternator and I paid $800 for this repair. It got rid of the wonky electronic gauge malfunction, but the car still overheated sporadically. I took it back in and they said my spark plugs were misfiring, so I paid $224 to have them replaced (they said that it overheated for them so hot that the spark plugs turned white. Whatever that means. I don't let my car overheat past the first notch past normal if I can help it, so that was irritating).

So anyway, the next day the car starts to overheat again! WTH? It's like they don't know what the problem is and they are just going down a list of possibilities having me replace them one at a time. I cannot afford this strategy. My moms friend suggested checking to see if the second fan by the radiator comes on, that it might be the problem. If not then the thermostat or waterpump. I need to know what it is, not going down the line replacing what it might be. It's so irritating that a VW dealerships mechanics can't find the source of the problem.

FYI: Unrelated, they said my catalytic convertor was going out (so they replaced it), but that it was covered under VW's warranty on the car for 7 years/70,000 miles. And that it didn't matter if I bought the car used with no warranty, that VW has that particular warranty on the car and it doesn't matter who the owner is. Just in case other owners wanted to know about this warranty.


19th Aug 2009, 13:39

I've been having the same exact problem as all the previous posters. My car only overheats when going above 3000 rpm or about 55-60 mph for an extended period. As soon as it starts to overheat, if the AC is on, it starts to get a little warmer (perhaps the engine is temporarily disabling the compressor to avoid causing a major overheat?)

Anyhow, after reading all of these posts and multiple sites researched regarding the issue, it seems most likely that the water pump is the culprit. My car is at 85000 currently and timing belt needs to be replaced anyway, so I took it in a couple days ago and they're replacing both. Since the water pump has a plastic impeller (dumbass VW for thinking this was okay to save a few bucks), the few mechanics shops I have spoken with about the exact problem have recommended ONLY GETTING A NEW WATERPUMP WITH A METAL IMPELLER. Otherwise you could run into the same costly repair in another 50-70k miles.

I'm picking up the car today, radiator fans working perfect, coolant topped off, thermostat just fine and only overheating when pushing engine a bit past idle = faulty waterpump.

I'll give the update in a few days to see if this officially fixed the problem.