20th Aug 2009, 13:29


Got my car back last night after they replaced my waterpump and timing belt. I decided to take my car to a european specialist shop so they would have techs certified and the right equipment to diagnose the problem correctly the first time.

The mechanic showed me the waterpump he pulled out of my car, it was in about 4-5 pieces and sure enough, it was a POS piece of plastic. After the 4 hours of labor and $775 in total, my car is not overheating at all anymore. It's driving just like when I got it, AC full blast while going 70 on the highway, no problems.

If you're having this occasional overheating problem anywhere after 50k-75k miles, I highly recommend you get the waterpump checked out before some mechanic misdiagnoses the problem and you end up spending way more than necessary!

6th Sep 2009, 19:33

I also have a 2001 VW Jetta 1.8t. A year back the timing belt broke, It damaged the head completely. I took it to the VW dealer and the charge me $3,200 to fix the problem. 1 year has passed and I started to smell the burning coolant from the bottom of the car. The strange thing that the car is not overheating, it's actually doing the contrary. I start the car it goes to 190 and then drops a quarter, I drive it to work and it jumps to 190 again. I will take it to the dealer this week and will post the outcome. Hopefully it's nothing major.

It looks I'm not the only one with this problem here in forum.

10th Feb 2010, 15:50

So my 2001 1.8t Jetta just did the same thing. It's at 80,000 miles, started overheating only when I was driving, etc. etc. A European specialty mechanic replaced the thermostat before figuring out it was actually the water pump, so I have to pay for both. Is VW taking any responsibility for the faulty water pump yet? I love my car, but I'm having to put about $1000 into it for something that I should have been warned about if it is so common.

10th Mar 2010, 18:31

I have a 2003 Jetta. Also have the same issues, water pump sensors, it's an ongoing thing. My advice get rid of it, go buy a Honda. I'm so tired of repairing the same issue over and over again.

Aggravated in


24th Apr 2010, 01:19

OK... just read all the comments and have to add a new one to the list of overheating issues!

01 Jetta... get on interstate and begins to overheat... in the red and light comes on! Did all the tricks to get to the nearest exit and gas station. Fans were doing their thing... but there is oil in the reservoir!

Checked the oil, no signs of water there, but was extremely low! The oily water is leaking everywhere!

Had the car towed to mechanic that changed the fuel filter recently! I am fed up with this car! This weekend I am going to tally up all that I have spent on this thing! Started with suspension... wheel bearings, CVC joints, (some other suspension thing, not sure of name at moment), axle... then the fuel filter!

Now after reading the comments, gonna bring up the timing belt and water pump! May just get a quick fix if possible and get rid of it! I travel 50 miles round trip for work every day! Single mom! This is the last thing I need to worry about! Like not having a car payment, but when things start breaking... they all go!

Any words of wisdom? Any clues to how or why overheat / oily water? Just want to educate myself... don't want to be taken advantage of when the mechanic sits me down and tells me what he thinks is wrong with it! Can't afford to have it towed from shop to shop to a dealership to get estimates and opinions! And can't do it myself! Thanks!

17th May 2010, 22:33

VW's used to be decent cars!

I just replaced the timing belt, tension pulley, thermostat, and water pump impeller on my daughter's 2001 2.0 liter Jetta. Her car has about 160k miles. It has ALWAYS used oil, even when it was new! She has taken it in to two different VW dealers, both of which told her that it "was normal for modern VW's to use oil..." The abnormal oil consumption in this vintage of VW's is widely reported on the Internet by owners. Anyone who knows anything about how engines are put together knows that it is not normal for new cars and low-mileage cars to use oil. I have an '86 Cabriolet with about 130k miles that never uses any oil between oil changes. I also own a 1997 Honda CRV with about 180k miles that does NOT use any oil between oil changes. Yet in my daughter's car's case, the "experts" at the VW dealership keep insisting that oil consumption is normal in modern VW's! Sorry, I am rambling on here...

Back to the overheating/water impeller issue. The symptoms of the car were a slowly rising temperature at acceleration up to highway speeds. No leaks were evident. Coolant loss was evident due to boiling over when the car was shut off. All the fans were working normally. It was a difficult diagnoses, fooling even one independent shop who traced (mistakenly) the overheating problem to a leaking hose clamp.

The water impeller repair has only one remedy--you must buy an ALL METAL replacement water impeller and replace the flimsy plastic one that was factory installed. Go to an independent foreign auto parts house or, better yet, an independent VW parts house and ask for a German-made ALL METAL water pump impeller.

Of course with the 2.0 liter engine, the timing covers (3 of them), tension pulley (takes a special wrench to re-install), vibration damper pulley, engine mount, water bowl, timing belt, and various vacuum/fuel lines must be removed when replacing the water impeller. Care must be provided to place the engine in the TDC (top dead center) alignment BEFORE the timing belt is removed. Put the timing belt back on is best left to experienced DIY's or professionals, as to start an engine that has the camshaft and crankshaft out of synch CAN AND WILL CAUSE SEVERE INTERNAL ENGINE DAMAGE!

Should you replace a water pump impeller, do yourself a favor and replace the timing belt (if it hasn't recently been replaced) AND tension pulley (the bearings do dry up) at the same time. A thermostat replacement is also recommended.

Needless to say, if you plan to keep your car long and are handy mechanically, buy yourself a Robert Bentley service/repair manual (not the ones you see at Pep Boys, Kragen, or AutoZone). They are the factory-authorized "bible" for VW repairs. Many are available cheaper on eBay.

Best of luck with your Jetta repairs... I will stick to my Cabriolet, thank you... Let me know if you have any questions. I will be glad to try to answer to the best of my ability...

21st Jun 2010, 13:28

I have a '01 Jetta VR6. The coolant is leaking bad, but is definitely not overheating. Does this mean I need a new water pump or a new pipe?