5th Oct 2006, 16:28

Another '91 Jetta crayolamobile owner. The smell is overpowering when you get in the car after it is sitting. Five years into the car you still don't know much about it. 1980 Honda Accords had a great name out of the gate, but they all had the engine mount cross-frame rust away from the body - every single one of them. My '90 Toyota Celica was problem free, looking and working fine until someone ran into it at 210,000 miles in '05. That's quality. In fact, that defines good quality. The '91 Jetta, though a lovely car to drive, has some niggling defects that VW should never have swept under the rug.

9th Oct 2006, 05:31

This continues my previous posting from.


Crayon smell is still gone.

At 43,000 miles the car's check engine light (MIL) came on while my wife was driving home. As she was driving she called the VW dealer and asked what she should do. A lady at the VW dealer asked if the check engine light was blinking or just on. My wife told her it was just on, and the lady at the dealership said that it should not be a problem, and to have it checked out as soon as possible.

5 minutes later the engine died and my wife was stranded on an overpass. I told her to wait a few minutes and try to start the car, and finally the car started again. I did some quick research and found the following EPA document http://www.epa.gov/otaq/cert/recall/420b04018.pdf that discussed a recall on the mass air flow sensor.

We took the car to the dealership to determine the problem. The dealership said it was an O2 sensor and a mass air flow sensor that were at fault. The dealership said it would be $800 to replace both. I showed the dealership the following EPA document and a letter sent by VW stating that the mass air flow sensor would be covered. Because we had the letter from VW, they agreed to replace the mass air flow sensor, but wanted $200 to replace the O2 sensor. I told them to replace the mass air flow sensor and clear the code for the O2 sensor. They were reluctant to do that, and stated that if they did, the MIL light would immediately come back on. It did not.

At 48,700 miles the car died suddenly again, but this time the MIL light did not come on. Like before, my wife waited a few minutes and tried to start the car; again it started right up, but she was really concerned that this would continue to be a problem.

We originally wanted to keep the car for my daughter when she starts driving in a few years, but with these continuing problems, we thought we would let it go. We traded the car in for a new American made car.

Despite all of these problems, my total out of pocket cost over the years was less than $100, not including normal wear and tear items such as brakes, tires, and a battery. But with relatively low miles on the car for its age, we never had a vehicle with so many (silent or reluctant) recalls. I think the 24 month/24K mile original manufacturer's warranty was the tell tale sign. So this ends our saga of the 2001 VW Jetta VR6; A love hate relationship. Love the car; hate the problems that the manufacturer does not stand by without a fight and documentation.

Oh yes, you are not going to believe this; the MIL light came on as I was driving it to be traded in. We left all of the letters from VW in the owners manual so the next owner will have all the documentation as well.

30th Nov 2006, 12:42

It smells, point blank. True it may not be as bad as some other smells, BUT on a hot summer day after spending an hour showering and getting ready to go out, sitting in the car for 5 minutes...you're ruined! The odor somehow is absorbed in your hair and clothes. I swear if I ever got pregnant I'd have to get rid of it, the smell is vomit inducing. And friends always comment on it. So I've gotten in the habit of mentioning it first. What do new Jettas smell like? I'll never know! LOL!

20th Apr 2007, 20:26

Last year I bought a 99 Jetta for my daughter... it did smell like crayons, but the salesperson said it smelled that way because it had been freshly detailed...BS. The stench has only gotten worse. It is unbearable. My daughter is embarrassed as her and her friends carry the smell around school or wherever they go. It is completely absorbed in their hair and clothing. I have tried everything but nothing works. She is graduating from HS in June and we are getting rid of the car and the God awful smell forever. Unfortunately, it will now be someone else's toxic problem.

28th May 2007, 21:39

Is there going to be a class action lawsuit about this stench yet?

I agree that it HAS to have SOME level of toxicity.

27th Nov 2007, 13:48

I agree, there needs to be some type of lawsuit. The smell is unbearable and it apparently seems like everyone is experiencing the same problem.

I am going to write VWoA a letter and hopefully something positive will come out of it. I love the car and do not want to sell it only because of the putrid smell.

10th Jan 2008, 01:35


I have a 2001 Jetta TDI. The crayon smell comes from the "wax" coating on the plastic components of the interior. The good news is that it can be removed. The bad news is that it is very time consuming. All you need to remove the wax coating is some "Totally Awesome Cleaner" from Dollar General, a non-abrasive scrubber you would use to scrub pots and pans in the sink, and some elbow grease. I spent a fair amount of time removing it from every coated surface and the smell is 100% gone. The only other negative to this project, besides the time, is that not all components are made from the same plastic and some will be slightly lighter or darker once the wax is removed. If VW would re-manufacture the same parts out of quality plastic without the waxy sound-proofing coating they could all be replaced easily and the smell would be gone forever.

13th Jan 2008, 23:23

2001 vr6 smell

Believe it or not, as soon as I changed my cabin filter (engine compartment by the passenger side windshield wiper),the smell was gone.

11th Feb 2008, 15:28

This has to be the most hilarious thing ever. I have been considering purchasing an 01 Jetta VR6. Not any particular car from a certain source, just doing a little research before I start my search. At only 34yr old I have driven many cars in my time to include 3 classic beetles. My latest daily driver is a 68 beetle, of which I have been building from the ground up. So, let me entertain everyone with my similar Jetta issues ;-)

Crayons? I spell like fuel all year around with a hint of exhaust fumes in the winter time. Ha! Beat that one!

Transmission, after two throwout bearings coming off in 6 months, I have decided to just drive without the clutch. The classics were designed for RPM match shifting, so who needs a clutch anyway.

Center consol clip… guess I need to have one before the clip can break.

Cup holders are in the way of your CD changing? Put the drink between your legs. :P.

Window falling, rofl, My drivers side has no regulator at the moment. Every bump I hit is followed by my window crashing down.

My favorite comment is the “Mr Potato Head” name, you guys rock, I named my second beetle Ele after I had to rewire her three times. I found out the hard way that I had a 74 fuse block in a 71 Super.

So, thanks for all of the entertaining comments. It sounds to me that by moving myself into a Jetta I will continue performing my own maintenance, and continue enjoying German engineering.

Oh and one last thing, my car does not drip oil; it sweats horse power, around 60 to be precise. 