24th May 2008, 21:43

I absolutely love my 2001 Jetta, and the great deal I got it for.

However I have experienced both of the above problems:

1. My car smells like a crayola factory, luckily I haven't noticed myself smelling like a crayola factory worker but the smell is aggravating.

2. At 33,000 miles my Mass Air Flow Sensor was clogged with silicone buildup, If only I had read this article early about the EPA mandate and saved myself the $800 in parts and labor.

I really wonder if any tests have been done on the smell, there is no way with such a putrid odor it can be good for your health. I worry that with all the long trips I take, I am poisoning myself.

In all it's a great car, handles well, looks beautiful, fun to drive, and will impress many while still being relatively low cost. If only these stupid little problems would be fixed. Its such a stupid thing to ruin such a good car with bad chemicals in the undercoating, wax, and other places.

23rd Feb 2009, 16:32

I just bought a 2001 Jetta VR6 loaded. I guess we didn't notice any smells, but it is 0 degrees out.

I paid 5000 cash, we went out to eat, and proceeded to drive home. About 20 miles into our drive the engine began to over heat and we pulled over.

Today I brought it to a mechanic nearby; he thinks it's the thermostat. I sure hope so. I called the guy we bought it from and we brought to his shop. I guess it will be done tomorrow. My wife is terribly angry, as am I.

We got home and began to read these horror stories. I sure hope I didn't get jacked, by VW and the dealer. Well maybe I'll finally get my car back someday. What a mess, I hate the Internet.

8th Apr 2009, 20:16

I brought a 01 Jetta 1.8 T.

The first couple days everything was fine. The third day the car ran hot and the temp gage went from 190 to 240. We immediately took the car to the car shop and they took it in right away. Then, it was driving up the street and the car completely malfunctioned and shut-down. The car salesman came and helped us, it took forever to get to their shop. They diagnosed it was the alternator went bad. This was at 80,000.

Next we get the car back, and were driving it home and the check engine light comes on. We call to take it back to the shop and the salesperson tells us it's normal and that they can still hook it up to the machine. This immediately told me he knew about the problems before we bought the car.

Oh, and every time we call, he says I'm a mechanic, I know what this problem is.. Well if he was a mechanic, all this stuff would have been fixed and I should have waited on the purchase of this car.

But, really, I grew up around VW and they really belong to people who can fix them. Since they require constant maintenance. The dealership completely paid for everything thus far.

So back to the check engine light... we called about that and are bringing it in for a diagnostic check free of charge to see what the problem is.

I have noticed a faint crayon smell. But, it's not overwhelming. But, I find it crazy that VW does not recall all theses issues. Since, I'm a first time VW owner and bought a used car, I'm wondering should I take it to a VW dealer to see if anything is covered or recall without getting ripped off. Any suggestions? Since I will have my Jetta for the long haul. Thanks!

18th May 2009, 03:26

I just bought a 2002 Jetta GLS. I had felt very strong crayon smell, but we knew the previous owners had babies, and we know the car had been sitting in the sun for months in the a desert city. We thought a full detail would get rid of it, but it didn't. It's funny the detail guy said "Jetta's do smell like that". This is what prompted me to start researching this. Another funny fact is I did find 3 crayons under back seat, but they didn't really appeared to match the smell or to be actively emitting that much crayon smell.

Clearly there is a factory issue. I too wonder why VW has not recalled this. I too wonder why people has not gotten together to take the battle to VW. I too wonder what the level of toxicity of this smell.

There is one other forum where this person "needhelphp" says he isolated the problem to specific sound isolation under the floor, under the center console. There is however no follow up on whether removing that was highly successful.

I've changed both air filters, including putting one that has charcoal parts to remove odors (STP).

Also put inside a charcoal solid (looks like a piece of soap) odor absorbing paste.

Smell has certainly reduced, but it is clearly there and yes it does stick to your hair and cloths.

Any help on resolving this issue for the good of many Volkswagen owners is much appreciated. Thank you.

10th Aug 2009, 04:09

Wow. I have been considering buying a used 01 Jetta with 129,000 kms. Now I'm reconsidering. All my friends have VW's, and swear by them. I've never heard of a crayon smell? So, if you VW buffs can give me a bit of advice, please help. Do you think an 01 Jetta, power everything, 129,000 kms is worth a $8500 price tag? Apparently the only reason they are selling is because they need a family-sized vehicle.

15th Sep 2009, 20:03

I just am adding my $.02, I came to this forum because my friend's 2002ish Jetta REEKS so bad, I can barely stand to drive with him. Smells acrid, maybe crayon-like, but much worse than any crayon I've ever smelled. I asked him about it, and he said they had tried to remove it unsuccessfully. I had a Jetta in the 90's, and it had beeswax or something on the inside of the doors and such, but it never smelled, even in the hot summer sun. I really loved that car.

What prompted me to check it out was last night my parents visited in their '01 Jetta TDI, and I sat in it and smelled the exact same smell as my friend's car! Not as bad, but still not nice at all. That's the first time it dawned on me that it might be endemic to all VWs of that era.

Pretty crappy! I would never take a chance on a car like that, even though I alway have liked the Jetta.

25th Feb 2010, 21:31

When people say it's on the inside of doors, do they mean the door panels? Does anyone have a step by step guide to what needs to be cleaned?

The smell is driving my wife insane!!!

31st Mar 2010, 12:30

I have owned 3 Jetta's; 1 1999 GL, 1 1999 VR6, 2001 VR6. All were problems. I like the way the VR6 handles and drives, but would not recommend them to anyone. Very expensive to maintain.

9th Jun 2010, 13:58

My 2001 Jetta GLS transmission just went at 87,000 miles, and so I decided to finally say goodbye to my personal money pit. In the past year I have replaced: O2 sensor, mass flow sensor, spark plug wires, and a vacuum hose, to the price tag of $1900. There was nothing really wrong with the car, but in order to get the "idiot light" turned off to pass state inspection, I had to replace all the expensive sensors!

I also had the wonderful brake light switch problem soon after I purchased the car in 2004. Helpfully, it had not repaired by the previous owner of the car and I had to fight the VW dealer to have it replaced, per the recall.

This may be even more minor than the crayon smell, but I hated the placement of the cupholders -- springloaded into the dash, they pop out and immediately make it impossible to access the CD player! So now I'm on the highway and have to put my drink between my legs, push in the cupholders, and then change CDs. Brilliant! There was so much cheap plastic on the inside of the car that broke very easily, including the door handles, the power window latches, and the trunk latch.

In the beginning, I never smelled the crayons, and I thought all my friends were playing a joke on me. I did eventually start smelling it, and it's a bit of a relief to hear that I wasn't alone! Still, I'm not very sad to leave that money pit of a car at the junkyard as I drive off in my 2003 Accord...