2nd Sep 2006, 16:59

I have had my 1995 VW Jetta GLS for about one year. I am not sure how the past owner treated the car, but I have had many problems. I am becoming very impatient with this car because I cannot afford to continuously buy parts. My dad works on cars all of the time. He knows quite a bit about fixing cars and loves working under the hood, but he hates working on my car. He said he thinks the whole German engineering set up is too complicated and does not make any sense. He once told me that he thinks it's crazy that the starter is located under the motor mouth.

I have had the following problems thus far...

-For some reason when ever I put on my A/C my CD player stops working. In fact my brand new (very expensive) CD player has recently stopped working completely. I've noticed that when I take my CDs out of the CD player, they will be cold and foggy.


-shocks and brakes

-distributor cap, spark plug wires and spark plugs have been replaced. My car would not start if the air is damp outside or if it had just rained.

-all locks on my car do not lock. Only the alarm works and will go off when jump starting the car.

-My car starts hard. I am hoping the starter does not need replacing.

-I need a new exhaust. My muffler has rusted and fallen off.

-body moulding has fallen off.

-rusting around the gas cap. (I hope rust is not getting into the gasoline tank.)

-I am really crossing my fingers that the transmission does not go out. I know I will not be able to afford that!??!

The only good thing I have to say about my car is that it does get very good gas mileage. I'm sure it could be even better when I get the exhaust system replaced. I may even get rid of the car and get something different before then!?!

30th Dec 2006, 17:49

I've had a 1995 GLS since 1998 -- I bought it from my cousin who was the initial owner. He took meticulous care of the car. It currently has about 130,000 miles on it, and I'm not sure how much further it will go.

In the past few years, I've had to do a lot of general maintenance -- the full tune-up (distributor cap, plugs, and wires), a new battery, new exhaust system, general replacement of belts, frequent oil changes, new brakes and tires, etc. I have taken decent care of the car, and expected some of these issues given its age and mileage. Overall, the car has been relatively reliable, with the following exceptions:

My side molding has fallen off -- this is VERY common for Jettas based on some anecdotal evidence from other Jetta owners I've come across. Several of the plastic trim parts have fallen off the front of the car. The electrical system is extremely wonky. My left rear back window hasn't moved since 1999. My dashboard lights don't work at all -- but will occasionally flip on for seemingly no reason at all. My temperature light was on for about 3 months at one point -- nothing was wrong. It will occasionally flick on and off now and again. My directionals - seemingly at their whim - will turn on when it's raining. The car also rides poorly in the rain - both before and after serious tuning.

The parts to repair this car are very expensive, which is why I've decided to leave a lot of the problems alone. Electrical work to fix the myriad issues I have would cost more than the car is worth. I use the car to commute 5 miles to work, so I'm willing to risk it. I'm waiting until a catastrophic failure, and then I'll be buying a Honda.

19th Jan 2007, 23:18

I currently have a 1995 Jetta GLS and I'm the original owner. I have over 304,000 miles and just had some engine work done for the first time. I'm please with it except for the window regulators. They seems to go out a lot.

24th Aug 2009, 09:39

Wow... after reading these I guess I'm not the only dissatisfied Jetta owner.

I've only had this car 5 months and already I've put in.

A new exhaust

New water pump

New radiator and fan motor

New shocks and struts

New rear brake cylinder

I'm currently having a starting problem, where the car is getting power... but not even attempting to start..

That's my project for today.

My car has over 175k, but I don't know how the last owner treated it...

5th Oct 2009, 18:53

I posted the original comments back in 2005 and we are finally saying goodbye to the car in the next week or two. We have spent years making only the necessary repairs and maintenance to get it through to this point, we just couldn't afford to get another car and have monthly car payments until now.

That being said, the transmission is going AGAIN- this will be the 4th one going into the car.

The driver-side door lock was replaced and broke about a year ago (I didn't bother to fix it again, just lock and unlock from the passenger side, awesome in the rain).

The rear passenger window hasn't worked in over a year.

It once again doesn't work in the rain or when it's damp out.

A/C conked out about 2 years ago, I never bothered to fix it, AGAIN.

The rust got to the point where it was rusting faster than I could repair/fix it, so I gave up.

Because of the rust eating away above the windshield the water now leaks into the car lining above the driver side causing some lovely staining.

I know it sounds like I just don't take car of my car, but really, that's not the case and I really tried. This was my 'first' vehicle that was all my own, that I picked out and bought all by myself (as opposed to hand-me down car from big brother). It was taken in for all it's regular check-ups and tune-ups, it just let me down at every turn. To the point where I just couldn't afford to fix all the crap that went wrong with it. Then I had the money and just didn't want to ;)

I have friends with older model Golf's and Jetta's and I've yet to find one that loves it or hasn't had (or having) the exact same problems that I did.

My husband and I will NEVER, NEVER, EVER drive or own a Volkswagen again. EVER.

6th Oct 2009, 11:11

Amazing how long VW has ridden on the coat tails of the original Beetle - Makes me wonder if they will ever build a reliable car again?

4th Feb 2010, 22:25

I have had my 96 Jetta for 3 years. I have had 2 oil leaks and a medal thing for my clutch go out. Altogether no more than like $1000 total on fixing.

Main issues I have now is it has trouble idling and cold weather start ups, which I have found that just using one of those jump kit things works great.

All together I really love my Jetta.

Non performance issues - my siding strips have fallen off so many times I stopped getting them put back on.

I have been hit twice; once backed into and once sided, and the car is a tank, no problems with the driving and barely any damage (if you were to see the other cars, you would be very surprised).

But mainly the thing to remember is to take the car to a VW specialist, NOT THE DEALERSHIP, and really give the car TLC, and it will last a long time. My car has 220000 miles on it!