14th Jan 2009, 20:46

I find it funny that everyone is complaining about the transmission... 2002 was the first year the tiptronic was introduced. The Jetta is a compact car, of which class, no other car even has a tiptronic option. Maybe this may teach some people to do some research and not buy something that has never proven itself or been tested. Manual transmission - no problems here.

2nd Feb 2009, 17:16

Hey people. I have 1999 Jetta with all the powers, but it is a standard train. 5 up the only problem that I ever had with this car is that it is a VW.

Other than that, the car runs nice; no noise, 36 mpg, very stable at high speeds, and most wanted air conditioner on the summer.

5th Feb 2009, 22:51

Well for you that mention that 2002 models seem to have problems with the Tiptronic due to the first year production run, you're wrong. Check vwvortex.com, the biggest website community of VW aficionados, where there are a bunch of people with the same problems and running newer models.

I myself am looking at this forum, because I am having an issue with this piece of crap transmission of an 04 TDI. No reverse when cold, and after the oil change, no improvements. Dealer quoted me 4500 to get a new solenoid valve body with a mere 12K miles warranty or a year (what a joke). I had already bought an 05 Jetta with the tip tranny, and I am putting that one for sale ASAP. I do not want to deal with this same crap again. Next I will get me a manual Jetta, or convert my 04 to manual.

6th Feb 2009, 01:41

I bought a used 02 Jetta 1.8T from a dealership back in 2005. I have also had the transmission problems. It often shifts so hard that it scares my girlfriend. In addition, it has completely died on an occasion and every few months some light pops on. I've now been running a month with the thermostat light on. I've been told that it will cost $300 to fix. This car really kinda sucks.

I only have 55k miles on it and it already feels like it's on the way out.

I'm in SF and would love to hear of any cheap mechanic that can honestly address my issues. kanyoufly@gmail.com.


6th Feb 2009, 19:11

Last night I purchased a 02 jetta 1.8 turbo... today I returned it to the dealer for a refund. Thank you Jesus!

9th Mar 2009, 18:16

Well, I can join the party. 2002 1.8T w/tiptronic. Has 85,000 miles. The transmission jerks and there is no fourth gear. Decided to dump the dealer (wanted $600 to look at it) and go with an independent. Findings so far... speed sensor works but computer reads 13v all the time. His contact at VW said this transmissions were lasting 50,000 to 60,000. VW dumped this transmission quickly. Even the wiring diagrams had to be sent for. Computer is being checked this week (by the way, its behind the dash). Also, will need to inspect the transmission. The loss of fourth gear probably will cost me the big bucks.

Pray for me...

11th Mar 2009, 16:41

I bought a 2002 Jetta 1.8 turbo yesterday and I already have transmission problems. I feel sick. The dealer doesn't care and there is no warranty and like an idiot I signed an "AS IS" contract.

Car has 65k miles on it. Doesn't go to second gear in the mornings...

I am seriously stressed.

21st Mar 2009, 21:16

I have a 2002 Jetta TDI and it rolled 200,000 last month. Last fall on a real warm day, it failed on the highway. I pulled off and got it home going very slow. Engine goes, trans doesn't. It was worse in the heat. I had the trans flushed and filled by non VW as I've had bad problems with the local dealer.

The car was fine all winter. Doesn't matter how cold it was, no problem. Last week was the first warm week and guess what? Problem returns with a vengeance.

If the problem was bad last fall, shutting off the car and letting it cool seemed to reset something, that was the advice the mechanic gave me before I brought it in for service.

I don't know why it would start to act up in the heat. Someone thought it may be a heat related problem, but the mechanic found no related codes last fall, check engine light goes on and off at odd times. Last week, the P0740 code started.

What to do? Class action, me too...

23rd Mar 2009, 00:55

I would just like to point out one thing about turbocharged engines. Regardless of what the manufacturer recommends, they need oil changes every 1.5-2K miles. Seriously, do any of you know what a turbocharger is or does? Basically, it's a jet turbine under the hood that spins at ridiculously high RPM. It is powered by the engine's exhaust gases and force-feeds air into the engine.

25th Mar 2009, 11:53

I have an '02 Jetta GLS 1.8T with ~94K miles on it and I'm really regretting having bought it. Right now it's in the shop from a busted timing belt (stopped my car cold), valve job as a result of the busted timing belt, and getting the water pump replaced. All told it's costing me $2,800 not including the replacement valves and nearly a week in the shop! This car sucks!

Before the timing belt I've had most of the same problems that everyone else here has experienced.

Falling window (fixed for free under recall)

Radio fuse problem (had this happened 2 or 3 times to me)

Faulty tranny where it won't shift beyond 4th and every shift is really rough and clunky.

Ignition coil replaced.

Busted suspension or something to do with the suspension and fluids. Every time I'd corner I'd get a warning light and the usual beeping unless I took it real slowly and gently.

I'm never getting a VW again, getting this one was one of the biggest mistakes in my life. I'm going back to Japanese the next time around.

25th Apr 2009, 00:01

I too have a Jetta (station wagon) 1.8L Turbo tiptronic transmission. Big mistake on my part, I am regretting buying this VW. I have a manual Jetta 1995 that runs and runs and runs 300,000 miles. But these automatic transmissions are complete failure. It is a mystery as to why there is no lawsuit against the manufacturer for defects, not to mention grossly overpriced parts and labor. Every time I put one foot inside a VW dealership, it costs me at least $1,000. They are like hungry sharks waiting for us suckers to step inside and be devoured.

Once again, it IS a mystery as to why there has not been a GIANT lawsuit against the manufacturer. My advice: Buy Japanese cars, period.

5th May 2009, 22:28

I just recently bought my 2002 Jetta 1.8t tiptronic... and I wish I read these reviews first.

My check engine light is on after 3 days of owning this car.. I feel like I fell into a pit with this car that I can't climb out.. damn VW, I thought they made reliable cars. Guess not!! If there is a class action suit I'm in... shelling out money for this car and I just got it...

11th Jun 2009, 08:57

I purchased my 2002 Jetta GLS 1.8t with Tiptronic transmission new in April 2002. I used to put a LOT of miles on a car (over 40,000 per year) and the first 120,000 years were virtually problem free. I had to replace the mass airflow sensor twice (once at 15,000 and again at 115,000 which was not expensive at my dealership) and the coolant level sensor had to be replaced (which is part of the coolant reservoir so the whole unit was replaced, again not terribly expensive) and the front brakes.

My car now has almost 200,000 miles on it. I have had to replace the catalytic converters once, obviously I replaced the spark plugs, replaced the rear brakes once and had to change an ignition coil on one cylinder. I will now most likely need to replace the Alternator as that light is on and the belts/fuses look fine.

I have to say that all-in-all this has been a very good and reliable car for me. If I didn't think the new ones were so ugly, I would be buying another one. I have had more fun driving this car than any other new car I have ever owned.

Just wanted to give another point of view on the topic.