5th Aug 2010, 17:21

I have a 1.8t Jetta with 196,000 miles on it, and some of this stuff is really funny.

To the last guy with the timing belt going out under 100,000... the recommended replacement interval is 75,000 miles. This will change depending on how the car is driven, and should be checked frequently to assure against cracking and splitting.

I am on my second transmission (01m 4spd auto); the first was done in by a bad rectifier in a replacement alternator which damaged the servos in the valve body of the transmission. The replacement is going strong, and had it rebuilt by an import transmission shop.

The life expectancy of an automatic transmission is very dependent on how it is driven, the temperatures it is operated at, and the age of the fluid. VW says it is a lifetime sealed transmission; this is not the case. While the car has no dipstick to check the transmission fluid (mostly because overfilling it will cause damage), there is a way for the fluid to be checked and filled (or replaced) by a trained mechanic. It is important to change your automatic transmission fluid at least once every 75,000 miles or you risk driving around on burned fluid. The wear on the fluid is accelerated by hard driving or a cooling system that is malfunctioning. VW's are designed so that the temp gauge stays dead center; if it isn't after a few minutes driving in warm weather, or about 30 minutes in cold weather, then you should have the cooling system checked.

With some care, these cars will last you a good long time. My engine is still going strong and doesn't show any signs of stopping anytime soon. The important thing is to find a good intelligent mechanic. Usually the simplest explanation is the problem I have found. Dealerships will just attach a computer to your car and tell you what the computer says is wrong. More often than not, it is just once sensor causing the issue, or in my case, more often than not, a bad connector.

10th Oct 2010, 23:47

I have a 02 Jetta VR6 with a 4 speed auto trans. It has no traction after 2nd gear, the engine just reeves up in 3rd and 4th, also engine codes P1624 and P0730.


25th Dec 2010, 15:44


I just bought my 2002 Volkswagen Jetta 1.8T last month (November 2010) and I am having a problem. Sometimes when I first start the vehicle in the morning, it will begin to jerk and buck while in idle. As soon as I shift it into drive, I can sometimes push the gas pedal all the way to the floor and the vehicle will not accelerate; sometimes it even stalls. Also, sometimes when I am driving on the road and I go to accelerate, the vehicle will not accelerate; again, I can push the gas pedal to the floor and not pick up speed. This goes away after a few seconds, and the car will perform normally.

I was just wondering if someone could PLEASE help me diagnose this problem. You can e-mail me anytime at muise1000@hotmail.com

Thank you very much for any help you may be able to provide!!!


29th Dec 2010, 14:52

I have the same issues with the 3rd gear randomly not wanting to shift, the Crayola crayon waxy smell, the electrical system blacking out, horn failure, washer fluid squirters not working anymore, etc...

I can deal with all the small stuff, but I need help figuring out the 3rd gear and electrical blackout issues!

17th Mar 2011, 23:34

I am in Canada, and have 233,300 km on my 2002 VW Jetta 1.8T, and after reading all these articles, realize I may be luckier than most to go so many km. I too have had virtually all the same issues. I bought the car new, and have it serviced regularly both at the dealership and VW qualified shops. In the opinion of the service shops - my car is babied.

Today on the highway, the transmission problem became near life threatening as I had my foot on the gas to pass, and suddenly there was no gear. It engaged, then the same occurred three more times in a very short period of time as I was trying to pull off to the side. I was able to pull off within minutes, but could not initially get through the traffic circle - revving but no gears. I was lucky and did get the few km to my service shop, although barely. They are stumped.

If the news is as bad as I expect, I am not looking forward to tomorrow.

28th Jul 2011, 07:48

My daughter has a 2002 VW Jetta 1.8 turbo that she bought with 88,000 miles on it 2 years ago.

2 months after she bought it, the timing belt let loose and destroyed the head. Both axles have had to be replaced, crankshaft seal, tie-rods, fuse block on battery, and now the transmission is out.

She's still making payments on car, and it has cost more than the car is worth. The VW dealer service department is worthless, and these cars should have never been put on the market. It's cost me more than the car is worth, and still pouring money into it. VW should be responsible for all repairs, no matter how old the car is. I will to this day bad mouth VW forever, and hope they go under, the pieces of S--t.

10th Sep 2011, 07:22

The tail light issue is a recall. Go to your dealer and ensure the vehicle has had its recall work done.

20th Sep 2011, 17:47

GEE, this sounds EXACTLY LIKE MY VW!!! I am so disappointed in my purchase.

Window switches broke, glove box broke, gear shift (dust cover?) broke, engine cooling fan (slow speed) burnt out, water pump now broke. What a piece of JUNK!!!

18th Feb 2012, 00:09

Wow, it sounds so so familiar! 2002 1.8t Silver Jetta with so many problems. We bought this car, because over the years, they have delivered both great advertising and a great product. But if you decide to have something manufactured somewhere else, and still use the VW name... shame on you.

My car just turned 100,000 miles and it gets stuck in 4th gear. Neutral and Reverse work, so I am driving it 3 miles to and from work. The mechanic said it is common, but normally around 60,000 miles, so I had got a good one.

My Acura got stolen with over a 150,000 miles and was going strong. I don't think anyone is stealing the 2002 Jetta's out there. I don't think I will put any more money in to this car, and I will not own another VW. I have owned many Westfalia's, and have loved most of them, but if they don't deliver quality like they used to, I am no longer supporting them. Shame on you VW.

28th Mar 2012, 16:46

I have a 02 1.8t Jetta, and it's also falling apart! I will never buy VW again.

2nd Apr 2012, 20:30

Scary reading all of these articles. My daughter just had to have the 2002 1.8T. She is now experiencing the same issue of not shifting and revving to 6k RPM. Cannot wait to go to the dealer. Wish I had found this site 4 months ago.

14th Apr 2012, 15:45

Oh no, please don't tell me this. I just bought mine from a VW dealership a month and a half ago, for $5000 cash, and this exact same thing is happening to me. It freaked me out, it wouldn't shift into 2nd and just revved into high RPM, so I have to let mine warm up for about a half hour too. It sucks because I love the look of my car...