1998 Volkswagen Jetta GT from North America - Comments

26th Sep 2001, 23:15

Steering wheel clock spring???

Can anyone explain what this is exactly? I'm asking because I've noticed problems with my steering wheel lately and I'd just as soon trust anyone else's answer than the dealers.

31st Jan 2003, 07:21

I really love my GT. I do agree that it depends on what day your Jetta was made. QC really varies with these models. So be careful when buying a used Jetta, run a carfax check, and hope that the car was off lease. At least that way you will have service records. If you get a good Jetta, it will be the best car you ever owned. If not, get rid of the car or it will nickle and dime you to death, and you will swear of VW forever.

26th Jun 2003, 18:52

Anyone have trouble with there 98 Jetta where when they drive in reverse, there is a clicking sound under the hood. Its starting to happen to me, and an fearfull what the dealer is going to say.

I also have problems with the molding, lost one, another one almost off, and at $150 to replace, I think VW should decide on a recall.

6th Oct 2003, 13:36

I was hoping that you could let me know what the dealer reported. I have the same problem and the dealer says it's the transmission, but won't diagnose it fully until I give them $700 to pay for the labor to get the transmission out. Then if the warranty will cover it I'll get my money back (highly unlikely). And independent shop told me the same problem (reverse clicking) was most likely due to a component in the brakes, but told me to hold off on replacing because it wasn't dangerous and the brakes had lots of life left.

I'd appreciate a follow-up on that one and will try to do the same when I get to the bottom of this.

I'm dying to get rid of this VW, but stand to lose way too much money as I still owe half of the loan. Will never buy a VW again, despite the other positives I've heard.

7th Dec 2003, 19:23

I have had the following problems with my Jetta GLX 1998. All four windows had problems with the power switch motor (excuse me for not referring to the car parts properly). Volkswagon of America realized the odd problem and reimbursed me for my expenses (including labor charge). I have had my brakes replaced about three times. Ignition switch was replaced. They replaced it because my engine light kept turning on and none of my electrical worked. No air, no lights etc. My molding was replaced on front driver and passenger side as well as the rear. Now, I have a recall notice for tires going flat. I have noticed that they deflate quickly. I replaced the tires twice. Is this all normal??? Does anyone have similar problems?

19th Mar 2005, 14:28

This is a common thing with VW and Mercedes cars and it is not harmful. Some Mercedes squeak in reverse. What it is is the brakes do not fully disengage when in reverse. It is not harmful. I think the purpose was that rotors sometimes collect rust if they sit for a while and if the brakes are slightly engaged, this will remove the rust so as to not let it cause any performance issues when you are using your brakes while going forward. Generally, nothing to worry about.

19th Mar 2006, 21:28

You must research, and know what the hell you are doing when buying used cars, otherwise you get screwed over. VW Jetta's are not the best used cars to get unless you have some mechanical sense, like me LOL.

I actually don't feel like telling my story again so...

http://www.carsurvey.org/review_88017.html

That's better.

Replace your brakes with OEM parts; cheapo rotors and pads are crap. Re-stick the molding on with 3M auto double sided tape for a real adhesive, heat with a hairdryer too, and add glue where needed after. They stick for good after that.

I've never had flat tires.

The clicking in reverse is common to certain types of transmissions. You put it in reverse, and it whines a bit as you back up. My car does it, and my friend's Kia Sephia does it...

The only weak points of this car in my opinion are the power windows (one of mine was out when I got it, but it's a rear one so...) and the starter. Buy a premium re-manufactured starter with a warranty if you do replace it.

Great cars overall though to drive.

30th Jul 2006, 08:47

My Brother just got a 1998 Volkswagen Jetta and he loves it! I can't wait until my dad buys me a car in the next 9-10 years!

19th Jun 2007, 14:11

My Girlfriend bought her 1998 Jetta GT last summer. It's been quite reliable, other than the starter dropping dead a couple months after the purchase. We've replaced wear & tear parts, including: muffler (prone to rust-out apparently), rear shocks (the trunk is so big, the back end sags when you fill it!), and now one of the rear wheel-bearings needs replacing. But, at over 600km/tank on the highway, this car is a pleasure to drive and she loves it!

27th Jul 2007, 17:33

I bought a 1995 Jetta GL last April. It too had the odometer issue mentioned a few posts above. I fixed this by simply re-seating the wire harness at the back of the instrument cluster.

Several of the items mentioned in above posts are well known 'issues', at least amongst certain MK3 Golf and Jetta owners. There are fixes available if you go to bentleypublishers.com and additional help (but mostly community or cheap parts) at vwvortex.com. There are a lot of mechanics (both by trade and Do-it-yourself-ers) on Bentley Publishers, so they are quite helpful. Even if you don't want to fix the stuff yourself, at least you will have an idea of what is broken in the first place!

I love my Jetta most of the time, but have found I cannot take her just anywhere to get fixed. "Just anywhere" inevitably breaks something that wasn't broken before.

25th Aug 2007, 00:17

I was thinking about buying a 1998 VR6 Jetta. Is this a good idea or a very bad decision? Any help would be nice; I'm so confused with all the differences and similarities in previous comments.

1st Apr 2010, 02:32

I would not suggest buying a VR6. They are a pain to work on, therefore you will be charged for labour. All these other problems you are hearing are simple. Not like everyone is saying they needed to rebuild a tranny or replace a head gasket or have huge rusting problems.

Falling off trims... clean it, put some glue on, stick it in place. everything else has been regular maintenance.

If you aren't scared to get your hands a bit dirty, a v dub will last a lifetime. They are great built cars. Just do some research on the vehicle you are buying.

25th May 2011, 05:30

The clicking in reverse is most likely the synchro in reverse. Drive it until it goes completely. In the meantime, look for a good used transmission. The mouldings can be reattached with a 3M double sided tape - I have used it, and mine have not come off since.

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