1985 Volkswagen Jetta GL from North America - Comments

9th May 2001, 03:18

I think the radio staying on is a weird VW quirk. I had a Rabbit that did that, and my Jetta does too, so I think it's a manufacturing thing. Nothing to worry about, but it is a little odd. Just takes some getting used to, I think.

19th Jul 2001, 23:49

So run a wire to the key power instead of the constant wire!

29th Sep 2001, 20:25

I have a 1985 Jetta with 478,000 km on it. Not cheap to maintain but still going.

3rd Jul 2002, 01:14

I spoke too soon about it being reliable. Almost a year ago I had the clutch replaced, because it had started slipping. Well, when this work was finished, I took it on the freeway to feel the difference, when I heard and felt something clang and strike underneath the car. I look in the rearview mirror, and see something long and skinny bouncing along. I take it back and tell these clods what happened, but they insist nothing is wrong, nothing's missing. "Must have been a tool left behind". Months later I take it in for an oil-change, only to find out the motor-mount bolt was gone. That is what clanged on the freeway. They neglected to bolt the motor back to the frame! I take it to Carter VW in Seattle to get that fixed. I was told that the starter was broken and barely connected to the motor because of the missing bolt. Had all that fixed, and they did an inspection saying I needed to replace brakes, shocks, belts, wipers, tires, get a tune-up and new hoses... of course. They managed to lose a piece of body trim and a lug-nut. Since then I got a tune up and new brakes, and the horrid car decides to die in mid drive. Take it to Goodyear where they tell me I need a new motor, that it lost compression in 3 cylinders!! It gave no indication of problem, no smoke, noise, anything. I really hate VW's now, and I will never buy another one. they are truly atrocious cars. Nice build quality, but nasty mechanics. I'm going to stick with American cars... perhaps they are not so stylish or have the greatest body quality standards, but at least they KEEP GOING.

1st Jan 2003, 17:42

If you're going to buy an older car, then learn something about fixing it yourself. Time and time again, I hear about all of the horror stories people have with their cars. It all comes down to some crappy garage that sucked you in for repairs that weren't necessary or they screwed something up.

Whenever I buy a car, I know I'm the only one that's going to work on it. If I can't do the job, I make sure I take it to a shop that I know isn't trying to screw me over. People say to get 3 quotes. If you really want to be sure, get 6 or 7. It's worth it in the end, rather than complaining about it and blaming it on the car.

I know there are car's out there that are lemons, but there are a lot of owner's that are to blame too.

15th Mar 2003, 02:39

Perhaps I was a bit hasty in my assessment of VW mechanical quality, however, I am still disappointed because I am not just a "motorist" that never checks anything. I do have used cars inspected before I buy them, and I maintain them regularly without fail. I do some light work myself, tune-ups, oil-changes, belts, flushes, tire-rotations, and all the other "little" things, such as lights. Unfortunately, I do not have the time, space, or equipment for major work, such as clutches or engine rebuilds. I am essentially at the mercy of unscrupulous money-hungry mechanics in those matters. Therefore, maybe I should correct myself and say I don't truly hate VW's (for they are not inherently bad cars) rather, I should say I "hate" those mechanics who try to jerk me around like I am completely unaware of how a car works or what it needs. I take superb care of any car I've owned, so when peculiar "sudden" mechanical catastrophes happen, I am very suspicious, for I know it isn't me to blame, and I will certainly take blame when it's due, but when it comes to these matters, I resent the implication that I'm careless about repairs. Once again, I know it isn't necessarily the car itself, but rather the poor practices of certain garages. I stand corrected.

25th Aug 2007, 13:36

My Volkswagen Jetta is still going strong with 276123 miles. Today I put new rear shocks on it and discovered the rear upper spring seat was cracked. I ordered one online for just $3.66.

The car has been a super great; just love it.

16th Jan 2008, 23:38

Now my 1985 Jetta has over 285000 miles and running great!

21st Aug 2008, 12:27

My Volkswagen Jetta is still running strong. The car turned 298000 miles and still does not use any oil. This car has had the oil and filter changed every 3000 miles and believe it has kept this car in great running condition. I love this car.

6th Jan 2009, 21:46

I bought a 1986 Jetta (gas SOHC) last year. It was registering 378000km on the clock, and was running like a top.

After repairing some of the more commonly found faults, it proved to be a very trustworthy and reliable car.

However, just before Christmas, a fuel line let go at the fuel distribution block. All of the fuel lines in this area are looking pretty rough, and I would like to replace them, unfortunately the dealer has told me they are no longer available.

If anyone out there can put me on a supplier for these parts, I would be very grateful, as would my youngest child, who wants this for her first car!

Thanks in advance.

jusjyd@hotmail.com

6th Mar 2009, 02:15

My 85 Jetta is still going strong with 313,245 miles on her.

This coming week will be replacing the rack and pinion gear. Shop wanted 1600.00 to do the work. I purchased the rack and pinion gear for 186.00.

When the car had 209,000 miles on it, there was a problem with it not wanting to idle. Two professional garages said it was the fuel injection system and would be around 2500 to 3000 to fix. I replaced the spark plugs, this was all that was wrong with it.

Now over 100,000 miles later never a problem with the fuel injection system, great car!

You have to be careful of the shops, if they cannot check the car with a computer they can't work on them. Seems it's hard to find a shop were they can do the basics.

F.

4th Sep 2009, 21:40

My 1985 Golf diesel has over 672000 miles on it.

Original front axles still on it.

The first alternator bearing started to go on it at 400,000 miles.

Rear wheel bearings lasted almost 500,000 miles.

Engine valves replaced first time at 535,000 miles.

Last tank 55 miles per gallon. I had a few tanks give me 60 mpg.

Of course I maintain it well to go this far.

Rear springs replaced at 600,000 miles.

I have a replacement car just like it, but this one won't quit. If anyone has a better car than this, let me know what kind. The Germans have all the world's records for longevity, and these cars are cheap to fix, if you have the right people to repair them.

Oakley, Michigan.

2nd Apr 2011, 22:08

Hi, I bought a 85 VW Jetta for $500. Spark plugs, cap, rotor, and wires needed to be changed. Worked perfect after that. Now the car drives and runs perfect. Then two hours later, it has lost power and can't make it past 80, and the engine revs to 4000rpm and the vehicle's speed does not move past 60 to 80. Park it for another hour, then it will be perfect. Then another hour later, the same thing happens. I need an answer to what is wrong with it. Please and thank you.

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