What's wrong with '01-'03 Jetta?....- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    What's wrong with '01-'03 Jetta?....

    Consumer reports gives them the 'Bad used car deal' label. What's up?

    Anyone recommend or not recommend? Thinking of getting one.

  2. #2
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    too wide for singletrack

    I remember some older Jettas and VWs in general getting bad marks for electrical stuff. It could also be relatively high repair costs.

  3. #3

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    www.vwvortex.com is a great place to learn about VWs, Look in the fourms.

  4. #4
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    I've heard of electrical problems being an issue.

    I have an '03 Jetta GLS and have had no problems (knock on wood) so far, except the stereo stopped working suddenly about six months after I got it. Removing and re-inserting the fuse fixed that, even though it wasn't loose in the fuseboard.

    IMHO, VW quality has taken a dive as a result of manufacturing in Mexico. The European-built cars don't have anywhere near the number of gripes about their build quality etc.

    Mine is leased so I'm not too concerned about resale values etc, but I'm questioning whether I'd buy another VW after this one based on the amount of bad stories I've heard.

  5. #5

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    Oxygen sensor...

    but they fixed it, under warranty/recall, no less. I've beaten the living hell out of mine (80000 in three years, and only an oil change or so in between), and it works fine. Electrical used to be a problem (on the 3rd gen--this is the 4th, and I've also owned a 2nd), but they ironed the wrinkles out with reasonable efficacy.

    For what it's worth, it's been an amazing car, and will be for many years to come. When it comes down to it, I'm sure I'll replace it with something from the same folks. Or perhaps another BMW, but they're so damn expensive to work on (unless you can chop change for a new one--not my kettle o fish).

  6. #6

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    Same problem on an '02 Passat

    Quote Originally Posted by Jive Tolkien
    I've heard of electrical problems being an issue.

    I have an '03 Jetta GLS and have had no problems (knock on wood) so far, except the stereo stopped working suddenly about six months after I got it. Removing and re-inserting the fuse fixed that, even though it wasn't loose in the fuseboard.

    IMHO, VW quality has taken a dive as a result of manufacturing in Mexico. The European-built cars don't have anywhere near the number of gripes about their build quality etc.

    Mine is leased so I'm not too concerned about resale values etc, but I'm questioning whether I'd buy another VW after this one based on the amount of bad stories I've heard.
    My wife has an '02 Passat and it had the same problem. The radio would stop working. I would remove the fuse (still good) and replace it and the radio would work. We told VW about it and they found that the connector on the back of the radio had issues and was replaced. They apparently know about this problem. Take it to the dealer and have them fix it. At least tell VW about it so you're cover if it goes out again.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by WarrGuru
    My wife has an '02 Passat and it had the same problem. The radio would stop working. I would remove the fuse (still good) and replace it and the radio would work. We told VW about it and they found that the connector on the back of the radio had issues and was replaced. They apparently know about this problem. Take it to the dealer and have them fix it. At least tell VW about it so you're cover if it goes out again.
    Jettas got a bad rap for those yrs due to 2 primary reasons - window regulators and coilpacks. Both would fail. Both are covered under recall notices so even if the previous owner hasn't taken care of it - you should still be covered.

    They're great cars despite the above.

    As mentioned above www.vwvortex.com is the place to go for info if you're concerned (I'm a mod over there)

  8. #8
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    you've only changed the oil a couple times in 3 yrs and 80k miles?!?! Do you really expect it to last much longer?

  9. #9
    ballbuster
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    bad coils on 1.8l turbo

    The '02 and '03 Jetta with turbos used a distributorless ignition system. They had a pack of 4 ignition coils insteal of a distrubutor so they could alter the timing of each cylinder independently.

    They had a bad batch of coils that all failed, and had a recall on the 1.8 turbos equipped cars only. The 2.0 regular and VR6 engines were not affected, but CR doesn't have different catagories about this or have data isolating the cars after the fix was introduced.

    I hear they are perfectly fine, as long as the recall work on the coils had been done.

  10. #10
    ballbuster
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    mexico...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jive Tolkien
    I've heard of electrical problems being an issue.

    I have an '03 Jetta GLS and have had no problems (knock on wood) so far, except the stereo stopped working suddenly about six months after I got it. Removing and re-inserting the fuse fixed that, even though it wasn't loose in the fuseboard.

    IMHO, VW quality has taken a dive as a result of manufacturing in Mexico. The European-built cars don't have anywhere near the number of gripes about their build quality etc.

    Mine is leased so I'm not too concerned about resale values etc, but I'm questioning whether I'd buy another VW after this one based on the amount of bad stories I've heard.
    They've been building Jettas in Mexico since 1985, Golfs from '85 to '95, IIRC and again since 2002 IIRC. The Only VWs from Germany are the Eurovan, Passat, Corrado, Cabrio (karmann factory mod of a euro Golf) and Tourag, I think. I don't think Mexico has anything to do with the build quality. The issues they've had have been related to parts from other vendors, like Bosch (coils) and defects inplastics, (window regularor clips failing). Not to say it's not VWs fault, but I think a guy in Mexico assembling sub-assemblies from Germany has little to do with it.

    /me know way too much about VDubs

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by RetroG
    Consumer reports gives them the 'Bad used car deal' label. What's up?

    Anyone recommend or not recommend? Thinking of getting one.
    My experience with VW is limited to an older Passat lemon, and my buddy's Jetta: I now have a huge bias against that company as a result of these experiences. Love the style, general handling setup, and interior quality; mildly dissappointed with the amt of hp vs price ratio; and disgusted with the lack of reliability and cost of parts. I'd feel a lot more confident in a Kia, seriously, unless I had an extended warranty on the Jetta. Even a Bimmer with more expensive parts could easily cost less to maintain, and depreciate less. I realize that many ppl may have flawless VWs, and I may have just had bad luck, but many reviews of VWs I've read (J.D. Power, Consumer Reports) confirm my bias. Edmunds.com, however, likes the car.

    These guys feel more strongly about it than me:
    http://www.myvwlemon.com/

    Here's a random Jetta discussion link with some ppl on both sides ...
    http://forum.miata.net/ubb/ultimateb...;f=11;t=015085

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by pimpbot
    Not to say it's not VWs fault, but I think a guy in Mexico assembling sub-assemblies from Germany has little to do with it.
    About a dozen years ago I was living in AZ and worked as a test driver for VW when they were still running out of PIR, just before they opened their new track south of Phx. All I can say is that the techs and engineers we worked with griped about the problems with build quality with the products coming out of Mexico.

    That said, I really enjoyed driving the Vdubs. Every evening we'd drive out through Wickenburg, up to Prescott, wind over the twisties on Mingus Mountain (yipee!!), crest the summit just in time to see the sunset over Sedona, down through Jerome and Cottonwood, then shoot back down the highway to PIR. I've never had a job where (on every rest stop) people would always come up to me and ask where I ever found a job like that. I'll admit, it was a blast.

    The main gripe I had about VWs then was that they didn't seem to know how to build an automatic transmission with an IQ over 70. Don't know whether they've gotten any better since then or not, but that was my only real gripe as far as the driving experience: stick with the stick shift.

  13. #13

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    Don't worry...

    you're making brash assumptions. It's had its oil changed a number of times--about every two-thousand miles, in fact.

    Wait...why are we talking about this?

  14. #14
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    Have a 2001....

    Jett wagon with close to 70k. So far so good on the mechanical front. Besides a window regulator that blew out on the interstate due to some wierd air pressure imbalance anomaly (replaced free of charge) I've had no problems. Like the fella with 80k on his, I've done the fluid change thing at proper intervals but little else. Still get pretty good mileage.
    It's a great alternative to those mini SUVs like the Ford Escape or Honda CRV. Same room, slightly better gas mileage. I know that the guys on Car Talk on NPR hate the Jetta, though.

  15. #15

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    It's not a bike.......

    Arent they made by Cannondale?

  16. #16
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    I have an 01 jetta, what bike rack should i get for it?

  17. #17
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    I love my 03 jetta! It's the 1.8t "Wolfsburg edition", whatever that means. I bought it used (low miles) a year or so ago and have already almost put 30k more on it! I did run into some problems with strange noises, and it turned out to be a cracked air pump. I got that fixed and now she runs like a charm! 006_007: I put the Yakima system on mine and couldn't be happier. Bolted on two "king cobras", and they hold onto the bikes real good!

    It's a good time for good times

  18. #18
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    I never recommend VW's

    I owned VW's from 1977 to 2006 so I have lots of experience which only goes to show how stupid I am. While they were fun to drive and I liked the designs, it seemed one small thing after another was always breaking and the cost of repairs was very high.

    I remember a number of emissions related problems on my 2000 Passat that cost me about $1500. That was the last straw. When the dealer would not cover the problems at 35,000 miles, (this was when the car had a 2 Year/24,000 warranty) I swore I would never own another VW product and have kept my word.

    My wife's '99 Passat had to be towed with an electrical problem when it had about 12,000 miles. While it was covered by warranty, it was not a good omen. In fact, her '99 would have made any GM product seem perfect, it was that bad. There were constant front end problems involving the suspension which VW finally recalled around 2004 if I remember correctly.

    The seats wore out at 50k on my '87 GTI. That is a great sign of quality.

    My VW ownership involved Rabbits/Golfs (same platform as the Jetta) and a variety of Passats, with 4 and 6 cylinder engines both turbo and non-turbo. All VW's were standard transmission.

    Ever since switching to a Subaru Outback in 2006 I have had zero problems.

    Therefore, I can no longer in good faith recommend any VW products and you would be smart to stay far away from them.

  19. #19
    The White Jeff W
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    Quote Originally Posted by SDizzle
    you're making brash assumptions. It's had its oil changed a number of times--about every two-thousand miles, in fact.

    Wait...why are we talking about this?
    You said...

    Quote Originally Posted by SDizzle
    I've beaten the living hell out of mine (80000 in three years, and only an oil change or so in between), and it works fine.

  20. #20
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    I have a 2000 Jetta GL (the bottom end one with the the basics). I have 190K on it and it has been fine. I will say the overall repair costs for this vehicle have been higher than others I have owned in the past, but that doesn't make it a bad car. Mine doesn't have the 1.8T or power windows so I missed out on windows falling into the door and the coil packs failling. www.vwvortex.com is a great site for info. Its like any other car, some people get lemons and they all have some sort of issues. When this one dies I am probably buying another one.
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

    2018 Niner RKT 9 RDO - enduro AF

  21. #21
    ozz
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    lol I think after 6 years the OP has most likely already made a decision.

  22. #22
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    I don't know ozz, maybe he is really taking the time to think it out. lol

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozz
    lol I think after 6 years the OP has most likely already made a decision.

    hook line and sinker. This is why computers should be turned off when I start drinking whiskey

  24. #24
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    lmao - this was in passion since jan 2004 and NOW it gets moved......

  25. #25
    Sweep the leg!
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    better late than never?
    Authorities speculate that speed may have been a factor. They are also holding gravity and inertia for questioning.

  26. #26
    Disgruntled Peccary
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    Quote Originally Posted by pimpbot
    They've been building Jettas in Mexico since 1985, Golfs from '85 to '95, IIRC and again since 2002 IIRC. The Only VWs from Germany are the Eurovan, Passat, Corrado, Cabrio (karmann factory mod of a euro Golf) and Tourag, I think.
    My 08 Rabbit (Golf) was made in the autostadt.. There are more assembly sites than Germany and Mexico, there's also some sites in Portugal and IIRC some in Eastern Europe
    mike

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