By on April 24, 2012

Ahh, 2002, those were the days. I was 14 years old, had my first girlfriend and an avid reader of Sport Compact Car. I was thoroughly convinced that the Nissan 240SX was the best car in the world but also had a thing for the Volkswagen Jetta with the 1.8T engine.

The MKIV Jetta 1.8T engine may have been easily upgraded to produce more power, but they were also some of the worst cars of that era in terms of reliability. Friends who later purchased them used (despite my advice) ended up having all kinds of problems with them. Volkswagen is bringing back the 1.8T, but fortunately not the one that was afflicting with defective coilpacks.

The 1.8T engine will become the “premium” engine in the new Jetta, replacing the 2.5L 5-cylinder engine. The new trim, dubbed SEL Plus, would be the top Jetta, but still below the GLI. With 158 horsepower (in European trim), the new 1.8T wouldn’t quite measure up to the old motor, but the 185 lb-ft of torque sweetens the deal. The long-rumored 1.4T will remain solely in the Jetta Hybrid for now.

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72 Comments on “Volkswagen Jetta Getting 1.8T Engine – It’s 2002 All Over Again...”


  • avatar
    LeeK

    Uh-oh. Cue the VW quality horror stories that inevitably follow.

    • 0 avatar
      TW4

      Owning a Mark IV VW was like surviving combat. Stories are a coping device.

      • 0 avatar
        Ubermensch

        I can recognize the thousand-yard stare of a fellow VAG veteran from across a room. What CELs have been seen, cannot be un-seen.

      • 0 avatar
        Lemmy-powered

        We had 3 in my family. Two were trouble-free from start to finish.

        But the third one (the earliest model) had EVERYTHING break. It got more mileage on a tow truck than under its own power. That said, after every single factory part had been replaced, it became dead reliable and is still on the road daily, 13 years on.

    • 0 avatar
      Manic

      I have had now for last 4 years cars with the same motor, DI 1,8 L Turbo and zero problems, around 8 sec to 100 kph (62 mph) is quick enough. But yeah, when something VAG makes goes to America it will be labeled pretty soon as unreliable.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Ubermensch
        April 24th, 2012 at 3:55 pm

        “I can recognize the thousand-yard stare of a fellow VAG veteran from across a room. What CELs have been seen, cannot be un-seen.”

        Seriously. As a former owner of a Passat (2.0T, though), knowing 3 friends with either Passats or Audi TTs (all 1.8Ts), every single one of them had so many problems with their motors – every single one was afflicted with the coil pack self-destruction syndrome and electrical & electronic systems, that it was jokingly referred to as the Christmas Tree Light Dashboard Club. All the bright colors of the season, on all time, but with none of the festive mood (I also had the distinct pleasure of having the VW dealership where I purchased the Passat, as well as VW Corporate, tell me that having a 2006 Passat 2.0T that burned a quart of synthetic motor oil every 800 to 1,000 miles was “normal” and “withing specs,” steadfastly refusing to even look under the hood of the car to at least pretend to do some diagnostics or eyeballing).

        And then…there was the guy with the 2001 Golf, but I dare not go there, because I doubt that anyone would believe me if I relayed even half the problems he suffered with that vehicle, which he purchased new, and which he had to literally fight VW to buy back under what was a clear violation of state lemon law statute (many times over).

        The only two people I know who haven’t been brutalized by VW (non)reliability are a 30ish young woman who has owned two consecutive Jettas (last gen), with only minor problems incurred, and a great uncle, who only bought and worked on air cooled Beetles (but he was a pro).

        Everyone else I know that bought a VW was let down in such a big way, not just with their cars, but with the dealership and company, that they swore off the brand forever.

      • 0 avatar
        gslippy

        @DeadWeight:

        I’m glad you note the oil burning of the 1.8T. That was a 5-valve engine, as was the 2.8 V6 in my 02 Passat. It started burning a quart every 1000 miles with only 30k on it, which I discovered when it was 3 (!) quarts low when the oil light flicked on at a hard stop.

        The dealer told me it was leaking, and offered to fix the cam tensioner under warranty (business was slow at that particular time). I knew my engine well enough to know it wasn’t leaking, and the dealer was only trying to keep his guys employed another day.

        That was the last straw. After suffering through a host of electrical problems, brake problems, and now the engine was burning oil (valve guides, I’m sure), and with the warranty due to expire, I quickly traded it for a Scion xB. What a relief.

      • 0 avatar
        gslippy

        @manic:
        “But yeah, when something VAG makes goes to America it will be labeled pretty soon as unreliable.”

        People don’t wish to make up horror stories about the cars they’ve paid so much money for – they’d rather brag about them.

        Hyundais used to be labeled as unreliable, but people eventually discovered that the company improved its quality and offered a warranty to match.

        VW is not a victim of bad press; it is a victim of bad product, and corporate arrogance which refuses to do anything about it over the last 15 years or so.

        I’m glad for your success with a VW. I’ve had good luck with some Chryslers, too, but their reputation is well-earned also.

      • 0 avatar
        Manic

        You people do understand that this motor was introduced in Europe around 2006, it has direct injection and is quite different compared to earlier 1,8 which you hate?

    • 0 avatar

      My 2002 Jetta is still going strong with 198,000 miles. Largely trouble-free.

      Of course it has the 1.9L TDI engine, not the 1.8T.

    • 0 avatar
      vento97

      2003 MkIV VW Jetta 1.8T – 205,000 miles and still going strong…

      Swapped factory ignition coils for Hitachi Aftermarket coils
      5000-mile regular oil changes with VW 502.00/503.01 compliant Group IV Synthetic oil
      60,000 mile tranmission fluid changes
      Replaced cam-chain tensioner @ 175,000 miles
      Changed factory rubber PCV hose kit with aftermarket silicone kit
      First timing belt service @ 65,000 miles (plastic factory OEM waterpump junk), 75,000 mile intervals thereafter with aftermarket metal waterpump

      Regular maintenance, folks… regular maintenance…

      • 0 avatar
        Ubermensch

        Using insider information to find aftermarket parts that keep the car reliable is not “regular” maintenance. It seems the only way to keep these car reliable is to be “in the know” and wrench yourself. Which is why VW will never be Toyota if they can’t improve the quality of their OEM FACTORY parts.

        Personally, I never had any issues with the 1.8T engine in my Passat (5k OCIs w/ VW spec oil)…it was EVERYTHING else.

    • 0 avatar
      vento97

      The old 1.8T (Code: AWW/AWM) was the 20-valve unit with a timing belt.

      The upcoming 1.8T is the smaller-displacement version of the 16-valve, direct-injected, timing chain equipped 2.0L TSI engine.

      So to use the headline “Its 2002 all over again” is not only disingenuous, it’s also an example of lazy journalism. You’re much better than that, TTAC…

  • avatar
    Peter

    The Nissan 240SX kind of is, in a lot of ways, the best car in the world. Great RWD chassis, simple, elegant.

  • avatar
    A Caving Ape

    Guess I should get in early with my pro-VW stance!

    I bought one of these with 90,000 on the clock, and it gave me 50,000 trouble free miles! Perhaps my willingness to do preventative maintenance and do battle with things like the PCV system had something to do with it, I never ran into any of the fabled VW fragility. In fact I liked it so much that when it was time to upgrade I bought yet another car with the 1.8T. And guess what? It’s been flawless!

    Oh, and about those coildpacks… they cost $15 (for upgraded, non-defective units) and can be replaced with no tools whatsoever. Why the ire?

    • 0 avatar
      highrpm

      @ A Caving Ape,

      You cannot say that your car was flawless when you are describing PCV issues, coil pack problems, and who knows what else.

      You have been able to diagnose the problems and fix them yourself cheaply. This is true. But there have been problems.

      I buy a lot of the 1.8T cars at auction. They usually have a lot of issues that I have learned to repair cheaply over the years. Yet for the average car owner who is less mechanically inclined (or who doesn’t have time to diagnose and repair), those $15 coil packs turn into an $800 repair.

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        “In fact I liked it so much that when it was time to upgrade I bought yet another car with the 1.8T. And guess what? It’s been flawless!” (emphasis added).

        He CAN say the car was flawless when the one he’s talking about is the replacement, not the one with the issues.

      • 0 avatar

        yes, but that’s any car. I have an old bmw. Window regulator, $125.00-dealer, a $600 job. Front Control Arm Bushings, $95, installed at dealer, $700 job. Front Brakes, $199 using OE Supplier parts, at dealer $1,000. DIY, if you can do it, is your friend. If you can’t, due to space or lack of ability/interest, don’t buy a VW/BMW/euro car.

        All cars also have a weak point, but with forums and user groups, someone else has figured out the fix and someone else knows where to get the parts for a fair price.

        Oh, my Acura has had issues too, but I’m sure as it is an Acura, no one would believe me.

      • 0 avatar
        Patrickj

        @Speedlaw
        While it’s nice that a skilled DIY can maintain European cars in the U.S. without financial ruin, the better U.S. and Asian models are running up very high mileages with little more than tires, brakes, and oil changes.

        I’ve only had to repair one window regulator in 30 years of owning cars of six different brands. I certainly wouldn’t put up with a car where I had to become skilled at removing the door panels.

    • 0 avatar
      Jellodyne

      Spin the chamber, gun to temple, pull trigger. Click! No problems here. I don’t get what the big deal is, this game is perfectly safe.

    • 0 avatar
      vento97

      >Oh, and about those coildpacks… they cost $15 (for upgraded, non-defective units) and can be replaced with no tools whatsoever. Why the ire?

      I resolved my coil pack issue by ditching the factory coilpacks for the very reliable Hitachi bolt-on coil packs..

  • avatar
    FuzzyPlushroom

    So this is effectively a smaller 2.0T. Works for me, I suppose – the old 1.8T /was/ a sweet engine /if/ you were exceedingly careful with maintenance (and, yes, replaced the coil packs), but the 2.0T (EA888) apparently isn’t quite as finicky.

    So, about that antediluvian single-cam 2.0…

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    This makes perfect sense. VWs with the 2.5 I5 actually achieved average reliability scores, and that was making all the 2.0T, VR6 and TDI lemons look even worse.

  • avatar
    bball40dtw

    I’d rather have Ford put the 1.6 Ecoboost into the US Focus. VW will still probably sell quite a few turbocharged Cobalts, er Jettas.

  • avatar
    Speed Spaniel

    Up on the car carrier coated in white plastic I found love at first sight. It was a 2002 dark blue Jetta wagon 1.8T with the sport package and nice 17″ Long Beach rims, 5 speed manual, sunroof, heated cloth seats and Monsoon stereo. A couple of days later after the car was prepped I took it for a test drive and I was floored not knowing anything about the 1.8T engine. The power was so immediate, unlike the ‘rev it until you break it’ Honda’s I was accustomed to driving. It was this car that broke me from a long string of Honda/Acura products and turned me into a loyalist of VW/Audi products. I LOVED driving this car. It was the only machine I’ve ever driven outside of warranty and I sold it to a couple with 75,000 totally trouble free miles. When I sold it, the fit and finish looked as good as when it was up on the car carrier. As an antithesis to this story, after raving how great my VW was, my Aunt purchased a Jetta sedan which unfortunately was made in Mexico (wagons were made in Germany). The same could not be said about the sedan’s fit and finish, leaky window seals and unreliable mechanicals. I felt badly for referring her to VW…..further tetimony that there’s little gray with VW products. They are either great or just terrible. Today my Aunt drives an Acura.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      I’ve had three VW products with no issues(MKV Jetta, MKV GTI, and MKVI Golf) besides the DSG recall. However, I know am rolling the dice owning a TSI and a TDI, both with DSG transmissions.

    • 0 avatar
      Sundowner

      I’ve had five (5) Audi/VW’s over the years and every_single_one was dead stone reliable and a joy to drive EXCEPT the one Mexican built piece of crap Jetta. If I were phyisically able to drink gasoline and urinate napalm on that car, it would be on Youtube already.

  • avatar
    rubix5609

    Ive had one for 2 years I bought for 100k from people who really neglected it (little did I know) and although it takes decent amounts of maintenance, it’s a great car. Aside from timing belt replacement and a broken compressor (my fault) the only thing that pisses me off is some rotten PVC Hoses. Mechanically it’s a solid engine but it just takes a little more maintenance something most people don’t want to deal with. It’s very quick and I prefer it to any American or Asian car Ive ever driven. The reliability isn’t good but if vw fixes it, it will be a great selling car

  • avatar
    PlentyofCars

    I had a coil go out back then. They replaced all of them no charge. I believe they were a recall item for certain model years.

    That old 1.8T had a fantastic mid-range power band. Friends assumed the car had a V6.

    • 0 avatar
      Ubermensch

      I had the coil pack recall performed on my Passat 1.8T and a coil still went bad a short while later.

      • 0 avatar
        vento97

        I keep telling people, ditch the factory coils and install the Hitachi coils. I did this on my 2003 Wolfsburg Jetta 1.8T and my wife’s 2003 Passat 1.8T years ago and they haven’t been an issue since.

        You can get it from here: http://www.ecstuning.com/Volkswagen-337_20AE–1.8T/Engine/Ignition/ES7536/

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    We had a 2003 Passat with the 1.8T engine. It was great. Good blend of power and fuel economy. The car was crunched in an accident at 70k miles, but in that time we did not have any serious problems with the engine.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      Our 2000 Passat’s 1.8T engine was perfect too! Good low end power and excellent mileage. I got 30 mpg with a 30% city/ 70% highway job commute. My brother’s Passat did just as well even when chipped to nearly 200 HP. No coil pack or sludge issues at all…

      However we had plenty of other “standard” VeeDub problems: ABS computer junked, more window regulators then I can count, small coolant leak nobody could track down, general interior trim cheapness, turn signal fell off, sunroof switch dropped out of roof, cruise control broke and so on.

  • avatar
    Hildy Johnson

    “Those were the days …” Gen Y waxing nostalgically? I guess Gen Z will burst on the scene any day now.

  • avatar
    caboaz

    I still own a 2002 Passat 1.8T, only because I’m an above average amateur mechanic and can keep it out of dealer service for the most part. It only has 82k miles on it but I’ve put more work into keeping it going than any other piece of machinery I own or have ever owned, car or not. Anyone without decent wrenching skills and a set of tools to match should RUN away from the 1.8T. And the rest of the car for that matter – it’s a VW.

    Your first clue to avoid the 1.8T is the “T”. 80 something years after they were invented, turbos are still not reliable but they manage to sucker legions of new fools who believe the hype. If it doesn’t break completely it will wear you down with declining performance and ever increasing lag. Ten years from now we’ll be laughing at everyone who bought an Ecoboost. Count on it.

    • 0 avatar
      onyxtape

      That’s what gets me. Americans will never let up the diesel hate, but will get in bed with turbos every so often.

      • 0 avatar
        jetcal1

        Turbo’s are okay as long as you understand what you have. Keep the oil/bearings clean and cool with good synthetic oil and you’ll do fine. If and when I have another turbocharged car I will install a air/oil cooler and a prelube pump with a post shut down run cycle of about 10-15 minutes.

      • 0 avatar
        tankinbeans

        I know it’s not directly related, but are superchargers any more or less reliable than turbocharger?

        Would it ever make sense to put a supercharger on a smaller engine? I vaguely understand the difference due to a little reading around, but have a hard time figuring out what the theoretical best application for either would be.

    • 0 avatar
      chaparral

      Wait, what?

      Turbochargers and turbocharged engines can be and generally are reliable.

      Just ask any railroad, trucking company, or Subaru/Buick owner.

      Yes, if you make 300 hp with conrods whose 200,000-mile fatigue limit should keep you to 250 hp or less, you’ll blow up your engine.

      Yes, if you have a car with an oil-cooled-only turbocharger, drive it like you stole it for the last mile home, then shut it off without running it down, you’ll coke up the bearings.

      But turbochargers are simple, reliable devices whose design is advanced and mature. They don’t appear on commercial vehicles for fun – they’re there because they reduce running costs over the life of the vehicle.

      • 0 avatar
        Dan

        “Just ask any railroad, trucking company, or Subaru/Buick owner.”

        Asking an early 00s VW owner will get the opposite answer. Broad reputations are built by narrow execution.

  • avatar
    jetcal1

    No 1.8T problems, but electrical problems easily the equal of an F-14 left on the flightdeck during a monsoon. 44.8 Hours Mean Time Between Failures. Since my commute was about 40 hours a month of driving time…..VW bought it back and put me into a Passat, relatively trouble free. Ran Synthetic and allowed plenty of spool/cool down time. Ditched when they changed the warranty game requiring synthetic. (Not a condition of warranty at time of purchase.)
    Every now and then, I think about a VW or other German automotive product. But only very briefly.

  • avatar
    amac

    No troubles so far with my 2011 Golf. Built in Germany, not Mexico like the Jetta. Even the dealer conceded that the German-built VWs are of better quality than the Mexcian-built ones.

  • avatar
    catdaddy

    damn yall are scaring me. i still own a 1.8t in 2004 NBC. Bought new. Sweet little mill. I have luckily avoided any mechanical problems despite indifferent maintenance (ignition coils changed on recall). But the vehicle HAS had a few electrical gremlins and fit/finish issues.

  • avatar
    sherstat

    The VW brand has always been something of an enigma in the USA. I have purchased six new ones in my life ranging from two crappy Westmoreland examples, two pretty good MK2 Jettas and two Passats. I still own the last Passat (2002) and I have marveled at all the free stuff I had replaced on the 2002 (too long a list for here) I still have the car for my kids to use when they visit and have to say it is behaving pretty well ten years later (only 88K).

    I am back with Ford (2012 Focus) as my primary car and am amazed how good a bargain proxy this car is for a Euro car. My son lives in Europe and VW is still a strong brand in spite of the inroads from Japan.

  • avatar
    Number6

    HArd to say what I miss most from my 2003 GLI. 12 of the first 18 days in the shop? Continually dropping widows despite the “metal clip fix”? Leaky valve cover gasket (8 hours labor, ho ho ho) that still leaked after the fix? Struts never lasting more than 20K miles at a time? three radios replaced under warranty? Failed trunk pistons? Failed AC at 38K miles? Cruise failed at 44K miles? How I managed to go through 4 sets of pads/rotors in 90K miles and only three sets of tires? How it insisted on locking itself shut while idling? Two batteries in 45K miles? Replaced ignition coils? Rust? Nope.

    What I really miss is how that POS broke down on my way to trade it in.

  • avatar
    zerofoo

    Had a 2000 Golf with the 1.8T motor (the 150 HP version). The motor was great, but the entire rest of the car fell apart around that motor.

  • avatar
    daveainchina

    I see these engines here in china all the time. These cars are too heavy for the engines the sideloads in the cylinders to push these heavy vehicles around are too high.

    These engines have to work too hard and I’m pretty confident in saying that you cannot expect them to have the same durability from Ford/GM/Chrysler/Honda/Toyota/Kia/Hyundai competing products.

    They might but I’d put my money on almost anyone else who uses a larger engine regardless of engineering. I think the parts are just too small for the loads involved.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      I would bet serious money that in about 3 to 5 years time, there’s going to be a massive surge in the number of small displacement, turbo assisted motors, lugging relatively porky vehicles around (e.g. Chevy Cruze), that just go completely bad.

      More and more automakers are digging into the small turbo well to up their fuel economy credentials (as well as meet CAFE standards), and strapping that small turbo onto a sub 2.0 liter motor that’s charged with the unenviable task of lugging around 3000 pounds+ of vehicle, and no matter what anyone claims, turbos have not evolved into the coking-resistant, heat soak immune, low thought/maintenance, set-it-and-forget-it types of extraneous machinery that Americans expect.

      And no, the major automakers are not equipping these vehicles, which are built to a lean price point, with the types of more efficient cooling systems and fail-safe redundancies that would prevent such problems over a mileage term anything remotely exceeding 40,000 or 50,000 miles before these problems will begin to crop up.

      • 0 avatar
        redmondjp

        And people using the cheapest (non-synthetic) oil that Walmart sells will only speed up the process . . .

        I remember a Craigslist ad from a few years back, of a Passat 1.8T owner selling his car with a dead engine (under 100K miles).

        The picture included with the ad was his car being loaded onto the flatbed tow truck along the side of I90 in Eastern WA!

      • 0 avatar
        Ubermensch

        “And no, the major automakers are not equipping these vehicles, which are built to a lean price point, with the types of more efficient cooling systems and fail-safe redundancies that would prevent such problems over a mileage term anything remotely exceeding 40,000 or 50,000 miles before these problems will begin to crop up.”

        And you know this how? Are you an engineer working on these engines? You are aware that all cars are getting more and not less reliable and longer lasting. People said this same crap about moving away from 8-cyl engines to more efficient and even more powerful 4-cyl and 6-cyl engines. Fortunately we have more forward thinking people that are working on these solutions. I for one welcome our new turbo-charged overlords.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        Touch the hood of a freshly parked 1.4T Chevy Lacetti and tell me it has a long future. We’ve been down this road before. Turbochargers were everywhere last time CAFE was in increase mode. They were gone as soon as naturally aspirated engines could meet the standards, because they were short-lived dirty tricks. Repeating the same behavior and expecting a different outcome is the definition of insanity.

      • 0 avatar
        Ubermensch

        “Touch the hood of a freshly parked 1.4T Chevy Lacetti and tell me it has a long future.”

        Right, because measuring the temperature of a car’s hood with your hand is a perfect indication of the car’s prospective longevity. NASA might be able to put your finely tuned hand to good use measuring temperatures on re-entry modules.

      • 0 avatar
        Volts On Fire

        FACT #1: Most Daewoos are notoriously unreliable.

        FACT #2: Most turbocharged four-cylinders are notoriously unreliable.

        That should lead to a conclusion you shouldn’t need NASA to interpret for you, Ubermensch. (The fact the Cruze has spontaneous combustion issues that are being investigated by NHTSA should also be a clue.)

      • 0 avatar
        Ubermensch

        @Volts on Fire
        That’s all fine and good, except that isn’t his argument at all. Putting a turbocharger on a car does not inherently make it unreliable so long as you engineer the engine and ancillary system to handle the added power and heat. Many of the turbocharged engines on the market today were designed from the beginning to be forced induction.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        That was my argument. I just mistakenly assumed you’d pick up that I was invoking Daewoo’s known contemporary inadequacy by calling the Cruze by its Korean market name and also incorrectly expected you’d be able to infer the correlation between the inferno-like temperatures of the leading edge of a Cruze turbo’s hood and its proclivity for bursting into flames. I’ve no clue how you missed my reference to past turbo plagues and how they’ve retreated leaving wakes of dead low mileage husks. Turbochargers raise underhood temperatures, create hot spots, increase combustion pressures, and put otherwise absent forces on throttle mechanisms. Of course they diminish long term durability, increase maintenance requirements, and introduce reliability hazards. Spare me the stories about diesel locomotives, as diesels turn slowly, run unthrottled, and have higher static compression ratios. Making them suitable for turbocharged use also means the durable ones weigh far more than gasoline engines of equivalent horsepower. You could probably make a turbocharged 1.4 gas engine as durable as a K24 if you were willing to accept a total mass for engine, ancillaries and cooling system equal to that of a 392 Chrysler V8.

  • avatar
    theonlydt

    My parents have the slightly older version of this engine (still a 1.8tsi, but they’ve uprated is recently to make it lighter and with more torque) and it’s a cracker. Theirs is in a jacked up station wagon with 4×4 and a 6 speed standard; they regularly get 37-40mpg (imperial), not bad for a 3400lb car with awd. It’s very torquey, very smooth and quiet. This newer version with 185lbf of torque, up from 160, can only make the jetta better; the fuel economy figures will now be much closer to the competition, as opposed to the 2.5 5 cylinder. Now all they need is the 1.2tsi (105bhp) to put in there rather than the awful 2.0 8v right now and they’ll have a winning entry model.

  • avatar
    klossfam

    Ah yes, the stream of comments from bloggers that remember a friend’s 2001 Jetta as having a lot of problems…I’m not defending VW but this constant waste of space from the same people that remember that my grandfather had a Buick ONCE etc etc…ALL completely irrelevant when talking about CURRENT vehicles whether it be from VW or not. PLEASE, everyone check their calendars…Mine says ‘April 2012′.

    The 1.8T will be based on the current 2.0T which – at least in my personal experience – is an impressive power plant. Comparisons from a decade ago mean nothing and the difference in reliability between modern vehicles from any manufacturer is slight at most (plus when I read the actual experiences in Michael K’s True Delta, it’s amazing what people ‘count’ as a repair…New brake pads at 40K? No sh*t!)

    Seems half the problems mentioned are people that never read… much less can even find…their owners manuals. Time for a reality check for a lot of car owners.

    I like this move by VW…not that the 2.5L is that bad of an engine (it gets panned a lot but I’ve had one in a Rabbit/Golf for 6 years and it has been trouble free and gets the stated EPA mpg ratings).

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      “Seems half the problems mentioned are people that never read… much less can even find…their owners manuals. Time for a reality check for a lot of car owners.”

      Did you read the list of repairs done or attempted on brand new 2012 Passats? It was GM-esque. I suppose it is natural that VWs have a lot of problems that can be blamed on non-reading owners. If people could read for comprehension, would they buy VWs? Sure it’s 2012 now. People were saying VW was making good cars ‘now’ when my last two friends to make this particular mistake bought their new GTI and Jetta TDI Wagon in 2008 and 2009 too though. Wasn’t true then, and every VW with a radiator says it almost certainly isn’t true now.

  • avatar
    Beerboy12

    It looks like the venerable 5 cylinder engine is facing the end. Sad, but it must go because it is too heavy for a compact.
    I am also extremely annoyed at the sheer quantity of comments about VW reliability, 90% for this one. The post is not about VW reliability so the comments are not relevant or asked for. It’s just plain irritating.
    VW’s are typically a bit more expensive and bit more “high maintenance” but they are good cars and it’s great that Americans have the choice, unlike Renault for instance, no choice there, sadly.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      “The post is not about VW reliability so the comments are not relevant or asked for. It’s just plain irritating.”

      I disagree.

      From the blog post:
      “…but they were also some of the worst cars of that era in terms of reliability. Friends who later purchased them used (despite my advice) ended up having all kinds of problems with them.”

      1/3 of what Derek wrote was all about VW reliability. Telling a story about your own 1.8T VW seems to go right along with the theme of the post.

  • avatar
    Cabriolet

    Just came across an articles today and with all the VW haters on this site i just had to show it. An editor on Mens Health Magazine ran an article about his 2001 VW Jetta 1.8T that was very interesting.
    He took care of his car and when he reached 400,000 miles posted his hope to reach 500,000 miles before buying a new car. He had serviced the car by the book changing oil at 5,000/7,000 miles with synthetic oil and had very little trouble. At 500,000 miles he contacted VW and they had him bring the car into their midwest service center and they pulled the engine. upon taking the engine apart they were surprised at the little amount of wear and a total lack of any sludge. They advised the owner the car could have done another 1/2 million miles. Look up the article in Men’s health and see what you can get out of a car with the proper care.

    Cabriolet


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  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • J & J Sutherland, Canada
  • Tycho de Feyter, China
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Faisal Ali Khan, India