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hello all,
My daughter just bought a green 2000 1.8 liter Turbo automatic with 87k miles. When we picked the car up the previous owner had some work done and the mechanic couldn't figure out how the vacuum went together, so I just reconnected everything like my beetle. (also a 2000 1.8 liter turbo...manual)
the performance improved but it still doesn't run well and you can hear a vacuum leak that increases with RPMs. Are there vacuum connections inside the car?
 

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I'm not aware of any. A very common problem; is the vacuum hose, that comes off of the brake booster. Over time these crack and cause a significant vacuum leak. I replaced mine recently; however, I have a 2002 new beetle turbo s with a standard 6 speed transmission and I don't know if it is the same part on a automatic: VW part # 1C0612041AA but it is worth checking. This is $60-$80 from your local VW dealer but I found it at RMEUROPEAN.com for less than $20 (they tend to be out of stock but I contacted them; they came back in stock soon):

https://www.google.com/search?ei=KU0jWqqSJaK7jwT1up3IAg&q=rm+european+1C0612041AA,&oq=rm+european+1C0612041AA,&gs_l=psy-ab.3...1794.2535.0.3471.2.2.0.0.0.0.99.197.2.2.0....0...1c.1j2.64.psy-ab..0.1.98...0.0.-vpnTvxs3aw

https://www.google.com/search?q=1C0612041AA&oq=1C0612041AA&aqs=chrome..69i57j69i60l3j69i59&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

Vacuum leaks can be literally anywhere; boost leaks, all the little vacuum hoses, plastic parts like the Vacuum Suction Pump part # 058133753D, can be cracked and the pcv hoses/system can have cracked, leaking hoses.

https://www.google.com/search?q=058133753D&oq=058133753D&aqs=chrome..69i57j69i60&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

The diverter valve; can also develop leaks with a high pitched squeal or when driving, some have described as a "farting" or "honking" noises.

Quick check with a vacuum tester:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4yIejRu74qI

Keep in mind, it may take a successive series of replacement and rechecking, to find all the leaks on a 17 year old car. Another technique, that might help isolate the noise; is taking a hose or mechanics stethoscope and finding the specific "hiss" noise that way. More advanced techniques; involve smoke testing or pressure testing the intake.

Mechanic's Stethoscope (available at most auto parts stores under brands like Lisle or cheaper at places like Harbor Freight):

https://www.google.com/search?q=mechanics+stethoscope&oq=mechanics+stethoscope&aqs=chrome..69i57.3888j0j9&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

Every 1.8T's problem maybe somewhere different but they are typically all the same, in having vacuum leaks as they age.

There are various youtube videos; showing common leak areas and testing techniques that should be helpful:

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=1.8T+vacuum+leaks
 
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