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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Seeking advice - my current car has the grim reaper comign for it and I have the opportunity to get a 2000 Volkswagen New Beetle with 140,500 miles. I am kind of in a pinch and it seems to be well maintained, so is it worth getting the bug to zip around in with those miles? How long until I have to find another car?
 

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5/23/10 <3
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What engine and transmission? Do you have any maintenance history?
 

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The 99-03 model years had a notoriously bad automatic transmission, the 01m , so bad I consider any vw equipped with one a parts car only. If on the other hand you can find a 5spd manual, with proper maintenance they can hold up well. Though as with any 20 year old car there are going to be some issues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The 99-03 model years had a notoriously bad automatic transmission, the 01m , so bad I consider any vw equipped with one a parts car only. If on the other hand you can find a 5spd manual, with proper maintenance they can hold up well. Though as with any 20 year old car there are going to be some issues.
Even if it’s been replaced? I don’t know if it had but damn that’s a bummer
 

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If its running ok, it could be a fine car. But the autos are known to be problematic. So more of it is just be aware that you could be looking at transmission issues down the road. I would see if there is any maintenance history on the trans and see if/when the timing belt and waterpump were replaced last. The 2.0 is a pretty stout engine that should last a good bit of time. But like any VW, they do need to be maintained.
 

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I had a 2001 automatic and I never had any issues. One interesting thing - the VW dealer recommended NOT changing the transmission fluid. He said that he had seen that cause issues. I followed his advice.
 

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VW of America and the VW dealer service dept's; always, tried to push the "lifetime fill", concept, of the tranmission fluid never needing maintenance and fluid changes. Then, the 01M and even the 09G's; had the valve body problems, there were a recall on some of those, which never addressed the primary engineering weaknesses in their design and now, many are 20+ years old, they are failing like crazy and causing these cars, to be put into the junk yard. A good portion, of the troubleshooting thread on this site; are shifting issues and failing automatic transmissions.

My take on things, is that: no lubricating fluid lasts forever and I can only assume, the lack of fluid changes, has contributed, to the mass failures of these era VW's. The typical cost of replacement or rebuild, is more then the resale value of them; which causes, many VW's to be killed off with malfunctioning tranmissions, thrown out as parts cars.

The fluid change debate, has gone on for years; I cannot see, how fluid, won't break down and at some pont need replaced. Lots of videos and links on the web; debate, these issues, many focus on, the term "lifetime" and what that actually means in real world, daily usage, normal driving conditions. This, could cover things, under warranty and then, when it is out of the factory warranty; how long, do they expect, the "lifetime" of the transmission, to last?

 

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VW of America and the VW dealer service dept's; always, tried to push the "lifetime fill", concept, of the tranmission fluid never needing maintenance and fluid changes. Then, the 01M and even the 09G's; had the valve body problems, there were a recall on some of those, which never addressed the primary engineering weaknesses in their design and now, many are 20+ years old, they are failing like crazy and causing these cars, to be put into the junk yard. A good portion, of the troubleshooting thread on this site; are shifting issues and failing automatic transmissions.

My take on things, is that: no lubricating fluid lasts forever and I can only assume, the lack of fluid changes, has contributed, to the mass failures of these era VW's. The typical cost of replacement or rebuild, is more then the resale value of them; which causes, many VW's to be killed off with malfunctioning tranmissions, thrown out as parts cars.

The fluid change debate, has gone on for years; I cannot see, how fluid, won't break down and at some pont need replaced. Lots of videos and links on the web; debate, these issues, many focus on, the term "lifetime" and what that actually means in real world, daily usage, normal driving conditions. This, could cover things, under warranty and then, when it is out of the factory warranty; how long, do they expect, the "lifetime" of the transmission, to last?

Yeah -- "lifetime" seems weird to me, too, but I just went with it. Luckily it worked out for me. I was on top of all other maintenance/service issues - which, I agree, is so necessary with VWs. The 2001 was a great little car. The biggest problem it ever has was a failed water pump. Mind you it was less than 4 years old (and was OEM, and replaced y the dealership along with the timing belt). VW of America did not care, they would not stand behind their product. I swore I'd never buy another VW...then bought my 2016.
 

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I think, the VW dealerships, adhere to VW of America recommendations; they have to do this, to remain a dealer in good standing and to be able to provide factory warranty service.

The mechanic, not recommending a transmission service fluid flush; is avoiding, any possible "comebacks" and being stuck with the responsibility of repairing the car, if there are any issues, after the fluid/filter change.

The plastic impeller water pump cracking/failing; was a classic issue with the Mark IV VW's, including the New Beetle. I have a 2002 New Beetle Turbo S with the 1.8T and it started overheating, right after it went out of warranty. This, defintiely was confusing; as the car had 30k or so it and I could not, for the life of me, how such a low milage car, would have a cooling and overheating problem. After research, I found out; about the waterpump impeller, being made of plastic. So, after having the VW dealership; look it over, they said it was probably the waterpump and I would NOT be covered, as I had just past my factory VW warranty.

I pulled the thermostat and low, behold, the plastic impeller, had cracked in three pieces! I ordered a timing belt kit and installed a new waterpump with a metal impeller. That was definitely, one of many other problems, I had to deal with; the 1.8T, had the defective coil packs, which ended up being recalled and replaced for free.

Owning a VW, is defintiely not for the faint of heart; keeping them maintained, repaired and on the road, can be a real challenge! :)
 

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Owning a VW, is defintiely not for the faint of heart; keeping them maintained, repaired and on the road, can be a real challenge! :)
That is very true. You have to have a masochistic personality to deal with it. I don't think normal people should own one. Lease maybe. Better either be rich or very DIY capable, and very knowledgeable about cars.
 

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I have used the "masochistic" word; to describe VW ownership; I have owned the aircooled VW Beetles and now the water cooled's, masochistic indeed! :) If one was looking at a vw car and owner relationship; I think "abusive relationship", terminology, would definitely come into play! Many of us, are dealing with long term PTSD: thus, this website, is something of a "support group", to deal with our problems and brain damage, involved in VW ownership! LOL! :)
 

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I have used the "masochistic" word; to describe VW ownership; I have owned the aircooled VW Beetles and now the water cooled's, masochistic indeed! :) If one was looking at a vw car and owner relationship; I think "abusive relationship", terminology, would definitely come into play! Many of us, are dealing with long term PTSD: thus, this website, is something of a "support group", to deal with our problems and brain damage, involved in VW ownership! LOL! :)
My 98 2.0 went up in flames. still don't know exactly why. I had a 2002 Passat 1.8T 5sp wagon I LOVED, had a bizarre habit of lighting up everything on the panel randomly. Wish I still had it. Traded it in on a 2011 CC which was awesome, but needed a new Intake Manifold for some reason I don't even know, emissions related. Climate fan went nuts at 75K, it howled like Chewbacca was being tortured. I ripped up my forearms wrangling a new motor in there through the dash without taking it off. I had enough of VW at that point. So I traded it in on the 2004 beetle
252994
? stupid me.
 

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big problem now as I see it is no more beetle, no more normal Golf, the Jetta and Passat are bland and americanized. Not sure if anything has enough charm to be worth troubling over.
 
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