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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Howdy!
I have been looking at getting a VW Beetle as my first car. Today I went out and test drove a lovely 2004 beige convertible, automatic transmission. It drove like a dream on the road and highway, but once or twice it felt like the breaks were slipping; then when we got off the highway and stopped at a red light, and then trying to start back up again after it turned green, the transmission went out and got stuck in second gear. I had to drive back to the dealer going 20mph. D;

The carfax showed that the previous owners took care of the vehicle. Regular schedule oil changes at the dealer and regular maintenance.

I guess I'm really concerned about this being an issue later on down the road or with any other year models. I don't want to buy a car that's gonna cost more after I drive off the lot.

Can someone please ease my mind and tell me what type of problems are usual for the New Beetles to have?

Also, I don't know if this is of any concern, but on the convertible with the little "flaps" that move up when you put the top up, one of them looked like it was missing on the driver's side. Is it supposed to be like that, or no?
 

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Well, in this cars case; you are having problems NOW! Don't buy that car; a number of the VW auto transmissions have problems with the valve body wearing out (a part of the transmission). Unless you are doing the work yourself; it can get expensive and its possible, there maybe other issues that would require more than just the valve body to repair.

The flaps on the early convertibles; were a problem and them breaking was a common issue, vw eliminated them, in later model years.

If you are new to the Volkswagen/New Beetle world; I would have any car you are thinking of purchasing; fully evaluated by a professional VW mechanic, to confirm the condition of the vehicle and any potential problems, it may have. A independent VW shop or a dealer. Keep in mind: you are looking at essentially a 10 year old car; there are going to be a whole laundry list of things that will probably need to be repaired and replaced on the car, to keep it on the road. Cars in general; require continual repairs to keep them reliable and more so for German cars, like a Volkswagen.

A general word of caution: these are not trouble free cars like one would expect from a Honda or Toyota (when they get old; they need work too!). You will be fixing/repairing Volkswagen cars, on a pretty consistent basis; they require persistent attention and regular maintenance, they cannot just be ignored and hope to run reliably long term. If you are someone; that cannot afford or are not willing/able to keep up with the constant maintenance that these cars require; I would say, look elsewhere! Look for a different car; this may not be the best fit for you. We all love to drive our New Beetles but they require quite a bit of attention and money, to keep on the road (especially, since they are getting pretty old). If you are just starting out and need reliable, inexpensive transportation; I would look at a honda civic or toyota corolla or other small cars that are on the market these days. Good luck and let us know; what your situation is, what you can afford, how much repairs you are willing to put up with and what your needs are going forward. Good luck! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your reply! Sorry for getting back to you so late, got distracted by life. Still looking for a car. I'm trying to keep it below 10k with purchasing (I have been able to find a few gems in this price range). I work part time, so I don't have a whole lot of money and I guess I am worried about something big going out right away and then not having the money to make the repair.

I am a complete newbie to the Volkswagen world and I know that older cars (regardless of make) will need more TLC than newer ones. When you say "consistent maintanence" how consistent are you talking? Or does that vary based on how one drives a vehicle?

Also, the dealership called us back a few days later and said something along the lines of the fuel injector causing problems with the transmission. Is this possible it kind if sounds like BS to me, but then again I am completely clueless and Google search does not help.

Thanks again for all of your help. I have been trying to use Google to look up my concerns, but all I seem to get are reviews by a bunch of people who are angry because they didn't do their research on the car and I want the other side of coin. C:
 

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ALL 1.8t automatic transmission are junk. By 70k miles they ALL need a replacement/rebuilt valve body. ASK ME HOW I KNOW.

The door latches get hammered in these cars and they will need to be replaced. My 2003 is its 2nd replacement drivers door latch and the passenger has been replaced.

You WILL need to replace the timing belt, water pump and thermostat as well.
 
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