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k i t s u n e
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Someone please help, I haven't gotten any help from the convertible forum since I posted over a month ago, and I figured maybe I just posted in the wrong forum. Right now I have an 01 NB with a manual transmission and I might be moving to LA so I'm looking for a newer, automatic bug to get me through heavy traffic as shifting is getting annoying. Also (sad to say this) but I don't think that my car right now would be reliable enough to get me from Indiana to California without leaving me standed. So far I have put over $1600 in repairs since getting my bug this last december. I am saving up and I am *hoping* to find an aquarius blue vert (preferably 06 because of the newer model) and I was wondering if 06 was a good year for bugs in general? I know the older ones seem to be more problematic (more specifically 03 and 04) but do the problems seem to fade for 2006 NBCs?

*ALSO* I would be traveling a lot from Cali to Indiana and back many times throughout the year so what should the target mileage be in a used car?
 

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They are great cars and lots of fun. Just remember that any part made of rubber or plastic you will be replacing sooner or later!
 

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I am assuming that you getting the 2.5L gas; doesn't look like they offered the TDI in the convertible. I think; you would certainly, check the transmission in particular... this seems to be an ongoing weakpoint on VWs and expensive to repair.
The other issue that I have heard about; the 2.5L has had some teething problems with the chain tensioner assembly, when it fails/failed it was capable of ruining the whole engine and damaging the block, requiring a whole engine replacement. It was said; that they revised the design in later models and this was less of a issue.

The convertible top; adds it own issues, switches failing, rear glass coming unglued etc., seems to come with the territory and is part of having that feature. Its a mechanical device; so, just like everything else on the car, it will probably have some issues at some point and it is exposed to the elements... so it will need some attention down the road.

As with any used car; I would have the car professionally checked out by a VW indie or a VW dealer, the last thing you want to run into is a major issue that you were not aware of. If things are financially tight; you might consider a extended warranty options of some sort, if a major mechanical failure happens (most likely, trans/engine) and that way you won't be out of pocket for the repairs. European cars are just not cheap to repair; when they break! If you are faithful to have the car serviced regularly; hopefully, the shop could pick up on any possible major issues that might come up. The car to be solid or it could have problems; you just never know. Anecdotal evidence around here; seems to indicate the post 2005 NB's are better built, more reliable etc.

This thread might be of interest: (you might even PM the OP and see what they have to say).

06 NB convertible high mileage

http://newbeetle.org/forums/questio...tle/60526-06-nb-convertible-high-mileage.html
 

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k i t s u n e
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Things are more tight yes, being as that I'm 17 and selling my current NB and saving up for a NBC. So do you think 2007 would be any more reliable than a 2006? I'd of course have to have the transmission fluid changed upon buying it. I have a friend that drives a triple white 2007 NBC and the only thing she's replaced is the radio. I know that you should replace the timing belt and waterpump at every 60k, but are they able to determine the wear and tear on that? And also, if I did buy it and there happened to be recalls on that vehicle, VW would fix these for free?
 

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From what I am reading online; the convertible has the 2.5L engine, which has a timing chain not a timing belt (the engine in your NB has a timing belt). Your local VW dealer; may have some service history on the car, if they had the work done there. They might be helpful; in referencing when the timing chain was redesigned on these cars, making the more reliable? 05/06 seems to be talked about having the problems but I would talk to them to confirm this; so, whatever the first year is, when they redesigned the timing chain assembly... might be a good year to start with.

If your on your own; out in socal (going to college?), a extended warranty might really help with peace of mind and if something major did happen in your long traveling trips... hopefully, everything would be handled financially (get you back on the road without costing you more money). Some even provide; rentals, towing etc. I'm not a major advocate of these but in your situation it might be something to consider.

Recalls: can be done at any VW dealer and would be free of charge. If you get the VIN # of any car you are looking at; you could look on VWs website for any recalls or call your local dealer to see if there are any recalls that need to be done.

Again, I would have any car you would consider purchasing; professionally checked out before buying and make sure there are any problems you are not aware of.
 

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k i t s u n e
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yes! I am going off to college. The likelihood of me finding an 06 NBC at a decent price where I live is very slim. I will most likely travel to pick up a car, unfortunately. Where I'm from the dealerships and even some private sellers like to jack prices up way high for what its worth, especially my local VW dealership. I'm talking thousands of dollars above the KBB value. Anywho, if I do (and most likey will) travel to pick up a car, do you recommend finding a local VW dealership close to that area to have it looked at?
 

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Sure, they are supposed to know these cars and if it was a local car, hopefully that have the service history on it and would be able to check the car out for you. A independent VW shop; maybe cheaper but seeing how you wouldn't be from the area, a VW dealer would easier to find! :) Your looking to hopefully really know any or all problems the car has (if it has problems; you need to figure out the repair costs, see if the price will be reduced enough to cover them/still get a good deal or look for a different car in better condition, carfax would be smart too); you don't want to be surprised with any major issues you are not aware of. People, tend to increase the prices on convertibles! :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you!! And if it were to have any problems..should I run? Would it end up being problem after problem?
 

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Well, no one can predict the future; some on here have seemingly had zero issues with their NBs and others have had more problems. That is why a extended warranty; might be something to consider, you might want to sit down... figure out how long you want to keep the car and how many miles you will end up having on it, doing all your traveling in your college career. Many of the warranties; are good for a certain amount of time or mileage; whichever comes first.... would be nice to be worry free in your four years of college. The hope is; you can find a nice NBC that is in excellent cosmetic, mechanical condition you can afford. I would hope you would have a parent, friend or other trusted person to help you in your purchasing process. Good luck with your NBC hunt and purchase! :)
 

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The later model convertible will be a bit better than the early models. I have a 2003, the first year for the convertible and in 2003/2004 they had a LOT of window problems, the design was changed and somewhat simplified for 2005, so from 2005 forward you should expect less window issues.

You likely will end up with a 2.5l engine which does not have the timing belt like the 1.8t and 2.0l engines, so this is a plus.

What you can hope for is many convertibles are garage queens, cars purchased as a weekend or fair weather car, many have been garage kept and may have low mileage. Purchase from an individual rather than a dealer. Most dealers buy from auctions and many times the auction cars have a sorted past history, are missing keys and may have been wrecked or had other issues.

As for reliability, I purchased my 2003 new, did all of the non dealer maintenance my self. Car never has left anyone stranded until my daughter hit a major pot hole and destroyed the tire, rim, lower control arm, tie rod and axle. The only time the car had to be towed and this was just last month.

A lot did have the oil pick up clog up in the 1.8t engine, somewhat common, but quit driving before it was a major problem, actually fix was pretty easy, just a few hours and about $40 in parts. Auto transmission was an issue, valve body ate itself, VERY common problem. Again, did not strand you, just became more and more of a problem. Fairly easy repair, just not cheap, I think I did the job myself for about $700.

A few things I can tell you.

1. If you plan on registering the car in CA, which you may not need to at this point as you likely will not be a CA resident, best to buy the car in CA due to smoke and registration issues.

2. If you can avoid a PZEV (Partial Zero Emission Vehicle) I personally would as they have some crazy extras and parts that can get expensive to repair. PZEV parts should be warranted for 15 years/150k miles, but getting the dealer and even VW on North America to agree on coverage and be a PITA. Likely if you get a CA car, it will be PZEV?? Usually the PZEV cars may have a label on the the car under the hood to ID that it is a PZEV car.

If you plan on a lot of highway driving this is good. You may want to get a solar battery charger to put on the dash that plugs into the lighter socket as you may not be driving your car often and this is a cheap and easy way to make sure you battery stays up to charge.

If you buy a used car, if it has the original battery, plan on replacing it immediately. I would suggest replace it if 3 years or older. Just to be the safe side.

Also suggest you get something like a UltraGauge or a OBDII Scan tool that lets you monitor temperatures and check for trouble codes when the CEL comes on. In CA they do not loan scan tools at parts stores and many times when a CEL comes on you can still drive the car if you know what the problem is.

I think EVERYONE should have a scan tool at their disposal. If you have an Andriod phone or tablet for $20 you can get an App and an adapter, Apple is all too expensive, so get a stand alone tool.

Hope this info is helpful.
 

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Make sure the trunk opens.

More than a few of us recent purchasers have picked up a case of "the trunk won't open".

VW removed the Key lock assembly from the trunk. So when the electric release on the key fob won't work, and the switch on the door won't work, and the "Jimmy Hoffa" lever in the trunk won't work, and the last ditch red plastic cable won't work, you have the privilege of forking over $250 to the dealer to pull the back seat and replace the latch assembly!

http://newbeetle.org/forums/new-beetle-convertible/54170-trunk-wont-open-even-manual-release.html
 

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I have not had a nbc, i have an '05 2.0 auto, which had the valve body extended warranty, other than timing belt/water pump, plugs/wires, general maintanence stuff has been a dream compared to my '98. I think reliability has improved.
 

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The timing chains normally lasts longer than a timing belt; they are supposed to last a long time but they were having a problem with the early models having the timing chain tensioner break. when they broke; then this caused allot of engine damage If it wasn't fixed right away. And even then possibly caused catastrophic damage that In a worst-case scenario required a motor replacement. Timing chains don't generally break that often; The chain stretches out after a while, this in turn would put a lot of pressure on the tensioner and it would break. Apparently the tensioner was a bad design to begin with; supposedly very revised the tensioner and the later models didn't seem to have as much of a problem with the issue. A timing chain Replacement; is a relatively major job and requires the transmission to be removed to do it. So, I will try to get a later model that didn't have a timing chain tensioner failure problem and not have to deal With a early timing chain tensioner failure issue. After 100,000 miles; the timing chain and tensioners probably going to Stretch out and need replaced anyway. Timing belt and timing chain; both wear out and need to replaced; the timing chain is supposed to last longer(As long as the tensioner doesn't fail like in the earlier models did)! From what people are saying; the chain gets really noisy when it is stretched out and should be pretty obvious there is a problem, The key is to address the issue and repair the problem before everything breaks.


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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Ok I'm sorry to bump this but I need some reassurance. I've read through and bookmarked about 50 some pages regarding 2.5L engines and tiptronic 6 speed transmissions etc. I have multiple questions as well.

1. Since there are recalls on 2006 year model, will VW do this for free if the owner I buy it from hasn't done anything about it? Is there anything specific I should know about these recalls?
2. What about the valve body, is it bad/need replaced?
3. I read the timing chain really doesn't need to be replaced until around 150K...(I probably wont even have the car by then if I'm aiming at getting one with 50k) do I replace the water pump/tensioner/accessory belt at 40-50k? I also read that transmission fluid and filter should be changed between that time as well. Is this all I must do to maintain the transmission?
4. And also, do spark plugs need replaced at 40 or 80k?
 

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I just bought an 06 Vert and it has had two previous owners with 41K miles. I read in the owners manual that every 10K you have to take it in for a maintenance check. I took mine for the 40K maintenance check and it came to almost $500 and they did change the spark plugs. I didn't have them change the oil because it had just been changed before I got it.

I'm just overwhelmed at the costs concerning this VW but this is my first NewBeetle so maybe that's why. Mine will be kept in the garage and only driven in fair weather as I have another daily driver and I want to keep my Beetle nice.

Hope this helps somehow...
 
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