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Discussion Starter #1
Hello. Before I begin, I must state that I'm not a mechanic at all. We bought a 2003 Beetle for our daughter (a decision I regret). We've had more than our share of trouble with it. Our latest issue is extremely rough idle and cel came on.
During the rough idle, there is a loud clicking noise coming out of the metal piece at the center of the picture where the big black hose and the smaller hose connects on top.
What is that and how can I address the issue? I can't afford taking it to the dealership so any help is greatly appreciated.
 

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The part you are referring to is the Throttle body. Let's hope that isn't your issue since that part is close to $600 dollars.
First thing I would do is take it to Autozone and have it scanned for codes. Make sure they give you the codes and not just what it might be. The Actual code numbers will help us give you some advice on what it could be.
Rough idle could be many things especially on a 1.8 which has tons of vacuum lines that could be failing plus it has coil packs on each spark plug which could also be a problem. There was a recall once for the coil packs of 2001+ years New Beetle's. Anyway, anything at this point is pure speculation and we really need a point to start. So get it scanned and post the codes and then we can continue.

PS: How many miles on the Beetle? Does it have a manual or automatic transmission? When is the last time the timing belt and water pump service was performed?
Also where are you located? Perhaps there is somebody close that can lend you a hand.
 

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I bet that one of the codes that comes up will be P1559 which is a throttle body fault code. If there is someone in your area with a Vag Com they could do a throttle body adaption/reset which may be all you need. But again, that is just speculation on my part. Get it scanned at Autozone and lets see what codes actually come up. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I live in a small town in Oklahoma outside of OKC called Kingfisher. We dont have an autozone, but O'Reilly will scan it for me I think. I will get over there and see what they come up with.

Thanks so much
 

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Once you get your codes read, more info can be provided.

Did the noise and idle problem happen together or did you just notice the noise after the rough idle?

Also the black plastic engine cover comes off very easily by lifting up the front corners and pulling about 2 inches forward so you can see everything on the top of the motor.

I have a 2003 1.8t convertible that we purchased new and it has been a nightmare with problems. I can probably tell you almost every issue you should expect to have.

Need to know what transmission you have in the car as this could be an issue for you if it is an automatic.
How many miles are on the car?
Do you have any service history for the car?

Parts are not too expensive for these cars, however, you will need to find someone that can work on the car if you are not capable. Fortunately when these cars run and work properly they are nice driving and riding cars, however, you will have a lot of nagging problems.

You should consider purchasing a tool to read and clear codes where you are located so you can at least have a jump start on addressing problems and you can leave the tool in the car in case someone needs to read codes when the car is on the road.

This is a pretty good VW specific tool for less than $50, the only problem is it does not read real time data. Amazon.com: Hot MaxScan VAG405 Code Reader OBD2 EOBD CAN BUS VW Audi: Car Electronics will at some point need a tool that can read temperature and fuel trims.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Ok, got the codes from O'Reilly. It showed p0300 -303 random misfires and cylinder 1 misfire. Also, p0171,

The car has 108,000 miles on it. Automatic trans. 1.8t engine

The noise did not happen until the rough idle started. And I dont have a service history on it.

Thanks
 

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Ok, you have likely have a vacuum leak. You need to pull the black plastic top engine cover and you should look for broken vacuum hoses and bad check valves. The check valves are black & white, about 3/4" diameter and about the same length.


MTC Vaccum Check Valve : Amazon.com : Automotive

This is what they look like, I think there are 2 on the drivers half of the top of the engine?

A few other issues are: Oil fill cap loose, oil fill cap adapter loose, dipstick tube broken, diverter valve.

You may also have cold start misfires as well, there is an updated ECU software for this and I expect your ignition coils have been recalled and would be replaced for free at a VW dealer if your car falls under the recall. I had my coils replaced last time my car was to the dealer.

The check valves are an easy fix you can address. You might need to cut some original hose clamps off and replacement them with regular small screw style hose clamps.

How many speeds does your automatic transmission have? 4, 5 or 6. The automatics are known to have valve body problems and start to downshift very hard when warmed up and also have delayed/harsh up shifts as well.
 

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Ok, got the codes from O'Reilly. It showed p0300 -303 random misfires and cylinder 1 misfire. Also, p0171,

The car has 108,000 miles on it. Automatic trans. 1.8t engine

The noise did not happen until the rough idle started. And I dont have a service history on it.

Thanks
The P0300 is intermittened misfires and P0303 indicates that it is in Cylinder 3. You can pull the Spark plug and take see how it looks. Also check for oil in the Spark plug tube(s)
Very common for the Valve cover gasket to leak and soak the spark plug tubes with oil.

As far as P0171 goes it points to a failing MAF sensor or possibly a vacuum leak. I would try and clean the MAF sensor with MAF sensor cleaner/spray and see if that helps your issue.
Also take the plastic engine cover off. On your 2003 I don't think it's bolted down any longer. My 2000 still has 3 bolts holding it down but as previously noted by jfoj you can just pull up on yours and it should come right off.
Then carefully check for any vacuum leaks. If you still have the old braided rubber hoses I would replace them all with silicone hoses since those old hoses been in there for over 10 years and with the heat of the engine have dry rotted for a very long time. A vacuum leak can also cause your misfire issue. So do check for vacuum leaks, pull your spark plugs and replace if necessary. Clean your MAF Sensor and then see how she runs.

Good Luck!
 

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How many speeds does your automatic transmission have? 4, 5 or 6. The automatics are known to have valve body problems and start to downshift very hard when warmed up and also have delayed/harsh up shifts as well.
I believe only the Convertibles were blessed with the Tiptronic 6 speed transmission in 2003. I could be wrong but I believe he still has the crappy O1M 4 Speed Automatic.
If there aren't any symptoms of hard shifts and other odd behavior by the transmission I would recommend changing the transmission fluid at your earliest convenience.

VWVortex.com - Heads-up: VW "Lifetime" auto transmission fluid (baloney!!!)!!!)
 

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check valves

SECARPART.com have them check valves for about 7 bucks online. This is what to look for . very easy to replace. Did somebody say baloney??? now i'm getting hungry. :p After you replace those parts don't forget to re-program the throttle valve by; turning the key to the on position without starting the car and leave it there for 15-20 seconds or go listen to your throttle vavle actuating back and forth for a while, when it stops making noises you're done. good luck.
 

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SECARPART.com have them check valves for about 7 bucks online. This is what to look for . very easy to replace.
Volkswagen New Beetle 1.8T > Search > Check Valve > ES#259630 Check Valve - Priced Each - 058905291K

ECS tuning has them for $7.99 but their shipping is expensive for such a small part.

Secarpart has them for $9.28. Not sure what their shipping runs.

Vacuum Check Valve - 058905291K, VW Audi Car Parts

Just checked shipping and they are just as bad as ECS about $10.20 for UPS Ground. More expensive than the part. ;) BTW, I would at least order 2 of them if not 3.
 

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ghetto

Volkswagen New Beetle 1.8T > Search > Check Valve > ES#259630 Check Valve - Priced Each - 058905291K

ECS tuning has them for $7.99 but their shipping is expensive for such a small part.

Secarpart has them for $9.28. Not sure what their shipping runs.

Vacuum Check Valve - 058905291K, VW Audi Car Parts

Just checked shipping and they are just as bad as ECS about $10.20 for UPS Ground. More expensive than the part. ;) BTW, I would at least order 2 of them if not 3.
Hey i was going to advice using epoxy($2.99) like I did some time back but that seemed so ghetto.... LOL :D I only used it temporarily while I waited for my online part to arrive-fyi I still have that souvenir may I add here is a pix of that wonder part LOL
 

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Unfortunately these cars have dropped really low in price and the teenage girls really think they are cute. As with most German cars the paint, body and interiors can hold up nice and they look nice, BUT they are OLD and have a lot of mileage and really need quite a bit of PM work.

If you have to pay for all the PM, the car is not such a good deal afterall. But you also need to weigh the cost of things like timing belt/water pump, fuel filter, oil pick up replacement, axle boot failures, door latches and the typical problems with CEL and realize some of the CEL are phantom and not get your nickers it a knot over some of them.

Transmission fluid should be changed and if the oil light works, if it ever comes on, you NEED to immediately park the car and replace the oil pan.

What tends to happen to the 1.8t motors is the oil pickup get clogged with carbon deposits, not really sludge as you typically know it, then the top end of the motor gets oil starved and even if you have a new timing belt, the cams can get tight and you can jump or break a timing belt, then the motor is pretty much dead unless you are willing to invest in close to $4-$5k for someone to pull the head, do a complete overhaul on the head, replace valves, possibly cams, timing belt, water pump, thermostat, belts and then you still need to pull the oil pan and replace the oil pickup.

I have seen this exact situaiton many times and if the shop does not understand about the oil pan/oil pick up issue, then you have additional money to spend right when you think you are all finished with sorting the cylinder head. This does not even address the auto trans problems that can run $900-$1500 or more depending on the transmission and what shape it is in and who is doing the work.

Do not mean to rain on the parade, just telling you how it is and I know from first hand experience what my 2003 with only 76k miles it that was properly maintained required. Luckily I did not have the timing belt break but I have had ALL the typical problems, PLUS all the issue associated with the convertible windows and door latches.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for all the input. I have the car now, so Im going to have to live with it warts and all. i hope I have better luck than you have had.

I am going to start with the plugs and coil wires and go from there. I will keep you updated. Thanks again.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Finally remembered to give an update. I changed the spark plugs and coil wires on cylinders 1 and 3. So far it has done the trick. I also bought me a code reader for next time, and Im sure there will be a next time with this car.

I checked and could not find any vacuum leak.

Thanks for your help. I'll be back next time something happens. :D
 

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Thanks for the update.

If you plan on keeping the car, start the PM on it. AutoRX or Kreen may keep the oil pick up clean for a while. Plan on timing belt and water pump. Check to make sure then engine is at the proper operating temperature and also make sure the Aux water pump near the cooling fans is working. Mine is about to die, have a new one on hand, just need time to change it.

I am planning on leaving the code reader in the trunk and teaching my daughter how to use it so if the CEL comes on and she is not sure about what is going on, she can read the codes and call me and we can discuss what the next steps are with the car.
 

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Negative talk

Hate to talk Negative about our little beetles, but IMO if you own one of these cars you just have to plan on doing your own repairs cause if not they can be very expensive to maintaine. So if anyone is thinking of buying a used beetle than plan on becoming a shadetree mechanic. LOL :D Unless you have the Money to get the repairs done at the dealer or a good forign car repair shop all the time , but then if you have that kind of money you might as well get a brand new car and not worry about repairs for the first few years. Good luck folks and hope i didn't offend anyone.....and if I did get over it, it's a reality check. LOL :p Mine was good for the first year I had it and then it's been all down hill after that.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Hate to talk Negative about our little beetles, but IMO if you own one of these cars you just have to plan on doing your own repairs cause if not they can be very expensive to maintaine. So if anyone is thinking of buying a used beetle than plan on becoming a shadetree mechanic. LOL :D Unless you have the Money to get the repairs done at the dealer or a good forign car repair shop all the time , but then if you have that kind of money you might as well get a brand new car and not worry about repairs for the first few years. Good luck folks and hope i didn't offend anyone.....and if I did get over it, it's a reality check. LOL :p Mine was good for the first year I had it and then it's been all down hill after that.
Haha. I gave an update too soon!! Got new lights this morning! Im starting a new thread. Input is appreciated.
 
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