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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been fascinated with the New Beetle since they came out. 10 years or so ago I bought a 2000 GLX with the 1.8 and manual and loved it. I would get over 35 MPG on a trip with that car. Here I am now thinking of getting another to use as my primary vehicle and as a toad (4 down) behind my RV. That leaves me looking at manual shift and probably no 6 speeds. I have about $6-$7K to spend and I am considering a convertible between 2001 and 2007. I am retired so I only drive about 3,000 miles a year in my car as we have another vehicle for trips and longer runs. Most of my driving is off freeways and around town.

I loved the performance of the 1.8L in my GLX. It was my understanding that the 2.0s had oil use issues but I read nothing about that here. My daughter had a 2005 Jetta with the 2.5. It was a noisy beast (sounded like a diesel)until it warmed up and VW told her that was normal. So I wonder if my perceptions are right or should I consider one engine over another? I am aware of the timing belt (etc.) needing to be replaced @ 60K and will allow for that when I find the car. I have been reading here studiously for the last few weeks but any further insights would be appreciated. Any car I am seriously considering will be mechanic checked before purchase. I think I am OK with a car with over 100K miles but close to 200K would make me very leery.

PS my wife has pined for an Aquarius Blue convertible and I would love to surprise her with one if I can find one with the right stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Wow, 46 views and no replies or opinions. Either you folks are shy or I didn't state my issue completely. What should I be aware of in my search given my parameters? Should I consider 1 engine over another?
 

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OK, I will toss out a few things.

1. The first year of the NB convertible was 2003.

2. You DO NOT want anything older than a 2005 NB convertible due to window problems that were addressed/changed in 2005 and newer.

3. I think you may be into the 2.5l for many of the newer years, there were some issues with the first 2 years of the 2.5l as I recall.

4. The rear window will become unglued from the top around year 10, earlier in the warmer climates, later if the car was a seasonal driver garage queen. Be prepared to replace the top for around $1600.

5. ANY automatic transmission will need a valve body overhaul around 70k miles.

6. The rear window regulators will fail soon after you buy the car. There are cable kits for around $65 that work well, removing the rear side windows is not so hard, but you have to find someone that knows how to do this. A full window regulator with the motor is over $650 as I recall, so you want the cable kit.

7. I would prefer a GLX as it has a lot more options than other models, but a GLX convertible may be hard to find. I also like the Monsoon audio system, not sure how many years this was offered. The 2005+ should?? have an Aux input as well??

8. A manual transmission convertible may be hard to find.

9. Door latches, GD door latches. Be prepared to replace the door latches. The convertible doors are VERY easy to close and have not air or gasket resistance and people beat the door latches to death, then the windows do not drop properly.

10. Make sure the metal lower engine cover is not missing. SO many of these cars have the lower engine cover missing. It is about $400 from the dealer and it is hard to find in junk yards.

11. You WILL need to buy a XZN/Triple square tool set for removing the lower engine cover and dealing with the door latches. These tools are around $30 a set and should be kept in the trunk with the spare tire. You can never find these locally.

12. As they say, if the top goes down the price goes up. You might be able to find a car in your price window, but if you can find a lower mileage garage queen, spend the money and get a better quality car that comes with all 3 keys, all parts and has not been hacked up or molested. It will be a much better car in the long run.

FYI, I am an original owner of a 2003 1.8t 6 Speed Tiptronic GLX Convertible, so I know what I am talking about with these convertibles!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
OK, I will toss out a few things.

1. The first year of the NB convertible was 2003.Good to know, I thought it was 2001

2. You DO NOT want anything older than a 2005 NB convertible due to window problems that were addressed/changed in 2005 and newer. Really good to know

3. I think you may be into the 2.5l for many of the newer years, there were some issues with the first 2 years of the 2.5l as I recall.I think 2005 was the first year for the 2.5 and that was the year of my daughter's Jetta

4. The rear window will become unglued from the top around year 10, earlier in the warmer climates, later if the car was a seasonal driver garage queen. Be prepared to replace the top for around $1600.I currently own a Reatta convertible so I am well acquainted with tops. I saw numerous postings here about the window separation thing.

5. ANY automatic transmission will need a valve body overhaul around 70k miles.Automatics are not a consideration as they are not towable 4 down

6. The rear window regulators will fail soon after you buy the car. There are cable kits for around $65 that work well, removing the rear side windows is not so hard, but you have to find someone that knows how to do this. A full window regulator with the motor is over $650 as I recall, so you want the cable kit.I'm picking up a theme here that I may want to reconsider a convertible

7. I would prefer a GLX as it has a lot more options than other models, but a GLX convertible may be hard to find. I also like the Monsoon audio system, not sure how many years this was offered. The 2005+ should?? have an Aux input as well?? I loved my 2000 GLX and the 1.8 was a gas sipper that had lots of grunt. Even hauling my fat butt around. Funny thing was that I didn't realize it was a GLX until after I purchased it

8. A manual transmission convertible may be hard to find.I live in the Greater Seattle area and there are a few advertised on the local CL but they are definitely more scarce than the coupes. Another blow to my convertible choice

9. Door latches, GD door latches. Be prepared to replace the door latches. The convertible doors are VERY easy to close and have not air or gasket resistance and people beat the door latches to death, then the windows do not drop properly.Great information

10. Make sure the metal lower engine cover is not missing. SO many of these cars have the lower engine cover missing. It is about $400 from the dealer and it is hard to find in junk yards.Mine was missing on my GLX way back when. I guess lots of folks either rip them off or pull them and don't put them back.It will be a good bargaining chip

11. You WILL need to buy a XZN/Triple square tool set for removing the lower engine cover and dealing with the door latches. These tools are around $30 a set and should be kept in the trunk with the spare tire. You can never find these locally.I love an excuse to buy more tools. I already have a garage full of them as I have restored several cars in my younger years.

12. As they say, if the top goes down the price goes up. You might be able to find a car in your price window, but if you can find a lower mileage garage queen, spend the money and get a better quality car that comes with all 3 keys, all parts and has not been hacked up or molested. It will be a much better car in the long run.I'm thinking this is probably your best advice. It is hard to go back to a coupe after owning a convertible. They do come with a large sunroof though...

FYI, I am an original owner of a 2003 1.8t 6 Speed Tiptronic GLX Convertible, so I know what I am talking about with these convertibles!!
I really appreciate you taking the time to help me with this. I do tend to study a lot before making a major purchase. Helpful people like you are a godsend.
 

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Forgot # 13. Make sure the car has the original windshield or if it has been replaced the radio picks up AM/FM stations. The convertible windshield has the antenna embedded in the glass, often the windshield is replaced with a coupe windshield and/or the glass company screws up and does not connect the antenna properly. This gets costly to undo someone's screw up!
 
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