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GOH2O
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2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
:confused:Totally new to the world of water-cooled Beetles. So, I need some help.

My daughter has wanted a "new" beetle since she was about six-years-old. So, now that she is older and in need of a car, I need advice on what to look out for when buying a new Beetle. I think my budget will limit me to Gen I or Gen 1 1/2 Beetles.

I am looking for info on years to avoid, major mechanical issues to look for, expensive maintenance issues, and any other pieces of advice that may prove beneficial and help avoid a mistake.

She will require an auto-trans, and I learned from the Samba Forum to skip the gen one four speed autos altogether. I was advised to try and find a 2006 or later six speed Tiptronic. I still need lots of info beyond that. Do these bugs have timing belts? If so, do they slam valves into pistons if they break? Are there other major flaws to look for other than the obvious (impact damage, rust, abuse)? What is the life expectancy of a well-maintained engine or tranny?

One member responded by saying he would NEVER put his kid into a Beetle as a first car, but he never said why. Are they inherently dangerous or super-unreliable?

I am a pretty decent mechanic. So, I am not afraid of most tasks, but I am sure that there are things that are tricky to work on as there are on all models (my Tundra timing belt for one).

I know, too many questions, but my wife and I both are public school teachers ( I left out underpaid as it goes without saying), and we cannot afford to make a big mistake.

So any and all advice is greatly appreciated. If I posted this in the wrong area, please let me know.

GOH2O thanks you in advance!
 

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ToD Maiden Voyager
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3,419 Posts
First, welcome to the .org!

Not sure why someone wouldn't put their kid into a New Beetle as a first car, but to each their own.

Issues to look for: I'd look for a car with a reasonably documented maintenance history, with important "things" taken care of. If there's no history of Timing Belt, Water Pump, and tensioner replacement on the car, consider walking away.

hard shifting and ANY slippage with an automatic trans. The four speed autos are well known for issues, a friend had major issues with her Tiptronic & finally had the transmission control valve replaced (under warranty).

Earlier NBs with 2.0, 1.8, and the TDi engines all have timing belts. If they break, valves slam into pistons, not good (or cheap) news.

the 2.5s (2006-10) have a timing chain.

bent/gouged rocker panels are expensive to repair/replace.

my 2001, Ikiane, has 215,000 on the original 1.8 Turbo engine and 5 speed transmission...Iki is a rookie compared to many NBs on the org, believe me...:)

Again, welcome to the .org, and say he to scaraby2K...he's in Jacksonville and suspect he'd be more than willing to show off Cup or Chino to you.

Warren
 

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GOH2O
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2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Warren,

Thank you so much for the 411. I did not even know that the 2.5s did not have rubber timing gear!

I appreciate all of the info greatly. Hopefully, I can find a 06 or up within my price range.

Tom
 
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