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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,
I’ve owned a Beetle (my first car) for just over a year. It’s a 1.6 petrol and I am in the UK.

The past few months however have been rather frustrating and I keep having issues with my car and it’s costing a fortune in repairs.
It all started whilst driving my car one day home from work and it started to feel sluggish, slow and juddery and just didn’t feel quite right. So I decided on taking it to the local garage for a service just to see if there were any issues.

The garage charged me about £400 for the work they had done. They changed my oil, changed my sump plug washer, oil filter replacement among other things such as tyres etc. The car was driving fine for a couple of weeks.

Soon enough though it started to feel sluggish and slow again. Then the engine check light came on. It was yellow and not red so I felt the issue could be resolved. I took it into the same garage and they changed the lambda sensor and put in a new engine breather tube. Cost about £250. This seemed to resolve the issues and the car was driving fine – for about a week.

The car was taken on a drive along some motorways (it is usually used for ‘round town’ driving and doesn’t often go over 40mph) and the engine check light came on yet again. Once again the car started to feel sluggish and slow, took it into the same garage that said the previous lambda sensor they put it was faulty so they put in another free of charge.

The car seemed to drive great for a while but the engine check light popped up again. However the garage told me not to worry about this and that it would be ok to drive. So I drove it on a 140 mile odd journey and during this drive the engine check light went off – it seemed to sort itself out so I drove the car on my usual short daily commute (~10 miles) and all was well.

A few days ago the oil light came on and was topped up today as this was the first time I needed the car after the oil light coming on. When going to fill in the oil the oil filler cap was covered (much more than I’ve been told is normal for VW) in a yellow mayo like substance, there was also quite a bit on the oil filler neck. This was cleaned off and the car topped with oil. This seemed to resolve the issue of the oil light.

Took it on a short drive later in the day and the car seemed to feel juddery once again, low and behold the engine check light comes again. This time the car begins to smoke a bit from the bonnet and a strong smell of rotten eggs was coming from the engine. The car was seriously struggling for power. Luckily the car was only a short drive away from where I live and I managed to get it back home.
I am at a loss as to what this issue is and how much more I am going to have to spend in the space of two months on this car. I would really appreciate any advice/ideas as to what my problem is.

Thanks in advance.
:confused::confused::(
One worried beetle owner.
 

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Hey, it definitely sounds like you have some problems with your New Beetle running correctly; one thing, we would like to see are the trouble codes and figure out why the check engine light is on. Based upon what you have said; there could be a number of problems, making your car run badly: bad fuel pump, failing coil packs, spark plugs, wires, bad catalytic converter, etc. There are many possible reasons the car is running badly; the trouble codes, can help narrow down the problem but you need to be able to read them.

You need to decide; if you want to fix the car yourself or take it back to the shop, that was working on it last and try to work with them to resolve the problems.

If you want to tackle things yourself: you need to tell us about your mechanical skills or friends/family that might be able to help you and if you want to go that route. Here on this site; many of us, are fixing our New Beetles ourselves, for the very reason that you have just went through, it is expensive and many times they don't fix the problem.

If you could get some trouble codes; it might give us a clue, as to what is going on. The 1.6L; was never installed in the USA spec New Beetles. So, while we don't work on them here; the principles are the same and we can try to help.

One thing; you might do is get a vw scan tool and that way, you can start reading codes, be able to start diagnosing the problem yourself. The information and trouble codes; would help us, help you fix your car.

Here is a scan tool; that isn't terribly expensive but one, that have quite a few capabilities that could help you diagnose your car. It is called; the "VAG 401" and it can scan for trouble codes and read "live data", which tells you info about the car, when it is running. This tool; can be purchase online, from amazon uk and it is selling for £43.99, eligible for free shipping with Prime.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb...2?url=search-alias=aps&field-keywords=vag+401

As you have been experiencing; professional repairs can get expensive quick and while a scan tool, cannot fix your car, "like magic", for you; it can help you figure out, what is wrong and aid in troubleshooting the problem. Once you diagnose the problem; you can go ahead with repairs yourself or at the minimum, give you an idea what repairs are needed, before you take it to a repair shop.

Another thing; that is good to have, is a Haynes service manual. They have one; that is specifically for the UK market spec New Beetles and it would have helpful information, to help you repair and diagnose the problems with your car. This is another item; that can be purchase on amazon uk and there are some used ones they sell, that are cheaper than buying new.

Haynes service and repair manual VW Beetle 1999 to 2007 ISBN-13 9780857336545

https://haynes.co.uk/catalog/car-ma...swagen/vw-beetle-petrol-diesel-apr-99-07-t-57

On amazon; there is a old and new version:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb...ield-keywords=Haynes+VW+Beetle+service+manual

Let us know; what you are thinking about your car, if you want to work on it and how you want to tackle the problems, do it yourself or seeking out professional help, to resolved the current situation. Remember, we are here to help; let us know, what you are thinking and how you wan to proceed. Thanks. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Many thanks for the prompt and detailed and helpful reply that you have given.
I would like to figure out what the problem is but I just don’t have a clue with cars! My fiancé is great with cars but his is currently in bits at the moment and a totally different model which he is more familiar with, so doesn’t really know much about VWs. Think he would be able to help with minor issues...which he has before.
A part of me right now just wants the garage to have a look as I just feel the problems are getting way out of hand for me to deal with.
At the same time though I don’t want to keep throwing money at it, so I’m not sure I want to invest in a code reader just yet – although the Haynes manual does seem a good idea so many thanks for that!
In an ideal world I’d like some sort of idea what might be wrong with it so I can take it into a reputable garage and make them aware I have an idea myself.
It is currently on over 101,000 miles if that is any relevance.
I should add I have noticed the exhaust system rattling a little over the past few weeks.
Could the ‘CAT’ be causing the eggy smell? My fiancé isn’t sure whether this would directly affect the performance though?
Many thanks for your help so far already.
:)
 

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Could bethe cat collapsing inside, as for a cheap scan tool just go on eBay and buy elm 327 obd2 module about £5 then download torque app on iPhone or if android phone find a similar app for free, plug the obd2 into car connect phone via Bluetooth and scan for codes, then you can either Google codes or ask on here.if your other half is handy with tools he should be able to check/replace most items and save you paying labour charges at the garage. The obd port on the car is under the steering wheel above pedals and if I remember it is pink, spending a fiver and downloading a free app can save you a fortune. Hope this helps
 

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Yeah, you are kinda in between a "rock and a hard place"; as the saying goes. You want to know what's wrong with the car; the car tells you with trouble codes but you don't have a code reader/scan tool. :banghead: To work on modern cars; you need a scan tool, to "see" what is going on. Investing in scan tools; brings the ability for you, to figure out what is going on (instead of relying on others to do it for you and charging you).

I don't know; about the UK but here in the 'states, auto parts stores will scan your car for free. Either invest in some tools; knowledge is power (reading trouble codes) or pay others to do the repairs and troubleshooting for you. The ELM 327 OBD II wireless adapter on amazon and a app for your phone or tablet, could be a cheaper scan tool alternative.

The rotten egg smell; can be from a plugged or damaged catalytic converter. The stuff inside the converter; can move around and thus, sometimes the exhaust will plug up and then move around, become unplugged. So, that could be why; your car runs ok sometimes and then, other times doesn't. The New Beetles; were known, for their catalytic converters breaking up inside them and causing problems. There was a extended warranty through VW on this in the USA but I don't know if they did this in the UK. It maybe too long at this point; many members on this site, are having to replace their converters at this point. The rattle noise from the cat; is a sign, something is wrong.

If you end up needing a new one; one from VW will be very expensive, you don't have to get one from VW, you can get aftermarket one and it will be much cheaper. You might check out the ones made by Bosal; they made the exhausts for vw but you can get them cheaper from their own brand.

http://www.bosal.co.uk/
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Many thanks for your help because of speed I took it to the garage who have only charged me half the price for labour. It ended up being an issue with some spark plugs which caused the oil to clog up, apparently this is quite a common issue.

I have to be honest though had enough repairs with this bug and I'm contemplating a change in terms of my car.

Maybe life with the bug isn't quite what I thought it would be...

If I decide to sell I will put up a post in the for sale section, knowing my luck after all these repairs it will start to run smoothly and then maybe I'll change my mind.
 

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I am not totally clear; as to what your problem was but I am glad you got it fixed. Keep in mind; your car is a 15 year old Volkswagen, VW's do require maintenance and repairs. A car that old; is going to require a decent amount of work; to get it up to a good running condition and parts wear out over time, they will need replacement. Because of the cost of keeping these cars on the road; many of us on this site, fix our own cars and you can too! Old cars require more attention when they get older but you can save money, by fixing things yourself. Well, I hope your car continues to run ok and if you need any more help, let us know! :)
 
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