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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My New Beetle story:
My name is Shannon, I'm 20 :)
This is probably going to be long. I'm bad at summarizing!

Until February of this year, my favorite (and only) car had been my silver 2003 Oldsmobile Alero (named Walter because he was such an old man). Until I wrecked him....

… and I had to accept that I may never drive my beloved Walter again. He sat for a week at the dealership before the insurance company notified us that he was totaled, and that I was lucky to be alive (they said most of the people they see in accidents like mine don't just walk away, because I was essentially T-boned). My poor Walter had given his life for mine.

It was a difficult time... :crying:

Meanwhile, in Seattle, my older brother had been trying to sell the black 2.0 5spd 2001 VW New Beetle he'd bought for $1,500 when he'd first moved up there three years prior. Growing up, we never had manual cars, so he had to have his friend teach him to drive it. Haha. Not long after, he bought a VW Golf, and had been looking to sell the Beetle for quite some time. So my parents decided to kill two birds with one stone: Buy the car from him, for me to drive. I'll eventually buy it from them and have the title and insurance switched over into my name. Anyway, my dad flew up to Seattle and drove it back down to Reno.
...and I, too, had to learn to drive a 5spd. Two weeks learning before my Dad turned me out on my own and finally let me drive it.

And I was in love! This car fits me so well. My boyfriend was especially excited for me. He's a German car enthusiast (likes the older models, and fixes them up), and had recently sold his 5spd BMW to pay for our trip to Europe. He missed his 5spd and couldn't wait to drive one again. We argued over a name for my new beetle... He says it's a male, because of the “stick,” LOL. I think it looks especially girly, so in the time we spent debating names, I'd been calling it Buggy. And now it's kind of stuck. I think it's fairly asexual. Ha.

But Buggy wasn't, and still isn't, perfect. According to my dad and the dealership mechanics, he (I guess we'll go with “he”) desperately needs the following mechanical improvements:
-New Starter (current one makes an awful noise just after the engine turns over)
-New Timing Belt, and while we're in there...
-New water pump (we've read if you do one you may as well do the other at the same time for convenience)
-New Serpentine Belt

As well as a number of cosmetic improvements I'm interested in, including (but not limited to):
-New rims, or refinish the current rims
-New center armrest/console... it's quite broken
-Tinted windows
-Refinishing the interior door panels, and all things with that rubberized coating on them, for that matter.
-New paint or some kind of cover on the painted parts of the steering wheel
-New shifter handle, mine's cracked
-Replacement interior lights, and other miscellaneous things
-And eventually a new paint job. Lots of chips on my hood and front fenders from highway miles.
And much more...

I am, by no means, a pro at any of this as I'm sure you can tell. I have learned a lot about cars, especially German cars, over the last 3 years, thanks to my boyfriend Blake, but I still have much to learn. I'm really looking forward to making this car my own and learning as I go to make necessary improvements that will have it running and feeling better. There are currently about 160k miles on it, and I plan to make it last much longer. I love this car already. It's my first VW and I'm proud to drive it. I can't wait to become part of the community here on NewBeetle!

Any suggestions are MUCH appreciated.
Here are some pictures of my baby Buggy :)



 

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Welcome! Cute little "Buggy". Lots of knowledge on this site, and lots of great people.
 

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Well hi there! Welcome to the mad house!
I have to say, I've been a member for years, and I think your post is one of my favorite. You are already so far ahead of the 'game' so-to-speak. Named your buggy (or it named itself, and you heard it properly!), and you've researched what needs to be done.

BUT, I might ad, when you do the timing belt / water pump (which are VERY important to do), you might as well get the thermostat done, since they are all interlinked.

In fact, some of the kits you can get from ECS Tuning have all the parts you need, including the special G12 coolant you want to use. Never put GREEN coolant in the car, use only the G12 pink! :)

This is a great kit for you... has all the bits you need including an upgraded water pump with a metal impeller. The plastic impeller that comes stock is so... fragile! My Beetle had only 50,000 miles when I did the timing belt / pump... and I was able to push my thumb right through the plastic impeller. It was just ready to break. So, the metal impeller will save you time and money down the road.

Volkswagen New Beetle 2.0 > Engine > Timing > Timing Belt Kit > ES#8452 ECS Timing Belt Kit - Ultimate Plus - 06A198500

A lot of us folks here on the Org have bought these kits, Mine was for a 1.8T engine, but this should get you what you need :D

Can't wait to see what you do with Buggy!
 

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Welcome to the org little lady. Glad you found us:wave2:

Great story...well kinda. Sorry about Walter, BUT it got you Buggy. I'm sure Walter is pleased:D

You sound well versed in New Beetle 101, which is a BIG plus. Please make the timing belt priority #1. Leave nothing to chance....get it done right away.

Hope to see many more pics of Buggy. I'd keep this thread for all of Buggy's progress, with pictures to boot. It will make for a great photo journal.

Again, Welcome:)
 

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Welcome to the New Beetle, :wave2: and Welcome to the nut house we call the Org! :lol:



You are now part of a great bunch of people! :clap:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well hi there! Welcome to the mad house!
I have to say, I've been a member for years, and I think your post is one of my favorite. You are already so far ahead of the 'game' so-to-speak. Named your buggy (or it named itself, and you heard it properly!), and you've researched what needs to be done.

BUT, I might ad, when you do the timing belt / water pump (which are VERY important to do), you might as well get the thermostat done, since they are all interlinked.

In fact, some of the kits you can get from ECS Tuning have all the parts you need, including the special G12 coolant you want to use. Never put GREEN coolant in the car, use only the G12 pink! :)

This is a great kit for you... has all the bits you need including an upgraded water pump with a metal impeller. The plastic impeller that comes stock is so... fragile! My Beetle had only 50,000 miles when I did the timing belt / pump... and I was able to push my thumb right through the plastic impeller. It was just ready to break. So, the metal impeller will save you time and money down the road.

Volkswagen New Beetle 2.0 > Engine > Timing > Timing Belt Kit > ES#8452 ECS Timing Belt Kit - Ultimate Plus - 06A198500

A lot of us folks here on the Org have bought these kits, Mine was for a 1.8T engine, but this should get you what you need :D

Can't wait to see what you do with Buggy!
Thank you so much! Such good suggestions! I'm excited to have so much help available to me on here!

And thank you to everyone else also for such a warm welcome!! I can't wait to bounce my ideas off you all :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Welcome to the org little lady. Glad you found us:wave2:

Great story...well kinda. Sorry about Walter, BUT it got you Buggy. I'm sure Walter is pleased:D

You sound well versed in New Beetle 101, which is a BIG plus. Please make the timing belt priority #1. Leave nothing to chance....get it done right away.

Hope to see many more pics of Buggy. I'd keep this thread for all of Buggy's progress, with pictures to boot. It will make for a great photo journal.

Again, Welcome:)
Good advice! Thank you thank you thank you! Never knew the timing belt was such an issue, I'll get on that stat.

Also, I'm totally willing to admit I've been stalking your thread of "Cupdates" haha. Love that by the way! What a beautiful car! :wink:
 

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Good advice! Thank you thank you thank you! Never knew the timing belt was such an issue, I'll get on that stat.

Also, I'm totally willing to admit I've been stalking your thread of "Cupdates" haha. Love that by the way! What a beautiful car! :wink:
:lol:
There's no shame in beetle stalking. We're all beetle:crazy: around here, so you're in good company:p.

Hoping to have another Cupdate posted within the next couple weeks. Thanks for checking out Cup's thread:curtsey:
 

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Welcome aboard.. You unow officially have a enthusiasts car. The german engineering I find exceptional., but it does come with some quirks. The org has helped me in many ways to deal with these quirks with tutotials . I have replaced both headlights now due to the disappearing lens. and will be tackling the dangling 3rd brake lights soon, since mine is popping out in wind storms and scratching my trunk. Argh. But these things have been remarkably easy to do with good instructions. Get him/her cleaned up and mechanically sound and you will have a good car for quite some time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Just a quick update since it's been a while!
A few weeks ago, I spent a good 3 hours trying to fix my limp center armrest, even after looking at the threads regarding it, and FINALLY realized I needed to remove those dumb little rubber washers for the white pipe pieces to stay in place. Now it works like a charm :D

Last weekend, my boyfriend and his dad performed the labor intensive diagnostic check of the timing belt, with good results! My timing belt is in perfect condition. A little bit of a bummer because I already bought a replacement, along with a new water pump, new thermostat, and a new serpentine belt *sigh* but I guess it's good I have them all when I need them now.

Not sure what I'm going to tackle next on my baby, hoping for tinted windows before the year is over, and to have some quality time to spend refinishing my door panels.

Let me know if you have any advice regarding these upcoming projects!

-Shannon
 

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Just a quick update since it's been a while!
A few weeks ago, I spent a good 3 hours trying to fix my limp center armrest, even after looking at the threads regarding it, and FINALLY realized I needed to remove those dumb little rubber washers for the white pipe pieces to stay in place. Now it works like a charm :D

Last weekend, my boyfriend and his dad performed the labor intensive diagnostic check of the timing belt, with good results! My timing belt is in perfect condition. A little bit of a bummer because I already bought a replacement, along with a new water pump, new thermostat, and a new serpentine belt *sigh* but I guess it's good I have them all when I need them now.

Not sure what I'm going to tackle next on my baby, hoping for tinted windows before the year is over, and to have some quality time to spend refinishing my door panels.

Let me know if you have any advice regarding these upcoming projects!

-Shannon
You might want to consider changing the timing belt and water pump anyhow...no telling if the previous owner used quality parts. If the water pump impeller is plastic you could have somewhat of a ticking time bomb...water pumps with metal impellers are the preferred replacement. Also when I first bought my nB I thought I had a starter issue but it turned out that when I would start the car the secondary air injection pump would turn on also and since the rivets had come loose it would make a terrible sound much like a worn starter would. I would check out the SAI pump anyhow since it is a common issue on these cars anyhow. Good luck with your nB!
 

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Hi! Welcome to the Org.:)

My thoughts are, if you have the timing belt kit, please install it. At a 130,000 miles, even if the inspection looked OK. I would not take the chance. If you don't know that it has been changed, I would do it, just for knowing that it has been done.

TB failures are costly.

My 2 cents

Johnny O
 

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I have an '02 Beetle, and I started calling it Buggie because I couldn't think of anything else, and it stuck. My Buggie is silver. And had only 50,000 miles on it.

It's going to need some work soon too though. Last week, my boyfriend was driving it on our trip to Target (I'm an adult-new-driver and still shaky at driving at night), when we had a sudden day-after-Sandy massive downpour with flash flooding. We're driving home, and all of a sudden there were a few inches of water in the road, and my Buggie just couldn't handle it. We stalled out, and that was when I learned that my hazards don't work! Which, you know, side of the road at night in a downpour is a *great* time to learn that your hazards are broken. When you push the button, they flash once rather than remaining on. So, the engine would rev up but then die (it's an automatic), but it never actually failed to at least try to get started. After a few minutes, it dried out enough to successfully start up again and stay on. And we take the next right and THAT road is also flooded. So the engine wasn't happy with that, and we sort of rolled our way into a McDonalds parking lot and let it dry out again. Thankfully we got home with no more problems.

A few days later I was out doing some driving practice with my friend, and at one point he was driving and revved it up harder than I would have on that road, and the check engine light came on. It was still on when I got home that night, and I haven't driven since then. Everything sounds/feels fine, but I need to get it looked at. Is flooding known to cause issues in NBs? Everything is so low to the ground that it seems like only a bit of flooding could give it trouble.

This turned into a very long post. I'm sorry! :) I'll have to post it elsewhere too in a more relevant thread.
 

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A tip on removing the sticky gunk mass from the interior panels, Remove them and use a degreaser from the auto parts store called purple power. Pour it on and use a plastic scrub brush to gently scrub the entire surface and it will come right off. On the pieces like the glove box and door panels, use a pressure washer at a car wash after you've poured on the purple power. Both of these methods work like a charm and will take all of that junk off. There are tutorials on here I'll help to remove the interior
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
We stalled out, and that was when I learned that my hazards don't work! Which, you know, side of the road at night in a downpour is a *great* time to learn that your hazards are broken.
Oh no! Such an awful way to be stranded with no hazards! I experienced a few weeks ago how scary driving in water with these bugs can be... In Reno, we're not used to high amounts of precipitation, so when it rained for a week straight last month, I hydroplaned a little on the freeway around a turn which had collected a large pool of water and unintentionally drifted into the lane to the left, uncontrolled. Luckily, there was no one next to me, but it was the first time I'd been in high water in Buggy and it freaked me out slightly. I'll be avoiding driving my little man in rain as much as I can, I'd rather drive my parents' high, heavy Chevy Tahoe heehee. But I'm so glad your bug is okay after all that water! Did you find any water damage was done to it?

How cute that Buggy has a brother "Buggie"! :D

Also, thanks to everyone else for all the advice! You guys are so great :)

My boyfriend and his dad have huge amounts of experience with VWs and German cars, so I trust their judgement regarding my timing belt. They're going to do periodic checks for me on it just to make sure it's still good until it needs replacement. And I already have the replacement so I'm set there! One of these times, we'll change my water pump. Looking through my Haynes manual on how to do all of that made me realize what an intense job it is... it pretty much says, do one thing wrong and you're screwed... Yikes!

I'll definitely be on the look out for purple power when I go to do my door panels, thanks for that low4x4!!

I'm really excited because I got a new stereo from my family for Christmas, along with money to get my windows tinted (I'M SOOOO EXCITED!), so I'm slowly making progress on Buggy. My boyfriend is going to help me install the stereo system soon, and I'm hoping to have my windows done in the next few weeks. I'm probably going to save refinishing my door panels for summer when it's not so cold. Reno is really chilly right about now...

Super random Bug thought: Does anyone get really excited when you park next to a nB?? I find unjustifiable excitement when I do. Lol. I think I'm too bug proud... none of the girls I ever see driving beetles seem to be as into theirs as I am to mine... Bahaha. I'm a freak. :p
 

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