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Discussion Starter #1
Ok...first I have never owned a VW... But I have been trying to learn...

My wife now has her heart set on a 2003 convertible 1.8T 5sp.... Car has about 130k miles... And according to seller has had all services completed, and they have records on hand to inspect....

Asking 5k for car, and according to KBB in my area that's not a bad price...

My question for the knowledge base here is: is this a decent deal and should with proper care we het many more miles out of this car,,,

We found another that is a 2.0 triptronic with 60k for about 6500. 2003 convertible also.


So which do we choose for the least trouble and cost?
 

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Imho, the 1.8T has more power, more fun to drive; 5 speed less prone to problems (aside from clutch replacement) but I would have any potential vw purchase... fully checked out by a professional vw independent shop or dealer. The 2.0L is much slower engine; triptronic are known for being more failure prone and having problems. It would be nice to find a car with less miles then 130k; there are probably more fish in the sea. Just assume if you buy a car over 100k; major components will need to be replaced sooner, rather then later; front end components, struts, clutches, axles, brakes, etc.; things just wear out and they have a finite life. The last thing you want; are problems that you are not aware of or the owner doesn't disclose, you can never have too much info on a used car.
 

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At 130k miles the Turbo should have had it's 2nd timing belt, the 2.0L just coming up on needing it's 1st, and a water pump. '03 NBCs have problematic top issues, and at 130k v. 60k the top theoretically has at least twice as much wear (of course ditto for everything on the car). I have both a 1.8T (2nd one I've owned) and a 2.0L NBC with the Tip 6sd. Unless your wife is a real adrenaline junkie, she can drive the Tip like a stick, but without the clutch, and it's still, while not being a turbo, a sporty drive. The turbo also gets less mpg and requires oil changes twice as often. Every thing about the turbo is heavier duty, e.g. brakes, suspension, etc, consequently more to repair.

I guess the question one has to ask one's self is "How quickly am I going to spend that $1500 on repairs for the one with 70k more miles, as opposed to buying those 70k miles for $1500. As billymade said, at 130k miles you'll be dealing with many more major part replacements. Resale should me a minor consideration also. Forget the book, there is not a ready market for $5k used cars with 130k miles now, and there certainly won't be people standing in line to buy, 70k down the road, when the turbo is sitting at 200k miles.

For my money, it's the 2.0L, a no brainer to me.

MORAV
 

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If your wife can drive a stick, go with a 5spd. Stay away from any VW automatic trans with that kind of miles.
If the car was maintained don't worry about the miles. Yes the car will have some issues, as any 8 or 9 year old car will.
Asking price sounds good to me.... Morav and I have different thought process's. Myself, I would go with the 1.8T with a 5spd.
Turbo with a 5spd = Fun.......2.0 with automatic = meh, boring.
 

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In my opion most 5sp turbos get driven harder than than the tips. ,because 5sp's rely on the operator to shift the car . Over reveving,clutch dumping, riding the clutch, take a much harder toll on the engine and drive train. How was this car driven in is't life so far? Heat kills engines and turbos make alot of heat. Unless the car has aftermarket boost gauges you don't know what the turbo is putting out. The little turbos do wear out out. They will break the speed laws alittle better than the 2.0. , both can get you a ticket. . The tiptronic has had some issues. VW has extended warrenty for modells yrs. 2003-2008, 10yr-100000 mi. Yes, I have had my valve body replaced. The tip has a sport mode witch makes the car very zippy. The tip side alows you to shift the car manuly if you want. Engine maintanence on tubos are genraly higher than 2.0l. The cumputerized shifting of the automatics make sure you can do no damage to the engine. Both cars have there pros an cons. Both cars are by no means trouble free , But the pleasure you get from driving them is worth it. I guess you have to deside what the duty of this car is, and hope it will meet your expectations. Good Luck! Oh by the way, the only oil my 2.0l uses is the oil I wipe off the dip stick when I check it. 113,000 mi. and going strong!:cool:
 

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Having owned both a 2.0 and 1.8T...the 1.8T is a much peppier engine, but the 2.0L is perfectly adequate. I had mine for 6 1/2 years. But I had it coupled with a 5-speed as well. I also have a 180hp 1.8T motor in my GTI vs the 150hp in the NB, but I've been getting the same, if not slightly better mpg in my GTI as I did with my 2.0L NB, and I'm still having a good time with my turbo-charged car :D The auto will get lower mpg than a 5-speed, so your mpg will probably be the same in both cars.

The 1.8T has likely only had 1 timing belt change done, as VW calls for the change at 105k, even though conventional wisdom is 60-80k. I'd see when it was done. The 2.0 will need the service done...its 8 years old and about at the mileage as well, so you'd have to factor in a $500 or so service soon after getting the car. FWIW, my 2.0 never drank oil.

I'd stay away from the autos. If she can drive a manual, get that. The 1.8T is also more powerful but if that's something she doesn't really care about, a 2.0L is perfectly fine and cheaper/easier to maintain.
 

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When I first got a Beetle I test drove a Turbo first (didn't know it was a turbo) that was a big problem. Because when I drove the other car on the lot it was a 2.0, and it had no power. I would not get a 2.0 even if you don't plan on driving fast. Having the extra power when needed is nice.
Also get a 5 speed, finding a turbo 5spd vert is a rare thing. Most everyone I've seen are auto.
 

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Does everyone not understand, a 6sd Tip is essentially a stick, just without the clutch. I believe VW pioneered this in the Porsche Boxster and Boxster S a couple years before it went in the NB. I drove both (the B and the BS), before purchasing my '00 1.8NBT in early '00. Actually didn't buy the B or BS because the shifter was on the steering wheel (to hard to up and down shift in corners and tight curves). VW did it right putting it on the floor. I drive fast cars, fast (check my signature) and have no problem with the 2.0 Tip being "quick enough". Your wife no doubt wants the exhilaration of the drop topped vert, not a fast car.

M.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Does everyone not understand, a 6sd Tip is essentially a stick, just without the clutch. I believe VW pioneered this in the Porsche Boxster and Boxster S a couple years before it went in the NB. I drove both (the B and the BS), before purchasing my '00 1.8NBT in early '00. Actually didn't buy the B or BS because the shifter was on the steering wheel (to hard to up and down shift in corners and tight curves). VW did it right putting it on the floor. I drive fast cars, fast (check my signature) and have no problem with the 2.0 Tip being "quick enough". Your wife no doubt wants the exhilaration of the drop topped vert, not a fast car.

M.
This is very true... I just wish I could get excited about the car myself....I'd rather go buy a fixer 73 4speed vette I found...at least in five years I could get my money back out of that... Oh well....

I'm pretty sure it's a bugs life for me......

She really likes them... And happy wife equals happy life
 

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Both the 2.0 and 1.8T have their Pros-n-Cons ... I have two of each and I spend more time working on the 1.8T's than I do the 2.0's; it is about a 70/30 split.

Regardless of the miles, if the car has been properly maintained (has the docs to prove it) the 2.0 is solid transportation; however if you need the feel of torque when accelerating on to the interstate, then go with the 1.8T.

But IMHO, I equate it this way, the more accelerating torque I feel, the more time and money I spend later.

But one thing is for certain, go manual and not automatic. For what it is worth I have read more maintenance issues relating to the O1M Automatic, than I do on the Triptronic.
 

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This is very true... I just wish I could get excited about the car myself....I'd rather go buy a fixer 73 4speed vette I found...at least in five years I could get my money back out of that... Oh well....

I'm pretty sure it's a bugs life for me......

She really likes them... And happy wife equals happy life
Funny deal...
I bought my NBC for the other half, Had to have the right color though, if I was ever going to drive it, so I spent a year hunting for it. I had driven her '00 NBT years earlier, and except for having to deal with the Cyber Green, I liked and enjoyed it. And I had bought the '02T for my Daughter, long story how I have it back, so I was fine with the wife having another Bug. While I am definitely a Vert person, if you can't tell, I went to FL and picked it up, took it down in the Keys, drove it back, and had a blast. Often when the two of us go out, we take the Bug and I drive it. Drive one with an open mind. They are fun, and forget about the "girl car" thing. Besides, it'll be easier to negotiate for the Vette after the fact. OR find a 2nd Gen CONVERTIBLE Vette and kill both birds with the same purchase.

Momma' bought the Vette for me as a gift, but loves IT too! It just didn't work with our Grand-Daughter, who she, and our Daughter, both had a problem with, riding in the front seat. Besides the fact it only has 9k miles on it, and Momma's gas bill driving my BB Burb was getting out of hand with a tank of gas at $150 once every week or two.

Let us know what you think after you have driven both of them.

M.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I'm a long time vette owner. The NBT's we had found are now both sold...so our search continues, guess next time we drive one I will actually drive it... Just don't tell the guys......
 

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I'm a long time vette owner. The NBT's we had found are now both sold...so our search continues, guess next time we drive one I will actually drive it... Just don't tell the guys......
Oh they're just like buses and women, wait a few minutes, another will be along... :roflmao:

Seriously, I'll keep an eye out. Where are you? How big of a radius? Maximum $$$? Oddly, I know of three '03/'04s on the market in the last month, all Harvest Moon, all under 20k miles, all too high priced. The one good thing, Vert season is over in about a month, many places, so prices will start dropping significantly, and there will be more on the market.

Is YORAV? Mine is! Doh! :D
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well after much discussion, Mama is going to win this one... We are for sure shopping for a Beetle since both have their pros and cons; we are going to settle for something she likes in our budget for this purchase. We have set the limit at 6500... That should get us a 03 or so model year, with mileage in the 70K range; we might go a little higher if she likes everything else about the car. In our area it will also let us get a convertible, something she really wants...

My next question is this... most of them we are unable to tell if the TB has been done, so I am just planning on doing one ASAP after we select and acquire the car.

I don't think it is overly difficult, and I have pretty good mechanical skills, so I am looking for a kit that has all the necessary parts and came across this one from ECS:

Volkswagen New Beetle 2.0 > Engine > Timing > ES#8453 ECS Tuning Timing Belt Kit - Ultimate Plus - 06A198501

Would this be a good choice, and a good price for the kit?
 

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I think that is probably the single one source that most around here use. Get the G12 there also, it may be a part of that package. You won't find it at the Corner Parts Store. I don't think you'll have any problem doing it your self. Just read thru the threads in this regard, there isn't a DIY on here that I have ever found or seen , but there are a couple DIYs over on the Vortex or The TDI Forums; as a matter of fact I think they were just posted on here on another thread this morning. A guy with a problem getting the cover off the TB to change the water pump. The Bentley work up on changing both sucks. Follow the DIYs to the letter. Know you will have air trapped in the coolant system that has to be purged out. Service procedure is to install with a vacumm pump type of equipment. I have the procedure for the manual drain and fill from the bentley posted all around, and cooling related thread in the last month or so. Or ask.

Found the DIYs in this thread, here -
http://newbeetle.org/forums/2-0-liter-gas/52622-help-timing-belt-cover-removal.html

At any rate, you want to do both, the TB & WP, new serpentine belt, belt tensioners for both, coolant flush, and mount bolts.

If the seller can't document all this being done, use it as a negotiating tool. It figures into the value of the car. To have this done at a Dealer, $1000-$1200, maybe a little more. Independent, I see numbers around $750 typically, just as a gauge for what you spend for parts.

Good luck in your quest!

M.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
The Quest is over... Leave it to women to change thier minds...

Tonight we brought home our new to us 2002 NB GLS 2.0 Auto, leather Sunroof and only 66400 miles.. We got the car for 5800.00 I dont feel to bad about that givin the great condition it is in and it is only a one owner car..

KBB give the car a value of 7160 for excellent condition 6735 for good and 6010 for fair... that just adds to why we dont feel bad at all.

there is one issue, I wasnt thrilled but the AirBag light is on, the owner says it is the passanger airbag seat sensor..
I will run my scanner on it if I can and read the code tomorrow, then I guess I will be searching for the part to fix that issue. Other than that the car is Great.

Mama is HAPPY and that mean I can be happy too..

Thank you to all for your knowledge! I am sure I will be around here more now that we are actually owners.
 

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:clap:
 

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For the airbag light, you'll need VAG-COM. A regular OBDII scanner won't read the codes for that, just as an FYI.
 
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