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k i t s u n e
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi! I'm new so sorry if i posted this in the wrong category or w/e lol anyways I found a 2002 NB (Luna!!) for $3500. I called the owner and he said that it has minor cosmetic issues on the exterior (front vw emblem gone...how much is it to get a new one??) The interior is fine. It has 150k miles and a new water pump. Is it worth it? If I were to ever put a new engine on it, how much should I expect to spend, and are there any problems that could go w/ that??

Thank you!
 

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5/23/10 <3
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11,171 Posts
What engine is currently in the car? Was the timing belt also replaced?

As for putting a new engine in it, it depends what engine you'd put in as to how much it would cost and any potential issues.
 

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k i t s u n e
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Discussion Starter #3
He didn't really specify, I'm only assuming he did if he got the water pump done as well. I believe the Luna's came with GLS 2.0L automatic trans.
 

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Cup- 2k New Beetle GLS/ 'Chino- 13 Beetle 2.5
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With you considering a new engine down the road, sounds like you're in for long-term beetle ownership :)

From what I've witnessed here, most major engine work that has been done, usually involves rebuilding the top end, which can run from 1500.00 - 2500.00 pricing may vary; vs. Getting a whole new engine. Of course this not the rule... just my observation. The bottom end seems to hold up very well though

That being said, if you're expecting a major job down the line, rebuilding the top end would be more likely, thus saving you from buying an entire engine. Then again, you might run into a steal of a deal on a reman/used engine... ya never know:)

BTW, where do you live (profile info missing)? This is a vital tool for us helping you in matters, such as the one you're facing. You never know... there might be an orger near you that can be of assistance. You can't go wrong with a org neighbor :)



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k i t s u n e
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Discussion Starter #5
I'd probably buy a used engine with a decently low amount of miles. I am from Fort Wayne, which is in the upper part of Indiana. I have a friend who bought a beetle with 160k miles and only had window motor problems. Hers was a 00. I'm a junior in hs and i've been researching non stop about beetles and I've probably read just about every review under year 2006, I've seen some bad reviews but I really have my heart set on one because they have so much personality. Will it last me until I am out of college (so basically 5 more years)? For now I just need it to get to school and work etc, and then just through college.
 

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k i t s u n e
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Discussion Starter #7
what year do you think is best to buy one and what mileage is ok to buy one at? im looking for one under 6k.
 

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Wife's 01 1.8T mechanic
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629 Posts
Don't buy an automatic. Buy one that has had a recent timing belt service (verified by paperwork), OR, get the price dropped by $500-1000 to allow for the service.
 

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k i t s u n e
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Discussion Starter #9
why not buy an automatic? lol i couldn't drive stick it'd be too hard for me esp as a new driver (i got my license weeks ago)
 

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why not buy an automatic? lol i couldn't drive stick it'd be too hard for me esp as a new driver (i got my license weeks ago)
You're more than likely to replace an auto transmission before rebuilding an engine, especially an engine that was properly maintained.

One of the O1M auto transmission's problems was VW saying their transmission fluid was "lifetime", and there was no need to change it. this ruined the life of the transmission, namely the valve body inside. Even so, the valve body is a ticking bomb. When it starts to fail, you get harsh, clunky shifting through the gears, hard to engage into drive, slipping out of gear, and not engaging into gear altogether.

The new beetle's manual transmission is very easy to learn. Don't be intimidated by the manual transmission. To be honest, you're a prime candidate to learn driving a manual. It wouldn't hurt starting a learning to drive manual thread, to glean all the info and experience from others. Believe me, it is easier than you think. If you buy an manual nB, your chance of having it for 5 years is pretty good.... even longer if you go and get a TDI.
 

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k i t s u n e
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Discussion Starter #11
what is the life expectancy on them if you maintain it well? and if i got a manual with like 100k or less can I expect 10 years of life left with proper maintenance? I probably won't drive more than 10k a year.
 

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I think most any car out there can be expected to get 200,000 - 250,000 miles if maintained properly . I personally have had several vehicles that got 200,000 and more . I dont know if the beetle would be any different than any other. If ti were a TDI diesel I have heard of those going 300,000 and 400,000 I have no doubt that any car with that many miles would have maintenance done and lots of repairs in its life time, That is expected.

The research you are doing is smart . I dont know how many miles you look to drive, School to home and college campus with trips home to visit I wouldnt think you would put onmore than the 12000 a yr figure most ppl consider to be normal driving.

The new beetle is known to have issues with transmissin, so I agreee, learn how to drive manual , they have more pep than a auto and are fun. Shouldnt be hard to learn. Clutches in general are longer lasting than automatic transmissions, and will also get you a little better mileage .

I would think a prperly maintained used beetle you could find for the budget you have to spend would last yough well through college with a few repairs here and there to be considered normal
 

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Beetle gone bye bye.
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150k automatic? Run away.
Really? That is a ridiculous statement.:mad:
Why do you people insist that the automatics are trash?!? There are sooooo many that have no problems at all. We just never hear about it because people usually don't complain about something that is working perfectly....
Way to crush a young girl's dreams...oh my:rant2:
 

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5/23/10 <3
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We're not trying to crush anyone's dreams. We're trying to give all of the information they need to make the best decision. And yes, the VW autos are junk. Its a very well known fact. The O1M is terrible. The ones that don't have many issues are usually ones that have had regular fluid and filter changes. I know about crappy autos...we had a 2000 Accord with one. Luckily we had the 4-cyl car so the it actually held up ok, but the 6-cyl...there were people on their 3rd trans by 90k. Ours was slipping pretty good starting around 140k. Those are even worse than VW autos honestly...no filter for the fluid and no trans cooler. They just self destructed. But there is a reason that VW has done recalls on valve bodies and such. There are problems with their transmissions. Manuals are much easier and cheaper. Much less to break. Fluid changes are good for every 100k easy. Clutches can last 200k.

We also got my husband's '01 Jetta TDI with 114k on it earlier this year with a completely shot auto. There was a lot of metal on the magnet in the pan too. The car would not come out of gear, physically. You could move the shifter but the car wouldn't go forward. We swapped it out to a manual first thing. Granted, the car wasn't well cared for to begin with (pretty sure the timing belt was original when it should have been changed at 40k), but most people don't really change trans fluid on these cars.


As a new driver, I do say there is no better time to learn stick. You don't have the "ways of the auto" ingrained so you will be able to learn easier, IMO. I drove an auto for 2 years before getting my manual Beetle. It was super easy to learn on. Very forgiving. I'm glad I learned too...I love driving a manual and now I can drive most any car because of that.

Since you are looking for something to last you a long time, and since you are still in high school and going on to college, I assume you are looking at something that's easy to maintain. So I'd suggest keep your eyes out for a 2.0L 5-speed. That's what I had and she was a great little college car. I had her for 6 1/2 years and she was still running like a top until she was totaled by a Prius last year :( Its not super fast, but its peppy. And there is no turbo to worry about, takes regular gas, and its not as picky about oil (though you should still use a VW recommended oil - I ran Castrol Edge 5w40 and you can catch good sales on it at Autozone and such). It was a cheap, easy car to keep up with.
 

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Cup- 2k New Beetle GLS/ 'Chino- 13 Beetle 2.5
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Jess/smileybug is correct. She is extermely well versed in the new beetle/vw & their workings. Her knowledge, commentary and advice is of good authouity and is well respected...at least with me it is:D. She is the epitiome of a beetle babe & knows what she's talking about.

Me, a beetle dude echoes smileybugs comments. For the sooo many that aren't having auto trans. problems, there sooo many that are. I do agree though, there's more constructive ways to give advice to a potential buyer than telling them to "run away".

As it has been when they were sold new, so it remains now- as the nB's are now used cars... the coolness/cuteness can drive the consumer to buy a nB- even more so now considering they're not making any more new beetles. The drive to purchase can be "no matter what, I 'm getting a new beetle". this is awesome, and I love the passion; but the passion of the nB's looks must be proportional to the mechanical knowledge (ups and downs) of it. I've witnessed it here in the forms- someone giddy/happy over buying themselves/their kid a nB, only to be frustrated over the issues that they weren't privy to before purchase. Some just threw up their hands up and got rid of it. The thing of it all is that car will go back to the used car market and the cycle will begin again. This is not the rule, but it has happened, and I witnessed it myself.

Hence the reason for anyone to hear the complete ins and outs of our new beetle. Not only do we desire to have many purchase a new Beetle, but we want them to be informed and to have an enjoyable driving experience with their car. that being said, the time and effort it would take to learn to drive a manual transmission car, would be the best investment you can make. you seem to have a lot of drive and passion for a new beetle. I have no doubt that this sane drive and passion will give you all the abilities to learn and master driving a manual transmission car, with great ease and comfort.

you can do it kid! Go for it, enjoy the ride and please keep us posted.



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Beetle gone bye bye.
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Me, a beetle dude echoes smileybugs comments. For the sooo many that aren't having auto trans. problems, there sooo many that are. I do agree though, there's more constructive ways to give advice to a potential buyer than telling them to "run away".


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This is basically what I was saying. I wasn't trying to start a war.
I guess I let my emotions run away with me for a minute..;)..imagine that, a woman getting emotional...:p
Thanks for putting it a little more eloquently Al.:)
 

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that being said, the time and effort it would take to learn to drive a manual transmission car, would be the best investment you can make. you seem to have a lot of drive and passion for a new beetle. I have no doubt that this sane drive and passion will give you all the abilities to learn and master driving a manual transmission car, with great ease and comfort.

you can do it kid! Go for it, enjoy the ride and please keep us posted.



Sent from my SGH-T679 using AutoGuide App
I fully agree with this statement. Not only will learning to drive a manual trans save you money now but in the future as well. As far as I'm concerned...manual transmissions are nearly ALWAYS more reliable than automatics regardless of make/model you choose. I've owned over 20 cars in my lifetime and I've had far more problems with the autos than I have with the manuals. Plus when a problem does arise the manual trans can be repaired for far less than an auto...nearly half as much $$$. My first car was a 4 speed manual and I had to learn just to get my license and I have enjoyed manual trans. ever since. I bought my 99 nB about a year ago because I had owned a truck w/auto trans for a few years and I wanted something cheaper and more fun to drive (which meant it had to be a 5/6 speed). Little did I know the turbo 5 speed bug would be even more fun than I thought...:D

If you absolutely MUST have an automatic look for one with low mileage, impeccable service records (including trans fluid/filter change)...or....maybe once that had a new trans valve body replaced.

Best of luck with your nB...whether it be manual or auto....
 

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This is basically what I was saying. I wasn't trying to start a war.
I guess I let my emotions run away with me for a minute..;)..imagine that, a woman getting emotional...:p
Thanks for putting it a little more eloquently Al.:)
Ah no my friend you didn't start a war. We're all looking out for the little lady's interest... thats the beauty of this awesome community :bigthumb: We're just a bunch of friends, sittin ariund, having coffee, talking beetles- it's all good.

Nuttin but love for ya...emotions and all :wink:



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k i t s u n e
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Discussion Starter #20
are 5 speed convertibles bad? im talking about ones with manual tops (they make those, right?) i know that powertop beetle convertibles are money pits and tend to have a lot of problems. are the 2003 or 2004 year bad? i really love the 2003 aquarius blue, and i can probably get it cheaper if i get one with manual transmission.
 
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