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Daisy's Mae's Mom
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have owned 3 classic beetles years ago but just purchased my first NBC. Since I have been a member of this forum and have been reading as much as I can on here, I'm becoming very concerned.

From what I'm reading, it looks as though things break down on these cars on a very constant basis. And since I'm female and my husband and I don't work on them, these repairs will be often and expensive at best.

I LOVE Beetles and I LOVE this one more than any other vehicle I've ever owned over the last 4 decades. However, I'm so paranoid of the possible future expense of her, I find myself holding my breath and waiting for 'the shoe to drop' as they say.

I have to take her for her 40,000 maintenance. But I've got some other issues I'd like to tell them about and am afraid to do so because of the fear of the total bill.

These are the things that need attention:

1) When my foot is on the accelerator, I can hear intermittent sort of a light metallic scraping sound and it's not constant.

2) My drivers window squeals when rolled down and up. (I just read the answer on here of a silicone spray helping the problem with the noise instead of a regulator replacement since it's working fine)

3) My CD won't come out of the player but it will play and my FM stations don't get great reception. The dealership replaced the previous cracked windshield when I bought it.

4) The passenger door is really noisy when driving down the road and you can't even enjoy riding in her because it's pretty loud.

5) The headliner on the back window comes off on the inside when I put the top back up. I can put it back up next to the window in place and I don't see any clips but I've heard there are supposed to be some but I have no clue what they look like.

I realize that most of these are minor problems, but I guess the more I read on this forum the more paranoid I am of spending a TON of money on this car. I have talked to the two previous owners and they really took great care of her before I bought her, and she's only got 42,000 miles so I guess I didn't think things would be breaking down this soon.

I know consumer reports say that this car has a lot of problems and people told me not to buy it but I've always loved these little jewels and I was torn by my lifetime love of them!

So I need someone here that has a lot of knowledge to please be honest and let me know if I should just sell her or give me some idea of what I can expect in the future days to come.

THANK YOU!!!!:)
 

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Well, I hope my post to the single mom, that was looking at buying NBC; didn't depress you! LOL! :) There are times; when, I feel that people who would potentially rely on these cars, in a daily driver situation and do not have the ability to deal with potential issues very well... to bypass Volkswagen ownership (the newer cars; are said to be much more reliable). The other person; was in a unique situation, so.. I thought a injection of "reality"; might sway her in a direction that is better for a single mother life situation. Reliable transpo; as opposed to a love affair that might leave her stranded; as it were.

You; are already COMMITTED and own the car; you love it and are keeping it long term, right? :confused:

So, the key for you; would be proactive, to fix things as they come up (at the bar minimum, have the car diagnosed to decide how crucial the problem is) and have a game plan, how to deal with the repairs and decide who your support "network" would be. There are a number of factors to consider; is the car still under the Volkswagen warranty? Who have you been taking the car to; for maintenance and repairs? In general; when you do not fix things or have them check out (e.g. the above "funny noise"); you can end up causing more damage and more expensive repair costs, when they are not attended to. What role does the car play; in your family life (1st, 2nd, 3rd car; not primary transpo etc.) and how often do you drive it? If you do end up having to get repairs done; will this put you in a major bind, financially, transportation wise, without being able to get around, etc.?

Confirm you life situation and what you want to do and feel about the car long term, then we can go from there.
 

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Daisy's Mae's Mom
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Discussion Starter #3
Well here's the deal (good and bad):

First of all, when we bought this car six weeks ago my husband refused the extended warranty they offered. But then he refuses all warranties....he's an engineer and they are known for being FRUGAL (to put it nicely)...

We own five vehicles but only two are in our garage. I bought a 96 Buick Riviera on Ebay in 05 with only 20,000 miles on it and it stays at my husbands work for an emergency vehicle. We live an hour from his job so he has an 06 Toyota Sienna that he carpools with five others guys to and from work. We have an 06 Toyota Solara that we had to give our daughter (single mom with two babies). Finally we have a 10 Buick Lacrosse that stays in our garage with our Beetle.

I drive the Lacrosse for long distance driving and since we've only had this Beetle for two months, we have only driven her for morning strolls and leisure driving around the city. I stay at home and don't work so I don't get out every day.

As far as a dealership, we live two hours away from a regular VW dealership BUT our city will be opening one in a couple of months so that's GOOD but in the meantime I will drive her the two hours when she needs something done.

As far as money, we aren't poor but since I don't work, I feel guilty for picking out this little car if she is going to be expensive. My husband works hard for his money and I don't want to blow it on just anything. I am grateful for every penny he makes. He isn't worried but sometimes when it comes to 'tightening the rope' on our finances, I have to be the one that does it because he loves certain things as much as I do if not more, and he LOVES this little Beetle.

Being a practical and former single mom myself, I don't take money for granted. We have things around the house that need to be attended to more than the car right now, but I guess that's why I'm feeling guilty for buying her when we need to put the money towards important things around here. But, yet, on the other hand, we both look forward to driving her every chance we get and I guess since he is close to retiring in five years or so, we are trying to really do things we love doing before we get to old to do them.

I don't plan on taking her on long distances because I truly want her to last forever. Like I said, we have that 96 Riviera and when I bought that car it was in perfect shape with little miles. We kept it in the garage for many years but when we moved here three years ago we had to leave it at his work for a vehicle to drive home when he had to stay at work late or for an emergency vehicle. That poor car now isn't nearly as perfect as it used to be and it makes me sad.

I've always taken pride in taking care of the cars I've owned and this is the BEST vehicle I've ever owned. It's more comfortable than the Riviera (which I thought could never be possible) and the Lacrosse and it drives like a dream.

I just need to somehow stop worrying about future expenses because it's really starting to rob me of my true 'joy' in owning her.

I know some people look at how I've 'decked her out' in all the daisies and they might even make fun of me but you know I just don't care. From the moment I bought her, I wanted to make her stand out and be special and not like any other Beetle in our city. Maybe that's eccentric, and I'm sure I'm way too old to do this kind of thing, but I don't feel old and I've been told I look ten years younger than I am so I guess I just don't care what people think. I love her and I've never enjoyed a car like this before and sometimes I just wish I had a sticker on the back of the windshield that had a smiley face with a tongue sticking out of it. Lol....

Anyway, I guess I wrote this to get the truth about what I've gotten myself into by purchasing this car. As much as I love her, I want to walk into this with my eyes wide open but yet, still love her despite what may happen in the years to come....

I will be watching for your replies and thank you to everyone that does...
 

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First of all (pulling out my arm chair psychologist role, for a moment) :); you should NOT feel guilty about purchasing, owning, driving and enjoying your car... obviously, a life long passion and it seems you are at a point in your life, you can do this and enjoy it (lucky you)! What is wrong with that? (There is nothing wrong with it and don't listen or pay attention to anyone, who tells you otherwise). We all do our thing, pick out things we like, enjoy and make our own choices in life; take this, as a blessing and a great opportunity to enjoy yourself, with your new found love! :) Another great thing; your husband is sharing in your new found passion (how often do you hear about a husband/wife enjoying the same things)?! Not very often! :) I think you have that part of the whole psychology of this Beetle in your life down; done! Have fun and enjoy the car!

Now, that is out of the way; your committed, to keeping the car and maintaining your Beetle to use for many years of enjoyment, right?
 

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Daisy's Mae's Mom
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Discussion Starter #5
I just noticed you are from 'Lost Causes'! Lol! My husband graduated from NMSU and was born in Eunice and lived in Hobbs all of his life! I lived in Hobbs when I was in 5th grade for a while. I love that little town! We are headed to Albuquerque next week to see Train in concert and going to Pappadeux's for a great meal!

I'd love to add you as a friend if I can! I plan on being here for a LONG time! ;)

Thank you and you should really consider going back to college and majoring in psychology! :)
 

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Its a small world! :)

To me; it sounds like allot of concerns that would apply to other people; are not a primary concern for you! You have other cars to drive and if something did go wrong (heaven forbid); you wouldn't be stranded, you have other vehicles to drive. This is actually; probably, the best position to be in... for a car that you love and don't have to worry about having issues, because it is not your primary vehicle! That takes the "primary car" burden and responsibility; off the vehicle! :) You can baby it or use it, not use it as much or as little as you want to!

The rest of the ballgame; is just figuring out your "support network" (who is going to maintain and repair the car, when it needs it); to keep the car in tip top shape and decide on the financial planning aspect, of how to pay for potential repairs in the future. I think the approach; would be to look at a worst case scenario (e.g. engine or transmission failure); figure out how much that would cost you and then see if something like a extended warranty makes financial sense, when it comes to the bottom line.. when it is all said and done (keeping in mind; how long you want to keep and use the vehicle). I'm no bean counter; so, I can't help you there but maybe you and your engineering buddy, can help you figure that one out together! :)
 

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1) When my foot is on the accelerator, I can hear intermittent sort of a light metallic scraping sound and it's not constant.

2) My drivers window squeals when rolled down and up. (I just read the answer on here of a silicone spray helping the problem with the noise instead of a regulator replacement since it's working fine)

3) My CD won't come out of the player but it will play and my FM stations don't get great reception. The dealership replaced the previous cracked windshield when I bought it.

4) The passenger door is really noisy when driving down the road and you can't even enjoy riding in her because it's pretty loud.

5) The headliner on the back window comes off on the inside when I put the top back up. I can put it back up next to the window in place and I don't see any clips but I've heard there are supposed to be some but I have no clue what they look like.

I realize that most of these are minor problems, but I guess the more I read on this forum the more paranoid I am of spending a TON of money on this car. I have talked to the two previous owners and they really took great care of her before I bought her, and she's only got 42,000 miles so I guess I didn't think things would be breaking down this soon.
I will drop in with some comments. I have to be the original owner of a 2003 GLX 1.8t 6 speed Tiptronic Convertible.

I have had less than good luck with the car for any of a number of reasons, however, I can fill in some of the blanks hopefully.

2003 was the first year for the convertible so I had to deal with a lot of teething pains.

Many times convertibles are secondary cars for nice weather driving. This appears to be the situation with your car due to the mileage.

I assume your car has a 2.5L 5 cylinder engine which takes some of the maintenance concern off the table due to the lack of needing to worry about a timing belt failure.

As for your concerns, I will address them by by number

1. Metallic noise, could be something from the engine, brakes or exhaust. This will be something that likely will need to be checked careful while up on the lift?? Not sure I can give you a specific area to check.

2. Squealing window, try the silicon spray, however, there may be a bigger issue that may require the door to be opened up. The door may have been opened and this may be part of the problem??

3. CD eject problem, this may be common, I recall reading about plastic gear problems. You may search on ebay and see if anyone is advertising repair of this problem. As for the FM reception, be careful here. You have a convertible, my convertible has the radio antenna in the windshield, you mentioned that the windshield was replaced. Unfortunately as a multi brand convertible owner, I have figured out that most repair people do not understand that much convertibles differ from the basic coupe or sedan of the same model. The convertible windshield is CLEARLY different than the regular windshield. So you need to determine if you even have the correct windshield.

4. Passenger door noisy. Need to understand if this is due to the door latch, door fit issue or and issue with the guts inside the door. These doors are rather complex and even the dealers hack them up. I have had my doors opened many times and the last dealer left out screws and bolts, broke the windows, used wire ties and really screwed things up. Luckily in 2005 the window regulators were much better than the 2003-2004 versions, but my car was upgraded to the 2005 window regulators.

5. Inside headliner around the rear window. There is a technical bulletin on this problem and some special clips, but after 10 years of screwing around putting the headliner back in place, I came up with a novel solution that has appeared to work - http://newbeetle.org/forums/new-bee...round-rear-window-loose-my-repair-option.html

A few comments, these cars can be reliable and my car has never left me stranded. I have just recently put 2 long trips on the car, driving about 1700 miles in a 2 week period.

They should be maintained and need to be kept on top off.

I would not rely on the dealer at all. TOO expensive and likely if the dealer is going to be new, they will not have too many staff that knows these cars. Also very few techs have convertible experience.

Try to keep up with your current issues and find a local Indy shop that can address your future repairs.

Also you need to purchase your own OBDII scan tool. You have enough cars and this will come in very handy to help determine if you can repair your car yourself. See my signature below for more info on OBD tools, you need one that will display real time engine data.

I would also purchase this tool as well, it does not read and display real time data, but it does a lot more with ABS and Airbags - Amazon.com: Car Code Reader Scanner VW/AUDI SCAN TOOL MAXSCAN VAG405 VAG 405 OBD II OBD 2 EOBD2: Automotive

This tool is cheaper than a tank of fuel and you need to have this.

Also search YouTube and learn how to change the cabin filter and clean out the windshield cowl area as you do not want water leaks. I would put money on your car having the orignal cabin air filter!!
 

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Daisy's Mae's Mom
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171 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Thank you so much for all your help and professional knowledge! I have her 40,000 maintenance visit scheduled at the VW dealership where she came from (two hours from here) and it has been in that location for many years so I have no reason not to trust them. I know that the only issue I have that is mandatory is the metallic sound and I will tell them about it but if this visit is expensive, I'll wait on the other stuff as they aren't as important. I won't be driving in the rain and the car will never be left out of the garage. I will save your reply and try and get the scan tool. I can't thank you enough for your help! You're awesome!:)
 

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Worry less, drive more
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Even though the dealer may not be grossly incompetent, they will almost always be more expensive than an independent mechanic because of more overhead costs. The single best decision I made in 9 years of Beetle ownership was to take her to an independent mechanic who only works on VWs and Audis. My dealer is very nice and (mostly) capable and fine for warranty repairs.
 

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Daisy's Mae's Mom
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Discussion Starter #11
You are RIGHT about the expense of dealerships for sure! I gave them a list of things to check out. All they did was tell me what was wrong and give me an amount of how much it would cost to repair each item. And of course we are talking thousands of dollars!

AND they charged me $90 to tell me that the antenna was broken by the person who put in the windshield.

So my 40,000 maintenance visit was $550 not including an oil change because it was recently done by the previous owner.

Is that just insane or what???
 

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Stealerships!!!

I cannot understand why dealers cannot at least work out a situation where simple maintenance services can be performed at reasonable prices and actually make customers rather than running them off with high service costs.
 

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Stealerships!!!

I cannot understand why dealers cannot at least work out a situation where simple maintenance services can be performed at reasonable prices and actually make customers rather than running them off with high service costs.
It's not even the shop rate that's the problem or price of parts, it's that they insist that a job takes a specific number of hours and you're billed that much no matter how long it takes them. They also don't take into account other job tasks that would require removing the same parts.

Take replacing the control arm bushings up front and ball joints. Dealer wanted to charge out 3.5 hours for the control arm bushings, and then 2.5 more hours for the ball joints. So 6 hours in total, or $732.

The problem with that is that in order to swap the bushings you remove the control arm, disconnecting it from the ball joint. So the only extra work a ball joint job has over just doing the control arms is one single 18mm nut has to be removed as well.

If they had offered to bill out the hours actually worked on the vehicle rather than a static amount for each job I likely would have had them do the work and supply the parts. Instead I bought the parts online and am in the process of doing the work myself.
 

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Yay Yellow
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Macrobin I know what you mean. I certainly got my beetle because I wanted it. It was not the practical choice by far. My dad goes on about my VWs, says I could have gotten something newer with fewer miles, something more standard too. But I want this one. I chose one that was well cared for, I'll commit myself to do the best I can even though I don't have much to spend on repairs honestly, but most importantly I know I'll remember the beetle forever. My college vanagon was a horrible idea, but so much fun! Dad's had a string of lincolns that didn't mean more to him than a means of transport. I say enjoy it. Besides, the newer low miles chevy he convinced me to get before turned out to be the most vile piece of garbage I ever had the pleasure of sending to the junkyard.
 
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