VW Beetle Forum banner
1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello:

I am new to the site and this is my first real post since introducing myself in early January. I apologize in advance for the length of the post, but I've had a number of issues since getting my new (used) 2000 NB 2.0 GLS (the Silver Surfer) and wanted to put everything together in one post rather than in a half dozen separate posts.

First off, this site has been awesome and I have learned a lot about my new (used)Beetle from reading all the posts on the various issues I have had. So, some background. I commute everyday in the from Northern Virginia to DC (about 70 miles round trip) in what AAA cites as the single worst commute in America in 2014. I just bought a brand new 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT in November. After trading in m 2011 Challenger, I realized that the three years I had it, it 1) cost e a ton of gas and more importantly, 2) beat the hell out of the car. So, I wanted to buy a gas-efficient small car that I could use as my daily commuter while my 1979 Trans Am and 2015 Challenger sit in my garage until there is better weather.

So, I found a, two-owner, clear Carfax (no accidents) 2000 New Beetle 2.0 GLS manual. I was surprised that it gets almost 28/29 mpg. And I LOVE this car. I really enjoy driving it, and the 70 mile commute is a breeze in the big and roomy interior. However, after driving it, I had a few issues, some solved because of this site, and others not so much. So I'll detail them here:

1) I inspected the car very closely and I'd like to think I know a little about cars since I have self-restored my 1979 Trans Am almost by myself. The car was clean, with no sign of major leaks. My test drive revealed everything worked on it. The first thing I did was have the oil changed. I didn't have time to do it myself, so I zipped it into one of those 30 minute places -- which I have used in the past when I don't have time to do it myself. Since I was not that familiar with the car yet, I asked them to check the air filer. At first they said that checking these on the VW is a bit of a pain, but they pulled the cover off and said that was fine.

2) Afterward, I was driving home and I heard this scrapping coming from one of the front wheels. My experience told me that the sound usually means that the brake pad sensor was scraping the rotor. I'm thinking great, the dealer sold me a car that they passed inspection with worn brakes. I took it home and got out my tools to take the front wheel off to see myself, and the lug nuts were way over torque and I couldn't get them to budge. So, I have broken my share of lug nut posts before and I didn't want to force it. So, I took it to my mechanic to do a free brake inspection. Goods news was that it turned out to be a bent plate that was rubbing on the wheel, and the nuts were over torqued big time. They fixed that for free. However, the back brakes were shot and the rotors were way grooved. And there was a bad tie rod. Okay, new brakes and rotors on the back and the tie rod and a four wheel alignment. Good to go.

3) a week later, the engine light came on. Now, one of the things I do with a car I am not familiar with the history is to run some injector cleaner through the tank. I had just done this before the light came on. I figured that this might have caused the engine to run rich, and hence, the light. I ran two full tanks of clean gas, still had the light. Then, a few days later, I get home from work and one of my front headlights was practically out and laying on the bumper. So, I come here, learn lots about the headlight being hard to align the posts, etc., and about the engine light. I tried to reinstall the headlight, but the pully post thing was broken, off, and I just couldn't get it in. There was a huge one inch gap at the top. I was worried water would get in there and short out the light, since the plug is on the bottom in the bucket.

4) I didn't want to break anything, so I did what I know is not the optimal solution, I took it to the dealer. Having read about the hugely inflated prices the typical VW dealer charges, I kinda expected what happened next. But I just wanted the work done right and not being familiar with the VW, I decided to bite the bullet. I have had good experiences with my Dodge dealer, as with a 55,000 car, I have them do all my work on my Challenger. But then again, MOPAR parts are not as expensive as VW dealer parts.

5) Anyway, the dealer pulled up the code for the engine light as P0172, system too rich. I was thinking maybe the oil place screwed with the intake tube trying to get to the air filter or something. Regardless, they said there was a crack in the intake tube, causing a vacuum leak, and it needed a new one. Dealer charged $355.00 for the part, and one hour labor $107 to install. The part online coulda been had for half that. But I didn't want to mess with changing it myself. The headlight they said needed a new bucket. $36 for the bucket and $138 mounting bracket and an hour labor. Total for the code diagnosis, parts and labor was almost $900.00. I asked them for all the old parts.

6) Got the car back, engine light was out. Took the parts home, examine the intake tube, did not see any crack, but who knows. I could not see any problems with the bucket, but like I said, the pull tab was broken off and now it isn't.

7) So, this is where it get crazy. I get in the car to leave the dealer, an they had left the plastic cover over the seats. It was raining so I said I'd take I off when I got home. Got it, put the seat belt on (I think the plastic was over the buckle insert. but I forced it in anyway. I looked up, and the air bag light was on. So, I walked back in and I said now the seat belt light was on and it wasn't before. They took it back and scanned the codes and told me that the code was for a front airbag igniter and I would have to bring it back. Came home, and found myself here reading about air bag lights.

8) I figured there was no way in hell I was going to pay them another $100 to diagnose the problem, and then tell me that I need another $900 to fix that light. BTW, they cleared the code, but it came back on while leaving the parking lot. After reading here, I bought a MAXSCAN VAG 450 on Amazon prime and got it deliver in one day. I ran the scan, got code P01217, looked it up on Ross-Tek, Side Airbag Igniter; Front Driver Side (N199). I went ahead and cleared the code. Three days later, no light. I think maybe when I put the seat belt in the latch, and the plastic was forced into the slot, that it sent the error code, as the light came on immediately after I looked up. Maybe that is fixed. We will see about that as time goes on.

9) Then, this weekend, two weird things happened. The rear hatch light came on. The FOB would not open the hatch and I had to use the key in the slot to open it. It hadn't closed tightly since I got it and I had to always push it once it was shut to fully have it engage. Over the weekend, the car alarm started going off for no reason. I would get in the car and the hatch light would be on, even though I wasn't opening it. So, I sprayed some WD40 in the latch mechanism, and open and closed it several times. The latch now fully engages and the light has not come on since. Maybe that is fixed.

10) Yesterday, I noticed that the FOB was not locking the driver's side lock. I had to lock it with the key. It also would not unlock it. So, I used the key to unlock it, and the alarm would go off. I had to hit the lock button on the FOB to make it stop. After this happening several times, I just sat in the car and locked and unlocked the car, from the inside with the FOB. It worked fine inside the car. After doing this like five times. I went outside, and now, the FOB is able to lock the car and unlock it. I can now get in it and start it without the alarm going off. So, I don't know if I reset the FOB somehow, or something else. Maybe that is fixed.

11) Couple other misc things. The Dealer (stealer) also said there was a host of other "red" items that needed immediate attention. I need a four-wheel alignment (I know this isn't true because I just got one done). The strut "top" mounts are either "worn/broken". I can't see those so I don't know. All fluids need exchanged, power steering, brake, and coolant. they want like $160.00 for EACH of these. I will take it to my mechanic for like $60 each. They want $1000 for a leaking rear main seal. Now, my '79 Trans Am has a leaky rear main seal, all those cars get them and they are a PIA to fix. So, I don't mind cleaning up my garage floor a little as long as I keep oil inn it. It leaks like a 1/4 cup of oil on the floor every four months. Not a big deal. But I checked the VW before I bought it and there was no observable leaks on the engine underneath, nor on the showroom floor where the dealer had it parked. Most importantly, there is zero oil on my driveway, where the car has been parked everyday since I got it. Another issue, the dealer wants $500 to change the valve cover gasket, as they say that is leaking too. I see no oil on the block or around the valve cover. Finally, they recommend a timing belt change.

The car only has 85K on it and I have no idea if the original owner(s) changed it at 60K. I will probably have this done, because timing belts are important. But I wont pay the dealer the $1200 they want for that. My mechanic said he can do it for 600 to 800, as he just did his own Passat.

Anyway, so that's it. As I said, I love this car. it seems to run perfectly to me. No knock, or valve tap, no hesitation or misses in the engine at idle or on the move. So, I am thinking of doing the fluid exchanges, and the timing belt. I can't tell if the struts are bad, it feels like it drives great, perfectly straight, no pulling and no bouncing.

This site has been instrumental in helping me learn about this car. If anyone has any comments on the above, I'd love to hear any advice. Thanks for reading.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
758 Posts
I personally wouldn't take the car back to that dealer for any sort of service or even to a "quick lube" place either. I'd just keep an eye on the things that they claimed were "red" since they could eventually become "real" problems. But, based on your observations, I think they are exaggerating greatly.

As for "quick lube" places, one of those stripped the oil pan threads (for the drain plug) on a friend's VW Tiguan, which he paid something like $300 for the dealer to replace since the dealer claimed it was the "quick lube" mechanic at fault. On my cars, they never could get the air filter covers back on right. On my old Aerostar, they always cross-threaded the screws into the nuts leaving a huge gap. :(
 

·
5/23/10 <3
Joined
·
11,414 Posts
As for "quick lube" places, one of those stripped the oil pan threads (for the drain plug) on a friend's VW Tiguan, which he paid something like $300 for the dealer to replace since the dealer claimed it was the "quick lube" mechanic at fault. On my cars, they never could get the air filter covers back on right. On my old Aerostar, they always cross-threaded the screws into the nuts leaving a huge gap. :(
That's nothing. My FIL and his wife took a car to one of those places for an oil change. They drained the transmission rather than the engine oil, and then of course overfilled the engine when they put the new oil in. The only reason I go to the quick lube type places is to get a state inspection done. They don't touch any car of mine otherwise.

I would find a good independent VW mechanic to work on your car. A good one of those and you and your car will be happy. We've been going to the same shop for 6-7 years now and its really beneficial. The owners/mechanics have all become good friends of ours as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
3 quarts low on oil after three weeks

Thanks. I'll check Yelp or something for a VW service place in my area. I am not aware of any offhand. On the way home tonight, the oil light came on briefly, then went out, but I noticed a valve tap. So I pulled over and sure enough, it was 3 quarts low of oil. I just had the oil changed three weeks ago. I do not notice any real oil puddles on my driveway as I stated. A few drops maybe. I know what an oil leak looks like, as my Trans Am loses about a quarter quart every three months. And this doesn't look anything like that. I also don't notice any major leak evidence at my parking spot at work. I park in the same spot and same place on my driveway. I don't notice any oil burning, nor do I smell it, or see smoke. So, I can see the oil leaking around the valve cover. Dealer wants $490.00 for that. I can't imagine losing 3 quarts of oil from a valve cover leak. So, either the quick lube place never filled it up correctly, or I have some other issue not yet discovered. But I guess I should have the valve cover gasket changed anyway. Normally, I'd do it myself on the cars I am used to, but after looking through this site and reading the Haynes guide, looks like I wouldn't enjoy doing this one myself.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,300 Posts
I think the most common oil leak for the 2.0 is the o-ring between the block and the oil cooler. I saw no real indication of a leak before I replaced mine and my oil use went from 1 qt/1500 miles to 1 qt/3000 miles.

You need to drain the coolant and disconnect the hoses to remove the cooler.
 

·
5/23/10 <3
Joined
·
11,414 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
I have the same exact model as you--I am the original owner. I have had airbag issues since 3,000 miles (I now have about 92,000 miles on the car). The first time I took it in to the VW dealership they re-set the code (I was not aware of this at the time). After numerous trips to the dealership, I wrote a letter to VW of Germany. They suggested that the dealership change out the wiring harness for the passenger side airbag. Changing out the wiring harness solved the problem for a good 20,000 miles or so. However, it came back on around 50,000 miles. I gave up on it.

Regarding the oil pan. It is made of aluminum, so the oil plug threads can be easily stripped. I found this out when I started doing my own oil changes (someone had stripped it at some point). I replaced the oil pan myself and now have a Fumoto valve on the oil pan, so now all I have to do to change the oil is open the valve. You can google it--I think I got mine from ECS on the internet.

Your check engine light could be due to the Mass Airflow Sensor (MAF) going bad (that happened on my car at one point).

Definitely change the timing belt, if you can't find evidence that it has been changed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
hanks everyone. This is all very helpful information. I am going to start working off the list of things to fix. I like the car and I got it for a pretty good price. It came with e 9 day warranty, and I am going to try and have some of the more expensive items covered by the insurance. We'll see. I'll update this threat as I get thing fixed.

The airbag light has not come on since I reset it. I think there is a good chance it was impacted by sliding the buckle into the unit with the plastic seat cover in between. I don't see any oil on the bottom of the oil pan near the plug, and the oil filter is also clean with no evidence of oil leaking around it, and onto it. The valve cover, however, is leaking from everywhere. That's first on my things to fix.

Does the timing belt need changing with 85,000 miles on it, or can it wait until closer to 100K? I cant get to it to exam it. I know the owners manual says inspect at 60K. Then again every 60 after that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
Re: the valve cover gasket change- it appears you're quite capable of doing that one, yourself. It's a bit time consuming, but nothing to be fearful of.
The stealer wants close to $500 for that???
Wow!

If you don't know for certain when the timing belt was changed- replace it!
At the same time, with the mileage you have on the car, I would also have the water pump replaced. It's good preventive maintenance; not something that you want to go bad, especially if things were apart to swap the belt and tensioner, since it's right there and most of the work is already done while doing the belt. Make sure the new pump has the steel impeller, not plastic.

There's almost nothing worse than the feeling that something else should have been replaced while doing another job, requiring roughly double the work; in other words, doing it twice.

The remote (it's NOT a fob) issue could be the need to change the batteries in the remote itself. They don't transmit as well with low voltage. There are numerous online videos on how to swap batteries.
If you have access to a volt meter, you could check the status of the charge before purchasing new batteries.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Re: the valve cover gasket change- it appears you're quite capable of doing that one, yourself. It's a bit time consuming, but nothing to be fearful of.
The stealer wants close to $500 for that???
Wow!

If you don't know for certain when the timing belt was changed- replace it!
At the same time, with the mileage you have on the car, I would also have the water pump replaced. It's good preventive maintenance; not something that you want to go bad, especially if things were apart to swap the belt and tensioner, since it's right there and most of the work is already done while doing the belt. Make sure the new pump has the steel impeller, not plastic.

There's almost nothing worse than the feeling that something else should have been replaced while doing another job, requiring roughly double the work; in other words, doing it twice.

The remote (it's NOT a fob) issue could be the need to change the batteries in the remote itself. They don't transmit as well with low voltage. There are numerous online videos on how to swap batteries.
If you have access to a volt meter, you could check the status of the charge before purchasing new batteries.
Thanks, these are all great suggestions to get me started. I think you're onto something about the batteries in the Fob. I am going to start there and see what happens. On the water pump, is there a way to tell which have the steel impeller before buying it?

Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
423 Posts
Thanks, these are all great suggestions to get me started. I think you're onto something about the batteries in the Fob. I am going to start there and see what happens. On the water pump, is there a way to tell which have the steel impeller before buying it?

Thanks!
Usually the website you purchase it from will tell you
 

·
No NB Yellow Trifecta :(
Joined
·
5,639 Posts
You might want to consider changing the door lock control modules; there is one in each door. There were problems with the circuitry peeling off the circuit board, which interrupts the connection and at times the car thinks is has been broken into.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
90 Posts
I had the same issue with my keys as you did - a $14 remote battery from the stealer fixed the problem.

I had a valve cover gasket leak that was going on my spark plugs - my friendly mechanic shop was only charging about $300 (which includes labor) to get me a new valve cover gasket and 4 platinum spark plugs installed. $500 is RIDICULOUS! My valve cover gasket was only $65, spark plugs $45 - most of my cost was the labor involved.

When they were doing my gasket they noticed that my timing belt needed changing ASAP. I gave them the OK and they changed everything. I saved a bit with the labor since they were doing this all at once. $500 WP/TB kit and they charged me 3hrs labour (so under $800 plus tax). Make sure when you get yours changed that its the metal impeller, and includes the tensioner and pulleys.

I would recommend just going to a small mechanic shop that knows what they are doing. The dealer would cost a fortune!
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top