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Hello all, I'm looking at buying a beetle for my oldest for her first car. I'm by no means new to working on cars as I've owned several jeeps and other cars that I've had to rebuild the engine's on. She has her heart set on wanting a new beetle and I found the exact one that she wants locally. It's a 2005 GLS 2.0 auto convertible with around 89000 miles. I was wondering what I should look at when I go check it out or what problems I can expect to see from this model. I've heard alot of bad things about the early models with transmission problems and other things but I figure 05 should have been long enough for the initial bugs of a new style to mostly be worked out. Thanks for any help and hopefully she'll have her dream car, just want to make sure it'll be reliable for her.
 

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Sorry to inform you that that not all the issues were worked out by 2005. The only thing good about the 2005 as the windows were sorted out after 2 years, BUT then there ares still door latch problems. You can close the huge doors with you pinky, but people hammer the doors closed in these cars.

The rear window will come unglued at some point, at most you will get to year 10 before rear window comes unglued.

Also the transmission will have issues. The valve body will need to be reworked. They ALL have valve body issues. If you can DIY, might be able to do it for around $700. Assume the car has a 6 speed auto? Anyway, pulling the valve body is pretty easy. Just a bit harder than a trans fluid change.

Also keep in mind that you should replace the timing belt and water pump by 90k, otherwise you will be a ticking time bomb. These engines are interference, belt breaks at any RPM other than 0, you will have bent valves and have to pull the head.

Make sure the car comes with at least 2 keyfobs, it shipped with 2 keyfobs and a valet key.

Also make sure the metal lower engine cover is actually on/with the car. These get removed all the time and on the convertible they are important, a new one is a bit over $300.

These cars are not hard to work on and when they are running right they are good cars, they just need a lot of TLC and PM at this age for them to say reliable.

Also be prepared to pull the front dash, wiper arms and cowl to clean out the cowl to prevent water leaks. Cannot recall is the 2005 still had the cabin filter, but it if does, it is likely original.

Pulling the front dash is actually easy, search YouTube for VW Beetle cabin filter replacement.

Also change the fuel filter, be very careful with the quick release plastic line, a bit tricky and easy to break if you are not careful.

Not sure what they want for the car, but about $4500 comes to mind, these cars have NO resale value and do not let someone take you to the cleaners on it.

Good luck.
 

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Thanks for the helpful info on it so at least I know what to look for when i go there. It's currently sitting on a dealer lot and is listed for $7900. If I take a look at it and some of these things seem to be needing to be done then that will help be a big bargaining factor to lower the price. When you say the valve body needs to be reworked does it just get sent off to a shop or just replace the whole thing with a new aftermarket unit that maybe has the fix in place? At least I know what I need to look for and start reading up on before looking and possibly buying it. Thanks for the helpful info.
 

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$7900 is way high on the prices. Unless the car is 100% pristine and had been a garage queen with less than 50k miles, I would consider maybe close to $6k.

Lets just say I was offered $5k for my 5 year old 2003 GLX convertible at 70k, needless to say I still have my 2003 at this point as there was no way I was accepting $5k on a 5 year old car that cost almost $30k new!

Check pricing on KBB - Kelley Blue Book

I did not have all the info on your car & location, but I would say $5500 in EXCELLENT condition, this means 100% unmolested, all keys, great paint & body, lower skid pan installed, no window or door lock issues and so forth.

I can guarantee you will need to do something with the transmission. You need the valve body reworked, they oversize some of the bores, install new valves in the oversize bores, either your valve body is reworked or you get an exchange valve body. The 6 speeds usually do not need the transmission wiring harness replaced.

My guess is the dealer probably paid about $3500 for the car at auction. There is a LOT of fat in the car at $7900, this is a crazy price for the car, I would never pay this much unless we were talking garage queen with about 40k miles and then I would not be happy knowing all the issues and money you would have to put into the car.

Also remember dealers make more money on used cars than new cars, much higher profit margin.

Get the cars VIN and search it on the Internet. We had someone here recently that found the car was wrecked badly and sold at a wholesale auction. Had pictures of all the damage and how much the car was sold for at the auction.

Do not give into the pressure. Guessing, I would go no higher than $6k for the car. This is $1900 less than the dealer is asking, I doubt the will drop this much unless they have been sitting on the car too long, but dealers NEVER want to take a loss if they have been sitting on the car too long.

Good luck.
 
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