We bought our 03 Beetle with the 1.8L with about 50,000 miles on it. Within weeks it had an engine light on. I have battled the engine light, among other things, ever since. We changed an injector and a coil pack on the number 2 cylinder because of a persistent miss. This was after diagnosis of codes would not narrow the problem down. Immediately following it began cranking hard on start and not starting until the second attempt. First code said crankshaft sensor so we replaced that. Had to replace camshaft sensor thereafter to fix the problem. Next it threw a coolant system code so we replaced the ECT sensor. After that the thermostat. This car was a reliability nightmare. Never ever again.
This is far the worst car I had! When I bought it at 151,000 miles, a few weeks later I noticed a lot white smoke coming out my tail pipe as I accelerate and it was chugging during that time. (Worse in winter). It faced a lot oil leaks and found out I had coolant leak too. I tried to get this oil leak under control after 3 repairs and still hasn't been fixed and spent slightly over $1,000 for that same oil problem. Oi! She was an oil eater! Until I finally got a tune up, that helped the chugging to stop, but then still got blue smoke coming out tail pipe. Not to mention, this is a turbo engine. My mechanic who specialize in European cars mentioned that turbo goes out every 75,000 miles. A turbo itself is $700 and labor? Probably $1,000. Eventhough, two Volkswagen dealerships told me I needed a new engine. Sitting in that driver bucket seat is uncomfortable. My lower back started to feel the burning and aching. The headlights are always loose, the rubber sealing doesn't reattach properly. The lightbulbs? They burn out frequently. My CD player skips or stops music for few seconds. I always had fast right turn blinker...even with all lightbulbs seemed to work. Too many problems! I'm not totally against the beetle, but she was a real BUGGER! Not buying VW again.
Purchased this 2003 Beetle with 39k on 12-31-08 for daughter. I've had to replace three coil packs, the 4th was already replaced when the car was purchased. VW had a problem with issue, but told me this car was not covered under the recall back during 2003. I was also told that I could take this car to the dealer and pay $100.00 to get the codes read and if I keep the receipts and if they ever do recall this issue, then I could send in for a refund. I decided to use the $100.00 code fee and purchase new coil packs. I did buy a code scanner off of eBay for less than $30.00, it reads and clears the Check Engine Light after you make the repair. This car has the 1.8T engine.
These fall apart. At 140k miles I've replaced/ repaired so many stupid things. Like what? The rear 3rd brake light seal leaks. This lets water into the trunk lock which sets off the alarm every time it rains. And, requires replacing if the trunk latch! The water pump and mini fold are made of glass reinforced plastic that doesn't stand up to prolonged hi temps. Both cracked and needs replacement at different times. Quite the unreliable car if you keep it more than 3 years
Purchased this car for my daughter in high school. Now I spend all my spare time trying to keep it running. Plastic motor parts crack and need to be replaced almost weely. I have replaced the anti freeze overfill tank and heater hose connections. The transmission is junk. Jerky and shifts hard. Dangerous to drive. Many electrical issues. Interior gets wet when it rains. To many issues to remember. Do not get ducked into the cuteness of the car. They are totally worthless vehicles