Making sure my 100K VW Jetta will be as reliable as it has for a few more years.
July 1, 2012 9:17 PM   Subscribe

Car Maintenance Filter: 100K 2000 VW Jetta - What should I expect at the 100K checkup?

So I acquired a 2000 VW Jetta a few years ago and had no idea what I was doing. I know how to change a tire, change the oil, check the windshield and cooler fluids, changes the washer blades and thats all the maintenance I've really done since I've had the car. With having just passed 100K miles I want to take it in and bring the car up to speed. What should I expect? How much should I put in ($$) to keep this car reliable for a few more years?

I should mention that my ex totally f-ed my engine up two years ago and at the time I could afford to replace the engine with a refurbished one (52k miles on the engine, 75k miles in the car at thy time). I had to take this route as it was cheaper than just getting another car. So does this complicate things?

TL:DR - I have a '00 Jetta, I need to make it last me another 10 years.. What do I need to do now. I'm taking in it for the 100K check-up, what should I ask?
posted by xicana63 to Travel & Transportation (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Okay, so your situation is complex, and depends on what engine you have, and a lot on what was done when the engine was replaced. here is what appears to be the maintenance schedule for your car. You'll need correlate the items noted with not only the mileage of your car, but the mileage of the engine, and the mileage of what was done to the engine.

I build a spreadsheet for my wife to use in tracking her car, which had its engine replaced at ~33k. Make a copy of it, fill in the columns with relevant data for your car. Then flip over to the "Service Log" sheet, and start entering data from your receipts. If you don't have receipts, guesses are okay.

If that's way too much work for you, walk into your preferred shop with all of the documentation you do have and say "help me!". Any good shop should be willing to sort out what does and doesn't need doing.
posted by TheNewWazoo at 9:38 PM on July 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: And because I haven't yet started drinking tonight, I'll expound on why your situation may be slightly complex. When engines are installed, it's very often easier to do all the major maintenance (like timing belts, spark plugs, etc) while the engine is out of the car. For these sorts of things, it's not usually the parts that are expensive, it's the time. Also, used engines are an unknown quantity with regard to prior care, so doing a sort of "refresh" returns it to a "mostly-known" state. This buys you some extra time before you have to do it again, too, which is nice.

So your 100k mi car has an engine with 75k mi on it, but maybe only 25k mi on the timing belt and spark plugs, meaning you could have another 80k mi before you need to cough up the dough. Nice! Maybe. But don't take it for granted that the 105k mi service must include these things.
posted by TheNewWazoo at 9:45 PM on July 1, 2012

Best answer: I can't answer this question tremendously well, but as the owner of an Audi of similar vintage, I want to address your last paragraph, because the prevailing wisdom seems to be that an early-2000s VW/Audi probably isn't going to last you 20 years (or will be stupidly expensive to push to that point).

Simply put, these cars eventually hit a point of diminishing returns for repairs. You should take it into a mechanic (preferably a VW specialist who has a VAG-COM) and take care of any pressing maintenance items. However, you should also have an emergency fund set aside for when this car croaks, because it's not going to be cost-effective to maintain indefinitely. Volkswagens from the late 90s and early 00s are not exactly renowned for their reliability or maintainability.
posted by schmod at 10:47 PM on July 1, 2012

Best answer: Honestly, if your Jetta is currently running fine, I'm not sure I'd bother with the inspection, given the engine situation. With MkIV VW's, it's best not to tempt providence. Keep doing regular oil and filter changes and you should be fine (unless your Jetta has the turbo engine...then all bets are off)

And, yeah, the Jetta is not going to last 10 more years.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:59 AM on July 2, 2012

My fiance and I both owned 2000 Jetta GL's. Although cute and fun to drive, those cars are a bit of blemish in VW's history and were just not made that well (search AskMe and you'll find a lot of MeFites agreeing with me). They were generally well-designed (except for the stupid bumper/spash guard) but poorly made in a crappy Mexican factory. You're actually lucky if yours is driving well at 12 years.
posted by radioamy at 11:33 AM on July 2, 2012

Best answer: We've got a 2001 Jetta that's got 190K+ miles. The biggest issue you'll run into is the coolant system pipes and hoses are made of plastic and rubber and will start leaking. People often find themselves slowly replacing most if not everything that coolant runs through piece by piece.

2000 is old enough that you didn't have individual coils over each cylinder (so you're spared that nightmare), but if you don't have a manual, you may run into issues with the 4-speed automatic transmission and clips holding the front windows.

Our mechanic gave us the talk about giving up on the car at 175K. On relatively modern cars, I'd worry less about the number of miles than the age - particularly when it comes to rubber hoses breaking down.
posted by NoRelationToLea at 1:51 PM on July 2, 2012

« Older Kicked Out of Her Own Apartment   |   There is a wildish animal in my bathroom Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.