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Resources for the Repair and Maintenance of your 2003 Volkswagen Beetle

2003 Volkswagen Beetle

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2003 Volkswagen Beetle Problems

Miscellaneous -- Verified

One or more power windows may fail. Our technicians tell us this is commonly due to a failed window regulator which will require replacement.

Electrical & Lights -- Verified

One or both head lights may not work due to premature head light bulb burnout and/or bulb harness failure. Care should be taken to inspect the head light harness connector for damage when replacing bulbs. Damaged connectors should be replaced.

Exhaust & Emissions -- Verified

Due to an ignition component and/or engine coolant temperature sensor failure, the Check Engine Light may illuminate. Replacement of the failed component will be necessary to correct this concern.

Electrical & Lights -- Verified

Erratic turn signal operation can be a result of a failing turn signal flasher relay which will require replacement.

Exhaust & Emissions -- Verified

The mass air flow (MAF) sensor may fail, resulting in drivability issues and/or illumination of the Check Engine Light.

2003 Volkswagen Beetle Recalls (Recent)

Body, Interior & Misc.

Summary: VOLKSWAGEN IS RECALLING 76,900 MY 2004-2005 NEW BEETLE AND MY 2003-2005 NEW BEETLE CONVERTIBLES EQUIPPED WITH AN ADVANCED (DUAL-STAGE) AIR BAG SYSTEM. THIS SYSTEM MAY HAVE AIR BAG FRONTAL CRASH SENSORS THAT CONTAIN A SOLDER JOINT ON THE CIRCUIT BOARD THAT MAY CRACK UNDER CERTAIN HIGH TEMPERATURE CONDITIONS. IF THIS OCCURS, THE AIR BAG INDICATOR LIGHT WILL ILLUMINATE AND THE FALLBACK ALGORITHM WILL ENSURE THAT THE FRONT AIR BAGS ALWAYS DEPLOY IN A FRONTAL CRASH IN WHICH THE VEHICLE'S DECELERATION IS HIGH ENOUGH TO ACTIVATE THE FRONTAL AIR BAGS.

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Electrical & Lights, April 27, 2007

Summary: ON CERTAIN PASSENGER, WAGON, AND CONVERTIBLE VEHICLES EQUIPPED WITH OR WITHOUT CRUISE CONTROL, A BRAKE LIGHT SWITCH MAY MALFUNCTION IF IT WAS INSTALLED INCORRECTLY.

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2003 Volkswagen Beetle Questions and Answers

rjfiorino, 2003 Volkswagen Beetle, 2.0L 4 Cylinder, Matawan, NJ

how do i replace the right side headlight low beam

osita, 2003 Volkswagen Beetle, 2.0L 4 Cylinder, Lemoore, CA

I have a 2003 turbo beetle. I use my remote for the doors. Yesterday morning the passenger door would not unlock with the remote. In the afternoon neither the passenger door nor the driver door ...

osita, 2003 Volkswagen Beetle, 1.8L 4 Cylinder, Lemoore, CA

My brake light on the passenger side is not working. Do I have to go to the dealership to have it replaced?
Where would I buy a bulb and how would I find what size to buy?

osita, 2003 Volkswagen Beetle, 1.8L 4 Cylinder, Lemoore, CA

Is it true that bulbs (i.e. taillights bulbs, turn signal bulbs) should only be handled with gloves and not bare hands?

keyia86, 2003 Volkswagen Beetle, Cleveland, OH

I have been having problems with my rear spoiler. It will not go down and it makes this awful noise. It doesn't affect the way the car drives but is getting annoying. In the owner's manua...

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2003 Volkswagen Beetle Reviews

Well I've owned by 2003 Bug since my Mom passed away in 2010. She bought it brand new and she never had to do anything but oil changes. Now that it is 11 years old it's falling apart, but only has 50,000 miles! The check engine light has been on 3 times in 3 months. First mechanic replaced the thermostat, then coils, plugs & wires, NOW $1000 later they say that it's the catalytic converter (and says I should also do the timing belt/water pump too) which will cost a total of $1,800! I guess it's cheaper than buying a new car, but what the hell!!

Have had my 2003 convertible new beetle turbo for a few years now. VW decided to extend the transmission warranty to 10 years. Mine went out 10 years and 2 months. Called VW and they said to bad so sad. The it quit in the middle of an intersection about a year later. Found out that the timing belt pulley seized a and warped the heads. Now 6 months later the AC started leaking the oil on the ground so no AC in the middle of the summer heat. Also it's a convertible so the back window is falling out because the glue doesn't hold in the heat. If you want a cute convertible don't buy a bug. The Bug has too many bugs crawling through it.

I owned a 2003 VW Turbo S from 2003 to 2008. Maintained as scheduled mostly by dealer. About 4 VW recalls while I owned it. Fixed with no fuss by local dealer. I only ever had 1 repair that was not normal maintenance related. I noticed the rear taillights weren't working (≈ 2005). Some faulty relay diagnosed by my auto guy in the shop next to mine. He handed the matter off to a local car electrical specialist who tracked down the part. No recall at the point I had it happen. Only cost about $50 (since I knew a guy that knew a guy, you know?)

Annoyances were the inability to change a headlight when it burned out, but dealer would change for no labor only bulb. I had to replace a wheel (rim - Turbo S specialized & hard to find at the time) & then then all tires after I clipped a broken storm drain near street edge.
I loved the car, but hated the premium gas. Wouldn't have given it up if my business didn't warrant the need for a bigger vehicle.

Bought a 2003 convertible and fixed some water damaged electrical issues. I was surprised to find that very pricey bosch relays are not water proof at all?
It would seem that VW cares a rip less about the bulk complaints of non operating door locks electric windows and other elec issues that plague the line, not the least of which is the immobilzer system.
I regret having bought the car.

Never again. Stay away from it and wanabe Mercedes . Simple as that.

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