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2003 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the 2003 Volkswagen Jetta TDI based on complaints from actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.

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12
Known Problems

Because of issues with the glow plugs and/or the glow plug wiring harness from the control relay, the Check Engine Light may illuminate. Our technicians tell us there is a service bulletin, not a recall from Volkswagen regarding replacement of the glow plugs on 2004-2005 model years only.

Oil and carbon tend to build up, creating restrictions in the intake manifold. Symptoms will be loss of power (sometimes severe) and poor fuel economy.

Shifting issues due to internal problems in high mileage automatic transmissions can be difficult to resolve without transmission replacement.

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.

Electrical issues that are difficult to diagnose—and sometimes intermittent—are typically due to ground wiring issues. The most troublesome ground locations are under the battery or at the engine.

The rear brakes tend to wear out quickly; rotors may need replacement by the first brake job. Our technicians recommend that the brakes be inspected for wear regularly.

To ensure longevity of the engine, our technicians recommend to follow the maintenance schedule for the timing belt.

Cars using biofuel typically have problems with injection pump failures; symptoms can include a "no start" condition or external pump leaks.

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

Reverse gear failures and noise in the manual transmission models are common.

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