2003 Volkswagen Jetta Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the 2003 Volkswagen Jetta as reported by actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.

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21
Known Problems

Condensation in the heater case may cause a musty odor from the heating, ventilation and AC (HVAC) system after sitting for two hours or more. Our technicians tell us that a cleaner is available for the heater case and the drain system should be checked for debris.

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.

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

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

Engine oil leaks are common from the valve cover gaskets and camshaft chain tensioner gasket.

The water pump may fail resulting in engine overheating and possible timing belt damage. Overheating and/or timing belt failure can result in very expensive engine repairs. As a precaution, it is recommended to inspect the timing belt and water pump at regular intervals.

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

The water pump and/or other cooling system may develop a coolant leak. Oil leaking from the  valve cover gasket is also common.

Throttle body failure is not uncommon and can lead to shifting issues with the automatic transmission and other drivability concerns.

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

A damaged water pump impeller may cause an engine overheating condition. Our technicians tell us the repair should include replacement of the water pump, thermostat, and flushing the cooling system.

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

A coolant leak may develop after oil filter replacement. The coolant o-ring seal can be damaged if the oil filter housing turns when removing or installing the oil filter. The recommended procedure is to hold the filter housing when tightening or loosening the oil filter.