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Are Volkswagens Expensive to Fix?

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Volkswagen has come out with plenty of sleek and stylish cars over the years, but how expensive are they to fix? It is crucial for you to consider the average cost of repairs and maintenance before buying any vehicle. This will give you a better idea as to how much you can expect to spend on it. If you plan to be on a fairly tight budget for the foreseeable future, you might want to think twice about getting one of these cars.

Reliability Ratings

Repair Pal ranked Volkswagen 3.5 out of 5, which is slightly above average. They state that the average yearly cost of repairs for these vehicles is $676. This is well above the average amount that people in the U.S. spend on automobile repairs each year. They claim that 11% of Volkswagen repairs are classified as being “severe”.

It would be a bit of an over exaggeration to say that VW cars are not reliable as a whole. There are some models that are worse than others when it comes to costly repairs. The reliability rating of this manufacturer has been consistently average to slightly above average.

Severity of Volkswagen Problems

While a number of Volkswagen cars are known for having various problems, very few of them are serious. This means that you might have to deal with a lot of small repairs over the course of your vehicle’s total life. It can still definitely add up over time though, so you need to keep that in mind.

Common Problems with Volkswagens

There are definitely some issues with Volkswagen vehicles that are fairly common, and you’ll want to know about them. You’ll find that each of this manufacturer’s cars has different problems they are known for.

AC Evaporator Problems

The Volkswagen R32 has a reputation for having a poorly designed AC evaporator. This particular problem could cost you up to $1,200 to have fixed. The final cost depends on the severity of the problem. If this part needs to be repaired, you’ll be looking at a substantial bill.

Wheel Speed Sensor Malfunction

The Volkswagen Jetta has a history of problems with its wheel speed sensor. Getting this part replaced costs $200 at the most. While it is certainly not the biggest problem you’ll ever have with a car, it is still pretty annoying.

Check Engine Light

Some of the earlier Jetta hybrids have problems with the check engine light coming on. This is most likely due to a malfunctioning sensor, which can cost a hundred dollars or so to have fixed. It is also possible that this is caused by an issue with the software itself. It is crucial that you take your car to get looked at by a mechanic if this light comes on. It might not indicate a serious problem, but you don’t want to take any chances.

Airbag Light

The light that indicates an airbag malfunction in the 2006 Volkswagen Jetta is known for coming on and not turning off. This is an issue that usually occurs around 100,000 miles, but it has been documented before then. You will definitely need to get your car looked at if this happens. It could just be a problem with the sensor, but it could also indicate that your airbags aren’t working properly. This can cost a few hundred dollars to fix, depending on the nature of the problem.

Coil Problems

Volkswagen’s 2004 Passat has a known coil problem, which has plagued many owners. This problem tends to occur when the vehicle has put on over 70,000 miles. Since this is a pretty common problem, you should be able to get it fixed quickly. It is not usually a very expensive repair.

Engine Problems

The 2000 Passat has a somewhat unusual but frustrating problem with oil sludge clogging causing the engine to not function properly. This issue can occur anywhere from 70 to 90k miles. It is definitely one of the more expensive problems that are associated with these cars. You could easily pay upwards of $1,000, depending on the extent of the damage.

Wiring Harness Shorts

If you own a 2006 Jetta, you might experience issues with the electrical system. These vehicles are known for their wiring harnesses shorting out. This usually only becomes an issue once the vehicle has at least 100k miles on the odometer.


Volkswagen vehicles also have a reputation for overheating fairly easily. This is due to the fact that most of them have relatively small cooling systems. The less coolant a vehicle is capable of holding, the more prone to overheating it becomes. The problem could also be a malfunctioning radiator, which can two or three hundred dollars.

Battery Problems

A lot of Volkswagen owners have also complained about how their vehicles keep dying. This seems to be a fairly common issue with this manufacturer’s cars. The root of this problem could be the alternator, which his often the case. It is not a hugely expensive fix, but it won’t be cheap either.

How Much will I pay in Repairs?

It can be challenging to estimate how much you’ll pay in repairs with a Volkswagen. This largely depends on the exact model, as well as how you treat it. Those who are good about keeping up with regular maintenance can save a lot of money in the long term.

Final Thoughts

Buying a Volkswagen car isn’t necessarily a bad idea, but you need to do your research first. These vehicles are far from the most expensive with regards to repairs, but they aren’t great for people with a tight budget. It is important that you take the time to look at the various models that this manufacturer offers before deciding on one in particular. The fact is that some of their offerings are better than others as a whole. While these cars can develop a lot of issues over time, they aren’t usually very expensive to have repaired. This isn’t something that you should count on when buying a VW vehicle though.

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