Volkswagen has a lot riding on this: The carmaker has set an \"audacious\" goal of tripling its U.S. sales by 2018, says David Kiley at Aol Autos. Most analysts think that's a \"fantasy.\" But if VW is going to have any chance of acheiving its target, it \"needs another groundswell of interest in the Beetle\" to help generate more sales for its other cars, too. \"The Volkswagen Beetle rides again\"
There are tons of years of the VW Beetle, which provides plenty of opportunities to pick out the worst ones for drivers. Some are more ideal than others. We recommend staying away from the 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012, and 2013 models. These require expensive fixes that can cause trouble as you drive.
The biggest trouble spot for the VW Beetle is the transmission and the engine. Unfortunately, these items are the prices to handle in a car and may warrant an intense replacement. Understand which VW Beetle years to have an ideal experience as an owner. The less you can spend on fixes and replacements, the better off you will be.
If you want the most ideal VW Beetle years to take on the road, we can help you out. These selections emerge leaps and bounds ahead of the unideal years and will keep more cash in your pocket. Look for one of these if you are interested in a VW Beetle as your next mode of transportation.
Of course, there are still some issues that come with the best VW Beetle years. The 2014 VW Beetle had severe paint and body troubles. The 2008 VW Beetle had issues with the lights. They each have an issue that stands out, but none come close to the troubles in the VW Beetle years to avoid.
The 2004 VW Beetle was the worst choice for this car. The biggest issue was window and windshield troubles, though it also experienced transmission failure. The 2004 VW Beetle is the most expensive for owners.
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If a VW Beetle has attracted your attention and interest, it might be useful to bring along some stuff when you are going to inspect the car. If you see a spot that looks bad, give it a poke. If it goes through, well, there will be some welding involved. Another thing that I like to keep handy, is a small magnet. This will help you discover an overabundance of body filler. The magnet that I use will not stick to metal that has much more than 1/8 inch of filler on top of it. Another handy gadget is a flashlight. When you are going to buy a Volkswagen Beetle, the bottom of the car is very crucial. Use your flashlight to determine whether the bottom is rotten or not.
The VW Beetle floor panels are the most common repair area. You can detect the rot very easily. The most common is under the battery, which is located under the rear seat. Also lift the floor mats if possible to check for more. The condition of the floor panels is very important because replacing them takes a lot of time and is pretty expensive. You will find many videos on Youtube about how you can replace the floor panels correctly. If you have little experience with such restorations, you better ask your local car mechanic to help you.
Another crucial place to check are the VW Beetle heater channels. The engine is air cooled so the heat must be transferred to the front of the car through the rocker panels just below the door. These heater channels are constantly moving hot air, so condensation occurs during the cool down process. Look primarily above the jack support.
A third spot that certainly deserves the necessary attention when you buy a VW Beetle is the the quarter panel behind the side read windows. When manufactured, Volkswagen put either a bag of filler material or expanding foam inside the quarter panel to reduce noise and also as a vapor barrier from the engine compartment to the passenger compartment. This filler or foam collected condensation and run-off water causing rust and rot.
All four fenders on a used VW Beetle are bolted to the body, with a rubber strip separating them from the body. This area likes to collect dirt and grime, and eventually, rust if not attended to. If rust is not evident on the surface of these areas, check inside each fender well with a flashlight.
The trunk seal can only do so much to keep water out of the trunk, and eventually they do go bad. Make sure that if there is a spare tire in the spare tire well; remove it and check for rust in the trough below it. Water will collect in this area and rot it out.
The VW Beetle fuse box is located inside the trunk on the drivers side just in front of the stereo speaker. Check to make sure that all of the wires are plugged onto the block and that all relays are present. After that, test whether all lights and traffic indicators are working. Rewiring a Beetle is a pretty big project. However you can find the wiring diagrams on the internet.
Those early cars were powered by an 1131cc engine producing 30bhp which meant leisurely acceleration and a modest top speed but the ability to cruise all day at that top speed, courtesy of long gearing and an unstressed engine effectively restricted by its intake. The underpinnings were true to the blueprint provided by Dr Porsche before the war and employed a flat chassis (known in VW circles as the floorpan) with a central backbone, mounting transverse torsion bars for the front suspension and forking at the rear to mount a transaxle to which the flat-four engine was bolted, driving through simple swing axles.
In 1953 the split rear glass, designed originally to use cheaper flat panes was replaced by an oval window and in 1954 the engine grew to 1192cc and 36bhp. In 1957 the oval rear window was replaced by a rectangular window and the side windows were enlarged, while in 1965 the engine grew again to 1285cc and 40bhp. At this point the cars were badged VW 1200 and VW 1300 to denote engine size, but the big news came in 1967 with the 1493cc VW 1500. The larger engine boosted power to a still modest 44bhp but together with increased torque the driveability was vastly improved and many consider this to be the optimum incarnation of the original VW engine. The following year the sloping headlights were replaced with the vertical units fitted from 1967 for North America, paired with larger rear lights.
It may have been technically superior to the original but was destined for a short life, since production of the 1302 and 1303 ended in 1975, leaving only the flat-screen torsion bar model, although the 1303 body style was retained for the Karmann-built convertible.
The cars were also produced to a very high quality almost from the beginning, with nuts and bolts where BMC would use a self-tapping screw, thick steel used for body panels and a quality control which was in a different league from British brands.
The Beetle is technically a separate chassis design, with the bodyshell bolted to the rolling floorpan around its perimeter. This does allow it to get away come MoT-time with a degree of rust, but the shell still needs to be sound, especially in the body mounting and seatbelt mounting areas.
The engine has long been regarded as bulletproof but crucially, only when in standard form and properly maintained. An engine with incorrect ignition timing and valve clearances will start to run hot on long motorway trips and heat is the enemy of any air-cooled engine. A knowledgeable owner will know this and will have kept on top of the maintenance. Speaking of which, there may be no water in the engine but the oil is vital to its cooling so regular changes and decent oil are crucial.
The VW gearbox is similarly robust and major problems will be obvious via alarming noises. Jumping out of gear can often be cured by attention to the linkage adjustment at the base of the lever, while a rattly lever with woolly shift action can be transformed by changing the nylon knuckle joint under the access plate below the back seat.
As time went on, it became harder to convert the Mexican-made cars neatly to right-hand drive, so check the security of the pedal mounting and the neatness of the dashboard. One of the best conversions was offered by Beetles UK which usually added its logo to the speedo face.
According to Car and Driver 21 million Vintage VW Beetles were sold worldwide before the first major modernization in 1998. Many are still around today in some form, whether they are a stock VW Bug, Dune Buggy, Sand Rail, VW Trike or kit car.
While VW Beetles are fairly simple in many aspects a bad Bug can give you a big headache. As prices for vintage VW Beetles continue to rise and the cars continue to age it is becoming more and more important to choose a car wisely.
A bad choice can lead to many long term fixes, high costs and dissatisfaction. We have seen many heartbroken customers over the years who find out that the VW Beetle they loved is doing their budget more harm than good. A car is part fun, but also part investment. Take a look at these ten buying t