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The Volkswagen Jetta is a compact car that has been in production since 1979. Over the years, the Jetta has become one of the most popular vehicles in its class due to its practicality, affordability, and German engineering.

However, like all cars, some model years of the Volkswagen Jetta have been more prone to maintenance and reliability issues than others. So, what are the very worst used Volkswagen Jetta model years to avoid when car shopping?

1. The 2006 Volkswagen Jetta

A dark gray 2006 Volkswagen Mk5 Jetta compact sedan model
2006 Volkswagen Mk5 Jetta | Volkswagen of America, Inc. Newspress Limited

The 2006 Volkswagen Jetta has been known to experience several common maintenance issues, including transmission failure, often resulting from a worn-out clutch or other internal mechanical failures. CarComplaints writes that this typically occurs around 118,000 miles and costs, on average, $3,900 to fix.

Transmissions not engaging properly between gears are also common in 2006 VW Jetta models. Various internal mechanical problems, such as worn gears or a faulty control module, can cause them. The average cost to repair this is around $6,000.

Another issue is the check engine light, which comes on during cold weather. It is caused by a sensor that fails when exposed to colder temperatures, causing the check engine light to illuminate. The fix for this isn’t as expensive as more critical issues, costing $400, but normally occurs pretty early on, at around 37,000 miles.

2. The 2009 Volkswagen Jetta

The ABS (anti-lock braking system) module failure in the 2009 Volkswagen Jetta is common and occurs when the ABS module fails, causing the ABS warning light to come on and reducing the effectiveness of the brakes. This happens around 98,000 miles and costs $ 2,300 to repair.

Engine failure can also occur in the 2009 Jetta due to various internal mechanical problems, such as a worn-out crankshaft or damaged bearings. The average cost is around $2,000 and occurs around 77,000 miles.

The diesel particle filter failure is specific to the diesel models of the 2009 VW Jetta. It occurs when the diesel particle filter becomes clogged, reducing engine performance and causing a warning light to come on. A total of $5,500 is the average cost to repair the filter, and it usually occurs around 108,000 miles.

3. The 2011 Volkswagen Jetta

The radio in the 2011 Volkswagen Jetta suddenly stops working, potentially due to a failure of the radio unit or a loss of power supply to the unit. The repair cost is around $500, and it habitually occurs around 72,000 miles.

Another issue is the high-pressure fuel pump stopping, causing the engine to lose power or shut down completely. The average cost to repair is around $7,100, and it typically occurs around 58,000 miles.

Engine light errors occur when the engine light illuminates on the dashboard, indicating a problem with the engine or one of its components. The cause of this can vary and may require diagnosis by a professional to determine the appropriate repair. For this repair, it costs around $600, and it usually occurs around 50,000 miles.

The 2019 Volkswagen Jetta luckily had warranty coverage for early problems

The 2019 Volkswagen Jetta is known to experience some expensive engine difficulties, like the grinding noise from the transmission. The average cost to repair this is around $26,000, and it occurs around 14,000 miles. This can be caused by several internal transmission issues, including worn bearings, damaged gears, or a malfunctioning clutch.

However, it’s important to note that the 2019 VW Jetta is still covered by its original warranty. Many of these early problems will be covered or already fixed under the manufacturer’s warranty and will not require out-of-pocket expenses from the owner. Still, used car shoppers should be very wary of the 2019 model year Jetta. Additionally, having any suspicious noises or warning lights checked by a professional is still important to ensure the issue is addressed before it becomes more serious.

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