definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
42,698 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2004 Volkswagen Jetta engine problems

engine problem

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2004 Volkswagen Jetta Owner Comments

problem #7

Sep 302010

Jetta 4-cyl

  • 105,000 miles


Catastrophic drive train failure of a VW Jetta tdi 5-speed. While traveling at 65-70 mph on relatively flat terrain on a clear roadway in 5th gear with no input to the clutch or the transmission, occupants felt & heard a single, muffled ┐thump┐. originating drive train failure event occurred spontaneously and completely unexpectedly. After the anomaly, a low metallic rattle was heard. Once clear of surrounding traffic, in troubleshooting attempt the driver engaged clutch and shifted into neutral; immediately the rattling became more pronounced. Fifth gear immediately reengaged and noise abated. Driver navigated vehicle under power to right lane & subsequently exited expressway. Upon approach to side street traffic light, the clutch was reengaged resulting in a renewed rattling; transmission shifted into neutral. When clutch was let out, the constant rattling noise continued as engine idled. With signal change, clutch reengaged & transmission shifted to 1st gear. Clutch slowly, carefully released: Noticeable noise increase followed by short series of loud, sharp noises. Vehicle lurched and stalled. Two attempts to restart engine failed; no engine response. Police notified & vehicle towed to dealer. Significant fluid leakage noticed. Subsequently notified by VW dealer that main shaft of transmission catastrophically failed pressing flywheel into motor damaging casing, bearings & crankshaft lobs resulting in immediate seizing of the diesel power plant. Total replacement of transmission and engine assembly required (est ~$11K). This vehicle had all maintenance service performed regularly at 5K intervals by VW dealer (documented) and had recently had full 100K service including timing belt replacement. No notification/concern for additional transmission inspection/service. Clutch recently seemed to be engaging a wee bit further but no bottoming of pedal or clutch slippage. Owner expected to schedule clutch inspection/work during next 5K service visit.

- Johnson City, TN, USA

problem #6

Jun 072010


  • 72,879 miles
Volkswagen Jetta (all VW) have plastic impeller water pump that breaks, causing rapid overheating and possible engine seizure. Engine seizure may result in rear end collision. Volkswagen knows of this problem but refuses to recall the vehicles. New water pump is required to repair the condition. The parts costs over $200. Fairly easy to replace but the plastic parts could also break loose and get pumped through the engine and turbo and cause catastrophic failure.

- Lincolnton, NC, USA

problem #5

Jun 182007

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 54,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Volkswagen Jetta. While driving 50 mph, the check engine and coolant lights illuminated. The contact heard a scraping noise coming from the vehicle. She pulled over and the engine lost power. The vehicle was towed to a Volkswagen dealer. The mechanic diagnosed the cause of failure as engine oil sludge and stated that the engine would need to be replaced. The vehicle has not been repaired. The purchase date was unknown. The current and failure mileages were 54,000.

- Austell, GA, USA

problem #4

Jul 252006

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 23,000 miles


2004 Volkswagen Jetta. Consumer states when driving in stop and go traffic the engine will have loss of power and hesitation when accelerating.

- Culpeper, VA, USA

problem #3

Feb 052007

Jetta 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 21,500 miles
2004 VW Jetta with base 4 cylinder engine with 28K as of 2/1/07. Car is using 4-qts of 5W-40 synthetic motor oil every oil change (every 5000 miles). VW claims that 1-qt per 1000 miles is normal, refuse to fix the engine.

- Hoffman Estates, IL, USA

problem #2

Jul 112005

Jetta 4-cyl Diesel

  • Manual transmission
  • 22,325 miles
Tdi engine. Manual transmission. While driving vehicle lost power intermittently. Press accelerator; no change in RPM - just idled. "glow plug" (flashed) and engine warning light (steady) lit after 1st two occasions; not on 3rd. Re-start solves problem for 30 seconds. Dealership was notified, but did not resolve the problem in two attempts. Vehicle is in for 3rd attempt as of 07/05.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #1

Mar 092004

Jetta 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 181 miles
Purchased 2004 VW Jetta gli on 3/5/04 with delivery on 3/7/04. Car had 41 miles at delivery. By Monday, 3/8/04 noticed burning smell on driver's side of car while shifiting between 1st & 3rd gears. Also noticed vibration in brake pedal at idle and vibration in steering column while braking. Complained at dealership that car was failing with 181 miles on the odometer. Service tech test drove the car with me. Could not identify burning smell, but suggested I try driving the car without the seat heaters on to see if it made any difference (it didn't). Don't understand why there'd be a connection between RPM's and the seat heaters. Will have to go get a fire extinguisher to carry in the car as a precaution, I suppose. Major problem was the vibration in steering wheel upon braking. Turns out all 4 brake rotors were warped (at 181 miles"?"). technician replaced all 4 brake rotors and front brake pads. Vibration in brake pedal at idle was explained as brake vacuum pump regenerating pressure. Sales manager I spoke with couldn't understand why I was upset since they were willing to fix the car.

- Chesapeake, VA, USA

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