Question about 1987 Volkswagen Jetta

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1987 Volkswagen Jetta GL rough idling problem.

Hello, I have a 1987 VW Jetta 1.8L L4 FI GL with 208,000 miles. I just got the car from a friend who told me his mechanic said the rough idling is normal and he would have to put up with the car stahling two or three times before it will stay running. I know this car needs a head gasket because it is leaking antifreeze but I thought the idling problem would be something un related that I could fix with maybe a tune up (plugs, wires, cap, rotor)? I replaced plugs, cap, rotor,oil change and still haveing same problem. Do you have any other suggestions for the rough idling and stahling? I will also be replacing the 1 fuel filter back underneath by the gas tank. The other question is what is an average price to pay to have the head gasket replaced? Thanks for any help.

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  • Jim Gau Dec 31, 2008

    Thank you for your quick response. The plugs were going to be another 80 bucks and I didn't want to pay that and get the head gasket replaced. Any idea what an average price would be to get the head gasket replaced? I don't think the car is worth sticking a lot of money into and I was trying to get by with what I know...cheap. I got the car for free so I don't mind sticking a couple hundred into it you know? Any way, have you had to replace the fuel filter on your Golf? I am afraid I will break something because the bolts are so rusted and I don't know how they come off. Sorry to take up your time, I appreciate any help.

  • Jim Gau Jan 18, 2009

    Thanks for the info. I am just going to leave it for now. It is a spare car and money is tight. Good enough for now. Thanks again for your help.

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Hi!
So far you have done all but change the leads! This will help dramatically BUT if your head gasket is blown I'm afraid you'll have real difficulty in get it to run smooth as water/steam is possibly mixing with the fuel causing very poor ignition.
I did the same as you on a Golf as soon as the new leads were fitted Bingo a New Car, However there wasn't a head gasket issue.
Good Luck and A Happy New Year to you and your Family.
Paul 'W'

Posted on Dec 31, 2008

  • Paul W
    Paul W Jan 01, 2009

    Hello again, the Golf I was associated with was a friends (Postman).

    O.K. lets get up to speed, please remember I'm over the Pond U.K. and here I would expect a head gasket change including all belts, oil and fluids should be around £150/200 $300ish so if gifted and the car is smart/cherry it's worth while. I'm running a 249,000 miler Beemer E34 Touring Diesel and I reckon it is just settled in and ready to do another 1/4 of a million miles. However I run it on W.V.O. waste veg oil and have upset the seals in the pump so she's weeping fuel slightly.

    As for the plugs here they are around £3.50 $2ish each so if I were you get on eBay and source your parts there. Remember to have your Head tested and skimmed you wouldn't want to replace all those parts to find a warped head.

    Good Luck!

    Paul 'W'

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