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2003 Jetta 1.8 (gas) overheats/smells hot. Check engine light on

I have a 2003 Jetta 1.8 turbo (gas/manual). I replaced the timing belt last fall. The mechanic also replaced the thermostat, since that time the check engine light has remained on constantly. When I take it in for oil changes, etc, the guys check the code on the light and say it is fine, just a glitch that keeps the light on. In the past week the car has been using more gas and smelling hot when I am in stop and go traffic. I took it for an oil change and the tech said it was a quart low on oil. If repair would be more than 2000 I will trade it in for a new car while this one still runs. Has 112,000 miles. Suggestions on what might be the problem?

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6 Suggested Answers

6ya6ya
  • 2 Answers

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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  • 5 Answers

SOURCE: 2002 VW Jetta Overheating

Stop driving the car asap, have it checked and fixed, otherwise you could be facing very expensive repair in the ery near future.

Posted on Oct 21, 2008

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  • 65 Answers

SOURCE: ENGINE WONT TURN OVER

sounds like the timing belt it has a interference engine so if the timing belt broke you could have bent rods and cracked pistons or worse. good luck

Posted on Dec 15, 2008

  • 1114 Answers

SOURCE: Codes P0303, P0451,P0440- gas cap replaced 2X check engine light

PO303 # 3 cylinder miss fire: check ign coil and wires,
PO451
PO440: looks like perhaps something to do with the fuel line change! i would look further into it before traveling far perhaps a really well reputed garage can help?????

Posted on Jan 24, 2009

snowsnake051
  • 38 Answers

SOURCE: squeaky belts bad smell coming into car check engine light flash

with a hyundai usely you change your timing belt plus water pump.
I got 5 hyundai and every time i change timing belt well the w/p get off for a new one.

Posted on Mar 04, 2009

  • 11 Answers

SOURCE: 2000 GS300 LEXUSVSC OFF AND CHECK ENGINE LIGHTS KEEP COMING ON

disconnect negeative (-) battery cable for 20 seconds....reconnect and start car. Check engine light should now be off. I

Posted on Jun 06, 2009

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2001 eclipse gt revs up when shifting then settles down also noticed rubbery smell from engine area no leaks


How long have you driven on the nylon timing belt in the engine ?
What is the recommended distance before the timing belt needs replacement is it 100,000 kilometers ?
Also the bearings that the timing belt runs on may be worn out
Is there an adequate amount of oil in the engine ?
If the timing belt bearings are worn the timing belt gets hot and could cause that burning smell you mentioned .
Note if the timing belt breaks while the engine is running it could result in engine damage.

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Had ignition coils replaced. enging light back on. wasd told now i have to replace cat conv. at 102,000, and had a/c replaced, timing belts and all other 105,000 services already! $3,000 later now I...


The cat is the primary part for cleaning up your emissions. Like any bad part on a car if it is not replaced in a timely manner it can lead to other parts going bad, such as the oxygen sensors. It can also negatively effect your gas mileage, because the computer determines fuel off of the oxygen sensors. The check engine light should also be on preventing you from passing inspection(if your area has an emissions inspection).

Sep 22, 2010 | 2003 Volkswagen Jetta TDI

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First time I experienced this problem.. my 2003 TDI manual Jetta started losing power as I was driving up a hill. Had the accelerator all the way down and was still losing speed. Got better on and off...


Probably time to get the injector pump rebuilt, it's dumping too much fuel into the engine. Or, something is clogging the airway. (sound deadening foam, don't laugh, it happened on my Volvo turbo)

Aug 10, 2010 | Volkswagen Jetta Cars & Trucks

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My 2003 jetta TDI suddenly started to overheat on the I10 leaving Los Angeles. The Turbo was disabled as well as the Air Conditioning. I had to keep at a slow pace of 55mph to keep from overheating. ...


check the condition/tightness of the drive belt/belts , also check the cooling fan is cutting in at the correct engine temperature, hope this helps

Apr 06, 2017 | 2002 Volkswagen Jetta TDI

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Do I need any special tools or wedge to change a timing belt for 2001 tdi jetta diesel.


Timing Belt Spanner Wrench
AST tool# H 2587-1

- Used for the Adjustment of the Timing Belt
- Applicable to 2004-2005 VW Golf, Jetta Pump Duse and 2002-2005 Audi 3.0 V6

Used for the adjustment of the timing belt.

2009 Suggested user price: $52.67

Assenmacher Specialty Tools
1 800 525 2943
Timing Belt Spanner Wrench
AST tool# H 2587-2

- Used for Adjusting the Timing Belt Tension
  • Applicable to 1999 and later VW Golf and Jetta, Passat and 1999-2003 VW Beetle with 2.0L Gas Engine and 1.9L T.D.I. Diesel Engine
Used for adjusting the timing belt tension and is comparable to VW tool# T10020. Applicable to 1999 and later VW Golf and Jetta, and 1999-2003 VW Beetle with 2.0L gas engine and 1.9L T.D.I. diesel engine.

2009 Suggested user price: $52.67

Assenmacher Specialty Tools
1 800 525 2943
128947643

Jul 02, 2010 | 2001 Volkswagen Jetta TDI

1 Answer

While driving my 2003 Jetta TDI last night accelerating up a hill my battery light came on and the car died. All other lights work, glow plug light still comes on. Engine turns over but does not fire. ...


Did you check the battery? Alternator? The 2003 Jetta TDI's are FAMOUS for breaking the alternator pulley right off the shaft. Is your serpentine belt hanging?
You could have a bad battery, broken alternator, broken serpentine belt, or bad alternator among a few other things. If your belt is hanging either the belt broke or more commonly, the alternator puller broke off the shaft.
It happens all the time with the 2003's

Mar 02, 2010 | 2003 Volkswagen Jetta TDI

2 Answers

03 VW Jetta 1.8 Turbo- Check Engine Light- Diagnostic test: 2181


get a new coolant temperature sensor.

the orginal black ones are faulty.

make sure it is the green topped one.

also do a normal tune up with spark plugs, clean the maf, maybe replace coils packs.

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I drive a vw jetta 2003 gls 1.8t. a few days ago the engine dash light started blinking. the car was hard to drive, accelerating with difficulty and shook when stopped. we took it in for repair, they...


I had the same symptoms and found I had suffered from turbo failure and the final cost at the dealer was $3500, last VW I will ever own. I hope this isn't your trouble too, good luck

Jan 06, 2009 | 2003 Volkswagen Jetta TDI

2 Answers

Check engine light steady on. Replaced fuel filler cap. Problem still there. Disconnect battery. Light goes out but back in an hour or so.


Have had this problem more than once.

1. When you fill up with gas make sure you click the gas cap at least three times according to the manual.

2. When you have your oil changed make sure they push the reset button. Just tell them and they will know what you mean. If they dont, it can cause the check engine light to stay on.

3. Check your oil that can cause it, if the oil is low.

See if any of these work, they have for me in the past.

Good Luck!

Jul 28, 2008 | 2003 Kia Rio

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