Question about 2003 Volkswagen Jetta TDI

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Vw jetta 2003

I have 2003 jetta TDI,the catalytic converter light went on(dashbord);any idea if needs to be change or clean and how much will cost?

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  • ktjetta Jun 29, 2008

    I don't have a TDI, but a 1.8T wagon. The same thing happened to me last night. According to the manual, the catalytic converter needs checking, may be damaged. Good news is if you have less than 80,000 it will be replaced under warranty. What did you find out about yours?

  • caarhaus Oct 17, 2008

    The light comes on after the engine runs for about one minute.

  • Anonymous Nov 03, 2008

    I just had this replaced. I have a 1.8T 03 Jetta, and have 76K on it. The check engine light kept going off for me and the dealership stated "it was faulty" for the last 10k. I finally had to take it to a different dealership and they replaced it, on their dime. I think they were trying to wait until I was past the 80k mark. It won't hurt it to drive for a little while, but you need it looked at.

  • sand2sno Nov 30, 2008

    I have the same problem. I looked in the owner's manual and contacted my dealer/service dept. I was told that it was not a problem unless the light is blinking. However, as a person (and mother of one) I am nervous to hear how much this is going to cost. I have enjoyed my VW, but have put over 2000 in repair money into the car within the last 6 weeks....none the less, this money will certainly cut into my daughter's xmas =(



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I have a 2002 volkswagon passat all wheel drive, 6 cylinder engine. The cost of a catalytic converters are very high. I need it for both the right and left front. I bought the car used. Is it a government thing that because it is a emission thing and my car is a 2002 do I have to pay to have this fixed?

Posted on Dec 09, 2008

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Seems problem exists more so from the recall to replace the so called Faulty Ignition coil. I had mine replaced by Recall Notice. I packed up the car and headed north for the weekend - 1st drive after coil replacement approx 190km - upon return for the weekend another approx 80 km the engine lite came on. Returned to my dealer here in Toronto and they assessed the Cat trouble. Researched Cat converters - Dudes and Dudettes. This Cat trouble is bogus- Cats should out last 2 car's unless your power is way down and you can't keep it running - and noticeable loss of power would ever a cat be required to be replaced. This is to get you to come in and spend your money with them. Car care has become another great business of scamming legally. You the ****** are always taken for non-required service. Research and you will always be ahead of their game. I'm also suffering this habit of engine lights coming on. I'm thinking of the investment to an ODT2 unit and keep it with me for such occasions to clear the codes and await it to return. Which I'd expect will be some time again. VW's are made for the autobaun - meaning hard driving. Don't let some whistle head talk you into spending more then you need. Cash flow management. Cheers.

Posted on Aug 23, 2010


Thanks for your reply;took very long time, i thing more then 5 months since i post the problem on the internet;and guess what? i passed my car's problem to someone else; I sold it; i been driving VW, Jetta in the past 20 years, very nice car with lots of problems; i'm a female, but if you have a husband who knows some mecanique, you can save lots of money ,otherwhys, forget about it; I got Honda Civic, so far so good, no complains, low maintenance car.If i have to give up this car, next will be Subaru, 4x4, that's all you need in Canada,3 winters and 1 small summer.

Posted on Oct 30, 2008

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Take your car to autozone or another parts store that will be willing to pull the OBD II diagnostic codes for free or buy an inexpensive $40-50 OBD II diagnostic reader.  

I have a 05 Jetta TDI 100K miles and a 99 Passat AEB wagon 140K miles, and I don't think there is a specific Catalytic converter instrument light, just a generic check engine light to inform you to pull the OBD II codes (there are hundreds of codes your Jetta can throw ... but not hundreds of lights on the dash;~) ).  If you don't overfill the car with oil, or drive like a maniac, the VW cats should last for 200-300K or better.  Of course I only wore out 40% of the original front brake pads in 100K miles in the Jetta too.  I know how to work on cars ... but prefer not to have to ... so I drive easy;~).

FYI - IF the cat is plugged up, your car will not have any power.  If you pass emission test and have poweer ... forget about the cat,  just read the codes


Posted on Oct 29, 2008

  • A Mayers Nov 01, 2008

    No one ever accused VW's of being low maint or cheap to have fixed. Your Honda is among the lowest maintenance cost to operate vehicles ... the Suburu will be closer to the honda than to the jetta, as far a maintenance goes, but toyota and honda generally are a little less repair than suburu.  You WILL look cooler in the Suburu ;~).  enjoy the weather, eh?   What ever ou get will have OBD II, and if the check engine light goes on,  find a parts store that read the codes for free and explain them ... my dealer charges $40 just to read these codes.


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My check engine light has been coming on forever.... first it was the mass air flow sensor, but I just replaced it (past the recall extended warranty), and still had the light on, driving rough. So a local shop checked it with the OBD and their assessment is that it's one of the coils. Also reserached by car and I did have the coil(s) replaced in 2003 so if they fail again, they are not covered. So now I have to buy one of those. But, I did find out from autozone that they no longer carry OBD scanners since february because of some law. Anybody else know about that? And since OBDs have been in use since 1994-95 or so, probably a good idea to invest in one. "live and learn"

Posted on Nov 14, 2008

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Thanks for the feedback! My problem ended up being the failure of an ignition coil - if you do a google search you will find that 2001, 2002 and some 2003 models had ignition coil failure issues, and ended up offering to change all for owners in 2003. I found out mine (four I believe?) had been replaced after the recall - I bought my car used last year so didn't have this history. One of those coils failed again under my watch, thus the issues that appeared as a catalytic converter problem.

I was able to ask a dealer the history on my car, but ultimately found my local vw independent mechanic (who has a fantastic reputation and does repairs and maintenance at a fraction of the dealer cost), who knew exactly what it was and replaced it for a little over $100. I believe it may be an easy do it yourself replacement, so you may be able to save even more $$$. Have your mechanic test the coils first, then you would at least have that answer! Good luck.

Posted on Nov 01, 2008

  • ktjetta Nov 15, 2008

    For info - my 2003 Jetta 1.8T suddenly showed symptoms of a catalytic converter failure, with symptoms - low power, stinky, and the light that seems to be specific to the emissions system. Replacement of the faulty coil fixed the problem.

    If your light comes on before symptoms rather than suddenly as mine did, I am wondering if it is more likely the catalytic converter or some other emissions system problem rather than the sudden failure of an ignition coil.


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2003 vw jetta starts hard runs rough could it be plugged Cadillac converter or cracked coil

Not the converters. But check them to see if there is nothing in them. I've seen the converters blow apart and clog the muffler. Have the codes read.

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17584/P1176/004470 - Bank1: O2 (Lambda) Correction Behind Catalyst: Control Limit Reached Possible Causes
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  • Oxygen Sensor(s) and/or Oxygen Sensor Control faulty
Possible Solutions
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This is the pre 02 sensor located before the catalytic converter.

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I need to know where the catalyst system bank 1 is

Without knowing what your codes were it's gonna be hard to tell exactly what's wrong. I assume this isn't a TDI?
According to your description the problem is more than likely your O2 sensor (oxygen sensor). "Bank 1" tells me it's the one BEFORE the catalytic converter. You have two - so it's the one towards the front of the car.

Nov 04, 2009 | 2003 Volkswagen Jetta TDI

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Can a 2003 volkswagon jetta tdi run without a catalytic converter? Just wondering if this can be taken off, I heard it's a lot of money and I really don't have it right now, I know this is the problem, so...

Sure you can run without the converter... It may trigger your engine light to go on. Also, you're increasing your emissions and it's against Federal law to remove emission control equipment. If you're caught, the fine can be a hefty one. Also, your car won't pass an E-Test and at that point, they'll know the converter has been tampered with.

A converter will cost you $150 to $300 on average. Go with Bosal if you don't want to spend a lot of money

Sep 04, 2009 | 2003 Volkswagen Jetta TDI

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You need to start with checking the fuses, sounds like they are blown. Fuse panel is on side of drivers dash, you need to remove panel, just pulls off.

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If your catalytic converter is "below efficiency" or otherwise clogged, you will lose power as you drive and the vehicle heats. The more you drive the vehicle, the worse the problem will become. The exhaust can't escape properly through the catalytic converter, therefore your engine won't run properly. Your issues are related, and if you replace your catalytic converter they should go away.

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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...

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some time a bad oxygen sensor can give you a code like you got they change the sensor first its cheaper then the converter catalytic if no more code good if not they change the catalytic the oxygen sensor was change for nothing hope it help you thank you pierre

Jul 30, 2008 | 2003 Volkswagen Jetta TDI

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