2010 Jetta – Quest For Perfection!

Dash LightsI have been trying for a while to get enough money together to buy a project car and be able to flip it.  After all that is my plan, I will buy cars, add value, and sell them.  Not unlike a house flipper, just with cars.  In my quest to find capital, I was going to sell my current car, which is a 2010 VW Jetta Wolfsburg edition.  Unfortunately, it had some issues.  There were a ton of lights on the dashboard and the front window was severely cracked.  These issues would need to be addressed.

Cracked Window

The hit was on the bottom left

The first problem was the windshield.  It had gotten hit by a rock up on Rt 80 in Hackensack a couple of years ago and instantly formed a small crack which went right in front of the drivers view and curled up to form a little hook shape.  The crack stopped at that point and I drove it like that for years.  Then over the winter, in one of the snow/ice storms, someone didn’t clean off their car properly and a piece of ice flew off their car and hit my windshield shattering it.  It didn’t collapse but definitely needed to be replaced.

Safelite QuoteI went online and ordered a new windshield online from Safelite.  The technician came to the house and replaced the windshield in my driveway!  I now had the first piece to the puzzle in place, the front windshield was fixed and I was on my way to getting top dollar for my car.  For $454.60 my front windshield was repaired and I didn’t even need to leave my house.

The next problem that needed to be solved was the brake wear light on the dash.  After troubleshooting the issue, it turns out that the brake pads were not worn at all and the sensor was actually the problem.  There were, however, problems with the front and rear brake rotors that needed to be addressed.  This ended up being the most expensive part of the quest to make the car as perfect as possible.  I ended up ordering a brake wear sensor for $21.09 and doing a full brake job on the car which cost me $484.60.  This was partially because I purchased the incorrect front rotors originally but had to use them because I needed the car for work.  The following weekend I put on Power Stop front rotors and pads and performed a full brake job on the car.  Now that the brakes were done, there were two more lights that needed to be turned off.

The Window Washer Fluid sensor was giving a false reading and stating that the reservoir was empty when in fact is was full.  Apparently this is caused by using the Rain X window washer fluid which causes the VW Window washer sensor to fail by repelling the water away from it.  After replacing the sensor the first time with one purchased from ECS Tuning for $9.54, the light remained on.  I drove it like that while I hunted down the next problem, but eventually ordered another sensor of a different make for $16.86 which resolved the problem and turned off the light.

VW External Light IndicatorThe next problem was one that I have had for almost three years.  There was a light on the dash that stated that there was an exterior light that was out on my car somewhere.  For the life of me I could not figure out which light it was.  I got serious when thinking about selling the vehicle and was determined to have no error lights on in the car when I went to sell it.  I found a side marker light that was out and replaced it for $4.99, this did not solve the issue.  I then noticed that I had a rear light out and I replaced that for $5.34.  Still the light was still on.  Now I was determined to find the culprit and located the problem after going online and googleing the s#!t out of it!  It ended up being the license plate lights which are located under the lip of the trunk where the license plate is!  After replacing these bulbs for $5.49 the light went off!  I finally had a car with no error lights on the dash!

Now for the hard part, the car is now perfect and I no longer want to sell it!  I knew that was going to happen!  Plus I’ve spent a little over $1000 getting it to like new condition, and you can download the Excel spreadsheet of my expenses here.   Fortunately, I have managed to save quite a bit of money up and it doesn’t appear that I will need to sell it to gain enough capital to move forward with my agenda.  This is a good thing because with this car I know what I have and what has been done to it.  It’s a good reliable daily driver and I intend to keep it that way.  I have had to replace the ignition coils after repairing all of the problems which made me second guess keeping the car, but I have found out that it is a common issue with the Jetta. That being said, and having already repaired most of the other common problems that occur with these cars, I think I should be in the clear for awhile.  Only time will tell…..

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