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Quick Stats:

Year: 1998
Model: Jetta GLX VR6
Key factory upgrades: Bose stereo, leather heated sports seats, moon-roof, power everything.
Mileage: ~181k (daily driver)
Maintenance records: All since new, excellent maintenance history; many, many new parts
Mods: None; bone stock. Never abused, raced etc. Retiree owned most of its life.

Price: $1,600

More pics at the bottom.
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Full Info:

We bought this car for our daughter from a friend of ours who is a retired airline pilot. Turns out she doesn’t like driving standards, so I have been driving it and liking it, but we have too many cars at this point so this one has to go.

Our friend was the original owner and was meticulous about maintenance and repairs. We bought it on the recommendation of a good friend who owns the shop where the car has been serviced (hey.. I live in a small town). He confirmed that the original owner repaired or replaced anything on the car that needed attention with general disregard for price; not surprising as airline pilots of all people appreciate the importance of ongoing maintenance.

The car has ~181k miles on it, so please be realistic in your expectations: It has lots of ‘goods’ but some ‘bads’ too. I would really prefer that someone came and saw it in person and drove it before buying it.



The Good:

This is the top-of-the-line Jetta for this generation. If it was available, this car has it.

The car itself is a blast to drive. The V6 engine is very quiet (not a single whining idler or bearing) and makes lots of great, linear torque. It is a fairly small V6 at 2.8L so it still gets around 26MPG in mixed driving, though I don’t drive very aggressively.

The five speed standard transmission shifty smoothly and sounds great.

The handling is fantastic, especially with the sports seats holding you firmly in place.

I have to say that I enjoy driving this car more than my MKV Jetta TDI. This MKIII VR6 was meant to go around corners and be a joy to drive, while the MKV is meant to get you to your destination in comfort at 47mpg.

The A/C will freeze you out in the summer and the heat will fry you in the winter.

I have every record since the car was new including the original bill of sale for $23,000. The folder is literally one inch thick, representing virtually every critical wear-related part including the following highlights over the last 24 months:

· New all season tires on all four corners $350 (less than 7k on them)
· A complete steering rack $1,267
· MAF sensor $381
· Starter assembly $737
· Meter hose & oxygen sensor $342
· Front wheel bearings $340
· New Interstate battery $166
· Left inner & right outer tie-rods with alignment $626
· 160k service $416
· Serpentine belt & tensioner $290
· Rear struts $418
· Cat-back exhaust $1,037
· Complete set of pads and rotors (front and rear) currently uninstalled $230
· New (used) hood, driver’s side quarter panel & trunk (to eliminate two dents in front and rust in rear) $450
· New (used) front clip to replace cracked front bumper. Surprisingly the whole clip was cheaper than bumper only because it is all one assembly. $250

Thousands more in reciepts going back to new.

The car has the following upgraded features:

· Leather sports seats with height adjust driver’s seat
· Bose stereo (very nice.. waaaay better than my 2006 MKV TDI)
· Power windows & door locks with remote fob
· Power moon-roof
· Heated front seats
· BBS alloy rims.




The Bad:

· Cruise control does not work.
· There is some wear on the driver’s seat lumbar area bolstering on the left from entering and exiting the car. Nothing split open. All other areas are in good condition and show little wear.
· The ABS light recently came on. Brakes work fine. Light may be related to the ABS sensor not reading correctly due to a rotor that is out of round. There is a pulsing from the brakes, like when a rotor is out of round. This has gotten worse since we have owned it, but I have not had time to change them. Rotors and pads (all: front and back) are included with sale as listed above.
· The CEL light came on at 179,873 and is reading code PO 1128, the same long term fuel trim that was repaired by the new MAF sensor about 7k ago, so it’s not that. There was no change in engine performance when the light came on. It still runs and drives strong & smooth. I should really just make sure nothing is loose or that a hose is cracked, because all the sensors in that system have been replaced. I reset the code about 200 miles ago and it has not come back on, but I suspect it will.
· This car has lived in the North East. There is rust. The visible body itself is in decent shape. Some bubbles in the wheel wells and at the bottom of the doors. Underneath there is rust, nothing structural, but it is there.
· I caused a small crack in the windshield removing the hood to replace it. The crack is at the lower corner on the driver’s side. You can’t see the crack from inside the car and it has spread horizontally maybe 18 inches. Again: the crack is not visible and unless I pointed it out you would probably not notice it. It passed inspection no problem, I just want you to know it is there.
· About once a week (or longer) you need to put your foot under the clutch pedal a pull it back up to its starting position. Symptom is like so: It is as though the clutch is about ¼ depressed without you depressing it, so pulling it up just gives you more travel when you press the clutch in. It was like this when we got it and hasn’t gotten worse. It may be related to the slave cylinder not maintaining pressure over time, but because it has not gotten worse and the clutch is otherwise in great shape, I did not worry about it. Really no big deal, just want you to know.
· There is a ‘vibration’ in the steering-wheel from the wheels between about 60 & 70 MPH. Above or below these speeds, it is not really noticeable. If you are a passenger, you can’t feel this vibration at any speed. Has not gotten worse under our ownership



Conclusion:

The car runs a drives great.

All in all, this is a nice car that has been very well maintained throughout its life but needs some attention. I think for a person that is into the brand or someone looking for a fun, inexpensive car that can do a little wrenching on their own, this would be a great car.

KBB has this car at $2,600 in FAIR condition, which they define as needing some work. In Good condition KBB has it at $3,180

Located in New London, NH. Can be seen anywhere from Machester to Lebanon.

I am asking $1,600

Thank you for looking and please PM me with any questions or email me at:

w a r n e r r x (at) g m a i l . c o m

Cheers,

Aaron

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