buying vw beetle, for wife, under $10,000. What is best year for the price, concerns, and what is the important things to worry/look for.

Asked by Nov 08, 2013 at 02:25 PM about the Volkswagen Beetle

Question type: General

4 Answers

705

I don't know what the current market value is, but I'm partial to the 74 Super Beetle which has the curved windshield and a suggestion of a dash board. Rust was a major issue around the heater box (those two levers that are yellow and look like ejection seat levers.) You must put the car on a lift and inspect every aspect of the underbody as rust can be everywhere. I don't know where you live but if it's a dry, snowless locale, you are best off buying one from that climate. I never had a rust issue with the heater box, but seems that all Beetles had rust on the running boards from the front fender all along the door and body area right up to the rear fender. Also, see if their is rust on the headlight cowling around the chrome trim piece. I'm taking it that you don't want to spend much time or money repairing things right away. I'm basing my rust references on almost 40 years, not when it was new. Make sure the distributor cap has NO cracks in it whatsoever. The minute it rains, you will see what I mean. Even a damp foggy day will cause a non start or start not run for long condition. The wires also have to be in tip top shape as the same problems will occur. Make sure the front wheels have little or no play, and check to see of the steering components are in decent shape. Remember, there's always going to be something off with a 40 year old car unless it has had a frame off restoration. Mine lasted 110,000 miles and had plenty more to go except I was forced off the road and hit the butt end of a rather unforgiving guard rail. In the winter, always use dry gas every other fill up, and NEVER let the gas get below 1/2 full other wise the fuel lines will freeze and the car stops. Make sure the frame isn't bent, and that the alignment is set right. I would shy away from a blatant non original car; they may have been worked on by someone who is not qualified. Besides, you want the original thing right? I can't think of anything else to do that you wouldn't do or have checked on a newer car. I would take it to a qualified VW dealer for it's pre buy check btw. Make sure you change the oil religiously every 3k miles (back to the future) and maintain exact tire pressure at all times. The only three things I added to it was a gold painted pinstripe (car was a dark emerald green) from the hood back along the side above the door handle and had it end at the bottom of the rear fender with the stripe highlighting the inner fender. I put in a dealer installed A/C which didn't meet my expectations as much as I would have liked, but when it worked it was fine. I'd advise adding one. If it's in, leave it alone. I also put in an Abarth exhaust system which was a true enjoyment. It made a great sound on start, and it wasn't annoyingly loud when heard from the outside. From the inside it just had that mellow sound of something more lurking behind you. Keep in mind that with 56 (I think) horsepower, there wasn't much to lurk, but I loved the sound. Ok, I'm done. Please feel free to let me know if you have any other specific questions I may not have covered. John B.

88,805

I think you want the new beetle instead of the old bug, am I correct? As price is dependent on year and condition, you should be able to get a good one if she is dead set on a Beetle. Use Carfax when you find one she likes and hopefully it will have been very well maintained. The only real headache has been headgaskets due to overheat problems, so make sure the cooling system is 100% and the cooling fans operate properly. It would also be a good idea to have a shop you trust do a used vehicle inspection for you, it will be money well spent.

705

Well it wasn't specified. If it is a new beetle you want, stay away from 99-01. Personally, I wouldn't buy any Volkswagen today. They're all crap, and the dealers suck.

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88,805

That is why I put in "dead set", maybe she hasn't drove one yet.

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