Cabrio Tune-ups


Asked by Feb 21, 2012 at 02:28 PM about the 1996 Volkswagen Cabrio 2 Dr STD Convertible

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

My 1996 Cabrio has little under 120,000 miles on it, and I am the second owner.
It's feeling a little finicky lately so I'm assuming the poor thing probably needs a
tune-up. I'm concerned as to whether or not it will need to go to a special shop or
if any shop, like Jiffy Lube, can do it. Also, is anyone knows of a price range, that
would be great!
Thank you!

9 Answers


Save yourself the 100.00 per hour labor rate and do it yourself. Buy the service manual (E-bay) or NAPA and then you merely change all the fluids filters and plugs it is really easy. From your avitar you look like a female? not to sound Chauvinist but if you can read a recipie you can tune up your car. Auto Zone and many other parts places also rent you the tools you need. otherwise you are looking at around 800.00 to 1000.00 dollars for a VW shop to do it. Most importantly, especially if you are a female, MANY shops will take you for a pile of money if you go in there acting like you know nothing about a car so be very careful where you take it and get at least 2 estimates first.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

I bought a new ignition coil off eBay, then a cap and rotor at Auto Zone. It did take 2 pair of hands to do it, so I enlisted the help of my son. To put on the coil, I took the rubber strip off the cowl and he put a wedge in do I could put my hand in to take the nuts off the bolts while my son had a wrench on the bolts.. Total cost by doing it myself was $48 . I get so much better pickup and I don't have the little power hiccups that I used to get in damp weather.. When it warms up, I am going to attempt plugs. I am a female.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

So, just to clarify, there aren't any crazy special parts I need? I have a couple of mechanic friends who I'm sure wouldn't mind doing the dirty work, but i don't know what to buy to hav it done.


1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

If you have friends who would help that is great! Once you have the parts, it is easy to see the ones you have to replace. Everyone has a set of small metric wrenches and a screwdriver. We used one of those wedges that you use under a door to hold the piece up under the cowl. Good luck.

its not that expensive. i was just quoted 120.00 for a full tuneup on my new (to me) cabrio. if you can find a place you trust its worth it. while they are in there there may recognize another issue that you couldnt and therefore save you a lot of money in the longrun. See if there is an aircooled/watercooled vw club in the area, go to a meet and talk to them. they are a wealth of info.... for if you decide to do it yourslef ( and maybe volunteer to help you) or with info on local shops on who is good and who is not so good. I myself have a good vw/audi shop i go to (not dealer!) for when i am unsure of something or screw something up too badly trying to do it myself. =) good luck.


I have a 1998 Cabrio, and used to have a 1996 Golf. Both these cars, and yours, are considered Mark III Volkswagens (Mk3). This is a fantastic page, put together by a guy who also loves Mark IIIs: He recommends Bosch Silver sparkplugs only, not Platinum, and here's why: bosch_platin.htm A good tune-up kit (German, with the silver plugs above) costs $115.00 at The special $39 tool also looks like it may be required to deal with the spark plug wires. I'm not sure how to use it and would not want to screw anything up. I personally would prefer someone who knows about VWs do this piece.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Manual - $79.00


well the reason it cost 800.00 to 1000.00 is because when you get a tune the reset the ecu, the time the engine and if you have aftermarket parts it will make them run to the best of there ability. the ecu will feel as if those aftermarket parts are the oem one it came with. pretty much tricking you computer system

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

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