FAQs—Volkswagen Rabbit Convertible
My Volkswagen Rabbit convertible can no longer engage reverse gear. Even if the stick is already placed in reverse, it only engages the first gear. I spend the entire day trying to adjust the linkage and checking other faulty parts, but it didn't work; I also couldn't find another part that may be a possible culprit. Is there still hope for my transmission? Can I still fix it?
Unfortunately, reverse gear failure is a pretty common problem for the Volkswagen Rabbit convertible. This issue has already affected several vehicles (18 model years) produced from 1990 to 2010, so if your vehicle was produced during these years, then a faulty transmission is the likely culprit. Grab a service manual and let it guide you in putting the gear into reverse manually via the gearbox. If you are still experiencing trouble getting it into reverse despite doing it manually, then it means that the transmission is faulty and you need to have it rebuilt or replaced. It would be best to take your vehicle to the auto shop right away, especially if you are an inexperienced DIYer.
I am having trouble starting my Volkswagen Rabbit convertible. I have to keep stepping on the gas, and initially, it would start but then it would shut off. I would then have to do it over again until it runs on its own. The car drives and sounds normal once it runs, but then after a few miles, it would shut off. I cannot find the part that's causing this issue. What should I do?
A Rabbit convertible that's difficult to start is pretty common, especially if it's an old model. The first thing you should do is to conduct a diagnostic test to find out if it is a circuit issue. One section you may check is the idle control circuit. If you were doing a cold start, check the temperature sensor and the PCM if they are showing correct values. You can also scan it with a VCDS or a Vag-com to see if there are any codes. Other parts you may check are the fuel pump and the vapor lock. Just make sure the circuits have no issue before deciding to replace any part.
A friend is offering an old 20-year-old VW Rabbit Convertible for under $1000, which he says is well-maintained through the years and is still in pristine condition. Is this a good deal? What should I check to make sure that buying this vehicle is still worth it?
Before spending your hard-earned money on this old vehicle, you have to determine how you expect to use this car. Will it be for daily commute or for those rare Sunday drives? Will you be using it year-round or only during months with weather that is not too hot or cold? Are you willing to pay for a car that requires regular attention? How much are you willing to spend to restore or fix this car? No matter how well—maintained or pristine it's supposed to be, the fact remains: it is an old car and its parts have worn out over time and would need replacing. Just make sure you have set aside at least twice as much as the cost you've paid for it for possible future repairs and parts replacement.