I recently came into possession of a 204 Jetta, in need of an unknown amount of work. I'm looking for a good forum to learn about the various vehicle parts a repair guides. I am not very knowledgeable about this subject right now, but I am capable of learning, as I have replaced the thermostat and water pump on an 05 ford ranger. I've already hooked up the vehicle to an obd2 reader and determined that the engine is throwing a few codes, so I know that there is going to need to be SOME amount of work. Can anyone recommend a good source of information for a beginning mechanic?
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closed as too broad by Gabriel Mongeon, Nick C, Rory Alsop, vlsd, cinelli Nov 21 '13 at 8:48
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As far as general mechanic info there's a ton of good information on here, and all over the web. I've found a lot of instructional YouTube videos on many of the things I've done myself.
For Jetta specific information there's a good group of people over at the VW Vortex forums that can probably help you figure out anything you'd need to know.
Most of the VW cars will require a special diagnostic tool in order to set/change codes in the computer on the vehicle. If you're looking to be able to get some solid diagnostics out of your vehicle I'd highly recommend looking into a Ross-tech cable. They're available from http://ross-tech.com/. There are knockoff cables on Ebay for much cheaper, but from what I've read they're very hit or miss with the ross-tech software. I've actually used my VCDS table to do a number of non-standard modifications, such as turning off seatbelt chimes and changing how the headlights turn on when the vehicle is unlocked.
Finally, a good idea for anyone that wants to do their own repairs is to get a user repair manual for you vehicle. I know for some of the VW models Bently makes repair manuals you can buy, but I think most late model versions will be on their website, which you have to buy a subscription for. It looks like you might be able to just purchase the 2005 Jetta manual though
Have the vehicle in question have a Condition Report by a local garage ,or a visiting vehicle inspector. Otherwise you could end up spending big money on a 10 year old heap. No workshop manual ever written can take the place of a trained and experienced technician.