Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

1998 VW Jetta door replacement

The car is a 1998 VW Jetta, excellent condition, 74000 miles.

Due to hit and run accident I recently had to have my rear driver door replaced, State Farm allowed for a replacement door, of similar function and quality (not a real VW door). On first glance the door looked fine but after closer inspection I notice that the replacement back door is about 1/4 taller compared to the front door and that the gap around the door itself is wider that normal, expecially toward the bottom and back. It appears to be aligned as the door trim is at the right location to match the front door trim. It seems to shut and lock properly. I am concerned that this difference could cause problems down the road or if I try to sell in the future the door would lower the tradein/resale price. I haven’t taken it through the car wash yet, but plan to to make sure it doesn’t leak. Had anyone had experience with this? Any advice will be helpful.

Aren’t doors made on a jig or from some kind of templet? How did a door manage to get made larger?

Anyway have you signed off on the repair with the insurance co? You are going to have to deal with them.

State Farm does not allow (to my knowledge) the use of aftermarket metal except new aftermarket metal bumpers. Normally an LKQ (like kind and quality) door which is a used VW door would have been used and would have fit nicely. Aftermarket parts often do not fit.
Did the shop tell you this or was it State Farm that said the shop will use aftermarket? On the final bill check to see if a new, used or aftermarket dor was used.

Don’t worry much on resale. You are at 10 years old on the vehicle and these type of things do not affect the buyers in this price range and age of car.

The door itself does not make the seal a rubber gasket does. If you drive down the road and hear whistling than it may leak water. Pour a bucket over it and see what happens.

Insurance repair is not great even on new vehicles.

Update from FuzzyDice on how it worked out.

First thanks for the replies. To answer some questions. State Farm suggests that you use Non-Original Equipment and Parts. If you decide not to you will be charged the difference in cost. I found out (after the fact) the the genuine VW door was just around $120 more than the non-genuine door. So in the future I will always check the price first.

I had signed off on the work, drove it around for a few days and tested it for water leaks (all ok). When I called the repair shop they asked that I bring the car back and they would see what they could do. They didn’t want State Farm involved yet. A technician looked at it was found that the alignment was off. They were able to correct it and now it is about 98% like my genuine VW doors. I may be the only one who notices the slight difference.

Also correct about the resal value. Even though the car is in excellent condition, due to it’s age, the door won’t really be an issue, maybe $50 - $100 less in resale.