A Plethora of Problems!

Ok, I own a 1990 Volkswagen Jetta GLI that I bought from my neighbor about 4 months ago, and recently, it started having problems. It’s idling very high, around 1,500-2,000 rpms, it’s leaking coolant, not from the bottom of the reservoir but from the top, and it’s slightly overheating. Oh yeah, the speedometer stopped working. I’ve recently taken it to the shop twice, the first time to get the reservoir replaced, and the second time to get radiator replaced. I have had problems with it stalling in the middle of the highway during traffic because it over heated. I commute daily to and from college and I want to make this car last as long as possible as I do not have the means to buy a new car. I have noticed that there seems to be a build up of air in the reservoir. I witnessed it leak, and there was a hissing sound coming from it. Also with the speedometer, the light doesnt turn on for it and that there is a clicking noise coming from it. Any tips?

Can’t speak to the speedo problem, but I’m thinking you may have a head gasket leak. That would explain the overheating and the pressure build up in the cooling system. Not 100% certain, but suggest to be prepared for that report after your shops does the necessary testing. It certainly wouldn’t be unusual for a 1990 to develop a head gasket leak.

Yeah I’m thinking its at the end of its life. Good news bad news. The bad news is it needs to be replaced but the good news is it won’t take much to replace a 90 VW.

Definition of a plethora of problems? A VW Jetta. Sorry…I couldn’t resist.

Very likely you have a bad head gasket. You are looking at $1,000 - 1,500 for a proper repair.

The speedo is driven be a cable and the cable has snapped. Since you hear the clicking it is probably snapped where it connects to the speedo head in the dashboard. That is probably a few hundred dollars to fix and the costs depends on how easy or hard it is to get access behind the dashboard. Some are a real bear.

Whether this car is worth repairing depends mostly on the condition of the rest of the car. It might be time to just drive it until it just dies and save your money to buy another car.

I agree with the advice about the bad head gasket. Unfortunately, I think you have gotten into a money pit of a car. I would consider a car from Japan if you want to save on repair bills.