The check engine light turned on on my girlfriends jetta. at idle it is chugging between 900 and 1000 rpms. and on the off chance it is the spark plugs I would like to change them. under the hood is a mess. do I really have to take the air intake off to change the plugs? any advice would be helpful.
Why not start by finding out why the CEL came on? I suspect you really do need the spark plugs and maybe wires as well. How many miles are on those plugs and wires? (Sorry I don’t really know how hard it is to change plugs, I have a diesel and the glow plugs only require removing a plastic cover.
Many auto part stores will read the error codes for free. That will tell you why the light came on. It is like the girl in school waving her hand, trying to tell you I HAVE THE ANSWER, JUST CALL ON ME. Get the code not someone’s interpretation. The codes should be in the form (P0123).
These years’ VWs had frequent problems with the ignition coils - there were recalls and dealer fixes. Has that been done to this Jetta? CORRECTION - turns out it was 1.8 turbos and VR6s, apparently, not the non-turbo 2.0l (that’s what she has, right?) According to VWVortex “2.0’s use two coils in what is called a wasted-spark ignition system. The coil fires two cylinders at once, but since only one of the cylinders is on the compression stroke, the other spark is “wasted”. Coil pack problems on 2.0s are extremely rare”
So, go by an Autozone and have them read the code, like JEM said.