View Full Version : 99 Jetta GLS wheel well problem

03-03-12, 05:22 PM
I've been having a problem with tire tracking in the wet snow, and I've noticed other Jettas in the area having this problem as well. I checked out exactly one VW message board but it looked like a cluster I didn't want to join. So.

When I'm driving in the wet snow, the snow absolutely PACKS the front wheel wells. I can drive just fine as long as I go perfectly straight, but as soon as I turn the wheel, the tires grate against the packed snow and the rear end wants to kick out. I have come up with some creative cornering techniques in order to deal with this, but it's still nerve-wracking.

As I see it, my options are:

- find a way to keep the snow from sticking in the wheel well in the first place. Silicone spray?

- "check my steering" every so often as I drive to try to clear out the snow-pack a bit.

- scrape out the wheel wells when I reach my destination, which doesn't really help the en-route situation.

I have a great car guy, but all he could think of was to get even smaller tires, and neither of us thought much of that. To me that implies I would end up with less grip, and more room for snow pack. He's the one who suggested checking VW message boards.

Any thoughts? :confused:

Here is my pretty girl Trixie (Peter's father's car):


03-03-12, 06:06 PM
Spray on car wax is about the best you'll be able to do. I've never had it pack up so firm that turning a corner didn't just knock it clear but I will also bust it clear when I get out of the car so it doesn't have time to set up into concrete.

03-03-12, 06:48 PM
I have been driving VWs for 30 years and never had this happen. I currently own five of them including one of the same vintage as yours. Some ice accumulates behind the front wheels on mine, but never above or in front. All I have to add to this thread is WTF? :confused:

Don Quixote
03-03-12, 11:52 PM
My wife's Saab does this. I might try the silicon spray.

03-04-12, 12:10 AM
Are the plastic fender liners in the cars that are doing this? The liner is slippery and flexible and is supposed to prevent this.

03-04-12, 04:44 AM
Not sure what forum u mean but I thought Vw Vortex was a good one.

03-04-12, 08:48 AM
I spray Pam on my snowthrower and it works great.

Andrew Longman
03-04-12, 01:23 PM
I had this happen once with a CRX in freezing rain/jersey crap. I had to stop in a gas station and use an iron pole to knock the ice out. Maybe you should throw a rod in your trunk. :gomer:

Rex Karz
03-04-12, 04:05 PM
You could move to a place like Florida where they don't have a whole lot of snow.

Problem solved.

manic mechanic
03-07-12, 01:21 AM
Barilla Girl, this is advice from a "desert dweller", but mud and snow/ice have similar coefficients due to temperature.

My advice is to use the first "dry time" you have with the VW and clear the wheelwells (a pressure washer of some type might aid in the task). Once you are down to the plastic, use a hairdryer or heat gun to clear the excess moisture from the plastic, then spray it with PAM or another bio-friendly cooking spray. Let it sit for an hour, then gently wipe off what hasn't dried on the surface.

Next bout of weather, I'd chance to say you will sense a difference in the handling.


manic (20+years ASE certified mechanic)

PS: make sure you put a towel over the tire to prevent problems with overspray of the PAM .