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Volkswagen GTI Maintenance and Repair



  • allhorizonallhorizon Posts: 483
    Sorry to hear that, sprsnic, especially since VW seats are consistently rated as some of the best ones out there. Did you get the leather seats? Seat comfort is very subjective, but perhaps you need to play around a bit more with your seat positions, steering wheel positions, and lumbar support.
  • I was cleaning out my car yesterday and I noticed significant wear on the driver's side floor mat where my heel rests. I've only had the car a month (1k miles), so I was a little perplexed (especially since I only wear sneakers). My mats are the standard ones - anyone else seeing this? The material just seems too spongy or something. If it keeps up, anyone have a favorite type of aftermarket mat?

    On a totally different topic: Anyone have any favorite interior cleaning product for the dash and door plastic in VWs? On my old car I always used armor all, but have never been really happy with it.
  • gpangpan Posts: 5
    hey guys, this is a repost of a message i posted elsewhere. i suppose this ought to be the correct forum for this - sorry if you're seeing this twice.

    i just bought the consumer reports summer car buyer's guide, and it predicted that overall reliability for the new MkV GTI would be below average. it looks like it was based more or less solely on its electrical issues, and something they called "body integrity", "body hardware", and "fuel."

    being a non-vw owner, i have no idea what kind of electrical issues vws have. i've heard that the worst of it actually is only that the check engine light comes on when you don't tighten the gas cap enough, for some reason. do any of you new MkV owners have any similar issues with your GTIs yet? i know it's only been out for like three months stateside, but i was wondering if you've had any problems at all.

    second, can someone tell me what "body integrity" and "body hardware" means when consumer reports writes it?

    many people have said that reliability-wise, the GTI "takes care of you if you take care of it." i test drove this car and love it, but i don't want to have to do much more than your normal preventative maintenance for at least 50k miles. i know that this isn't a camry and it's built to perform, but i'm a commuter who works long hours and can't always pay attention to every little detail of the car.

    i was also wondering about the real-world gas efficiency of the vehicle. there probably has been a lot of posts about this already, but consumer reports' june issue gave them 25 mpg in mixed driving. given that i drive roughly 75% hwy, could i expect the same kind of performance? would it be worthwhile to own this car, esp given the premium fuel?


    also, thanks to jitteryjoe for pointing me in this direction. sorry for reposting.
  • jayreecejayreece Posts: 1
    I have a Mk2 gti 16 valve DOHC. I was driving in heavy rain and ran through a large puddle. The car stopped and wouldn't start for four hours. After getting it going it was fine for a week, then suddenly when I started it all the electrics went, windows, wipers, headlights fan. I still had indicators and dipped beam.
    The odd thing was that when i pulled the full beam lever the lights came on and all the electrics started working again until i let go of the lever. How weird.
    Has anyone got any idea what could be wrong? I've checked all the fuses could it be a relay?

    Thanks for any help

  • allhorizonallhorizon Posts: 483

    I think the consensus so far is that the reliability of the MkV is decidedly better than the previous generation(s). Those tended to fluctuate quite a bit - some people reported many problems, others few. My two VWs have a combined mileage approaching 250,000, with very few problems after some initial teething. Also, I have never had any electrical problems. The two items most owners complained about (coil packs and window regulators) were taken care of by VW, and they are no longer an issue. Regular maintenance is enough, it is just important that you have the maintenance actually done, and use the right spec oil specified by VW. In my Golf, I do oil changes every 10,000 to 15,000 miles, and have had no problems. YMMV.

    By the way, VWs warranty is great. Just try to find a good service place (which does not have to be the one you are buying the car from). Some are unfortunately still quite bad.

    As far as premium gas is concerned, perhaps calculate how much money the difference is, over a year or so. I think it is completely negligible compared to the purchase price. The GTI has a high performance engine, and I would not recommend skimping on gas. You would get less performance and likely worse mileage. Speaking of which, many users have reported over 30mpg highway; the EPA numbers are easily achieveable. If you know how to drive saving gas, you can easily beat EPA numbers in VWs.
  • voochvooch Posts: 92
    As far as mpgs go, that's my only real complaint. I get around 19mpg doing 90%+ city driving, sitting in traffic. I consider that quite horrible. That's more along the lines of what a 6 cylinder would get, yet its a smallish 4. It seems to burn tons of gas when idling. I had a Celica before the GTI and it got 25-26mpg doing the same driving. So to me, 19 really really bites. I drive it fairly hard sometimes though, but I did that with the Celica too.

    The RX8 was on my list and it dropped down a few notches on that list because of the horrible real world mileage. Little did I know that the GTI is the same.
  • allhorizonallhorizon Posts: 483
    So, when do you change gears in your MkV GTI? The general rule of thumb to conserve gas is to accelerate close to wide open throttle (WOT, at the minimum 1/2 to 3/4 --- don't feather the gas pedal!), but to change gears very early - below 2000 rpm, if possible. Not as low as to damage your engine, though (above ~1400 rpm under load, although 1200 rpm is fine for coasting). Gas engines are most efficient under WOT at low rpm. The turbo changes things a bit, but not much if you stay below 2000 rpm.

    Perhaps you could try this for a few days, and report back.
  • MPG with the DSG transmission:
    23 in hard city driving
    25-28 in suburbia
    30-33 highway.

    I just took a 900 mile trip this weekend and it got 30.5 mpg at 75 mph through the PA and NY hills. I've been pleased with mileage so far.

    vooch - don't know what to tell ya :confuse:
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,714
    Thanks for the DSG info. That MPG's very similar to what my raggedtey, enthusasist-despised fwd Malibu Maxx makes with its old-tech V6 engine and archaic 4 speed auto. It burns 87 oct, btw.

    Do GTI's have high rolling resistance? Is your GTI an R32 (those have fantastic resale value, btw !)?

    Maybe the '07's VW's will do better? Maybe VW will reconsider and bring over the turbo/super charged Diesel they have in Germany they won't sell here? :shades:
  • voochvooch Posts: 92
    With the Celica I changed gears at 3-4k rpm, but it is a different beast. I change gears in the GTI at around 2500 to 3k rpm. I do go straight from 3rd to 5th when I can. There's almost no point to 4th heh. I usually try to cruise at around 2k, which is far far lower than the Celica and they redline at about the same I think.

    I will try your WOT suggestion though.

    The majority of my driving is to and from work, which is only 4 miles away and is pretty much gridlocked both ways. When I'm out farting around, I can get low 20's to mid 20's per run. But on a full tank, combined with the deadlock driving I do it averages to about 19 it seems. On the highway I can get around 30 mpg per run. The Celica just seemed to get better and better mileage, but it had 40k miles on it. Hopefully when it is fully broken in I can break 20 mpg with my normal driving.
  • vooch,

    I've noticed the GTI gets poor mileage when the engine is not warmed up. If you have a later model Celica your engine has an aluminum block. The GTI on the other hand is a cast iron block, which takes longer to heat up.

    I have a 4 mile drive to work as well, and I've noticed that mileage doesn't get respectable until about mile 3 (watch your instant mpg display). Since the GTI is fun to drive, I've changed my route so I now have an 8 mile drive to work. It's a dumb argument to drive farther to get better mileage, but like I said I'm doing it for the fun.

    Also take a long trip someplace. Get it on the highway for a few hundred miles and punch it a few times. I noticed better mileage after a couple of excursions. Guess I freed up the engine a bit.
  • I'm sure that the GTI is a fast little car but I wouldn't call 200 hp with 207 lb torque a "high performance engine". Many cars available today have much more HP and torque. I have owned a 1998 GTI VR6 and the 2001 GTI. The VR6 was far superior to the Turbo 1.8. The only thing nice about this particular model is that it is made in Germany vice Brazil. I wonder if this will be the only year that happens? Does anyone know? Or will VW continue to make the GTI in Germany?
  • I believe we have been talking about the new 2.0T FSI engine on the mkV GTI's...

    For a four cylinder 2.0 liter turbocharged engine, 200 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque are performance numbers. There aren't that many cars running four bangers that can hustle to 60 in 6.7 seconds (ok, so the srt4, evo, and sti are freaks). Sure there are lots of v6 and v8 engines with more hp and torque, but they have a lot more displacement to work with. If you felt the need for better numbers you could even chip the 2.0T engine for 30-50 more hp (while voiding your warranty).

    In addition, the new 2.0T engine is far superior to your old VR6. The edmunds library cites the VR6 as having only 172 hp and 173 ft-lbs torque and a zero to 60 time of 7.1 seconds. I wouldn't judge the new GTI based on the prior 1.8T mkIV

    I'll stick with my 2.0T thank you very much.

    In the event that the mkV R32 makes it over to america it will be sporting the next gen. VR6.

    ...Powered by a 24-valve 3.2L V-6 that generates peak torque of 236 lb.-ft. (320 Nm) at 3,000 rpm, the R32, which debuted at the 2005 Frankfurt auto show, will be available with VW's Direct-Shift Gearbox dual-clutch transmission...

    If VW makes good on it's word, you can party with the new R32 summer 2007. Since north america usually gets the europe vw table scraps, it will probably be some bastardized version.
  • mheinsmheins Posts: 4
    I got my 2006 GTI 2.0T manual trans. a couple of weeks ago, and I *really* love most everything about this car. I've got about 1000 miles on it now, and it recently feels like I've lost some low rpm torque since I got it. I thought at first it might be my imagination, but I've since done some unscientific tests, and I do believe there's an issue. What I do to test is put it in 4th going up a gentle slope, and adjust RPM to 1800. I then "get on it", and pay close attention to the acceleration I feel and the RPM. It definitely starts out weak. At about 2300-2400 acceleration picks up very quickly, and then seems to maintain a constant acceleration through 5000. As far as I can remember, it feels like the performance above 2500 is the same good performance it had when I bought it. Gas mileage is good, and I don't hear any unusual noises when testing.

    I plan to talk to the dealer about it, but wanted to know if anyone else had experienced similar, or had ideas on what might cause this.
  • allhorizonallhorizon Posts: 483
    I'm sure that the GTI is a fast little car but I wouldn't call 200 hp with 207 lbs torque a "high performance engine". Many cars available today have much more HP and torque. I have owned a 1998 GTI VR6 and the 2001 GTI. The VR6 was far superior to the Turbo 1.8. The only thing nice about this particular model is that it is made in Germany vice Brazil. I wonder if this will be the only year that happens? Does anyone know? Or will VW continue to make the GTI in Germany?

    Well, yes, performance is relative to engine size (displacement), and the 2.0TFSI rates very well, which got VW/Audi yet another Ward's Auto award...

    Of course, this engine is underrated, with close to 200hp/lbs-ft wheel (rather than crank), as many dynos have shown. It has already been sold in ~225hp versions in the European A4, and close to 260 lbs-ft is the norm for simple and inexpensive tuner ECU re-flashes. At any rate, don't underestimate the significance of the direct injection technology.

    I have not seen any plans to move production of the left-hand-drive (right-side-of-street) MkV Golf/GTI outside of Wolfsburg. The MkVI will be arriving shortly (late 2008 Germany production) - so that will be the time to stay tuned for.
  • My 97 vr6 starts just fine but if I try to drive and get the rpms above 3200 it conks out and will not restart for a minute or two.When I turn the key after it stalls it wont even turn over a little bit.Also when it does restart after the stall it shakes vioently untill its warm the its fine.If I start it up and let it run untill it reaches normal operating temp everything is fine.Theres also the occasional stall when its warm if I'm not on the gas say at a red light it stalls but will restart just fine.If any1 has any ideas I would greatly appreciate it. PS this is a year round problem
  • frank908frank908 Posts: 5
    The MkIII platform was the first to use the VR6 powerplant, which debuted in a 12V version. The engine was initially marketed as a DOHC engine, however this is a point of contention due to the unique design. Yes, there are two overhead cam shafts, however there is only one cam shaft over each bank of cylinders. The next generation of the VR6 engine, used in the MkIV platform, in 2004, was a true double overhead cam engine, with one camshaft controlling the inlet valves and the other controlling the exhaust valves, while still using two cam shafts over the one cylinder head. The 24V engine also features other technical improvements, such as variable valve timing and a variable geometry inlet manifold, that enables it to extract another 20HP from the same displacement, giving it a total of 200 horspower. :P So the VR6 is just as fast as the new 2.0 T and it sounds a whole helluva lot better getting there too without any turbo lag at all. Don't get me wrong, the 2.0T is a awesome engine and it has more torque ta boot!
  • danadanedanadane Posts: 1
    My 2001 GTI has what I thought was a serious problem. It stopped abrubtly a week ago, and a message appeared where I normally see the temp and mpgs... it said in big letters, STOP. It proceeded to beep at me while flashing the word. Now thefirst mechanic has said it is the timing belt which blew the pistons and damaged valves. The problem is that it sounds like he didnt even take a good look cause he said he can just tell.....? But a friend of mine has informed me that my car doesnt even have a belt its a chain.Any input?
  • orbit9090orbit9090 Posts: 110
    The solution to all of you peoples VW :lemon: reliability problems is to trade-it-in on something that won't break so often.

    When you REALLY get tired of visiting the VW dealership for this-and-that defects and :sick: breakdowns, take a step-up to the plate and invest in an Acura or a Honda...and then you can do without the snooty :mad: VW dealership attitude too.

    By the way, Acura's 4-cyl makes 200 HP without a turbo (TSX) and 240HP with a turbo (RDX). :shades: The Honda Civic's base 4-cyl (140hp) makes about 17% more hp-per-cyl than VW's noisy 5-cyl...and the Japanese achieve WAY better mileage.

    Now you know.

    The upcoming Civic Si 4-cyl is rated near 200hp.

    "Yes, dear, rabbits do make cute pets...but who has the time for all that maintenance."
  • voochvooch Posts: 92
    Allhorizon, I tried driving using WOT and it does seem to make a difference. I've found that the real problem seems to be stop and go driving. As long as I'm moving and not sitting in traffic the mileage is respectable. But the GTI does not like to be sitting motionless then move 10 ft, repeat. I can get in the low 20's as long as I'm not in stop and go traffic. I guess the Celica just did much better in stop and go traffic. Thanks for the tip though.
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