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VW GTI (All styles)



  • World wide the vw Golf is the second best selling car ever (even without much love here in North America).
    (The link is a bit outdated, the golf surpased the F150 earlier this year. It was the first link I found that shows the rest of the top ten)

    I doubt if the car was the turd that consumer reports makes it out to be sales would be consistently so high (world wide). Also it shows...people love them!
  • riposteriposte Posts: 160
    Hmmm....well, if that's the logic you're going to use, why not cite the original VW bug, and the Ford Model T?

    Lumping multiple generations of a product is rather useless, I'm sure you'll agree. You can't go back and buy a new 1985 Golf (or whatever one from the past you would like).

    Go check out all the posts at VWVortex. Those folks are very dedicated VW owners, and they've covered previous problems in great detail.

    I'm hopeful that VW has put their more recent problems behind them, and are making cars as reliable as Toyota and Honda, with that added benefit of having a "soul", which most of the Toyotas and Hondas do not have.

    Personally, I'll let others find out first, and report back to the rest of us.
  • riposteriposte Posts: 160
    Is my Jetta a lemon?

    VW Jetta TDI

    Here too:
    Volkswagen Jetta: Problems & Solutions

    This was a fascinating one:

    Here's a thread on the 2006+ Jetta. What are they discussing? Problems, mostly:
    Volkswagen Jetta 2006+

    Hmmm....I see a definite trend here.

  • Well, on the flip side there is no shortage of links that discuss poor Hyundai reliability.
    (Some really alarming stories including a car fire)!make=Hyundai&model=Elantra&ed_m- akeindex=.ef02146!make=Hyundai&model=Santa%20Fe- &ed_makeindex=.eea8990!make=Hyundai&model=Sonata&ed_ma- keindex=.ef0400b
    (have to join, but the site is similar to vw vortex for Hyundai. No shortage of problem threads)

    What's more serious, window solenoids going out on older model jettas, or transmission problems on 2000-05 Hyundais? Last month I was in Colorado for business and the rental company gave me a Tucson. Rode nice and did fine in the cities, but the car did terrible on the hills. The car couldn't hold speed (65 up a moderately steep grade) and didn't downshift until the engine was ready to puke. This was even with accelerating to the hill to carry some extra speed. The powertrain may be relaible and working perfectly to manufacturer specs, I found it to be working perfectly awful. I haven't had that problem in a VW or in the Chevy, Pontiac, and Nissan I've been rented in prior business trips to Colorado.

    In addition I found some other good reads regarding the actual value of JD Power and Consumer Reports. I hope you check them out. dology/

    Truedelta is a new independant car review/reliability group which currently gathering their own reliability stats. Number are supposed to be available later this year.
  • riposteriposte Posts: 160
    Since this forum is for the GTI, I'll take a pass on your Hyundai references.

    What did you think about those pieces about VW over at at TheCarConnection which I posted?

    Regarding TrueDelta, of course, since they're competing with JP Power they have every reason to put a negative spin on JD Power's methods. That notwithstanding, I agree they have some valid points, which have been discussed many times over the years.

    It's unwise to make any one measurement the criteria for purchasing a vehicle, but if you keep looking around, and turn up the same story practically everywhere, that's something to think seriously about.
  • MOPAR is a hater who trolls all of the car forums and spreads hate and discontent.
  • Yes, I did check out those CarConnection links. While the mechanic views the nonstandard electronic coding as a bad thing, I see it as a good thing. With the purchase of a Vag Com ( ) that lets me do my own plots, diagnostics, sensor checking and tuning. Since I need this car for day to day transportation, I'm not going to monkey around with any settings just yet. However, one thing I liked about this car is that I could do some tuning on my own if I want in the future. There is a pretty big forum on vwvortex which talks about what can be done. If you have already have a laptop, 300-400 bucks isn't bad for that sort of diagnostic tool.

    As for the other VW issues mentioned oil sludging on the 1.8T engines can certainly occur without proper maintenance (regular oil changes) and turning off the car with a hot turbo. There is even a petition floating around online (, but it has nowhere near the signatures for the toyota sludge petition ( Yet VW remains looked down on and Toyota remains god in the public eye. The timing belt is a trouble area that bites some VW owners and not others. Seems like the majority of Passat owners on vwvortex point acknowledge the problem, but still support the car. If the car was a total POS, I don't think the car would have that much public support.

    You mentioned that in an earlier post that the quality of Hyundai has improved. Can't VW improve? Notice how the 1.8T engine has been replaced? Read some Europe based forums regarding the MKV Golf (which has been on sale in Europe since 2003). Seems like Europe has been pleased with reliability so far...and yet these changes are not reflected in JD Power and Consumer Reports (for reasons I've cited earlier). I don't buy that. I think with the MKV golfs/jettas and the B6 passat reliability has taken a big step forward for VW. But like I stated before, we won't know for a few years.
  • 600kgolfgt600kgolfgt Posts: 690
    > The timing belt is a trouble area that bites some VW owners and not others.

    After talking to several mechanics (as well as recently having a timing belt changed on my 2003 Wolfsburg Jetta), timing belt failures are not due to the timing belt itself - its a due to a sludge-related cylinder head failure. Sludge prevents the cylinder head from being properly lubricated, which eventually leads to a seizing of the moving parts (cams, valvetrain, etc.). Of course after that, the timing belt is sheared because it is still moving but the cam sprocket that drives the belt has stopped cold.

    So by the time the timing belt fails, the cylinder head will have already failed prior to that event.

    Moral of the story - use the specified VW 502.00 (synthetic) oil at every 5000 mile interval, and chances are, the timing belt will become less of an issue.

    BTW - I had my timing belt, water pump, tensioners, etc. changed at 75,000 miles. When I inspected the timing belt and the serpentine belt, they looked like they could go another 30,000 miles. If you have the factory water pump with the plastic impeller, don't go beyond 75,000 mile intervals without changing the timing belt, water pump, and accessories. When you have the water pump changed, make sure you purchase the aftermarket water pumps with the metal impeller. Once you do, you should easily go 100,000 miles between timing belt changes...
  • riposteriposte Posts: 160
    You didn't really make clear why you believe VW's non-standard coding is superior.

    You cite the sludging issue, but ignore the many other (sadly) negative issues he cites.

    Let's not forget the coil-pack debacle, too. That was a classic.

    Yes, I'd mentioned that Hyundai has improved, and if you look through my posts, you'll see that I consistently hope that VW in in the process of improving, too. You'll also see that I've also said that as far as I personally am concerned, I'll wait to see what happens.

    Toyota, which has become semi-legendary for quality, has had more than their share of issues lately. Perhaps it was a case of being over-confident and arrogant.

    I'm hopeful that VW's quailty issues (which also affect their bottom line, due to warrantee costs), have shocked them into action.

    We shall see.
  • waiwai Posts: 327
    Do I need to change my 04 Jetta VR6's timing belt at 75,000 miles if I always use VW502.00 Synthetic oil?
  • 600kgolfgt600kgolfgt Posts: 690
    > Do I need to change my 04 Jetta VR6's timing belt at 75,000 miles if I always use VW502.00 Synthetic oil?

    Your VR6 has a timing chain, so the timing belt change issue doesn't apply. If you always use the VW 502.00 spec oils (such as Castrol Syntec 5W-40, Mobil 1 0W-40 European Formula, Valvoline's 5W-40 Synthetic oil, etc.) every 5000 miles, it will greatly reduce the possibility of sludge-related failure and enhance engine longevity. These engines, when properly maintained will last at least 400,000 miles (I can speak from experience, having put 429,000 miles on the original engine from my 1987 Golf GT and currently have 185,000 miles on my 1997 Jetta - and it doesn't burn a drop of oil).

    I would highly recommend changing the water pump at 75,000 miles (or even at 70,000 miles), because the factory water pump has a plastic impeller that will eventually disintegrate (make sure you or your mechanic replace the serpentine belt at this time as well - whether it needs to be replaced or not - to save on labor $$$$). I would also recommend replacing the factory water pump with the improved aftermarket water pump with the metal impeller, which will last much longer. Once you have the improved water pump, you can change the water pump and serpentine belt at every 100,000 mile intervals.

    HTH... :shades:
  • waiwai Posts: 327
    Thanks, 600Kgolfgt, yourknowledge with VW and the way you keep your VW so good impressed me. my VR6 doesn't burn any oil yet. How do I know that the dealer will use the aftermarket water pump with metal impeller or the factory waterpump ?
  • 600kgolfgt600kgolfgt Posts: 690
    > How do I know that the dealer will use the aftermarket water pump with metal impeller or the factory waterpump ?

    If you take it to the dealer, chances are they will use the factory waterpump with the plastic impeller (they probably have thousands in stock, so they are going to exhaust that supply first before considering using the pumps with the metal impeller).
    These OEM pumps have been improved (more durable impeller), but the impeller is still plastic, so these would have to be changed every 70,000 - 75,000 mile intervals (to be on the safe side).

    What I do is go to one of my favorite sites ( They have the improved water pump with the metal impeller (as do most aftermarket shops/sites that deal with VWs). I order the part there, and have my private VW mechanic install it. That way I can extend the water pump change intervals to 100,000 miles.

    If you can find a good VW mechanic who can do the work, I would go the aftermarket route. Otherwise, I would take it to the dealer every 75K.
  • maxwell3maxwell3 Posts: 10
    ...the four door GTI?? Are they on sale in the U.S.? Nothing about it on VW website.
  • I was told by a VW Rep Aug or Sept for 4dr GTI.
  • gtigalgtigal Posts: 2

    I'm trying to figure out if a 2002 GTI 1.8T needs new struts around 50k... the tire guy said the struts were 'leaky' and I saw what looked like leakage. He offered me an 'upgrade' from the factory install to KYB for both front and rear. A four for the price of three deal if I agreed right then...

    Did the car need new struts?
    Are KYB struts good?
    Am I a giant sucker?

    This GTI Gal would appreciate any info you got. Thanks!
  • guy1974guy1974 Posts: 119
    I expect they are waiting for the 2007 model year before bringing the 4 door (or 5 door as it is called in Europe) over to the US. Saves having to have just one or two months with '06 4 doors available before switching to '07.
  • 600kgolfgt600kgolfgt Posts: 690
    If the ride on your GTI has gotten worse over time (especially when going over bumps, potholes, etc, then it is a good time to replace the struts/shocks. KYB is a definite upgrade from the factory shocks.

    How much are they charging you for the shocks?
  • evergreenevergreen Posts: 213
    According to their website, Armstrong VW in Gladstone, Oregon, just received a 4 dr model. Should be everywhere soon.
  • I compared the new GTI against the new Civic SI. In my opinion the SI takes it. I took possession of the SI today. While the GTI has much more torque, I didn't notice much difference in city driving. On the highway, the SI blows away the GTI in handling and performance. Glad I got the SI. Don't take it personal, just my opinion. LOL.
  • unkosanunkosan Posts: 1
    My local dealer has 3 on his lot. I checked it out yesterday and its reasonably nice. I thought with 4 doors, the doors would be too small, but it's not too bad. And back seat room is decent. I think even better than my Sentra.

    If all goes well I hope to be driving around in my 4 door GTI in a few weeks.
  • gtiupgtiup Posts: 1
    It's been a month now since I picked up my '07 GTI 5dr (stop drooling). Driving this thing in Germany's an absolute dream! Anyway, why I'm posting - since I am in Germany with a US spec GTI I can't listen to AM radio stations. The GTI is preset for 10khz increments while Germany uses 7. I am always at least 3khz away from whatever station I want (873,1107, or 1143). Many radios have a switch to allow the change, or can lock in to signals, regardless of the freq. Is this possible on the GTI? - I've already lost satellite radio because I'm here.
  • The new GTI has a receptacle in the glove box that I was told is for connecting an Ipod. Can anyone verify this because the dealer is giving me conflicting information. If affirmative, does one simply connect the Ippod and play it thru the radio? Thanks.
  • I have a 2006 GTI with the (Ipod) MP3 connector. It's a 1/8-inch (headphone) cable which begins in the glove box. It's long enough to reach the steering wheel and thin enough that you can easily close the glove box with the cable protruding. Set the source to CD/AUX to use. Once you get the Ipod player output level just right, it sounds as good as the VW CD player......
  • Thanks. I will give it a try. Incidentally, how is your car holding up from the reliability standpoint? Any problems areas yet? How many miles do you have? I picked mine up yesterday and so far all is perfect.
  • I'm still below 5000 miles. So far so good.
  • I live in Toronto Canada. Is it necessary to have winter tires to replace the 17" tires? I spoke to the salesman about the GTI and he said its a must which is a drag.
    I'm wondering if the Rabbit with the 16" tires would need snow tires in the winter as well?
  • I have a 2001 Jetta Wagon VR6 with 60,000 miles on it. We have taken this car in every 10,000 miles for service as required as well as regular oil changes. Last week the timing chain tensioner disintegrated, allowed the chain to jump teeth and basically caused a lot of damage (repair estimate is $5800). As I am the second owner, VW is not standing behind their product. This type of failure at 60,000 miles seems very premature. Has anyone else had a similar experience? I have had a lot of problems with this car including having to replace the intake manifold two times. I would also be interested to hear about anyone's experiences in VW's support of the product.
  • riposteriposte Posts: 160
    So sorry to hear about your problems.

    Check out:
  • Chances are, the car was probably trashed (i.e. poor or non-existant maintenance) by the previous owner. My guess is the oil wasn't changed at the proper intervals (if at all) and the cylinder head seized (sludge) - causing the timing chain to fail (which means the engine incurred at least $5,000 worth of damage prior at the time of timing chain failure).
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