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VW Golf



  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    VW recommends 10-30, 10-40, 15-40 as well as gas saving 5-30 weight oil for pre 1999 Golfs. My 2001 calls for 5-40 or, "if not available," 5-30.

    So what gives? Since 5-40 is not available here (although a common European grade, apparently)I ran 5-30 Mobil 1 for the first 40,000 miles. I was changing every 5,000 miles up to 25,000 miles, but started to worry about filter life (I use a Champion manufactured filter, formerly Supertech from Walmart and currently, now that Walmart is switching more to Fram, STP from Autozone). So I changed to every 3,300 miles starting at 25,000 miles, which shortens the drain interval but stays in tune with VW services at 20,000 mile intervals.

    My car has always consumed about a quart of oil every 1200 miles (maybe a little more during breakin), so that means that in addition to the costs of oil changes, I have to add about 8 quarts of top off oil every 10,000 miles, which is another $40 if I use Mobil 1. I was getting my oil changes at Walmart, since a full synthetic oil change costs only $27, not much more than the cost of the oil itself, but I have had way too many instances of sloppy work from Walmart - oil on my visor and grab handles, oil spilled on the plastic engine shroud, the wrong weight oil used, a two quart overfill. And that's just on the VW. On top of that they used gasket sealer instead of a new crush washer on a recent Honda oil change for me, even after I asked them if they had crush washers. They mean well and have a very helpful attitude, but they just miss too many things.

    So now I am considering buying Mobil 1 for $5.00 a quart from Walmart (or possibly switching to 10-40, which Costco usually carries at $4 a quart, as I recollect), and paying my Honda Express lube shop to install it for a $16 labor charge (very fair), which boosts the costs of an oil change to $41, plus the top off quarts, or I can change to a different oil.

    So there are two contrary chains of thought going through my head right now - cheaper oil, higher viscosity oil.

    Definitely in terms of conventional oil, I don't trust a 5-30 weight. My VW service advisor indeed recommended a thicker oil when I told him the speeds I hit driving to Las Vegas. I was thinking of a minimum of 10-30 (which is easier for a conventional oil to maintain) or even a 15-40 (I don't trust 10-40 in conventional oil due to the higher viscosity range). I once ran 5-50 Syntec in the car and lost about 3 miles per gallon in gas mileage, so I don't want to go the 20-50 route....

    I have also read articles that suggest that "higher mileage engine" motor oils from Valvoline, Castrol, etc. are better than the current SL oils, not because of the extra seals protectors they contain, but because they contain more "antiwear" agents (like zinc?) that the car manufacturers don't like to see anymore in the engine oils used while they are still warranting the catalytic converter. (The next API designation is supposed to cut the antiwear agents in half; SG cut them in half before, and SL didn't make any changes in this regard.)

    So I am considering three options: $3.00 a quart Supertech Full Synthetic from Walmart in 10-30 or 10-40 weight, reportedly a Pennzoil or Quaker State private labelled oil (I know Mobil 1 is the best, but think the 80 cent premium over branded "semi-synthetic" for "full synthetic" from Pennzoil might be worht it); Castrol GTX "High Mileage" in 10-30 for the extra wear additives (priced typically at $2.22 per quart, comparable to semi-synthetic); or Castrol GTX, which my dealer uses, and is almost always on sale for less than $1.25 per quart (Castrol for years has claimed to "exceed" all Japanese, European, and American manufacturer specfication "overlays").

    Any thoughts? How about weight - what are you running- 5-30, 10-30, 10-40 (or 15-40)? Should I just bite the bullet and stick with Mobil 1 5-30 but maybe save a buck a bottle by giving up 5-30, which is unavailabel at Costco, and getting 10-30 or 10-40 instead? My current gas mileage is about 31 mpg, historically right around 30 mpg, but on 85+ interstate runs, can drop to 25 or 26 (I have a stick and it revs high). As I said above, 50 weight oil definitely cuts into gas mileage at operating temperartures, so I probably would prefer to stay away from 40 weight oils. The cold start portions of my drives are so negligible compared to the cruising portion, and I live in such a mild climate, that I don't think 5W or 10W will make a difference....

    I have posted this here, and not in the oil list, since I think oil is a particular problem for VW's - because the car is so hard working (and hence working the oil hard), because VW owners really drive a lot faster and harder than Camry owners, and because the damn things inevitably consume oil....
  • adg44adg44 Posts: 385
    With the special casing around the battery, I would stick with an OEM battery.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,862
    The "special casing" is just a plastic cover and it fits non-oem batteries. The Walmart battery and other batteries will fit with some minor modification required on the bottom lip of some of the batteries. The OEM battery from VW is extremely expensive and is poor quality for the price you pay. You can buy an Optima for less cost and a better to equal quality battery for 1/3rd the cost of the battery from a VW dealer.
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    Thanks for your feedback. ;-)

    Hatchbacks & Wagons Boards
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,862
    I'm not saying the OEM battery from VW is a bad battery. Just that at $100-$200 that some dealers charge it compares poorly to a $40-$50 battery that is as good or better.
  • adg44adg44 Posts: 385
    Have you taken out a OEM battery? They are somewhat rounded, not sharp edged like a walmart battery (I know, I have one in my 99 G20t). However with the way the OEM batter mounts, by a piece of metal that holds the battery down which is attached to the plastic battery tray, and the battery is specially deisgned for this. So unless some people want to start hacking away at the bottom of their battery with a dremel, you should get an OEM battery.

    Also, the OEM batterys have that foam surround designed to go around them, and you'll have to cut off the plastic handles that are on the side of the walmart battery to get it to fit. Also, if this battery is a little taller or wider it won't fit. The individual fuses that attach over top the battery won't fit if you don't have the exact same size battery. Is this worth it for saving an extra $40 bucks? For most of the people here, I would have to say no. I get extra $40 because my sister bought a battery from the dealer in Ithaca, NY (middle-of-nowhere) for $90.

    The 99.5-01 Golfs and 01.5-present Golfs have a different style battery casing - but the base is still the same, as pictured below.


    - Anthony

    P.S. - moparbad... I've asked you this before, and you haven't responded, but where are you getting your info from in response to G/J IV problems/DIYs?
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,862
    Personal experience, mechanic, local VW club and members, national VW club and members.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,862
    Which size battery box do you have? Large or small? The handles on the Everstart do need to be removed.
    A Diehard International battery fits better than the Walmart battery but with modifications the Everstart works fine.
  • adg44adg44 Posts: 385
    I had the large one on my GTI (early 2001) and on my Jetta I have the small one. I actually prefer the larger battery box.

    What's your national VW club? H2O?

    I'm just saying, this isn't an enthusiast site so less people are going to want to hack up their battery and would rather just pay more for a factory one and drop it in, or even let the dealer do it for them. ($$$$!)

    - Anthony
  • rickroverrickrover Posts: 602
    I have a small one on my 02 GTI and an X-large one on my 03 Jetta TDI wagon. Makes me wonder how many different sizes of boxes there are for a Mk IV VW. I doubt VW would charge much for a different size battery box in the parts dept.
  • What needs to be done for the 60k service on a '99 Golf? Does anybody know what it runs from the dealer.

    Also, I have the original brakes on this car. How much longer can they last? I'm sure they will need to be done on all 4 wheels once needed. What's the cost of that?

  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    Details of the service can be found in your owner's manual in the maintenance section.

    Alternatively, go here
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    To 8u6hfd - Thanks!

    Also, just so people are aware, manufacture-recommended service schedules can also be found in Edmunds' Maintenance Guide. Just plug in the make, model and year of your vehicle. Good luck.

    Hatchbacks & Wagons Boards
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    your welcome
  • debijondebijon Posts: 6
    My 2000 GTI VR6 developed a new problem. The portion of the dash display that shows outside temp, gas mileage, trip mileage, etc. is now very difficult to see in daylight (normal daylight, not direct sun) I suspect it is a problem with a light sensor... detecting how bright it is and this case not adjusting. I took it to the dealer. $800.00 to remove the dash and replace the module. I also now have the rear hatch lock issue... can't open it with the key $200.00 to replace the core. Since neither is that major of a problem for me, I won't be spending $1000.00. Has anyone had similar problems and were they resolved by the dealer. Still a great car...
  • revdrluvrevdrluv Posts: 417

    Sounds like a DIY project to me…
  • aspaceaspace Posts: 1
    Hello Everyone,

    I have recently purchased an 03'Silverstone GTI 1.8T. So far, so good- my wife and I love the car.
    Our ancient Neon is dying an we were considering a purchase of a new/old never-been-driven 02' Golf 4-door GLS(?) -correct me if my designation is wrong. Can I expect the infamous coil problem to surface? Should we purchase a new 03'Golf with less features instead?
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    and congrats on your recent VW Golf purchase!

    You may also want to post any concerns/questions you have regarding ignition coils in our VW Ignition coil problems discussion.

    Others here may have more to add.... Good luck, and please keep us posted on your ownership experience.

    Hatchbacks & Wagons Boards
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    The standard Golf engine, if that is what you are getting (likely in the GL and GLS models) is not so equipped (with coils on spark plugs) and therefore has no such problems.
  • hpyouthhpyouth Posts: 1
    This may be a stupid question, but does anyone know why they have the symbols next to the dash air vents lighted in jettas, but not on golfs? Seems stupid to me, plus I hate fumbling with those things at night when I am driving.
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    VR6 isn't coil-on-plug either.
  • uga91uga91 Metro AtlantaPosts: 1,065
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,862
    All Golf and GTI models for North America are made in Brazil. No strike there.
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    the engines, body stampings, etc are made in Germany
  • the MAF and Temperature sensor went out on my Golf. The cost to fix is $ 260. I am starting to concern if this may became a recurring issue. By reading the message board, it seems MAF, O2 and temp. senors are common problems. If this is such a common problems, is there any recall by VW? Any one experiences recerring problems for these parts? Thanks.

  • adg44adg44 Posts: 385

    You can get a MAF for a 2.0 for about 50 bucks, and install it yourself in about 5 minutes.

    The O2 sensor is easy also if you have a set of jackstands and the proper tool.
  • haemonhaemon Posts: 19
    Hey everyone. As I am sure a lot of you have experienced, my Golf ('01, GLS, 1.8T) has a lot of squeaks and rattles. The dealership is hit or miss in terms of diagnosing and fixing the squeaks and rattles. Does anyone have any tips about correcting the squeaks and rattles?

    One thought I had was possibly adding a sport suspension, which would of course give the car a stiffer ride. Does anyone have any thoughts on whether adding a sport suspension would reduce (or eliminate) squeaks and rattles? (By the way, I just added new tires/wheels which I think has helped.)
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    I have a 2002 Jetta and also have rattles. Adding a stiffer suspension or adding more performance oriented tires will only highten your rattles. The only reason I can think of for less rattle from newer tires is increased road noise would drown out the rattles.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    My 2001 Golf has been free of squeaks and rattles - but there is some noise from the hatchback area.

    Generally, before blaming the car, it is a good idea to completely empty out the glove box and trunk, then ask a friend to ride in the back seat to try to listen for the noises.

    One time I thought I had a noise coming from the front, and instead it was my club rattling on the rear seat belt. It's hard to isolate noises and their directions while driving.

    This is not to say the VW won't make noises. All cars do; it's the last, most difficult quality and design area that manufacturer's face. But try eliminating the "obvious" first - the glove compartment, things rolling around, etc. Then if a friend can isolate the noise, you are in real good shape for complaining to the dealer or to VW.
  • adg44adg44 Posts: 385
    It's pretty normal..... try some tire dressing or silicone spray on the weather stripping - it will help it.

    Eventually it will go away, mine did after about 40,000 miles.

    I can't complain though, even with my suspension, wheels, stereo, exhaust, etc, that car was rattle free when cruising.

    - Anthony
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