VW Golf IV has bad O2 sensor.

harpoon2harpoon2 Member Posts: 10
edited March 2014 in Volkswagen
I bought a new golf in September of 99. Since that
I have driven 13000 miles and have gone through 3
oxygen sensors. Is anybody else having problems
with this? What cause it to go bad so fast?


  • pat455pat455 Member Posts: 603
    There has been discussion of 02 sensors in our Check Engine Light topic (#76). I'm not sure whether any of it would be helpful to you, but you might want to read the posts there to see. You can click on that highlighted link to go there.

    Community Leader/Maintenance & Repair Conference
  • harpoon2harpoon2 Member Posts: 10
    Can anybody tell me what a o2 sensor does and what causes it to go bad? Is anybody else with a Golf having the same troubles as me?
  • pat455pat455 Member Posts: 603
    Did you read through the topic I gave you a link to in post 1? They may have discussed what an O2 sensor actuallly is, but if they haven't, I'm sure if you ask there someone will tell you.

    Community Leader/Maintenance & Repair Conference
  • bnormannbnormann Member Posts: 335
    An O2 sensor measures the amount of "excess" oxygen in the exhaust from the engine.

    There is an optimum ratio of fuel (gasoline) to air for perfect combustion in the cylinder. The fuel injection tries to maintain this ratio at all times. As with most things, perfect is impossible, so the fuel injection tries to have a little extra air.

    The O2 sensor senses how much "extra" air there is in the exhaust (after the combustion process is complete and the exact amount of air has been used up already..) and tells the fuel injection system, "Hey, a little more" or "...a little less..."

    The engine sucks in air, but Oxygen is the part that matters, just like with humans...

    Your host, Bruce
  • bearsindenbearsinden Member Posts: 3
    I have a 2000 GTI GLX that purchased in Oct/99. I've had the O2 sensor replaced, and just received the car back after being left at the dealership for 30 DAYS waiting on an airflow meter. Germany was out of parts. This is the 2nd time VW could not locate parts for the vehicle.
  • harpoon2harpoon2 Member Posts: 10
    Well it's been 11 months since I bought my Golf and I went through 2 interior lights, a cup holder, a streeing columb and 4 maybe 5 o2 sensors. I wrote to the Attorney General and filled a claim with Autoline. I'm convinced that the car is a lemon. I want VW of America to replace it or I expect a full refund.
  • amontoucamontouc Member Posts: 2
    I bought my GTI GLX in Oct 99 too. The window fell in the door panel, the cruise control broke, the sunroof broke, the ignition key hole broke, the cupholder broke, the armrest cover broke, the oxygen sensor broke 3 times, the strut on the front right side came loose. I wrote a letter to VW which they ignored, i asked to be sent a annual report which they said would take ten days, never got it. VW should be sued for all they got. THEY ARE RIPPING PEOPLE OFF, and they don't seem to have a problem with it.
    My car is also a lemon... what procedure did you follow to get a replacement/refund?
  • pat455pat455 Member Posts: 603
    that can probably assist you.

    Just use the Topic Search feature on the left side of the page for lemon law - you will find several topics. Check out the one in our Smart Shopper Conference for some useful links.

    Good luck.

    Community Leader/Maintenance & Repair Conference
  • harpoon2harpoon2 Member Posts: 10
    In the state of Ohio you have to file a case with autoline before you get get a lawyer. I did that and am waiting to see what happens. I printed this page out to show the company proof on how cheaply the cars where made. It's good to hear I'm not alone in this battle against VW. I'll keep you guys posted.
  • savedvdubssavedvdubs Member Posts: 3
    wow, its a sad sad day in VW world....sorry to hear about all of these problems. i have a '99 GTI GLS that i bought last summer, and the O2 Sensor has gone bad only one time about 9 months ago. VW repaired the part quickly and at no cost to me of course, so i cant say that im upset with the company...(i actually swear by Volkswagen)...like i said before, sorry to hear about all of the problems. I'm sure VW will help you all out one way or another.
  • dsmethiedsmethie Member Posts: 1
    what are the symptoms of a faulty 02 sensor.
  • manwamanwa Member Posts: 6
    I have the O2 sensor replaced two weeks ago, and now the engine light came back on. I pulled my car to the dealer, and they suspected that it is the mass airflow sensor this time. They have placed an order for the part for me. They said they expect the part to arrive next Tuesday.

    Other problems on my 2000 GLX include the driver side window glass regulator broke about 4 months ago; battery went bad about 1 month ago; and some weird sound coming from the right side mirror and the front panel, that sounds like loosened screws or something.

    VW really sucks.
  • pat455pat455 Member Posts: 603
    Please see my post #1 for a link to a topic with much more information on this issue.

    Community Leader/Maintenance & Repair Conference
  • kurtvogelkurtvogel Member Posts: 1
    I drive a 97 Golf K2 with 50,000 miles on it. The "check engine" light has been on since mile 9,000. Bad O2 sensor. So what? Neither gas mileage nor horsepower has changed noticeably, although I get a weird buzz in the exhaust at 2800 rpms.

    My previous car was a 91 Passat sedan. Bad O2 sensor for the life of the car, which was 105,000 miles before I traded it.

    My wife drives a 98 Passat GLX wagon. Just had the O2 sensor replaced, and the "check engine" light is back on within 200 miles.

    My friend drives an Audi A4 and wonders why his "check engine" light popped on at 4,000 miles. Whaddya think?

    I'm wondering why VW continues to stick to a technology that's obviously faulty as hell, causes owners untold grief, yet adds no apparent value to the vehicle.

    I hope the folks in Wolfsburg read this. Ich liebe mein Auto, aber seine O2 Sensor SUCKS!
  • harpoon2harpoon2 Member Posts: 10
    I wish my car had the problems you have. Since my O2 sensor went bad I get about 18 mpg. I don't know were you live but gas is around $1.60. I didn't buy a new car for bad gas mileage. I hope the folks in Wolfsburg read this as well. The cars you make suck.
  • manwamanwa Member Posts: 6
    Well, I went to the dealer today for the sensore replacement. But the guy told me that the airflow sensor is backorder nationally now and he has no idea when it is going come in. Right now, the gas mileage on my 2000 Gof GLX is only 16mpg! How can I survive with this expensive gas?

    Also, the cracking sound is getting louder and louder. I suspect that, when the drive side door is close, the door latch is loosened. I have made another appointment for them to take a look this coming Friday.
  • harpoon2harpoon2 Member Posts: 10
    Well after many phone calls and a tough up hill climb, VW has decided to replace my 99 Golf with a 2001 Golf. All you people that are having problems with your cars, Don't give up and save all of your reciets. Remember, "the squeaky wheel gets the oil."
  • savedvdubssavedvdubs Member Posts: 3
    Well, I'm very glad to see that Volkswagen came through on this! After all of the mess and repairs that you've been through, you deserve the new car! I have to say....I totally trust Volkswagen and will continue to do so. They've been a FANTASTIC company for the 3 vw's that I've owned! Once again...glad to see that everything worked out. I'm sure Volkswagen will help the rest of you as well.
  • spalispali Member Posts: 8
    I have a 2000 Jetta. I also had oxygen sensor problems/gas mileage, and oil burning problems. I'm having an oil consumption test done now, but VW won't acknowledge any problem until the car consumes in excess of 1 qt of oil per 1000 miles. Any advice for those of us who want to get rid of our lemon VWs?
  • harpoon2harpoon2 Member Posts: 10
    Certain states have certain actions you must take to get your car replaced. In Ohio (where i live) you must call Autoline before you get a lawyer. Be careful on how you go about this. Once you get a lawer and file a claim vw will tell your dealership not to work on your car. Let me know what state your in and I could help you from there. No one should purchase a new car and have this happen to them.
  • spalispali Member Posts: 8
    I'm in New Hampshire. I've read the law, and called the Motor Vehicle Arbitration Board, who is sending me a packet. After reading some more stories on Edmund's, I'm afraid to take legal action, knowing that the dealer won't touch my car once I file. However, I don't think I need a lawyer, and the process in NH is fairly quick. They would hear my case within 40 days, and the dealer is required to take action within 30 days after a decision is made.
    Should I just start with VW or BBB mediation and see if they'll give me a new car? Thanks for your input!
  • harpoon2harpoon2 Member Posts: 10
    Go with the BBB. Once vw hears from them, they are really good about taking action. Please keep me up to date with your situation as I will with mine.
  • spalispali Member Posts: 8
    I've filed with BBB. VW is sticking to their story so far (the oil consumption is within specs). Looks like this may go to arbitration, or I'll have to deal with it (I currently go to the dealer every 2 weeks to have them add oil for the oil consumption test!)
    I'll keep you updated.
  • harpoon2harpoon2 Member Posts: 10
    Make sure you keep every receipt you get from VW. Don't let VW get the best of you. Do whatever it takes to get your problem resolved. I'll be checking every day for an update.
  • darebbeardarebbear Member Posts: 1
    Greetings all!!!

    My check engine light has been on and off and on again for the past 4 years. I have never been given a straight answer as to why they (the O2 sensors) fail. I did notice a drop in gas mileage but switched to 89 octane gas and now I am back to 31 highway/25 City.
    I think that VW knows that these parts are faulty and chooses not acknowledge it. I think that everyone needs to complain to every where that will here complaints.
  • jwestinnycjwestinnyc Member Posts: 1
    I ALSO have had a “check engine” light that has gone on and off (mostly on) for the last four and one half years in my 1996 Volkswagen GTI VR6. It came on for the first time at 25,000 miles – scarcely 1,000 miles after the original 24,000 “bumper-to-bumper” warranty had expired – and my local VW dealer at that time, Stohlman VW/Subaru of Vienna, VA, said it was due to a faulty oxygen (O2) sensor (sound familiar?). They then charged me over $300 to have the oxygen sensor replaced, stating, after I inquired, that the oxygen sensor was not a component covered by either the mandatory emissions warranty that every car must carry or VW’s 10-year/100,000-mile original-owner powertrain warranty (a claim VW of America later backed up, when I called their national toll-free customer service number to double-check). While technically they had every right to charge me for the replacement of the oxygen sensor, since my bumper-to-bumper warranty had run out 1,000 miles earlier, I thought in good faith that they should have paid for it; the VW dealer wouldn’t even consider the possibility, however, and that was it – I was out over $300.

    A few hundred miles later (you know what I’m about to say, don’t you?), the “check engine” light came on AGAIN. I took it back to Stohlman’s VW, and they said I needed ANOTHER oxygen sensor. I couldn’t afford to replace it again, and the car was running absolutely fine – there were no “symptoms”, nothing apparently wrong with the car, other than the fact that the “check engine” light was on – so I just continued driving it as it was. Within the same week, I took it to another Northern Virginia-based VW dealer, VW Springfield, to get a “second opinion”, and they could find nothing wrong with my car, and could not explain why the “check engine” light had come on.

    About 2,000 miles later, the “check engine” light came back on, and this time, it was flashing on and off, not just solidly illuminated, indicating the possibility of a serious problem. I took it to the nearest VW dealer, Stohlman’s again, and they said I needed nearly $2,000 worth of work (for a car with under 30,000 miles on it!). I can’t remember exactly what they prescribed (I have it written down at home; it’s not with me right now), but I believe they said it needed a new throttle position something-or-other and an air temperature sensor and some other part that had something to do with measuring or apportioning fuel. Needless to say, I didn’t have $2,000 to put into my car, and frankly, I didn’t trust the dealership – so I never had that work done.

    I’ve put just over 30,000 additional miles on my car since then, and while I have an occasional engine idle stutter or unevenness, usually related to a combination of cool (in the 40-degree Fahrenheit range) weather and high humidity, and the check engine light has been on most of that time, the car has been reliable. (With the exception, that is, at the 48,000 mile mark, of the piece of metal that connects the shifter to the transmission failing – inexplicable shearing right in half – rendering the car unable to move under its own power and leaving me stranded; this is the only car I’ve owned I can say that about.)

    I love the way Volkswagens drive and their utilitarian aesthetic, enough that I would actually consider buying another one – but ONLY if I also bought an extended warranty for it at the same time, when it was brand new. But if we here in the U.S. have the opportunity to buy some other affordable European marque – Ford’s Focus seems the closest to that definition, in my opinion – I’ll likely opt for it over another VW.
  • wj27wj27 Member Posts: 6
    This will be to the point.

    I have a VW Golf GL 2K 2.0L 5sp. w/ ~13,0000 miles.

    I started having problems at 8,000 miles
    1. driver side visor mirror light went out-replaced by dealer
    2. gear clash in shifting from 1st to 2nd. gear. it occurs 1 every 2-3 weeks. Dealer claims the golf has a shorter "throw" on the shifter. So it is easy for drivers to clash the gears on shifting. I have been driving a manual for 10 years. are they suggesting I can't drive.

    3. This is a good one. Anyone have experience with this problem? If you turn on/off the ignition VERY slowly the head lights will come on as you pass the ACC. mode in the ignition. The parking brake is up during this operation by the way. The dealer says that this occurs on the Golf and Jetta. It is just part of the "design". I say it is part of a "design" FLAW. Anyway, no fix from the dealer. Please let me know if you experience this on the Golf / Jetta.

    4. The vehicle sometimes hesitates in first gear. It is as if, it does not get the correct amount of gas/air and then all of a sudden it kicks in. On first trip to the dealer they could not find a problem.

    5.This one has only happend 3 times. At startup the vehicle revs up to 2K rpm. On a normal startup it should overshoot up to ~ 1200 rpm then settle at ~ 850 rpm. After the second time it happened, the check engine light came on for 2 days. The dealer had a look and stated the coolant temp. sensor went out. This was replaced. They also said this was why I had prob. #4 about. Alas, problem #4 abouve still occurs, but just not as much. So is it the O2 sensor as others have had?

    6. When coming out of a right or left turn, as the steering wheel spins back the opposite indicator light will flash just as the indicator switch trips off. Dealer replaced the turning switches. Problem continued. Dealer then replaced some sort of air bag spring thing a ma jiggy (sorry I dont remember what exactly it was). Anyway, this was supposedly what cause the turning indicator switch to go bad. I have not returned to the dealer to have this installed yet.

    7. the vehicle seems to consume quite a bit of oil. 2K after my first oil change the level was below the required level. I assume when they changed it, the proper level was put back into the car. I have been check it since then and it still is going down very gradually. The manual does state that it will consume oil depending on driving condition ( I do DRIVE the vehicle too). But I also DROVE my previous car and the level never changed between oil changes.

    These are the problems i have had. hope this helps some one. i am a bit disappointed in the car. i still really love it though. so i suppose it is a love/dislike relationship. :->.
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