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VW Golf



  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,868
    I've owned two Golf TDI and one Civic Si in recent years and the Golf's were much more reliable than the Civic with the exception of the window regulators in my 01 Golf.
    The 02 Civic Si that I purchased experienced poor assembly quality issues and component failures. I expected it to be trouble free. It was fun to drive, but I sold it since it was so very frustrating to spend so much time in the shop.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Lets keep in mind that systems such as these have been controlling airplanes for a long, long time. When a pilot of a jet fighter moves the "stick" or the pedals.... they are actially asking the COMPUTER to adjust the control surfaces of the aircraft. It is the COMPUTER that keeps these things in the air. No human could make the 100s of decesions per second that
    are required to make a jet fly.

    Granted there is room for failure. (there is no such thing as perfect machine) On our automobiles, it is not the gloom-n-doom that you suggest.

    BTW: ESP is not "programmed for specific situations" , instead it 'knows' where the steering wheels are pointed and the direction that the vehicle is moving... the COMPUTER makes the decesions that a human could not and reacts.

    You sound a bit like the people that were skeptical about:


    In many of thecases above, I know folks that yanked out the 'offending technology' that they did not understand and replaced it with what they were comfortable with.

    In the case of the guy that replaced his ELECTRONIC IGNITION with 'points-n-condenser', They called me over to their house to get the engine running. I had to byte my tongue about what they were doing... I got it running with the points.

    In the case of the guy that yanked out his FUEL INJECTION and replaced it with a carberater. The next week, with the family in the car on vacation 200 miles from home... the engine totally siezed up from running too lean.
  • jmegjmeg Posts: 7
    I am a student who recently lost one of the VW Flip keys to a 99 Golf. The cost of replacing these keys at the dealership is more than my budget can take!! They gave me 2 options: the flip key (with remote lock, unlock and trunk features) with a "coding" process totalling nearly $240 OR an old fashioned key--without remote features for about $120. Has anyone come by a cheaper way of having VW keys replaced?
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,868
    VW's are delivered with 3 keys. Two remote and one valet. The loss of one will still leave you with two. To obtain another key at lower cost than dealer there are a few options. Determine the part number of your key by separating the remote into two pieces. The part number is on the remote portion with the buttons. The remotes are available on online auctions for less cost than dealer. Also they are available from online VW parts stores. Once you obtain the remote portion you will still need to obtain a key blank and have it cut by a dealer or a locksmith with a special cutter. Not all locksmiths have this cutter. The key remote will require programming after the key is cut.
    Your best bet is to check other dealers for a better price. $240 is quite high.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,868
    Top Rated by Consumer Reports:
    Small sedans: Honda Civic EX, Volkswagen Golf TDI, Volkswagen Jetta GLS TDI

    40 plus MPG and a recommended rating by CR. What is not to like!
  • canoenutcanoenut Posts: 12
    Has anyone had the experience that the front seats are uncomfortable, with the side bolster causing pressure on the thigh? My wife finds it extremely difficult to find a comfortable position even on short trips. It's to the point that we're considering a change of vehicle.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    Not so much with the seat, but with the wide center console - I didn't have much room for my right leg, and it made me wish for cruise control.

    Seats are very subjective. This is a narrow car, with narrow seats, and a real "bucket" with high side bolsters. You may wish to look for a car with "flatter" seats. Oddly enough, the MINI comes with either high bolster or flat seats, you can see the options on the MINI website.

    Otherwise you could try a wider body American car.
  • menilorac3menilorac3 Posts: 2
    I was driving my Golf in the rain the other day and ran over a puddle. The car stalled within 15 seconds. I had to wait over 5 minutes before I could restart the car. Luckily for me I just got off the highway. If this happened on the highway things could have been ugly. Did anyone else experience this? What kind of problem is this? What should I do?
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    (menilorac3) Although you did not mention it, I am assuming that your alternator indicatior light DID NOT come on between the puddle and the stall. I will also assume you have the 2.0L engine.

    Given that, you should assume that your problem is a simple ignition issue. The insulation on the ignition parts, subjected to the underhood heat tends to deterioate. A splash of water in the "wrong" place will provide a pathway to ground for the high-voltage that the sparkplugs need to ignite the fuel. Somtimes, just a buildup of crud on the ignition components can contribute to the susceptibility of water.

    After your engine stalled, it took some time for the heat of the engine to dry off the water.... then you engine will start right back up.

    If you are handy with tools, there are a number of things you could do to improve the situation.

    Certainly, new sparkplugs and wires would go a long way towards helping. pay careful attention to applying silicone grease to help seal water out of the plug-wire boots.

    In any case, stay away from the water puddles It is never good for your engine and suspention parts to be spashed like that.
  • 600kgolfgt600kgolfgt Posts: 690
    The first thing I would check is the condition of the ignition coil mounted on the firewall.
    If there are signs of cracks anywhere on the coil, its time to replace it. A lot of VW mechanics and dealerships that I know have a simple test they use. While the engine is running, they take some water in a spray bottle and wet the coil. If the engine hesitates or dies, the coil is bad (I just replaced the coil on my Jetta with the 2.0 Liter engine). This situation is applicable with the 2.0 Liter 8V engine ONLY.

    They sell the coil at VW dealers for $150 - $175, depending on your locale. I would highly recommend NOT installing a used coil in your car. A bad coil is a definite showstopper.

    I put 624,000 miles on a 1987 Golf GT with the original coil. I have no idea why manufacturers don't leave well enough alone and keep the original coil design - which was infinitely more reliable.
  • lilly1280lilly1280 Posts: 3
    Hi - I'm shopping for a new (lease) Golf or Beetle. I like the look and drive of both, but the Golf seems to handle much better than the Beetle - steering more accurate, and has better acceleration. I've only driven each for a few minutes 3 or 4 times. Can anyone advise me whioh is the better choice, as far as service record, safety road performance.

  • dlavidlavi Posts: 13
    Speaking as a Golf owner I would not buy either. The Golf drives great. The Golf is also a very safe car for its size and I imagine the Beetle is as well. However, neither are likely to be reliable. My Golf has been terrrible. But its clear I am not the only ones. VWs poor reliability ahs been well documented (see consumer reportt etc.) They are cool cars and drive well but I would think long and hard before buying a car that is likely to have a number of problems. Even with the long warranty it is a pain to have to take the car in all of the time.
  • villalobosvillalobos Posts: 27
    Lease is definitely the best option. As mentionned in the post above, the golf is not all that reliable. Did you try the regular base Golf, or the GTI with a 1.8T? If the acceleration was significantly better, you must have had two different engines (thregular 2.0L in the beetle and the 1.8T in the GTI). They are fun to drive, the inside is great, and the hactchback is very versatile.
    Once again, the reliability is sketchy. MAke sure your dealer is good.

  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    Despite the serious problem I had with the engine missing and losing power on my non-turbo 2001 Golf (which the dealer was not able to remedy), I recently found myself test driving a Golf again. They drive great, have an upscale assembly and appearance, but either they are troublesome or the maintenance and repair system isn't up to the task of keeping them up and running well - in a way I blame the "support" more than the product, because if they were really a pos, they wouldn't sell so well in Europe. I think it's just that over here VW doesn't take its market seriously. They always try to take the cheapest way out.

    I have ordered a MINI. I expect it to be as buggy as a VW - it is from what I've heard, BUT BMW JUMPS ON PROBLEMS AND FIXES THEM, at least from what I've heard. I think that's the key difference - if you have a "premium" brand its ok to have glitches, but don't leave your customer holding the bag, as I was with VW.
  • lilly1280lilly1280 Posts: 3
    Thanks for the response. I'm still debating, but I think I'm leaning more toward the Beetle as of today, because of looks, and slightly better safety. I haven't thought of the Mini Cooper - isn't it more expensive than the Beetle or the Golf? Good luck w/your new Mini.
  • lilly1280lilly1280 Posts: 3
    In response to your post, I tried the basic GL Golf model, automatic transmission, I believe 2.0, and the GLS 2.0 Beetle model. The Golf just seemed "zippier" when pulling out from side streets, Of course we did not drive on expressway on-ramps - that might've been different, only country type roads. The beetle was a slightly smoother ride, I guess due to the larger tires, so maybe that's why it seemed slower to me - bec. it wasn't as low to the road???, and not as firm of a ride.
  • peadarpeadar Posts: 1
    I am planning on buying a small, economical car, and was considering the honda civic ex or golf tdi gls. One concern I have is the spacing or lack of between any rear passengers and the back of the car (golf gls). I did not see any specific safty test with rear end collisions. Does anyone know of any tests or have experiences with the golf gls and rear end collsions that would indicate it is safe or dangerous?
    Thank you
  • frogpondfrogpond Posts: 17
    I have an '03 TDi Golf. Whenever I am going slow say over a speedbump or some other bump I can hear a creaking coming from the rear suspension. At least I think its the suspension, or is it?? Can anyone tell me what it is and what needs to be fixed? Its driving me nuts! Funny thing is I was in an '04 Jetta test driving it with someone else and I noticed the same thing!!
  • frogpondfrogpond Posts: 17
    The Golf is Very safe, just look at the Insurance Institute and NHTSA sites! As far as choosing goes it is difficult. Like many others I find the little nagging reliability problems to be a real pain in the butt. But for the money you would be hard pressed to find a car that performs, handles ad comes with as many options as the Golf. The only exceptions to this are the new Mazda3 hatchback and the new Scion tC.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,868
    A squeaky creak? Golf, Jetta, New Beetle all are prone to creaking from rubber bushings in suspension. Is not a signal of any problem though it can be annoying. Spraying lubricant on the bushings tends to eliminate the creaky squeaks for a limited amount of time before they reappear.
  • pbuyerpbuyer Posts: 1
    I am thinking about buying a Golf GL Auto. I like the car, but I am a little scare after reading about the realiability problems of wv in this forum.

    In the other hand, I have check out several websites and all talk about a good or fair realiability for the golf. For example: 445&year=2003&myid=&acode=&crpPage=summary.jsp&am- p;aff=national ber_int/1013342/Action/Reliability eviews

    What do you think?
    Do you believe that reliability will be a problem for most people or only a question of bad luck?

    Thank you in advance for your replies.
  • mattjs71mattjs71 Posts: 1
    I am in the market for a used car, and I think Ive found a diamond. Its an 03 Golf GL, 5 speed, 12K miles, and clean as can be. im buying it from a private party and he says its $11,900. Good deal? Bad deal? opinions wanted.

  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    I would get the car checked by a private mechanic.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Very good price... if you are certain that there are no hidden surprizes.

    Keep in mind that the 2.0L engine has a tendancy to consume some oil if not broken in correctly. This is not a "bad" thing, one just needs to check the oil level once in awhile.

    My daughter purchased a gem such as this last fall and she really LOVES her loaded Golf GLS. Who cares if it needs a quart of oil every 2000 miles or so if the price is right? She drives that thing all over new-england.

    The 12-year/unlimited mileage warantee against body-corrosion is also a big plus here in Vermont. (most Asian models will show rust after 4-5 years)

    I have had many VWs over the years and the all went well over 130K miles. (Some are still on the road today)
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    In an insance display of self-inflicted masochism, I bought another Golf yesterday. My prior ride was a 2001 Golf 2 door GL (made in Germany) with a 5 speed, silver on black.

    The current ride is a 2004 Golf GLS with 5 speed, silver on gray.

    The car has definitelly improved since 2001. The engine drone that used to annoy me between 60 and 75 mph is gone. The car is really silent.

    The handling has actually improved; I found the 2001 wallowy, but the current edition is "relatively" well controlled, and what little body lean is left is worth the trade off in the luxo ride. Of the cars I have, this is by far the most comfortable riding.

    I had expected to immediately jump in with a tire and suspension upgrade; the Goodyear LS tires on my Scion and PT Cruiser were pretty noisy. Here, on the Golf, they are relatively quiet. I don't know if that is better body isolation (the PT Cruiser is actually very well sound proofed, except for the tire roar) or due to different manufacturer specs (the LS tires on the Scion and PT were both T rated, as opposed to H rated on the VW). But hey, I am happy with the result.

    I am still not entirely happy with the seating position. To get the seat in the right place for my right leg on the accelerator pedal (not cramped) I end up having to flex my left foot forward for a complete clutch release. If I were going to rally, I would pull the seat closer and accept the somewhat cramped right leg position in exchange for a more ideal left leg clutch position, but for commuting I am more inclined to keep the right leg comfortable, since the righ foot is always on the gas pedal, while the left foot is only occasionally on the clutch.

    I bought this car because I ordered a MINI. No, that's not as odd as it sounds. After my semi-frustrating experience with the 2001 Golf, I decided it was going to be an American or Japanese car from there on out (better reported reliability), and no German cars. Then I fell in love with the MINI. Then, as delivery approached, I began to question why I was willing to accept a MINI with its quirks (teensy size, no luggage space, back space too small for Crash Test Dummies - literally - check the NHTSA site!) and lack of dealerships, but wasn't willing to work more proactively with the quirks of the much larger Golf. Finally I decided the Golf has the features I really want - 4 wheel disc brakes, ABS, stability control program, side curtain air bags, real "boot" (read: trunk), and real back seat; plus 4 doors for my wife and kid (in a pinch, this is supposed to be my "personal" car). I figured I was giving up higher resale value on the MINI and MOST excellent handling, but gaining a 0% interest rate and other incentives. In short, if the MINI "midi" were here, as predicted in a few short years, I would have stuck with the MINI, even as a two door, but in balance I chose VW due to their many years over here and gradual refinement.

    Things I like about the new Golf, that weren't there last time: the grocery bag hooks on the back of the rear seat; the ESP (stability control); side curtain airbags; quieter at freeway speeds; soft ride, but well controlled.

    I expect to keep this car longer than typical for me, maybe 3-4 years, and trade it in on the next generation; that should give VW a chance to get the bugs out of the next generation, which is due here, depending on what rumors you read, either in the spring of 2005, or late 2005, first as a GTi then as the regular models a few months later. Based on my experience with VW's glacial model changes, and buggy intro's, I decided a well refined Mark IV might be a better bet than an early edition of the Mark V.

    My "coping strategy" for dealing with the inevitable VW quirks is as follows: (1) only dealer oil changes, no more independent oil changes (no stripped oil pan - they use new drain bolts at oil changes); (2) run 5-40 if that's what the manual calls for, instead of the fallback 5-30 (thanks for the tip about Rotella synthetic at Wally World, I'll buy a jug and walk it in); (3) no paranoia about adding a quart of oil now and then (its just a 2.0 fact of life, though one salesman told me the oil consumption issue has been "fixed"); (4) 5,000 mile oil changes, instead of 3,000 with conventional oil, will take the sting out of waiting at the dealer (no, I won't follow the 10,000 mile interval recommended after the first two oil changes).

    Service on my 2001 was actually quite cheap at the dealer. My dealer doesn't "oversell" non-VW recommended upgrades to the manual's requirements. I intend to do some minor service upgrades myself, however: (1) air filter changes every 10,000 miles (in lieu of a freer flowing, but less well protecting, K&N gauze filter); (2) a bottle of Heet dehydrator every 3,000 miles to keep the fuel system dry (my former problems may have been related to fuel contamination); (3) Premium unleaded (not required, but recommended by the manual - the ECU is adaptive) (also the new Shell and Chevron gasolines are supposed to have higher levels of detergency); (4) spark plugs every 20,000 instead of 40,000 miles (I noticed a significant improvement when the 2001 had its plugs replaced at 40,000 miles, leading me to believe that 40,000 is a tad too far); and (5) spark plug wires every 40,000 miles. Given the relatively inexpensive dealer service I have, this will be no more expensive than similar maintenance on my other cars (which won't get such lavish treatment).

    If any one has any suggestions, let me know, otherwise I intend to enjoy my ride in the moutains of Northern California.

    And no, the 2.0 isn't too slow, its just has such a smooth and quiet power delivery, it's underappreciated.
  • vanaldervanalder Posts: 29
    What brand/model do you recommend?
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    Ok, which car did you get rid of to get the Golf? What do you have left? You need to make sure you include those details so I can keep up with you :)
  • justinjustin Posts: 1,918
    2004 left over brand new Golf GL 2 door. black on black. automatic. a nice commuter car on the cheap with loads of airbags and nice warranty!
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