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Used Volkswagen Golf Fault Guides

Used Car Expert Fault Guides tell you the common Volkswagen Golf faults and wear items that can become problems and big bills for their owner.

Independent research indicated that using our fault guides to check a car before you buy it can save you an average of £300 in surprise bills and hidden problems.

That's because our Volkswagen Golf fault guides are written so that anyone can understand them – even if you know nothing about cars and have no tools. For every common fault, we tell you what to look for, what it means and what it costs.

Select your Volkswagen Golf fault guide:

Volkswagen Golf (1998 - 2004) Fault Guide
Volkswagen Golf (1992 - 1998) Fault Guide
Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet (1979 - 1993) Fault Guide
Volkswagen Golf (1984 - 1992) Fault Guide
Volkswagen Golf (2004-2009) Fault Guide
Volkswagen Golf (2009-) Fault Guide


Volkswagen Golf (1998 - 2004) Fault Guide

View Volkswagen Golf (1998 - 2004) Fault Guide

We know of 26 VOLKSWAGEN Golf (1998 - 2004) faults which our fault check guide makes it easy for you to spot and avoid.

  • 11 engine faults
  • 1 suspension wear items or faults
  • 5 interior problems
  • 4 bodywork issues
  • 5 recalls

Here's an example fault on the VOLKSWAGEN Golf (1998 - 2004)

What to look for:

Check the paperwork to see if the cam belt has been changed on schedule. On most Golf engines the cam belt must be changed within 40,000 miles (in some cases it is 60,000 miles).

What it means:

If the cam belt and associated parts (such as tensioner) have not been changed, and the mileage is over these boundaries, the cam belt is likely to fail soon and will cause expensive damage to the engine. Usually the engine has to be replaced or at least re-built.

What to do

Ensure that the cam belt is changed before the car is driven anywhere if it is coming close to its interval. Changing the belt will cost £200 -£400. It will cost £2,000+ to have the engine repaired if the belt fails.


Register to have full access to the VOLKSWAGEN Golf (1998 - 2004) fault guide.

Registered users also get access to our regional price guides, cars for sale email alerts, and many other benefits to help you buy a safe, reliable used car at a great price.


Volkswagen Golf (1992 - 1998) Fault Guide

View Volkswagen Golf (1992 - 1998) Fault Guide

We know of 23 VOLKSWAGEN Golf (1992 - 1998) faults which our fault check guide makes it easy for you to spot and avoid.

  • 10 engine faults
  • 2 suspension wear items or faults
  • 4 interior problems
  • 2 bodywork issues
  • 5 recalls

Here's an example fault on the VOLKSWAGEN Golf (1992 - 1998)

What to look for:

Check the paperwork to see if the cam belt has been changed on schedule. On most Golf engines the cam belt must be changed within 80,000 miles.

What it means:

The cam belt doesn't normally do any damage to the engine if it breaks, but the car will break down. So its best to have the belt replaced on time.

What to do

Negotiate a £100 -£150 discount or have the repair completed.


Register to have full access to the VOLKSWAGEN Golf (1992 - 1998) fault guide.

Registered users also get access to our regional price guides, cars for sale email alerts, and many other benefits to help you buy a safe, reliable used car at a great price.


Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet (1979 - 1993) Fault Guide

View Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet (1979 - 1993) Fault Guide

We know of 12 VOLKSWAGEN Golf Cabriolet (1979 - 1993) faults which our fault check guide makes it easy for you to spot and avoid.

  • 3 engine faults
  • 2 suspension wear items or faults
  • 3 interior problems
  • 2 bodywork issues
  • 2 recalls

Here's an example fault on the VOLKSWAGEN Golf Cabriolet (1979 - 1993)

What to look for:

Check the paperwork to see if the cam belt has been changed on schedule. On most engines the cam belt must be changed within 36,000 miles.

What it means:

If the cam belt and associated parts (such as water pump and tensioner) have not been changed, and the mileage is over these boundaries, the cam belt is likely to fail soon. Usually the engine has to be replaced or at least re-built after a cam belt failure.

What to do

Ensure that the cam belt is changed before the car is driven anywhere if it is coming close to its interval. Changing the belt will cost £100.


Register to have full access to the VOLKSWAGEN Golf Cabriolet (1979 - 1993) fault guide.

Registered users also get access to our regional price guides, cars for sale email alerts, and many other benefits to help you buy a safe, reliable used car at a great price.


Volkswagen Golf (1984 - 1992) Fault Guide

View Volkswagen Golf (1984 - 1992) Fault Guide

We know of 10 VOLKSWAGEN Golf (1984 - 1992) faults which our fault check guide makes it easy for you to spot and avoid.

  • 4 engine faults
  • 1 suspension wear items or faults
  • 1 interior problems
  • 1 bodywork issues
  • 3 recalls

Here's an example fault on the VOLKSWAGEN Golf (1984 - 1992)

What to look for:

Listen for a whining noise coming from the gear lever and surrounding area.

What it means:

A whining noise indicates that the differential bearings are worn and the gearbox needs replacing.

What to do

Negotiate a £450 discount or have the repair completed.


Register to have full access to the VOLKSWAGEN Golf (1984 - 1992) fault guide.

Registered users also get access to our regional price guides, cars for sale email alerts, and many other benefits to help you buy a safe, reliable used car at a great price.


Volkswagen Golf (2004-2009) Fault Guide

View Volkswagen Golf (2004-2009) Fault Guide

We know of 18 VOLKSWAGEN Golf (2004-2009) faults which our fault check guide makes it easy for you to spot and avoid.

  • 5 engine faults
  • 3 suspension wear items or faults
  • 4 interior problems
  • 2 bodywork issues
  • 4 recalls

Here's an example fault on the VOLKSWAGEN Golf (2004-2009)

What to look for:

Check the paperwork to see if the cam belt has been changed on schedule. On most of this vehicle’s petrol engines the cam belt must be changed within 5 years or 80,000 miles. On most of the diesel engines, it should be changed at 75,000 or 4 years.

What it means:

If the cam belt and associated parts (such as water pump and tensioner) have not been changed, and the mileage is over these boundaries, the cam belt is likely to fail soon. Usually the engine has to be replaced or at least re-built after a cam belt failure.

What to do

Ensure that the cam belt is changed before the car is driven anywhere if it is coming close to its interval. Changing the belt will cost £500. It will cost several thousand pounds to have the engine repaired if the belt fails.


Register to have full access to the VOLKSWAGEN Golf (2004-2009) fault guide.

Registered users also get access to our regional price guides, cars for sale email alerts, and many other benefits to help you buy a safe, reliable used car at a great price.


Volkswagen Golf (2009-) Fault Guide

View Volkswagen Golf (2009-) Fault Guide

We know of 14 VOLKSWAGEN Golf (2009-) faults which our fault check guide makes it easy for you to spot and avoid.

  • 6 engine faults
  • 4 suspension wear items or faults
  • 1 interior problems
  • 1 bodywork issues
  • 2 recalls

Here's an example fault on the VOLKSWAGEN Golf (2009-)

What to look for:

Check the paperwork and mileage to make sure the car is not due an expensive cam-belt service. The service is due at 80,000 miles or 4 years. It costs £500.00 for the petrol models and £500.00 for the turbodiesel models.

What it means:

If the car is due this service then you will have to budget for it. If the car has passed this mileage point without the service having been done then there is a high chance of damage to the engine. If the cam-belt service has been completed but the water pump and cam belt tensioner have not been replaced at the same time, then it is likely that this will need to be replaced in the near future.

What to do

If the car has passed this mileage point without the service having been done then it is advised to have the car inspected by a qualified mechanic. Otherwise try to reduce the price of the vehicle by the appropriate amount. If you buy the car and it has passed its cam-belt schedule, then get the service completed before moving the vehicle. If the water pump.cambelt tensioner need replacing then try to reduce the price of the vehicle by £150.


Register to have full access to the VOLKSWAGEN Golf (2009-) fault guide.

Registered users also get access to our regional price guides, cars for sale email alerts, and many other benefits to help you buy a safe, reliable used car at a great price.


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