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Volkswagen Golf Common Problems and Solutions

Engine Misfire

Problem:

The car has started to misfire occasionally.

Models affected:

Solution:

There is a problem with your ignition coil packs. In most cases, these tend to break in clusters, so you need to check them all for damage. Fortunately, these are easy to find on our parts list and very easy to replace yourself.

Difficulty level

1

Part you need

Ignition Coil Module

Part required

Ignition Coil Module

Get a quote for Ignition Coil Module

Rattling Sound From Engine

Problem:

There is a rattling sound that you can hear when you start the engine, which disappears after driving for a few miles and then reappears at random intervals.

Models affected:

Solution:

The VW Golf has a notorious issue with its camshaft-driven high-pressure fuel pump. You should replace yours every 20k miles even if you can't hear that rattling sound, but that's what's causing it. Check our parts list for a replacement fuel pump and do the job yourself to save a lot of cash.

Difficulty level

1

The Car Has Gone Into Limp Mode

Problem:

While driving, the Golf suddenly goes into Limp Mode.

Models affected:

Solution:

Although there are often a variety of reasons why your car will go into Limp Mode, it's extremely likely that your water pump has caused this. An initial diagnosis will often indicate that the issue is a faulty supercharger, but that's because there is a connection between the water pump and the supercharger. You will easily find a spare water pump in our online store, and they are very easy to replace yourself.

Difficulty level

1

Part you need

Water Pump

Part required

Water Pump

Get a quote for Water Pump

Rough Gear Changes (Automatics)

Problem:

The automatic gear changes are not smooth.

Models affected:

Solution:

In most cases, you are going to need to replace the gearbox unit completely, as this is a common issue for Golfs, especially earlier models. However, before you do that, check the timing chain. There's a chance that it might have snapped, and it's easier to find a replacement timing chain in our store and replace it yourself than removing and installing an entire automatic gearbox unit.

Difficulty level

2

Part you need

Timing Chain

Part required

Timing Chain

Get a quote for Timing Chain

Rear boot locking problems

Problem:

If you are facing problems with locking the boot on your Golf, then you are not alone. This is a common fault on these cars.

Models affected:

Solution:

Try spraying some WD40 in the locking actuator to fix the problem. If this doesn't work, try resetting the remote. You will find the instructions in the owner's handbook.

Difficulty level

2

Suspension problems

Problem:

If you are hearing a squeaking or rattling noise coming from the front suspension when driving over rough surfaces or bumps you have a problem with the anti-roll bar bushes. This is very common on these cars.

Models affected:

Solution:

You will need to replace the bushes to resolve the issue.

Difficulty level

3

Poor idling/rough running

Problem:

You may be facing an issue with the engine running very roughly when driving or that there are problems when the engine is idling. This is usually caused by a problem with the ignition coil pack.

Models affected:

Solution:

You will need to replace the coil pack to resolve the issue. Watch the video below to see how this is done:

Difficulty level

2

Part you need

Coil Pack

Part required

Coil Pack

Get a quote for Coil Pack

DPF warning light

Problem:

If you have noticed that the DPF warning light has come on your dashboard you have an issue with the DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter). This part is responsible for controlling the emissions from the exhaust. When using the car to drive short distance around town it doesn't build up enough heat to burn off the particulates.

Models affected:

Solution:

Try driving at about 2500rpm on a motor way or A-road for about 15 minutes to build up enough heat to clear the particulates from the filter. This should turn the light out, otherwise you will need to replace the DPF.

Difficulty level

1

Door leaks

Problem:

You may have noticed that there is water on the floor at the foot-wells. This is caused by a leak in the doors. These cars are known for having a build up of water trapped inside the door which you can sometimes hear if you open and close the door quickly. The drainage is poor on these parts causing the water to build up.

Models affected:

Solution:

You will need to have the drainage sorted out and allow the door to dry out to solve the problem.

Difficulty level

4

Unresponsive Brakes

Problem:

You have to apply a lot of force to the brake pedal to get them to engage.

Models affected:

Solution:

It's very likely that your brake servo pipe has cracked and is leaking brake fluid. You can easily order a replacement from us and install the new pipe.

Difficulty level

1

Part you need

Brake Servo Unit

Part required

Brake Servo Unit

Get a quote for Brake Servo Unit

Hot ABS Unit

Problem:

The ABS unit is overheating, even during short journeys.

Models affected:

Solution:

This is common in Golfs built between 1997 and 2004 and resulted from an electrical fault in the ABS control unit. If left untreated, it will eventually cause a fire. Find a replacement ABS unit using our parts page, remove the faulty one and install one that will last a lot longer.

Difficulty level

2

Part you need

ABS Control Unit ECU

Part required

ABS Control Unit ECU

Get a quote for ABS Control Unit ECU

Grinding From Rear

Problem:

You can hear a grinding noise coming from the rear of the car while driving.

Models affected:

Solution:

There were some Golfs built between 1997 and 2004 that had faulty rear axles. The sound is being caused because of moisture entering the ball joints. Those joints then corrode and seize. You're going to need to replace the entire rear axle, but we always have them in stock and can deliver them straight to you.

Difficulty level

3

Part you need

Axle

Part required

Axle

Get a quote for Axle

Faulty Seat Belt

Problem:

The seat belt tightens overly when you move forward quickly.

Models affected:

Solution:

While this is clearly a problem with the seat belt pre-tensioner, it's not something that you can ignore. Some models produced between 1997 and 2004 had pre-tensioners that discharge excessive heat when put to use, and there is a risk of them causing a fire. You'll need to find replacement seat belt pre-tensioners on our parts list and swap them for the faulty ones.

Difficulty level

1

Part you need

Seatbelt Pretensioner

Part required

Seatbelt Pretensioner

Get a quote for Seatbelt Pretensioner

Struggle To Get Fifth Gear

Problem:

You have to force the gearstick to get into 5th gear but have no problem with the other gears.

Models affected:

Solution:

You may just be running low on gearbox oil, so check your levels first. If you have plenty of oil, then the problem is likely being caused by faulty or broken gear linkage or gear cables. Check all of the linkages for wear and tear, and then move onto the cables. Whatever is damaged will need to be replaced, but we always have plenty in stock and can deliver to you.

Difficulty level

1

Part you need

Gear Linkage

Part required

Gear Linkage

Get a quote for Gear Linkage

Reading these common Volkswagen Golf problems should help you find out what is wrong with your Volkswagen Golf – or just what to look out for in the future. We’ll also give suggestions on what to do if your Volkswagen Golf does have one of these issues.