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Volkswagen Golf Common Problems and Solutions

If you have a Volkswagen Golf and have experienced rattling sounds when you start the engine then stops after driving a short distance only to have the rattling return, it’s caused by the camshaft-driven high-pressure fuel pump.

All vehicles have their own idiosyncrasies and problems. The Golf is no different. Here are a few of the more common mechanical issues.

Engine Misfiring

VW Golf GTi Engine

If you experience the engine misfiring from time to time, you have a problem with your ignition coil packs. Before moving forward, check all the coils for damage causing them to break into clusters. You will find all the parts you need on our list to replace them.

Your Car Is In Limp Mode

While driving, your Volkswagen Golf goes into limp mode. There are several reasons but more than likely it’s your water pump. An initial examination should reveal there’s an issue with the faulty supercharger which is connected to the water pump. Stop by our online store to pick up a new water pump and go ahead and install it.

Changing Gear Is Rough

VW Golf Gears

Another common problem with earlier models of the Volkswagen Golf, it’s rough changing gears. Instead of running out and replacing the entire gearbox unit, you should look into the timing chain. There’s a good chance the chain has snapped and can be easily replaced in our store then simply change it out. This is much easier and less expensive than replacing the entire gearbox unit.

A Problem Locking The Rear Boot

This is another common issue with the Volkswagen Golf. Try spraying WD40 into the actuator to solve the problem. If all else fails, try resetting the remote. You will find out how to solve the issue in the owner’s manual.

Suspension Issues

If you are driving over rough terrains or bumpy roads and experience squeaking or rattling sounds coming from the front suspension, you have a problem with the anti-roll bushes, that will have to be replaced.

Brakes Are Unresponsive

VW Golf Brakes

If you apply a lot of pressure to the brakes but have no response, chances are your brake servo pipe is damaged and leaking brake fluid. You can order a replacement from us and install it yourself to save money.

Overheating ABS Unit

This is a common problem with Golfs manufacturing between 1997 and 2004. The problem is caused by an electrical fault in the ABS control unit. Keep in mind, that if left untreated it can start a fire. You will find the perfect replacement part on our list. Once you have the right part, remove the damaged unit and install the new one which should last for a very long time.

Grinding Sounds Coming From The Rear

This is another issue found in some Volkswagen Golfs built between 1997 and 2004. If you experience grinding noises coming from the rear of your car while driving, it’s caused by moisture getting into the ball joints. The joints will start to corrode and seize. You will have to replace the entire rear axle. The component is in stock at our online store and we can deliver it to you right away.

Rough Running Or Poor Idling

If your engine is running roughly or the engine is idling when driving, this is a problem caused by the ignition coil pack. To correct the problem, you will have to replace the coil pack.

The DPF Warning Light Comes On

VW DPF Warning Light

When the DPF warning light comes on, you have an issue with the DPF or Diesel Particulate Filter. This filter is responsible for controlling the emissions coming from the exhaust. If you only drive short distances, you cannot build up enough heat to burn off the particulates.

You should try driving longer distances around 2500 rpm on a motorway for approximately 15 minutes. It will increase enough heat to clear the particulates from the filter. If this does the trick, the warning light will turn off. If not, you will have to replace the DPF.

Water Build-Up In Doors

You might notice water on the floor by the foot-wells. This is caused by water leaking into the doors. Volkswagen Golfs are known for having a build-up of water that becomes trapped inside the doors. You can hear the water when you open and shut the doors. Because drainage is poor, water will easily build up. You will have to get the water drained out and allow the doors to dry out.

Having A Tough Time Getting Into Fifth Gear

There could be a problem if you can shift in all the other gears but the fifth gear is tough. It could be you are running low on gearbox oil so check the level first. If you have enough oil then possibly you have a broken gear linkage or an issue with the gear cables. Check all the linkages for damage or wear and tear. If the linkages are fine, move on to the cables. Any damage will have to be replaced, we have all parts in stock and can deliver them to you quickly.

Damaged Seat Belts

The seat belts will tighten too much when you lean forward too quickly. This is caused by the seat belt pre-tensioner which is something you can put off. Some Volkswagen Golfs built between 1997 and 2004 have pre-tensioners that discharge excessive heat when put to use. There is a good risk of them causing a fire if not taken care of. You must find and replace seat belt pre-tensioners as soon as possible. We have pre-tensioners on our list and will gladly swap them out for new components.

It’s important you stay up on top of all the components in your car in order for better performance, longer life, and to prevent future complications. If you are having issues, check out those components as quickly as possible. Even if you do not experience problems, it’s a good idea to periodically check everything out. If you don’t, something serious could arise putting you in harm’s way.

Volkswagen Golf Problems In Detail

Click below for more details on known problems with individual Golf components.

Golf Engine Problems

Here are some of the most common problems reported with Volkswagen Golf engines:

  • Rattling sounds: This is a tell-tale sign of a faulty camshaft-driven high-pressure fuel pump. It’s recommended to replace this part around every 20,000 miles even if you don’t hear the rattling yet.
  • Engine Misfiring: Faulty ignition coil packs are a common culprit behind engine misfiring in Golfs.
  • Limp Mode: If your Golf goes into limp mode, it could be due to various reasons, but engine issues are a possibility.
  • Rough Idling: This could be caused by a number of factors, but faulty spark plugs or a dirty throttle body are common reasons.

These are just a few of the most frequent engine problems with Volkswagen Golfs. It’s important to note that the specific issues you might encounter will depend on the model year and engine type of your Golf.

Golf Gear Box Problems

The most common problems with Volkswagen Golf gearboxes tend to focus on models with the DSG (Direct Shift Gearbox), a dual-clutch automatic transmission. Here are some of the most frequent issues:

  • Mechatronic failures: The mechatronics unit acts as the brain of the DSG, controlling gear changes. Malfunctions can cause juddering, hesitation or complete loss of gears.
  • Mechatronic leaks: Leaks within the mechatronics unit can disrupt operation and lead to shifting problems.
  • Solenoid valve failures: Faulty solenoid valves can prevent smooth gear changes or cause hesitation.
  • Juddering and shaking: This is a common symptom of DSG problems, often occurring during gear changes or acceleration.
  • Gear slippage: Worn clutch plates or low fluid levels can cause the transmission to slip gears.
  • Overheating: DSG gearboxes can overheat under heavy loads, leading to premature wear and potential failure.

It’s important to note that manual gearboxes used in some Golfs can also experience problems like clutch wear and difficulty shifting, but these are generally less frequent than the DSG issues listed above.

Golf Brake Problems

Here are some of the most common problems reported with Volkswagen Golf brakes:

  • Unresponsive Brakes: This can be caused by a number of issues, including a brake fluid leak, worn brake pads or a faulty brake servo unit.
  • ABS Problems: Some Volkswagen Golf models, particularly earlier ones (around 2009-2010), have had reported issues with the Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) failing at inopportune moments.
  • Corrosion: Rusty calipers and discs are a concern, especially if your Golf isn’t garaged and is exposed to the elements.
  • Worn Brake Pads: This is a general wear and tear item and how often they need replacing depends on your driving habits. However, keep an ear out for grinding noises which can indicate worn pads.
  • Burning Smell: This could indicate overheating brakes, which can be caused by riding the brakes for extended periods or by a dragging caliper.

Additional Points:

  • While less common, some owners have reported issues with the brake fluid boiling. This can be caused by old brake fluid or overheating brakes.
  • It’s important to remember that the specific problems you experience with your Golf’s brakes will depend on the model year and how well the car has been maintained.

If you notice any of these problems with your Volkswagen Golf’s brakes, it’s important to get them checked out by a qualified mechanic as soon as possible. Brakes are a vital safety system and any problems should be addressed promptly.

Golf Suspension Problems

The Volkswagen Golf, especially certain model generations, can experience a few common suspension problems. Here are the most frequent ones:

  • Noisy Suspension: This is a widespread issue, with the culprits often being worn anti-roll bar bushes or rear axle bushes. Worn bushes let parts move around more than intended, causing clunking or knocking noises when going over bumps.
  • Worn Suspension Struts: Struts are key components that dampen impacts and maintain ride height. Worn struts can lead to a bouncy ride, poor handling and uneven tyre wear.
  • Swaying or Uneven Handling: This can be caused by worn suspension components like struts, shock absorbers or control arm bushings. It can also be a sign of a problem with the springs.
  • Premature Tire Wear: Uneven tyre wear, particularly on the inside edges, can be caused by misaligned wheels or worn suspension components that affect proper wheel alignment.

Here are some additional points to consider:

  • Model Year Matters: The specific components most prone to wear will vary depending on the model year of your Golf.
  • Driving Habits: If you drive on rough roads frequently or take corners aggressively, you might experience suspension problems sooner.

If you suspect any issues with your Golf’s suspension, it’s recommended to have it inspected by a mechanic. Early detection and repair can save you money in the long run by preventing further damage to other suspension components.

Specialist Servicing

Mechanic At Work

Volksmaster have over 25+ years experience in specialist servicing. Our technicians receive training from the manufacturers and access to the manufacturer database. We also have all the latest technical equipment to ensure we are completely up to date with the latest VW Golf technology.

Volksmaster offer a premium service at a none premium rate, this is the core of our business and this is what keeps customer coming back year after year.

We cover North and Central Manchester, Oldham, Bury, Bolton, Rochdale, Ashton-under-Lyne and surrounding areas.

If you are considering a service, repair or MOT for your VW Golf you can book your VW Golf in to one of our 4 branches by using the simple form below or give us a call at Oldham 0161 624 5060, Heywood on 01706 622633, Bury 0161 761 3030 and our Oldham Van Centre 0161 628 5270.

We also offer a highly convenient Collect & Return service or a Courtesy Car to ensure your routine is disrupted as little as possible while your vehicle is serviced, repaired or undergoes an MOT.

Ready To Book Your Golf Service Or Repair?

Arranging Your Service Or Repair

Drop your car off
Simply drop your car off with us between 8am and 10am and in most cases your vehicle will be ready for collection the same day between 3.30 and 5.30. Outside these hours you are welcome to park.

Wait with your car
Most servicing and repair work can be done while you wait. If this is your preference we have a superb waiting area equipped with free hot and cold drinks and a interesting viewing area where you can watch our trained technicians working on your vehicle.

Courtesy car
If your vehicle needs to stay with us for 1 day or longer then you are able to pre-book one of our courtesy vehicles to keep you mobile.

Pick up / drop off
The ultimate hassle free solution; one of our drivers will arrange to collect your vehicle from your home or place of work at a pre-arranged time and then return your vehicle when the work is complete. Our service advisors will contact you when the vehicle arrives on site during the day to discuss the progress of the work and then advise you of the time you can expect your vehicle back. Contact our service advisors for more details.

Volkswagen Golf Common Problems and Solutions

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