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#3253011 - 01/19/14 12:12 PM 2001 golf reliability
spasm3 Offline


Registered: 05/30/10
Posts: 3400
Loc: north carolina
I am thinking about a 2001 golf with only 40k on it at a dealership. Its a stripped down model with a manual trans.I have no experience with vws. I figure it has a timing belt. were these decent cars? Any input from any owners here would be appreciated.
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#3253036 - 01/19/14 12:42 PM Re: 2001 golf reliability [Re: spasm3]
renegade_987 Offline


Registered: 04/07/11
Posts: 1454
Loc: Ankeny, IA
At only 40K the timing belt/water pump is probably original, so I would have that changed ASAP (which can be a $1000+ job at a dealer) As far as reliability, I cant comment on the Golf but a friend at work has a 2003 Passat that he has sunk $8K in within the last year, and its mostly hit or miss from what I've heard
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#3253039 - 01/19/14 12:45 PM Re: 2001 golf reliability [Re: spasm3]
antiqueshell Offline


Registered: 03/02/12
Posts: 3822
Loc: chicago, Illinois
Actually that is a very nice car, the only problems they had were weak coil packs and power windows. I am assuming that when you say stripped it has manual windows cranks?

The coil issue was addressed by a recall so as long as the car appears to be running well there should be no problem. Ask the dealer to find out whether the original coil packs were replaced under the original recall by VW.

No reason whatsoever to have the water pump changed at only 40k they commonly go for over 100k.

Otherwise the MK4 Golf made in Germany, was a very nice car.


Edited by antiqueshell (01/19/14 12:46 PM)

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#3253044 - 01/19/14 12:48 PM Re: 2001 golf reliability [Re: antiqueshell]
renegade_987 Offline


Registered: 04/07/11
Posts: 1454
Loc: Ankeny, IA
Originally Posted By: antiqueshell
\

No reason whatsoever to have the water pump changed at only 40k they commonly go for over 100k.

Otherwise the MK4 Golf made in Germany, was a very nice car.


When I said that they should be changed I was going by age, not miles.
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#3253061 - 01/19/14 01:05 PM Re: 2001 golf reliability [Re: renegade_987]
antiqueshell Offline


Registered: 03/02/12
Posts: 3822
Loc: chicago, Illinois
Still no reason. I have a 20 year old MKIII Golf that has 125k on it and no signs of leaks as of yet from the water pump. The design is very similar on both.

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#3253094 - 01/19/14 01:47 PM Re: 2001 golf reliability [Re: spasm3]
gregk24 Offline


Registered: 04/13/13
Posts: 2500
Loc: FL, USA
VW are hit or miss as far as reliability goes.
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#3253114 - 01/19/14 02:00 PM Re: 2001 golf reliability [Re: spasm3]
bigjl Offline


Registered: 09/06/12
Posts: 1665
Loc: London, England
Not worth the risk with a VAG water pump by trying to "save" a few quid.

Around that time VAG had issues with water pumo impellers sheering internally causing overheating.

At that time the Golf was fairly robust if a bit of a pudding compared to earlier variants.

Would make a decent enough car for long term use.

Usual siezing rear calipers will need attention. Especially in a low miler.

I wouldn't pay a premium for the low miles as i have never found an old low miler to be more reliable than a well serviced high miler. Often the opposite due to degradation of rubber components.

Do dealers in the US really try to charge $1000 for a cambelt on simple engines like these?

Polybushing the suspension will be a worthwhile investment though.

If you like it go for it.

And make a complete cambelt job part of the deal. Tensioner, idlers and water pump. With sight of the old parts to make sure.

The water pumps in modern VAGs really are a lottery.
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#3253119 - 01/19/14 02:03 PM Re: 2001 golf reliability [Re: antiqueshell]
bigjl Offline


Registered: 09/06/12
Posts: 1665
Loc: London, England
Originally Posted By: antiqueshell
Still no reason. I have a 20 year old MKIII Golf that has 125k on it and no signs of leaks as of yet from the water pump. The design is very similar on both.


The water pump in the mk3 never had the same reputation as the one in later Golfs.

Water puml failure with new tensioner and belt is too big a risk for me to take in the pursuit of saving under 40.
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#3253147 - 01/19/14 02:19 PM Re: 2001 golf reliability [Re: spasm3]
spasm3 Offline


Registered: 05/30/10
Posts: 3400
Loc: north carolina
So its not a real problem car then. Its listed at $5900. I was thinking more like $4000.It is manual windows, that part i like!


Edited by spasm3 (01/19/14 02:20 PM)
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#3253169 - 01/19/14 02:39 PM Re: 2001 golf reliability [Re: spasm3]
simple_gifts Offline


Registered: 07/26/04
Posts: 8659
Loc: Middlesex County CT
Just remember it is still a 14 yo car.
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#3253187 - 01/19/14 03:05 PM Re: 2001 golf reliability [Re: spasm3]
fdcg27 Offline


Registered: 09/25/09
Posts: 8938
Loc: OH
This has the 2.slow?
A good if gutless and pretty thirsty engine.
Between the stick and the windups, this car won't move fast.
Take your time and visit some VW boards.
This could be a good buy and 4K is probably realistic.
I'd get the dealer to do the timing belt service as part of the deal, including a new water pump.
I've replaced water pumps and tensioners on 100K Hondas that were as tight as new.
Who knows what they would have been like after another 10-20K?
Not worth the risk of having to go through all of the labor to replace a failed part that should have been replaced to begin with.
An unneccesary PITA if you DIY and an unnecessary expense if you don't.
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#3253190 - 01/19/14 03:10 PM Re: 2001 golf reliability [Re: fdcg27]
spasm3 Offline


Registered: 05/30/10
Posts: 3400
Loc: north carolina
Originally Posted By: fdcg27
This has the 2.slow?
A good if gutless and pretty thirsty engine.
Between the stick and the windups, this car won't move fast.
Take your time and visit some VW boards.
This could be a good buy and 4K is probably realistic.
I'd get the dealer to do the timing belt service as part of the deal, including a new water pump.
I've replaced water pumps and tensioners on 100K Hondas that were as tight as new.
Who knows what they would have been like after another 10-20K?
Not worth the risk of having to go through all of the labor to replace a failed part that should have been repalaced to begin with.
An unneccesary PITA if you DIY and an unnecessary expense if you don't.


How hard is the timing belt to replace yourself? I did notice the hwy rating is only 31mpg. That is suprising for a small car.
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#3253194 - 01/19/14 03:16 PM Re: 2001 golf reliability [Re: spasm3]
fdcg27 Offline


Registered: 09/25/09
Posts: 8938
Loc: OH
I don't know, but it may not be that hard to do.
I know that on some VAGs, like some badged as Audis, it's a real PITA, but this installation may not be too bad.
Visit some VW boards, since they'll be able to give you the skinny.
Your best bet would be to get the dealer to do it as part of the purchase price or to find a good indie and use the cost of this needed task on this 13 yo car as a bargaining chip.
Whether you do it yourself or have it done, this is a real cost for a vital service and the selling price of the car, which isn't in the same range as an equivalent Honda or Toyota to begin with, should reflect this.
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#3253493 - 01/19/14 09:18 PM Re: 2001 golf reliability [Re: spasm3]
spasm3 Offline


Registered: 05/30/10
Posts: 3400
Loc: north carolina
I'm seeing recommendations to change timing belts at 6-7 years if you dont hit the mileage.
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#3262052 - 01/27/14 09:40 PM Re: 2001 golf reliability [Re: spasm3]
dareo Offline


Registered: 10/17/07
Posts: 442
Loc: utah
Should be pretty reliable. Crank windows is good on those, less breakage. i wouldn't be excited about it unless it was like 4 grand or so. Don't put too much stock in the mileage. It could have sat a lot, short tripped a lot, ect. I'd rather drive my 297k tdi jetta than a 2.0 with 40k on it. The diesels have been seen hitting odometer limits (1 million km) and still going; so the chassis is proven.

They hold up very well in crashes for its age.

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