My 01 Golf 1.8 was chipped and driven hard during the 40K miles it spent with me. I still track the VIN and it was last registered in April with over 211K miles.
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Forgot to mention, the 1.8T in my TT went strong up to 152k miles, the only reason the timing belt tensioner crapped out was because I swapped to manual one and didn't adjust it properly, it's an excuse to build a new engine but there was nothing wrong with it up until my mistake screwed it up. I replaced coilpacks once, the year after I bought it, and then never even looked at them again. A lot of the BS comes from the coilpacks and the sludging issues that was on the early longitudinal engines, but I think a lot of it is just because people were too lazy to keep up with maintenance and they assume they could do whatever they wanted for 200,000 miles, and just COULDN'T BELIEVE a car could need maintenance.
Even in the land of rust (and they do get minor rust eventually) tons of Mk IVs around. They're holding up pretty well... and not just the 2.slow "City" models that they sold for years after the Mk V was on sale.
Also in surprisingly good shape for their age:
Cavalier & Sunfire
1st-gen Matrix and Vibe
Caliber, early Compass and Patriot
'06-'13 Impala (still quite a few around but they used to be everywhere!)
various Sentra generations (used to be everywhere)
And 130ish I think on my mk4 which spent 124k+ of those miles tuned and a 120k with a larger than stock turbo.
TT might actually till have a stock coil or two.
Mk4 didn't but I just swapped them out at some point even though only 2 ever failed and it was cylinder 2 both times so likely related to the other upgrades. The early bolt down coils are bullet proof.
100% of the problems outside one window regulator on the mk4 were caused by me, the TT was a hot mess when I got it but at 230k still starts the first time everytime, assuming I left it on the charger.. it has a draw I can't find.
Originally Posted by Captain Picard, Hide and Q
I own 2 mk4 jettas, both tdi's.
2006 jetta wagon tdi with 270,000km and running strong. Needs some general maintenance and the front fenders have been fixed due to rust.
1999 jetta tdi with 65,000 original km. The car is in prestine condition. I'm the second owner of the car.
I also have an mk3 gti with no rust that i have owned for 20 years.
Originally Posted by Boyz in da Park
I still own my 2000 GTI 1.8t bought new in May of that year. Just passed 19 years of ownership. It had window regulator issues, sunroof drain issues, some coolant sensor issue early on and probably some other stuff I can't remember. I still have an outstanding recall for a blinker module I never took care of. My glovebox took longer than others to break. Now all the soft touch is gone and the DS door panel was peeling. The clearcoat (on my rare Flash Red) is peeling, but it's been sitting untouched and uncovered outside for the last 3 years. Mine is an early AWD engine code with the screw down coil packs. They have 120k+ miles on them with no issues. The car was chipped within the first year of ownership and the number of track days on it can be measured in months.
If anyone wants/needs some go-fast bits, let me know. I'm looking to get rid of it.
The 2.7t and early A4/passat 1.8ts with the secondary coil external to the part on the plugs themselves lasted forever, but that ignition module didn't.
In the US none of the transverse applications (mk4) used those, maybe a short time in other countries I forget. For the early transverse here they swapped to the fully self contained bolt down coils on the 1.8ts both VW and Audi. So my old AWD engine code 1.8t Mk4 had very reliable coils, same one as my TT has.
They switched to the push down coils around 01 (technically a split year as far as engine codes) on the 1.8ts on the VWs and some other engines like when the vr6 went from a coilpack to the individual coils (these were a different design/not interchangeable)*, a little later on the 2.7Ts like I have in my allroad. I think the TT 225s might have gone another year or two on the bolt downs. It actually seemed mostly tied to engine management which type of coil it had.
And while there were coil failures, bad batch even (allegedly), recall/TSB whatever it was at the time. LOTS of the the issues blamed on coils were as simple as bad, wrong, or misgapped plugs on a turbo motor only misfiring under heavy load/boost. I would say 9 out of the 10 misfires I saw blamed on coils were that the other 1 time would be a car with an actual coil that had failed and was misfiring all the time. 10s of thousands of coils that were perfectly fine were swapped out for no reason. Since plugs were not done and it stressed the new coil.. it too had issues sooner than it would have had the car properly been diagnosed and repaired in the first place. Some of these coils had "failed" in the sense that they may have dried out and the path of least resistance was the cylinder head not the spark plug causing a misfire, but that is also something that the bad plug could exagerate and the coil would have operated just fine with new plugs. That isn't to say it wouldn't eventually need to be replaced.. just the whole coil thing is actually way blown out of proportion by fear and misdiagnosis. My mk4 cylinder coil failures I mentioned before were actually only of this later kind, never an actual failure just arcing under high load/boost... something even spark plug wires do, which essentially is the part that failed on the coil on plug coils the "wire".
* the VR6 ones were actually the first to be a real issue from what I saw at the time. Sure 1.8t coils were failing and causing misfires but the 24V Vr6 coils were actually catching on fire and often damaging the harness.
There's a lot of new information there. Now only if I can retain it!
It makes sense to me, too. I see coils blamed all the time for things that have no bearing on their function. Recently on a facebook thread the guy was asking for advice and said in the initial post that he wasn't getting fuel past the fuel pump. Later he posted that he looked into it further and realized he wasn't getting fuel to the pump. The armchair diagnosticians were tossing out ideas of replacing ignition tune up parts, including the coil.
I didn't know whether to or
Originally Posted by Boyz in da Park
It is always the last thing YOU saw (even professionals plenty of times). If your car didn't' start because it was a coil then it MUST be a coil on the next guys car even if the description is not even close. Don't think that is Human nature, but something close.
I all the time when I see the diagnosis people throw out on forums that have nothing to do with the problem had they just read it. I've also seen the guesser be right, but usually out of luck. I think every VW/audi turbo charged "I have a boost leak" thread ever started in the history of the internet has had someone yell DV within the first 2 posts.
That south main auto repair youtube channel guy points this out all the time, doesn't matter if you have seen it a million times before you still go through the steps. I've self more than once ignoring that advice.
I've seen a handful that have some rust on the bottom of the doors and at the rear fender well areas.
I owned 3 Mk4só2 used 2001 Jetta Wolfsburgs and one new 2004 Golf TDI. The later Mk4s like my 2004 were solid, all the niggling problems arising from cheaping out on subcomponents like coils and window clips were fixed. It even had real cup holders next to the e-brake! I kept buying them for the same reasons others in this thread have already brought up: the chassis is exceptionally solid, the styling is...timeless and most importantly you can find the parts and instructions for any repair online. Almost like the original Beetle...
B6 Passat 3.6 & 4motion Resource Thread
Now: 2008 VW Passat 3.6 4motion Wagon, 2013 Fiat 500 Sport
Then: 1987 Volvo 745GLE, 1989 Volvo 740GL, 1994 Volvo 940T, 1995 Infiniti G20, 2000 VW Passat 1.8T, 2001 VW Jetta Wolfsburg Ed (x2), 2004 VW Golf TDI, 2006 Jetta TDI
Anyway, Iím currently at the point where Iím thinking of moving on. It must be due for brakes, tyres and suspension soon and this will cost more than I could sell it for. Itís full of squeaks and rattles (probably caused by me pulling it apart so many times) and it gives me coolant level warnings each morning. It needs the window tint to be re-done. The rear door lock needs to be changed and the front is playing up. Itís also started to burn oil lately and the idle sometimes fluctuates when at low speed (vacuum leak?). Itís a shame because the body is 100% and itís got lots of OEM upgrades.
Iím at the point where Iím looking at the repairs it needs and wondering what else I could buy with the money.
Oh! The battery fuse box gets super hot when I use the ac for extended periods, so thatís something else to diagnose.
As for reliability: aside from a dead battery itís never left me stranded. I donít remember ever doing a coil pack.
Iíve replaced like 6 or 7 door locks. Twice Iíve replaced the rear lock and a front lock has literally failed the next day.
I had to do the sunroof drains and like the others - dirt builds up in the front wheel arches.
Originally Posted by alleghenyman
After taking care of a lot of deferred maintenance my 20th has been pretty trouble free. I had the starter go on me at about 151k miles. Otherwise I just get in and drive.
There is a CEL on though...
I realized the other day I have had this for four years now. Probably one of the longest ownerships I have had of a car.
i misss mine bad.
out of all the car's ive owned, i put the most mileage on my MK4 GLI.
had it from 116K km (72K mi) to 180K km(111K mi) and in that time i only had the t-stat go, window drop down into door, and driver door not locking when pressing lock on fob(knows issue, straight forward fix).
the rest of the work i performed on it was by my choice, and even the were maintenance items.
2010 Mini Cooper Horizon Blue A/T (sold)
2004 Acura TL Satin Silver Metallic A/T (sold)
2005 VW Jetta GLI Blue Lagoon 6-mt (sold)
2007 VW Jetta GLI Candy White DSG (sold)
there are countless ones rolling around here in california still. treat them well and they treat you well. always loved the cars and the platform. i still get tempted every now and again to get another and restore it. out of the 5 i owned, i miss the GLI the most. yes, even more than the R32.
I bought my current MK4 for $500 from a friend running and driving. It's a no-option (except for automatic transmission) 2-door 1999.5 Golf TDI. I manual swapped it and put some junkyard GTI cloth seats in it. I've had to replace both fenders because of the aforementioned rust that happens at the base. Other than that I've had to:
-replace a door lock module in the driver's door
-do the timing belt and water pump
-do a wheel bearing
-replace both rear calipers (and will have to do another soon, I HATE these stupid rear calipers)
-replace a taillight assembly
-replace the fans (both were seized)
Next week I'll be pulling the dashboard out and replacing the heater core and evaporator core. Which from everything I've read will suck badly.
It was $500, has 230k miles on it, and still gets 40-45 mpg around town so I'll probably be stuck with it for the next four years until I'm out of grad school.
I am seeing a lot of people who own the cars now, bought them used, and thus have lower expectations of the car than when they were new. Not everyone, but most of you. I also see some undercurrent of the old chestnut "it's the owner or the maintenance".
I disagree. I bought one new, dealer maintained it, and the car was an absolute nightmare. I am glad your older used Mk4s are serving you well. Those of us who were burned by new Mk4 ownership will never forgive, and never forget. I still think they are POS cars designed to look and feel good, but not be reliable.
I will say they are engineered well in that the bones are solid. But that's about as far as I am willing to go on the Mk4.
Sorry. It's was a bad car, and still is a bad car. The newer Mk4s are undoubtedly better, and might not be worthy of the criticism, but any 99.5 - 2001 is almost always a pile around here.
2018 Toyota Highlander SE AWD, Midnight Black Metallic/Black
2018 Volkswagen Golf R 6-speed, Lapiz Blue/Titan Black
2018 Four Winns H210 / 5.3L Volvo Penta V8 300 / DPS-A Duoprop drive