VW Golf estate – what to look out for?

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  • VW Golf estate – what to look out for?
  • Premier Icon somouk

    I’m guessing based on the ages it will be a Mk 4 so All the standard Mk 4 stuff really, there is nothing the estate had that the standard cars don’t.

    Be sure it has full history, belt changes done on time if they have them and watch for wear on the bushings.


    Cheers. Seems like any car <£4-5000 is basically gambling on stuff breaking (or not) in a very expensive way.

    Premier Icon mattstreet

    Diesel? If it’s got an EGR valve, that it’s been replaced/cleaned out at some point – might be old enough to avoid that. + cambelt and water pump as mentioned by somouk.


    Owned a mk4 tdi estate and a hatch version

    The boot on the estate is so much better, flat loading (neat to sit on when change muddy bike shoes ;-), hidden boot hatch space and will hold more than you expect.

    Electric window motors can be an issue.

    Check the squirty works on the rear wiper, costly to replace and is a common fault.

    Some suffer with MAF sensor issues

    Get the water pump swapped for a metal bladed version (plastic was std.) when you have the cambelt done, they can go too.


    Got about £2k to spend and looking for one of these, probably will be about 8-10 years old. Can anyone who’s owned one suggest things that are common failures to look out for?

    Premier Icon cookeaa

    Currently driving a petrol, W reg, mk4 estate.
    Lambda sensors on the exhaust are playing up at the moment (apparently a common issue).

    Had some fun with the worlds most over complicated window winder mechanism a while back.

    Electric solenoid on the boot went a while ago, wasn’t caused by the normal leaky rear wash squirter, never got round to tracing the fault, might do one day…

    Anything you might need to fix or investigate has been covered by some Barry somewhere as mk4s are pretty popular with modders.

    Otherwise no major issues really. Its been a good car.

    Having said that next car won’t be VAG. Dare I say it you’ll probably find more space and comfort in a similar vintage mondeo estate and probably slightly cheaper parts too.


    steering rack likes to die – it should be silent , a dying one will whine.

    they love to eat the inside edges of front tires

    make sure the waterpumps been changed at the belt change – this killed ours.

    central locking can play up

    the leaky washer pipe killed the rear high level brake light.

    youll probably be fine now as the rules been out for a couple years but ours came with the hid light upgrade and we got stung with putting normal lights back in as the factory fit didnt meet the new regs.

    asside from that interior rattle and squeek is normal.

    and understeering like a bag of crap if its a TDI is also normal – people swear they dont …but most of them havnt driven anything that can actually steer.


    Look out for my old hatch, px’d it with no oil in the gearbox as it fell straight out when it was topped up! Good cars, go for the 130 or 150 BHP if you can find one

    Premier Icon bigblackshed

    W reg 2ltr petrol estate here. Good solid car. They do have their faults just like any other really. Water pump and belts on time. Lambda probes, MAS air meter, electric window motor mechanism, central locking are the most common faults.

    Just came back from holiday in Pembroke to Hereford. 4 of us, all loaded up. Drove steady. 47mpg from a 2ltr petrol. Can’t justify getting rid.

    Premier Icon cookeaa

    and understeering like a bag of crap if its a TDI is also normal – people swear they dont …but most of them havnt driven anything that can actually steer.

    Actually that’s very much the same with the petrol, possibly worse. Probably because its a bit rear heavy to start with and with even less mass in the engine bay its not too fond of the corners. But then its not the kind of vehicle you go for “ultimate driving pleasure” its a practical car with a bit more load capacity.


    Some relevant comment on a thread I started a few months ago here. (Ended up buying a petrol civic in the end!)

    Premier Icon mikewsmith

    ***STW Cliche***

    Same platform as the Octavia estate which is a lot more common. Could well get a bit more choice/spec for your money.


    My bargain £1500 130 tdi estate now has an ominous dmf rattle
    Which will cost half the price of the car to fix , if I bother

    Tdi can also suffer with the tandum diesel pump leaking from the pump cover
    Some have managed to seal it other wise £ 300 for a new pump

    For the space wish I got the slightly bigger passat estate

    My wife has one, a mk4. Its got 125k on the clock with no major bills yet, and still returns 50+ mpg on a run. So no complaints.

    As people have said, whilst the boot is a good shape for loading, its not actually THAT big. My bike only fits in with front wheel removed.
    It’s dull to drive. Understeers terribly and doesnt feel nice to steer. The 130 tdi has a nice wave of torque for overtaking but its a long wait for the turbo kick when you plant your foot.

    If those dont sound like big issues to you, then its been perfectly adequate for us. As people have said, a Mondeo/Passat is far bigger, and an Octavia cheaper.

    Premier Icon jimmy

    What Trail_Rat said…

    I love mine and pay probably £500/year on one ‘big job’ to keep it going. Over the last few years the radiator was replaced, gearbox overhauled, just done cambelt & water pump and wheel bearings are due to be replaced next. Otherwise, brakes & tyres usual stuff.

    The size and shape is perfect, engine runs great, good economy (easy 50+mpg on cruising). Don’t plan on giving her up yet (145k miles, aiming for 200k)!

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