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Volkswagen Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems for 26 Volkswagen models based on complaints from actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.

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Known Problems

The water pump and/or other cooling system may develop a coolant leak. Oil leaking from the  valve cover gasket is also common.

A damaged water pump impeller may cause an engine overheating condition. Our technicians tell us the repair should include replacement of the water pump, thermostat, and flushing the cooling system.

Shifting issues due to internal problems in high mileage automatic transmissions can be difficult to resolve without transmission replacement.

One or both head lights may not work due to premature head light bulb burnout and/or bulb harness failure. Care should be taken to inspect the head light harness connector for damage when replacing bulbs. Damaged connectors should be replaced.

Because of issues with the glow plugs and/or the glow plug wiring harness from the control relay, the Check Engine Light may illuminate. Our technicians tell us there is a service bulletin, not a recall from Volkswagen regarding replacement of the glow plugs on 2004-2005 model years only.

One or more power windows may fail. Our technicians tell us this is commonly due to a failed window regulator which will require replacement.

The flywheel for the 2006-2008 Volkswagen Jetta with the 2.0L Turbo engine is a non-conventional "Dual Mass" flywheel. It is known to make light rattling noise when the engine is cold, and should subside once the engine temperature raises. If the rattle doesn't go away when the engine warms, the flywheel may have failed.

If the dual mass flywheel has failed, the only solution is to replace the flywheel.

Check Engine Light illumination can be related to a catalytic converter fault. Our technicians tell us a re-flash of the ECM may correct the concern. If not, replacement of the catalytic converter may be required.

Condensation may develop in the heater case which can cause a musty odor from the heating, ventilation and AC (HVAC) system.  Our technicians tell us the drain system should be checked for debris. In addition, a cleaner is available for the heater case.

Condensation may develop in the heater case which can cause a musty odor from the heating, ventilation and AC (HVAC) system.  Our technicians tell us a cleaner is available for the heater case. Also, the drain system should be checked for debris.

One or both head lights may not work due to premature head light bulb burnout and/or bulb harness failure. Care should be taken to inspect the head light harness connector for damage when replacing bulbs. Damaged connectors should be replaced.

Drivers of the Volkswagen Golf TDI may experience a clunking noise associated with acceleration from a stop, or downshifting for hard acceleration. This will also be accompanied by a light impact sensation under the drivers feet. Drivers may also notice unexplained changes to their front end alignment while driving. 

This issue is commonly called " VW Subframe Clunk", and is caused by the gradual stretching of the bolts that secure the subframe to the vehicle. The subframe is a large plate that secures to the bottom of the engine bay, and connects the body of the car to the engine and suspension. Over time, the bolts that secure the subframe stretch, allowing the subframe to move and hit the bottom of the car when accelerating.

There are many aftermarket kits that can be installed to correct the issue, and Volkswagen has issued a correction including better bolts, and spacers which fit between the subframe and the car.

Reverse gear failures and noise in the manual transmission models are common.

Erratic turn signal operation can be a result of a failing turn signal flasher relay which will require replacement.

The digital display portion of the instrument cluster may fail. Our technicians tell us the entire instrument cluster will need to be replaced to correct this concern.