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.
Volkswagen Golf TDI Problem Reports
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The water pump may fail resulting in engine overheating and possible timing belt damage. Overheating and/or timing belt failure can result in very expensive engine repairs. As a precaution, it is recommended to inspect the timing belt and water pump at regular intervals.
Heater core leaks are common in this model, more so if the wrong anti-freeze/coolant is used in the cooling system.
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.
Electrical issues that are difficult to diagnose—and sometimes intermittent—are typically due to ground wiring issues. The most troublesome ground locations are under the battery or at the engine.
A musty odor may be noted from the heating, ventilation and AC (HVAC) system after sitting for two hours or more due to condensation in the heater case. Our technicians tell us that a cleaner is available for the heater case and the drain system should be checked for debris.
Reverse gear failures and noise in the manual transmission models are common.
The rear brakes tend to wear out quickly; rotors may need replacement by the first brake job. Our technicians recommend that the brakes be inspected for wear regularly.
Oil and carbon tend to build up, creating restrictions in the intake manifold. Symptoms will be loss of power (sometimes severe) and poor fuel economy.
Shifting issues due to internal problems in high mileage automatic transmissions can be difficult to resolve without transmission replacement.
To ensure longevity of the engine, our technicians recommend to follow the maintenance schedule for the timing belt.