Volkswagen Golf Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the Volkswagen Golf as reported by 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 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.

Heater core leaks are common in this model, more so if the wrong anti-freeze/coolant is used in the cooling system.

Ignition wire breakdown is common, resulting in misfires.

An engine coolant leak may develop, most commonly from the water pump. The valve cover gasket is also prone to leaking engine oil.


An ignition coil or spark plug may fail unexpectedly resulting in an engine misfire and possible illumination of the Check Engine Light. Vehicles equipped with spark plug wires may also develop a misfire caused by a failed spark plug wire.


The Check Engine Light may illuminate as a result of a oxygen sensor and coolant temperature sensor fail. Replacement if the failed part will be necessary to correct this issue.

Throttle body failure is not uncommon and can lead to shifting issues with the automatic transmission and other drivability concerns.

Head gasket failure is common on higher mileage vehicles.

Extensive transmission damage can occur in some of the automatic transmission models when the transmission oil cooler fails and allows coolant to mix with the automatic transmission fluid.

To ensure longevity of the engine, our technicians recommend to follow the maintenance schedule for the timing belt.

Cars using biofuel typically have problems with injection pump failures; symptoms can include a "no start" condition or external pump leaks.

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.

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

Glow plug failure is common and results in extended crank time when the engine is cold.