Heater core leaks are common in this model, more so if the wrong anti-freeze/coolant is used in the cooling system.
Volkswagen GTI Problem Reports
RepairPal Verified Volkswagen GTI Problem Reports
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.
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.
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.
Condensation in the heater case may cause a musty odor from the heating, ventilation and AC (HVAC) system after sitting for two hours or more. Our technicians tell us that a cleaner is available for the heater case and the drain system should be checked for debris.
A coolant leak may develop after oil filter replacement. The coolant o-ring seal can be damaged if the oil filter housing turns when removing or installing the oil filter. The recommended procedure is to hold the filter housing when tightening or loosening the oil filter.
Ignition wire breakdown is common, resulting in misfires.
Throttle body failure is not uncommon and can lead to shifting issues with the automatic transmission and other drivability concerns.
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.
Reverse gear failures and noise in the manual transmission models are common.