2004 Volkswagen Golf TDI Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the 2004 Volkswagen Golf TDI 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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14
Known Problems

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

The 2.0L TDI engine used in the Volkswagen Golf TDI very commonly faces camshaft lobe wear issues causing:

-Pronounced loss of power

-Backfire through the intake (heard under the hood)

-Rough vibrations while the engine is running

-decreased fuel economy

- OBD trouble code P0101

Correction for this issue requires substantial internal engine work including replacement of the camshaft, hydraulic lifters, and possibly fuel injectors

To help avoid this issue, ensure you are using the correct oil for your engine, as listed in your owners manual. 

Engine oil leaks are common from the valve cover gaskets and camshaft chain tensioner gasket.

To avoid sludge accumulation inside the engine, our technicians recommend using the proper synthetic oil with the appropriate oil filter.

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 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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

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

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