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2005 Volkswagen Golf Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the 2005 Volkswagen Golf 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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17
Known Problems

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

The mass air flow (MAF) sensor may fail, resulting in drivability issues and/or illumination of the Check Engine Light.

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

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

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

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.

A dirty or failed throttle body can cause various drivability issues and illumination of the Check Engine Light.

The Check Engine Light may illuminate because of evaporative (EVAP) emission failures and/or intake manifold vacuum leaks.

Due to an ignition component and/or engine coolant temperature sensor failure, the Check Engine Light may illuminate. Replacement of the failed component will be necessary to correct this concern.

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

The engine may develop an overheating condition due to a damaged water pump impeller. Our technicians tell us the repair should include replacement of the water pump, thermostat, and flushing the cooling system.

Drivers of the Volkswagen Golf 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 carcc 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.

A coolant leak may develop after oil filter replacement. When tightening or loosening the oil filter the filter housing may turn damaging the coolant o-ring seal. The recommended procedure is to hold the filter housing when tightening or loosening the oil filter.

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