Oil smell inside the car: common problem, the crankcase breather pipe splits and leaks oil onto the exhaust manifold heat-shield.
Oil leaking from around the head gasket and sump gasket: another common problem. Keeping an eye on the oil level, no real problems yet.
Small coolant leak near front of engine: possibly from around the thermostat sensor housing. Again, watching the level, but nothing terminal yet.
ABS warning light on constantly after start up: another common fault. Mine needed x2 ABS rear sensors to rectify.
Front indicators and fog lights let water in: cheap after market ones. Originals would have been fine probably.
It's probably a bit unfair of me to comment on the VR6 just yet, as I have only had it a short time, but it excites me so much.
There's a lot wrong with the car, but what would you expect from this 15 year old future classic? My previous car, a 1998 Mondeo ST24, was in better shape as far as not having any engine troubles, but the body work was rusting from the inside out, and I really can't find a rusty bit on my car at all! Good old VW.
This car is not going to be a Ferrari beater, but it's a damn sight quicker than a lot of these more modern so called "Hot hatches". The 0-60s of around 7 seconds flat is good, but what I love is the 0-50 times for this car, that hardly anyone ever mentions.
It does 0-50mph in approximately 5.4 seconds!!
The long geared third is why the 0-60 time is so poor.
There are a lot of common faults, and I'm finding more each day, but at least it's an evil I know, and because so many people have come across these before, fault diagnosis can be simple. The VR6 owners club website is a must visit for any VR6 owner. A massive wealth of information and help. www.vr6oc.com, thanks.
Dealer parts are expensive, but VW are quality and I wouldn't expect anything else from them. Try GSF car parts (German, French & Swedish) for cheap quality parts. They have loads of outlets country wide.
To sum up so far, I love the Golf VR6, but be careful buying one, as they're getting on, and be prepared to sink some money into it. But with people paying £3000 plus for poxy Saxos, Clios and things, I'd much rather spend £1500-£2000 on a VR6, do it up a little, and beat them at the lights!