1997 Volkswagen Golf GTS 1.8i from South Africa




All these things were replaced between 220000km and 250000km.

Original clutch was replaced (Gearbox seals perished leaking oil into the clutch plates)

Brake equalizer valve (Failed)

Front brake disks and pads (Worn)

Water pump (Failed)

Driver door lock (Failed)

Oil pressure sensor (Leaking oil)

Exhaust front pipe (Broke off)

Engine mountings (Worn)

Tie rod ends and ball joints (Worn, rough driving conditions)

Electric starter coil (Cracked)

My right bolster on the drivers side has worn badly. (Common)

Suspension has an irritating knock which apparently is a loose assembly spot weld. Probably caused from the many potholes I have hit.

I seem to replace my rear wheel bearings every year and no one can tell me why.

General Comments:

Although I have spent a small fortune on repairing this car I still feel that these cars offer good value, since other vehicles (apart from Toyota) do not have the same comfort and qualtiy of a 7 year old car with 300000 K's.

The car has aged beautifully, it still has a very modern look and not a spot of rust.

OEM Parts from the dealer are ridiculously expensive, especially if there is no pirate part available. 2nd hand spares are also relatively easy to come by.

This car is reasonably fuel efficient.

Brakes are not the greatest, but that has been VW's fault even before the MK3's.

The engine uses very little oil.

All in all a good quality vehicle which bears testament to the saying: "They don't make them like they used to!"

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th October, 2004

27th Aug 2008, 08:04

I own a 1996 GTS, had a 1993 GTI before, best trade I ever made.

1997 Volkswagen Golf GL 4 cylinder 2.0L from North America


I am concerned about its reliability and recent costly maintenance


Problems starting car.

Engine and air bag lights would go on and off.

Replaced starter motor.

Replaced distributor and reset timer.

Coolant needed replenishing more frequently.

Removed and replaced radiator assembly and coolant.

Replaced battery.

Replaced front upper strut mounts and bearings.

Replaced lower ball-joints.

Replaced exhaust from catalytic converter back.

Replaced catalytic converter two years prior.

Replaced spark plugs.

Ignition wire set.

General Comments:

Until recently, car was reliable and required few repairs other than regular maintenance.

However, in the last two months I have had to be towed a couple of times to service car and have many parts removed and replaced. This cost a little over $3,000 Canadian.

Parts are expensive.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 24th September, 2004

14th Apr 2005, 21:56

HI, I have a 1997 Golf GL in Australia and although I love the car and it drives well, it is now on its 3rd gear box. I agree the parts are expensive and after 167k kilometres it seems to continually need repairs. Now the airbag light is always on which I assume will cost even more money to fix.

1997 Volkswagen Golf K2 1.8 Gasoline from North America


Well, I really don't know what to say! It is both good and bad, Good on gas, but Repairs are pricy!


Alright here we go!

Wheel bearing has gone.

Idling Pulley replaced.

Terrible Ticking coming from exhaust manifold.

Oil buzzer and warning light comes on when engine reved higher or it is warm out.

Coolant hose turned to dust.

Passenger seat is terrible, metal things are poking out of foam.

Both headlights broken, Foglights broken.

Entire rear lighting system went haywire.

Lots of rust for the year, around the license plate, and above the windshield.

Door lock nob's keep breaking off?

Ignition switch went.

E-Brake hardly works, can't tighten it!

Think that's about it, but I may be forgetting something!

General Comments:

Well, performance is dissappointing, in first gear its alright, but then blah, terrible.

I also dislike the suspension, even hitting a small bump on the hi way cause the car to jump around, and start bouncing.

Interior is alright, seats are falling apart.

Not very much luggage space, due to large stereo, but that is my fault!

Gas Mileage is pretty good as long as I drive like a 90year old. once you start to rev it up, you can almost see the gas gauge go down.

But my biggest probley is that ticking manifold, some people say I need new gaskets, but I understand they were already replaced twice, and other people say that there is a bolt broken off and a 1/4 inch gap that is leaking, but I can't see this?

If anyone has any suggestions about the Manifold I would appreciate some help Plz.

Oh the rusting is making me mad, this car isn't that old.

And the rear wiper doesn't shoot out fluid very well, it just sprinkles it out!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 5th September, 2004

9th Feb 2005, 12:48

Regarding your ticking noise problem- I had the same dilemma and had it diagnosed as a defective crankshaft oil seal. I had that fixed and the noise disappeared! Hope that helps!

20th Aug 2007, 21:59

Sounds like you bought a beat up car.