A low performance starter that won't stop
Persistent loss of power, jerkiness and misfire when cruising at 50+ miles per hour. Discovered 20 minutes after buying the car. Caused by broken link on air temperature regulator flap in the inlet of the air filter housing. DIY fix with a picture hook. £0 cost.
As with all Golf/Polos of this age its worth checking that all vacuum tubes around carburettor and air intake are not split and have a good tight fit onto each inlet tube. I got about 25cm of vacuum tubing from my local VW specialist (who refused to take any payment) and replaced all tube ends.
Faulty contacts on windscreen washer control arm on steering column. Had to strip and adjust copper contacts.
Brakes are terrible. The car stopped slightly better after changing flexible brake hoses during as part of MOT.
Oil leaks from rocker cover. Check before buying new gasket as leak may be from the fuel pump mounting seal. The fuel pump mounting seal costs £1.75 and is as easy to replace as the rocker cover gasket which costs £17.50.
Instrument panel bulb not working cheap (£2) but irritating to fix.
Also temperature gauge works intermittently. Previous owner had replace thermostat and sender unit. I cleaned the voltage regulator contact on the top back of the instrument panel and the gauge worked for a bit, but has gone on strike again.
Replaced boot on CV joint for MOT. £Not much.
Topped up 1/2 a litre of oil.
Paintwork is awfull, thinly applied (VW's idea of weight saving?), faded and streaky. The body work is bubbling around the sills.
The car is not fast, but it is light and nippy and the engine feels unburstable and revs its little heart out. Handling is generally good if tyre pressures set correctly.
But the brakes make progress slow because they never feel as if they are going to stop the car in time.
All things considered, not particularly reliable, but it only cost £150 and has been very cheap to fix and run.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 7th October, 2003