I have a 1997 Polo Classic and I experienced the same problems with the locks, clutch and the windows, but the worst of them all is the air-con. I had it fixed twice at the only authorized service center here in Metro Manila. They charged me $500 each time I had it fixed. They claim that the high cost is due to expensive parts, but to spend $1000 without even replacing the compressor is a bit too much. Yes! the $1000 did not include the compressor. I think only the filter and the valve. They said that if they had to replace the compressor it would cost me $1500 if a want the original. As to my windows, when the front passenger window and the 2 rear windows broke down they quoted me $550 for the 3 windows. It was too much for me so I only asked them to close the windows securely so it will not fall until I decide to have it fixed. Luckily I was able to find someone who knows how to fix it at a lower price, way lower than what was quoted to me by the authorized service center. These are just some of the problems I experienced, but I guess it goes with the car's age. Any car that's 6 yrs old definitely has it's own problems. Maintenance is definitely one of the disadvantages of buying a VW in the Philippines. Having only one authorized service center with mile high prices will surely stress you out. I really hope that the after sales service of VW will improve because I intend to keep my classic!
I'm from the Philippines too and whoever suggested the auto supply shop in Espana corner Maceda, THANK YOU. I've been spending unrealistic bills servicing my Polo at the authorized VW service center in Edsa, but now, I can get better priced parts and access to free lance mechanics who know the VW's quirks. My Polo really hasn't given me any problems except for the power windows (I got this fixed at espana for a fraction of what Edsa was charging me!). Other problems: on two occasions, the throttle body/gasket leaked, causing rough idle and uneven revving, which usually means it's time to replace it (I think it's an effect of the Philippine's warm and humid climate causing the throttle gasket to deform). But that's it for complaints. What I like about it? I really love this car and I absolutely love the handling and ride. It's firm compared to Japanese alternatives, the steering wheel is perfectly sized and has good if slightly rubbery feel. I up-sized my car's wheels to 16 inches with 50 series tires and there hasn't been any significant detriment to ride quality - but it does wonders to the car's looks and increases its stability especially in cornering. It's a pleasure to own; the car doors thunk with solidity and there's a lot of quality and ergonomic/industrial design in the details. However, it's small and I don't think it makes a comfortable first car for a family. Best to treat it as your personal everyday car/baby and have a bigger car or van for the occasional family trip. And the last thing I like about it is, in the streets of Manila, it's different and is set apart from the regular Civics and Corollas you see everywhere.
I am also from the Philippines. The polo classic is a great car to have. A used one is really cheap. I have one now for about 2 years. Bought used.
Just budget a few thousands for all repairs and the car will be good to you for years.
Great suspension, engine is OK, electricals are great too plus the original aircon is really cold.
The auto supply store in Maceda corner Espana Street is called Carabelle Enterprises (that's really how it's spelled). Call them at 732-7753. They usually have a good stock of Polo Classic parts. There are a couple of mechanics who can do quick repairs hanging around the store, though I think the mechanics overcharge if they think you're loaded. The next door shop specializes in aircon and they do conversions for Polo Classic. I had mine converted complete for 21,000 with new compressor and thermostat. Your experience with ACA sounds good, and I do think the price for the clutch they quoted might not be that bad, but don't know how much Carabelle charges for it. Anyway, good to know I could go to ACA as an alternative.
I bought a second-hand VW Polo Classic from a nice lady six months ago and so far the only troubles my baby caused me are the typical window and lock problems. Just recently though, it gave me a really nerve wracking air-con headache. Prior to my long trip to Baguio, I got my car's AC system fixed, which unfortunately included a change of compressor (aaargh!) anyway, it was running real smooth for a week, but just when I needed some cool air while traversing the oh-so-long MacArthur Hi-way, it gave up on me. So I went to the mechanic and demanded that it be fixed, so they just loaded it with freon, and asked me to observe it a couple weeks...aargh! But the nice thing about my scar-faced baby (I kinda had a few "encounters") is that it's totally dependable especially when we were climbing the steep roads of Baguio, initially you may have doubts about it getting over the first steep climb, but just like the little train that could, it didn't let me down.
Thanks to the guys who shared the Espana Maceda Polo Haven and the Singapore supplier, I just may go there one of these days. Over-all I love my polo, it ain't bad for a first car especially for a girl, and it sure is one hell of a first car. Gotta love it.
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I just got my polo 97. gosh! I am so happy with it! but yes the clutch and power windows are the only problems I have.
I love driving my polo classic..it's a 97 model.. simply great..suspension...the torque..amazing!
It was in 2002 when I purchased from a first owner a 1997 Polo Classic distributed here in the Philippines. I was amazed knowing that all of the original parts are still intact and are still working well except for the clutch. After replacing the clutch assembly, I must admit I am satisfied with the overall performance of the car as compared with my other imported branded cars (with no offense, please). The body doesn't bear any rust and the suspensions are perfect.
I just want to request from the Philippines Service Center to provide us the service for the alignment of the front tires when needed. There were times they say, their software for the Polo Classic Alignment is not working. I also agree with other people's comment about the maintenance of the airconditioning which sometimes considered as an agony of the technicians and, an agony of the owners due to the high cost of the service. A mere cleaning of the cooling system will entail you to wait for 5 working days, because technicians must need to remove the whole dashboard just to clean the evaporator.
Generally, I would say that the performance of the Polo Classic is astounding. You just need to be very careful in operating the Power Windows and its Clutch. I just hope, and I'm sure most of the Philippine Polo Classic Owners would agree, that the parts of this car be rampantly available and most of all, be offered cheap as almost equal to the Korean & Japanese car parts.