4th Mar 2009, 15:00

I purchased a VW 1.4 Polo in February last year that came with a 3 month warranty. I had had the car for 15 weeks when I was doing 70mph on the motorway when the EPC lights came on and the power died. I had to call breakdown recovery and took it to the garage the following day. The repair work ended up costing me £1585.

Apparently the secondary belt had jumped a tooth causing several valves in the engine to become bent. The car had only done around 35,000 miles :(

I have since had various problems with the car, none too major, but since buying the car I have spent well over £2000 on repairs. Now, the ABS light has come on twice in the past week and I can forsee more expense coming on :(

10th Mar 2009, 13:49

Hi all,

I have a 2000 VW Polo and it does not work anymore... EPC light on, just brought it back from the garage, paid £240 to have it fixed (the car lost power and couldn't change gear... it stalls in 1st gear... horrible noise coming from engine...)

As soon as I left the garage, the car won't go again, they looked at it again, they said it needs a new piece that cost £316... I am in tears.

18th Mar 2009, 06:29

Hi All.

I have a 57 1.2 L Polo that I bought from a VW dealer less than 3 months ago.

Recently, the power steering light starting coming on and then I lose the power steering, the ABS light flashes and the handbrake light comes on. Sometimes the fuel low beep starts when there is plenty of petrol. It was happening once a week, and could be reset by turning the engine off and back on again. Then it started happening more frequently.

I called the roadside assistance, someone came out and surprise surprise they could not find the fault (and of course, the problem wasn't happening with him there). He tightened everything and left, and the car was OK for a few weeks.

I lost the power steering again on Saturday and the clock reset itself. I turned the engine off and on again, and took it straight to a VW garage... they have had it for 4 days and are about to return it as they cannot find a fault. Anyone else with the same problem?

23rd Mar 2009, 18:57

I am looking to buy a first car, and I thought VW's were supposed to be reliable... I was wondering if these problems are dependent the different models? and if so, what would be the most reliable model to buy?

Many thanks.

27th Mar 2009, 04:04

Re; which models are most reliable... it's quite easy really, BUY A TOYOTA YARIS.

28th Mar 2009, 07:59

Looking at the comments for the Polo, it seems the quality is not as it used to be - I had an 85 Polo which was very well built, but my 96 model rusted and fell to bits, my friend's 03 model is the worst car he ever bought as it is so unreliable.

He has removed the L from the badge so it now reads PO O...!!

The Yaris is good, but well recognised so pricey secondhand - look at Daihatsu YRV or Sirion for a 100% reliable alternative to the Polo. Not as premium inside, but better engineered and lasts very well.

19th Jun 2009, 22:14

I have recently purchased a 1996 VW Polo 1.4 (67,000 on clock). Have to say it is in immaculate condition on the outside, BUT having a round trip of 120 miles yesterday I noticed some strange things!

There is a clunking noise in the back, nearside tyre area normally when changing gear - sounds like something is rattling in boot (did check and no nothing there).

There is a slight pull to the left, but I guess that could be the tracking?

I also noticed it didn't seem to like going at 70 on motorway, as that seemed to cause it to 'whine', so continued at 55 mph. I do a lot of driving so a bit worried now.

As yet, I have had no lights come on! The dealer has told me to bring the car into him on Monday, but as I am not a mechanic he could fob me off with any old story.

Anyone any idea what the 'clunking' could be (basically so I could sound like I know what I am talking about when I see the dealer)!

Thanks J.

17th Jul 2009, 06:20

That droning noise you report could be a wheel bearing, which will increase in noise with speed. I'd suggest getting it checked out and keeping your speed low, because if the bearing completely fails, the wheel will seize solid and could cause a nasty accident at high speed!!

Not sure why it doesn't want to do 70mph though?!



22nd Jul 2009, 05:13

Many many mentions in the comments page here of EPC light being on. Mine's been on solid for two years with no issue. Now I shouldn't really run a car like this as that light may well be masking a true issue, but it's been through two services since coming on and I've specifically asked the mechanics to reset it, but despite being specialist VW guys, they can't do so!

So I just ignore the EPC.

Anyway, it's not that you should be worried about, it's the clutch pedal. If it creaks or becomes stiff (and it probably will) get it spot-welded at any garage.

Has had issues with starting after short trips/short shops. Apparently this is a faulty temp sender (sensor) and is such a common fault you should budget for it. You can swap one out yourself for £20 if you don't mind getting your fingers dirty.

4th Sep 2009, 21:13

Hello, I have a 2003 VW Polo, which I have owned for 3 years now. It's been a great reliable car all this time up until yesterday when I went out to take my partner to work, when I started it, the car was very chuggy, and the engine light was flashing. Once I got the car out of the drive, I noticed no power whatsoever! The car would not go anymore than 30 mph. Now from previous experience from a Fiesta I owned, the same symptoms are there to suggest that one of the cylinders may not be working, through reading all these comments, I'm now aware that this appears to be a common fault with these cars. It's booked in with the garage for Monday morning, and I am worried sick about how much this is going to cost!! Suppose I'm just another victim of the now infamous flashing EPC.

5th Sep 2009, 15:06

I also have a 2003 Polo, and 12 months ago my EPC light came on and the car lost power. I brought it back to the main dealers and they changed the 3 cylinders without charge, as they said Volkswagen recognised it as a fault! I was pleased that I did not have to foot the bill, but in the last few weeks I am noticing warning signs... vibrating and loss of power. Will I be entitled to demand the main dealers sort it out without cost?

7th Sep 2009, 15:31

I purchased a 2002 Polo Sport 1.9TDI brand new after suffering a head on crash with a truck in my previous '51' plate Polo.

However, the purchase of this car was only the beginning of a long journey, usually between my home and the main dealer, some 25+ miles away.

Having now covered in excess of 205,000 miles in it, the first few years were a nightmare and had similar faults to those named here.

So far it has been returned for a new headlight, new engine mounts, new anti-roll bar (design flaw), 3 new alternators (just outside warranty at 66k miles) due to a known fault that chafes the linking cable over the gearbox and VW agreed to partially pay for the replacements, air vent blowing hot air all the time regardless of temp setting, and this turned out to be a motor for a flap behind the dashboard.

My ABS warning lamp came on and I was advised that I needed a new ABS pump at a cost of £750+. I visited 2 different dealers, and at the 2nd dealer where I paid a £50 diagnosis fee for the 2nd opinion, I was told this would be deducted from the cost if I had the pump fitted. Not happy with a 4 year old car (at the time) needing a new ABS pump, I visited an independent VW trained mechanic, who quickly diagnosed that the ECU could not talk to the ABS control unit, as the ABS pump actually had no power. A further check showed that the power supply cable that leads down the front of the battery had in fact corroded. A repair to this and a 1hr labour charge of £45 saw me on my way.

Dealer mechanics are trained to repeat what the Computer tells them, and at no point is the dealer's word to be taken as gospel, as their diagnosis is often flawed.

My dealings with VW UK and other dealerships extend much further than this, but I am appalled by VW UK's stance and also by the poor standards of customer service delivered by their dealerships.

Just be aware that most of the Polos going back as far as 1992 were built in either Spain or Portugal, and the build quality is appalling. Mine was back into the bodyshop after just 1 day due to the tailgate and nearside doors not having been hung correctly. Even now, after 205k miles, I am revisiting VW to look into their 12 year anti corrosion warranty to see if it holds up, as my front wheel arches have now bubbled up and gone rusty, and the gaps between the front wings, A-Pillars and bonnet are back to the primer/undercoat. Yes my Polo was one of the early releases of this model, but the build quality issues did not go away through 2003-2006.

As a lifelong VW/AUDI driver, my next vehicle will probably be Toyota or maybe even a Ford. Other manufacturers appear to have stepped up their game, while VW seem to have used and abused their reputation for quality that they gained in the 80's.

Buyer Beware!