18th Jul 2008, 19:17


I have problems with my 2000 X reg Polo ever since I bought it a month ago second hand; if only I had read this forum first.

Problems being experienced are same to those described, and the problem giving me sleepless nights is the gears, as it makes that dread crunching noise every time I engage the 1st gear. I have been told it's the clutch, but after reading these reviews, I think it might be the pedal box.

So anybody have any ideas on costs? As I just used all my savings to get this car, and as I'm a student, I'm constantly skint.

By the way has anyone else contacted VW UK to see if they will repair in good will?

3rd Aug 2008, 11:12


I have a 1998 1.4CL Polo.

I love the car, but of course it has its faults:

- Water in the foot-wells if left on a downwards slope

- Car cuts out when slowing for a junction/ traffic lights

- Aerial signal is very poor

- Passenger window stopped working fully <-- FIXED - I took the door panel off (very easy just take your time) and found that a clip had broken, so I glued it together.

Any ideas about the water or why it cuts out?

Cheers all.

5th Aug 2008, 08:12

I have a W plate 1.4 Polo and it has all gone wrong! I've had the car for a couple of years and in that time have had full service & MOT's by a main VW garage (first one cost c.£500).

The gears have always been "crunchy", but this is my first car and I thought I was just releasing the clutch too early.

Recently, coming off an hour long motorway drive, trying to shift into fourth gear, the gear wouldn't go in, it wouldn't go into any gear. It was like there was something blocking it.

This was miles away from home, so I took it to a garage the rescue driver recommended (married to Mrs. Clutch), who told me there was no point in them fixing it, because the clutch pedal box had gone and VW fix it for free!

I then got it towed to the VW garage (£150), with the VW people saying "whoa there, this is the first I've heard of this, We only offer goodwill to 51 plate cars". Spoke to the customer "care" people who were about as useful as a walking stick in an ocean - not very.

It seems to me that VW know about the problem and don't like to admit it. Loyalty in getting services, MOT's from VW count for nothing.

I probably will buy another VW Polo when I'm older and a bit richer, so I can leave it iLlegally parked and have the pleasure of watching it being towed away - and then CRUSHED!!!

8th Aug 2008, 17:21

Hi, I own a 98 Polo 1.4. The pedal box has gone. Is it covered under warranty?

28th Aug 2008, 06:59

Gearbox troubles: a cautionary tale, so take note, and get someone to check your gearbox oil!

Back in March of this year, I bought a V.W. Polo 1.4, manual, 'P' reg., in very nice condition and with a full service history, only c. 75,000 miles on the clock, hoping/expecting this to be a good little runner for the next few years at least.

I had had a Polo before, some years back, but since then have preferred Japanese makes or Peugeot. That said, this looked like a really good buy at the time, and I was looking forward to some of the famous V.W. reliability again.

No such luck! I had a couple of minor problems (leaky oil gland, thermostat) which were a nuisance, but cheap enough to fix.

Then, out of the blue, after a long drive, the gears would not engage properly at some traffic lights, and a nasty grating and whirring-whining sound started. I managed to engage 2nd, and then the other gears seemed to follow okay, and nursed the car home.

I got it listened to by a mechanic the following morning, who suggested it might be clutch linkages, but since the problem seemed to have disappeared completely, we agreed just to see how it went for a bit, and come back if the problem recurred.

I then went on holiday in Cornwall/Devon for fortnight, and had no problems whatsoever. BUT, on my way back home - a long drive again - the gear popped out of 5th while on the motorway, and the whirring/whining started again. The gear change became more and more difficult, especially when trying to change down. The grating sound started up again as well, most evident at idle, and the car was very difficult to engage in either 1st or reverse. It finally packed up completely just after I got home, with the gearbox completely jammed, so that the car would not move forward or back, even with the clutch fully depressed. I then got it towed to a garage.

The verdict: the gearbox had somehow drained itself of oil, and then ground itself slowly to bits, so that by the end, it was trying to engage in two gears simultaneously. The casing is also damaged, so a recon. is out of the question, and given the combined costs of repair, labour etc., the car is probably a write off.

Moral: don't accept the 'simpler' explanations (clutch linkages etc.) without getting the gearbox oil checked first.

Given the other people's comments about V.W. gearbox and related troubles, I doubt I shall be buying VW again for a while...

7th Sep 2008, 16:29

I bought my 2000 polo 1.4 TDI two days ago, picked it up and drove it home fine, next day had trouble getting fourth gear up or down. After reading the comments on this site it looks like the pedal box has cracked, I will check tomorrow. many thanks to all that have posted comments on here, I'm just glad I'm not the only one having trouble.

10th Oct 2008, 13:48

I have a 2001 1.4 se Polo. It's done 56000 miles and I've experienced problems with crunching gears etc.

Today, (1 month after new clutch and cable) I'm informed that the pedal box is broken by my local (non VW) garage.

Could I get this fixed FOC by VW?

Does anyone else have experiences of a 'Good' outcome under similar conditions?

Many Thanks!

28th Oct 2008, 18:18

My son has a 2001 (face-lift) VW Polo 1.4ltr, manual, 6NZ chassis. His car has suffered from most of the above including the pedal box and gearbox recon.

The electrics that run through the door are also a problem because the wires break in their sleeve at the door hinges. This causes speakers to fail, electric windows and mirrors to fail as well as the window switches to melt causing a very serious fire risk. The connections at the door hinge position can be unplugged, the sleeve drawn back and soldered at least this has fixed my son's for time being.

The window runners have also both failed. One has been recently replaced. The cause of this failure is once again the shoddy materials used and the poor workmanship in putting them together.

VW's main importer did put out a circular regarding the broken pedal boxes. They sent this to all their agents. However, the Agents keep quiet about this and are happy to charge £650 to £700 to fix it.

The handbrake lever suffers a similar fault to the pedal box but is somewhat easier to rectify (but not for everyone). The lever housing is spot welded to the tunnel. Unfortunately it is not done well and the housing soon breaks the welds. However, with some hefty interior stripping this can be welded in the way it should have been in the first place.

Water flooding in the back seating area and floor wells was caused by the feed pipe for the rear window washer coming apart behind the rear nearside panel. The pipe is simply too short and as a result is under constant strain, eventually pulling apart.

Little over 1 year ago the gearbox had to be rebuilt because of the crunching reverse gear syndrome. Once out it could be seen that the thrust race and pressure plate were again beginning to break up. This would be the second time that the fingers had broken of the pressure plate and the thrust race had fallen to bits. Each time a Sachs unit has been installed. The firm who rebuilt the gearbox had someone else remove the box, install the clutch and reassemble the car. He was pretty slow taking in all 3 days to refit it.

This weekend the car started a clonking noise as it was being driven, in gear and along a straight road. My Son immediately parked up and we later towed it home. When I looked underneath the car I found to my horror that the drive-shaft was completely away from the gearbox. All the bolts were still in the inner CV joint housing though bent or broken. I replaced the bolts etc and refitted shaft but now it has no drive, only grumbling when put into gear.

Can someone tell me if the box is again knackered or by some miracle there is something else that could cure the problem? Gary.