2004 Volkswagen Golf Is it it worth it?

Tiny
ADEADESINA86
  • MEMBER
  • 2004 VOLKSWAGEN GOLF
  • 67,000 MILES
Hi there,

I bought my first ever car (a 04 VW Golf Mk5) in December 2012 at 64,000 on the clock for £2600. I recently got it serviced and had to replace the timing chain and tensioner.

After servicing, my mechanic found error codes and problems with these: Engine Management System (EMS) was removed, 17748: Cam shaft position sensor, 17441: NOx Sensor and 00562: Oil level sensor G266.

My mechanic suggested I should get the parts needed and just bring it in for fitting to help with costs. So far, the parts I found (excluding the NOx Sensor and EMS) come to £250. He also hinted to me Japanese cars are a lot more reliable and cheaper. To be honest, I really enjoy driving a golf and really like the car, but am I being realistic? My budget is quite low at the moment.

My question is, is it worth keeping my favourite car with these problems (though the parts I found are cheap) or trading it in for a very similar car? (Mazda3, SEAT Altea (2004) or a suggestion?).

Many thanks.

Ade
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Monday, July 8th, 2013 AT 3:53 AM

6 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
You may find this to be different in your country but here in the U.S. VW is one of the least popular cars along with BMW. The main problem is their business practices that cost owners money after the sale. Our most popular domestic brand, General Motors has suffered in recent years from the same reputation resulting in an increasing number of people saying, "never again". Their advertising leans very heavily on finding new first-time buyers because they know many people will not buy another one. It usually has nothing to do with the quality of the product. It's things like not releasing paint codes and service information, requiring you to buy new computer modules through the dealer instead of finding used ones and requiring them to be programmed to your car before they will work, and the outrageous cost of replacement parts when the dealer is the single source supplier.

When it comes to customer-friendly business practices, according to some high-level national independent trainers, Hyundai ranks first and Toyota is second. Chrysler is third, but their opinions are probably skewed by living in the U.S. And Chrysler is a U.S. Brand. Remember, we're not talking quality, reliability, and things like that. I'm referring strictly about how the company views you and your needs when you already own their product. We have a few diehard VW enthusiasts but among the general public, there's a reason we don't see many VWs on the road.

It's not common to hear someone ask if they should get rid of a car because of expected high-cost future repairs. We usually hear those questions after someone has put a lot of money into numerous uncommon repairs. You might consider getting some repair estimates for the same repairs you had done but for different car brands. That will help you judge the relative cost of your repairs you paid for. If you do decide to trade for something else, find out if the engine is of the "interference" design. If it is, and the timing belt breaks, the valves in the engine will be damaged and that turns a simple repair into a very expensive one. I would never own an interference engine. I haven't given up any power in my 1988 minivan daily driver, and if the belt ever breaks, I can just pop on a new one and be on my way in a couple of hours and the cost of about three haircuts.
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Monday, July 8th, 2013 AT 8:41 AM
Tiny
ADEADESINA86
  • MEMBER
WOW, that's a truly amazing and helpful response, I truly appreciate it. You are correct in saying that VW parts are unnecessarily expensive. As this is my first car ever, I think I will take a look around at how much it would cost for me to repair the same parts on another vehicle. I'm steering towards a Japanese car at the moment, but I will definitely take a look around for a car that is cheaper to repair and that doesn't have a interference engine. (I have heard they are a bit of a hassle and costly to repair if the belt breaks.)

Thanks again for your advice, it has been very helpful.
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Monday, July 8th, 2013 AT 9:00 AM
Tiny
EXOVCDS
  • MEMBER
What engine? The only engines to have a timing chain are VR engines. Some engines have a chain that connects the intake and exhaust camshafts.

Your mechanic made a mistake when he changed the chain / belt.

http://wiki.ross-tech.com/wiki/index.php/17748/P1340/004928

"Incorrect correlation" means that the piston to valve timing is incorrect.

Rather than fix the car correctly, he is hoping that you get rid of it ( because he does not know how to fix it).

People are scared of what they don't Know... hence the bad rap. Every car manufacturer has lemons, blame the assembly line workers.

Find someone who can fix your car and you will enjoy it.

I drive a 24 year old BMW ... it keeps going and going and going.

I fix VWs for a living... they keep going and going and going.

Thomas
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Monday, July 8th, 2013 AT 9:31 PM
Tiny
EXOVCDS
  • MEMBER
Caradiodoc, I didn't read your post until now (I skip long replies). So anything that I said above, that you think was aimed at you, was not.

We both want to help.

I Googled the cam code and my reply went from there. I'm ticked off at the guy who can't set timing.

Just making sure that there are no hurt feelings.

Thomas
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Monday, July 8th, 2013 AT 10:11 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
No hurt feelings. I didn't even view your reply in that light. Anybody can own a newer car. I have lots of respect for someone who can keep a 24-year-old anything on the road. My minivan will be dragging a huge tandem axle enclosed trailer to the nation's second largest old car show swap meet in two days. Anything newer with the computer-controlled transmission would explode before I got to the end of my driveway. This will be the eleventh year but luckily it's just a 100 mile round trip. My sad van is going to expire in a puddle of sweat one of these years.

AdeAdesina86, I forgot to mention, it doesn't make sense to trade a car, especially one you like, because it MIGHT need an expensive repair. I have two older cars I bought new and both had uncommonly low maintenance and repair costs but they were not representative of all the similar models. My opinions are skewed because I had much fewer repairs over the years than others who owned the same models. I also form my opinions from seeing other peoples' repair bills but those aren't necessarily representative of the entire brand either.

You're better off enjoying what you already have and like, then, if a major repair is needed later, compare that cost to how much you're spending on monthly car payments. When you DO trade, you generally make out better trading off the car when it does need a big repair. Dealers know every trade-in will need work and they're prepared for that when they make you an offer. If you were to spend $2,000.00 on a repair first, you might be lucky to get $500.00 more the next day for a trade-in.

As a parting note, I used to tell my students, "you are welcome to like any brand of car you want to, just don't tell me yours is better than mine unless you can tell me WHY you think it is better". Even then, we all value different things and we are willing to overlook different short-comings. You can't argue for or against an opinion, especially when they are formed from sound reasoning.
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Monday, July 8th, 2013 AT 11:56 PM
Tiny
ADEADESINA86
  • MEMBER
Thanks for both your advice. I will take it all on-board and will keep the car. Right now, the repairs aren't too expensive, so I can get them all sorted. I guess I'm a little bit panicky because it's my first car.

I'm going to sort out the faulty sensor issues and take the time to learn more about my car and cars in general. As you said Caradiodoc, dealers know that a trade-in car will need work, so if worse comes to worse, and later down the line I'm more willing to trade-in, I will do so. For now, I'm happy my car :D

Thanks again guys.
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Tuesday, July 9th, 2013 AT 4:14 AM

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