Volkswagen: What High Mileage VW Problems to watch for
You’ve long heard about the long-term reliability of Volkswagen models of all kinds, particularly the Golf and Jetta. It’s true – VWs of all shapes and sizes are some of the longest-lasting, most reliable vehicles you’ll ever find on the roads today, which is why you see them used well beyond 200,000 miles on a regular basis.
Unfortunately, no matter whose car you drive, it’s going to experience an issue or two when you’re looking at a high-mileage situation. What problems should you be on the lookout for? What is common to experience when the odometer reading climbs up there?
Volkswagen High Mileage Transmission Concerns
Transmission maintenance tends to be pushed aside for many car owners. It’s not regarded with as much importance as engine maintenance, though with intervals of 60,000 to 100,000 miles, timing is critical. Transmission fluid needs to be kept clean to prevent internal wear on transmission parts and to avoid debris from blocking passages and causing solenoids to stick.
If you’re the original owner of the car, you know your maintenance history but if you’re a second or third owner, you likely don’t have those service records. Poor maintenance can cause shift flares, burnt clutches inside, and eventual transmission failure. That goes doubly for DSG transmissions.
2.0L Timing Belt Failure
The timing belt is a toothed, reinforced rubber belt that joins the top end of the engine with the bottom end. Over time, the belt wears, stretches, and cracks. The normal replacement interval is 60,000 miles for most models, and it’s crucial to adhere to that schedule.
A broken timing belt can cause thousands of dollars of engine damage, from bent valves to damaged pistons and potentially long repair times. Replace the timing belt when it’s due. If you don’t know when it was done last, don’t take the chance of failure – get it changed sooner rather than later.
While replacing your timing belt, have the water pump replaced also. You’ll save hundreds on labor down the road if the water pump springs a leak as it’s driven by the timing belt. It only takes a few extra minutes to change.
VW TDI Oil Pump Failure
The oil pump on 2.0L TDI engines have been a point of contention for years. The engine starts getting very noisy due to lack of oil pressure, then the engine seizes up. The oil pump is to blame, causing thousands of dollars of engine damage, particularly on engines with higher mileage.
If you’re getting knocking or rattling noise from your 2.0L TDI, stop driving it until you get the problem addressed. A replacement oil pump isn’t cheap but it’s significantly less expensive than a replacement motor.
VW New Beetle Battery Junction Block Fires
It probably won’t torch your whole car, but the wiring connections on top of the battery on early model New Beetles can short. You’ll smell smoke at first, then you’ll find your car won’t start or it may stall. You may notice other little electrical issues too, but it almost always originates at the battery.
It’s not a major repair but it can be an annoying problem. At the first sign of electrical issues, have the junction block on the battery checked out.
VW TDI Turbochargers
While not exclusively a VW problem, high mileage turbocharged engines can experience poor performance. Turbos can fail for several reasons including shaft failure, but most commonly it’s from oil contamination. Regular oil changes using high-grade oil will help prevent early turbo failure and can ensure a long turbo life well into the high mileage category.
If your high-mileage VW is experiencing symptoms, don’t wait until it breaks down. Early detection can keep repair costs at a minimum. Trust your VW high mileage repairs to the shop that knows VW best in Brooklyn, L&M Foreign Cars. We’ll get you fixed up right and at a competitive price.