By on April 3, 2012

 

Paul writes:

Good Morning Sajeev,

Today is my 2010 GTI’s 15th day in the shop (shocking, right?). Earlier this month it was in for 13 days, I had it back for 6, and I dropped it back off two days ago. The issue is somewhat strange, but in my mind, easily fixable. I have been getting CEL 2294 and when I run my own VCDS scans, I have been getting the following logs (edited down).

  • 004501 – Fuel Pressure Regulator Valve (N276)
  • P1195 – 000 – Open or Short to Ground – Intermittent
  • 008852 – Fuel Pressure Regulator Valve (N276)
  • P2294 – 000 – Open Circuit – Intermittent

Note that the above mentioned valve is integrated into the fuel pump and cannot be changed.

Since the issue has started the dealer has replaced the high pressure fuel pump relay (makes sense), the fuse box (makes less sense to jump to that with no other issues, but I get it), and the throttle body wiring harness (also makes sense). The three previously stated fixes were done on the first visit, and seemed to work for about 3 days (well the throttle body wiring harness seemed to work for about 3 days, the other fixes didn’t fix anything). Late in the day yesterday (day 14 of shop time) a call was placed to the VW tech line as the dealer was stumped. As it is being covered until Power Train Warranty and I have received exceptional service (frequent updates from Service Adviser, free loaners), I have been reluctant to force the issue of why they are not replacing the last, and seemingly obvious, point of possible failure: the high pressure fuel pump (Note I have a TSI, not the FSI with the known HPFP/Cam Follower Issues).

My technical experience isn’t vast, but it seems like if all the downstream fixes don’t work, its time to go to the source. I also am a bit confused, as the amount of shop time this is costing them and the other parts they have invested, all add up to far more than the cost of a fuel pump ($250ish retail, so probably way less than that to them). So how hard do I push them down the last obvious road? Do I take it back and spend the $250 and a few hours myself, just to have it done? Do I trade it? Should I stop making assumptions?

Thanks for all you do,
Paul

(P.S. – Feel free to forum search the codes above, chances are you will only see my threads!)

Sajeev answers:

It is nice to see the Mk6 Golf continuing the last generation’s legacy. And by nice I mean it allows the B&B to make blanket statements about VW’s terrible long-term value without digging into the heart of the matter. Michael Karesh’s TrueDelta may beg to differ in a year or two, but that remains to be seen.

Replacing a wiring harness at this age? That’s a quality product right there!

Your dealer’s diagnostic sounds logical and I’m not dumb enough to remotely question their actions. Why? Because if the pump is putting out pressure within specifications, it was never the problem. And therefore it isn’t the next logical step. The engine computer itself may be the problem, and we may never know.

My advice? Time to start using the phrase “Lemon Law” with your dealer. Don’t be mean about it, just be honestly frustrated and seeking advice. And check your state’s specific rules on the matter, and see if (or when) your GTI fits into this category. I’ve seen cars get Lemon Law’d for less, so do yourself a solid and ask around on this matter.

Off to you, Best and Brightest!

Send your queries to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry.

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78 Comments on “Piston Slap: of Lemons and VW GTIs...”


  • avatar
    GS650G

    Stunning they didn’t throw a pump in. maybe they refuse to believe it could be the problem, I’ve seen hard headed mechanics that go by intuition rather than testing.

  • avatar
    hreardon

    I’m going to be flamed as a fanboi for saying this, but I have several friends with MK6 GTIs with no issues whatsoever on them. This case, unfortunately, does indeed reinforce the stereotype of VW electronics.

    I would also suggest that you may have a lemon law claim here. Research your state requirements for qualification first, then begin the process by collecting all of your service records.

    You will generally be best served by sending a non-threatening letter on legal letterhead to Volkswagen of America accompanied by your service records.

  • avatar
    duffman13

    You may love your GTI and I know several people who do, they’re great, fun cars. But I agree with the lemon law suggestion.

    Having owned a VAG problem(product?) in the past, I’ll tell you: once the electrical gremlins start, you’re on a slippery slope to a lighter wallet, especially once that warranty runs out.

    I was a B5 A4 owner 7 years ago and in the community we jokingly said that if your dash doesn’t look like a christmas tree due to all the lights, your car is probably running wrong. ABS computer, SRS module were known electrical fail points and there was almost always some sensor issue in the engine aspiration chain causing a CEL as well.

    Get rid of it while you have the chance. If you still want a turbo hatch, you can get a happy shark(Mazdaspeed 3) or wait for the angry guppy (Focus ST), which will both be more reliable. Civic Si is a known crowd pleaser in this segment as well, though I recommnd an 8th gen with the K20Z3 over the K24 9th gen, and both can be had as a sedan if you need the doors/space. Veloster turbo is coming too, but I think it is smaller than the GTI. WRX and Lancer Ralliart exist if you want AWD.

    • 0 avatar
      kvndoom

      If you get a Speed3 make sure it’s a 2010 or later. Screw the weird Genpu looks, it’s WAY more reliable than the 2007-2009’s (my 2009 was a total POS). Don’t sacrifice reliability for aesthetics.

      The Lemon Law has different statutes in different states. I think in VA you have the first 18 months. There’s a chance it might be too late for your 2010, but maybe not. Still worth looking into. If you can’t lemon it, get rid of it.

      • 0 avatar
        duffman13

        I agree on the 2010+

        I’m biased, as my wife drives a ’10 3 hatch and I love the car and think it’s head and shoulders better than our friend’s 07 sedan. I like the happy shark face too personally.

    • 0 avatar
      Charlie84

      You owned a VW/Audi product from an era marked by poor reliability and quality control.

      Obviously, the evidence to support this is still forthcoming, but recent survey data as well as anecdotal evidence suggest that their cars from more recent years are a vast improvement in reliability.

      Your point about 2000-2005(ish) VW-Audis is well taken, but please keep an open mind about VW reliability going forward as it seems to be on a much better trajectory.

  • avatar
    Athos Nobile

    Bloody hell, 28 days in the shop?

    Get rid of that biatch.

  • avatar
    tced2

    Maybe the wiring harness made out of “natural” material like the ones Mercedes used. What a great idea, a wiring harness that develops random shorts over time due to degradation of the insulation.

  • avatar
    Ubermensch

    This sounds more like a problem with your mechanics than the car. I’m surprised they waited so long to contact VW for help.

  • avatar
    Speed Spaniel

    The variance for reliability between VW vehicles is perplexing. It seems owners either have terrible luck with the brand or great luck. I’m on my 4th VW/Audi product and have been fortunate enough to have great luck finding the brand reliable and well engineered. (2002 VW 1.8T Jetta wagon, 75,000 miles, 2004 Audi TT 3.2 roadster, 35,000 miles, 2007 CPO Audi S4, 40,000 miles , (some issues from previous owner abuse, but impressively Audi stepped up to bat and took care of it), current 2010 VW CC 3.6 4motion, 22,000 miles). I agree with Sajeev and would go the lemon law route on your GTI. Good luck.

    • 0 avatar
      hreardon

      Agreed on the hit/miss reliability. My 2000 Jetta GLS VR6 was a complete disaster and I ended up getting a settlement out of VW on it. My 2004 R32 was flawless, sans a wheel bearing that went bad at 20k and replaced under warranty. My 2006 A3 2.0T has been about average.

      What I will say about Audi lately is that they have been much more responsive to customer complaints and have been stepping up to the plate to cover problem components out of the warranty period.

      • 0 avatar
        Lokki

        Yes The good news is that Audi just completely rebuilt the engine on my friend’s 2008 A4 in February. The bad news is that it needed to have the engine rebuilt.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      I wonder if VW does have a wider range of reliability than some other manufacturers. This wouldn’t necessarily show up in reliability statistics where only the mean is reported. Equal number of cars with excellent and lousy reliability would give you a mean reliability that looks pretty middle-of-the-road. And result in vocal fans/detractors wondering what the other side is talking about.

      • 0 avatar
        Speed Spaniel

        I question reliability statistics. Why did I receive (and still do) many quality surveys for my 2011 Toyota 4Runner, but not a single one for my 2010 CC?

      • 0 avatar
        tankinbeans

        I kind of wonder the same. Is it a case of people who get burned, even if only a minor burn, yell and scream at the tops of their lungs while people who have a good experience just go about their lives and have a good time?

    • 0 avatar
      chrishs2000

      Your conclusion of brand eliability based on four essentially brand new cars is laughable. It’s not the 1950’s; cars are expected to last more than 50k miles.

      • 0 avatar
        Speed Spaniel

        Gee I guess the 172,000 100% trouble free miles I’ve driven on 4 different VWs/Audis don’t mean anything. Sorry for wasting your time.

      • 0 avatar
        Rada

        172K miles is nothing for decent Japanese cars, they are just getting started.

      • 0 avatar
        jz78817

        Speed Spaniel,

        that’s nice and all, but a statistically valid sample you are not.

      • 0 avatar
        chrishs2000

        Speed Spaniel: That’s great and all for those who choose to throw money at new cars and only run them until their warranty expires, but in my mind 2012 reliability is measured by repair costs when a car breaks 100k, 150k or even 200k miles. I would surely hope that manufacturers put enough effort in to avoid warranty repairs! I would expect even the least reliable new car to go 100k miles with little if any issues.

        I’m not going to be a dbag and refute your anecdotal VAG experience with my anecdotal VAG experience, but I will say this since you seem to need an example of a more aggressive definition of reliability: my wife and I switched to a Honda-only fleet in 2006 after many bad experiences with VAG and domestic products. Since then we’ve driven an ’04 Accord EX-L from 70k – 170k, an ’03 Accord EX-V6 6MT from 75k – 210k, and an ’03 S2000 from 60k – 90k. Thats 250k miles on only three cars, all bought when you have been dumping your Volkswagens/Audis. We’ve been stranded zero times, have had zero electrical or mechanical issues aside from ball joints, and the most expensive part I’ve replaced ($120 IIRC for a clutch M/C) was more by choice than need. Last summer we took the Accord 6MT with 200k miles on a 4,000 mile cross country trip and it ‘let me down’ for the first time ever – the driver’s door actuator stopped working and I had to manually lock the doors! The horror! No fanboy here – I wouldn’t drive a new Honda if they paid me.

      • 0 avatar
        Speed Spaniel

        @ chrishs2000

        It seems like we live in parallel universes. Due to so-so reliability on a 96 Accord V6 and a 98 Acura RL both including but not limited to poor quality braking systems, I switched to the VW brand where to date I’ve never had any issues (sorry for sounding like a broken record).

        More recently I inherited my Mom’s 2007 Acccord V6 SE when she passed and ‘tried’ driving that because hey it’s free wheels. Nice engine, but in the 500 miles I drove the Accord I warped the brakes (flash backs!). Between the vibrating brakes, a loose driver’s seat that constantly slid around back and forth an inch or so on its track, a broken center console cover that I somehow snapped and a broken center armrest hinge, I concluded this ‘Marysville beauty’ probably couldn’t handle my driving sytle so I dumped the car and sold it to an elderly couple where I am sure it is very very happy. It had 22,000 miles.

        Regarding another comment regarding what’s statistically valid, sorry but I don’t need a magazine using a cryptic symbol rating system telling me what’s reliable and what isn’t. An important part of life is going by your own experiences and formulating your own opinions and not regurgitating those derived by others.

      • 0 avatar
        chrishs2000

        Speed Spaniel: Everyone has their own differing experiences, my point was that reliability cannot be measured anymore by what happens within the warranty period. The warranty period in my opinion is only now for uncovering and fixing manufaturing defects.

        As for your mom’s former car, anyone with cursory Honda knowledge could have easily fixed these very minor issues for you. You’re not exactly describing catastrophic issues like the original questioner, unless that broken glovebox landed the car at the dealer for 2 weeks? Also I’m not entirely sure how your ‘driving style’ relates to you breaking interior trim pieces or the seat issue, which is clearly a defect and something that obviously would have been taken care of under warranty.

        FWIW, warped front brake rotors are a fairly common issue on newish Hondas and are almost always due to excessive lugnut torque, especially by stealerships. When heated due to repeated hard braking, the rotors may warp if the clamp load on the hub is too high. A simple audit torque check can uncover this. There is a dealership TSB relating to it; if under warranty you probably could have gotten the brakes done for free.

    • 0 avatar
      tekdemon

      Firstly, the whole definition of reliability has to do with this variance exactly…any company can get lucky and have a reliable car come out but it’s being able to fine tune your process so that all your cars are consistently reliable that makes something reliable to begin with.

      And secondly, while you may have gotten fairly lucky the reality is that Volkswagen used to have one of the top selling midsize sedans in the US (in the 90’s the Passat was right up there battling it out with Accord and Camry). But then the problems started rolling in and owners fled from VW. Has nothing to do with magazines and everything to do with owners being fleeced by the service departments.

      Either way, you can tell which manufacturers are the least reliable just by how much money their service departments make lol.

      • 0 avatar
        chrishs2000

        Haha very true. I stay away from dealerships as if the walls and floors are covered with plague. When I am in there for fluids or parts, I invariably see someone getting absolutely screwed. Last time I was in a Honda dealer, the service tech was putting the fear of God into an elderly woman about the Civic she had just bought…turns out it was in an accident and the radiator support was slightly bent which resulted in a couple of coolant lines rubbing together…instead of just insulating the lines or bending them away from each other, he talked her into replacing just about the entire front end to the tune of $2k. I felt so bad for her…

      • 0 avatar
        jmo2

        “turns out it was in an accident and the radiator support was slightly bent which resulted in a couple of coolant lines rubbing together…instead of just insulating the lines or bending them away from each other, he talked her into replacing just about the entire front end to the tune of $2k”

        Since insurance is paying for the repair – why not just do it right rather than the half-ass approach you recommended? It’s not like she’s paying out of pocket.

      • 0 avatar
        chrishs2000

        @jmo2: Sorry, should have made it more clear that it was a prior accident before she bought the car. So she was paying all of it out of pocket. She had literally bought the car the day before and taken it to the dealer for a service visit/oil change. Car wasn’t leaking fluids or anything, it was billed as a “preventative fix”. So her $12k used Civic became a $14k used Civic just like that.

        And I’m all about half-assed fixes when they will work just as well as full-assed fixes. Waterproof insulating electrical tape is my bestest friend around older used cars.

      • 0 avatar
        tankinbeans

        If I had just bought a car and, a day later, found out it needed $2,000 worth of work, I would have had the paperwork undone and got a different car.

        I don’t know the laws in your state, but in Minnesota we have 3 days/500 miles to back out of a car sale at a dealership. This is a situation where I would have made use of that. My mom’s done this once with a car from CarHop (our local subprime a44rape agency).

      • 0 avatar

        And if a mainline dealer does a “half-assed” fix as you suggest, and if the fix fails…guess who gets a black eye and possibly a lawsuit for not fixing it properly?

        Not that I disagree with you entirely, I just wanted to present the other side of the coin.

      • 0 avatar
        chrishs2000

        Anyway, the point is that nothing was ACTUALLY WRONG with the car. No leaking fluids, no driveability issues, just a slightly bent radiator support and two coolant lines touching. The dealer found an issue that “may” present a “problem” in the “future”, and scared a 75 year old woman half to death that her car was going to spontaneously combust. It was the horrendous tone and cadence of the “service manager” that is difficult to put into text – it was like he was trying to scare a child from running into the road. In my mind this is abhorrent behavior and there is absolutely no way of regulating it – but dealers need to do it because (ironically) they don’t make squat off of car sales.

    • 0 avatar
      jeffzekas

      I have this theory: VAG has its PR people plant “reliability stories” on blogs, whenever their crappy, unreliable products are exposed.

    • 0 avatar
      rgil627il

      neuken sterven

  • avatar
    Davekaybsc

    Agreed with what has already been said. You’ve got a dud on your hands, and that’s most likely what it will remain for the rest of its life. Contact VWoA, and start the buy back process.

    If you want to change brands, the WRX and Mazdaspeed3 are closest to the GTI, but be wary of the Mazda if you live in the rust belt.

  • avatar
    johnhowington

    yeah this one screams lemon law, sorry to hear that.

  • avatar
    Frownsworth

    Us Volks deserve Wagens with massiven Schluckauf. So I have found out first hand. These are really hit or miss. There are misses, and then there are MISSES.

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    To me this screams dealer incompetence. Cars are not rocket science. IMHO, there is no such thing as a “lemon”, only incompetent techs.

  • avatar
    threeer

    It’s the “hit or miss” aspect of VW ownership that gives me pause to recommend them to anybody. While a new Jetta 2.5 SE would fit my mother’s needs perfectly in a few months when she goes to trade her 2003 Corolla in, I just don’t get the warm/fuzzy that a VW would/will last her 10 years with the same degree of reliability that her Toyota has.

    • 0 avatar
      Speed Spaniel

      I don’t think any German brand is a 10 year car. I think a good rule of thumb is you lease German cars and buy Japanese although I am sure there’s a perecentage of quirks with Japanese cars too. I lease my CC as the daily commuter and purchased a 2011 Toyota 4Runner Limited as the weekend work horse/adventure seeker. The Toyota has been flawless and although I love to fling a sporty car around and that’s my type of vehicle preference, somehow the Toyota has been my favorite vehicle I’ve owned to date (and talk about a wonderful buying and service experiences!)

    • 0 avatar
      chrishs2000

      All cars have their issues, but German cars simply seem to have more “difficult-to-diagnose issues” and “very expensive issues” than Japanese and American cars do. My wife wants a used entry level luxury car for $10-15k that’s somewhat sporty and is capable of 30+mpg…I’d love to steer her towards a newer Jetta or E46, but I’m the one either fixing it or paying to have it fixed – so we’re looking at a TSX. After horrible first hand experiences with VAGS and unbelievably positive experiences with Hondas/Acuras/Nissans, I just can’t bring myself to purchase another used VAG. Wouldn’t hesitate to lease, but we choose to invest that money and buy nice used cars instead. In my experience working in the auto industry and knowing so many mechanics, when a Honda or Toyota stops running, 99/100 times it’s something pretty simple…if a VAG stops running, you tow it to the dealership.

      • 0 avatar
        duffman13

        TSX with the K24A2 is a very solid car and a near-bulletproof motor. The pre-beak models (08 and older) are the last hondas to have the double wishbone suspension at all 4 corners and are very competent handlers.

        I used to have an RSX-S, which has the same motor family, and when it was in for some service they gave me a TSX loaner. The car was not as sharp as the RSX-S, but it was very competent and a joy to drive.

      • 0 avatar
        chrishs2000

        Agreed duffman. K-Series motors are absolutely rock solid and get great gas mileage for a ~10 year old design. We are only considering the 2006-8 (1st gen post-refresh) TSX. FYI only the small Honda cars (RSX, Civic) went to Mac struts up front – all midsize cars and SUVs still have DWB up front. Not that it makes current Hondas/Acuras any less ugly or mediocre.

    • 0 avatar
      Rada

      I have the same Corolla as your mom, and not planning on trading it until it dies, which will be never, I guess, judging by how things are going so far.

  • avatar
    K5ING

    I’ll agree somewhat on the “hit or miss” quality issues with VWs, however I’m the owner of a MkIV Golf TDI with over 434,000 virtually troublefree miles on it. Want to know my secret? It’s well known to the TDI community and I would be surprised if the gasser/GTI community doesn’t have something similar. Our secret to keeping our cars running forever is to stay as far away from the dealer as possible!!

    We TDI owners (TDIClub.com) have a nationwide network of “gurus” who work on VWs because they love doing so. They have a genuine love for VWs. They know every little potential problem, know what shortcuts to use and not use. They know everything about them because it’s the only thing they work on. It may be a shop, or just a guy working out of his garage. They’re virtually always much cheaper as well.

    Dealers, VW dealers in particular, tend to throw parts at the car and hope they hit the problem along the way. They go “by the book” and the more parts they throw at the car, the more money the dealer makes. The guy working on your car may not know anything about VWs and would be working on Toyotas or Chevys, and doesn’t care what, if that dealer hadn’t said “yes” to his employment application first. I can’t tell you the number of dealer horror stories I’ve read about where the dealer put the wrong oil in the car, or filled the tank of a new one with gas then denied responsibility for doing so. The list goes on and on.

    That’s a well known fact in our VW world. Maybe you should give it a try. VWs are really good cars, and I hate to see VW keep taking hits in the US when it’s the dealers, not VW, who are more often at fault.

    • 0 avatar
      nikita

      So, you are such a VW fanboi that you recommend he forgo free warranty service and pay for it himself at an independent shop? The dilemma for TDI owners is that there are simply no other passenger car diesel options in the US except German. Its like the only CNG powered car available new is a Honda. Someone shopping a GTI has other options.

      We do have a 2.5 gas Jetta in the family that has been, thankfully, trouble free for 100,000 miles, so I am not speaking as a total outsider that only drives Japanese. My other VW’s are way too old to count, ’69 KG and ’74 Thing (Safari).

      I do not deny that dealer service departments may make things worse, but “Quality” in the form of consistently low defects across the fleet is missing with VW.

      • 0 avatar
        K5ING

        No, I don’t recommend that he forgo the free warranty work by the dealer. It’s not costing him anything, but his complaint is that it’s taking so long, and the dealer is throwing part after part at it. The shotgun approach. But that also gives the impression that there is a bunch of stuff wrong with the car. I guess is that most all of the stuff they “fixed” didn’t need fixing to begin with, and therefore, were not defective. A true guru would probably have seen that problem before and fixed the true problem.

    • 0 avatar
      Toad

      “VWs are really good cars…”

      VW’s are fun cars, interesting cars, cars with a lot of powertrain options. However, any car that requires the owner to find “gurus” on the internet to keep them running is not a good car by today’s reliability standards.

      A good car should be designed to be reliable in the first place AND when there is a problem should be relatively easy for a technician to diagnose and repair. Other manufacturers seem to do this as a part of their design process, but not VW. Pity.

      • 0 avatar
        K5ING

        The only reason we have to resort to gurus is because of the dealer network in the US. Every car has problems. It’s how the dealer handles them that makes the difference.

      • 0 avatar
        Ryoku75

        Whats silly is you didn’t even need a mechanic to fix classic VWs, just a few hoses and tape.

        Now you need a guru? No thanks, I’d rather just buy something decent.

  • avatar
    Dave W

    I can’t speak to VW but our new Fiesta (MT) would jump out of reverse. It took 2 weeks to get a new shafts and syncros installed. No go. Assuming it was a flaw in the casting we asked Ford to put in a new transmission, instead Ford insisted (over the dealers objections) on rebuilding the transmission again. After 3 weeks (and essentially replacing everything inside the transmission) it still wasn’t working properly. Brought it back again, asked for a new transmission again, Ford instead told us to start the lemon law paperwork.

    The dealer had already told us it would be at least 2 months before they could get a car that matched our specs when they suggested lemon law after Ford insisted on the second rebuild. So we suggested that instead of eating the car it would be cheaper to replace our transmission. After another 2 week wait (for a new box to arrive from Germany) we got the car back with a new transmission and no problems since then.

    We are very happy with the dealer, and love the car (now that you can backup uphill), All I can think is that as a new introduction all the complete units were going to build new cars rather then to repair stock. Still, opening the box a second time rather then replacing it seems an odd and expensive decision to me.

    In our case it was pretty obviously a mechanical issue. I spent a fair amount of time searching and found no other cases like it. That being the case it made sense to insist on repairing rather then replacing the car. In your case I’m not so sure.

    • 0 avatar
      jz78817

      sometimes they (the manufacturer) will recommend a buy-back because they want to get their hands on the car and diagnose the issue. Not saying that was what happened in this case, but there’s always the chance that the problem wasn’t inside the transmission and having the car would mean they can look at everything from the shifter to the trans internals.

      • 0 avatar
        Dave W

        That is a possibility, but not likely. The first time in they also replaced clutch and shift linkage parts as well as recalibrating and/or replacing a couple of computer modules. One of my pitches after the first attempt was that they could then study the faulty transmission. If they wanted to study the whole car I think the Factory rep would have mentioned it, as well as not perking up so much (and sounding incredulous) when we said we didn’t want the whole car replaced, just the transmission.

        And to think at the start of our odyssey we thought it was just a linkage adjustment.

  • avatar
    Charlie84

    It sounds to me like they just should have replaced the HPFP right off the bat and hopefully avoided the whole 15-days-in-the-shop thing.

    For the record, since VW quality & reliability will likely be a source of discussion here, my Golf has 31,000 miles on it and I haven’t had a single problem beyond a TSB for a rear window sprayer nozzle. Yes, a problem-free 31K miles should be expected of any modern car. But this is a VW and therefore half of the internet would have you convinced that it should have spontaneously combusted at least twice by now.

    • 0 avatar
      akitadog

      My 2008 GTI has been virtually problem-free and I’m about to cross 48K miles. The only real problem was that the avg MPG counter, which is supposed to reset upon cold start, was no longer resetting itself. The dealer replaced the IP, and that problem has not resurfaced.

      Other minor things: A light bulb that lights up the rear tag was loose; A mis-firing, badly vibrating engine and CEL which lasted for about 4 seconds before turning the car back off, waiting about 10 seconds, then restarting; recently, the CEL light came on, only to go out 4 days later and not yet return.

  • avatar

    Hi guys – as questioner wanted to give an update since I emailed Sajeev with the question.

    Since that time they have replaced the HPFP, unfortunately it did not solve the issue.

    Additionally, I am WAY out of lemon law territory (PA is 1 year or 12,000 miles) as I have nearly two years and 45,000 miles on the car.

    I absolutely love the car and have had no issues until a month ago… Obviously not thrilled the issue has come up and want to put another 100,000 miles on it, but its not as if it is new out of the box.

    • 0 avatar
      chrishs2000

      I would throw a very respectful and somewhat forceful hissy-fit to the general manager to find out why a car that is still under warranty that you are making loan and insurance payments on has been in his shop for over half a month. I would imagine that some sort of compensation (free service visit, etc) would not be too hard to obtain in exchange for a good robocall review when this disaster is over.

    • 0 avatar
      kvndoom

      Even if you trade it in for another GTI (since you do love the car), I wouldn’t suggest you keep it once the warranty is gone. Think about what those repairs would have cost you out of pocket (sounds like you just dodged the bullet by a few thousand miles), and ask yourself can you handle that amount PLUS the car payment obligation.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        If you can’t afford to make payments on a car AND pay to fix it, then you simply cannot afford that car in the first place. Doesn’t matter if it is a Corolla or a Rolls-Royce. Either buy a car you can afford, and/or get it paid off before the warranty is up. It baffles me that people ONLY budget for the payment, with no reserve for the inevitable maintenance and repair costs.

        And pretty no matter HOW troublesome the car is, fixing it is cheaper than the depreciation on a new one. I LOVE my BMW, but the first year depreciation alone will probably equal the repair and maintenance costs for my other three cars for the next several YEARS. There are many nice reasons to buy a shiny new car, but saving money is NOT one of them.

    • 0 avatar
      cackalacka

      Fight the dying of the light, Bender!!!

    • 0 avatar
      Athos Nobile

      Man, seeing your codes what you’ve got there is most probably an electrical issue.

      P1195 – 000 – Open or Short to Ground – Intermittent
      P2294 – 000 – Open Circuit – Intermittent

      I don’t know what were the symptoms that took you to the stealership, but until they sort out what’s wrong with the wiring, you will be without car.

      Based on my little experience, if you weren’t experiencing any driveability issue, I’d check the wiring diagrams to check what’s involved with the fault and have a look at that, it could be a dirt loose connector, a smashed wire or that 2 wires overheated and joined. The problem could be also triggered by any of the related sub systems sharing that circuit. Peugeot has a cool fancy machine that checks all the wiring, I don’t know if that technology is available for VW.

      Good luck, and after is fixed, read my previous comment.

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    Owned a couple of first generation gas Rabbits. First a 1979, then a 1982. Amazing vehicle, handling, acceleration, interior roominess. However, had to replace the water temperature sensor that would turn on the electric fan at least five times.

    These sensors were simple bi-metallic strips, nothing fancy or electronic…scratched my head how come VW engineering could not get something as simple and as important designed correctly.

  • avatar
    M.S. Smith

    Every six months I ask myself “Why don’t I own a GTI?”

    It’s not hard to find stories like this to remind me. “Ah. That’s why.”

    • 0 avatar
      jmo2

      Had mine 4 years and the only issue is a squeaky drivers seat and a rattling fuel line* – both fixed under warranty during a routine servicing.

      * knock wood

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    Its stories like this that may me say “Yea modern cars are better, but they just don’t hold up”.

    VWs long spiral down started in the early 70’s when they started using thinner steel on their vehicles and plastic dashes, after that they’d make one car that was well-built and another that was built by chum with a hangover.

    Theres a lesson to be had in the Lovebug, not every VW is built the same.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo2

      ““Yea modern cars are better, but they just don’t hold up”.”

      It used to be a miracle if a car made it to 100k. They do hold up much better than they used to.

  • avatar
    geozinger

    If a VW has a problem: OMG! I’m buying a Toyota next time…

    If a Toyota has a problem: OMG! I’m buying a Honda next time…

    If a Honda has a problem: OMG! I guess I was driving it wrong…

    If a GM has a problem: ZoMG! KiLL It witH FirE aNd EveRYONe whO LOOkeD AT iT. Or, OBAMA! Can’t you see?!! OBAAAAMMAAAAA!

    I love teh interwebz.

    • 0 avatar
      FromaBuick6

      And anytime someone dares to mention a problem with a GM product(s) they’ve owned or a general grievance with the company, the fanboys come out of the woodwork to whine, name call and threatening to take their ball and go home.

      Please. Nowhere on this page did anyone mention GM, until you had to pretend you’re some sort of martyr and bring it up. I used to expect better from you, but now I’ve forgotten why.

  • avatar
    LeeK

    My 2010 GTI has been flawless in two years of ownership. So was a 2007 GTI in the 18 months that I had owned it. In between, I had a 2008 R32 that was so troublesome (a persistent check engine light because of problems with the evaporative emission control) that I finally dumped it in disgust after seven dealer visits and practically everything in the entire fuel system replaced twice and got a CPO 328i. Lemons happen, to every brand.

    The original poster has replied that the new fuel pump did not fix the issue and that the dealer is still scratching its collective head. This is the time to let VW do whatever is necessary to fix it. In my experience with the R32 they will work on it, albeit slowly, but they will do what they can to fix it. If they ultimately fail, then it will be time to trade it in on something else.

  • avatar
    mnm4ever

    I love, and I mean LOVE, my 2008 GTI with the TSI engine. I havent had any issues with it. I realize I might, but I am willing to take the risk, and avoid the dealership, and self-wrench, because I love how it drives. The Mazdaspeed didnt drive as nicely, the Civic Si didnt have the low end torque, etc. It didn’t self destruct when the warranty expired either!

    That being said, I have to agree with many of the other posters. Most VWs are great cars, but when you get a bad one, it will probably be bad. And VW does seem to have a higher percentage of “bad” ones. If I were you, I would dump it while its still under warranty. Then replace it with a FR-S/BR-Z or a Civic Si and enjoy the fact that you won’t likely have any major repair bills.

  • avatar
    Dimwit

    Instead of freaking out, wouldn’t it be nice to just fix the problem?
    First, find out what pump it is. My TDI has 6 of them. Does the gasser FSI have a similar layout and if so, does each pump throw different codes or is it all grouped under “fuel pump”?
    The ones by the injectors are expensive bastards and the stealership might not be willing to just throw parts at it if they are unsure which pump is throwing the code.
    Get more proactive. See if you can jump to an area manager. He may be able to motivate VW where the stealership won’t or can’t. Don’t forget, all this is on VW’s dime and if they decide not to cover, the stealership won’t. Get squeaking loudly.

    • 0 avatar
      mnm4ever

      I see no indication he is freaking out, actually he is being quite calm IMO. Even the fixes that he said were performed so far shouldn’t require 18 days in the service department, someone is sleeping on the job. But thats 18 days of free loaners and less miles on his own car, keeping it in warranty that much longer. I think thats a good thing, make sure its good and fixed for more than 3 days.

      The TSI doesn’t have 6 fuel pumps, just 1 HPFP.

      • 0 avatar

        Beat me to my own response! I hardly think I am freaking out. I reached out here because thousands of minds are better than the three that are working on it now.

        At this point it is day 25 out of the past thirty that it has been off the road. VW, the dealer, and all their employees have been handling it with absolute aplomb. I can’t applaud them enough.

        Sure it will get fixed eventually, but I (obviously) would like that eventually to occur sooner rather than later.

        @mnm4ever – two fuel pumps ;) Low pressure in tank and HPFP in engine bay.

      • 0 avatar
        cackalacka

        Shorter Dimwit:

        “Instead of freaking out, FREAK OUT!”

      • 0 avatar
        mnm4ever

        Learn something new every day!

  • avatar
    gslippy

    My lemon Honda Odyssey manifested its problems within the 1-year PA timeframe, so I had a claim. However, the dealer was totally unresponsive to my demands for a new vehicle, which I started asking for when it was only a month old.

    A friend just had his 2010 Golf eat its wheel bearings at 40k miles, so he was stuck with over $800 in repairs and an unsympathetic dealer. So he traded it and bought a Kia with more warranty.

    • 0 avatar
      360joules

      The exasperating part of the new car experience: dealership vs manufacturer. Poster says I was with brand x, then y, now z. Brand z proposes to love truly & never hurt me for 100k miles. But if dealer service rep isn’t supportive or has poor typing skills then perhaps the right magic words are not typed into the computer which results in the manufacturer not making the correct warranty decision. Or you have supportive dealer but bean counters for manufacturer do not support warranty obligation. Yuch. No wonder some car owners cling so tightly to their high-mileage “runners.”

  • avatar
    pg123456789

    I had a 2011 GTI. Sold after 10 months. Unpredictable ESP light, cruise control light were my early warning signs. Potentially a good car for a FWD, better than an Audi I had, but choruses of wastegate rattle, interior rattles said “nice on the outside and going rotten on the inside”. Still, the car could be fun for hard driving despite being nose heavy and understeery. The rest of the time, it was very competent, a little sterile with no-feel steering, and irritating with the rattles and dash warning lights. And VW/Audi should get rid of the downward sloping glass/plastic on all their instrument gauges. Catches everything … I don’t think that’s quality. Find new love … get something else. I did (its RWD)!

  • avatar
    Zidentia

    Many have hit the mark on the culture of reliability. VW’s as a rule have had good and bad stretches of products as have other brands. The difference is indeed the dealer. I have a 02 NB and a 2004.5 GLI and have had great results from both. The dealer for these cars has been terrific and that is the key but we have not experienced the issues others have seen.
    I can say the NB was a special edition that we ordered. The GLI has 76K with original clutch, brakes, battery and just oil changes. And I frequently drive 130 mph on the highway.
    I had a Honda that was a pile of crap. I have driven other Hondas that were better quality than that one but they feel soulless to me.

    I had a 72 Dodge Dart that was unstoppable. I have had mid nineties Neons but newer Chrysler’s leave me worried. I had Ford’s and Mercury’s and GM cars.

    I have had many different brands and is really is a combination of luck, dealer and attitude.

    All brands have issues, but the way they are handled by the dealer is the difference.


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