Piston Slap: The Waffle Iron and the Vee-Dub

Sajeev Mehta
by Sajeev Mehta
piston slap the waffle iron and the vee dub

TTAC commentator Windswords writes:

Sajeev, My oldest son has been bitten by automotive wanderlust. He is about to go off to college this fall and has decided that his grandfathers’ hand-me-down 4 cylinder 2000 Accord with only 30,000-ish miles is just not cool enough. Also, it needs new tires and a battery.

So he has cast his wondering eyes on a 5-speed 2000 VW Golf GLS 2.0L hatch listed in AutoTrader. It looks like a nice enough car but then I start thinking about VW’s reputation for reliability vs Honda, not to mention the size of the potential repair bills and I start to do what any normal parent would do—worry. Should I be worried? If the B&B here can’t convince him to stay with Honda is there anything I should have him be on the look out for trouble-wise on the Golf?

Per AutoTrader Ad, here are some noteworthy facts on the Golf:

Mileage is 82,413. One owner car modified with cold air intake, honeycomb grill, fog lights, clear side-marker lenses, stubby antenna, Neuspeed exhaust, Neuspeed short shifter, RS 17″ alloy wheels, Euro headlight switch, brushed aluminum interior trim kit, Tokico sport shocks, drilled Brembo rotors, Audi TT foot pedals and foot rest, painted brake calipers and vinyl decals.

The oil changes were done every 5000 miles, tires were rotated/aligned/balanced last year, battery was replaced last month and car is current with NJ inspection (thru 09/2011). Vehicle is clean inside and out, given its age, with minor wear and tear on the interior and light scratching on the exterior. One of the fog lights was hit with a stone and cracked, but still functions normally. The lid to the armrest/storage compartment is broken, but sits in place.

One of the arms on the glove compartment broke, so it falls down on one side when opened. The interior has some staining along the door edges and light wear in heavily used areas, but nothing severe. This car has treated me well for almost 10 years and never needed serious repairs. It runs just as well today as when I drove it off the lot (better, actually, with the addition of some of those aftermarket parts). It has never failed inspection, has practically no rust, gets around 25 MPG and starts on the first try no matter the conditions. CAR SOLD AS-IS.

Sajeev replies:

When I was a little kid, my mother told me to NOT touch the waffle iron while making waffles. She was clear, but I was unbelievably hungry. And that thing was chrome plated and had an amber light on top: it was begging to be touched, dammit!

And touching that waffle iron hurt like hell. I might have cried because it temporarily crippled me: it was a pain I’d never felt before. Which leads to my question: will you kiss the owie like Moms do, or is he flying solo when selling a chronically reliable, cheap-to-fix Honda for a somewhat-drastically tweaked VW that wasn’t exactly a pillar of strength and value when it was new and unmodified?

Best of luck with that answer.

[Send your technical queries to mehta@ttac.com]

Join the conversation
2 of 87 comments
  • Rainless Rainless on Jun 19, 2009

    I'm no American, so the perception is probably different, but to me a 2000 Golf is pretty much the German equivalent of that 2000 Accord. It doesn't get any more dreary than that.

  • Sajeev Mehta Sajeev Mehta on Jun 19, 2009
    rainless : I’m no American, so the perception is probably different, Very different, I'd say! We should put that disclaimer: the comments posted on this episode of Piston Slap only have relevance to those that live in the US (and Canada?). Or maybe any country far from Europe where VW has a more limited presence.

  • PeterPuck For years, Ford has simply reworked existing designs originating from Europe and Japanese manufacturers, not being capable of designing a decent car in the USA.What’s the last clean sheet design from the USA? The 1986 Taurus?And they still can’t manage to get things right.why is this? Are they putting all of the competent engineers and designers on the F150? Is woke diversification affecting them, as some rumours suggest? Are they rewarding incompetence?
  • Brandon What is a "city crossover"?
  • Tassos What was the last time we had any good news from Ford? (or GM for that matter?)The last one was probably when Alan Mulally was CEO. Were you even born back then?Fields was a total disaster, then they go hire this clown from Toyota's PR department, the current Ford CEO, Fart-ley or something.He claims to be an auto enthusiast too (unlike Mary Barra who is even worse, but of course always forgiven, as she is the proud owner of a set of female genitals.
  • Tassos I know some would want to own a collectible Mustang. (sure as hell not me. This crappy 'secretary's car' (that was exactly its intended buying demo) was as sophisticated (transl. : CRUDE) as the FLintstone's mobile. Solid Real Axle? Are you effing kidding me?There is a huge number of these around, so they are neither expensive nor valuable.WHen it came out, it was $2,000 or so new. A colleague bought a recent one with the stupid Ecoboost which also promised good fuel economy. He drives a hard bargain and spends time shopping and I remember he paid $37k ( the fool only bought domestic crap, but luckily he is good with his hands and can fix lots of stuff on them).He told me that the alleged fuel economy is obtained only if you drive it like a VERY old lady. WHich defeats the purpose, of course, you might as well buy a used Toyota Yaris (not even a Corolla).
  • MRF 95 T-Bird Back when the Corolla consisted of a wide range of body styles. This wagon, both four door and two door sedans, a shooting brake like three door hatch as well as a sports coupe hatchback. All of which were on the popular cars on the road where I resided.