First produced in 1993, the 3rd generation Golf GTI remained a formidable automotive presence until the end of her run in 2001. Along the way, she won European Car of the Year and introduced the average consumer to the powerful GTI engine, which works by atomizing fuel ignited in the cylinders. The Golf has since become the most popular GTI car in the world, and she shows no signs of handing that post over anytime soon. Some of the more prevalent issues with the third generation GTI are as follows:
Window Regulator Failure: When the window regulators go, so does the window, right to the bottom of the door. Taking care of this issue is essential if you don’t want a permanent breeze gusting through your car.
Coil Pack Cracking: A serious issue, many GTI owners with cracked coil packs find their cylinders misfiring and their fuel consumption spiking, but this is only the beginning of trouble.
Erratic Idle and Stalling: Fluctuating and erratic idling indicates a potentially severe problem. Some owners also report that the car will continuously stall if started cold, and that they need to keep it a high RPM rate for a few minutes before the idle kicks in.
Sensor Problems in Crankshaft, ECU Relay, and ABS: The check engine light should go on for all of these, and when it does, it’s not fooling around. Failure of these sensors can lead to improper RPM speed, faulty fuel injection control, and breaks locking up.
Instrument Cluster Issue (RPM Gauge Not Working when Warm): It’s not uncommon for the Speedometer and RPM gauge to begin malfunctioning in warmer weather or when the car heats up, but it does indicate that a slight hiccup is occurring within your instrument panel.
All of these issues can lead to dangerous outcomes if not taken care of in a timely manner. A car that begins to display these effects should be taken immediately to a trained VW maintenance mechanic for servicing.
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