No, my '00 GTI was not modified or chipped in any way. A friend of mine told me that chipping (do you call it that?) was common, but I didn't want to void the warranty with any modifications.
My GTI was built in Germany -- I confirmed this prior to purchase. It made little difference in quality, as my previous post relays. Sorry about the Brazil/Argentina mix-up. Either way, you're getting a South American car.
I'm glad you confirmed my suspicion about the weak clutch in some of the GTIs -- I know this is a wear item, but most clutches last longer under average driving conditions.
I was advised that the VW powertrain warranty did not cover the turbo intake valve because it was not an "internally lubricated" part. So much for what the salesman told me...
While the brakes in my GTI held up well, my friend, who drove a New Beetle, had to have them all replaced at 15,000 miles. The dealer told her that the cold weather (road salt?) in Ohio caused the brakes to wear out quicker. This seems a little ridiculous for a car designed in Germany. I didn't know about the "soft" brake compound. Why would VW design brakes to last only 20,000 miles?
I think the problem with the glove box hinge is a combination of brittle plastic and the spring loaded "dampening" design that exerts added stress on the door each time it's closed (and maybe while it IS closed).
I know the window regulators (or the "retainer clips" as they call them) have been a major problem. I had to have the same clip replaced three times in my GTI -- twice the window got stuck in the "down" position, necessitating an immediate trip to the dealer.
All this explains why Consumer Reports has awarded the Golf and Jetta a "well below average" overall reliability rating in their 2003 New Car Buyer's Guide. The New Beetle did only slightly better, and none of the cars is recommended. My experience is consistent with this assessment.
If I were you, I would call VWoA and lodge a complaint about not covering the turbo intake valve (is that exactly what it's called??) and maybe they will give you some compensation. When did it go out? How many miles?
As for the rear brakes, they were getting complaints about brake noise, thus why they made them a softer compound - but they were prone to premature wear. They issued a TSB on this to replace the pads if this happened....
I have been reading everything I can find about the GTI( and the 2002 Civic Si). Edmunds has been extremely helpful. I am seriously considering purchasing a 02 GTI with 10,600 miles.
The impression I get is that the vast majority of GTI problems involve the window regulators and the ignition coils. It also appears the VW has acknowledged these are problem areas, but will replace only after failure and not preventively. Is that correct?
Regarding brake wear -- I assume you are refering to brake pads and not the rotors or other more expensive mechanical parts.
As I consider this used GTI, is there anything specific I should look for? The service records indicate 3 oil changes since purchased, but nothing else. I have not been able to get the previous owners name. I have driven the car twice and everything seem to work great except the auto up/down feature seems to work only on the driver side. I had the impression that feature was on the passenger side also. Should it work on both?
Meca, I think VW upgraded to metal retainer clips for the 2002 models, so the power window problem may not be an issue for the model you're considering -- still, I'd make sure before purchasing.
The brakes on my '00 GTI held up OK, but others have had problems (see prior posts). Brake pads are considered a wear item (warrantied to 12,000 miles, I think), so the bumper-to-bumper warranty won't cover the costs of labor/parts.
I don't remember if the passenger window has auto up/down. I recommend consulting the owner's manual. I had no ignition coil problems.
So far as window regulator replacement goes, I seem to remember being told by the VW service department that the upgraded regulators will be installed free of charge upon customer request even if there's been no failure, but I can't say for sure. Too bad they didn't just build them to last in the first place...
Meca, I urge you to consider all your options carefully before purchasing a late model GTI. My '00 GTI was prone to constant problems (see prior posts), and I don't recommend this car to anyone. Bear in mind that Consumer Reports (2003 New Car Buyer's Guide) gives the the Golf/GTI a "well below average" predicted reliability rating, and does not recommend the Golf, Jetta or New Beetle.
About a month ago I purchased a used 2002 GTI VR6 with 10,200 miles. I read all I could on the internet, and even corresponded on this site with a few of you all before I bought. I expected to have trouble with the windows, and indeed the passenger window stopped working about 3 weeks after I bought the car. The dealer quickly repaired it with the 2003 metal clip, and was willing to retrofit the drivers window with the new clip until they checked their records and found that that repair had already been made.
Otherwise, the car has been an absolute joy to drive and to own. We'll see how reliable it is in the long run, but in my mind the package can't be compared to anything else on the market for my needs. It is more than quick enough to be fun, the styling is understated compared to the competition (SVT Focus, Vibe,etc.), and the cargo area is extremely useful (a critical need for my use). The suspension tuning gave me a bit of concern, but after driving it for a month I think the balance between ride and handling is perfect. I initially considered suspension upgrades for less roll, sharper turn-in. However, I do have to drive regularly on some unpaved farm roads and the stock setup makes this bearable so I won't change it.
So, 204meca -- if you are still considering your used 02 GTI feel free to respond with any questions. I made the leap and have no regrets. For what its worth, we also have a 2000 Passat (German built) that has been trouble free.
I am still in the hunt. Have fully optioned Silver 02 GTI (1.8T) picked out with 10,400 miles, but hope to land it for a grand less than the dealers asking price of $17,300. Actually he was asking $21,000 a month ago, so he may not budge much more. But I am going to hold out till the end of the month. I found an 01 VR6 for the same price, but prefer the smaller engine for balance and economy.
The 02 civic Si still beckons also, but in the balance I prefer the GTI even though I may have to pay another $1-2K more. Currently I am trying to sell my 97 Del Sol Si, since the dealer offer has been low. The Honda dealer offer $2k more to just purchase the DS than the Chrysler dealer (where the GTI is) offered in trade!
I paid $20,900 for the 2002 VR6. There was little data available for the 2002 models since so few have been traded in or resold, but that price seemed consistent with what the 2001s were going for. I waited the dealer out for almost a month, and the deal only worked for me when the dealer offered me a decent trade for my Ranger pick-up (which I had purchased used from the same dealer 2 years ago). The used car market is very soft right now, and it seems that you can get great deals on used cars, but it is hard to get a decent trade on your current car.
In any event, $17,300 sounds like an excellent price for the 1.8t, especially if it is loaded and in good shape. I bought the VR6 precisely for those reasons, even though the VR6 would probably not have been my first engine choice if I was to buy a new car. I like the engine, but probably would like the 200hp 4 valve model even more. Fuel economy is really the only downside to the "old" 2 valve VR6s like mine -- I've been getting about 21mpg in mixed driving, no more than 26 on the highway.
So, good luck with your choice. Sounds like a good price to me and had I found the same car (1.8t loaded)at the same price I would have bought it! My brother-in-law is a Honda guy, and is considering the Civic Si and I think thats a great car too. It is cheaper, but from my understanding is not available with the luxury options that make the GTI even that much more classy. For that matter, I'm not sure the "technology package" was available in the 1.8t GTIs in 2002. I initially thought that the electronic climate control, rain sensing wipers, and auto dimming rear view mirror were mere gimmicks. . . but, believe it or not they all work great and add a very upscale feel to what is still a small and relatively inexpensive car.
I WAS TOLD BY VW TO USE FULLY SYNTHETIC OIL FOR BEST LONG TERM RESULTS IN MY '02 GTI VR6. I HAVE 8500 MILES ON THE ENGINE NOW, AND HAVE CHANGED OIL TWICE USING MOBIL 1 FULLY SYNTHETIC 5W-30. I KNOW ONCE YOU START USING SYNTHETIC OIL, IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT YOU STAY WITH IT, BUT IS IT NECESSARY TO KEEP USING THE SAME BRAND? THE MOBIL 1 IS A BIT PRICEY $30.00 FOR A CASE OF 6 QUARTS. JUST CURIOUS, I WOULD RATHER HAVE QUALITY THAN SACRIFICE HARDWARE ANYWAY...THANKS..