VW Golf 6 GTI - Essential Buyer's Guide

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kingr
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VW Golf 6 GTI - Essential Buyer's Guide

Post by kingr » Mon Jan 14, 2019 3:21 pm

Mk6 GTI Model Years:
2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013

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Vehicle Specs:
  • Engine: 2.0 TSI
  • Power: 155kW @ 5 100r/min
  • Torque: 280Nm @ 1 800r/min
  • Transmission: Six-speed manual/DSG
  • 0 - 100kph: 6.9 sec
  • Top Speed: 240km/h
  • Fuel Tank Size: 55l
  • Fuel Consumption: 7.3l/100km
  • Weight: 1 393kg
  • Boot Size: 350l (275l with spare)
  • Tyres 225/40R18
  • Service Intervals: 15 000km
  • Service Plan: 5 year/90 000km
  • Warranty: 3 year/100 000km
Introduction
If a Golf Mk5 GTI seems a little dated for you and you’re eyeing a Mk6 GTI, you’re in the right place for the essential lowdown and buying advice on a great performance car! In this article, we’ll look at broad features and performance of the Mk6 GTI, as well as common problems drivers have with the car. After feeling their way through the Mk3 and Mk4 Golfs of the day, Volkswagen came back strong with the Mk5 GTI. The Golf GTI’s of that period reclaimed Volkswagen’s reputation for excellent engineering, but also drew some criticism for less-than-luxury interiors, as well as other omissions. We’ve written a very detailed Mk5 GTI buyer’s guide if this article scares you away from buying a VW Mk6 GTI.

As with the Mk5 GTI, the Mk6 GTI was built on the Volkswagen Group A5 (or PQ35) platform, and the Mk6 was in most part a re-skinning of the previous Mk5, building on and eliminating many gripes from consumers. There was a pertinent in-house drive at Volkswagen at the time, attempting to shorten the Golf’s assembly time.

Engineering improvements were not only visible on the car, but also manifest on the plant floor, where the automaker gleaned a 20 percent improvement in manufacturing efficiency. Volkswagen seemed to find its feet with the Mk6 GTI, both on factory production time and protocols, as well as improving many aspects of the previous Golf Mk5 GTI’s interior and exterior.

If you’re looking for a stylish performance hatchback, particularly with South Africa’s love of the Golf, a Mk6 GTI is the ideal car. You need to get your head around the fact that the Mk6 is a performance car, with its own common problems and needs. If you’re prepared to treat and service this car for what it is - then you’re set to enjoy daily performance and accompanying comfort, with loads of street cred.


Performance can easily be tweaked with ecu software upgrades and bolt-on modifications, but taking only 6.9 seconds to 100kph as standard makes it a little rocket and no lie. Its turbocharged 2.0tsi engine thrives on being recognised as a performance car, something to remember in terms of both daily driving and servicing requirements.

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Are you sure the Mk6 GTI is right for you?

Prices are always competitive on VW Golfs, but the Golf Mk6 GTI is a top-end car, so it trades in the upper echelons of sporty hatches in this country. It is absolutely essential to vet any used car with extreme diligence, as they are more prone to previous owner abuse, and thus costly failure on your watch. We’ll go through common problems and how to sample for them in this article, but it’s all too easy to just “get set” on a GTI and forsake all other considerations. Golf GTIs can cost unwary buyers, so right at the outset, be sure that a Golf, firstly, and secondly a performance VW Golf Mk6 GTI is the car you really want and can afford.

Although still relatively new, the servicing costs on a Golf Mk6 GTI are going to settle on anyone owning one over the next few years. Correct, preventative maintenance is going to make all the difference to your enjoyment, so as we look at assorted probable costs, be sure that you’re prepared to accommodate them, we strongly recommend at least getting an extended warranty for that added piece of mind. Few things are as much of a liability as a performance Golf GTI that needs extensive repairs. Performance cars typically cost more to maintain, and that’s the price we pay for the joy of driving them.

Industry gossip: Did you know that the Volkswagen Scirocco was once mooted as the new Golf shape? Particularly the later models from 2008 onwards were almost destined to eclipse the Golf in production, as a new Golf shape. Instead, Volkswagen kept the Scirocco as a standalone car, more or less maintaining the Golf as we still know it.

Volkswagen Golf 6 GTI common problems

First launched at the Auto Show in Paris circa 2008, the Golf Mk6 GTI, to be fair, improved many persistent Golf nags of the previous decade or two, but the car still has common problems. You need to remember these issues when out shopping for your Mk6 GTI - and check up on them - to avoid getting stung with a lemon.

Parts have also improved since its first release, and some modifications are now recommended as standard practice, to avoid costly breakages.

If you’re loathe to take your car to a Volkswagen dealership, there are other independent yet highly reputable workshops that can work on your Mk6 GTI. Ask about all parts carefully, whether there’s an upgrade available or other peripheral parts around an issue that you can swap out at the same time if ever you’re doing a repair.

Golfs overall tend to go direct to component failure in the face of lousy maintenance, and with a performance Mk6 GTI, even more so. This is why it’s so critical to gather as much service history information on a Mk6 GTI as you can when considering it as a purchase, as diligent, regular servicing is mandatory with all GTIs. If your considering a DSG model, it’s paramount that the DSG gearbox also received the recommended servicing which includes oil changes, oil filter replacement and software updates.

The engine problems below are relevant to all VAG (Volkswagen and Audi group) vehicles fitted with the 2.0tsi engine. The vehicles falling into this category are almost all 2.0T engine fitted vehicle produced from 2009 to 2013.

Vehicles fitted with the 2.0tsi engine from the Mk6 GTI:
  • VW MK6 GTI 2.0T TSI (2009 - 2013)
  • VW MK6 Jetta 2.0T TSI (2009 - 2013)
  • VW CC 2.0T TSI 2009 - 2015
  • VW EOS 2.0T TSI (2008 - 2014)
  • VW Tiguan 2.0T TSI (2009 - 2015)
  • VW Beetle 2.0T TSI (2012 - 2015)
  • Audi A3 2.0T TSI (2009 - 2014)
  • Audi MK2 TT 2.0T TSI (2009 - 2014)

#1 - Timing chain tensioner failure

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Function:
The timing chain synchronizes the rotation of the camshaft(s) and crankshaft inside the engine, with the timing chain tensioner responsible for adding the correct amount tension to the chain and along with the guides prevents chains from vibrating.

The timing chain tensioner plays a critical role - if it’s too loose the chain will rotate too fast and can skip a tooth on the chain - thus damaging the engine severely (bent valves, damaged camshaft, damaged cylinder head), too tight and it will whine and put excess strain and wear on the timing chain causing it to stretch.


Symptoms of failure:
  • Very rowdy engine idle
  • Engine rattle when idling
  • Car struggling to start or doesn’t start at all
  • “Check engine” light on instrument cluster with error codes P0016 (Crank/ Cam position sensor correlation) or P0328 (Knock Sensor 1 Circuit High Input)
  • When timing jump occurs, the valves can hit the pistons very hard and crushed the conrod big end bearings and lead to replacement of the entire engine
Bare in mind that these are not definite symptoms of the timing chain tensioner failing. Unfortunately the timing chain tensioner on the Mk6 GTI can fail without warning! Even owners with the revised tensioner have experiences failures. A high rate of failures have been identified with the 2009 and 2010 models, these were the first released Mk6 GTI’s, so you get yourself a later model if possible.

Low mileage Golf 6 GTI’s are not immune to this problem and are also affected by the timing chain tensioner failure, we’ve seen failures on vehicles with only 60 000km driven. So don’t think because you’re buying a low mileage car that it excludes you from this common problem with the Golf 6 GTI.

Preventative maintenance is key here! Failure of the timing tensioner will be a big ticket expensive. As a new prospective Golf Mk6 GTI owner, if there’s any uncertainty on whether the tensioner has been replaced, get it replaced yourself after taking ownership, use the latest timing chain tensioner revision (get more details from your local VW dealership regarding the revised parts available). The old tensioner used a ratchet type construction, the new revised tensioners just use the normal type construction.

The peace of mind to in replacing the tensioner will be worth it, overall the Mk6 GTI is a very solid car, but this is definitely it’s hercules heel.

Maintaining the correct oil level in your car is also very important and can also contribute to the failure of the timing chain tensioner. GTI’s are known for drinking oil at a higher rate than normal (500ml top-up every 1,000km), so always keep your eye on the levels and top-up if you’re running low on oil.

How much does it cost to fixing the timing chain tensioner?
R10 000 - R25 000 (includes cost to replace the timing chain - recommended, but not needed)


#2 - Timing chain wear (stretch)

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Function:
The timing chain controls opening and closing of the engine valves, it also synchronizes the rotation of the camshaft(s) and crankshaft inside the engine, the timing chains itself are very durable and normally replacement of the chains are not required due to their long service life. These chains do stretch over time though from wear and tear, many people have replaced worn chains on the 2.0tsi engine fitted in the Mk6 GTI, so we strongly recommend you watch the wear and replace the chains if needed to avoid catastrophic damage to your engine.

The timing chains in the Mk6 GTI 2.0tsi is good for a minimum 200 000km, after this mileage the chain won’t necessary snap, but we don’t recommend testing the limits of the wear on this critical part. The tensioner failure mentioned in point #1 is the culprit that causes problems and leads to premature replacement of the timing chains.

Symptoms of failure:
  • Engine warning light with correlation fault, tensioner collapse or timing is out
  • Noisy engine idle on cold-start or while driving - video reference
  • Car will sounds like a diesel
  • Lack of power and difficulty starting
  • Timing chain knocks againsts the timing cover
Anything from a funny “lapse” while driving through to a rough grating that sounds like your engine’s falling out can indicate timing chain issues. The timing chain can skip a teeth and cause very unwelcome engine damage. When replacing the timing chains it’s also recommend to replace the chain guides as well, all needed parts can be found inside a timing chain kit.

The timing chains are oil lubricated parts, it’s important to always use good quality oil (5w30), maintain the correct oil levels, and change the oil at the recommended intervals. This will prevent premature wear of the timing chains.

Recommended to also replace camshaft bracket / bearing bridge.

How much does it cost to replace the timing chain?
R11 500 - R25 000

#3 Camshafts

Symptoms:
Stretching the timing chain can also lead to damage of the camshaft adjuster, and the camshaft adjuster is part of the intake camshaft, so you need to replace the camshaft as unit to fix the problem, a very costly expense you want to avoid.

Most people replace both camshafts when doing this repair, but it’s not compulsory for you to do this.

Avoid this big expense by replacing your timing chain as mentioned above.

#4 DSG Transmission (Dual Clutch Transmission)

Function:
The DSG semi-automatic gearbox should feel smooth and shift effortlessly, and a complete service history is crucial on the gearbox. If it hasn’t been serviced properly, repairs can become expensive really quickly!

Symptoms of failure:
Delayed gear shifts, hunting, and jerky changes are all bad signs. You should test that the car change gears with the paddle shifters and with the gearbox in manual mode. Also test gear changes at low and high speed. Go from 2nd to 3rd and then down again from 3rd to 2nd, looking out for notchy changes. The Mechatronics unit is generally the culprit that packs up. Clutches can also wear and need replacing.

Any fix on this gearbox will be very expensive (R20,000 plus), so opt for a manual car if you don’t want to risk it. Check that the DSG gearbox has the latest VW software, as a dealership may charge an hour’s labour to update the software. This update will optimise DSG adoption and gearbox basic settings.

Repair cost: +- R34,800 (part only)

#5 High Pressure Fuel Pump (HPFP)

Function:
The HPFP, is a camshaft-driven pump that pressurizes fuel from the tank and then sprays the fuel directly into the combustion chamber.

Symptoms of failure:
The fuel supply to the engine will cut out, especially under wide open throttle (WOT). The car may also go into hard-limp mode with no boost if the failure of the HPFP is extreme. Causes of failure can also be the piston inside the pump seizing, as this pump works hard and pressurizes fuel up to 130bar!

Repair cost: +- R5,000 (part only)

#6 High Oil Usage
The Mk6 GTI is thirsty for oil, you will need to keep your eye on the oil level. Don’t wait for the low oil pressure light to remind you to top up. These cars require a 500ml top-up every 1,000km.

#7 - PCV (Positive Crankcase Ventilation Valve) - Failure

Function:
The PCV system routes the pressurized vapours from the crankcase to the intake manifold, where it can be burned in the combustion process.

Symptoms of failure:
Different smaller parts inside the PCV can fail, like the rubber diaphragm which can tear, or the smaller orange valve can get stuck. This causes loss of boost pressure, poor idling and misfires. Oil being pushed out of the oil cap and random oil leaks like, for example, around the rear main seal, are other symptoms to watch out for. The Malfunction Indicator lamp on the instrument cluster may also illuminate, triggered by fault codes. A high pitch whistling noise is also a common symptom of failure. Pull the dipstick while the car is idling to relieve the pressure. If the idling remains the same, the PCV is still fine and working as it should. If, however, idling rpm drops, then the PCV needs replacement.

Repair cost: +- R1,200 (part only)

#8 Diverter Valve (Turbocharger recirculation valve)

Function:
When you accelerate, compressed air is forced into the engine by the turbo. When you decelerate and take your foot off the pedal, the Diverter Valve takes the compressed air that’s still inside the engine and recycles it via the intake system.

Symptoms of failure:
Loss of turbo boost, extended turbo lag or a sluggish throttle response.

Repair cost: +- R1,200 (part only)

#9 Camshaft Follower - Premature wear

Function:
A cam follower is a specialized type of roller or needle bearing, designed to follow cam lobe profiles while the camshaft rotates inside the engine. The 2.0T FSI engines uses a flat faced follower.

Symptoms of failure:
The camshaft followers wear prematurely and can cause your car to sound like a diesel. Sometimes you might have no symptoms, and everything operates as normal. This is a wear and tear part and should be inspected at least every 10,000km or every oil change. And if excessive wear is noticed, this should be replaced immediately to avoid future expenses. If the follower wears completely, it can also damage the camshaft lobes and High Pressure Fuel Pump (HPFP), leading to not only replacement of the followers, but also the camshafts and the HPFP. Big ticket expenses are the kind you want to avoid, so keep your eye on these buggers. Total wear of the follower can also cause the car to go into limp mode, due to low fuel pressure.

Repair cost: +- R1,000 (part only)

#10 - Carbon buildup - Injectors and other valves

The engine design of the 2.0T FSI uses direct injection to get the fuel inside the combustion chamber. This means there are no injectors on the intake manifold. The Mk6’s injectors can become clogged to the point of becoming dysfunctional and, much like a cambelt service where, on any car, the cambelt gets flicked around 100,000km, the Golf Mk6’s injectors and valves need specific, periodic cleaning or even eventual replacing. Meticulous servicing will help delay the inevitable accumulation and remains your best bet to minimise all known mechanical issues on a Golf Mk6.

Symptoms of clogging:
Poor performance from the car and carbon build-up blocking the oil pickup can also be signs. If the “low oil pressure” light goes on, then the oil pickup is a good place to start diagnosing the issue. You can remove the sump and clean it, and also clean the oil pickup and see if this dismisses the “low oil pressure” light.

Poor oil can also cause engine sludge and block the pick up, so always ensure you’re using the recommended 5w40 oil and have enough oil in the engine.

#11 - Coil Packs

Function:
The Golf Mk6 GTI’s coil packs are basically responsible for the needed spark in the engine. They are thus directly impactful on power and performance, and as they begin to fail, the overall performance of the car becomes coughy and erratic.

Symptoms of failure:
Increasingly frequent backfires or misfires, especially when punching it down the highway. Even more persistent misfires while idling are a confirmation that the coil packs have gone. Spoil yourself and your car and fit Audi R8 coil packs. If you’re planning on fitting the gutsier K04 turbo from the GTI Edition 35 at some point, the R8 coil packs will be a much better replacement anyway.

Repair cost: +- R2700 (part only)


#12 - Intake Manifold Failure

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Function
The Golf 6 GTI is fitted a plastic intake manifold, it’s responsible to evenly distribute air to each intake port in the cylinder head.

Symptoms of failure:
Watch out for the “check engine” light coming on combined with a fault on the ECU for your intake manifold runner position, boost or fuel mixture.

Poor or rough idling are signs to watch for with a failing intake. Boost and vacuum leaks are a common
occurrence when the intake runner control jumps out of the intake manifold, thus causing a vacuum leak. When the intake manifold fails you have to replace the entire part, unfortunately.

Video Reference to fix this.

Repair cost: R7000 (parts + labour)


#13 - Water pump failure

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The water pump on the Golf Mk6 GTI is a bit of a lucky dip, as they seem to fail sporadically. The construction of the body is plastic, so in general the part is quite fragile and should be handled with care when repairs are being carried out.

There’s an outside chance that a Volkswagen dealership will replace the water pump on the house, assuming the car is still under the OEM warranty. That’s unlikely in 2019, but since it’s such a critical component of your car’s well-being, if you’re buying in these years, it’s best to fit a new replacement for peace of mind.

Intake manifold needs to be removed in order to replace the water pump, so budget for an average of 4 hours labour.

Symptoms of failure:
  • Water or Coolant leaks
  • “Check engine” light on instrument cluster with a malfunctioning cooling system error from the E
  • CU
  • Leaking coolant
  • Incorrect fitment or poor installation of the water pump from previous repairs, for the water pump to function optimally it’s very important that its installed correctly.
Video Reference to fix this.

Repair cost: R6000 (parts + labour)


#14 Evap Purge (N80) Valve

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Function:
The evaporative emissions system (evap) is responsible for maintaining fuel vapours inside the fuel tank. The fuel tank itself, doesn’t vent to the atmosphere due to hazardous fumes going into the atmosphere. This is where N80 valve comes into play, this solenoid valve manages the amount of fuel vapours that goes back into the intake manifold.

Symptoms of failure:
  • “Check engine” light on instrument cluster
  • “Check fuel cap” light on instrument cluster
  • Fuel errors on the ECU relating to system running lean or rich
  • Valve becomes clogged or blocked with particles from the charcoal canister
  • Electronic failure of the part all together
  • Valve stays stuck open, causing the ecu to think you haven’t closed the fuel cap

Common VW and Audi Error Codes caused by a faulty Evap Purge (N80) Valve on Golf 6 GTI 2.0T TSI engine
  • P0441 – EVAP Emission Control Sys: Incorrect Flow
  • P0456 – EVAP System: Very Small Leak Detected
  • P0455 – EVAP System: Large Leak Detected


The Evap Purge Valve should be the starting point if you have any of the faults above(assuming you have a gas cap on the vehicle) . See these video for more info about the VW and Audi Evap Purge (N80) Valve.

Video Reference to fix this.

#15 - Wastegate rattles

A minor issue, the wastegate rod on the Mk6 can rattle at times, unnerving the unsuspecting driver.

Symptoms of failure:
You’ll hear the rattle coming from either the engine or exhaust area. Volkswagen is again aware of this issue with the Mk6, and you can have a clip installed to eliminate it. It’s a minor issue, but it can make a lot of noise and dishearten those who want a sleek sporty experience.

Performance of the car is not affected by this, to fix the problem you can recon the turbo or replace is. The rattle is a characteristic of the 2.0tsi engine.


Servicing
  • Minor service @ 15,000km/12 Months
  • Major Service @ 60,000km/3 Years
  • Spark Plugs - Every 60,000km/3 Years
  • DSG Service @ 60 000km/4 Years - Oil change & DSG oil filter
  • Recommended Oil 5w30
  • Brake fluid replacement every 2 years
  • Fuel filter replacement @ 120,000km

Maintenance and Servicing Costs
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The servicing costs given below are derived from OEM VW parts and VW’s labour rates. You can normally find a decent independent workshop without too much hassle - they tend to become known - and they can often represent significant cost savings on servicing a Golf Mk6 GTI.

Minor Service (Lube Service)
Parts & labour: R2000


Major Service (*includes minor service)
Parts & labour (non DSG) : R5,500
Parts & labour (DSG): R10,500

Front brake pads + Discs
Parts & labour: R7,100

DSG Mechatronics unit
Part Only: R34,800

DSG Clutch Kit
Part Only: R7,800

Manual Clutch Kit
Part Only: R8,400

Manual dual-mass flywheel
Part Only: R13,000

DSG dual-mass flywheel
Part Only: R16,620

Tyres
Pirelli 225/40/18 - R1,500 per tyre
Velocity 225/45/17 - R1,100 per tyre


Golf Mk6 improved parts:
These are known improved parts that you can purchase for your Golf Mk6 GTI:
  • Intake manifold
  • Upgraded timing belt tensioner
  • Upgraded water pump
  • Coil packs (R8)
* more may exist

VW Golf 6 GTI Edition 35

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Released in 2012 to the South African market, the Golf 6 GTI Edition 35 was created to celebrate 35th anniversary since 1976 of the GTI model. This special model has distinctive features and performance upgrades that truly makes it special and sets it completely apart from “normal” GTIs. New buyers could opt for a DSG or manual transmission with this model.

Power is bumped up to 173kW/300nm thanks to a bigger K04 turbo and intercooler upgrade. Visually outside the car upgrades include a new alloy spoke wheel design, “edition 35” emblems on the front fenders, new front bumper with splitter, LED daytime running lights, bi-xenon headlamps and rear led tail lights.

The interior was also spiced up for the enthusiast with a new golf ball gear knob, sports seat with a special honeycomb pattern and 35 logo.

VW Golf 6 GTI cabriolet

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In 2013 Volkswagen released the Golf 6 GTI Cabriolet, fitted with a new electric folding canvas roof and heated glass rear window, this was the last model released of the of Mk6 GTI. The car was powered by the same engine (155kw/280nm) and fitted with a new XDS electronically locking differential, this helps in countering excessive understeer while driving.

Other new features is a reinforced windscreen frame, a roll-over protection system and more air bags. Standard features were also improved with front and rear pdc, dual zone climate control and a 8 speaker audio system.
Evaluating a performance car like the Golf Mk6 GTI
With such a smooth but thumping sound, it can become difficult to listen to a sale Golf Mk6 and correctly interpret what you’re hearing. Knowing the components to inspect for possible failure or previous abuse, go through each item against the backdrop of the car running and (hopefully) purring.

Very, very importantly, go on a long-enough test drive. Rattles and other noises might come and go, but you need to be in the car at various speeds for enough time to notice recurring sounds or issues. Also, punch it during the test drive on occasion. The top-end performance should be seamless - it’s a performance beast after all. Anything less than exhilaration as a leftover should make you look again.

A VW Mk6 GTI lemon

Almost certainly, any standing Mk6 is in need of unaffordable repairs. Unlike many other cars, these are typically owned by people who enjoy driving. Indeed, in some way, GTI drivers almost seem to prioritise it! A standing GTI is likely to be a costly one, as most owners will maintain the car for what it is - a high performance hatch. Check the battery first on a car that has been standing, as well as the tyre inflation before going on a test drive. If the car won’t start, prices start tumbling. You might eventually score a bargain for fielding some repair expenses, as even a few thousand in repairs might have been out of the owner’s reach at the time.

The final repair bill might be quite manageable for you, however, so itemise issues carefully and inspect the car thoroughly to be sure that you’re tallying costs correctly. Whether you’re prepared to buy a non-going Mk6 is up to you, but the price should come way down if you do.

What does a Golf Mk6 cost?
Much like any used car, the overall condition determines where in its echelon it can expect to land. The early 2009 models go for around R150 000 in good condition, while lower mileage, newer 2012 and 2013 models can often fetch R250 000. Unfortunately, there’s often a big variable, even when looking at two seemingly similar cars side by side. And that factor is (or was) maintenance. Poorly maintained sporty cars are a liability waiting to settle on someone else, and the Golf GTI has epitomised this for years.

You really need to drill down and interrogate the owner about the service history, assuming it isn’t all laid out for you in black and white. Your first quest when shopping is to make a shortlist of well-maintained, well cared for cars - often a bit of a challenge. When repair costs are scary, glossing over grey areas can be a killer when shopping GTIs. Don’t do it. Follow your questioning with a visual inspection of the issue being discussed, and look for an attitude of adult responsibility in the owner. Good maintenance should be a matter-of-fact reality with a Golf GTI, and you’ll hear in the owner’s words and demeanour much about how they have treated their car.

Ask if there’s a full service history and investigate the common problems listed above. With any Golf Mk6, glean a car valuation with our vehicle value tool and, once you’re down to the last handful of options, do a vehicle history check too. All in all, the Volkswagen Golf Mk6 GTI is a car we can justifiably recommend. It improved on both the interior and some mechanical niggles of the earlier Mk5, in spite of dragging a few design flaws into the mix.

If you are decided on a Mk6, take it into Volkswagen proper for a multipoint check. This includes diagnostics and being test-driven by Volkswagen technicians - invaluable expertise to help you make a decision. While not 100 percent conclusive, the dealership check will at least point out the lemons.

The GTI community

The Volkswagen Golf GTI has an international fraternity of loyal fans and owners. Few cars and even fewer hatches have developed such a committed following. It’s in part due to the massive attention each new GTI receives that it becomes easier to pinpoint known weak areas and anticipate them in maintenance. If you’re going to own a Golf Mk6 GTI, make sure you also join a relevant forum or two online, where you’ll gain the much-needed knowledge and support your interest deserves. The best forum for South African Golf owners is undoubtedly www.vwclub.co.za as it’s full of enthusiasts and resources.


Disclaimer: This is a buyers guide only. Any problem with a sale car should be diagnosed by a competent and professional technician. All information provided is for information only and is not designed to replace a service manual or professional help. Use at your own risk.
JonathanT4
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Re: VW Golf 6 GTI - Essential Buyer's Guide

Post by JonathanT4 » Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:09 pm

Add balance shaft seizure to that list.... bye bye engine..
Audi A4 2.0T 155KW Manual FWD. JE Pistons, IE Rods, Calico Bearings, Turbonetics T66.
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kingr
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Re: VW Golf 6 GTI - Essential Buyer's Guide

Post by kingr » Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:36 pm

JonathanT4 wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:09 pm
Add balance shaft seizure to that list.... bye bye engine..
Thanks for this tip, will research and add it. Think I've heard about this failure before.
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Re: VW Golf 6 GTI - Essential Buyer's Guide

Post by sbu.mah » Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:07 pm

Looking forward to the write up on mk7

Sent from my SM-N960F using Tapatalk

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Re: VW Golf 6 GTI - Essential Buyer's Guide

Post by kingr » Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:19 pm

sbu.mah wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:07 pm
Looking forward to the write up on mk7

Sent from my SM-N960F using Tapatalk
Yeah, the car has been out long enough for us to research what the common issues are and do a nice write-up for potential buyers. Coming soon :wink:
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Re: VW Golf 6 GTI - Essential Buyer's Guide

Post by Unobeat » Mon Jan 14, 2019 11:18 pm

Very well detailed information, thumbs up for putting this together.
THANAS wrote:Mix them together to create Shellstrol, and then mix that with Winstrol to create the ultimate, maximum performance oil for your engine.
panic-mechanic wrote:When I build engines and do stuff like this I do it when there is nobody else around, No distractions, No phone nothing so that you don't forget what you should be doing. It's the little things that make them run right. Anybody can slap a basic bottom end together. that is the easy bit. It's all the little things that makes these builds a success or not.
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Re: VW Golf 6 GTI - Essential Buyer's Guide

Post by s3 freak » Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:05 am

Didn’t know they suffered from cam follower failure? Thought this was only related to FSI motors?
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Re: VW Golf 6 GTI - Essential Buyer's Guide

Post by Wolfburger » Tue Jan 15, 2019 8:18 am

kingr wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:19 pm
sbu.mah wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:07 pm
Looking forward to the write up on mk7

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Yeah, the car has been out long enough for us to research what the common issues are and do a nice write-up for potential buyers. Coming soon :wink:
Is there one available for Golf 5 Gti perhaps
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Re: VW Golf 6 GTI - Essential Buyer's Guide

Post by sbu.mah » Tue Jan 15, 2019 8:28 am

Wolfburger wrote:
kingr wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:19 pm
sbu.mah wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:07 pm
Looking forward to the write up on mk7

Sent from my SM-N960F using Tapatalk
Yeah, the car has been out long enough for us to research what the common issues are and do a nice write-up for potential buyers. Coming soon :wink:
Is there one available for Golf 5 Gti perhaps
Yes he did one last year, check under his post - it's very detailed

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Re: VW Golf 6 GTI - Essential Buyer's Guide

Post by Wolfburger » Tue Jan 15, 2019 8:37 am

sbu.mah wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 8:28 am
Wolfburger wrote:
kingr wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:19 pm
sbu.mah wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:07 pm
Looking forward to the write up on mk7

Sent from my SM-N960F using Tapatalk
Yeah, the car has been out long enough for us to research what the common issues are and do a nice write-up for potential buyers. Coming soon :wink:
Is there one available for Golf 5 Gti perhaps
Yes he did one last year, check under his post - it's very detailed

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Thanks
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Re: VW Golf 6 GTI - Essential Buyer's Guide

Post by NH 9821 » Tue Jan 15, 2019 8:47 am

Nice read up

I have a manual 2011, getting close to 118kms, think its time to upgrade.
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Re: VW Golf 6 GTI - Essential Buyer's Guide

Post by kingr » Tue Jan 15, 2019 8:55 am

s3 freak wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:05 am
Didn’t know they suffered from cam follower failure? Thought this was only related to FSI motors?
Nope, same issue persist on the 2.0tsi engine. Golf 6 R is also affected by this issue.
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Re: VW Golf 6 GTI - Essential Buyer's Guide

Post by kingr » Tue Jan 15, 2019 8:58 am

NH 9821 wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 8:47 am
Nice read up

I have a manual 2011, getting close to 118kms, think its time to upgrade.
Why? that's a good year and decent mileage. This article scaring you away? :smile:
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Re: VW Golf 6 GTI - Essential Buyer's Guide

Post by sbu.mah » Tue Jan 15, 2019 9:56 am

If you find time please share some info on pre report on new cars, as I didn't know such things exist on warranty covers and why dealers don't disclose upfront and if that it's even legal

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Re: VW Golf 6 GTI - Essential Buyer's Guide

Post by 2SCOOPS » Tue Jan 15, 2019 12:49 pm

Great Write up
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Re: VW Golf 6 GTI - Essential Buyer's Guide

Post by Titleists » Tue Jan 15, 2019 1:23 pm

On the Ed 35. It reads that it shared the same engine of the GTI, but has more power due to a k04 turbo and bigger intercooler. The Turbo and intercooler is correct, but it actually has a different engine i.e a belt driven one.
VCDS changes done by me for a minimal fee

My ex rides:

2013 LHD Scirocco R
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Re: VW Golf 6 GTI - Essential Buyer's Guide

Post by kingr » Tue Jan 15, 2019 2:13 pm

Titleists wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 1:23 pm
On the Ed 35. It reads that it shared the same engine of the GTI, but has more power due to a k04 turbo and bigger intercooler. The Turbo and intercooler is correct, but it actually has a different engine i.e a belt driven one.
This is 100% correct, thanks for that. Will update accordingly, from research looks to be the Golf 5 GTI tfsi engine right? Same engine used in the R.
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Re: VW Golf 6 GTI - Essential Buyer's Guide

Post by Le Clue » Tue Jan 15, 2019 2:27 pm

Small thing to add... the 1st batch of 2009 models were poverty spec.... didn't have multi function steering, cruise control, auto dim rear view mirror....
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Re: VW Golf 6 GTI - Essential Buyer's Guide

Post by Belix » Tue Jan 15, 2019 2:58 pm

Great post!
is there any warnings on the waterpump failure? Otherwise, what mileage should it be changed, to stay on the safe side?
Is the Camshaft Follower checked by the dealer during a service?
Anyone need VCDS coding?
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Re: VW Golf 6 GTI - Essential Buyer's Guide

Post by Ian_F » Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:06 pm

Great write up Kurt!

We may need to sticky this for future reference.

Just to add, cam followers are present on the TFSi motor found in the ED35 & Golf R.

Not the later TSi motor which featured a new HPFP solution with a roller bearing follower.
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Re: VW Golf 6 GTI - Essential Buyer's Guide

Post by kingr » Tue Jan 15, 2019 9:18 pm

Thanks Ian, sure we can make it a sticky. I need to add all the updates from the comments and some important things I missed, like the cost of DSG oil and the filter.
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Re: VW Golf 6 GTI - Essential Buyer's Guide

Post by kingr » Wed Jan 16, 2019 8:04 am

sbu.mah wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 9:56 am
If you find time please share some info on pre report on new cars, as I didn't know such things exist on warranty covers and why dealers don't disclose upfront and if that it's even legal

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Are you referring to issues on a used car that an oem dealership might be aware of? So you get two things

1) campaigns - known issue to a OEM dealership with a specific vehicle and the dealership will fix the issue for free up to a specific amount of mileage and age of the vehicle

2) Recalls - major mechanical issues on a vehicle that affects the safety operation

Recently when the Ford Cougar's started setting alight Ford SA informed all existing customers with the same engine to bring the vehicle in for a "campaign fix" and have coolant relating parts replaced with revised ones.

So the best thing to do when buying a used car privately/dealership is to take the VIN and call a OEM dealership and find out if there's any recalls/campaigns for this specific vehicle. Most will assist. Hope this is what you wanted to know. In future we will likely get access to the data and include it inside our vehicle history reports, but OEM are very careful today with sharing such data with third parties like us.

Many used car dealerships sell cars without doing research (ignorance), so they themselves don't sometimes know if a vehicle has a recall/campaign.
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Re: VW Golf 6 GTI - Essential Buyer's Guide

Post by Ian_F » Wed Jan 16, 2019 8:06 am

sbu.mah wrote:If you find time please share some info on pre report on new cars, as I didn't know such things exist on warranty covers and why dealers don't disclose upfront and if that it's even legal

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There is an article on daily maverick written by a journalist about her BMW.

You need to read that.
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Re: VW Golf 6 GTI - Essential Buyer's Guide

Post by kingr » Wed Jan 16, 2019 8:11 am

Belix wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 2:58 pm
Great post!
is there any warnings on the waterpump failure? Otherwise, what mileage should it be changed, to stay on the safe side?
Is the Camshaft Follower checked by the dealer during a service?
Yes. Watch out for you temp gauge fluctuating, but mostly coolant leaks will be under vehicle. The water pump is located under the intake manifold, so look around this area.

There's no guarantee a dealership will check this for you, best to request them to do this and provide you with the feedback. The community and us recommend checking it as a best practise to avoid the surprise of a worn follower.
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Re: VW Golf 6 GTI - Essential Buyer's Guide

Post by kingr » Wed Jan 16, 2019 8:13 am

Wolfburger wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 8:18 am
kingr wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:19 pm
sbu.mah wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:07 pm
Looking forward to the write up on mk7

Sent from my SM-N960F using Tapatalk
Yeah, the car has been out long enough for us to research what the common issues are and do a nice write-up for potential buyers. Coming soon :wink:
Is there one available for Golf 5 Gti perhaps
VW Golf 5 GTI - Essential Buyer's Guide

Most of the issue are the same.
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