As a staple family hatchback here in the UK, the Volkswagen Golf is a particularly popular car, and with lots of excellent reasons too. Ever since it was first launched in 1973, it’s become known for being roomy and comfortable, as well as efficient and competitively priced. That makes it an especially economical and versatile used car, and a favourite in our online car auctions. On the whole, even used Volkswagen Golf cars perform notably well, but some can be prone to one or two niggling problems. Here are some of the most common, and what you can do about them.
The DPF warning light comes on
This is a notably common issue on some of the older Volkswagen Golf models. If you notice the DPF light illuminate on our dashboard, that signifies an issue with your Diesel Particulate Filter. In a nutshell, the Diesel Particulate Filter plays a vital role in cleaning up the emissions from the vehicle by removing some of the most harmful elements from the waste gases. The main problem seems to be that if certain Volkswagen Golf salvage cars are only driven for short distances - a quick trip to the shops, for example - it doesn’t give the system enough time to build up the heat it needs to remove the particles.
Happily, one of the most effective solutions is also the simplest, and also doesn’t require any technical knowledge. All you have to do is take the car out onto an A road or a motorway and get it up to about 25000rpm for about 15 minutes, which should be more than enough time for the DPF to accumulate enough heat to clear the particles. If that doesn’t work though, you might be looking at a replacement DPF.
The car is idling poorly, or runs roughly
Some Volkswagen Golf drivers have experienced particularly rough running at times in their cars, more than what they’d normally expect for a used or a salvage car. More often than not, the root cause of this can be traced back to the ignition coil pack. The ignition coil pack is controlled by the Engine Control Unit (basically the car’s electronic ‘brain’), and is responsible for creating the spark that ignites the combustion mix in the engine.
If there are any problems with the coils, this mix generally ignites less powerfully and efficiently, which often results in an engine noise that’s louder than usual, or a mysterious loss of power. Replacing the coil pack is often enough to fix the issue.
Problems with the gearbox
Speaking of rough running, if you’re planning on buying a Volkswagen Golf as a salvage car with the intention of driving it again, it’s worth making sure that the gearbox functions smoothly as you go up and down the gears. If there’s any chattering or shaking at all, don’t wait to get it checked out as soon as you can. If you’re a qualified mechanic or a skilled amateur, then you may find that it’s a relatively easy fix, and if you’re not, then hopefully it’s an inexpensive one.
There are electrical gremlins
As with many of Europe’s most popular marques, Volkswagen’s cars are known to suffer from their fair share of electrical bugs here and there. Thankfully, these can be some of the cheapest issues to resolve. Faults with the navigation or infotainment systems, for example, may not affect the car’s actual ability to drive.
However, other electrical issues can be more problematic, such as those with the car’s windows, central locking or air conditioning. Problems with the lights can be especially dangerous, as they can end up rendering you more or less blind - and even worse, invisible - on the highway after nightfall. If you’ve decided to arrange a test drive or in-person inspection for the Volkswagen Golf before you buy it, it’s certainly worth taking the time to check that these systems all function smoothly.
If you’ve got a fair amount of mechanical skill and expertise yourself, you shouldn’t find most of these issues to be too much of a problem. Plus, due to the popularity of Volkswagen Golf vehicles, they can be quite profitable vehicles to fix up and ‘flip’ for profit. And if that’s what you’re looking to do, you’re in exactly the right place. We have a huge range of used and salvage Volkswagen cars for sale, including Volkswagen Golfs, as well as Jettas, Passats and more.
You can also find a range of affordable cars from other manufacturers for sale, including models from Peugeot, Renault and Vauxhall. Our auctions are refreshed on a daily and weekly basis, so there are always new deals to be had! Why not take a look around our site, and see what you can find?