I apologize in advance for this newbie question
I am helping a single mother (4 kids!) purchase a car for her oldest child,
who is 18. Finances are VERY tight and she's pretty much limited to about
$4,000 or less.
She has found a 1999 VW Golf with 128,000 miles on it. It's got an
automatic transmission and sun roof. It's being offered by a used car
dealer "as-is" for $3,000. She asked me to look it over. I know that on
*any* car with that number of miles on it will have some issues, and that
how well it was maintained is the major factor, but I do not have access to
any of the maintenance records. I am unfamiliar with VWs, and really need
input from the perspective of an experienced VW enthusiast who knows the
weak points and what to look for. Here is what I can find:
1) Car pulls to the right significantly. This might be because the left
front tire is the spare, which has lots of tread on it, whereas the right
front is nearly completely worn. Dealer claims this is why it is pulling
right. I do believe this *could* be a cause, or it might simply be an
excuse to cover up a more significant problem. Do VW Golfs of that vintage
have any alignment problems?
2) Plenty of rear brake pad left, but fronts are almost gone, although not
touching rotors yet. How expensive are Golf brake jobs? Can you resurface
Golf rotors, or does VW automatically replace rotors when front pads need
3) Perhaps most significant: I opened the oil fill cap, and there appears to
be a light coating of gritty sludge. The oil on the dipstick is pretty
dirty. Do Golfs of this vintage have any sludging problems?
4) Do Golfs have timing belts, or chains? If a belt, how much does it cost
to replace them?
- posted 12 years ago