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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I purchased a 51 plate 1.4 late last year. The cylinder head had gone when it was sold to me, and the Ford dealership I purchased it from insisted there was nothing wrong. I took it to a VW garage who promptly diagnosed the problem. After chasing Ford for two weeks trying to get ?2000 worth of warranty work done on a ?6000 car, I gave up and got in touch with the MD of the franchise (this wasn't the only time they had messed me about). He gave me a full refund and some compensation money - but it took me 3 months from the date of purchase to finally sort it all out.

I love GTI & V5 spec Golfs, so I've decided to put some extra cash in this time and get what I've wanted all along. 51/52 plate V5's seems to be available for reasonable money at the moment.

I've set myself an ?8000 limit for the car including a 12 month warranty/MOT/road tax. I used to really put my foot down in the 1.4 just to get it to move, so I'm expecting that a GTI or V5 driven sensibly shouldn't cost too much more in fuel. Is 25-30 mpg a realistic figure for a bit of town driving and occasional trips along the M1? I'm swapping my insurance over from Norwich Union to Churchill thanks to some decent quotes, so the insurance premium isn't a problem. If I was to buy a car privately I would take out a 12 month warranty with Warranty Wise - they quoted ?219 on a 2001/02 Gti or V5 with under 40k on the clock.

I looked at a private sale V5 yesterday, and it seemed like a good car. The spec was exactly what I was after - 2002, low mileage, full VW service history etc. A friend came along for the test drive. He was sitting on the left side of the back seat and (unsuprisingly) noticed a largish pool of water on the right hand side where the passengers feet would be. The seller seemed genuinely suprised by it, and told me that it could of been some snow that was left in the car from a few days ago. I wasn't convinced - it certainly looked like a leak to me. Has anyone else seen this in a MK4 Golf?

Any recommendations for VW sellers near Leeds?

Any help is much appreciated!

Neil
 

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The leak in the passenger footwell is probably due to the pollen filter not being seated / sealed properly which is easily fixed. As far as mpg goes i average about 25 combined but that's because I have a 3 mile drive to and from work in traffic everyday so the engine rarely gets warmed up! On a motorway run I can get around 35 sticking to the speed limit. The V5 is by no means frugal and the GTI will return better mpg but it does depend on how you drive it. Not many tuning options for the V5 but youshould be able to pick a tidy example up for a good price as there's not as much demand for them in comparison to the 1.8T. I love my V5 especially the engine note and don't regret getting it over the 1.8T but then I had no intensions to increase the power. I think AMD get 190 bhp from the 170 V5 with their stage 2 setup - remap and milltek exhaust for about ?650. Later V5s do have the 312mm front discs and vented rears as standard together with 6 CD in dash changer, auto-dimming mirror, climatronic and rain sensitive wipers as standard. The standard suspension is woeful but that's easily changed. Deffo get the warranty if you can because the usual MK4 faults can cost a few quid - MAF, Lamda probes, rear axel bushes etc.
HTH
D
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for info!

How much do you expect the pollen filter will cost to fix (re-seal)? Is there any way I could check this myself if I was to take a second look at the car?

The car in question was early 2002 and had climatronic & 6 CD changer. When did they stop making the V5?

I doubt I'll ever make any modifcations to the performance of the car - the only thing I would want to change is to colour code the valances to match the rest.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Most of the posts on pollen filters leaks seem to be from people who have had a leak in the front of the car - the V5 I looked at had a pool of water in the passenger footwell behind the driver. But if I use my sherlock skills, I also noticed that the car was parked on quite a steep road, which could have caused the water to collect in the rear of the car.

Does anyone have any handy tips on buying a car privately? I've gone through the steps in autotrader, but because Im so new to this I want all the advice I can get!
 

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Most of the posts on pollen filters leaks seem to be from people who have had a leak in the front of the car - the V5 I looked at had a pool of water in the passenger footwell behind the driver. But if I use my sherlock skills, I also noticed that the car was parked on quite a steep road, which could have caused the water to collect in the rear of the car.

Does anyone have any handy tips on buying a car privately? I've gone through the steps in autotrader, but because Im so new to this I want all the advice I can get!
Sorry to butt in, but IMO you are better to walk away from the car. There are tons of MK4 Golfs around without a water leakage !!!

My advise, as I have always bought privately, with no real dramas, is always take someone along to look at a car, get a HPI check done, have a good test drive and don't be afraid to give the car a good seeing to, it's the only way some faults will manifest themselves !!

Since you are after such a popular car (MK4 Golf), any suspicions/ problems your not sure about, walk away, there will be another one along very soon. Trust your instincts, or if you really havn't a clue, get an independant inspection.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the input Dubswich.

The car seems in good condition otherwise, so it would be a shame to completely write it off if it is just the pollen filter. I was intending to do a HPI check, but I'll only do it once I've seen a car and liked it enough to buy it.

I've learnt a few lessons from my previous and unsuccessful purchase of a 1.4 Golf - even big name dealerships can't be trusted to provide a fault free car.

Who are the best people for independent inspections? I've checked the RAC, but they want at least ?180 for a basic check, ?300 for a full check.
 

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I doubt it will be the pollen filter if it's in the rear footwell behind the driver. AFAIK the pollen filter is on the passenger side of the car- highly unlikely that the leak would run to the back AND the other side of the car I would have thought.

I'm not much help though 'cos I can't suggest what it might be other than a leaky door seal!
 

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Go for a gti over a v5 anyday IMO. Just alround cheaper, more straightforward and although you may think its quick etc to start with, once you've been blown away by seemingly lesser mach9inery etc, you will want to tweak it a bit. Nether the 150hp v5 nor gti are rocket ships due to their weight, the GTI gives you more options than the v5 for far less cash.

As for the leak, I agree entirely, just move onto the next one, or expect to pay an awful lot less for it. If its that easy to sort, why has the seller not done so?

Do you really think he had not noticed it.........? Did he not hoover the car out to sell it then?

As for advice on private buys......? Buy a car on condition always, a leak that causes water to actually pool in the carpet is a bloomin big leak! There is about an inch thick of carpet and soundproofing under there, that will be sodden, so expect there to be a fair few litres in there! Dont take on someone elses problems! Learn form the mistake of buying the car with the dodgy head! Why do you think it was in a FORD garage.........someone part ex'd a pup on them, then you bought it.

Always satisfy yourself that a sellers motives are genuine, if you are at all suspicious of why they are selling, walk away. There are thousands of Mk4s for sale, take your time and buy the right one, not the first one!

Happy hunting
 

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Oh, and after market warranties.........just forget them they are a waste of money most times. Better spend your cahs on a thorough inspection by AA RAC etc, to ensure you buy a nice car in the first place. ?100 odd for an AA inspection +HPI, and save the other ?150 or so as a contingency for anything really unforseen. 
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Why are the aftermarket warranties a waste of time? Surely someone out there can supply a decent warranty for private buyers?

The RAC offered me a 2 year warranty for ?20 a month (?480 total) and it sounded pretty comprehensive.
 

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Just wait til they try to wriggle out of paying you anything....!??! My god the full factory warranty on a brand new car is hard enough work!

?400 is a lot of cash, far more than I have had to spend on repairs and normal wear and tear items on a 1999 18T in two and a half years and 35k miles.........and it had 80k on it when I got it!! I include a new cluthc in that, which was juddering / slipping wh en I got it, and depsite a remap to 240hp, it still lasted 2 years and 25k miles!

The secret is to buy the right car to begin with, dont be put of by older higher miles cars, a good car is a good car!!

You will have to budget for rear beam bushes if its 3 yr old plus, (about 150 quid all in fitted) and fornt arb bushes, (40 quid all done) and that is about all that you will almost deffo have to have done.

Save your money, do more research and look at more cars. if you have even the slightest doubt just leave it. And if you buy a pup privately, you will have very little comeback so do your checking well.

If you are not really knowledgeable wiht cars, get a proper inspectin done, and leave the warranty aside. use the warranty money to pay for anythign untoward that goes wrong, whic is exactly what the warranty companies do is you think about it........!

If you search the net about "rip off warranty" etc, you will find lots of horror stories!
 

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I saw a fair amount of V5's about when i was looking for mine. Found that GTis for my budget (also of ?8k) were either to old or had driven to moon and back.

I got a 51 Plate 170BHP V5 for ?7k so there are some deals about if you look hard enough. I saw a stunning one for ?8k too.

Running costs are not as bad as i though they would be. Round town i get 28MPG and about 34mpg on the motorway. As mentioned above if you want to mod then forget the V5 theres not much you can do. ?650 gets you an extra 20BHP if you AMD and Milktek it but its plenty quick and sounds the mutts nutts.

Really happy with mine, id recommend it. GTI is also a good choice IF you can find a good one in your budget, i couldnt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
After the dodgy head incident I told myself I would need a warranty no matter what. I would never want to spend ?2000 fixing a problem on a ?6000 - 8000 car. I also read another post where a forum member mentioned that they had to replace the gearbox in their Gti - to the sum of ?2000. These are big costs, and I never want to be faced with them. ?250 a year for piece of mind would work for me.

I've been reasearching Golfs for a while, I've actually been looking for one for around a year now. I purchased the 1.4 at the end of last year, sent it back, and I've been back on the search again for the last month.

The V5 in question isn't the first car I've looked at, in the past week I've made 2 offers on cars from dealerships, but neither were willing to meet my price.
 

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Yeah Warranty is a personal thing really, some wouldnt be without it others would never pay for it. I must admit i like it on my car. I find you get paranoid about the odd little noises your car makes from time to time. With warranty you dont care cos if it brakes your covered.

If i was you i would buy private and get warranty separate if you can get if for ?250. A dealer gives u a year but your going to pay a much bigger premium for the car.

Best of luck in your search.
 

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2 grand for a 1.4 head job................? You could get a whole new engine for it for about 800!

If you really want a warranty, why !. are you buying a second hand car, and 2. why are you looking to buy privately?

Again, buy the right car, get it properly inspected by people who know and your warranty claims will be minimal. Otherwise, pay ?400 odd for a peice of paper that is worthless in many instances, cut the corners on getting the car choice right, buy whatever car takes you fancy and be ready for some potentially very big bills.

its strange that a g box costs 2k, and yet you can completely rebuild the gearbox and engine on a 18T for about ?1500!!

If you go to dealers or sharks for remedial work, then what do you expect!!

I would go and buy one form a dealer you trust, avoid private buys.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for all the input so far guys.

It was actually Richard Alexander VW in Leeds which quoted ?2000 inc. labour to sort the head out - it was around ?800 - 900 for the parts and the rest was labour. My car was sat in the service centre for nearly 3 weeks - I don't actually know what happened to the car, I just handed the whole mess over to the MD of Ford.

Well unless I'm wildy mistaken, it's quite easy to buy a second hand car AND get a usuable warranty. My old man has a Volvo XC90 which was purchased at around 4000 miles, and he's treated as a new car buyer with a 3 year warranty (that he's used successfully). I appreciate that he has paid 4 or 5 times what I ill be paying, but I still think that it's a fair example that buying a used car and getting a warranty is possible (at least through a dealership).

I've been considering buying privately because it looks like I can save some money on the initial purchase, and as far as the warranty companies are telling me, I can also get a comprehensive warranty to go with it. Simch, so far you're the first person that has advised me against warranty companies - and I really do appreciate the input - but I do need to hear a few stories from warranty owners before I completely write off the idea altogether.

Am I really that naive to hope for a private purchase and a decent warranty to go with it? Buying from a dealer is still my first choice, but only if I can get a good deal!
 

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I've taken out the RAC warranty. It only costs me ?15 a month for the 3 star cover and it looks pretty comprehensive. It covers items like wheel bearings and bushes which you wouldn't normally expect to be covered by these sorts of warranties.

I figured that less than ?200 a year was worth it for the piece of mind.

However, I've yet to use it so I can't comment on how good they are at actually paying out..........
 
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