Polo Saloon 1.6 CL 1999, money pit?

Old 06-02-2006, 09:50 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 1
Default Polo Saloon 1.6 CL 1999, money pit?

Hi all, my first post here. Perhaps I should have found this forum a few years ago, maybe it would have saved some grief.

In 2003 I bought a "VW Approved Used" Polo Saloon 1.6 CL (the 75bhp bog-standard one) from Volkswagen Tamworth. I won't detail their shifty dealings here, that's all in the past. Suffice to say I bought this car with 25k miles on the clock. Straight off the forecourt we noticed the central locking didn't work (discovered this when we found ourselves unable to access the petrol tank, bit of a problem as we were running on fumes just 1 mile from the dealer!). At about 29k the water pump died and needed replacing (done under dealer warranty). Water pumps aren't ever expected to die are they?
Ran OK for a couple of years, had to renew tyres and brake pads and replace the exhaust but that's fairly acceptable.
Then the lambda sensor died, causing an MOT failure on emissions. Got that sorted. Next the "cold start" sensor (autochoke) died.
Then at about 64k, last November, the gearbox gave out so I had to replace that at considerable expense.
This March the power steering pump died and I needed to get a new unit.
Last night the gearbox showed serious symptoms of dying again, that will need to be replaced (luckily it is warrantied as it was a reconditioned one rather than a scrapyard job). It's still only on 69k miles

I chose this car based upon VW's overall reputation, and various guides (Parkers etc) naming it as one the finest "superminis" you could get.I am a very sedate driver, I don't thrash the car around, it's actually rare for the needle to touck 30k revs (well...it can creep up on the motorway sometimes), and I haven't taken it on brutal long distance heavily laden journeys, nor do I overuse it for engine-killing short hops to the shops etc.
So...what's gone wrong?
Is the Polo Saloon actually a total turkey, or did I just get VERY unlucky and get a "Friday afternoon" job? I'd genuinely be interested to hear of others' experiences with this model.

I wonder if there's any chance of appealing to Volkswagen's reputed "good will", outlining all these woes and shaming them into, I dunno, giving me a Phaeton
In the meantime, I'll get this gearbox sorted and try to sell the car (obviously not via this forum, ha haa)

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