Volkswagen Problems

No car is perfect, but we've gathered everything relating to the Volkswagen reliability here to help you decide if it's a smart buy.

How do I update the navigation system in my 2017 Volkswagen Tiguan?

Answered by CarsGuide 25 Aug 2021

The upgrade to your navigation system can be done at a Volkswagen dealership and would be part of the work carried out at your next service (assuming you use a VW workshop). What most people tend to find, however, is that the Tiguan’s Apple CarPlay facility allows you to use the navigation services on your phone which, based on consumer feedback, are more accurate anyway since they’re updated in real time.

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What is the Gross Vehicle Mass of the 2013 Volkswagen Touareg?

Answered by CarsGuide 22 Aug 2021

The Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) of your vehicle is 2890kg. That is, the total mass of the vehicle and its payload (including passengers) must not exceed this figure. The Gross Combination Mass (GCM) is the absolute weight limit for the vehicle, it’s payload and whatever it’s towing.

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When it comes to oil changes in my VW Golf can you tell me the right type and give me a steer on the procedure?

Answered by CarsGuide 5 Aug 2021

There’s no real trick on how to change oil on a VW Golf, but the procedure is critical, as getting it wrong can ruin the engine. The best advice is to obtain a workshop manual for the exact model Golf, and use that as a step-by-step guide to what is a great DIY home maintenance task.

Fundamentally, though, the first thing to do is determine how often to change oil, otherwise known as the correct oil change interval. For most of us, this will be based on the distance travelled since the last oil change service. Late model Golfs have a 12-month or 15,000km (whichever comes first) service interval.

From there, it’s a case of using the correct size spanner or socket (not an adjustable wrench) to undo the drain plug at the bottom of the engine and drain out the old oil. Replacement of the oil filter is next, followed by refilling the engine with the correct VW Golf oil type. Since much of this work happens from below the car, a torch or auxiliary light is a handy thing to have, as are drain pans and clean rags to mop up spills. Don’t forget that disposing of the old oil and filter environmentally is part of the deal.

The correct Volkswagen Golf engine oil will depend on whether your car is a petrol or diesel and whether it’s turbocharged or not. The exact specifications of the oil you need should be listed in your car’s owner’s manual. Broadly speaking, most Golfs, whether petrol or diesel, from the last few years require a fully synthetic 5W30 oil to operate properly. Depending on model, the Golf has an oil capacity of between four and five litres, so a five-litre pack will give you a little left over for top ups.

If you’re not confident with tackling this job, then a trip to a local mechanic or service centre is your best option. But if you’re prepared to have a go, then this is a great home maintenance project for the first timer. Having a mechanically-minded friend guide you through the process the first time is another good idea.

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Are the engine internals the same in the 2.0-litre turbos from Audi, VW and Skoda?

Answered by CarsGuide 11 Jun 2021

You’re right, there’s a lot of commonality between the various engines from Skoda, VW and Audi. There are many examples of engines from these brands that all use the same basic bottom-end (crankshaft and pistons) architecture. And yes, in some cases, the main differentiator is the turbo-boost pressure.

But that doesn’t mean that’s the only difference; differing boost levels require different engine management, so the electronic control of the various engines can be very different. There can also be hardware differences such as the actual turbocharger unit and fuel injectors. That’s why it’s not quite as simple as raising boost pressure to arrive at a higher output. Revising engine management to do this requires somebody who really knows what they’re doing. Even then, a moderately powered version of an engine might not have the oil-cooling or strengthened internals of what appears to be the same engine with a higher output.

The VW-Audi group is not the only manufacturer to take this approach, of course, and many other car-makers use the same strategy of producing a variety of different engine tunes from the one basic unit. It’s a great way of differentiating models within a range and, of course, saving money in terms of research and development.

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What can I do if my recently purchased used car has blown up?

Answered by CarsGuide 5 May 2021

ACT law requires a licensed used-car dealer to offer a warranty of three months or 5000km warranty on used passenger vehicles which are less than 10 years old or have travelled less than 160,000km. So regardless of the mileage your car has covered, it’s already 12 years old if you bought it last year. Unfortunately, that really means you’re not covered and the car-yard you bought it from has – on the surface – no legal obligation to compensate you whatsoever.

Australian Consumer Law can over-ride state and territory warranty laws, but this might only apply if you could prove that the vehicle was of unmerchantable quality, not fit for purpose or had existing faults that weren’t disclosed to you at the time of purchase. None of this would be easy to prove after eight months of ownership. You could elect to have the car independently inspected to determine the cause of the failure, but even this may not be conclusive. You’d also need to be able to prove that you maintained and serviced the car correctly for the time you’ve owned it. The first step would be to contact the car-yard and ask for help on a goodwill basis. I wouldn’t be holding my breath, however.

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Should I buy a 2021 Hyundai Kona or 2021 VW T-Roc?

Answered by CarsGuide 21 Apr 2021

Volkswagen’s latest cars are lovely to drive but it’s true; many mechanics (and plenty of owners) are wary of the brand’s recent reputation for reliability. But if you’re buying a brand-new or nearly new example, then the factory warranty will be some peace of mind. The safest bet right now, is something Japanese or South Korean, and that includes the Hyundai you’re looking at as well as the equivalent offerings from Kia. Both these brands have enviable reputations for durability and both come with terrific factory warranties.

Volkswagen’s current high-tech turbocharged engines are very entertaining to drive as well as being frugal in all situations, but, in reality, any current model mid-sized SUV is more than capable of delivering you interstate in comfort and safety as well as offering low running costs. Bear in mind you may have to pay extra for the top-shelf model if you want all the latest safety and convenience technology.

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Why do I get an error message when I connect the nav in my 2017 Volkswagen Tiguan?

Answered by CarsGuide 8 Feb 2021

Your car’s sat-nav should be taking its data from an SD card that’s inserted in a slot inside the glove-box. So, the first thing to check is that the SD card is seated in the slot correctly. But there have been cases where the VW’s software seems to have a light-headed moment and loses the plot (it happens on plenty of other brands, too). One thing you can try is to press the on-off button for the infotainment screen and hold it down for at least 15 seconds. Sometimes, that will actually reboot the system and everything will come to life again, including the sat-nav.

Failing that, it’s a trip to the dealership to have the experts fix it. It may turn out that your data card or the software in the car needs an upgrade, which the dealership should be able to sort out for you.

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What car should I buy to replace my 2006 Toyota Corolla?

Answered by CarsGuide 2 Dec 2020

There are still plenty of great small cars around within your budget, Agnes, and they all have good safety packages (or we wouldn’t recommend them). Look at offerings such as the Suzuki Swift Navigator (with the optional autonomous emergency braking) for around $17,000 (plus on-road costs) or the Kia Rio S at around $19,000 or Kia Picanto S (one size smaller than the Rio) at closer to $16,000. Both the Kias also feature the brand’s excellent seven-year warranty, capped-price servicing and free roadside assistance which is great peace of mind.

The Volkswagen Polo is a classy drive but a little more expensive at closer to $21,000 for the 85TSi Comfortline. Actually, to be honest, you’ve missed the boat on bargain small cars by a couple of years. Firm favourites such as the Toyota Yaris and Mazda 2 have both been updated relatively recently and have recorded big price jumps in the process. The cheapest Yaris with an automatic transmission is now around $23,000 (it was less than $17,000 back in 2018) while the Mazda 2 Maxx went from being a sub-$17,000 proposition in 2018 to a $23,000 car by the time you add an automatic transmission in 2020.

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How do I fold in the wing mirrors on my 2017 Volkswagen Passat?

Answered by CarsGuide 28 Oct 2020

From what I can gather, the 2017 Passat in its Australian-delivered configuration doesn’t include the ability to automatically fold its mirrors in when you lock the doors. Certainly, you can do this manually for when you tackle an automatic car-wash, but that becomes tedious if you want the mirrors folded every time you lock and leave the car.

But what’s interesting is that the car in other markets does, in fact, incorporate this feature, so it’s entirely possible, since your car already has the hardware) that the function is buried away deep, deep inside the set-up menus with a series of incomprehensible steps required to enable the function. Modern cars are subject to numerous hacks like this one, and a VW dealer might be able to point you in the right direction. It’s a handy feature and one that is valued highly by those who park on narrow streets each night. Actually, that’s why European versions of the Passat have the function in the first place, but it seems a bit mean that VW would drop it for our market.

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Why does my 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan need so many repairs?

Answered by CarsGuide 26 Oct 2020

It’s really not good enough, is it: A modern car should go well beyond the 100,000km mark before the cost of repairs required are higher than the value of the vehicle itself. However, before making a decision either way, I’d be getting a second opinion, because either your dealership has no idea what it’s talking about, or it’s making an attempt to shake you down. So go back to them and tell them – just for starters – that your engine has a timing belt and not a timing chain.

Based on that alone, I’d be dubious about any diagnosis made by a workshop that doesn’t know this rather simple fact about the engine in your car. A second opinion might put the situation into an entirely different light financially speaking, too. Try a workshop that isn’t a Volkswagen dealer and start from scratch. I’d also be talking to VW Australia customer service department, because that degree of work on a vehicle with just 96,000km showing is a scandal.

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