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Hello volks folks. Proud to say I've gotten my first VW - an old 99 silver golf 2.0L stick shift with 115k miles on it. And its not a lemon!
Had it for a week now. This site has been amazingly useful for me to get to know my new old car.
Paid a measly $2000 for it, wasn't sure what to expect, but i'm increasingly confident that its going to be a fine automobile and that I'll get atleast four years and 100k miles more out of it.
It looks great, by the way! And drives great!

So far:
*came with a broken dipstick tube! Ordered replacement.
*came with a broken glove box! Ordered hinge.
*tail lamp needed replacing, fixed.
*missing center caps! got the oem ones.

And to be on the safe side:
*first thing I did was replace timing belt and water pump ($650 at a local shop; dealer wanted $1200!)
*replaced air and cabin filters, did oil change, replaced spark plugs and wires.
*next week: replacing transmission fluid

I wasnt sure if it was one of the early '99 oil burners or not. So I started trying to track oil consumption. So here's a story: because of the broken dipstick (which I didn't realize was broken) I totally overfilled the tank by 2 quarts! And before I cranked the engine though (close call) I realized the dipstick was busted!
Used my new AAA membership and had it towed to garage where I had them just do an oil change. The tow was free, the oil change was $40 -- phew, I thought. BUT - the damn tow truck fucked up my front wheel alignment! And maybe bent the control arms! ARRRGH. So the real cost (on top of a lost Friday) is likely going to be $200 at least. Damn dipstick.

Other than that misadventure it looks and drives really really good! Its clean, shiny, purrs like a kitten, tons of torque (my previous car was a 91 Honda civic hatchback 4 speed). The golf feels like a truck compared to that scooter.

On the bright side, no outstanding recalls on it (vw.com, chatted with a support guy who was very helpful).

At every step I came back to this forum to look stuff up. Just wanted to express my appreciation for all the information and contributions on this site.
 
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