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Discussion Starter #1
I'm getting ready to sell my 94 Miata M edition after 8 years of ownership because my aging body is sending me signals that aren't very nice. As a result, I'm thinking about getting back into a VW Cab, probably in the '00-'04 range due to budgetary restraints. I'm almost as old as the original air cooled Bug and have owned them as well as previously owning a mid 90's Cabrio, but I'm wondering what I should know about the life and longevity of the VW of this generation. The car will probably wind up as a long term owner and get relegated to pretty regular use, although the mileage driven won't be too terribly high each year. Retirement is in the near future, but that doesn't mean one has to drive a Buick either!

What's the engine life in miles, what to look for in an auto or a stick, what fails after XXXXX miles, that sort of general question.

I'm just looking for some general feedback. Obviously I don't expect and "Run away Forrest, Run Away" comments. :roll:
 

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Miles are not an issue if maintained.
most of the maintenance problems are transmission and motor specific.

The ground and power on all the cars can go bad under the battery. easy fix
The Tdi can have trouble starting without a good strong battery and wires in good condition.
vr6 has the crack pipe, timing chains and guides.
1.8t has the air pump, coil packs.
2.0 is nearly bullet proof, coils pack goes out sometimes.
Maf sensor on all these motors should be cleaned once in a while.
All three of the motors, the ac usually goes out but that's not to expensive of a fix.
The 4 speed automatic is just about bullet proof.
the 5 speed automatic is good with proper maintenance and driven properly.
Always keep in mind your transmission oil level. Flush every 40k about.
Both the 5 and 6 speed manuals should be shifted with the syncros in mind to keep them around for the long haul. I.E waiting for the engine speed to kinda sorta match the next gears wheel speed. Dont shift too fast, basically.
The 5 speed has a more prone to failure throw out bearing than the 6 speed.
6 speed has prone to failure shift forks.
5 speed diff can detonate, but rare, because of a pin in it.
Both manual transmission use a dual mass clutch which can start to fail.
Best to swap for a single mass. You can do a bench test on the flywheel and see how much deflection there is between the two masses to see if it should be changed or not.

1.8t injectors are loud, that's not an issue but you might think oddly of it if you go check them out.
Sunroofs should be checked before you buy, they can get damaged guides and start to leak.
Check upper door seals, they get little holes in them and can leak.
Electronic button failures are usually just a contact issue, use contact cleaner.
Check if the hatch opens if you get a gti/golf/wagon, the release fails sometimes.
Check the glove box, the system to slow the door down breaks sometimes. Check the cupholders, they should spring right open. The later models have spring loaded arms to hold cups better.
Check the armrest, those break.
Sometimes one of the sides of headlights on the car will go out, it's probably just a fuse.


As far as unavoidable catastrophic failures, it's pretty rare. These cars go for a long time with proper maintenance and car.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the replies. My Miata in hitting the 160K range and I know they can see 200-300K without much fancy maintenance. The VW looks like a comparable sort.

Have my eye on two different '02's as soon as the Miata is sold.

As Ahnold said~

I'LL BE BACK :cool:
 

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haha well, you figure mk4s hav 4 different motors types and several different heads, turbo changes. 6 different transmissions.
All in all each one individually has very few problems and is simple.

Miata is a single model of car with few engine choices. It would be much more appropriate to pit them against the whole mazda line-up.
 
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