Mk2 Golf - what to check before buying?

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Mk2 Golf - what to check before buying?


this is where i stand
Oct 8, 2003
No, i'm not buying a golf (don't be daft!). One of my housemates is looking at buying a MK2 Golf and has asked me to check it over. Is there anything in particular i should be looking out for on these cars. Its the 1.3litre version.
Don't know of any specific/common Golf MK2 1.3 problems, apart from they are slow as fook.

Check the usual, specially wishbones, shock and springs simply because its old and they may not have been changed. make sure to take it for a test drive test braking (check it stops in a straight line in an emergency stop).

Feel for brake fluid on the rear drums as these leak and is not always clear.
Remember that the GTi engine was the one thats practically bullet proof, not the 1.3 CL!

Chassis is mostly ok, wheel arch rust is common amongst them. Suspension and brakes have been mentioned.

Basically a well treated 100k engine will be fine, a mistreated 100k engine will be beyond crap. So watch out!
Randomman said:
Remember that the GTi engine was the one thats practically bullet proof, not the 1.3 CL!

The 1.3 is a hardy beast; only putting out 55bhp, it is hardly stressed! Also, the 1.3 is either base or 'C' specification; it's the 1.6 75bhp engine in the Mk2 CL ;)

To be honest, as a cheap car they are ideal so long as the bodywork is OK (tin worm is the big killer for Mk2 Golfs) and as with all cars, regular servicing will be useful.

Personally, I would stretch to looking for a 1.6 CL - the 1.3 55bhp engine with it's 4-speed box means quite wide ratios; an engine that already had no go is hampered by this. The 1.6's 4+E (high ratio 5th for economical cruising) is a world away ;)
front and rear panels seem to get rusty, other places to check are bottom of doors and dront and rear arches, check out the cills and underneath the car, they're quite solid cars apart from that AFAIK