Mk2 Golf - Worth keeping? - Big_CDA
I have a 1986 1.8 Golf GL - its only done 85k, and I have had it since 55k (was owned by a very mechanically minded friend from new).

The car has always been reliable, needed bits and bobs once a year, but other than that fine.

The timing belt was changed at 44k, and so I figure I am due another change soon - also the clutch, which has always been remarkably hard, feels like it is finally in need of changing (some slipping, and very very high). It is also very easy to accidentally almost put it into reverse without pushing down - it just jumps the gate.

I only use the car for going to and from the station, as my other half is learning to drive, and the clutch/lack of power steering make it very learner unfriendly (but I like the car)
Decided to keep it in August as it only needed 2 new tires to pass the MOT, and was worth very little to anyone else.

I would liek to keep it for another year or so at least, as long as it does not prove too expensive - am I better getting all the things (clutch/timing belt etc) all sorted in one go, and just biting the bullet, and if so, is there anything else I should get done (I am unfortunately not very mechanically minded...) Or is it just not worth bothering?
Mk2 Golf - Worth keeping? - Ivor E Tower
Personally I would say yes - get it all done in one go.
I had a Honda from new which I kept for just under 18 years before trading it in earlier this year. Reached the stage a few years ago when it needed a CV joint doing, so at the same time I had a few other problems fixed which I'd been holding back on for a while - eg new reversing light switch as old one had failed. If you like the car and it is otherwise known to be reliable and comfortable, it's worth hanging on to it. It costs sooo much to change cars, and you will probably never know the full history of a used purchase - has it even been damaged and filled/re-sprayed, how has it been driven - is the clutch OK etc.
Incidentally my Honda was still on its original clutch when sold, at 18 years and about 120,000 miles.
Mk2 Golf - Worth keeping? - commerdriver
I think its worth keeping, my son has just passed 100,000 miles in what was his mum's mk 2 golf which we've had since it was about 5 months old as an ex demonstrator. Sure it needs a spend on wear and tear items but it's still solid, runs well he gets about 38 to the gallon it uses no oil and its not going to depreciate more.
As a low cost no frills car for local motoring its hard to beat.
Probably not something you need to think about but it also has a surprising amount of teenage street cred as well.
Mk2 Golf - Worth keeping? - Big_CDA
Thanks for that guys, - I figure I will keep it, any idea about likely costs (even ballpark) of the clutch / timing belt job?

Can either of you tell me if the very hard clutch is a "golf" thing, or will it end up with a normal clutch once it is replaced? And is there anything I can do to ease the steering at all (I don't know if it can be lubricated etc?) - it would be nice if my other half could drive it too....

Cheers for the assists,

Mk2 Golf - Worth keeping? - Garethj
I don't remember the clutch on a Mk2 Golf being very hard, but the steering can be quite touchy on tyre pressure variation so it's worth checking regularly to see if there's a (very) slow puncture or deflation through rust on the wheel rims?

Most modern cars have power steering now, but the old fogies here will remember that it is possible to drive without it! Turning the wheel when stationary can be difficult, but see how much easier it gets when the car is moving at even 0.5mph. Practice parking so that you only steer when the car is moving and you'll have less wear on tyres, trackrod ends, steering rack and mounts. Find a nice empty space like an industrial estate on a Sunday where all the offices have marked parking spaces and see how much difference speed makes to steering.

When I did my driving test, the correct 3 point turn method was to only turn the steering wheel when the car was moving, and just as you come to a stop to start turning the wheel the other way for the next manoeuvre. Obviously back then the man with the red flag walking in front would help to direct traffic.

Mk2 Golf - Worth keeping? - Big_CDA
That would explain the noticeable easing in the turning following the two new tires on the front. I guess the rest is just down to lack of power steering. - For the record, I have only ever had one other car with power steering (currently a 406 HDi), and so am still old enough to remember how to drive without it....but thanks for the recap for anyone who has always had power steering.. . . .

Still wondering about the clutch though - my friend says his always had a hard clutch as well, but I thought I read on another thread that the clutches got hard when worn (ie I assume they weren't before).
Mk2 Golf - Worth keeping? - Rob the Bus {P}
Hello Big_CDA

I, too, have a MK2 Golf (see the 'Horrible Cars' thread for info!), but's it a diesel.

It too has incredibly heavy steering, and also has the wonky gearbox that you describe. Quite often I find myself engaging reverse instead of first without the gear lever being pushed down.

Nice to know that someone else out there shares my automtoive woes!


Mk2 Golf - Worth keeping? - Halmer
The Mk II Golf is the most desirable 'banger' by a mile.

Keep it despite the terrible steering, heavy clutch etc etc!
Mk2 Golf - Worth keeping? - Halmer

I have spent on my Mk II Golf but it's so durable that it's well worth it as long as it's not rotten.

I have had a new clutch and cable in recent times but the pedal is still relatively stiff and creaky. I take the cable off ocassionally and run oil down the cable sleeve,grease the pedal etc. but it only improves in the short term. I don't worry too much about it now. Mine is a 70,000 mile E plater with a 1.3 engine. Embarrasing when 1.0 Puntos fly past me!

Hopefully it will still be running when my lad learns to drive in 2010.
Mk2 Golf - Worth keeping? - Colin M
Worth changing the clutch cable at the same time. The convoluted route it takes in right hand drive Golfs causes it to wear internally and stiffen with age.

Mk2 Golf - Worth keeping? - Stevieboy
And the self adjuster is prone to sticking causing premature clutch wear. Didn't look too much of a job when we had it changed the other week.
Mk2 Golf - Worth keeping? - HF
Phew! Haven't been able to log in all day, but now I can, you'll be delighted to know :)

May I ask how much it would cost to have a gearbox change on one of these cars, to get rid of the reverse/first problem?

Is it not way more than the car is worth?

Can't believe these are held in such revere, but this thread seems to say otherwise.

Any tips to help out the Golf would be much appreciated. And no, I do not want it to become as famous as the ethereal Astra.


Mk2 Golf - Worth keeping? - Big_CDA
Last time the car was serviced the mechanic told me that the issue with being able to put the car into reverse too easily was not a major thing, and would not require a new gearbox, just a new "clip" or something. (Can't remember exactly). The gear box is great other than that.

As for the value of the car - have come to the conclusion that it is worth very little to anyone else, but I know the history and that it is reliable - to get a replacement would involve spending more cash and gambling on reliability.

I have no idea how much any of the work would cost to be done (Any ball park suggestions ??)

I am a definite fan of the car (despite it's quirks), as it has never let me down, and although not a GTi, still goes nicely when it needs to (my other car is a 406 diesel - more comfort but less oomph)

From the comments made earlier in the thread, sound like I am doomed to a heavy clutch forever though - just a price I'll have to pay I guess . . . .

Mk2 Golf - Worth keeping? - merlin
Wish I still had my old Golf. I had it from new (1990) and by the time it was written off in 2000 it had done 170k trouble free miles. Even at 170k I was doing over 100 miles every day. I still prefer my Golf to the Impreza turbo that came after. That was very fast but very expensive to run too.

Value my car