Do VW's have more problems after 100k miles?



Hi, I have a 2001 VW GTI with almost 90k on it. It has been a great car so far, but my mechanic suggested that VW’s tend to develop oil leaks throughout the system, and start to have mechanical problems once it hits 100k. Any thoughts before I spend the cash for a new vehicle?


My advice is keep it until problems make you lose your love. Your depreciation year to year is not the at significant so waiting is not a large factor.

The chances of issues on ANY car increase as mileage age/builds however there is nothing special about 100k miles.

Dropping cash into a new car when you have a perfectly running one(even if requires occasional repairs) is a pure emotional decision however financially a terrible one.


“Dropping cash into a new car when you have a perfectly running one(even if requires occasional repairs) is a pure emotional decision however financially a terrible one.”

I agree, it does not make sense to write a $30K check for a new car because you are concerned that you might have to spend a few $100 to fix an oil leak at some point in the future. Drive your current car until it actually becomes problematic, then decide if it makes sense to replace it.


I can’t say as how I agree at all with what your mechanic is telling you.


Maybe someone knows how to disable that “magic 100K switch” in the car that initiates trouble!

Anyone who claims that trouble starts after a certain mileage is is just plain wrong. Failure issues due to high mileage are highly dependent on how the vehicle was treated over it’s lifetime. The variables here are many and it is impossible to predict.

I had a Subaru GL Wagon many years ago - had a transmission issue (self induced) at 80K miles - I was told the same thing - don’t spend the money as the car will start having lots of other issues etc. I ignored the advice and sold the car years later with over a quarter million miles on it (yes you read right over 250,000 miles!). Since the transmission repair - I replaced one CV joint and the water pump.


Keep that GTI. As the others have stated, it has served you well and may continue to do so for another decade. All cars tend to develop a few more problems with age, but it is nearly always more prudent to keep up repairs than to break the piggy bank for an expensive replacement.


I think the same thing can be said about any car. It can also be said that the average cost of such things is far less than car payments.


While I appreciate everybody’s opinion on whether or not it is financially wise to keep a ‘perfectly good’ car (that has the beginnings of small oil leaks throughout the system), the question was actually if anyone has found in their own experiences that VW problems tend to significantly increase around the 100k mark, as opposed to, say, Toyota, which can usually last last practically forever with proper maintenance. I don’t really throw cars away - I’ve had this one for 8 years and just don’t want to start paying ridiculous amounts of money maintaining it.


I have no personal experience with VWs, but I hear that common problems are window regulators (windows fall into the doors), leaking weather stripping on the doors, and faulty airbag sensors. If you haven’t had those problems yet, I wouldn’t think they’d suddenly start now. I googled oil leaks on 2001 GTIs and didn’t see anything relevant either.

I do have personal experience with mechanics telling me to get rid of my car before anything goes wrong. And that’s foolish, unless you don’t mind having a continual car payment. Your mechanic may be trying to save you a few hundred dollars on wear-and-tear items that come up as a car ages, but unless you’re unhappy with the car, that’s no reason to pay tens of thousands of dollars on a new one.

Small oil leaks may or may not be a big deal. I don’t know your car, and I’m not a mechanic anyway. I can tell you that my car has a minor oil leak, and I just keep track of the oil level regularly and it’s yet to be a problem. If you have the money to replace the car, you may want to consider just paying for the oil leaks to be fixed. For me, it wasn’t worth the money, but it might be to you.


It’s a matter of accounting. Either way, you pay $$$. At least in this case, you “know what you’ve got”, which, again in this case is a presumably reliable and safe car. It’s paid for correct?

Either you’re going to spend more $$$ on a different vehicle or you’re going to spend the $$$ on repairs. Any car gets expensive to maintain when it gets older Honda, Ford, Toyota, GM, it doesn’t matter. If you like to drive the car and you don’t feel like its going to get you killed or leave you stranded, then by all means spend the money and keep that thing running until “it’s time.”

I drive a 21 year old Honda Accord with rust on it and the old thing always starts and always runs. Take care of the VW and it will take care of you. Good luck.


There is nothing special at 100k miles for any car including VW. IMHO past 150k is when repairs/maintenance get pricier and more significant. A guess is that your only 2/3 of the way there from that point where are much more likely to “paying ridiculous amounts of money maintaining it.”.

If trade in is your plan if its moving and has problems or has none like current the value is not that significantly different in the end. The assumption of trade in is a car has problems and anything over at or over 100k goes to auction anyway from a new car dealer. So essentially you get the auction price for your car despite the running condition.


I would decide what I thought a “ridiculous amount of money” was and keep the car until I hit the problem that qualifies - then I’d trade it in for the new one… it might cost a tow job in the end…

But to answer your question - I have not herd of anything VW that is any different from most of the other big name foreign cars. Understand though that I’m not a mechanic by profession and have to defer to those with more experience in this area.


Go over to and look around. You might even want to sign up to ask questions there; plenty of VW knowhow.


For what it’s worth…

These cars are a complete ball to drive. My own 1990 GLI was easily the best-handling car I’ve ever owned, and I could drive it carefully and get 29mpg on long trips (not that great now, but in 1990 it was really good). It was reliable and comfortable.

I sold it after 12 years and over 110k miles, because we decided we needed something with more room. Frankly, I wish I still had that car. I wasn’t tired of it when I sold it.


I think nthe window problems aren’t limited to just VWs, just about every make/model tends to have problems with the power windows crop up around the 10 year mark, my Civic was no exception either, it just slipped out of track and didn’t need the motor replaced, but it did give me trouble for a few days till I got it fixed.