Issues with my 2001 VW GTI VR6, any thoughts or suggestions?

I absolutely love my GTI, but lately I have been having some issues with it. It has about 138,000 miles on it, and I had a lot of work done to it in September. I had a full tune up among many other things. I also just had the throttle body replaced a few weeks ago and now the belts sound like they either need tightening, or something. I called my mechanics, and (based on a smell I noticed that morning) he thought maybe the water pump was leaking onto the belts causing the belt squealing as a secondary issue.

Has anyone had any issues like these? Like I said, I love the car and enjoy driving it, but I need to have something that I can feel confident is reliable. Any comments or suggestions are welcome.



I’d want verification of a leaking pump before I authorized its replacement. If there is a leak it should be visible somewhere, and the coolant level in the radiator should start going down. If the pump is leaking, you will have to have it replaced. There is no other cure.

At 138 K miles it’s not unusual for a vehicle to need some work. VWs have been less reliable, overall, than many other vehicles for years, despite the fact that they are so much fun to drive. It’s one of those things you have to accept to drive one. Without knowing what was done at the time of the “tuneup,” it’s hard to say whether you have more issues than normal.

Once you get past these things the car may run trouble-free for a long time. Or it may not. There’s no way to know. If you’ve been following the maintenance schedule you’ll be better off than if you just wait for trouble and then have it fixed.

At 7 years old and a 138k miles a few repairs do not mean a problem car. This is normal, although the throttle body replacement might be debateable.

Question though. Has the timing belt been replaced? If not, you’re way overdue on this and any water pump or accessory belt problems could be resolved when and if this is done.