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201229 May

volkswagen golf reliability

The Dyson's Volkswagen Golf has covered over 7 lakh kilometres and is still going strong!


Volkswagens have long been admired for their reliability and longevity, but some cars really stand out.  One such car is a privately owned and used Mk IV Golf S TDI belonging to Roy Dyson, which has already covered more than 450,000 miles (720,000 kilometres). 

The story starts back in 2001 when Roy retired from his wholesale food delivery business and moved from Lancashire to Devon.  With family and friends in northern England, Roy and his wife Doreen knew they would be doing a few extra miles, so, while visiting one of his sons in Cirencester, he came across a silver Golf S TDI from Northfield Volkswagen.  That was in May 2002, at which time it had only 6,021 miles (9,634 km) on the clock.

The couple embarked on many day trips and weekends away, along with their frequent journeys back to Lancashire, and the mileage soon began to accumulate, with 30,000 miles being achieved by December of the same year.  The 100,000-mile (160,000 km) mark was recorded during July 2004, 150,000 miles (240,000 km) were reached in June 2005, the 200,000-mile (320,000 km) mark was achieved in August 2006, and the quarter million mile (400,000 km) mark passed by in June 2007.

However, shortly after clocking up 300,000 miles (480,000 km), the Golf suffered its only recorded breakdown, when a failed alternator was replaced by the AA (Automobile Association) at the roadside.  Indeed, Roy recalls that the only time the car didn’t make it home under its own power was during the winter of 2010, when the couple were trapped in a snowstorm and spent the night in the car.  The weather was also responsible for the car’s only accident, when it slid on ice and the nearside rear door was damaged.

Apart from regular oil changes and attention to the braking system, the car needed very little attention thereafter and, impressed by the Golf’s reliability, Roy’s local service centre, Babbacombe Garage Services, gave it a complimentary service at 440,000 miles (704,000 km).

With the total mileage having just passed 450,000 (720,000 km), the car still has its original engine, the cylinder head has never been parted from the engine block, it uses very little oil between services and it still averages 54 mpg (19.1 km/l) using regular diesel from BP.  Inevitably the car has had a couple of clutches, several sets of brakes and wheel bearings, regular cambelt changes every 60,000 miles, and quite a few sets of Michelin Energy tyres.


volkswagen golf odometer

450,000 miles (720,000 km) on the Golf's odometer.


Roy hand washes the car every two weeks, and puts the reliability and longevity down to regular servicing and having parts replaced as soon as they are showing signs of wear, rather than waiting until things break or fall off.  It’s a real testament to Volkswagen build quality and durability, as well as demonstrating the value of regular servicing, and all the signs are that the Golf will still be running just as strongly when it reaches the 500,000-mile (800,000 km) mark, some time next summer…


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