Save or Scrap? - MkIV (Mk4) Golf & Bora - uk-mkivs

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Save or Scrap?

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#1 Hungry Horace

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Posted 24 December 2020 - 09:05 AM

I know it's impossible to answer really and going to be biased on here but as a long-time member (10 years!) but relatively quiet recent user of the forum I though I'd put it out there....


Beloved 1.9 GT TDI 130 has just passed 250,000


It's also just developed a brake problem with a £400 part (servo) needed.

Turbo is on the way out (got a quote from trusted garage for around £600 all in)

Timing belt due in 6k (about 3/4 months) 

Radiator leaking (slightly - been doing for a while) and could probably DIY so just parts cost)

Minor bits - rear hatch lock dodgy/no boot light, door locks sticking, passenger window reg sounds rough


I love the car (had since 70k) and want to keep it ideally as know my way around and do all regular maintenance myself. Got my set of winter wheels as well and been well loved over the years. Done minor cosmetic "mods" - Recaro rears, debadging, wipers, aerial etc... but £1500 on a 20 year old car seems mad and I think the garage owner agrees. 


He said the new brake part could put pressure elsewhere in the system and cause problems but don't know what you guys think? 


Comes down to:

a) replace the brakes and hope the turbo holds on (currently rattling when take foot off gas but has been for ages) as well as TBelt and just get another few months out of the old boy

b - do the full lot! 

c) break (it'll sit on my drive and have parts sent away over the next 6 months) 

#2 northpole


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Posted 24 December 2020 - 09:18 AM

Buy one with no problems and a full years mot for less... than swap your mods over done.. you can actually go for a less specced model since you can just transfer the lot over from your old car... and good ones can be had for 400 to 600

So I would break it and only sell parts I don't need for the replacement.

#3 ttg4l


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Posted 24 December 2020 - 05:40 PM

If it were my car, I'd get a second hand servo and turbo and fit those.


Timing belt will be due at some point even if you change to an identical model, just it might be later down the line, but this way you have peace of mind knowing it's definitely done.


Rad should be £40-£50 new and a bottle of coolant - again you'll have peace of mind knowing it should last, the replacement car might need a new one 2k miles down the line.


The minor bits all sound like common mk4 issues, so again, a replacement identical model could need all of those soon enough. And they're definitely stuff I'd be able to live with.


If you break it, you'll have to deal with the time wasters and nonsense queries that come with breaking a car.


So overall, if it were me I'd keep it and get the jobs done, unless you are planning on getting a different model - in which case a good excuse to try something different.


Just my opinion though. Could flip a coin to decide, and if you don't like the outcome then you've probably already decided about it beforehand. 

#4 adam-


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Posted 24 December 2020 - 07:03 PM

What is the brake problem?  


I've got a MC and passenger door in Glasgow you can just have., ig:@adam_g4fku, Adam's Anthracite Grey 1.8t Build Thread...

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#5 Glendil



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Posted 25 December 2020 - 12:28 AM

Shame Iv just scrapped my 130 with brake servo on could of had that I do how ever have a very good pd150 turbo up for sale be happy to do it abit cheaper to a forum member

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#6 used-to-own-a-vr6



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Posted 25 December 2020 - 11:36 AM

I've been there with a previous car. It was old and needed lots of mechanical bits sorted. I got them sorted, but a year later rust set in on all arches, further things went wrong (mainly wiring perishing) and I eventually got rid on eBay as spares or repairs. Always regret ploughing money into an old car that isn't a classic or appreciating in value.


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#7 northpole


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Posted 26 December 2020 - 12:08 PM

I've been there with a previous car. It was old and needed lots of mechanical bits sorted. I got them sorted, but a year later rust set in on all arches, further things went wrong (mainly wiring perishing) and I eventually got rid on eBay as spares or repairs. Always regret ploughing money into an old car that isn't a classic or appreciating in value.

yes it is the reason why i decided to sent mine to the scrappy after i removed the most wanted parts..... now if the bodywork was still okay I would have fixed it but it wasn't... so got rid.... 

#8 bugsy_malone 666

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Posted 07 January 2021 - 08:55 AM

See I totally understand loving a car, I also understand when its time to quite.

Equally, as already mentioned, brake servos can be picked up super cheap, like 40 quid on ebay cheap. That said it depends on what the brake problem is, could just be a broken hose or bad vacuum valve?


Turbo, I mean a second hand one is a DIY job, a few nuts and bolt, maybe 100 quid second hand on ebay. Depends on how mad you are, but could always look for better performance turbo from china, which will last as unknown as anything else you buy except genuine.


All the minor door lock/latch problems are fairly common on any golf, like 20-30quid for repro parts, I just did the passenger door latch because the switch wasnt working and that was about £18 on ebay. Window mechs complete are about £30 bolt in job.


I think its all relatively cheap, depending on how much you can do yourself, but then its a case of asking yourself how much would it cost to fix vs another car, then with another car how many problem will that have.


I had a mk3 golf years ago that I had for about 9 years, started out stock, I lowered it, rebuilt it and even did a ton of welding that most people would have just scrapped the car, it became a second car and then when I started driving it everyday the syncro went on first gear making it an arse to drive. Gearboxes were a couple of hundred quid if you could get the right one, and it would most likely need more work in the future, coupled with it being thirsty for a 1.8, so I gave up and just sold it on for 400 quid, still miss it some 6 years later because it drove like a go-kart, realistically if I had gone and spent the 600 quid more I did on another car, I probably could have bunged in a TDi engine from a mk4 and carried on loving the car I'd grown up in, but I decided i knew when to quit.


So you have to weigh up whether you love the car that much and how much needs actually doing/when and if another car might be cheaper.

#9 Blitzerman



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Posted 10 January 2021 - 08:45 PM

Usually i'd tell everyone to scrap usually because the bills rack up fast as you've seen. 
But i'm also rather fond of my car and would usually repair anything that happened to it.
However if you're willing, and able to spare your own time to repair then definitely go down repair route, maybe leave the turbo/ servo to someone else unless you really are wanting to get involved. Maybe repair one thing a month if you can afford it, Ebay parts are unbelievably cheap, also carparts4less are good (and part of eurocarparts, but they wont admit it)
But you are definitely more than capable of tackling the smaller tasks, locks sticking, boot lights etc and there is 101 videos on YouTube to follow along with before you take on the tasks. Probably even the radiator with a bit of patience and time.
I fitted a rear door lock solenoid/ actuator to one the other day, that's a little bit involved, but nothing you couldn't tackle in an afternoon. 
The window regulators are pretty easy, worst bit is the STUPID white cylinders that retain the windows.
Regarding the servo issue as mentioned above, make sure the main pipe that pushes into the servo (looks like the back of a dinner plate with a plastic hose fitted into it) isn't cracking around where it pushes into joiners along the pipe line etc. I know mine is, you can tell this by, when you go out to the car in the morning, before you start or do anything, is the brake pedal rock solid?.
But entirely up to you, if it hasn't gone rusty yet maybe keep at it. Rust is really the main killer.
My next task is going to be replacing the rear axle bushes with Ibiza cupra ones, probably bleed the brakes somewhen as you've reminded me. Then again they haven't been done in a while and run the risk of pushing crap through the seals in the servo and breaking it.. joys. (that doesnt happen if you have a pressure bleeder).


Let us know what you decide!

#10 Killingtime



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Posted 16 January 2021 - 04:42 PM

If you like the car then keep it and change the parts as they go, not all at once. Try and do some of the work yourself if it's easy for you.


The trick to keeping an older car on the road is to change parts as they go and not just because...


I've seen people buy 5 - 6 year old cars and have to spend 1000's on them because the last owner thrashed it or didn't maintain properly. At least with your car you know the history. That's a big plus.


The parts you're describing are nothing unusual for a worn Golf. My PD150 is on an 03 plate. 185k. Plenty of parts changed there but it's still way cheaper than buying nearly new.


The timing belt is a garage job unless you're skilled. Same for the turbo recon. Not much room to get a spanner in and undo stuff. Bolts seized with rust. It's a skill to undo that lot on an old car without breaking parts IMHO (I have tried...).


Having a second car to use while you get work done makes like so much easier, and cheaper to keep an old car on the road as you can shop around for the work. is an independent Volkswagen enthusiast website owned and operated by VerticalScope Inc. Content on is generated by its users. is not in any way affiliated with Volkswagen AG.