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2003 Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI repairs by problem area

Chart based on 165 repairs.

2003 Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI repair cost distribution

Chart based on 106 repair trips. The repair cost chart excludes repairs made under warranty, do-it-yourself repairs, and repair trips that include maintenance.
Non-members can see only ten 2003 Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI repair histories. Log in or join us to see them all.

2003 Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI

Engine not specified

Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI in Maryland, United States
Aug 2009 - Mar 2010
Sep 2009

66000 mi

US $1247
Water pump failure. 
Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI in California, United States
Jul 2008 - Mar 2010
Aug 2008

98000 mi
Brake light panel on back of rear window is out and needs to be replaced but its 270 dollars so I opted out of fixing. Transmission fluid need to be changed very dirty and had pieces of metal shavings. Not good for future of teh car and transmission. 
Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI in Saskatchewan, Canada
May 2009 - Mar 2010
Jun 2009

42780 mi

C $500
coolant temp sensor failed, common on VR6 

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2003 Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI 4dr Hatch

turbocharged 90hp 1.9L I4 Diesel 5-speed manual FWD

Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI in Manitoba, Canada
Aug 2008 - Mar 2011
Oct 2008

76880 mi
Timing belt tensioner replaced due to faulty tensioner installed at timing belt change 20,000km ago. Parts and Labor covered by VW. 
Jun 2009

84940 mi

C $400
worn front rear lower control arm bushings, worn struts. 
Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI in California, United States
Oct 2004 - Jun 2015
Jun 2004

49600 mi
Clutch switch, covered under warranty. 
Nov 2004

78500 mi

US $455
alternator pulley 
Oct 2005

124000 mi

US $22
emergency flasher relay 
Jul 2006

167300 mi

US $188
serpentine belt tensioner 
Sep 2006

179900 mi

US $965
alternator and pulley, parts and labor 
Mar 2007

209000 mi

US $413
starter replacement 
Apr 2007

212000 mi

US $1102
clutch and flywheel replacement, parts and labor 
Aug 2007

236000 mi

US $600
water pump failed 
Sep 2009

297000 mi

US $253
Ventilation blower fan failed. It was removed and replaced for a reasonable charge 
Jun 2010

314000 mi

US $60
exhaust pipe clamp needed replacement 
Dec 2011

347000 mi

US $250
replaced the starter 
Jan 2012

349500 mi

US $226
Multi switch (Hi-Lo beam switch, cruise) 
Mar 2012

362000 mi

US $632
L&R tierods, L tierod boot, R ball joint, PS rack boot (SCI, MPLS) 
May 2012

372000 mi

US $1254
Replaced auxiliary fan and AC compressor Replaced wheel bearing. Also performed maintenance on wear items. 
Jun 2012

377000 mi

US $2125
Differential failed and blew hole in side of transmission. Installed rebuilt transmission and clutch disk. At same time, replaced front axles.0 
Jan 2013

413000 mi

US $170
replaced oil cooler seals, heater core hose, and replaced hood release lever and coolant reservoir 
Mar 2013

422000 mi

US $74
right-side axle replaced under warranty 
Jun 2013

437000 mi

US $300
spliced wire to AC compressor, replaced lower radiator hose, inspected timing belt, PS pump, and serpentine tensioner. 
Oct 2013

455000 mi

US $1250
Replaced steering rack, sway bar bushings, tie rod ends 
Jan 2014

469000 mi

US $221
Fan control module plus labor 
Jun 2014

492000 mi

US $208
Replaced original turbo control valve 
Aug 2014

502000 mi

US $318
Replaced rear pads and rotors and rear caliper 
Oct 2014

511700 mi

US $95
glow plug harness 
Jan 2015

526000 mi

US $384
radiator replacement 
Feb 2015

531000 mi

US $450
starter replacement 

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2003 Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI 4dr Hatch

115-horsepower 2.0L I4 5-speed manual FWD

Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI in Ontario, Canada
Jan 2010 - Jun 2011
Apr 2010

81620 mi

C $320
Replaced left and right control arm bushings. 

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2003 Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI 2dr Hatch

turbocharged 90hp 1.9L I4 Diesel 4-speed automatic FWD

Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI in Ohio, United States
Aug 2009 - Jul 2010
Sep 2009

159000 mi
Seat belt wire broken, soldered in a new wire. Triggered air bag light. 

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2003 Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI 2dr Hatch

turbocharged 180hp 1.8L I4 5-speed shiftable automatic FWD

Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI in Ontario, Canada
Oct 2003 - Jun 2015
May 2003

3819 mi
1-Repaired condensation in side marker blinker. 2-Repaired loose door trim under passenger door 3-Ignition Coils replaced (under recall) 
Mar 2004

14904 mi
1- Poor AM reception in radio, replaced wiring to antenna. 
Jul 2004

20116 mi

C $2
1- Climate control dash lighbulb burnt out, replaced bulb labour was free. 
Sep 2004

22469 mi
1- Brake Lights stopped working. Brake light switch replaced. 
Dec 2004

26581 mi
1- Waterpump replaced. 
Apr 2005

31546 mi
1- Driver side wheel bearing replaced 
Oct 2006

48229 mi
1-Sunvisor clip snapped and replaced. 
Mar 2007

53165 mi

C $210
Passenger Front Wheel Bearing Replaced. 
Mar 2008

69502 mi
The car does not sense that the driver's door is open. Will not repair since I don't even notice it. 
Sep 2008

76260 mi

C $45
Radio reception not working. Replaced antenna at top of car. Radio now works. 
Oct 2008

77004 mi

C $379
When coming to a stop, car began shuddering. Check engine light appeared. Symptoms would go away while driving and appear stopped at idle. Dealer replaced vacuum pump and associated hoses. 
Sep 2009

91140 mi

C $1000
Banging into gear (auto transmission), check engine light appeared, transmission speed sensor defective. 
Jan 2010

96100 mi

C $100
Check engine light appeared while driving on freeway. Thermostat replaced.  
Dec 2010

110360 mi

C $250
Car would randomly die after about ~15 minutes of driving. After the stall, within a minute later it would start back up. No codes. Read up online and changed the crank position sensor. Success 
May 2011

114700 mi

C $340
Leaking oil on garage floor. Valve cover gasket replaced While examining engine , Pcv valve and associated tubes were separated. Replaced Pcv valve and hoses as well.  
Jun 2011

116560 mi
Replaced rear hatch with new one.  Rust on bottom of rear hatch. First confirmation that it will be covered under warranty by phone call and parts were ordered. Called again after new rear hatch panel arrived and painted.  
Mar 2012

126480 mi

C $400
Fans do not turn on, only when A/C is on and only when it already is overheating. 
Jun 2012

129580 mi

C $75
Coolant low light came on. Coolant was empty. Brought to mechanic slight crack in the plastic coolant reservoir. Replaced reservoir and filled with coolant. 
Aug 2012

131120 mi

C $180
Passenger front wheel bearing bad. Airplane noise coming from the front of car when driving and turning. 
Jun 2013

138880 mi

C $350
Vibration when accelerating. Was some control arm part in the front suspension. 
Dec 2014

154380 mi

C $220
Parking brake was staying engaged slightly after being released. Smelled burning brake pads after driving. 
Mar 2015

158100 mi

C $750
No reverse gear only when car warned up. Bought solenoid valves online got local mechanic to change it out. Transmission Fluid was changed as well. Hood strut and hatch struts do not hold. Replaced struts. Alternator failed. Replaced 

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2003 Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI 2dr Hatch

turbocharged 180hp 1.8L I4 5-speed manual FWD

Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI in Ohio, United States
Sep 2007 - Jun 2011
Apr 2010

116000 mi

US $495
Starter stopped working. 

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2003 Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI 2dr Hatch

200-horsepower 2.8L V6 6-speed manual FWD

Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI in Maryland, United States
Oct 2009 - Apr 2010
Nov 2009

96000 mi

US $470
Front CV joint replaced 
Apr 2010

99000 mi
Water leak when sold. VW, after years of forum chats, issued TSB for clogging sunroof drains. Not clogged on mine or many others. Forums suspect cabin air filter and duct system gets clogged. Requires taking dash out! Or windshield seal. 

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2003 Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI Repair Histories

91 TrueDelta members own (or used to own) a 2003 Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI. 39 of these members (42.9%) have reported repairs for their car. A total of 165 repairs to 2003 Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTIs--an average of 1.8 per vehicle--have been reported.

See our lemon odds and nada odds page to see vehicles with no repairs or vehicles with more than three repairs. To see how frequently 2003 Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI problems occur, check out our car reliability stats.