13 August 2013 ~ 0 Comments

Our cars: 2001 Polo GTI – report ten

Shaking off its winter chills, Rich Gooding’s 2001 Polo GTI sprung into spring. But as the warmer weather arrived, so did a small list of jobs…

2001 Volkswagen Polo GTI

Not all old cars feel old. Take my Reflex Silver 2001 Polo GTI for example. Its funny when what’s termed as an old car is distinctly modern when compared to old cars a couple of generations ago. It’s been a busy five months since my last report on Y464 GHJ, which has now covered 92,000 miles, 24,000 of those under my ownership. It’s still proving to be an able and enjoyable companion, fast and feisty when you want to be, and quiet and comfortable when you don’t. That’s a trait which, in my opinion, a GTI should automatically have bestowed upon it, and Volkswagen did a commendable job 12 years ago.

It’s a common problem with turn-of-the-new-millennium VWs, but the interior door handles of my car were peeling dreadfully when I bought it. The plastic paint coating comes off the handles at quite a rate. To be honest, I didn’t take much notice at the time, but have wanted to replace them ever since. Back in January I ordered a set of door pulls with corresponding screw cover panels from Inchcape Chelmsford, and they were recently fitted when the car was in the garage recently for another job. And they look great, and improve the interior appearance no end. A job well done. Not all parts are available to order, though – the inset panels for the electric mirror controls and matching blanking panel on the passenger side are no longer available. I’ve made do with the old ones – thankfully you can’t see the join…

In February, the cold weather took its toll on the battery. After a quick and dirty recharge, it was back to Sani’s Motors of Chelmsford (01245 460040), my local VW specialist and the only garage I trust with the car, to see what the friendly chaps could diagnose. A new item was the only option and after a £69.60 (including fitting) lightening of my wallet, the GTI and I were on our way again. The new battery has needed charging once after I left it for over a week thanks to the arrival of a SEAT Toledo test car, but it currently seems to be fine (pun intended). In the spring I also fitted a brand new ‘GTI’ badge on the front grille and red ‘I’ badge on the tailgate (the ‘G’ and the ‘T’ still don’t look too bad – they’re only a little pitted) that I’ve had since Christmas 2012, but was waiting for better weather to get the job done.

March saw the MoT come and go. Uneventful at the time, there were advisories for the brakes. The nearside rear brake disc was worn and pitted, but was not seriously weakened. It was the same story for one of the front discs, too. The nearside rear parking brake only just met the required efficiency, and a similar affliction affected the rear service brake. Spring was a busy time for the Polo, as it was back in the garage again a couple of weeks later when it suffered a broken driver’s side wing mirror. Another driver was going slightly too fast down I road I used to use regularly (I stopped using it as was so busy but was running late that morning) and swiped the GTI’s mirror back against the window glass, smashing the mirror glass and cracking the case. The impact was so hard, there was no mirror glass left and the window now has permanent marks on it where the casing struck. £120 of new casing, glass and painting later and the Polo’s battle scar had gone. An expensive running late mistake…

2001 Volkswagen Polo GTI

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