sellingmy golf!


Asked by Evelyn Oct 20, 2010 at 02:00 PM about the 1986 Volkswagen Golf

Question type: Shopping & Pricing

so i havean 86 golf diesel manual tansmission is amazing condition, got it for 2 thousand with 98,000 miles. it's now got 108,000. someone knocked on my door asking to buy it. it wasn't for sale, but what should i sell it for? it's got a cd player and all, vintage look- not visuallymodified, but it's got a custom exhaust and horn- the previous owner did those. it's also, a 4 door.

14 Answers


Well those cars are hit or miss they run well for a while then they go bizzarke. One thing goes bad and then everything blows up. you paid 2k for it? Sorry to say but you got "gipped". In absolute prestine excellent condition the car is worth like 600-800 bucks and that's if someone pays it. It's gonna cost you alot more money in the future. I had one is the early 90's it blew headgasket after head gasket. The pumps go bad and are very expensive to replace (400-1000). If you timing belt breaks your engine is done. Most likely the mileage is inaccurate because I've known dozens of vw's with failing instrument clusters and people rebuild them and replace them. So it's probally closer to 200,000 or 250,000 miles if it's the original motor. I'd say if someone gives you around 800-1000 go for it because in the long run it will cost you. Get rid of a problem before the problem gets rid of you? Know what i mean Get something newer the car is 25 years old almost. Mid 90's gas motor golfs are very reliable and still get around 30mpg with cheap gas prices then diesel. I hope this helps.

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Don't listen to anything this other person has said! If it is in as good condition as you say, it is worth so much more. It is a classic VW! Try and seek advice from a VW specialist. The diesel engine in these Golfs are brilliant (if you look at my car history on this app, then you can see my one. Exactly the same but a '91) Mine had 200k miles and was running like it had just rolled out of the factory. As long as it has a good service history and you keep up to date with the servicing it will run forever. What this other guy has said about timing belts snapping is a load of nonsense. Yes, they can snap but very rare to if the belt is changed in accordance with the manufacturers recomendations (usually about every 40k) In the UK, a Golf like yours will be worth anything up to £3,000 (I think around $6,000) obviously for that money it will have to really be immaculate. You will never lose money on it. Take care of it, please don't sell it for $600-800. If you have to, put it in a garage for a few years and store it. In the days your car was made, cars were built to last not like cars nowadays. If you don't mind, could you put a few pics of it up as I would love to see it. Thanks.


Like you said in England and in a good economy. This is the U.S. I have a mechanic for VW for 25 years. I think I do know what I am talking about. The cars may see a better life span in the U.K. but they are not the same cars here in the U.S. Particulary in the Northeast region in the U.K. FIrst off the currency conversion is 2 to 1. Do you math. Many of the cars are actually built in the U.S. the instrument clusters almost always fail. They always blow headgaskets in the U.S. They have heater core and heating problems. The electronics are different in the U.S. also the bodies and engines last longer in Europe for obvious weather and chemical related reasons. Many of these have come in with broken timing belts and bent valves which require new engines. This was back in early 90's. Maybe you should leave you commentary for the U.K. thank you very much. the 91 diesels in the u.s were different. the golfs are different. But thanks for trying. Unless someone has a service history of these cars alot of work needs to be done to bring them up to par. I guarantee A vw enthusiast would not pay more than 1200 max for one in pristine condition in the U.S. Also servicing Vw's from a a good knowledgable vw mechanic is always expensive. Many people pretend to do work but they are not certified. I am giving my own opinion from what I have seen over 25 years in my country.


I have been a mechanic for 25 years* and I am ASE certified and VW certified. Also the currency conversion ins not 2 to 1 and european prices bare no value on U.S. prices totally different market and not exactly the same product. Many of the cars in the U.S. are manufactured in the U.S or Canada and have much inferior build quality than european models which can physically observed by anyone.


also the one's in the u.k were turbo diesels and better cars. All of the mk2 golf diesels in the U.S. are non-turbos.Although the power difference is not riduculous it does surely affect the value and power


VW would not compromise on quality depending on where the car is built, especially with the Golf, that is their flagship car. As a VW mechanic should know, on an old diesel engine, if the cambelt should snap the tolerences in the engine are so great that you would be very unlucky to bend a valve. On a petrol car, you nearly always bend valves. Either one, you do not need a new engine, you just need the bent valves replacing and a new cambelt. I don't know how the instument clusters are supposed to fail, as the only thing that could possibly fail is the speedometer cable. I do apologize prefusly for my incorrect currency conversion. And even if (which I personally can't believe) that they are worth pennies on the US market they are a classic car and will only go up in value as they get older.

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When cambelts (timing belts break) that can also damage other components such as injector pump or water pump especially if the car keeps rolling. The valves bend almost always and require a new head. DIESEL ENGINEs are interferance engines and a broken timing belt will severely damage resulting in at minimum 1000-2000 in repairs in the U.S. and that if the engine doesn't OVERHEAT due to lack of coolant which they do many times even if it is for few minutes or seconds. It only takes a few seconds to minutes to overheat and destroy a diesel motor. If you ask anyone who has bought a car from the WESTMORELAND US VW Plant they can attest to the inferior quality in craftsmanship and otherwise. The metal used for these vehicles was an inferior U.S. steel which profusely rots from this inside out. The rust is many times not noticeable on the outside because it starts in odd areas like strut mounts and will eat away. Especially in harsh climate of the NORTHEAST USA. Also road salts are highly corrosive. if you randomly select the american ones and compare them to a randomly selected european counterpart vehicle I guarantee 90 percent of the time the european car will be in much better shape and have better driveability , Believe the lack of quality stateside is also shocking to me and has always been. I wish I could tell you otherwise but the fact of the matter remains that U.S VW's are generally less reliable and dependable than european ones. Their have been and are distinct build quality differences due to lack of Quality control and cheaper crappier suppliers. The cars from Puebla, Mexico are another example of this deteriorating craftsmandship in vw vehicles. At the end of the day these cars are not considered classic in the U.S because the value of a classic car has to be at minimum over $10,000 in the U.S. Yeah it is true the vw enthusiast will be more attracted than normal to these cars but even they would be reluctant to pay more than 1.5 to twice the book value of car that is 26 years old and by most standard car valuations systems only worth $600-$800 and that doesn't include the routine and other maintainence required in order to inspect and register them. So I far stretch value that can be expected for this vehicle would be $1000-$1500 in excellent condition because past 20 years all cars are ticking time bombs unless they are fully restored. Yeah the engine or other components may hold up but many small parts and other maintenance will add up to way more than the car is worth. So why not sell it for what you can get and buy a newer VW which have more easily available parts. The mid 90's Vws (1992-2000) are some of the best VW's in america. These cars have had the least troubles historically. Newer car=generally equalls less repair costs. In turn saving you money that can be spent elsewhere.


Also in the U.S. the flaghship vehicle is and has always been the Jetta(BORA) it some years exceeds sales past the Toyota Corolla and is a better company


I can keep going on the subject. Don't forget about the MK2 Golf/jetta transmission. These transmissions fail without notice due to the lack of circlips on the manual gearboxes. The gears eat through and pierce through the bell housing. Leaving you stranded and in need a of new or used 2000 transmission. I have seen at least two dozen vehicles with this problem and VW even mentioned but may have not issued a recall due to cost. I personally had a manual gearbox explode through the housing only a few years ago.


$2000 for a new transmission plus labor a used one will cost you 500 or so plus labor althought its better to just rebuild your own but that will cost you $1500-2500 depending on where you go.


yeah, the car's babied and loved. i can't say i've had any of those problems you mentioned. i did have the alt belt tightened. but other than a new thermostat, regular oil changes and fluid checks, all seems to be fine. it's going in for a paint job soon, so it's going to look absolutely beautiful by the time i'm done. i'll post pics when it's all ready

I have had an 86 golf (gas) with the 1.8L 8v engine for 3 years now. When I first found it, it had been sitting in a field for 3 years and the dude I bought it from had broken the shift rod and stuck it in 2nd for the last winter before he parked it. ALSO, that's not why he parked it. He parked it because the throttle was stuck ALL THE WAY OPEN! So after patching the high pressure fuel lines, it revved up to 4,000RPMs after sitting for 3 years :P (but didn't explode!) I found out the head gasket was dead, the high pressure fuel lines were rotted through, the speedo works except for the odometer, and the muffler was gone. Long story short I replaced the head gasket, the clutch, 2 injectors (I did all the work myself), but I have never had to replace the transmission, or the engine itself. Engine and trans are solid as a rock. so delawareman80, head gaskets do seem to go, and you're right about the speedo cable, but I personally would gladly accept any issues this car has to present so that I can learn how to repair more problems with my Golf (whose name is Serenity). There is so much space to work on this small car with. ALSO, My car was made in Mexico, and is still rocking hard on the open road :D (but my parts car of the same make model and year, is rotted through and was made in GERMANY) so where its made isn't so cut and dried as you seem to be making it out to be.

I have a 86 golf I'm a Toyota VW ASE wrench turner. I've had non issues at all clutch alt an water pump. They wear out hello. But this summer I just replaced clutch trans seals do that every time I do clutch. throw out bearing new shift control arms an all shift box gromets an seals inc new stick. Reverse tab was broke so in bought a stick new glow plugs shocks universal joints CV joint in USA new hatch shocks new tires new rear wheel bearings new car radio antenna new sterio an now I need a fan motor after 180gs but it cost me a total of 563 bucks to do it all. So how can u say VW is so bad. It was made in USA PA. Plant I've had 0 problems great full economy 48+ per gallon Handel's like a dream. All this I hear is wrench turners who don't do maintenance on there cars I guess since I've never had any of the issues there talking about.

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