- Engine - Pretty bullet proof. Listen for the usual 'tappety' noises, and check for blue or white smoke/steam at the tailpipe both hot and cold running. Engine mounts - Can often be tired, harder to find new genuine ones.
- Fuel Pipes - As you look at the inlet manifold. To the left you have two black fuel pipes, and to the right you have one which runs to a brass sender. Inspect them all closely and smell/look for fuel, even if they look very good externally, they WILL be split/broken inside and you should replace them if you buy the car unless recently done. These are a serious fire hazard.
- Crank Bolt - Ask for proof that the crank bolt has been replaced. If not then you should factor in changing it for piece of mind, check for paperwork/history. Read more about Crank bolt failure.
- Radiator - Check for leaks around the plastic pipe flanges which are bolted on. They often break down inside causing a leak where the rubber pipe joins. Not an expensive fix but could lead to a blockage in the cooling system.
- Steering - The G60 power steering pump is specific to the car, listen for screeching/loud whining while turning at a standstill, they are NLA from Vw! and extremely hard to find. Check for any clicking as you turn tight corners, messy job to replace cv joints. Check for clunking/thudding over bumps (Ball joints). The steering racks can start to feel a little 'floaty' but they will last for some time and can actually be nipped up if needed.
- Front brakes - Stand up quite well, check that the car pulls up straight under braking and that the brake lines are not corroded if possible. (Wheels off) If you have brake wobble, then it's possibly a sticking piston or warped discs. Not mind blowingly expensive to fix.
- Front suspension - A terrible design as most Vw of this era are. The suspension top mounts can't take too much grief, especially aftermarket ones. Look for a large gap within the rubber bush under the bonnet/suspension top and listen for excessive 'banging' over bumps. The earlier top mounts are NLA from Vw!
- Rear brakes - The rear brake calipers are notorious for seizing up, to test them you can pull the handbrake on and see that the car holds easily on a decent incline/hill. A good upgrade which may have already been done is to use Mk4 Golf rear brake calipers.
- Sound Checking - Carefully (Tie up any clothing/hair out of the way!) place a long screwdriver within the G-Lader supercharger main body and place your ear on the end. You should hear a continuous hollow whirring noise. If you hear anything like metallic pinking or scratching then be cautious and check the history of the super charger, which you should do anyway.
- Physical Checking - There is/was no Vw maintenance/rebuild time but people tend to reckon upon 20-30k miles or so. Pop off the large hose from the right hand side of the supercharger and check for large amounts of oil, a 'light smear' or dusting of oil is fine. Any 'Runs' or pools of oil may mean that the oil seals are on their way out. Supercharger rebuilds can cost anything from £250-£600.
- Boost Checking - You can check the G-Lader boost figures via the MFA (On board computer). See Boost check via MFA.
- Headlights - Renowned for being terrible! Check that sidelights, low beam, high beam and flash all operate as they should. Low/High beam may be noticeably dull and not emit a lot of light, this is normal unfortunately. [More details later]. When operating the headlight switch, ensure that the click of each position is positive with no rattling. Fog lights, Turn Signals - No real issues.
- ABS Light [If Fitted] - Check that the ABS light goes out after a few seconds of ignition on (With an audible 'click' noise.
- Bumpers - Stone chipping, cracks, hazy paint on top of rear. Early Style/Late Style are diffferent. Bonnet - Stone chipping.
- Subframe/Engine carrier - Very prone to rust and quite hard to find replacement.
- Battery tray - Often rusty. Scuttle area - Can be scratched badly if the ecu/wiper motor have been out in the past.
- Front wings - Stone chipping, and rusty bottom edges and/or lips.
- Windscreen - Tricky to replace even for competent fitters, check for chips/hazyness in direct sunlight. Windscreen Seal - Can gather water and rust, a sign of many jet washes i suspect. Rear side glass - Check the seals for having held water by pressing them at bottom.
- Doors - Check bottoms, not too bad for rust. Door handles prone to breaking. Replacements easily found. Door glass - Can often be badly scratched through damaged window/door strips, normally after they have been removed for some reason. Door seals - On the door entry, can often be split at the bottom. Not always a major issue. Replacements can be expensive.
- Sunroof- Can often fail causing scratched sunroof panel. Check that the roof sits flat/evenly at all 4 corners and tilts/slides.
- Roof strips - Nearly always old/brittle along inside edge. Not really an issue apart from the looks as they don't actually do much.
- Sills - Strong but the underseal can sometimes hide a little rot. Check for lumpy/bubbled paint. Also check the straightness at the jacking points.
- Rear arches - Can tend to have a little rust at the front/bottom edges. Check the whole lip.
- Petrol flap - Lift it open and check for rust/bubbling paint around the filler. Quite a common area to go, not cheap to repair.
- Boot lid - Can rust a little around the rubber window seal, also around/on the number plate lights, and on the inside edge where the lock mechanism is. Rear panel - Watch for rust around any badges, as they can let water in.
- Spoiler - Check operation via the dash switch, and at speed/stopping.
In 1992 the whole shell, including fittings was updated to accommodate the vr6 running gear. This includes:
The floorpan, Exhaust system (Bar hangers instead of hooks), Fuel tank (Larger 70L), Both bumpers (Continuous trim lines), All front lights (Fogs/Indicators flush with bumper), Bonnet (Humped instead of recessed), Wider wheel arches, Door handles with raised area around key hole, Side trims (Fatter)
To be elaborated on as i get time...