Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Opinion: Usually I see it as not a Car Problem but something else called the Owner Problem

Hello folks. I had to take a few days from writing as I believe I needed a short break away from writing stuff. I spent the long weekend doing everything else except sit at the computer. I think this is a good thing as it has refreshed me in some ways. And the fact that I think that there is more to life than just motoring per se. But I am back to tell you about what is actually happening to cars in Malaysia - the owner problem.

Now everyone thinks that buying a Volkswagen with a dual clutch gearbox (DSG in VW speak) means that there is a high chance the car is faulty. But I now stand to believe that aside from the crappy Mk6 Golf, which I feel is a little underbuilt compared to the mechanically sound Mk5 Golf. I have driven a Mk6 Golf 1.4TSI and it did not feel nice. The Mk6 GTI was a very enjoyable car as was the a little bit porky Mk6 Golf R. Speaking of the Mk6  Golf R we reviewed earlier and got its owner Firdaus Asri to write his own drive report I am quite glad to say that the car is perfectly fine - albeit the fact that he has somehow managed to run through three sets of tyres within a two year period. This was due to lots of sunday drives up Genting Highlands as well as the occasionally track days to Sepang Circuit. 

Now his car is a 2010 Golf R. And as I mentioned above, it has not died (yet) even though he has driven the heck out of it. Quite hard I might add and aside from the tyres I have not really heard a hint of a complaint from him about the rest of the car. Its the religious levels of maintenance as well as operating the car within limits. And also the fact that the chap can afford it. This is definitely the main thing to running a performance car...which brings me to the Facebook screen capture above.

Translated from Malay
 MO1 (Malay Owner #1) " Already sent my Golf Mk5..Suspect Gearbox. All gears cannot be used. How much would I get hit if its the gearbox? After I repair I want to trade in my car"

LM02 (Logical Malay #2) "Wear and Tear Bro. If you don't like that, you better go and buy a car with a conventional automatic like the Perodua Bezza"

The Volkswagen Golf Mk 5 GTI was produced from 2004 to 2009. The youngest Mk5 is already seven years old. Most have been around longer. Usually a good nine or so years on the roads and clocking up lots of mileage. Whilst the DSG is the Mk5 is strong (the strongest of them all) it does have a lifespan. And wear and tear. Note that is has two mechanical clutches that WILL wear out. It also has a mechatronic controller that also has a lifespan and this will give way. Even when I was driving manuals in the good ol' days I suffered clutch failures in my old Second Generation Honda Civic and so did my father in his Fiat 131, where the car just failed to move due to a worn clutch plate. I also suffered automatic transmission failures to my (first) Proton Wira 1.6XLI after it clocked 200,000km. THIS, folks, is something called wear and tear. And a seven to eight year old Golf with a performance type gearbox is bound to suffer from wear and tear.

I fail to fathom how some of this people can expect a DSG that can shift in under a few mili-seconds suffer no wear and tear. Especially something like a Golf GTI. It has one of the fastest shifting gearboxes in any road car. With speed and precision like that you know that it isn't something that can last forever. It will have a lifespan and the thing is that some people think that this shouldn't happen. It is illogical. Most things made these days have a lifespan.

This isn't the problem of the equipment or the car if it is already seven years or more. This is what I.T people called user problem. This is also much like people who drive in Sepang powerful cars like a Nissan GT-R get whooped by some chap driving a Subaru Impreza and then start blaming the car for missing a gearshift or the tyre temperatures were too high or the car  wasn't set up for Sepang but the College parking lot. It is everyone's fault except the owner who cannot drive properly at all. This is the same thing with owners these days when they expect their seven year old car to work perfectly. 

If you cannot afford to maintain a car as technologically advanced and fussy then like what Logical Malay #2 said - You should buy a Perodua Bezza and stop buying cars that you think are expensive to maintain. And do not be like MO1 here. The Golf MK5 is more than seven years old for crying out loud...unless its mileage is under 50,000km, which I doubt or the car was driven by a gentle old lady who pootles around town at 40kmh then that Mk5 GTI would be free from wear and tear. But I doubt this is the case for this car.

Definitely an owner problem here. Remember folks, with great power lies great maintenance bills. Or in Firdaus Asri's case, great tyre bills. It's actually as simple as that.


  1. I couldn't agree more. Driving a 2012 VW Cross Touran, I take great pains to service the car properly and keep the DSG within its limits. Same with the engine.

    I'm definitely not seeing the kind of issues thrown around in the user problem forums


  2. Driving a Mk7 GTI. Did interim service every 7.5K kms even though SC swear by the 15K kms service interval. Take good care of the car or the car will breakdown on you.


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