‘The VR6 en­dowed the chubby MkIII with 0-60mph in 7.4sec’

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Buying & Selling -


VR6s need a healthy cool­ing sys­tem so proper coolant strength is vi­tal to pre­vent cor­ro­sion of the al­loy cylin­der heads. The plas­tic pipe that runs across of the front of the engine to the ther­mo­stat be­comes brit­tle with age and cracks. Re­place­ment usu­ally re­quires a new ther­mo­stat hous­ing as well and it’s best to stick to orig­i­nal Volk­swa­gen parts. Lastly, en­sure that the cool­ing fan kicks in cor­rectly as the switch/sender is prone to fail­ure.


Look for a smoky ex­haust and poor run­ning caused by engine man­age­ment woes or (on 16-valvers) fail­ing coil packs. A fresh cam­belt ev­ery 40k miles is rec­om­mended. The VR6 engine suf­fers from oil leaks and there’s the risk of head gas­ket fail­ure. Over­haul­ing the heads at around 100k miles isn’t un­com­mon. Tim­ing chains need re­new­ing at around 80k miles – this in­volves gear­box re­moval and can re­sult in a four-fig­ure bill. A rat­tle at low revs is the give­away.

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