‘The VR6 endowed the chubby MkIII with 0-60mph in 7.4sec’
HOT AND BOTHERED?
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.
HEADS ‘N’ CHAINS
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.