My 1997 VW Golf 3 is over-consuming fuel, I use 10 liters for 45km,

  1. My mechanic ask me to change the automatic gear-box because it is not selecting gear above gear 3
  2. I change the automatic gear-box but the issue is still there
  3. I change the plugs too, they are functioning well now
  4. My car is either carbureted or fuel injected, I don't know, please help me
  5. Is there any need to use car scanner to detect the fault!
  • 1
    What year is your Golf? I can't imagine a car from VW made in the last 15 years that has a carburetor. But I could be wrong. By the way, what are "Plucks"? I'm glad they are working though :) And yes, I would scan the car for fault codes. Also check the air fuel ratio with the scanner if that information is available.
    – cdunn
    Commented Feb 19, 2016 at 17:59
  • I had to go convert this, it's 10.5 MPG (US). The info I can find says that it should be a combined 36 MPG for turbo diesel, and 29 MPG for gasoline. Which fuel type fits your Golf, diesel or gasoline? And what year is it? Are there any leaks under the car? Seems like 1/3 the mileage is going to be something more serious than just running rich, but I'm not sure about that. How much can mileage suffer if the engine is running very rich? (Assuming gasoline)
    – cdunn
    Commented Feb 19, 2016 at 18:09
  • @cdunn - The MkIII should run between 1991-2002, I believe. This would most likely have the ABA 2.0 liter engine (8-valve), which is pretty poor on performance and not so great on mileage. This is a guess on my part, as there are about a dozen engines it could have, which also depend on what part of the world this is from and is at. Commented Feb 19, 2016 at 18:19
  • 1
    @JimW OBD2 isn't a US thing at all, just US made it mandatory for manufacturers to make their cars OBD2 compliant a few years earlier, so older US made cars have a higher chance of being compliant. Commented Feb 25, 2016 at 8:51
  • 1
    I have a 1997 Mk3 Golf in the UK and it definitely has an OBD port. It's just to the left of the ash tray. Remove the ash tray and slive the blanking plate out sideways. On mine, faulty wiring on the lambda probe caused similar gas milage and showed up on a fault code scan. If the scan shows nothing, check your tyres are properly inflated and your brakes are free. Commented Feb 25, 2016 at 12:42

2 Answers 2


High fuel consumption can be caused by various reasons. The most common ones are:

  • Spark plugs, spark leads and coil pack. (You done spark plugs but you might need to check the other two too)
  • Blocked air cleaner
  • Sometimes might be even the brakes causing high fuel consumption by binding. You can check that by lifting the car up and check if the wheels are moving freely when you don't apply the brake.
  • Check also your tire pressure.
  • Faulty O2 sensor (This one, along with some other sensors are better to be checked with the OBD Scanner in order to be sure if they are faulty)

If you check all those one by one I'm sure you will find the source of the problem.


You definitely need to get the car scanned at a dealer (Audi or VW) or find someone in your local area that has VCDS (Ross Tech scan tool) and scan the entire car's diagnostics.

It's complete guesswork until that has been done.

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