The Corrado Buying Guide & Checklist

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We now have below, what is approaching the finalised version of our Corrado buying guide.

The Buying Guide is intended as a reference guide and includes possible remedies to problems and their potential costs.

A Corrado Checklist document is attached at the bottom of this page(Word document). This is a shortened version of the main points and it's purpose is to act as a printable checklist that can be taken when viewing a car.

If you have any comments, sugestions, amendments etc, the please use this thread.

I would like to thank all of the members of the forum that have already contributed their knowledge and opinions in the creation of this thread.

First of all, here is a useful link for checking some basic information about your potential car...

After reading this guide and you are still a little unsure, or would like some help looking over a Corrado then qutie a few people have offered to help out - take a look at the Corrado pre-viewing thread over on the forum.

Corrado Buying Guide

Body & External

Check for accident damage around inner wings and the boot floor, including seams.

The rear panel (above the spare wheel as you look in the boot) has a VAG sticker which gives all model information, if this has gone, the car may have had rear end damage and been rebuilt/resprayed.

Rusty creases in the inner part of the front wings may mean the car has had some front end damage/repair.

Above rear bumper - check that the two vertical 'seams' at each side of the rear panel are perfect, straight and even, with no bubbling/rust coming through (possible evidence of poor rear end damage repair).

Also look for rust on the chassis and under the bonnet and door sills and check the valance under/behind the front bumper/lower spoiler for rust.

Check body for:

  • Scratches
  • Dents
  • Rust
  • Misaligned panels (inc doors, bonnet, boot)
  • Door handles are stiff. Can be replaced with Passat rear handles (de-locked) for around £10 each or genuine Corrado handles for approx £55 each!
  • Stone chips on the bonnet are quite common. Although this can just be an indication of motorway driving.

For info:- Bonnet cross sections:

Early style ------______------

Late Style ____----------____

  • Lights for cracks including spots.

Headlights for early models are £60+vat and £99+vat for later complete units.

Headlight glass is 22.50+VAT from Euro Parts for both early and late models

Fogs from GPC will cost approx £50 for early style and approx £75 for later style

Indicators are about £50 new from VW, but can be had from scrap yards more commonly than "good" fog lamps. 2nd hand they seem to fetch about £25 the pair.

More details on the differences between early and late specs can be found at the bottom of this page

  • Chassis plates - check the VIN plate on the cross member at the back of the engine bay matches the log book and the sticker inside the boot
  • Colour code ("mailshot" size sticker on the inside of the rear panel with the relative colour code or an orange-red smallish sticker on the inside of the o/s/f wing) & also a sticker insider the drivers side door pillar.
  • Wipers are notoriously poor – possible remedies include modding the existing setup or using Lupo wipers, which would be a bonus if already done


See the list at the bottom of this page for colour codes and details

VW's (amongst others) reds are quite infamous for fading/going pink. A good check to see if the colour can be recovered is to rub a wet finger on the paint – if it regains some of it's colour, the odds are that it can be recovered with cutting compound treatment


  • Look out for ripped/worn/saggy seat bolsters
  • Sunroof – does it tilt and slide. Any scratching to the paint on the external side of the sunroof

Passat glass sunroof can be used as a direct replacement

  • Check for damp carpets in the footwells – could be due to heater matrix or could need new inner door membranes

If its passenger side (RHD) check that leaves, pine needles etc have not blocked the drains by the bulkhead, as in hard rain the bulkhead area can fill up and overflow into the ventilation intake. Cheap fix!

  • Leather is a sought after extra. Available in Black, Cream, Grey [any more?] and on the Campaign model, Brick-Red (but you'll be lucky to find one of the [u]6[/u] available Campaign interiors or cars.
  • Check the headlight switch action is smooth and accurate - they run warm and this can make the plastic brittle. If its notchy or wobbly, it could be about to snap inside and a new one is expensive. Used one, less so, but rare. Alternative is a bottle of superglue and a quiet night in.
  • First aid kit in centre arm-rest (if applicable) - can be replaced with other first aid kits for around £30
  • Warning triangle in rear seat back (zipper at top) - can be bough from dealers for around £20
  • Check that the ventilation control panel functions competely. The fan should work in all four positions and the "direction" dial should also work. For later (dial type panel) a replacement is over £200 and slider type panel used on early cars is no longer available from VW

Wheels & tyres

  • Kerbed alloys
  • Worn tyres (especially uneven wear)
  • Missing centre caps
  • Signs that the wheels are fouling the arches
  • Check the condition of the spare wheel, and more importantly, that it has one! Also check that the jack, wheel-brace, spanner and screwdriver are present

All 4 cylinder (2.0 8v, 1.8 16v, 2.0 16v and 1.8 G60) models have 4-stud hubs and all VR6's have 5-stud hubs.


  • Listen for any knocking sounds from the suspension and check to see if there is any leakage from the dampers.
  • Under rear wheel arches - look at shock absorber top spring plate, check for corrosion and ensure there is a gap between the plate the top of the strut spring sits in, and bodywork.
  • A decent set of coilovers [i]can[/i] be a plus point because if you intend to add them yourself, you will need to budget approx £500 for an average (price-wise) setup. VW did spend a lot of money developing the suspension, however, so finding a good standard setup is preferable (might be a sign of less 'spirited' driving as well).


  • Check handbrake. Lots of ‘clicks' to engage?
  • Condition of disks
  • Warped disks (brake judder)
  • ABS – Should be included on all VR6 and 2.0 16V's (should also have traction control as well). Some later G60's had ABS. It was also an option on the other models as well.

There should be an orange ABS light in the dash to the left of the driver (It has been known for cars with faulty ABS for the warning light to just be removed!!

Start the car with your foot on the brake pedal – you should feel a pulse and the light should go out.

If the light is permanently on, it could mean:

  • ABS sensors might need cleaning
  • ABS sensors might need replacing
  • Brake fluid level is low
  • ABS control unit might need replacing
  • Brake pedal sensor might need replacing

In general, if the light is on and it isn't one of the top 3 faults above, it could be an expensive thing to fix.

An abs light that refuses to go out may also be due to a faulty ignition switch, or, heaven forbid, a faulty abs pump (expect to pay £750 for a reconditioned one - a new one is over a grand from the stealers)

  • Check for seized rear brake calipers as this is a common fault (although easily rectified)


The important thing with any engine is regular oil changes with decent oil.

Also Check:

  • Oil cap(mayo)
  • Water (mayo)
  • Oil filter (should be VW or Bosch)
  • Timing belt (all belts when serviced) has been changed. (Excludes VR6's)
  • Check oil level & colour
  • Engine noise (tappets and knocking)
  • Smoke from exhaust
  • Oil leaks – after a drive, check for any signs of oil leaks.
  • Listen out for noisy fuel pumps


  • Difficulty engaging gears - mainly 2nd and 1st when cold


  • As with any car, check for any signs of the exhaust knocking/rubbing against the underside of the car or listen for any signs of the exhaust blowing (hole in the exhaust)

The standard exhaust is heavy and runs close to the rear axle and so a knocking from the rear on dips/bumps might be fixed with new rubbers


  • Lights – Corrado lights are poor. An uprated headlight loom (can be made for £10 or bought for £50) would be a bonus
  • Heater – does it function on all settings?
  • Heated windows/mirrors/washer jets
  • MFA computer (check mileage), and that all functions work:

Time, Miles traveled, Time elapsed, Average speed, Average MPG, Oil temp, Outside Temp

Also check that the MFA is not flashing or that it doesn't rest itself once the ignition is turned off. Both are signs of clocking.

  • Electric windows
  • Electric Mirrors
  • Rear spoiler – Does it work when standing and automatically when moving (45mph is the most common ‘raise' speed (should lower at under 10mph))
  • Alarm/immobilizer
  • Does the stereo automatically switch on and off with the ignition


Make sure:

  • Doesn't pull to the side when driving or breaking.
  • Engine performs as it should (G60 – low down pull, VR6/16V's better

pull at higher revs)

  • Any knocking, droning, clunking or any other noises
  • Squeaks from belts such as power steering belt

Check documentation

  • Log book (No. of owners)
  • Service receipts
  • Dealer stamps in service book
  • Check that the History corresponds with/backs up the mileage

VR6 specific checks

  • Listen for any noise from the timing chain. Slight noise (rattle) can be acceptable.

The guides and tensioner [i]can[/i] need replacing once mileage approaches 80k+. £200 for parts alone and it's quite labour intensive as it can be worth doing the clutch whilst you're at it.

  • VR6's generally have a rough idle. Check that the idle isn't overly erratic.
  • Puffs of blue smoke on start-up (especially from cold) and over run. It could mean it has bore wear (time for a new block!), but it does mean you need the rings checking out.

UK and Euro VR6 engines should have the ABV engine code which is the 2.9 litre engine. Golfs and USA VR6's (SLC for USA Corrado) are fitted with 2.8 litre versions

The UK 'Storm' model

  • Only from April 1995 onwards. Some were registered later than N-reg, however.
  • Only Classic Green with beige leather or Mystic Blue with black leather
  • 250 of each colour
  • The log book will not identify the car as a Storm
  • Colour coded grill
  • BBS Solitudes

G60 specific checks

  • Has charger been rebuilt?

This can be one of the most important (read: expensive) things to make sure has been done properly.

  • Remove the big charger outlet pipe and check for oil.

G60 boost check

Do you know how to test your boost levels?

  • Start Motor
  • Move the MFA selector to "2"
  • Press and hold the MFA end button (keep holding)
  • Stop motor
  • Start Motor
  • Release the MFA end button.
  • Press the MFA End button one time.
  • For UK cars, you should now see 450-470 (warm engine) fluctuating with idle.
  • Go run your car!!! 3rd and 4th gear to REDLINE. Carefully note the highest #'s you've got.
  • A pullied charger should not make less than 11.6psi, and even so, thats weak. A Stock charger should make ~~11psi in perfect shape!
  • USA EURO Hg(#'s of boost/vacuum) Comments
    • 15 200 -23.7
    • 55 400 -17.8
    • 90 600 -11.9
    • 127 800 -5.9
    • 148 1000 0 (Atmosphere- ala no boost, charger is bypassed)
    • 172 1200 2.9 psi (Your charger is dead or big boost leak)
    • 192 1400 5.8 psi (Your charger is about dead or big boost leak)
    • 211 1600 8.7 psi (Your charger needs new apex strips or big boost leak)
    • 228 1800 11.6 psi (Great for stock pulley, Probably needs new apex strips if 68mm pulley)
    • 242 2000 14.5 psi (Great for 68mm pulley on stock charger)
    • 255 2200 17.4 psi (Great for 68mm pulley on heavily ported charger, hold on to your ass fast!!)
    • 255 and up folks need to be careful with fueling, as the programming maps end at about 242 on the ecu. Dynotuning, and air/fuel/egt gauge, and custom chip recommended


All files are Word documents

Corrado Checklist

Corrado Colours

Cosmetic Changes