How to Fix Volkswagen Golf 5 GTI Suspension Issues? (5 Common Problems)

In this brief article, we are going to discuss the different suspension issues that occur in Volkswagen Golf MK 5 GTi cars, what the causes are, and Troubleshooting Tips.

The Top 5 Most Common problems with Volkswagen Car Suspension are:

  • Rear Suspension Rattling Noise
  • Creaking noise in the front suspension in 2006-09 Golf R32
  • Golf Mk 5 Clunking / Rattling Noise
  • Golf GTi 2006 front suspension Clunk Noise
  • Combination of Clunking, Popping and Rattling in Golf Mk 5

Golf 5 GTi Suspension

The Golf Mk5 was the successor to the Golf Mk4, built on the Volkswagen Group A5 (PQ35) platform between 2004 and 2009.

The Golf 5 front suspension is a MacPherson Strut arrangement with Anti-Roll Bar (ARB).

The Rear Suspension is of independent 4 – link type, consisting of a Trailing arm, Upper Link, Lower Link and Toe Link.

Troubleshooting Most common Volkswagen Golf MK 5 GTi suspension Problems

1. Rear Rattling Noise

  • The Rear Suspension creaks every time it goes over even small bumps
  • The sound is almost like a ’Haunted House’ door hinge

Troubleshooting VW Rear Creaking Noise

  • Creaking noises generally come from a failed Strut, Shock absorber or Spring
  • Springs do tend to break after a certain mileage
  • Inspect the springs on both sides close to the bottom and Upper mounts as well.

2. VW Creaking noise issue in 2006-09 Volkswagen Rabbit, GTI, R32 

The creaking noise, in most cases, originates in the front suspension. SItuations that aggravate this problem are:

  • While approaching a steep road/driveway
  • While approaching large speed bumps

The most probable source of this Creaking noise is the forward inner control arm bushing.

Troubleshooting the VW Creaking noise

  • Raise the vehicle on a lift 
  • Remove the wheel from the side you suspect the sound to originate from
  • Dismantle the lower control arm ball joint
  • Now try to articulate the control arm upwards and downwards
  • If you notice the noise during this motion, then dismantle and replace the control arm bushing with an OEM replacement part

3. VW Golf Mk 5 Clunking/ Knocking Noises coming from my drivers front

  • The issue is found in the Golf ‘09 Mk 5
  • The sound was continuous and not dependent on whether it was a rough road

Troubleshooting the Clunk/ Rattle Noise

  • Do a thorough inspection of the Front Drivers side (where the noise seems to be coming from)
  • Check the Struts for any broken bits
  • Damper Plastic Dust Cover Torn out and hanging loose
  • Remove the Dust cover and check again for any noises
  • If it did not repeat, then this was the issue

To identify the issue you need to follow these steps:

  • Remove the rear tires and inspect for uneven wear.
  • If you find that the wear pattern is ‘Cupping’ or Uneven wear, then the issue is more likely to be related to the suspension than the Wheel bearings
  • Nevertheless, you should inspect the wheel bearings and rotate then to test for play, just to rule them out as a cause
  • Regardless of the wheel bearings’ condition, Dismantle and inspect the Rear coil springs as well.
  • If you find any sort of breakage at the bottom-most coil, then you have found the root cause.

4. VW Golf Gti 2006 Clunk Noise

  • A very common problem seen in the Golf Mk 5 was front suspension “Clunk” noise while going over potholes on the road. 
  • It was also known from past experience that the Anti-Roll Bar Drop-links would be the first suspects since they would be the weakest and first to fail.

Troubleshooting the Clunking Noise in the Golf Gti 2006


  • Remove the Front Tires or get the car up on a lift.
  • Inspect the entire ARB assembly Bush sets
  • The ARB Drop links would usually be the first ones to fail before the other bushings within the ARB
  • The Rubber boot protecting the Ball joint would have torn out quite some time back. Once that is gone, the grease of the ball-joint is no longer retained and the ball-joint fails eventually

5. Front Clunking, Popping, Rattling and other noises in Mk 5 Golf Suspension

  • Noises from the suspension while going over bumps and potholes
  • Grinding noise while steering at a standstill
  • Predominantly seen in Golf Mk 5 (2004 and 2009)

Troubleshooting Clunking, Popping and other noises the Golf Mk 5 Suspension

  • For a 10+ year car VW’s are known to have broken springs. So that would be the first and easiest thing to suspect
  • Noise while steering at a standstill is a strong symptom of something wrong with the strut and spring
  • It is possible to diagnose if the spring is the problem even before removing the wheel. You need to park the vehicle on a really flat shop floor over 2 planks (LH and RH). Measure the fender bottom height from the plank on both sides, if the difference is more than ½ inch, then it is mostly a broken spring
  • For a more thorough look, remove the wheel on the lower height side and inspect the Front suspension strut. If the spring is broken, it would be easily visible and breakage mostly appears very close to the spring bottom seating area.
  • If the Spring has surface-rust on it, there is every chance that it would already have broken


In this brief article we have discussed the different suspension issues that occur in Volkswagen Golf mk 5 GTi cars, what the causes are, and Troubleshooting Tips.