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VW Rabbit Basic Maintenance Questions

13

Comments

  • shirotorishirotori Posts: 51
    The cars are programed to go off at 5,000 miles. I have an '07 Rabbit and the dealer tries to get me in every 5,000 miles but I don't listen; do what the manual says and save $80.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    I can't pull the windshield wipers away from the glass since the hood cowl blocks them. Any tips on how to clean under them easily and quickly when cleaning the windshield - about how to clean the edge of the wiper, keep grime off it? Never seen a car where you can't pull the wiper blade arms out to stand away from the windshield.

    Heck of a nice car though. And the 5 cylinder is very smooth on the '09. It was a little rough and growly when I test drove it first year of introduction. Now it's super nice.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,784
    I don't have my owner's manual handy, but I know it discusses a procedure whereby the wipers rise up a bit onto the glass, making it easy to lift them for the kind of maintenance you are talking about.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    Thanks Backy. I have the owner's manual of course and will look at it. My salesman - the fleet internet guy - was a puzzled as me when we tried to pull them out and couldn't. And he has been selling them since they came out! I guess it never came up before.
  • shirotorishirotori Posts: 51
    I have an 07 and the way it works with mine is:

    Turn the car off, then push down the wiper lever like you would if you wanted to have the wipers make one pass. Except that since the car is off, it will stop half way and you will be able to pull the wipers away from the windshield. This sort of works like the power windows, when you turn the car off, you can still roll the windows off, but once you open the doors or let enough time pass they won't go up. Same is for the most part true for the wipers. I hope I explained just well enough for you to figure it out.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    YES and THANKS! Now I can properly clean the windshield at the gas station, and wipe gunk off the wiper edge.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    My salesman - the fleet internet guy - was a puzzled as me when we tried to pull them out and couldn't.

    It is really pathetic how little some in sales know about the cars they sell. IIRC, we were told about this as part of a standard delivery proceedure when we got ours in 2005. (we were also introduced to the owner's manual as a part of that ;) )
  • shirotorishirotori Posts: 51
    I just had the 40,000 mile maintenance done on my 07 Rabbit; It cost $557....I guess that's why they have the new VW's maintenance free program end at 36,000 miles. For me I have 10,000 miles left (about 6 months) of warranty left. I haven't had any warranty issues with the car thus far except for the iPod adaptor thingy twice. Hopefully the car continues to treat me well after the warranty has expired.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,784
    What was done for the 40k service? Did it include a brake system flush for example (recommended every 2 years)? My Rabbit will be at 40k soon, but the recommended services in the manual didn't seem like they would cost over $500. It looked to be an oil change plus several inspections mostly. I did just have the brake flush done, since the car was 2 years old and the dealer did it for free (maybe because I pointed out it should have been done to a 2 year old VW Certified car before delivery).
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    VW specifies spark plugs and air filter at 40K mi. They also specify a scan of computers.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    I think I'd rather do the 40k service early, at 35k miles, since on the '09's the full vehicle warranty expires at 36k miles. I'd rather the dealer find an issue or problem while the car is still under warranty. What do you think?
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    I did a portion of our 2005 Jetta a bit early, I had intended to do it all before the warranty ended for the reason you gave. In our case we were approaching the end of the 4 year b-t-b.

    Before I got around to it, (at about 3 yrs, 8 months and 27 K mi) a problem occured which turned on the check engine light. So I asked them if the computer scan that they would do would be the same as the one that is part of the 40K, they said "yes", so I figured there was no point in paying for it again.

    While they had it, I had them do the oil change that was going to be due and I asked them if they would also do all the inspections that were part of the 40K, so that they would be done prior to warranty end.

    I'm letting the plugs go a few months beyond 4 years, I figure with our low mileage (about 30K now at just over 4 years) that a couple months will not create a problem and the power train warranty is still in effect.

    They were nice enough to not even charge me for the inspection items at all and it is a long, detailed list. So between that and the free scan, I'll save a bit on the 40K maintenance.

    I did not do the 4 year brake fluid flush early, I did not figure that would find any potential warranty issues and I am thinking, now that the warranty is over, I'll extend that interval to 2.5 or 3 years, every 2 years seems excessive They did do a brake inspection.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    I agree that every 2 years on the brake flush is excessive. Most manufacturers don't even include that in maintenance schedules. While I agree with VW that brake fluid is something that should be changed regularly (since it degrades when it absorbs water - but absorbs water like a magnet - hygroscopic is the technical term) for the average person not living in the hills and not scooting up to 100 mph, maybe every 3-4 years is ok.

    As to the spark plugs, at least on my 2001 VW Golf, I think 40k was optimistic, and I think that solely because the engine ran a little smoother after the plug change. Mind you it didn't seem to run rough before, just smoother after, so that makes me think 30k for plugs change might not be a bad idea.

    Sounds like you have a great dealer!

    I'm thinking now that provided I keep this car longer than my typical ownership period (I plan to - it's really nice), I should get the 40k service done at 30k, and ask the dealer since the oil service is part of the free maintenance, to not charge me for that. But do the other stuff 10 earlier, then repeat at 60.

    I am also planning on changing the oil every 5k instead of 10k UNLESS it uses a quart every 3k miles like my two former Golfs, in which case after the first 5k change I'll just stick with the factory recommended 10k intervals, adding a quart of oil every 3k or so miles - I think adding the make-up oil will be plenty in terms of making sure the oil in the crankcase has good viscosity and additive levels. I've read a long term long-oil change interval test in which make-up oil is remarkably effective in restoring TBN and additive levels. In other words, you can drain the oil and replace it, or let some of it get consumed lubricating the top cylinder and valve guides, either way so long at you are adding make-up or replacement oil, the engine is protected!

    I also feel comfortable with this interval since I ran a Chevy Cobalt along my same commute route and that car, spec'd for conventional dino oil, was indicating 11k oil change intervals via the OLM (oil life monitor actually oil life calculator).
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    Considering what most mfrs claim for plug change intervals, I was surprised at the VW 4 year/40K. On cars that claim 100K mi for plugs, I've typically gone on a time interval of 5-6 years, which would be 40-60,000 miles for us.

    Our 2.5 engine does not use much oil. I've added only about 1.25 quarts total, during its entire life...and some of that was added right after a change where they had filled it to just the min level. That's in 30,000 miles, with oil changes every 12 months (typically that has been about 7000 miles).
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I find the 40,000 mile interval baffling as well. I've been driving cars with 100,000 mile intervals for years now, and even after 120,000 miles, changing the plugs didn't do anything to improve the (already excellent) drivability or fuel economy (also excellent).
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    Thanks for the heads up on your experience, esp. the oil consumption issue. It sounds like you are doing your oil changes "on the calendar" instead of by miles, which is what most manuals recommend (require, actually). I would feel comfortable with 502 oil up to a maximum of 7.5k miles I think. Beyond that I get nervous. I may just do 5k changes they are easier to remember and seem to make subsequent purchasers happier.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    FWIW, I've run 502.00 oil (Mobil 1 0W-40 and Castrol Syntec 0W-30) for seven years now (in four different cars), and the worst of the 10 UOAs that I've had done showed that about eleven thousand miles was the limit; all of the others showed more like twelve to thirteen, errr, except the one I had run on my old 530i which came back showing the oil still good (barely) after eighteen thousand miles.

    Best regards,
    Shipo
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    Shipo,

    [begin thread hijack!]

    What do you think about using Syntec 0W-30 in a Nissan 1.8 engine - I have the Cube as well, it almost "lugs" the engine when driven lightly with the CVT, I am concerned about bearing protection and worried the new SM grade oils don't have adequate levels of anti-wear additives - I understand both the Syntec 0W-30 and Royal Purple 5-30 are SL, not SM graded with extra anti wear additives.

    Do you think the SM antiwear additives are sufficient now in light of the Mobil 1 5W-30 "wear issue" Valvoline is claiming?

    I have a jug of Valvoline 5W-30 for my first Cube oil change. But I just read a thread on another forum about Nissan 1.8 engine problems related to oil failure. So I am a little worried about what I use in the Cube and how often I change it. The SL oil would probably void my catalytic converrter warranty but not the engine warranty, to make matters further complicated....

    [end of thread hijack - I don't mean to start a discussion, but I know Shipo is quite the oil-head and I'm too lazy to shift to the oil forum]
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Hmmm, interesting issue. While I'm going to have to remain a bit ambiguous on this one, I do have a few comments and questions to offer.

    - I have yet to see any concrete evidence that the new SM oils (at least the ones that are considered "Synthetic") have any wear related issues.

    - Per the Castrol web site, yes, Syntec 0W-30 is only SL rated, and as such, it's probably an older formula (i.e. pre-SM) that includes a fair amount of ZDDP (the stuff that poisons catalytic converts).

    - IMHO, the "Mobil 1 wear issue" as claimed by Valvoline is a red herring and is more marketing bilge than anything else. I say that because of you take a look at the Mobil 1 5W-30 (why anybody would use 5W-30 when 0W-30 is available for the same price is beyond me) UOAs on the BITOG web site, I have yet to see any evidence of accelerated wear in any engine.

    - Regarding premature failures of the Nissan 1.8 liter mills, I'm curious to know if they track to any particular oil type (i.e. grade or group type), transmission type, geographic region, driving environment or have anything else on common. I'm also curious if Nissan has released any TSBs on the issue.

    Best regards,
    Shipo
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    Someone on a Cube forum works in a Nissan service department and was cautioning people to be sure to get oil changes at 3,750 miles because engines were coming in with problems and Nissan wouldn't warrant them without factory oil change intervals. Not much other information and Nissan permits up to 7,500 mile oil changes for mostly freeway drivers in temperate climates. I'll keep researching and see if I can find more on the engine problem. Most likely its a design or manufacturing flaw unrelated to oil. It wasn't reported as a sludge issue...
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Yeah, sludge is fairly unlikely with a new(ish) engine as that stuff usually takes quite a while to form. From my perspective at least, I'm wondering about that CVT and its ability to lug the engine to a point where the lower end of the engine is being harmed. An interesting indictment of the CVT programming would be if identical cars with manual transmissions (is the Cube available with a stick?) developed a much lower incidence of problems.

    Keep us posted.

    Best regards,
    Shipo
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    Yes, since we do not put a lot of miles on, all our maintenance tends to be time interval based... so oil changes are about every 7500 miles, just because that is about the mileage we put on in a year.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Wow, 7,500 miles per year, amazing. I bought a new car mid November last year, and in spite of the fact that I got laid off in March and spent the last several months job hunting primarily from home, that new car has almost 18,000 miles on it. Yikes!

    Best regards,
    Shipo
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    Yes, I am concerned about two Cube issues based on the CVT programming:

    1. With light driving, a lot of near-lugging, driving on city streets @ 1200 rpm.

    2. With heavy acceleration, the CVT holds high RPM much longer than you would typically hold with a manual or conventional auto tranny.

    That is why high film strength oil like Royal Purple with high antiwear additives (like Royal Purple of German Castro) might be worth considering.

    It's ironic that the traditionally quirky VW is less "fussy" to me than the "Japanese" Cube. That's because VW spec's their own fluids designed to exactly match their engine design and transmission philosophy. The Cube has to rely on 99 cent close out motor oil from Kragen....

    So people who complain about 502 oil and difficulty locating it and expense don't know how good they actually have it....
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "With light driving, a lot of near-lugging, driving on city streets 1200 rpm."

    Yikes, twelve hundred RPMs, yeah, that's a bit low. Sounds like Nissan is working for the fuel economy thing and not the engine longevity thing. Go figure. :confuse:
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    It can float at the "near-lug" point for maximum fuel economy because the CVT doesn't have to throw a conventional "quantum leap" downshift to get you back into the power band - it can almost imperceptibly change the ratio on the fly, to scoot up to a whopping 1400 rpm when needed or even to 2000-2500 if I need some "real" acceleration....but yeah, I do wonder about the pressure placed on the engine bearings compared to a conventional automatic or even a stick shift (I drive the Rabbit at very low rpm but I can't "hover" over the lug point like the CVT does, or I go nuts throwing upshifts and downshifts to adjust to road grade and traffic). However I think the engine failures I mentioned earlier were not related to bearing wear....I can't find the forum that mentioned the engine failures that the mechanic was seeing at his dealership on Versa 1.8's.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    We have two cars and it is about the same for each. Mine has just about 20,000 in 2.5 years. A relatively short commute helps, about 1/2 of my 7500-8000 per year is accounted for by commuting to work.

    OTOH, during a trip last week in CA + OR we put 1400 miles on a rental car (I don't think Hertz made a profit at the resulting ~13 cents per mile). During last year's week in WY, ID, MT we did about 1000 on a rental.
  • I purchased a 2007 2dr 2,5 rabbit for my son, used with 34,000 miles and have been very happy thus far. We have recently had the airbag light indicator on the dash come on ad stay on for no apparent reason. Does anyone else have or have heard of this problem???
  • Hi, I went to a dealer shop to buy a new 2009 Rabbit.
    Its side bottom surface is not even. It is very uneven, bumpy and jagged.
    Is it normal? Why VW makes it this way?
  • We just purchased a 2009 2 dr hatchback Rabbit S for $13,000. It only has 10, 240 miles on it. It has the built in ipod upgrade. Does this seem like a pretty good deal? This is our first VW and it is as cute as can be!!!!
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