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Volkswagen Golf Care & Maintenance



  • Hey I've got a problem with my glowplugs but don't know much about them other than where they are. My kinda u shaped metal piece melted within that clear cap to the back of the engine and my CEL is on but I'm unsure why it melted, is it because I have a glowplug thats gone or is it a separate problem? I tried to replace it but it smoked up and blew again, thats why I know there is a problem! One things for sure, the car won't start when it get to -10degrees Centigrade! I just want to restore this problem so I can get back to a nice 50 mpg on the car. Its has 218 000 kms 98 TDI, love the car!
  • I had a "coolant migration" problem diagnosed by the dealership. The symptoms were that the electrical system was behaving intermittently problematic and irregularly (i.e. ARS light coming on - then going out; EPC light coming on - then going out; engine light coming on - then going out) I took the car to the dealership immediately. I was told that it was "coolant migration" and that this is a design defect and VW is paying for the repair. I was further told that the coolant had come into contact with the temperture sensor contacts and traveled the wires to destroy the entire electrical system.


    The entire wiring harness had to be replaced. (2 weeks repair.) Upon replacing the wiring harness and before returning the car to me, i was informed that the catalytic converter melted on the test drive, that the O2 sensors are burned out, and that all the sparkplugs were toast. This sounds very bad to me. They explained that upon testing the car, the computer was sending a 80% fuel /20% air mixture to to the engine, causing engine to flood and sending a ton of fuel to the catalytic converter. Thus explaining the spark plug and catalytic converter problem. The repair for this is to replace the sparks, the catalytic converter and the O2 sensors. In the process they broke and air return nipple which is now being replaced.


    1. Is this believeable? Do the explanation fit the problem?

    2. What is going on here?

    3. How can i be sure that they haven't destroyed my car? I am worried that the engine, valves, pistons, cylinders, etc. have all been compromised.


  • Do you know if I can use an extended timing belt on my vehicle and if so can you provide me some information on what belt can be used? Thank you.
  • kiacookkiacook Posts: 1
    Hi, I'm thinking of buying a 99 Passat. On my old Geo Prizm I could take it to any shop for oil changes and maintenance. A friend told me I would have to take a VW to a dealership. Is that true? If so, I'm reluctant to buy one because maintenance would be much more expensive.
  • theseustheseus Posts: 2
    I bought a used 99 Passat 20v turbo 1.8 that didn't come with an owner's manual. I've drained the transmission fluid but I can't figure out where to add it. Can anyone explain it?
  • RivieraRiviera Posts: 2
    Hello All: Looking for some info. Am considering diy on my 1999 Passat rear pads (no pulsing or scraping sounds on the rotors so I am only doing pads). You seem to know about brakes so I would like to ask you a few questions if you don't mind.
    Do you know the correct size of the allen wrench and crescent wrench needed to do the job?
    Is it really necessary to replace the bolts? Haynes manual says yes.
    Also, Haynes says you can retract the pistons using "a pair of needle nose pliers" but they don't illustrate that. Is it necessary to apply pressure while you rotate the piston or does it "screw" itself back?
    I have done disc brakes on a 1990 buick and replaced one caliper on a saab. How good do you have to be to do this job and get the complex parking brake adjustment right?
    Any help is appreciated.
    Larry Lapham [email protected]
  • donshardonshar Posts: 3
    I tried to replace the plugs on a 1995 Jetta yesterday and found that 2 of the plugs were not accessible and 2 of them barely accessible. What items need to be removed in order to change the plugs on a Jetta?
  • 600kgolfgt600kgolfgt Posts: 690
    You can access the other two spark plugs by either 1)using a swivel socket attachment or 2) removing the upper section of the intake manifold
  • OK....I'm approaching 40k on my '03 Jetta, 1.8T, Automatic. I'm loving the car, but I have some complaints.

    Problems: I've had it in the shop for a fallen power window, a brake sensor that clogged with ice, a fallen gas tank door button (girlfriend pushed LIGHTLY instead of pulling up the first time she filled it up). Nothing major, but those are annoying reasons to sit in the shop.

    Problem: When I start the car after it's sat for a few hours, it's sluggish for about the first 2000 feet I drive. If I'm in my space and back out, sometimes it has even shut off on me. Any ideas as to what this could be?

    Complaint: This isn't having to do with the problems. Their maintenance schedule is completely insane. Approaching 40k, I've already been warned that the 40k service is going to run me about $400. I've tried to get things done at other shops, but all are the same or more expensive than the dealer. So, after that service, I will have put about $1000 into maintenance for just 1 1/2 years. My girlfriend's Honda Civic asks for nothing more than tire rotations and oil changes for 100k, and she gets those for free through her dealer. So, I'm inches away from trading.

    I love the car, but it's costing way to much to keep maintained and it has an annoying problem (I'm mentioning the problem on Saturday.)
  • donshardonshar Posts: 3
    What is involved in removing the upper section of the intake manifold?
  • 600kgolfgt600kgolfgt Posts: 690
    Removing a lot of special 8-point hex bolts, replacing that manifold gasket, etc.

    You will be better off choosing option #1. The cost of getting a flex or swivel socket attachment will be a lot less than the special tools needed to remove the manifold. After looking inside my engine, replacing the inner spark plugs is definitely doable with a flex or swivel socket.
  • zscottiezscottie Posts: 23
    Wondering if anyone can recom. a good non-dealer mechanic for my VW. I've got
    an 05 Passat 1.8T 4motion wagon (love it on mountain curves!!) w/ 4K miles. Wonderful car to date.

    I'm in C' anything in this area would be greatly appreciated!

  • cam2cam2 Posts: 1
    Can anyone teach me a little bit about "decarbonization?" I took my 2002 Passat into the dealership for 40,000 mile maintenance, and they recommended this "decarbonization" process for $170. Since I didn't know anything about it, I declined until I could do a little research. This process isn't listed in the VW manual. Can anyone help me with this?
  • jettagrljettagrl Posts: 1
    I'm hoping someone out there can offer an answer to my problem. I own a 2001 Jetta wagon and cannot get the rear lid door to release. I can insert the master key to unlock (turning the key to the left) but once I touch the handle, you can hear the locking mechanism kick in and it automatically locks itself again. It does the same thing when I unlock the car with the toggle button on the driver's door. Is there anything I can do short of taking it to the dealer? Has anyone ever heard of this?
  • rokecarrokecar Posts: 1
    Dude, that sounds was it resolved? My 2001 Jetta just got diagnosed w/ the same problem - "coolant migration" - sounds like something a political action committee would have named. Anyway, my dealership told me I had to pay for it, then came back and offered $1000 toward the repair (out of $2500). I haven't decided yet whether to take it or take further action via the legal/consumer protection route.

  • I just had the same problem (coolant migration) diagnosed in my 2002 jetta. The dealer recommended I call VW of America about the issue to get support, and I just received a call back today that VW is covering parts and labor 100%. The number to call is 1-800-822-8987. The estimate on my damage was $1,700 but "maybe more". Work through VW Customer Care at the number above and they will call the dealer and get back to you on this issue -- it's a well known problem for them. Don't pay anything until you hear back -- you may be able to get more $!

    Hope this helps (and it's not too late)! :D
  • I am currently having a similar problem with my 1997 Audi A4 2.8
    The check engine light came on when I accelerated onto the freeway, the engine sounds fine but will not accelerate.

    I took it to the dealer and they said the error is with the cam positioning sensor. I had it replaced and drove off, while accelerating onto the freeway it happened again.

    I took it back to the dealer, they then told me that coolant leaked through a faulty o ring on the coolant sensor and wicked coolant through the harness and into the ECM.

    I was then told it would cost about $5000.00 to replace the sensor, the harness and the ECM ( OUCH )

    That sounded kind of crazy. I drove the care home, as long as I don't do a hard acceleration the car drives fine in both city and hiway driving.

    Any thoughts or suggestions?

    Thank you
  • Take the car to a local mechanic who specializes in German cars or European cars and have them look at it. Once a car is out of warranty, there is no sane reason to take it to the dealer (unless you have a lot of disposable $$$$) when a private mechanic can perform the same diagnostics and repairs for significantly less than what the dealer charges.
  • Replaced the spark plugs and wires on my 1997 Jetta GT today and all I get out of it is a short start and then it dies. A buddy of mine told me the firing sequence could be off and to find a firing sequence diagram to get them in the right order. I cannot find a diagram of the firing sequence on the distributor. Can any of you help me out with this? Thank you in advance.
  • Hi, I have a 1998 VW Jetta that occasionally, the door handles won't open the doors to allow you to get in. There is no rhyme or reason for this (it's not freezing after getting wet, it sometimes happens when it's totally dry). It does seem to happen when it is colder. Sometimes the door won't open after numerous tries, then, for no reason the door will open.

    Please help,
  • The firing order is 1-3-4-2
  • nmrtnmrt Posts: 56
    Hello all. I just purchased a 2006 1.8T (not the new 2.0T) two weeks ago. I car is sweeeeet and i love the power :D . i was thinking about oil changes and wanted your opinions. the manual says every 5000 miles. would i be ok if i did it at 5000 miles? i had a 1999 vr6 and use to change the oil at 3000 miles. the car ran like new until i sold it at 165,000 miles.
    also, what kind of oil is good for the 1.8T -- synthetic, blend, or the mineral.

    any suggections will be greatly appreciated. thanks
  • 600kgolfgt600kgolfgt Posts: 690
    > what kind of oil is good for the 1.8T -- synthetic, blend, or the mineral.

    If you want VW to honor your engine warranty - you must use a motor oil that conforms to the VW 502.00 specification (in other words - synthetic oil only). Here's the official list from VW:

    Every oil on the list is synthetic. There are no mineral, dino or synthetic blends. And make sure you change your oil every 5000 miles (it is important that you follow this to the letter - do not go more than 500 miles above this interval)...
  • nmrtnmrt Posts: 56
    Thanks for the advie 600kgolfgt. i have been hanunting these forums for more than a year now and have always appreciated you advice to members.

    dont worry ;) i will not exceed the 5000 miles for an oil change.
  • 600kgolfgt600kgolfgt Posts: 690
    > Thanks for the advie 600kgolfgt.

    No problem. More than happy to help.

    One more important tip - use OEM (MANN or a VW-approved MANN equivalent) oil filters ONLY. Do not use one of those cheap aftermarket filters (like FRAM, etc.). The difference in construction is night and day. The OEM filter is designed specifically for your engine, as well as aids in regulating your engine's oil pressure. OEM filters have two steel check-valves inside - one aids in regulating the oil pressure, and the other check valve prevents dirty oil from flowing back into your engine when you switch off the ignition (In comparison, the aftermarket filters have check valves made of rubber to cut costs - you definitely get what you pay for.). If you do your own oil changes, you can purchase the MANN filters either at the dealer or you can find it online (do a google search). As far as the list of approved synthetic oils is concerned, you can find those either at your local auto parts store, or you can order them online.

    Also, AVOID those quick-lube places like the plague. They will more than likely use the cheaper aftermarket filters and/or oil (that doesn't comply with the VW 502.00 specification). Either do the oil changes yourself or take it to the dealer.

    Hope this helps...
  • nmrtnmrt Posts: 56
    Thanks again.

    so we are sure that the dealer will use MANN filters? i will definitely ask my dealer what they use.

    on a different note, i really was not enjoying driving my gti that much. on hard turns the car woudl behave abnormally and the ESP woudl turn on. now i know, today i turned the ESP off and man, what a car! with the understeer and the whells sliding the drive now is predicatable and fun!i love this little rocket! :D :)
  • 600kgolfgt600kgolfgt Posts: 690
    MANN is the manufacturer of the VW OEM filters.
  • Spark plug firing order for a 2000 Jetta VR6? Does it really even matter in which order plugs and wires are replaced? I'd like to change the wires/plugs myself, but have never attempted it.
  • CAn anyone tell how to replace the passenger side head lamp. IT is the middle lamp on the passenger side.

    For 2001 - Passat
  • gina9gina9 Posts: 1
    Hi, I have a 73 semiautomatic. It has had trouble starting.many times in the past. It will not start now. I have brought it to many mechanics but it just breaks down again. Last time it broke down again after one day! So now I am looking for someone who is really a bug specialist. Maybe mine has trouble due to the semi clutch? The clutch is having problems too but I don't know if that would affect whether it can start or not.
    Did you have any great experiences with a mechanic taking care of your bug?
    Can you recommend someone?

    Thank you.
This discussion has been closed.