Thursday, 30 January 2020

VW Passat B6 Uneven Rear Brake Pad Wear

The rear brakes on my 2008 VW Passat were making a terrible metallic grating sound, on initial inspection the pads looked to have a decent amount of material left.

VW Passat B6 Uneven Rear Brake Pad Wear
VW Passat B6 Uneven Rear Brake Pad Wear
It was only with the caliper removed and both pads taken out that it was possible to clearly see how different the wear was between the outside and inside pads. The outer had several mm of friction pad left, the inside was worn down to the metal across half of the pad.

I first thought that the caliper had stuck on this side to give such uneven wear to the pads but the other side of the car was identical with different wear levels although not quite as severe. It appears from other posts online that this is a fairly common occurrence with the Passat possibly due to the way the electric handbrake works.

On the plus side these pads had lasted 12 years from new and had covered 76000 miles so I'd definitely got a good life out them!

Monday, 20 January 2020

VW eGolf - Electric Golf First Drive

I was fortunate to get to go for a drive in one of the new VW eGolf fully electric cars. Unlike some previous cars this didn't have any immediate drawbacks compared to the standard Golf hatchback and you wouldn't know it was an electric car unless you were driving it and realised there was no engine noise.

You can see the full review on my YouTube channel

Friday, 10 January 2020

VW Golf TDI Rusted Catalytic Converter Pipe Repair

A common fault on VW Golfs is that the exhaust pipe from the catalyst can corrode and rust leading to it falling apart. One option is to buy a new catalytic converter but with prices quoted starting at £280 I found an alternative at my local exhaust fitters, Maidstone Exhaust Centre, who have done hundreds of these repairs.

The exhaust side of the catalytic converter is rusted through and you can see straight through from side to side.

VW Golf Catalytic converter exhaust pipe rusted through
VW Golf Catalytic converter exhaust pipe rusted through
The old pipe is cut out at the catalytic converter, unbolted from the connector to the exhaust. You can see the cat in the right of the picture and the remaining exhaust clamp to the left at the rear of the car.

VW Golf rusted exhaust pipe cut out from catalytic converter
VW Golf rusted exhaust pipe cut out from catalytic converter
A new piece of stainless steel pipe is cut and enlarged to fit the hole in the cat. This new section is fitted in and welded onto the cat and clamped back on to the rear exhaust section.

New pipe welded on to corroded catalytic converter VW Golf
New pipe welded on to corroded catalytic converter on VW Golf

The total cost for the repair was £48 which seems like a bargain to get the car back to running normally and saves the cost of a brand new catalytic converter of hundreds of pounds.

Thursday, 2 January 2020

Cheap, Quick & Easy EGR Delete Procedure for VW Golf MK4 TDI

I wanted to quickly test if the EGR was faulty on my VW Golf Mk4 TDI PD130 so looked for an easy way to disable the EGR without needing to remove the unit completely.

Quick & Easy EGR Delete Procedure for VW Golf MK4 TDI
Quick & Easy EGR Delete Procedure for VW Golf MK4 TDI

By removing the EGR vacuum hose from the top of the EGR valve and fitting a bolt into the hose to prevent vacuum loss it was possible to stop the EGR working and the whole process to less than a minute to carry out.

As my car is an early PD130 TDI engine it doesn't detect that the EGR is no longer functioning and no check engine light (CEL) is shown. Later TDI models such as the GTI TDI PD150 may work differently as they have later ECU versions.

The video showing the process is on my YouTube Channel here EGR Delete

Thursday, 19 December 2019

VW Golf MK4 Rear Caliper Brake Bleeding Problems

The rear caliper on my 2002 VW Golf TDI was sticking and having previously cleaned it to resolve the problem I decided it was best to replace as it was nearly 20 years old. New caliper purchased and fitment was very easy and straightforward.
  • Jack & secure car, remove rear wheel
  • Undo the 13mm bolts that secure the caliper to the carrier
  • Remove clip that fixes handbrake cable below the caliper
  • Loosen the 13mm banjo bolt that attaches the brake hose but don't remove yet
  • Remove caliper from carrier and push handbrake cable out of the caliper slot
  • Prepare new caliper and add some fresh brake fluid to the brake hose hole
  • Undo 13mm banjo bolt to release brake hose and remove old caliper trying to avoid fluid loss
  • Fit brake hose to new caliper and attach 13mm banjo bolt
  • Reattach handbrake cable & fit clip
  • Reattach caliper to the carrier and tighten 13mm bolts. You may need 16mm spanner to tighten
  • Bleed system
VW Golf MK4 Rear Caliper Brake Bleeding Problems
VW Golf MK4 Rear Caliper Brake Bleeding Problems
While this all is straightforward the brake bleeding can be a real pain. I found that despite fully bleeding the system on my MK4 Golf that even when the pedal is hard with engine off, once started and the servo kicks in then brakes can go soft and spongy again. This is almost certainly due to trapped air in the caliper.

On my car the rear caliper was isolated with a clamp and the system tested again, the brake pedal was fine which indicated that the problem was at the rear caliper so needed further bleeding. At this point I was running out of time and daylight so ended up booking the car into the local garage to bleed the brakes again - they did the same as me but couldn't get the pedal any better which reassured me I was doing the right thing! 

Monday, 25 November 2019

VW Golf Thermostat Replacement Without Removing Alternator

The thermostat had failed in my Mk4 Golf TDI so I needed to replace it. A lot of the guides online show that you need to remove the alternator to get sufficient access but when I looked in the engine bay on my car (PD130 diesel) it seemed to have enough space to remove the thermostat housing without doing so.
VW Golf Thermostat Replacement Without Removing Alternator
VW Golf Thermostat Replacement With Alternator in place
I've done a video for YouTube showing the steps but it was quite easy to change the thermostat with the alternator still in place. I just needed to move the vacuum tank out of the way to give enough access.

Monday, 11 November 2019

What Power Engine is Fitted in my TDI VW? How to check build sticker

What engine is fitted in my TDI?

It's impossible to know definitely which TDI engine is fitted in your VW because Volkswagen use many variants of the same engine but with just a different map to give different power output. The badge on the car may not give info as TDI could be badged GTI in some markets depending what the dealer fitted.

The 1.9 TDI diesel for example can range from 75 to 150bhp and as a PD (Pump Duse) or standard injector engine. The only way to know for sure is to check the service book or the build sticker in the rear boot. The video below shows you how to check which diesel engine is fitted in your VW.