Friday, 24 July 2020

Ravenor Cars Greenford London Misleading Car Dealer

My son recently bought a car from Ravenor Cars based in Greenford, London. The alarm bells should have been ringing when he first arrived and there was no obvious premises for the dealer. After a phone call a metal gate opened with a selection of cars tightly parked behind it.

After some juggling around of the cars the one he was interested in was moved out so it could be viewed. It was in a much worse condition than appeared in the advert online. Admittedly sometimes it's not always possible to see every dent or mark from photos and it's in a dealers interest to make the car look as good as they can but some were quite significant dents or parking damage.

The car was taken for a test drive and all seemed to be ok mechanically. A price was agreed based on the fact the car was in cosmetically worse condition than was expected. The dealer tried to say that it was due to the age of the car but the car we arrived in was 4 years older without any of the dents or damage!

Payment was made online although payment was made to Mr MA Khan rather than Ravenor Cars.

Problems with the car have included failed lambda sensors, failed clutch, timing chain stretch, cam adjuster fault and serious leak from Haldex transfer box. Mr Khan had no interest in dealing with any of these issues and has tried claiming that he has zero responsibility. There is the option to take legal action through the small claims court but it is probably more effective to make readers aware of the problems they are likely to face buying a car from Ravenor Cars in London.

Ravenor Cars Greenford London Beware This Car Dealer
Ravenor Cars Greenford London Beware This Car Dealer

Golf R32/Audi A3 V6 3.2 Engine Timing chain adjuster problems 022 109 088J

The Audi A3 V6 and Golf R32 are well known for timing chain issues so it wasn't a surprise to have to change the chain on my 2004 model A3 3.2 V6.

The car was giving an engine warning light and fault codes via VCDS which kept coming back. As the clutch needed doing we decided that doing all the jobs at the same time would make sense so out the engine came!

Everything was straightforward, luckily no snapped bolts unlike our Jag X type project and after a full day of work in the garage the engine was removed from the car.

Next stage was to replace the timing chain, guides and tensioners which was all easy to access with the engine out. However coming to time the car up once all the new parts were in place was proving rather problematic. After 2 rotations the exhaust camshaft was out of line every time.

We then noticed that the exhaust cam adjust sprocket had quite a lot of play in it so every time the inlet cam moved the chain, the exhaust didnt move immediately until the slack was taken up.

We took the exhaust cam adjuster apart by removing the Torx T30 bolts that were holding it together to look inside. There's a pin that is meant to lock into a hole to stop the adjuster moving and this can be moved by the oil pressure.

Over time the hole that the pin drops into can widen so that it no longer locks the adjuster into place and it appears that this is what has happened to our one. It's apparently a common issue but there seemed to be very little information about it online, possibly because very few people go to this level of taking cars apart at home and documenting it.

Next stage is ordering a new one from Audi. There are many different versions of the adjusters available for different cars but unfortunately no aftermarket ones for this version so £540 lighter we got one from Audi themselves.

Inside the Audi VW timing chain adjuster sprocket
Inside the timing chain adjuster sprocket on the Audi A3 V6

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!