Saturday, 3 December 2016

VW Golf Oil Filter Housing Removal

The VW Golf Mk4 TDI has an oil filter housing with a paper oil filter insert inside that needs to be removed and replaced during an oil change service. These should be done at least every 10,000 miles to ensure that the engine keeps running to its optimum performance as the PD injectors are very dependent on correct lubrication.

I've found the Laser 3117 oil filter removal wrench tool to be one of the easiest ways to do this. You can use chains or rubber straps to twist the oil filter housing off but they run the risk of damaging the filter housing which this tool will prevent.

Laser Filter Wrench Has Round Socket Incorrect Size

The Laser 3117 oil filter removal wrench comes with a round metal clip through the 3/8" socket hole so it can appear that the wrench is faulty and has a hole the wrong size and shape. If you remove the metal packing clip you can then use the normal socket on the oil filter removal tool and get the oil filter housing off the car. 

You can see a video of how to remove the transit clip here

Sunday, 27 November 2016

VW Golf - How To Fit Replacement Wiper Blades

I needed to replace the wiper blades on my 2001 VW Golf today. This video shows how I did it. One of the easiest jobs to do on a car so definitely no need to pay Halfords to fit them for you!

Monday, 21 November 2016

Buying Guide Golf MK4 Review - Common Faults to Check

What to look for & Common Problems with MK4 VW Golf?

Even the newest VW Golf MK4 is now at least 10 years as production ceased in 2004 although Boras were made for a few years after that.
Golf MK4 Review - Common Faults to Check
Golf MK4 Review - Common Faults to Check
The MK4 Golf is a generally reliable car and most areas to look at are common for any used car you are buying such as checking service records and maintenance history. However there are a few common trouble spots that are worth checking out.

Buying Guide Golf MK4 Review
Buying Guide Golf MK4 Review

Early on in their life it was common for the rear wiper pipe to come loose and end up leaking. This causes the boot lock to become corroded as well as the handle. Generally the wiper pipe has been fixed by now but the corrosion remains unless dealt with.

Rust on VW Golf front wings is another common fault but one that is easy to fix either with replacement wings or treating the rust. This seems to be due to the way the foam is fitted under the wheel arch liner which traps water and causes rust to start.

Rust on VW Golf front wings
Rust on VW Golf front wings

As with any diesel car after a long time the DMF (dual mass flywheel) can wear and cause vibration. When this needs to be replaced it's generally worth doing the clutch at the same time as the main cost is the labour to remove parts to access them.

Electric windows were prone to break as plastic clips were originally used. Later parts were metal so if these were repaired earlier in the car's life then they should be good for a few more years.

Service history is vitally important for the PD diesel cars. These are some of the best MK4 Golfs available as they combine excellent fuel economy with rapid and effortless performance especially on the motorway. However they need specific oil due to the high pressure fuel system and this needs to be changed regularly so I'd avoid any car that has no detailed service history unless it is a very low price.

The engine wiring loom is a routine service part for the PD engines and as it is covered in hot oil it can degrade the casing causing misfires. It's not an expensive job to change and one that is worth doing if you spot any issues.

VW Golf MK4 Interior
VW Golf MK4 Interior

As with any older car I'd recommend buying on condition not mileage. My previous MK4 Golf GT TDI PD150 was sold with 250,000 miles on the clock. 2 years later it has now passed 270k and had a new MOT with no advisories.

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Golf Tailgate Boot Light

I've replaced the lock mechanism, refitted the tailgate wash wipe and the next job is to replace the wiring loom plug that attaches to the lock to let the management system know when the boot is open.

Thursday, 10 November 2016

VW Golf MK4 Rusting Boot Handle - Replacing and Repainting Tailgate Handle

One of the common issues with the VW Golf MK4 is that the rear wash wipe jet can become detached inside the boot and spray water into the lock mechanism. This can stop the electrics working as well as making the handle start to rust.

If you spot rust forming on the handle it's a good idea to replace it asap as otherwise the rust will spread to the tailgate itself and start to rust through the metal. At least replacing the handle means that the damage can be contained.

The tailgate handle prior to replacement:
VW Golf rusting tailgate handle
The tailgate handle is very easily and cheaply available to buy as a replacement - the part was shared with the VW Sharan and Ford Galaxy so is plentiful on Ebay and the like. The cost for a new one was around £15 so I didnt think it worth buying from a scrapyard.

The new ones tend to come in primer so they do need to be sprayed to match your car. I've not done any spraying for many years but with a rattle can was quite impressed with the results I got on the handle. Once painted it needed a coat or two of lacquer to give the shine and with that it was ready to fit to the car.

There are videos and tutorials online about removing the tailgate handle but it can be tricky if the lock barrel has corroded into the handle aperture. Fortunately a sharp knock with a 12mm socket and hammer removed the barrel once the retaining clip had been released.

VW Golf MK4 tailgate handle replacement painting

Once fitted I was very pleased with the finish and thought it was a good colour match with the rest of the car

Saturday, 29 October 2016

VW Golf Mk4 Fitting Headlight Bulb

One of the first jobs of winter is needing to replace your headlight bulbs, for some reason they seem to fail as autumn falls! I put this video together to show how to replace the headlight bulb in a MK4 VW Golf and to fit a new H7 bulb in the car. One side is easier than the other and needs less parts removed to access the bulb.

Sunday, 23 October 2016

VW Golf Mk4 Boot Lock Problems

I've been having problems with the boot lock on my MK4 Golf and found this really handy guide to working on the boot. I've now got the parts ordered so my next job is to fit them!

The part number is for the boot latch, part no: 1J6 827 505 CB 41

Sunday, 16 October 2016

VW Golf Dash Display Coolant Temperature Fault - Thermostat or Sender?

When I bought my MK4 VW Golf TDI the temperature display on the dashboard was faulty and the needle wasn't moving at all. This is a sign that the temperature sender plug is broken so one of the first jobs I did was to replace it.

This then got the coolant display working again but the needle never got above the 70 mark on the dashboard display so it seemed there was another fault. On further investigation it was apparent that the thermostat was probably faulty too but originally masked by the temperature sender being broken.

Once the thermostat was replaced the temperature display started working again properly and as soon as the coolant was up to temperature the dash display rose to 90 mark and stayed there.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Best MPG VW Golf TDI - Gas Mileage Fuel Economy for PD130 Diesel

VW's might currently be known for their emissions cheating rather than fuel economy but back in 2001 when the PD 130 version of the VW Golf was launched the fuel economy MPG was a great selling point.

I'd previously blogged about the excellent fuel economy from the MK4 TDI Golf range, in particular the PD130 which to me is the pick of the range. Judging by the used sale prices others agree as it really holds value very well.

On a long motorway journey back from the Isle of Wight I managed the incredible consumption of 67.6MPG over a 120 mile trip. The average for the whole tank brim to brim was 58mpg so it shows how cheap the car is to run for long journeys - I guess the reason why so many PD TDI cars have such high mileage on them.

Friday, 16 September 2016

VW Golf MK4 Stiff Gear Change

If you are finding the gear change on your MK4 VW Golf is stiff, particularly selecting reverse and first gears then this video might help. It's a common problem and easily fixed by lubricating the gear selection mechanism under the bonnet.

Monday, 25 July 2016

Changing VW Golf Broken Rear Brake Light

The rear brake light bulb had broken on my VW Golf Mk4. This video shows how you can replace the brake light bulb and fit a new one.

Monday, 9 May 2016

VW Golf TDI PD130 Diesel - Best MPG Achieved

The Golf TDI PD130 is a brilliant car and today I've achieved the best MPG since I've owned the car. The long term average for MPG over the last 4 months and over 2000 miles is 52mpg but on a long drive today I managed to get over 62MPG from the car. It appears that the slightly warmer temperatures are helping the fuel economy as the same journey generally has achieved a maximum of around 55MPG over the last few months.

So if you are thinking of changing to a new car "to save money" then think again! An old car doesn't necessarily mean you're paying more for fuel and a new car is guaranteed to lose masses more in depreciation!

Monday, 2 May 2016

Fixing VW Golf/Bora ASR ESP Light Comes on After 10 mins

If the ASR/ESP light comes on in your VW Golf or Bora after about 10 mins then this will show you how to fix it

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Fixing VW Golf/Seat Leon MK4 ASR Light Intermittent - Comes On After 10 minutes driving

A common problem on the VW Golf Mk4 is the ASR light coming on after around 10 minutes driving. This happens because the ASR system is looking for a load signal from the alternator and when it isn't detected it times out which happens after around 10 minutes. If you turn the engine off and back on again the light will go out again and come on after another 10 minutes but how do you fix the ASR/ESP light so it doesn't come on long term?

The fix is a straightforward repair to the cable that runs from the alternator across the gearbox to rejoin the ends that have broken. It's easily visible but you may need to replace the plug as the wires can be quite embedded inside it.
VW Golf/Seat Leon MK4 ASR Light Intermittent - Comes On After 10 minutes driving
VW Golf/Seat Leon MK4 ASR Light Intermittent - Comes On After 10 minutes driving

Monday, 4 April 2016

Part Number for VW Golf ASR Plug 1J0 976 824

The wires to the plug on the VW Golf ASR connector can break and cause the ASR light to come on after driving 10 mins. The part number to get from VW to replace it is 
1J0 976 824
1J0 976 824
1J0 976 824

VW plug part 1J0 976 824
VW plug part 1J0 976 824

Sunday, 3 April 2016

VW Golf MK4 ESP/ASR Light Fault Warning after 10 minutes

A common fault on the VW Golf MK4 is that the ASR or ESP Light can show a fault and display warning light on the dashboard after driving for about 10 minutes. This is normally due to a wiring fault. The ASR/ESP module is waiting for a signal for the alternator load and if this isn't found after 10 minutes then the system shows a fault and error code on the dashboard light.
VW Golf MK4 ESP/ASR Light Fault Warning after 10 minutes
VW Golf MK4 ESP/ASR Light Fault Warning after 10 minutes

The most common place for the wiring to break is just above the gearbox where there is a connector with 4 wires coming from the alternator and disappearing under the battery tray.

VW Golf MK4 ESP/ASR wiring broken
VW Golf MK4 ESP/ASR wiring broken
The connector plug has the wires and terminals in it, the part number is 1J0

4 wires come into the connector plug and often break.

The order of the wire ASR socket colours and plug numbers is:

1 - Yellow
2 - Blue
3- Green
4 - Brown

Replacing Interior Door Grab Handles on VW Golf MK4 and VW Bora

A common problem on the Mk4 VW Golf and VW Bora is that the interior door handle plastics can get badly chipped and wear over time so start to look very tatty. This video shows how to remove the door handle and replace with brand new parts.

Photo of VW Golf Mk4 driver's door handle wearing badly
VW Golf Mk4 driver's door handle wearing
It's an easy fix to remove them and to replace with new parts which are commonly available on Ebay. Just make sure you order the correct parts - the drivers door handle is different for 5 door and 3 door cars and also ensure it's for a right hand drive car if you're in the UK.

Driver's door trim showing fitment for 4 electric window switches
Driver's door trim showing fitment for 4 electric window switches

New door handle trim fitted to VW Golf MK4
New door handle trim fitted to VW Golf MK4

New door handle trim fitted to VW Golf MK4 showing vast improvement 

Passenger door handle replaced on VW Golf MK4 Bora
Passenger door handle replaced on VW Golf MK4

This video shows how to remove the door handle and replace with brand new parts.

Replacing Interior Door Grab Handles VW Golf MK4

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Replacing Split Vacuum Servo hose VW Golf MK4

When servicing my VW Golf I noticed that the servo vacuum hose had a split so ordered the new part from VW. This video shows how to fit the replacement servo hose to a VW Golf MK4 TDI PD130 but this should be similar for any MK4 Volkswage Golf

Saturday, 19 March 2016

VW Golf Coolant Temperature Sensor Replacement

VW Golf Coolant Temperature Sensor

059 919 501A new part green sensor
078 919 501C original black sensor

Monday, 14 March 2016

VW Golf MK4 TDI Review

I found this old review of a PD150 TDI from Richard Hammond

Sunday, 13 March 2016

VW Passat B6 Wiper Blade Replacement (2005-2010 models)

If your wipers aren't cleaning the screen properly then new blades is an easy fix. This video shows how to change the wiper blades on a VW Passat B6 2005-2010 model

Difference Between VW Golf MK4 TDI and GTI seats

Until I bought my latest VW Golf MK4 I'd not realised there was any difference between Golf GTI and Golf TDI sports seats. Even at a glance it wasn't obvious that they weren't the same as the material pattern was identical and they both have Recaro style sports side bolsters.

However when the seats are compared next to each other it's clear the TDI sports seats are much more squared off and have additional panels sewn in compared to the GTI seats.

VW Golf TDI seat
VW Golf TDI seat
VW Golf MK4 GTI seat
VW Golf GTI seat
You can see the additional stitching lines in the photo below of the VW Golf TDI seat and the photo below of the GTI seat that has a single piece of fabric for the side bolsters.

VW Golf TDI seat
VW Golf TDI seat

VW Golf GTI seat
VW Golf GTI seat

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

VW Golf MK4 Centre Console Removal and Replacement

When I bought my MK4 VW Golf part of the centre console was broken so one of the items on my list was to replace it. I managed to source a suitable part from a local breakers yard which also gave me useful insight in to how to remove it from my car. It's a useful tip - if you need to remove a part it often pays to do the work on a scrap car so you can work out the best procedure.

I found that the easiest way to remove the front section was with the rear centre console also removed as it gave much better access. In order to remove the rear console I also needed to remove the centre armrest which fortunately was something I had planned to do anyway as I find it gets in the way when I'm driving.

There are 4 Torx T20 screws that hold the rear centre console in place. Once these are removed the section can be lifted out over the handbrake, taking care to unplug the fuel flap button.

The front section of the centre console has 4 screws holding it in place but 2 of these are shared with the rear section and go through both, so only 2 more need removing to take the front section out.

Once those screws are out, unclip the gearstick gaiter, remove ashtray and the centre console will slide out.

Monday, 22 February 2016

VW Golf Mk4 TDI PD130 Brakes Grinding After Fitting New Discs

At the weekend I fitted new brake pads and discs to my VW Golf MK4 but shortly afterwards I noticed that the brakes seemed to be making a grinding sound especially when cornering.

I'd originally been supplied the wrong brake discs by Eurocarparts when I was given 256mm discs and just managed to beat closing time to get some replacement ones before they shut. It now appears that the replacement ones are wrong too!

My car is a 2001 model VW Golf PD130 Diesel yet according to the Eurocarparts website it could have 256, 280, 288 or 312mm brake discs. This would appear to be completely wrong and Golf PD130 engine can only use 288mm brake discs along with the 1.8T GTI and PD150 diesel.

Frustrating when it takes 3 visits to get the correct part but fortunately I now know the cause of the scraping/grinding noise after fitting new brake discs and pads so if you have VW Golf and experience that sound, make sure you check the size of the discs are correct.

The cause of the grinding sound is the bolt securing the caliper to the hub that touches the rear of the brake disc. The clearance is very small and the difference in thickness between the 280mm disc at 37mm thick and the 288mm disc at 34mm thick is only 3mm but this is enough to bridge the clearance and cause the rubbing and consequent noise.

VW Golf Mk4 Brakes Grinding After Fitting New Discs
VW Golf Mk4 Brakes Grinding After Fitting New Discs
For a VW Golf MK4 PD130 TDI the brake specs are:

  • The Front brakes are 288mm x 25mm Vented Discs,  54mm ATE single piston calipers

  • The Rear brakes are 232mm x 9mm Solid Discs
  • VW Golf MK7 Manual Gearbox Fault - Selecting Gear Problems

    Although I have an old MK4 VW Golf, a colleague at work has a 2013 model MK7 Golf with manual gearbox that unfortunately has a problem trying to select first gear.  Her description of the faulty gearbox problem with her Volkswagen Golf are below:

    It doesn’t stall, and is more that it doesn’t go into gear at all, gets stuck and feels like you’re going to snap the gear stick if you force it.  Although the dealers have now described my gear box as ‘clunky’

    Has anyone else experienced the same problem with a MK7 VW Golf gearbox?

    VW Golf MK7 Manual Gearbox Fault - Selecting Gear Problems
    VW Golf MK7 Manual Gearbox Fault - Selecting Gear Problems

    Friday, 19 February 2016

    VW Golf MK4 Breaking for Spares & Parts on Ebay

    I needed a few parts for my new VW Golf MK4 and looking on Ebay I found a very helpful seller called Jaso.Woolfe. After a chat on the phone going through the spares I needed we established that he had all the parts and the body panels were in mint condition, still on the car.
    VW Golf Mk4 bonnet being fitted (on a different sunny day!)

    It was quite a long drive for me to get to Bournemouth and I arrived in the pouring rain to collect some parts and for him to fit some others. Despite the torrential downpour he got the parts prepared off the Golf being broken and started to remove the parts from my MK4. It was a slow process that continued into the darkness of the evening but he did a great job and the parts were exactly as described.

    I also needed some interior parts and left with my Golf fully laden with seats and a spare wheel too. If you need any parts for your VW Golf MK4 then I'd highly recommend giving him a call on 07971-403124 as he has huge stock and is breaking many different MK4 Golf variants.

     Parts Breaking Spares

    Wednesday, 10 February 2016

    Golf TDI 130 PD Engine - Best VW Diesel Engine?

    After a year away from MK4 VW Golfs I'm now back with another Golf with my favourite TDI engine, the 1.9 litre PD130.
    Golf TDI 130 PD Engine - Best VW Diesel Engine?
    Golf TDI 130 PD Engine - Best VW Diesel Engine?
    The TDI PD130 diesel engine is arguably the best diesel that VW have built with the perfect mix of power and economy. It also predates the emissions scandal so matches exactly what is claimed although obviously as an older design it isn't as clean as a EURO6 diesel.

    On the other hand the engine is a lot less complicated without DPF or other technology that can go wrong so is one of the most reliable engines out there, probably one of the reasons that PD Golf TDI cars tend to hold their value very well. Over the last year I've run a couple of Ford Pumas which have been excellent fun to drive but don't compare to the fuel economy and motorway smoothness of the MK4 VW Golf.

    Golf TDI 130 PD Engine
    Golf TDI 130 PD Engine

    MK4 Golf TDI with 130 PD Engine
    MK4 Golf TDI with 130 PD Engine