Sunday, 3 December 2017

VW Golf Electric Window not working

One of the common faults with the MK4 Golf is the electric windows failing, generally due to the plastic clips within the regulator mechanism cracking and falling apart.

This shows the state of the regulator mechanism when I'd removed the electric window motor and found the cables wrapped around the motor shaft. Fortunately I'd ordered a new regulator mechanism so was able to swap it out completely.

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

VW Golf 1.6 16V Owners Review

I'll update this over time as I learn more about the car but so far I've been very impressed with the VW Golf MK4 with 1.6 16V engine. It obviously isn't as economical as the PD130 engine or as quick as the V5 or 1.8T GTI models but for a family hatchback it's proving to be a great car.

One of the first jobs will be to clean/replace the door trim handles as they're looking very scratched and tatty. As per previous posts this is an easy fix to improve the look of the car internally.

VW Golf 1.6 16V Owners Review
VW Golf 1.6 16V Owners Review
 Being a MK4 the 1.6 16V has the familiar dashboard layout and the excellent red on blue lighting setup which I find to be one of the best on any car.

I'm waiting to fill the car up again to find out fuel consumption but it's looking very good at the moment and although not close to the massive MPG you can get from the PD engines it does seem to be a fairly economical car as after 150 miles and around 1/4 tank of fuel used.

Friday, 24 November 2017

VW Golf Pollen Cabin Filter Replacement

As part of the major service I'm doing on my VW Golf MK4 the cabin pollen filter is being replaced. This is a really easy job to do and requires no mechanical knowledge, just 4 philips screws to remove on the panel above the engine bay to remove the old filter and fit the new. Best of all the cost of the filter is only around £5 so it's a very cheap job to do yourself at home. This video shows the steps you need to take to replace the pollen filter

VW Golf ARB Front Anti Rollbar Bush replacement

My VW Golf was making a knocking noise from the front suspension which I believed was coming from the front anti roll bar bushes. The car is 15 years old so over that time it's likely the bushes have perished. When doing the service I'll also be replacing these bushes.

Update - I've now replaced the ARB bushes and the difference is amazing, the noise has disappeared and the car handles much better.

VW Golf 1600 16V Gear selector refurbishment

The gear change in my 1.6 16V VW Golf is a bit loose so I've investigated the options for refurbishing the mechanism. There is a kit available that replaces many of the levers and rods for the gear change mechanism and is only £15 from reliable specialist B&B Components.

Over time the bushes and plastic parts of the gear selector will wear giving a much less precise and sloppy gear change which can be resolved with replacement bushes to tighten up the gear action.

VW Golf 1.6 16V Routine Service Items

After selling my 2001 VW Golf 1.9 TDI PD 130 and moving to another brand I couldn't resist the temptation of getting another Mk4 Golf that was being sold very cheaply due to a few minor faults. This time I've got a 2002 1.6 16V Golf SE with only 116,000 miles. The car had a broken electric window mechanism and stuck door lock and generally hadn't been advertised very well as many good features weren't mentioned along with fairly poor photos.

With a full service and a bit of TLC I think it will tidy up nicely and do as a good run around car for a few months and should turn a nice profit when I come to sell.

First jobs will be removing the door card to replace the electric window, replacing the very worn gear stick gaiter and replacing all filters - oil filter, air filter and cabin filter.

The car has full service history, 4 virtually new tyres and is in very good condition but only cost me £200. It's obviously not as economical as a PD TDI but should do the job until next year.

First step for the service is to remove the engine cover which is different on the 1.6 16V engine to the TDI PD engines that I'm more used to.

Once the engine cover is removed it gives access to change the oil and oil filter

Monday, 6 November 2017

VW Passat B6 (2005-2010) Owners Review

After owning my VW Passat for the last 7 years I thought it would be worth putting a review together about my experiences of owning it for such a long time - it's the longest I've ever owned a car!

The video hopefully gives an indication of the plus points and a few negatives but overall I've been very pleased with it, I guess I wouldn't have kept it so long otherwise!

Thursday, 1 June 2017

VW Golf Aircon Not Working - Compressor Fault?

With the hot weather we've had over the last week I found that the aircon in my MK4 VW Golf had stopped working and was no longer blowing cold. Initially I thought it needed regassing to took the car to the local garage to be topped up.

VW Golf Aircon Not Working - regassing
They connected it up and found that the coolant level was fine but that the compressor pump wasn't coming on so no refrigerant was circulating. The diagnosis was that the compressor needed to be replaced which was around £450 including parts and labour.

However I noticed that there were some wires for the ASR/ESP sensor that were disconnected and also 2 other broken wires. Tracing them back they were connected to the air con compressor so it looked like a probable reason for the compressor failure.

VW Golf Aircon Not Working - Compressor Wiring Fault
VW Golf Aircon Not Working - Compressor Wiring Fault

Next step was to reconnect the wires and see if that fixed the air conditioning. Good news - it now works! So by fixing the wires above the gearbox the compressor is now powered and the air con is ice cold again.

There are 4 wires above the gearbox, 2 for the ESP/ASR sensor and 2 for the air con compressor. The thicker wires with brown and green colour coating are the air con compressor wires, the yellow and blue are the ESP/ASR sensor wires

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

VW Golf MK4 Buyers Video Guide

I've owned 6 different VW Golfs MK4s over the last 17 years and this review is a summary of how I find them and which model of Golf is the best to choose from

Friday, 19 May 2017

JR Tuning Kent Review - Diesel Remapping

The EGR on my VW Passat TDI recently started to give warning lights on the dashboard. On investigation the EGR valve was faulty and needed replacement - or so I thought! It appears that it's also possible to map out the EGR valve so that it doesn't give an error and the car no longer expects it to be present.

When I called JR Tuning based near Headcorn I had a really helpful conversation about how the EGR could be remapped out and that the error would no longer occur. The best part was that the cost of remapping to remove the EGR from software was £120 compared to over £300 to replace it with a new part.

When I arrived at the garage where JR Tuning are based my car was hooked up to the diagnostics machine and the ECU contents downloaded to their computer. They were then able to make the adjustments and remove the EGR - or set the value for it to 0 so it was effectively no longer used.

After 3 months the car is running very smoothly and the EGR light has not appeared since. I've also now decided to return to JR and get the car remapped fully as when discussing the existing map on the car it doesn't seem to be fully optimised to get the best performance and fuel economy from the car.

JR Tuning Kent Review - Diesel Remapping
JR Tuning Kent Review - Diesel Remapping

Monday, 27 March 2017

VW Golf MK4 Owners Review

I’ve now owned 6 different MK4 VW Golfs over the years (TDI 90, PD TDI 100, 1.8T GTI, PD TDI130, PD TDI 150 and now another PD TDI 130). To me the MK4 seems to have achieved the perfect mix of build quality, comfort and reliability that subsequent Golf versions have failed to match. In particular the PD TDI engines are extremely fuel efficient and reliable with good performance and are the obvious choice if you are in the market for a reliable economical older car. The PD 130 with 1.9 litre diesel engine is probably pick of the bunch as it combines great economy along with decent performance and although slightly noisier than a more recent diesel this isn’t noticeable at speed. For those interested in tuning their cars the PD130 can be very easily remapped to give GTI levels of performance.
VW Golf MK4 Owners ReviewVW Golf MK4 Owners Review
VW Golf MK4 Owners Review
When new there were a few minor issues such as faulty water pump and failing electric windows due to plastic components failing but these have generally now been sorted in most cars and replaced with the more reliable metal parts. It’s worth checking that all electrical items work just to be sure.
I find the driving position and dashboard illumination to be one of the best in any car that I’ve owned. The blue background light on red dials makes the instruments very clear to see and is easy on the eyes for a long journey. The gear change is smooth and all controls light

The negative points of the MK4 Golf are pretty small, the main one to me being the relatively tight legroom in the rear seats but other than that the car ticks all the main boxes required for a family hatchback. The plastics used in the door handles can be prone to wear over the years but the parts are still available from VW to replace them and freshen up the appearance.
Points to look for when buying a MK4 Golf are to check the service history, ideally a fully stamped service book with receipts to support and usual mileage and condition checks. A well maintained car should have decent tyres and evidence of any MOT advisories being fixed rather than appearing year after year. Also remember that at this age many parts are easily available online or from a scrapyard so worn seats or a dented front wing are issues relatively easy to fix for little outlay.
One thing that I wouldn't worry about is mileage for a car at this age. If anything a higher mileage is possibly slightly better as it means the car has been used on motorways rather than pootling around town and not warming up. 

My choice from the MK4 Golf range would be either the PD130 if you want fuel economy or the 1.8T GTI if you want performance. The PD150 GTI gives similar performance but I found it had significant turbo lag compared to the PD 130 model.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

VW Passat TDI B6 MAF Faults Gives Low MPG

I found that my VW Passat TDI was giving low MPG and it seemed to point to a fault with the MAF sensor as there was no difference in performance whether it was connected or not and recording data with VAGCOM showed some values that didnt seem to make sense so it appeared to be faulty.

This video shows how to replace the MAF sensor in a VW Passat TDI