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

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