When to fix your car?

  • Service when part starts failing

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New member
Northern Ireland
Passat TDI 1.9
Hello everyone, could you guys tell me what sort of checks I should get carried out when taking my car to a mechanic in order to keep it running for as long as possible, or what I can check for myself with a basic dummy knowledge of diesel engines? It's a 1.9, 101bhp, almost 190,000 miles (!)

Thank you

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Clean quality oils and filters including air filters along with a regular dose of injector cleaner that will also keep the diesel bug at bay for starters.
I had a 1.8T petrol Passat and one of the things you should very definitely check is the electronic control unit for the central locking and alarm system. The unit lies on the floor at the passengers side and water gets in under the carpet and corrodes wires, terminals, the unit itself, everything and you're looking at over a grand to sort it all out.

First inkling I got was when the door courtesy lights stopped working then the central locking started acting up. One day the car locked itself with the key in the ignition when I was outside it. I only got the one key so had to call a breakdown truck who managed to get in so I hot tailed it down to Timpsons and got a spare key cut for £25 (never did get it programmed) but at least I had a key that would open the door.

The water comes from the bulkhead scuttle area at the bottom of the windscreen, either rain falling or washing the car etc. There are two plastic drain tubes, one either side, which are supposed to drain it away but they inevitably get blocked up. I couldn't get mine to clear so had to drill two holes to let the water drain away - and make 'em big ones, the first ones I drilled were about 3/16ths but they choked up so I had to make them about 1/2".
Change the oil regularly - every 9000 miles or annually. Use a good quality oil. This is the single most important thing you can do. Drive it hard once in a while to clean it out and use good quality fuel - I stick to Shell Vpower personally, I get more MPG and it is less sooty.
I have a VW passat se 2.0 petrol
And I get around 20-25 mpg is that normal for a VW
Many thanks.
I have a crack exauhst
Any suggestions will be great
I have a VW passat se 2.0 petrol
And I get around 20-25 mpg is that normal for a VW
I would say not. That's about the MPG I get in my car and it's a gas guzzling street monster.
A quick search on autocar (<-- linky) suggests you should be getting double that.
Unless it's been heavily modified and had the power output ramped up I think you may have something amiss. Fixing that crack exhaust would be the first job.
Hi all,
Thanks gladrags for info about the electronic control unit as my central locking and electric windows won't work and as electrical problems go my alarm or front interior light doesn't work now. I will be having a good romage around now and hopefully sort the problem.
Cheers Kelv.
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