My kid wanted to learn how to drive a manual gearbox and the winter beater was rusting away so when I saw this going cheap, I jumped on it.
This is my 2002 VW Golf GTI 1.8T and so far I love it! For safety it only needed front rotors and it passed emissions but the CEL came on a few days later. Pulled the scanner out and found code P0420 – catalytic converter efficiency below threshold, will have to look out for a high flow cat. Had a look underneath and the resonator is on it’s way out and the hangar between the cat and the resonator was broken – welded it back on and put some JB weld over a leak at a joint.
Took the lad out for a drive and the airbag light came on. After a bit of Googling I found that a common culprit is the seat belt clip wiring, in particular loose wires in the connector under the seat. When I checked my clip, I noticed it was wrapped in insulation tape – obviously a previous repair here. Sure enough as I removed the tape, I found a wire had come out of the clip so I soldered it back in place and taped up the clip. Then disconnected the battery for 10 mins to clear the light and … it came straight back on!?! I found a local guy selling VAG scanners for under $50 that can read and clear codes for engine, airbag, ABS and transmission (I know you can get them cheaper but I didn’t want to wait for shipping). Hooked it up and pulled the code (it was the seat belt clip) and cleared it – now it stays off. One thing about this scanner, it seems that you can only clear any and all codes in one go, you cannot clear just an airbag code and leave the CEL for example.
Noticed the other day that about 1/2″ at the OD of a front rotor was not being touched by the pad. Thought perhaps the pads were hung up so I took the caliper off and made sure the pads and sliders were not binding. When I looked at the opposite side, the inside pad looked like some gravel had worn a groove in it so it was leaving bands of wear on the rotor and the pads were worn uneven in like wedge shapes. At this point I decided to put new pads on the new rotors – not sure why this wasn’t at least suggested in the safety inspection??
To Do List
- Replace cat – CEL error code 16804
- Fix rust behind front wheels – got a pair of silver fenders from super-neighbour Troy
- Replace muffler – got rear skirt with muffler tip cutout, again from Troy
- Fix rust over windshield 2
- Replace vacuum S pipe – temporary tube in place until more motivation kicks in
- Replace driver’s seatbelt clip – pick up from Troy
- New windshield
- Troy installed Stage 1 ECU – cracked windshield during install
- Replaced driver side parking brake cable
- Replace passenger side parking brake cable – caliper was sticking
- Replace fuel filter – not done, can’t remember why I was thinking of changing the filter?
- Fix arm rest lid latch – velcro
- Clean throttle body
- New rear rotors
- Install new front pads
- Install new rear pads
- Fix rust over windshield 1 – wire brushed windshield rust and painted flat black, if it holds I might fill over and smooth it out – it started rusting again!