Cabin Air Filter

Cabin Air Filter CUK-2939

With spring and summer right around the corner, it might be a good time to check on your cabin air filter.  It is located right underneath the glovebox and is completely worth doing yourself.  No need to pay the dealership a ridiculous amount of money.

Depending on your area and how often you use your A/C, these filters can get dirty real fast.  It’s usually time to check when you notice a bad smell starting to come from the vents.

Here’s an excellent DIY with pictures from the VWVortex.

Amazon has excellent pricing for a Mann cabin air filter.  The part number is CUK 2939.

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Hawk HPS Brake Pads – Review

Overview

Hawk HPS pads are commonly recommended as a decent OEM + upgrade to the stock pads.  They offer more stopping power with less dust than the original pads.  I have just finished a run of about 2 years on my set.  I don’t track my car or do any motorsports.  All my driving is on the streets and occasional runs through the canyons.  All I need from a pad is smooth, consistent performance that can stand up to an above average day once in awhile.

Performance

HPS pads fit the bill quite well.  Stopping power is excellent and they perform well in panic stops. I never noticed any fade during the time that I spent with these pads.  A little heat actually improves the stopping power.  Cold stopping power is a little less than stock but increases after the first stop.  The dust buildup is a little less than stock and easily removable with hand washing.  Pedal feel is a little better than stock, not a major difference but enough to notice.

A few complaints

I initially loved these pads.  Excellent stopping ability.  Then you start to notice that these pads lack a lot of the initial bite of the OEM pads.  They don’t really grab for the first bit of travel in the pedal and then they start to bite.  It makes the pedal feel very non-linear and made me uncomfortable in stop and go traffic.  You constantly have to modulate the brake pedal.  Once the pads are warmed a little, the pedal feel becomes more consistent but still not as good as stock. You end up over-braking because of the lack of bite and then backing off as the brakes start grabbing.  Just a little annoying in stop and go traffic.

One of the sets also developed a squeal about halfway into its life.  The squeal only occurred if the brakes were cold.  A few stops would make the noise disappear but a few minutes of cooling set them off again.  I tried re-seating them, applying anti-squeal, changing rotors and re-lubricating the caliper points but nothing worked.  It may have just been this set, I don’t know.  It finally drove me mad so I bought a different set of pads.

Overall

The HPS pads are actually really nice pads for a performance street driving application.  They will take some abuse and play nice with your rotors.  As I’ve mentioned a few times, stopping ability is really excellent.  The lack of initial bite though, is noticeable.  I wouldn’t ditch them just based on that reason, just know the difference in the HPS formulation’s feel.  If you can deal with the modulation/initial bite issue, these are great pads.  If not, then you should look elsewhere.  What ultimately made me change them out was the noise I experienced.  Pad on rotor noise is fine but squealing is unacceptable for a street pad.  I’m currently testing out a set of Akebono Euro Ceramics. Brake power is a lot more progressive and is so far noiseless.  They are not fully broken in yet so I cannot comment about the power difference but the HPS pads seem to be slightly better in that department.

Overall, the HPS is a good pad.  It has great stopping ability but poor initial bite.  The noise may or may not have been a fluke.

Modifying Eurosport Strut Bar – Stock Intake Fitment

I had to remove my Eurosport strut bar once I switched back to the stock FSI intake.  The clearances are very tight but with a little slotting in the bar, I think I can get enough clearance to make it fit.  Slotting the metal is surprisingly harder than I originally thought, the metal is very hard.  This is encouraging, as it probably means removing some material isn’t going to cost much in the strength department.

After slotting them, I’ll probably end up repainting the bar because the ends are pretty scuffed up.  I didn’t give this bar an especially favorable review, but I might as well use it while I have it.  It’s just taking up space.  I’ll update once it’s all in.

Rough Slots

New OEM Spark Plug Update

Some more information regarding the newer OEM NGK sparkplugs from a forum member on Golfmkv.com:

When comparing to a bosch stock plug many goof on the difference in how their ranges work. Because of that some cross references out there show the 6 heat range NGKs being stock. If you go to NGK themselves and check THEIR application guides it shows a heat range 7 as being stock.

It seems that the newer spark plugs may not be one step colder.  I wonder why they changed over from the Bosch plugs?

Here is the older article: New OEM plugs

06H 905 601 A / NGK PFR7S8EG

Fog Grill Trim Update

Slightly not perfect match

I finished the trim project a little behind schedule, mostly because of some paint issues.  As you can see from the pictures, the Duplicolor is not quite a perfect match.  It looks too yellow compared to the stock paint.  The rest of the car is still dirty so I’ll get a better look at it once I give the whole car a once over.