Product Reviews

I’ve been slowly reworking over some of the older product posts and turning them into more informative reviews.  They’re being compiled on one page.  Click this link or the link at the top of the header to check them out!

Tinted Tail Lights By Darcness

Now the deal on the OEM smoked tail lights is great.  However, if you want something a little darker, you’re going to have to go somewhere else.  There is a guy on the MKV forums that goes by “Darcness” who can tint tail lights to your preferred shade and even do the amber turn signal modification while he’s at it.  The amber turn signal DIY is actually his own doing as well.  He does excellent work, as attested to by several forum members, and this huge thread.

Not my car, but featuring his work

I do not have his tail lights nor have I ordered from him, but I like what he does.  He does quality work.  He has many satisfied customers and is a forum sponsor.  In general, a good guy.  Check out that thread if you’re interested in purchasing a set of custom tail lights from him.  Basically, you pay for your tails plus a deposit.  You receive your tails, install them and then send back your old set and your deposit is refunded.

If you need some tail light work, send him a private message on under user name “Darcness”.  He can elaborate more on pricing.


Disclaimer: Please understand that if a situation or something arises, I am in no way tied to “Darcness”.  I cannot help you in transactions with him.  This post is just to let others know of a forum recommended source for tinted tail lights.


OEM Smoked / Tinted Tail Lights

OEM Smoked Tail Lights p/n 1K0052200N

If you want to add little more aggressiveness to the rear end of your GTI or Rabbit, the OEM smoked tail lights are on sale from several vendors right now.  The OEM part number is 1K0052200N. has them for 79.00 dollars and has them for 69.00 dollars.  DBC has them listed as currently out of stock, so you might want to contact them and see if they will be getting more units in.  These lights used to sell for around 290 dollars so if you’ve been eyeing them, now is the time to buy.

The lights aren't on in this shot but the led sidemarker is in the bottom right of this picture

The lights are direct plug and play replacements and DOT approved.  It isn’t advertised but these lights have an led sidemarker on the sides.  These sidemarkers activate when you turn on your lights and blink as an extra turn signal.  That’s a nice little touch.  The US-spec MKV has terrible turn signal visibility so every little bit helps.  Too bad I can’t transfer my amber modified trays into it yet.  I technically can, but I lose the led sidemarker light.  I have to figure out how to wire the led in with the modified amber tray.

Once I get full shots, I’ll post them up.

6/20/2011 update:  Unfortunately these are no longer available from ECS or DBC.  They sold out really quickly.  Maybe a few of the smaller vendors will still have them or the local dealers, good luck!

Carbonio Air Scoop – Some Thoughts

Carbonio Intake Scoop

I recently purchased a used Carbonio air scoop for a great price.  The cosmetic condition is not mint but completely workable.  If you’re not familiar with the Carbonio intake for the FSI, it’s basically a carbon fiber replacement for the stock air scoop with a drop in air filter.  I am not running the drop in filter.  It has been the subject of many debates because it only replaces a portion of the stock intake and costs more than many full replacement intakes.

Stock fresh air intake through grill

The claims are that the stock intake and filter combination is a big restriction and that a filter on a stick style intake can flow much more air.  I’m not convinced that the stock intake is a huge restriction, much less the stock filter.  Maybe the ribbed tubing after the airbox, but I don’t see the stock airbox being too bad at airflow.  My only knock against the stock airbox is that they made filter replacement more difficult than necessary.  The stock airbox has a nice feed of cool air from the front grill.  However, the scoop that it uses to feed the intake is designed with a split, diverting some of the air downward to deflect debris and water.  This may also allow the intake to get air from the engine bay though.  The Carbonio scoop gets rid of that split scoop and funnels all the air into the airbox.  While more debris and water may make its way into the interior of the airbox, the filter is there to stop it, just as a filter on a stick intake would.

The improvement I see with the Carbonio scoop is that the design should allow for positive intake pressure when the car is moving, basically a ram air setup.  That slight positive pressure will help overcome any restrictions in the stock intake.  The Carbonio scoop also draws all air from outside the engine bay, unlike the stock scoop.  I don’t know how much of a difference this truly makes, just thinking out loud.

You’ll notice that the intake looks yellowish.  This is because this is an older, used intake and the resins used in the carbon fiber have yellowed.  I don’t know if the newer Carbonio intakes do this but older ones were quite notorious for yellowing in the heat.

Window Tint

I finally got my windows tinted.  I’ve been putting it off for awhile but the promise of a hot summer finally convinced me that a mild tint would be worth it.  I wanted a little more privacy as well.  The tint really does make the car look better, more expensive if you will. I paid $160 dollars for it from a local shop called Solar Craft.  There are not too many reviews on Yelp but people seem to like them. They did a good job and used Suntek Carbon film.  There are certainly better films out there but you cannot beat the price and the lifetime warranty.  If you are in the Burbank area and in need of window tinting services, give them a try.  Friendly folks.

I’ll have a few snaps up as soon as I get them.

Euro Cup Holder

Don't mind the round rubber piece, that was temporary until I received the correct rubber mat.

Here is something that I wish our cars would come with from the factory; the sliding cover cup holders from Europe.  Thanks to America’s love of eating in our cars, American versions of the Golf receive slightly deeper cup holders.  They do hold bigger drinks more securely but are just plain ugly compared to the European version.  The Euro version holds regular sized drinks just fine and adds a bit of secure storage since you can slide the cover closed.

Euro cup holder with sliding cover

Admittedly, I’ve been putting this mod off for a long time because I was afraid to tackle it.  According to the excellent installation DIY here, there are a billion screws here.  The actual amount is closer to twenty but trust me, there are a lot of screws.  It took me about 1 1/2 hours in total, working at a leisurely pace.  There is nothing particularly difficult, just a lot of little steps.  Work carefully, as there are many places where you can lose a screw.  I lost one to the abyss of the center console.

All in all, a very fun DIY and cup holder looks great.  The time it takes to replace just adds to the fun factor of having it.  The only problem is that you have to make sure you know which pieces you are getting.  Current versions are shipping with only 1 of the rubber mats and you have to purchase the bottle opener separately.  The mat and the opener are optional but they leave everything looking unfinished.  The bottle opener is a weird piece because it goes for 40-50 dollars from US sellers.  This is NOT worth the money.  Look around on the web for better deals.  The rubber pad is pretty cheap so just pick that up.  It looks ugly without it.

Here are a few part numbers:

1K0 862 531 A UBN – Anthracite / black Euro cup holder

1K0863301B71N – 2nd rubber pad insert

1K0858230A – Plastic bottle opener / divider (these can be found in the eBay UK pretty easily and for a decent price)

A very worthwhile interior mod.  A lot of fun to put in and useful too.

The necessary DIY is here: DIY Euro Cup Holder Installation

Cup holder (Missing one rubber mat, a temporary one in its place)

Dash Tray

Dash Tray

This tray replaces the air vent on the top of the dashboard.  The dash vent is a nice feature but rattles incessantly.  My attempts to fix it have slightly reduced the noise but not stopped it.  This tray removes the source of the rattle and provides a nice little tray to store stuff in.  It only takes a few minutes to install.  Follow this DIY here.

Part Number:

1K0857921D1QB – Dash Tray

I bought mine from ECS Tuning.  Great price and it comes with the rubber mat.

Check it out here:

Dash Tray and the associated DIY.

More dash tray