Happy New Year everybody! 2012 is here and it’s going to be a good one!
Just a few quick updates for this post…
First things first, sorry for the extreme lack of updates, the MKV front is getting a little older and a little quieter. That’s alright though, the MKV generation of cars has been holding up pretty well. The FSI follower problem has been troublesome for a lucky few and there are various small sensor/peripheral problems (thrust sensor, low pressure fuel pump, pcv and diverter valves etc.) that owners have had to deal with but overall, the cars have been robust. Maintenance just needs to be kept up to date. I recently rolled past 108,000 miles and the car runs great.
Still coming for the month of January:
The recently mentioned aftermarket cam follower is still awaiting final finishing but the company states that it should be released as soon as this month. This follower is supposed to provide 3x the life of the OEM follower by using a different surface treatment (hard chroming). If the product lives up to its promises, FSI owners can rest just a little bit easier about their cam follower issues.
The Koni Yellow Dampers are holding up well and I think I finally got the rebound settings perfect for the stock springs. When you have adjustable dampers, it’s almost impossible to just pick a setting and not fiddle with them. They tempt you at every corner. I’ll do a write up with the settings soon.
Ever notice that once in a while, your windshield wipers will move or jump when you remove your key from the ignition? When I first got the car it used to fascinate me. It did it at seemingly random times. Later I found out that the movement was intentional. The purpose of the wiper movement is to flip the blade over to another side. It helps keep the rubber blade from permanently deforming in one position. At over 100,000 miles, I’m still on my original front wiper blades and they still work rather well. The nice California winters probably help.
I have a strong dislike of dealerships. They’ve managed to give me subpar work or service about half the time I go there. True that 50% of the time it’s correct but that’s too low a percentage. Oil level overfilled when it clearly states “DO NOT OVERFILL”, completely misaligned steering wheel after an alignment, work that was stated to be done but not really…yeah, not fond of dealerships. I’m a DIY kind of guy because I know that the final quality of work will be completely dependent on me and I like things done properly. A “good enough” kind of job will bother me. So for me, finding a good shop to stick with is hard. I always find something wrong or slightly off. Really quite an annoying condition. But enough of the cool stories, today I actually want to recommend (!) a really great shop in the Southern California/Orange County area.
If you recently read my timing belt post, I had the service done at Auto Union Tuning in Huntington Beach. I drove about 50 minutes to get there but goods shops are few around here. Dave was the person I dealt with. Really excellent service and all around nice guy. The shop is a brand new upstart, but Dave and his partner are VW/Audi certified. His buddy is Porsche certified as well, if I recall correctly. It’s a small shop, a two bay garage with a small showroom but clean and fully stocked. My timing belt service only took about 4 hours and that was with repairing a CV boot rip. Pricing is truly competitive and what I would call fair. The timing belt service seems to be something that a lot of shops love overcharging for. I’ve heard quotes go as far as 1000 and up. Ridiculous. They do aftermarket as well as dealership services.
Their website is now fully operational and it looks like they’re having some specials for the grand opening. Please check them out. I am not getting paid for shilling them, good service just deserves something back. Check them out at AUTUNING.COM.
Here’s the shop info: Dave is the one I dealt with as he specializes in Volkswagens
Shop Hours Mon-Sun by Appointment Only
Auto Union Tuning
7542 Warner Avenue Suite 107
Huntington Beach CA 92647
Please E-Mail, Call, or Text to Schedule an Appointment
Raz: (949) 285-3523
Dave: (310) 804-7298
I opened up my non-functional revision G pcv valve and took a few pictures, enjoy.
Prefer a wider view of the road beside you? I know I do. My stock mirrors are setup following the process outlined here – How to Set Rear View Mirrors to Eliminate Blind Spots. Using this method, you can see pretty much anything around your car. I wanted to see just a little bit more than just the next lane though which brought me to purchase a set of aspherical side view mirrors.
These mirrors have been floating around ever since the MK5 generation was brought out. I think they’re standard items in Euro spec cars. I have no idea why they are not used here, maybe cultural preference. These mirrors show are much wider field of view than the stock mirrors and the last outer inch or so is angled even further. This angle serves as a built in blind spot mirror. If you’re not used to driving with the setup outlined in the link up top, it can take some getting used to driving with these mirrors. Someone used to the wide view setup will have an easier time picking this up.
The ones I picked up are not oem (most likely an oem supplier though) but the quality is nice for the price. I found them for 40 dollars shipped on eBay. Various other sellers in the US are selling these for $100 dollars and up. For $40, I took the chance. The rear mounting points are different from the stock mirrors but they fit well. I’ve heard reports of the non-oem mirrors not fitting correctly but these snapped in firmly. OEM mirrors would’ve been nice but they don’t come in a blue tinted form. I wanted to get a set not only for the wider view but for the glare reduction as well. The blue tinting helps tremendously with driving at night. Glare is cut by at least 50% and makes night driving with SUV’s and misaimed headlights around a lot more pleasant. It is slightly darker at night, but I have not had an issue with night vision yet. Keep this in mind if you have problems seeing at night though.
Visibility is excellent, particularly if you set them up properly. I can’t imagine driving without them now, they are really useful in daily driving.
Plus they have that cool blue color… =)