With winter well on its way, you might find that your wiper blades are not working as well as they should be. ECS Tuning actually has one of the cheaper prices around including the shipping. Here’s a link to the OEM replacement set for the front window: OEM Front Wiper Blades. The rear blades are available as well here: OEM Rear Wiper Blade.
The original wipers on this car are actually very good and lasted about five years in the mild California climate. My previous car ran through them at a rate of one set per year. They might not fair as well in an area that sees actual winter. Here’s an interesting fact about the wipers in case you haven’t heard of it; when you remove the key from the ignition, the (front) wipers will move a little to flip the wiper blade position and prevent them from deforming. This helps the wipers last a little longer.
Sorry, I can’t find the actual part numbers for the front wiper blades, so if anyone has them, I’d appreciate them! The rear blade can be found under part number 6Q6955425A.
* You may also be able to find cheaper deals on Amazon.com. Just navigate over to the automotive department and use the “Part Finder” link near the top left. I have tried the Valeo brand rear wiper and it looks and performs like OEM. They might have the front wiper set for a few dollars cheaper than ECS.
I recently received a letter from Volkswagen of America stating that the warranty for the pcv valve and intake manifold motor has been extended to 10 years/120,000 miles. You will also be eligible for reimbursement if you paid for repairs on any of these parts. Signs of pcv failure may include loss of boost pressure, poor idling and sometimes oil being pushed out of the oil cap. Intake manifold failure usually results in poor cold starting and sluggish low end performance. Either case can also cause the check engine light to come on.
I’ll upload the document as soon as I can scan it in. Here we go.
I’ve done a few maintenance items the last few days. The fuel filter was one and now the air filter. Mann Filters has an OEM equivalent filter for the 2.0T FSI motor with the part number C41 110. I purchased it from Amazon. Mann most likely makes the original filter but the aftermarket Mann filter has a very slightly different look from the OEM filter. The foam is slightly lighter in color and softer but thicker in overall dimension. The filter material looks the same. It fits perfectly fine in the airbox. Anyway, it was around 15 dollars from Amazon, about 5 dollars cheaper than my local dealership.
Bump stops are usually cut when the suspension is lowered too free up some travel. If you lower the MK5 too much, you end up riding on the bump stops and the ride becomes very hard. Not fun. By cutting the stops, you gain back some comfort but end up with a huge, sudden increase in spring rate when you do contact the bump stops. You lose the progressive nature of the uncut stock bump stop. Not exactly a good thing when you’re in the middle of a turn and you hit a mid-corner bump. Spring rate goes up a lot and it can upset the chassis of the car.
If you are using the springs from the later model year GTI’s with the lowered ride height or lowering springs with a mild drop (Eibach Pro-Kit), you might want to consider using the Euro bump stops versus cutting your existing ones. It’ll help preserve the progressive ride characteristics that the factory designated. The US GTI comes with 133mm rear bump stops and 70mm front stops. The Euro spec ones are 118mm for the rear and 55mm for the front. If you compare the two side by side, it’s like taking off one of the middle ribs.
The part numbers are :
Rear: 1K0 511 353 N
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… =)
Fram used to supply an OEM equivalent filter (CH9911) that was basically a Fram branded Mann filter. It seems that they have changed over to a cheaper supplier recently and I can no longer recommend these filters. If you do decide to pick up one of the Fram CH9911 filters, open it up and see if it is the German made filter versus the one made in China. The made in China (sometimes Korea) filter has decidedly lower quality construction. Source out either a Mann or Hengst filter. Your local dealer should have plenty of stock as well.
In my current quest to return some parts back to OEM spec, I’ve recently purchased the latest revision PCV components. The latest revision PCV valve is “P” with the part number 06F129101P. There is also another revision of the rear breather tube, part number 06F103215B. The valves in the latest revisions seem much stronger compared to my old “G” revision. The check valves are now spring loaded instead of free moving. I don’t know when they switched to the spring loaded valves because I completely skipped over the 2 or 3 other revisions.
If you’re wondering why I went back to stock, I wanted to remove the catchcan I’ve been running. An intake manifold teardown by a forum member revealed that catch cans do little to aid in preventing the intake valve deposits inherent to direct injection engines. I have also been thinking about the lack of intake vacuum working on the crankcase. In the catch can setups, vacuum is sourced from intake air moving over the rear breather tube exit. I think it is a max of 3″ of mercury according to BSH and this occurs in the higher rpms under boost. At lower rpms, actual vacuum may be much lower. Too little flow or stagnant flow through the valve cover may allow the blow-by gasses to start forming deposits. I’ve noticed a little grime building up around the oil cap area, despite the regular oil changes. The accumulation of these blow by gasses can contaminate oil and deteriorate it much faster as well. Another side effect of routing all gasses through the rear breather tube seems to be, ironically, more oil in the charge pipes. If a recirculation type catch can does not catch all the vapors, the rest end up condensing in charge pipes and intercooler. The stock system sends them directly to the intake manifold to be burned off. The way the stock system works, it only reroutes vapors through the charge piping and intercooler under boost. When I installed my throttle pipe, a good amount of oil came pouring out of the pipes.
Now oil vapor in the in the intake charge is detrimental to performance. This is where a catch can does help. Oil vapor can effectively reduce the octane level of the intake charge and lead to more knock, which would then decrease performance. I haven’t noticed a performance difference since I switched back to the stock system but then again, my car isn’t exactly a horsepower monster. It is a compromise situation but after many miles of thought, I’d rather have the stock system deal with the evacuation of the crankcase gasses. The stock pcv system flows a lot and I don’t think some of the catch cans flow enough.
The stock pcv valves have not been models of reliability, which is one of the reasons catch catch cans have sold so well. Modified and stock cars alike can blow through them. These newer parts are now several revisions deep and they seem to be much more robust pieces. The rear check valve in the breather tube looks much better. The front pcv check valves have a more positive engagement compared to the “G” revision I compared it to. I guess only time will tell!
The Akebono Euro Ceramics are an OEM type replacement ceramic pad. They promise less dusting and no noise when compared with regular replacement pads.
The Euro Ceramics are very progressive feeling brake pads. Pedal pressure translates well into brake force. In other words, I know how much pressure to apply and how much braking I’ll be getting in return. The Hawk HPS pads I had before were annoying in this aspect. They were not linear, grabbing slowly at first and then all of a sudden too much. The Euro Ceramics on the other hand are pretty progressive and have better cold bite than the HPS pads. Stopping power is good, just a tad less than the HPS. If the HPS pads were a 10, the Euro Ceramics are an 8. Still great but the HPS pads haul you down impressively. Still good for a briskly driven daily driver. The brake pedal feels better, slightly firmer than the HPS pads.
Noise is nonexistent. I have yet to hear these pads squeal or make any noise. Noise was the main reason I got rid of the HPS pads. One of the sets developed a squeal that refused to go away. Anti squeal goops, greases, or adhesives all failed. I tried reseating them, regreasing the pins, sanding down a new surface; nothing worked. The Akebono pads have turned out great in this department. The Akebono pads also have much less noticeable dust. They still release dust, but it is a much lighter color, practically invisible from a distance. Up close, it is a light almost yellowish dust, hard to see on silver wheels but maybe a problem on darker colors.
I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the Akebono Euro Ceramic pads as an alternative to the OEM pads. They have good, if not great stopping power, are rather clean dusting and have little to no noise. While they don’t have the pure stopping force of the HPS pads, I like the pedal feel much better. The Akebono’s are much more progressive and provide an even keel response from a cold stop to warm up. This gives me much more confidence while braking as compared with the slightly better friction properties of the HPS pads. I purchased these pads from Amazon.com, part number EUR1107 for the front, and EUR1348 for the rears. It’ll cost you about 120-130 dollars for the set.