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Old 05-17-2013, 08:31 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by discochris View Post
They used to be cheap transportation that were easy to fix (growing up, my parents had three Beetles and two Rabbits).

I think the reason that people bought them in the 90's and beyond is that they do make great looking cars, with great interiors and many are really fun to drive, and they appeal to young urban hipster types who want that Euro image.

The problem is they're made with substandard components, many in factories in Mexico with what would seem to be poor QA standards. I know probably a dozen or more people who have owned VW's from 1990 to the present, and not one - literally not one - would ever even consider buying another one. Almost to a tee, they've all had electrical issues, and most have had problems with parts literally falling off the cars, weird breakdowns and all of them expensive to fix.
My mom is a full blooded German. She found the idea of buying a VW made anywhere but Germany to be a ridiculous notion. Zees car ezz from zee fatherland!
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Old 05-17-2013, 08:42 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by McCormack View Post
No matter how the car turns out (and I bet it will fill the role it is intended for just fine, and without problems) the trip to get it will be something the boy will remember for a lifetime.

Man, this thread is making me want a road trip.
Yeah, I've been jonesing for a road trip too! And he is naturally looking forward to this trip very much. The last time we were in Medford in 2011, he was still on his permit and we did an epic 4000+ mile trip to go to the MotoGP race at Laguna Seca. The extra miles were because we went through Utah, Nevada, California, Oregon and Idaho to see all of his grandparents and other family members.

This time we are planning, time permitting, to eschew the Interstates and hit the Oregon coast as soon as we leave Eugene and run run down Highway 1 until at least Santa Barbara. We'll be taking plenty of pics! I'll post some up in this thread.
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Old 05-17-2013, 09:05 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by bkrmoto View Post
Get a Bentley' manual, replace all the plastic piping/sensors in the cooling system, flush and refill with the proper red VW coolant. Replace any hoses that look bad.

For an example of the plastic crap-

http://www.germanautoparts.com/Volks.../Cooling/117/2

Get quality oem parts from places like germanautoparts.com, ecstuning.com, etc. not autozone junk.

Timing belt service should include complete replacement of all related parts- belt, water pump w/metal (not plastic) impeller, tensioner, thermostat, plastic thermostat housing, and new motor mount bolts.

Most german parts specialty places stock auto trans fluid/filter/gasket kits for about $100 or so. Do yours now. By 100k it's too late.
I already bought a Bentley manual on CD off of fleabay. Damned if it isn't one of the best repair manuals I've seen in years! Since a VW dealer is doing the timing belt, its safe to bet they will be refilling the coolant with the correct red stuff. And they are using all genuine VW parts. In fact, the service advisor said if it didn't have a VW water pump in it, it would cost more since VW wouldn't give him a core credit.

My sister found all the service records and emailed them to me. There were regular fluid changes every 2-3 years; coolant, brake fluid, new radiator/heater hoses, CV boots, valve cover gasket, ect. But nothing ever showed a timing belt/water pump change. This timing belt service and the new battery & tires should in theory* have the kid set for the next 40,000-60,000 miles.



*Theory. That wonderful place in the universe where everything works just like it should.
Theory, I really wanna live there!
Because living in reality can sometimes suck.
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Old 05-17-2013, 09:09 AM   #34
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I would think the interval for a timing belt has to be at least 75K or so. But it is rubber so it is probably best to change it.
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Old 05-17-2013, 09:16 AM   #35
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You can get the whole kit to do all the belts and WP from GAP for ~$100

That includes the upgraded tensioner. The 2slow is one of the easiest TB & WP to do in the auto world.

Took me ~3 hrs, that was with a few odd complications.

Just FYI.

It's often argued that you must use the fancy-schmancy german coolant, but I being the ultimate rebel, use the Prestone all makes... Works just fine. Main thing to remember is not to mix the german stuff with ANYTHING else. And multiple water flushes if you switch. (part of my reasoning for switching was availability of the german coolant) You can get 'murican prestone at Baby's r Us...
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Old 05-17-2013, 10:34 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dagofast View Post
My mom is a full blooded German. She found the idea of buying a VW made anywhere but Germany to be a ridiculous notion. Zees car ezz from zee fatherland!
While I'm happy my VW wasn't made in Germany

Instead it was made in Tennessee!

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Old 05-17-2013, 11:07 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by Dagofast View Post
Oh, trust me when I tell you I've tried to mentor the boy on how to fix bicycles, motorcycles, cars or you name it. This kid has little mechanical aptitude and even less interest in working on cars. If it were my car and I could pack enough tools on the plane to do the job myself, I would. But its his car, his money and his choices that he has to live with. Time is also a factor, we need to be back in AZ by Friday. He has the SAT test on Sat and starts summer school on the following Monday.

It's looking like the Medford VW dealer has their stuff together. They quoted $762 to install a new factory belt, water pump, tensioners and both pulleys. All covered by their 3 year 50,000 mile warranty. The local independent quoted $625 to change the belt and water pump only using aftermarket parts. He kept insisting the tensioner and pulleys were fine with that low of miles, but if we insisted on a new tensioner, then add $100 to the price.

I know who I'd go with. I'm waiting to hear from the kid on his decision.
As long as he is smart enough to get a high paying job to pay for that kind of maintenance, it's all good. He can at least check oil and change a flat, right?
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Old 05-17-2013, 12:32 PM   #38
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Good deal

Good deal - He needed a car and his grandma had one. The timing was right. The rest of it is just money and most used cars need service work.
Let the adventure commence!
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Old 05-17-2013, 01:13 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by KungPaoDog View Post
As long as he is smart enough to get a high paying job to pay for that kind of maintenance, it's all good. He can at least check oil and change a flat, right?
He can and does check fluids, I require that of both my son and daughter. It is non-negotiable. They also are required to get the air pressure checked in their tires at least monthly or do it themselves. He does it, she hits the drive through at Discount tires. He can and has changed flat tires...so far under supervision. Our daughter has as well, but we all know she never will attempt it on her own, she is just going to call me or roadside assistance. As far as oil changes; they've both done them, but neither one remembers the finer points from one change to the next.

His smarts aren't in question, he is pretty bright, excellent at math and other subjects he likes. He just hasn't got any feel or desire for working on mechanical things. He does like working with his hands. He's going to be splitting his days senior year between the HS in the mornings and the regional technical HS in the afternoons where he will be taking massage therapy. In a class that is 80% female. Where they learn by working on each other. Told you; he ain't dumb!

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Old 05-25-2013, 07:11 PM   #40
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As of Thursday, the 'Dub has a new battery, fresh oil and a new timing belt/tensioner/water pump. The tires are ordered and an appointment set for Tuesday. We're flying out in the A.M.

Sadly, yesterday (Friday) we got the phone call no parent ever wants to receive. With only 2 more days of faithful service left to fulfill, the poor old 'Burb took a major licking when the boy was on his way to a memorial service and failed to see an oncoming car and did not yield the right of way on a mid-block left hand turn in to the church parking lot. Both vehicles did their jobs well, even though no airbags were deployed. Thankfully both he and the person in the other car were wearing their seat belts and they are fine. The other car looks much, much worse, but after talking to the flatbed driver, I fear both are totals. The lady on the other end of the phone line at the insurance company pretty much said as much too. Dreading the call from the adjuster next week.

It was kind of surreal dealing with all this in a church parking lot after finding out my kid and the other driver were both safe, while knowing his 17 year old friend was laid out and being mourned inside the building. It gave me the perspective not to get pissed and chew his ass. Both police officers on the scene were amazing. Very calm, helpful and polite. Dagoboy did get cited, but he knows he deserves it.

We've spent much of today talking about how precious and fleeting life can be and how his actions yesterday could have resulted in so much more tragedy. My son is a licensed rider as well and when I pointed out it could have been a motorcyclist and the result would have certainly been much worse, he almost cried. Hopefully he takes the lessons from this to heart and becomes a better driver.

For my part, I feel that all the training and teaching I gave him and all the training from MSF and Bondurant courses we sent him to should have made him a far better, more observant driver than the average kid his age. And now that this has happened, I'm not so sure. After yesterday, I might start worrying like their mother does. She almost lost it as we approached the accident scene and there was an ambulance onsite. Luckily, she sucked it up and was calm and collected when we pulled in. Her I'm keeping! The kid..well, I guess we're stuck with him. Nobody bats 1000, right?
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Old 05-25-2013, 07:38 PM   #41
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I am glad your boy is all right. If he was on the way to a memorial service, his mind had probably been wandering.
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Old 05-26-2013, 09:06 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by Kokopelli View Post
I am glad your boy is all right. If he was on the way to a memorial service, his mind had probably been wandering.
My thoughts too. Not an excuse but just a factor.

Glad every person is OK. Insurance will handle the rest.
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Old 05-27-2013, 05:39 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by Dagofast View Post
This time we are planning, time permitting, to eschew the Interstates and hit the Oregon coast as soon as we leave Eugene and run run down Highway 1 until at least Santa Barbara. We'll be taking plenty of pics! I'll post some up in this thread.

Take the time to stop in Crescent City, CA. Just barely south of the OR border.
It was one of my favorites along that coast. And there are redwood forests just a few miles inland from there.

As for the car. I've had a few VW's from the late 80's/early 90's all were rusted out cheap ass beaters. None had any major mechanical issues, just typical stuff you would expect from old cars. The best a 88 jetta I bought for $400 with 204k on it. I drove it until 245k with only one thermostat and one oil change in between. The local euro car club here has a bunch of 2.0 running upwards of 300k. Your major problem will be the autotragic transmission, but it should last for awhile yet with such low miles.
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Old 05-28-2013, 04:34 AM   #44
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I think my dad would have said some good things about my driving when I was a kid...but having a relatively dumb and simple accident when I was 16 made me a FAR better and attentive driver. Try not to let it worry you too much...
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Old 06-01-2013, 09:46 PM   #45
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We had an uneventful flight (the best kind!) in to Medford on Sunday. My sister picked us up at the airport and we went to visit mom in her new digs. We got the deluxe tour, met many of her new friends and then it was back to my sisters place so the boy could meet his new ride.


[IMG][/IMG]
Grandma explaining some of the finer points of German engineering and ingenuity to the kid. The fact the key could also roll the windows up and down blew his mind. The variations of the different key positions for the trunk operation were just icing on the cake to amaze a kid raised in the fob clicker era.

[IMG][/IMG]
And then, with a promise from him to be on his best behavior and her already having a full head of gray hair anyway, it was time to take Grandma for a ride!

[IMG][/IMG]
After their successful maiden voyage, we took Grandma, sis and cousins to lunch in the quaint town of Jacksonville.

The holiday on Monday was spent visiting and playing. The boy made Smokey the dog very happy by tirelessly playing "toss the pinecone" for hours.
[IMG][/URL][/IMG]

[IMG][/IMG]

Dudley the bulldog has a zero care factor for playing fetch. He does however, love a good game of tug of war and is serious about winning them all. He also has a fetish for attempting to ride skateboards and will work himself in to a frenzy if he sees one.

Tuesday dawned rainy and we were up at the crack of dark thirty and heading to Eugene for a 9:00am tour of the University of Oregon.

[IMG][/IMG]
The little Dub seemed to run fine except for a pull to the right. But when we got off the freeway in Eugene and pulled up to a light next to a truck, we heard some serious diesel clatter and assumed it was him. Sadly, after we turned the next corner heading for the university, it turned out the noise was us! Since we were a block from the school, we proceeded to the nearest parking lot and popped the hood. There was nothing obvious and the clatter had disappeared. We shrugged and headed to the student union for the tour.

[IMG][/IMG]

[IMG][/IMG]

Upon our return from the tour, she fired right up but the noise came back in the parking lot and then disappeared before we could get the hood up. We headed out for some lunch and a few blocks away, the sound came back with a vengeance. We immediately hit a Wendy's parking lot and got the hood up. This time the noise remained and it was coming from the left side and sounded like a bad ball bearing. The only tools we had were the original jack, tire iron and a screwdriver. I managed to use the screwdriver to lift the idler pulley and remove the serpentine belt. The alternator, idler pulley and AC pump clutch both spun smooth and quiet. All the fluids were fine, but the power steering pump was mounted under the engine and driven by a single V belt. There was no way to loosen the V belt due to a lack of tools, but we played around turning the wheels and when the pump was under load, the noise went away. I pulled out the iPhone and it found an independent VW shop 3 miles away in Springfield. We buttoned everything up and headed that way.

We rolled in to Rich's VW Repair a few minutes later. They needed to finish up a car before they could put ours up on a lift. He pointed us to a nice restaurant just a block away and we walked up, sat down and ordered. A few minutes later, he called: the V Belt was off and the noise was gone. He quoted a very reasonable price for a power steering pump replacement and said it would be ready by 4PM at the latest, so we told him to do it and enjoyed a nice lunch. We called the America's Tire and rescheduled the tire appointment to 4:30

By the time we walked back to the shop, the old pump was already off and on its way to be exchanged for a new unit. Rich pointed to the couch in his lobby or told us we could walk around town or even use Springfield's very nice bus system. We opted to walk a mile or two and explore and then rode the bus back. They finished up an hour early and we paid them, shook hands and headed for America's Tire on the other side of Eugene. They got us in in under 30 minutes and out in just over an hour. We gassed up, stopped at an auto parts house for new wiper blades, put them on and since we were now hours behind schedule made the decision to head back to Medford and crash there one more night. The drive back was perfect, the pull to the right now gone with the old tires. We stopped for a late supper in Grants Pass and then scooted in for a last visit with my sister, her husband and the niece and nephew.

Early the next morning, we paid one last call on Mom and took her to breakfast.
[IMG][/IMG]

Then she said goodbye to us and finally to her little red car.
[IMG][/IMG]

Finally, after the hugs & kisses and the inevitable parting tears, we were off on an epic trip home!

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