Audi Volkswagen DIY List
I have slowly been building up a list of DIY's for 1.8T engines that are available in a wide range of models from VW and Audi. Most of these DIY's will work with all engines, just the location or removal of the part may be different. For example the 1.8t Jetta, GTI, Golf engines will correspond and look the same as the pictures in the DIY's whereas the passat and A4 audi engines will be turned counterclockwise 90 degrees. So some of the parts (like the Maf Clean DIY) will be located in a different area.
As for tools, almost all of these DIY's can be done with normal everyday tools that should be in your toolbox already and if you don't already own the tool, a torx bit set for example, buy it. A one time 10-20 dollar expense for tools that will last a lifetime is worth it compared to dealership labor cost at $110 an hour. Also if you have a Harbor Freight tool store in your area they are great for cheap tools. I follow a few personal rules for the tools I buy from them, 1) Don't use cheap tools for high torque situations and 2) don't use anything from there that you are depending on to keep you safe, jack stands, ect. Besides for that plenty of great tools can be bought from that store for cheap. For some of the DIY's specialty tools are needed and they are high priced. These tools can be rented for free from auto part stores (more on that here, Doing your own car repairs). So if you're only doing a car brake job once then there is no point in buying the $65 caliper resetting tool. The only specialty tool in my diy's that would actually have to be bought would be the cam chain tensioner which can be bought on ebay for ten dollars.
Hopefully these DIY's help you learn a little and most importantly save you some money! Money money money mohneey!
Click on the Blue Links to go to the DIY's and don't forget to bookmark this page for future DIY's
This is more of an article/blog on DIY's. It covers how I feel, and why I feel the majority of work to be done on on your car should be done on your own. My theory of buying tools compared to the labor cost that are charged for simple jobs. Vag-com is key, but even if you don't own it there are still free ways to get your car scanned at shops or local forums. For most this article may be a waste of time but for newcomers to the VW/Audi community it may give you a little insight of how I started and have come to realize that money can be saved for a little bit of work.
The mass air flow sensors in VW and Audi's can be incredibly expensive to replace, not only the part that sells for around 100-200 hundred depending on the model but also in the labor cost that is charged around $110 an hour. This DIY will show you how to either replace (if needed) or clean the MAF sensor on your own using isopropyl alcohol. This will remove the dust, dirt and oil that can build up over time causing the cars air flow reading to suffer and in turn giving it a bad idol, throttle response and week performance, along with a check engine light (CEL).. It is a very simple DIY that at the very most will cost you the price of a MAF if you decide to completely replace it or a few dollars for some rubbing alcohol and a little bit of time.
All part numbers for the different maf's and places to buy the VW 5 point specialty torx bits are included in the DIY should you choose to use them.
Over time the throttle body gets covered in carbon which in turn blocks air flow when it's closed and gives a rough idol. Most TB (throttle body) cleaner cans tell you to remove the TB hose, spray inside and you're good to go! I've tested this method and it does not work. While it makes the throttle plate look clean and pretty it does not remove any of the built up carbon that is blocking the air flow.
With this DIY you do have to remove four screws but I guarantee you will notice a huge difference over just spraying some cleaner in it if your TB does have carbon build up. Once the TB has been removed you will need to replace the gasket ($2 at Autozone, part # in DIY).
All part numbers and tools are included in the DIY as well as a little section on cleaning the IAT sensor. At the bottom of the article there is a segment about twisting the tb 90 degrees for better air flow distribution which I would like to hear some feedback on. This DIY was preformed on a 1.8t so depending on your model location will be different
This is a very simple DIY to change out the tranny fluid in your MK4. Beside for a specialty part (part # included) if you own a GLI or 20th Edition for the drain plug every platform is the same. So whether you have a 1.8t, VR6, or 2.0L this DIY shows you how to drain out that "lifetime" transmission fluid and replace it with either OEM or something that shifts a little smoother.
This DIY is for manual cars, not for Automatic cars. If you have an automatic don't consult me!
This is an easy diy that cost about $2 compared to the dealership price of $60. If your sick of fumbling with your ac controls at night because the light has burnt out then this DIY is for you.
The bulb can be bought for a couple dollars at your local parts store and you can buy a foot of 1/4" hose for a quarter at your local hardware store.
Just make sure you use padding on your ac knob when you pull it off to keep your car looking good.
Installing a boost gauge properly can be a bit of a pain without the right directions on how to hook up the electrical side. Most instructions are very bland on where and how to connect the wires. So in this diy I focused mainly on the electrical side because I've noticed that it is the least covered and comes with the most questions. Who wants a boost gauge they can't see at night?. Vacuum line install is also included.
The wire connections will be the same across the board whether you have a jetta, golf, new beetle or GTI 1.8t. I've also included a section explaining the switched and continuous power sources located under the dash that should help with hooking up aftermarket alarms and stereo units (75x, 30x).
If your gauge has quit moving or fluctuates up and down then more than likely your temperature sensor has gone bad. I'm not sure why but the temperature sensor also has a great influence on how your car drives and functions. Changing the sensor out will cost you 10-20 dollars and about ten minutes of your time compared to the couple hundred that the dealership charges. This diy contains the part numbers and directions to get the job done. But heed the warnings, coolant is extremely hot and will spray and burn. So please practice safety first and only do this diy on a car that is cool and has sat overnight.
This DIY covers 1.8t's across the board. Jetta, GTI, Golf, Passat, New Beetle, Audi A4 the procedure is all the same as well as your choices in spark plugs that you want to use for your car.
Finding the right plug and gap for your car (especially if it's tuned) can take a little trial and error. I've found that I like copper plugs one step colder at the recommended .28 gap for my tuned car. Now for a garage to change them every 5000 miles for me because they're copper would cost me $100 each time and I can guarantee they wouldn't get the gap right. So even if your using the basic stock plug out of the box, why not do it yourself save money and know that the job has been done right.
Because you are required to remove and unplug your coils to change your spark plugs this diy also covers as a diy for replacing coils. Inside the diy you will find a link that shows you how to test for bad coils.
I Keep seeing this topic come up of cutting the shifter rod and combing it with the Audi TT shift weight for a cheap short shifter in our MKIV's. For about ten years I have been cutting down the rod just because of my preference over stock. I wrote a little DIY of how I like to get it done and if you really want a top notch short shifter of the cheap combine your cut rod with the Audi TT weight and some 42dd shift bushings.
DIY for Removing Airbag & Warning Decals From Sun Visors
Removing the airbag and seat belt warning decals on the sun visors give the car a cleaner look. The visors blend into the headliner as opposed to having those ugly white red and orange decals scream out at you every time you get in the car. To remove them is a nice simple DIY that only needs rubbing alcohol and paper towel to make it happen. It is a cheap ten minute mod that does give your interior a more blended look.
This DIY covers how to change the brake pads and rotors on the 2.0l Jetta, Golf or GTI. It was written for the MKIV platform. This job is very simple and can save you some serious cash only taking a couple hours for a novice home mechanic. This is your breaking system, so make sure you don't slack on your replacement parts and how you put them back together.
Cheap Oxygen Sensor DIY for 2.0l VW
02 Oxygen sensors can be incredibly expensive. With some research I've found that instead of the stock OEM bosch sensors people have been using bosch oxygen sensors that are made for ford cars in their older MKIII cars. I could not find any info on using the sensor in an OBDII car so I tested it out for myself in my 2000 2.0l jetta. For the price of one universal sensor you can replace both 02 sensors with this DIY. I used bosch part #15718 for the front and back 02 sensors. In this diy I will show you how to remove the 02 sensor, cut and crimp on the new wires and replace it. It is a very simple and cheap diy that will save you hundreds compared to having the dealership replace it for you.
This Diy if for every MKIV MK4 out there (TDI excluded). The location of the fuel filter is the same on every car. A lot of small problems start at the fuel filter so why not replace it. It cost no more than $15-$20 and only takes about thirty minutes to change. This is another part that vw states is for the life of the car, but they still have no problem telling you it needs to be changed for $300!!
How to Fix a Broken Rear Seat Latch DIY
Nothing is worse than going to pull your seats down to make some room in your trunk and finding out that the latch no longer wants to cooperate.
Apparently this is a big money maker for your local WV/Audi dealership. It cost around 5-10 dollars in parts but most places charge in the hundreds to fix a broken seat latch. Doing it yourself will take anywhere between 10 minutes to an hour depending on how fast you can figure out how to release the latch with a flathead screwdriver so you can proceed with the DIY. All and all it is very simple and besides for time it will only cost around $10 to fix. The DIY contains part numbers for the latch but you will need to tell the dealership the color of your interior so you get the right color code.
Removing the Intake Manifold for Polishing and Gasket Replacement
I wrote this DIY because after pressure checking my GTI almost every runner off the manifold was leaking vacuum/ boost. Once I pulled off the manifold I noticed that the previous owner had only just lightly bolted down the intake manifold and it also had tears all along the gasket. To replace the gasket is only a $10 part and it will help remove leaks as well as give your manifold a nice fresh seal. No specialty tools are needed, all you will need is a fresh gasket, 10mm socket wrench, and a 5mm alan socket or key.
While the manifold is off, this DIY gives you the opportunity to check/replace PCV breather hoses, polish your intake manifold and replace all your N249/N211 valve hoses if they are worn out.
If you have oil spray around the edges of your valve cover or the holes near your spark plugs, then more than likely the valve cover gasket is leaking. Changing the valve cover gasket is a very easy and cheap job but if oil is leaking/spraying out of the driver side of the valve cover more than likely the cam chain tensioner gasket and half moon seal will also need to be replaced. For those gaskets a specialty tool will also be required (tool and gasket part numbers are included in DIY).
If you are just pulling the valve cover for a nice polish then replacing the gasket is a very easy job. If you are also replacing the cam gasket and half moon then this job is a little harder but can still be done by the everyday average DIY'er. Even though the complete job is a stressful pain in the A, it still should be doable in about an hour.
FPR hose Replacement DIY MK4
This is a quik DIY on showing you how to replace the leaking braided hose connected to your fuel pressure regulator and intake manifold. It also covers removing and replacing your FPR whether you are replacing your 3 bar or putting in a 4 bar.
How to Replace a Tie-rod MKIV VW
I'm pretty positive that every MKIV platform vw from 2000-2005 uses the same suspension set-up so no matter what VW you have this DIY should cover the procedure. My local shop wanted a couple hundred dollars just to replace the outer tie rod. I bought two complete rods and borrowed the tool from Checker auto parts for a total of $60. Make sure you rent the right tool as a few of my local auto shops did not carry the right one for VW (found out the hard way). The part number for the tool is in the DIY.
1.8T DIY's VW Audi
All these DIY are "do it your own risk" I try to include every part number, tool and step that is needed for each DIY. If you do have more questions please post them on the DIY page that corresponds to the DIY you are working on or they will more than likely go unread and deleted.
If you would like to request a certain DIY that has not been covered please leave a message here in the comments and I'll see if its something I can cover and write an article on.
Gti dale on March 26, 2018:
Awesome write ups. Going to tackle the brakes this week with your help. Thanks!
Writen4u (author) on May 23, 2014:
At a guess I would say your fuel pump is dying or maybe a clogged fuel filter.
Chris on May 21, 2014:
Can you please help! My Jetta 4 switches off at traffic lights and won't start immediately. It's happening more frequently now. What could be the problem?
Writen4u (author) on May 15, 2014:
I sure can if you are willing to send me a ko4! Glad I saved you some cash.
tino on May 13, 2014:
Can you do a DIY on replacing the ko3 with the ko4 turbo..thanks a lot for all your DIY '$ saved some serious cash on most of them
Writen4u (author) on February 02, 2014:
No problem, why spend hundreds of dollars on simple fixes.
Maz on January 31, 2014:
My friend you are heaven sent. Thanks a lot for these DIY pages. they really saved time and money and taught me a little bit about mechanics as well. great job.
jon on March 08, 2013:
Writen4u (author) on August 31, 2012:
Brian & Neil,
Thanks for the comments, knowing that people are actually using it made me take the time to update some of my other articles on it. Thanks.
Neil on August 30, 2012:
Fantastic work. Need more DIY pages out there. I'm sure this will help a lot of people and no doubt build mechanical confidence. Well done you.
Brian on August 26, 2012:
Awesome page. Bookmarked for reference. Need more pages like these out there for the VW community!
kayseattle on June 13, 2012:
Thanks for fast response and advice. I don't have time to check it out until a week from now, but appreciate your help nonetheless.
Writen4u (author) on June 12, 2012:
I'm glad they helped out. I've had two gti's over 7 year and until a year ago I didn't even know they sprayed water, so i know very little about that system. You could start by taking the whole wiper arm off and seeing if the spines are stripped but the motors still moving. Good luck.
kayseattle on June 12, 2012:
I have a 2001 VW GTI 1.8T and just found your DIY info. WOW! Am about to save $600 just from the info you've posted. NEW QUESTION: the rear windshield wiper motor isn't working properly -- comes on with ignition, won't go off, and no windshield wiping, just rrrrrring sound. Had any experience with repairing or replacing it? THANKS!!
Robert Deakin on November 12, 2011:
cheers just replaced temp sensor after being faulty for 3 years and engine sensor light coming on last week all good and re-connected battery to clear light .