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MK5 GTI on the Cheap

doc280

Ready to race!
Location
North Carolina
Parking Brake Cable......The center console is a pain in the @$$

I replaced the left parking brake cable, which was rusting away and had become sticky. Replacing the actual cable is not to difficult, the problem is the center console. The back section of the console has to come apart to get to the parking brake cables and just like typical German engineering is a pain, especially if you have big hands. I did find a DIY in which a Dremel tool was used to cut out a section of the console, however I certainly could not bring myself to do that.

The GTI now squats level when I park it on a steep hill.

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Dorman parking brake cable ---Ebay ----- $15.03

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Cost / Maintenance ---------- $5070.75
Miles Driven ------------------ 12,727
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Cost Per Mile ---------------- $0.40
 

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doc280

Ready to race!
Location
North Carolina
Flushing the brakes, crap ......problems.

Last year when I flushed the brake fluid it was very dirty, so having some brake fluid on hand I decided to flush and check it's condition.

It is a good thing I did, as I discovered two problems, one being a weird coincidence.

I removed the engine cover for better access to the master cylinder and I discovered oil leaking from the electrical connection of the Engine Variable Timing Solenoid (N205 Valve). Got one on the way.

After flushing the brakes, all appeared good during the test drive. However once I parked the GTI, I could smell hot brakes. Checking the temperature of the wheels, the left rear was running at a higher temp.
Jacking that corner up, I found the brakes were in fact dragging. Thinking it was a result of me flushing the brakes, I bled this corner again, but air or debris. I put new pads and cleaned, lubricated everything just a few months ago.

Having a problem wrapping my brain around what went wrong I reach out to the forum, it was suggested to check the caliper pins. Well I must've missed cleaning and lubricating them. The grease was petrified and the bottom pin was completely seized. I got the pins out, cleaned and lubricated them and all is working well now. I just found it strange this problem showed itself right after I flushed the brakes.
 

vwengineer

Ready to race!
Location
Switzerland
Are you sure it's the N205? I have the same thing (not on the connector itself but the whole wiring is greasy) but in my case it's the vacuum pump leaking on the wiring.
 

doc280

Ready to race!
Location
North Carolina
Are you sure it's the N205? I have the same thing (not on the connector itself but the whole wiring is greasy) but in my case it's the vacuum pump leaking on the wiring.
Yes, I am sure, coming right out of the electrical connection. My wiring is dry, but unplug the connector, it drips oil.
 

doc280

Ready to race!
Location
North Carolina
Engine Variable Timing Solenoid (N205 Valve) for $17.80 ..... Let Try That.

My engine variable timing solenoid (N205 Valve) was leaking oil from the electrical connection. It was still doing it's job, but with the oil leak and it appearing to be the original, meaning it has over 200,000 miles, time for a replacement.

When I started my search for a new N205 Valve, the first one to pop-up, had a list price of $170.00. Searching further I found new one, for a tenth of the price, $17.80 , and this seemed to good to be true, so I had to try it.

The new N205 Valve arrived and it looked just like my old one and the installation went perfect. The test drive shows everything is working as it should. So only time will tell, however it is advertised as having a lifetime warranty.

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Engine Variable Timing Solenoid (N205 Valve) ----Ebay ----- $17.80

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Cost / Maintenance ---------- $5088.55
Miles Driven ------------------ 13,173
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Cost Per Mile ---------------- $0.39
 

doc280

Ready to race!
Location
North Carolina
Just Short of a Thousand Miles in a Week.

Took the GTI on the first long trip of the year, which added 976 miles to the odometer.

The wife and I spent the week exploring Washington D.C. by day and catching a lot of baseball at night.

By the way, found some of the best pizza I have ever had at "We the Pizza" located near the Capital. If you guys ever find yourself near there, you have to go and try a slice.

The GTI did great through out the trip and even treaded water on the way back home. So much rain all the way back.

The only thing wrong with the trip was the rain Saturday postponed the game until August 7. Due to the fact I have club seats, I will be driving back on the 7th.

I did do a visual inspection of the GTI before leaving on this trip. I located the beginning of a split to the left side outer cv boot. I sealed it with sealant and will be installing a new boot soon. This was the used OEM axle which I installed without replacing the boot, so this was kinda expected.
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Cost / Maintenance ---------- $5088.55
Miles Driven ------------------ 14,606
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Cost Per Mile ---------------- $0.35
 

Royson345

Passed Driver's Ed
Location
New Jersey
Just stumbled upon this thread and the next thing I know Im 8 pages deep!

Great Thread and well written posts! Great Job OP, I will deff be sticking around to see how it asll shakes out.

Just bought myself an 08 GTI FSI last week. 104k miles, in damn good shape. I have the fender rust like you and will be heading to VW soon to try to get it fixed. So far Ive done the updated diverter valve, new cam follower, oil change, cleaned the intercooler piping and plan to do the timing belt and water pump and all that goes along with that stuff since the car is over 100k miles. This is a neat little car and I find myself enjoying driving it, esp with the 6 spd manual gearbox. I feel you on the radio though, I have definitely gotten use to modern conveniences and will be in the market for something new shortly! A backup camera and mic for bluetooth calls a high priority!

I do have a question about your auto headlights. How easy was the install and is it plug and play? I find myself constantly leaving my headlights on and have been lucky so far that it has been for short instances and not an overnight thing.
 

doc280

Ready to race!
Location
North Carolina
I do have a question about your auto headlights. How easy was the install and is it plug and play? I find myself constantly leaving my headlights on and have been lucky so far that it has been for short instances and not an overnight thing.
Thanks, hope to be posting for a long time with updates on the GTI.

With the low mileage you have on yours, with the proper maintenance and upkeep she should serve you well for a long time.

Make sure to print off a copy of the tsb, referring to the fender rust, as some dealers can not seem to locate it.

Timing belt is the first maintenance item I would jump on, if you do not have a history of it being replaced in the past.

The auto headlight switch is plug and play, very easy to to. There are several videos on YouTube showing the installation procedure.

It has been awhile but I do not recall an audible notification when the lights were left on with the U.S. headlight switch, however with the auto headlight switch there is.
 

Royson345

Passed Driver's Ed
Location
New Jersey
Thanks, hope to be posting for a long time with updates on the GTI.

With the low mileage you have on yours, with the proper maintenance and upkeep she should serve you well for a long time.

Make sure to print off a copy of the tsb, referring to the fender rust, as some dealers can not seem to locate it.

Timing belt is the first maintenance item I would jump on, if you do not have a history of it being replaced in the past.

The auto headlight switch is plug and play, very easy to to. There are several videos on YouTube showing the installation procedure.

It has been awhile but I do not recall an audible notification when the lights were left on with the U.S. headlight switch, however with the auto headlight switch there is.
The door chime does go off if the headlights are left on but Im so used to drivig cars with auto lights and the fact that I open the door so fast when I turn the car off its easy to overlook.

I read somewhere that if you have a car that didnt come from factory with auto lights the new switch wont work, I wonder if there is any truth to that? Can you also point me in the direction of the switch you bought and installed?

All the parts for the timing belt are ordered and Im driving around in my 18 Civic SI untill I complete the install. How hard would you rate it on the GTI? Ive done one on a Civic before but thats it.

Thanks again!
 

vwengineer

Ready to race!
Location
Switzerland
Aftermarket auto headlights switch come with their own light sensor so it's not 100% OEM and will work on a car that didn't come with it. On the other hand you cannot just put the OEM auto headlights switch and expect it to work on a car that didn't have the light sensor.

I am a bit surprised by your comment about the battery drain, mine have the auto headlights from factory but if I manually switch them ON and switch off the engine, they will just switch off, does yours stays ON? Maybe it's just a matter of coding?
 

Royson345

Passed Driver's Ed
Location
New Jersey
Aftermarket auto headlights switch come with their own light sensor so it's not 100% OEM and will work on a car that didn't come with it. On the other hand you cannot just put the OEM auto headlights switch and expect it to work on a car that didn't have the light sensor.

I am a bit surprised by your comment about the battery drain, mine have the auto headlights from factory but if I manually switch them ON and switch off the engine, they will just switch off, does yours stays ON? Maybe it's just a matter of coding?
Like I said the few instances I left them on was only a matter of minutes (like going into a store and coming back out) and they were still one. Im not eager to leave them on all night and see if they drain the battery lol.
 

doc280

Ready to race!
Location
North Carolina
Yea regardless which switch you have the headlights should power down and the parking lights remain on, when the car is switched off.

VwEngineer is correct the aftermarket switch has it's own light sensor, but once installed they work just like an OEM switch. I purchased the least expensive switch I could find on EBay, $27.50, and it works perfectly. I do know the switch came from China, but no name brand, and the seller is no longer listed.
 

vwengineer

Ready to race!
Location
Switzerland
Yes, parking lights when the car is turned off, then completely off as soon as the key is removed except on night time where the coming home lights would stay for a few seconds. Actually before coding the DRL, I used to leave the switch on all the time (as headlights during daytime are mandatory in Europe for cars that don't have DRL installed)

You can find the auto headlights switch with the light sensor on Aliexpress, I guess most of them come from the same factory anyway
 
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