VW Specialties - Todd's Tips

Don’t get stranded in the cold

As old man winter is staggering towards us you might have noticed your Volkswagen or Audi is a little slow to start.

As the first few cold mornings arrive that’s when a weakening battery will usually show itself.

So if you have experienced a couple sluggish start ups this fall it might be time for a new battery before your sitting in a cold parking lot wanting to go home and your car won’t start.

We keep batteries in stock to fit most VW and Audi vehicles.

So don’t get left out in the cold with a bum battery call VW Specialties, we will get you amped up again!

Turn Signals

Have you noticed one or both of your turn signal indicators on the dash of your Volkswagen or Audi blinks rapidly when that signal is on?

This is typically an indicator that there is a turn signal bulb that is out. Turn signals are a very important safety item.

If you have any concerns about the exterior lights on your VW or Audi call VW Specialties.

Tire rotation

An often overlooked maintenance item is tire rotation.

It is important to rotate the tires on your VW or Audi every 5000 miles to ensure even wear.

When tires are rotated regularly it not only extends the life of the tires but it also allows your service provider to spot alignment and suspension issues before they cause excessive wear on your tires.

To get your Volkswagen or Audi on a regular tire rotation schedule call VW Specialties.

Brake Dust

Here at VW Specialties we get probably 2 or 3 customers a month that have a concern about squeaking brakes.

A lot of the times what we find is a build up of brake dust is the cause of the squeak not worn out brake pads.

So this is another reason to keep your Volkswagen or Audi’s wheels washed off and clean. You can do this with a water hose equipped with a jet type nozzle, although a pressure washer works better (like at the manual car wash).

You want to aim the spray of water between the spokes of your wheel hitting the brake rotor and caliper.

I would advise to do this when the car has been sitting and the brakes have cooled for at least 15 minutes, to avoid warping the rotors.

For questions about brake squeak or anything else about your VW or Audi give VW Specialties a call.

Gas Mileage

With a gallon of regular unleaded approaching $4.00 a gallon the number of miles you get from that gallon is becoming more and more important.

So here are a few tips on getting better fuel mileage out of your Volkswagen or Audi.

First; Getting your VW or Audi serviced regularly is one of the most important things you can do to maximize fuel efficiency. Regular service can spot lots of problems that reduce gas mileage. If you can’t remember the last time your car was serviced, give VW Specialties a call. In some cases this could improve you gas mileage by 10%. That doesn’t seem like much but if you drive 20,000 miles a year it could be at least $250.00. That would probably cover the service.

Second; Use the correct grade oil. Your engine was designed to be as efficient as possible using the motor oil it came with from the factory. So changing to a different weight oil can increase friction in your engine, in a sense making the engine work harder.

Third; Tire pressure, tire pressure is the most common factor for diminished fuel mileage. When your tires are low they are harder to roll therefore the skinny pedal has to be mashed farther to gain a certain amount of speed. I have seen many VW’s and Audi’s that have experienced 4-8mpg loss of mileage due to underinflated tires. Usually the correct tire pressures are located in the driver’s door jamb or in the gas flap.

Keep checking back we will be adding more fuel saving tips in the weeks to come. Or if you have any specific questions don’t hesitate to call VW Specialties.

Vehicle Battery

How important is it that your VW or Audi starts when you need it to?

If you are like most people it’s very important, you have things to do and places to be. The first and usually the most important aspect of getting your car started is a strong battery.

Batteries have a finite life span, the average car battery lasts 4-6 years.

There are some things you can do to get the most life possible out of your battery though.

First make sure your battery stays clean. Corrosion on the battery posts and cables can cause a poor connection and also a drain on your battery.

Another important aspect of long battery life for your Volkswagen or Audi is to make sure the battery is secure and is not sliding around.

A loose battery can become damaged from vibration. Also it can sometimes let the battery posts touch something metal potentially causing a fire.

If your VW or Audi has been sounding a little tired on start up or if you just want your battery checked to be on the safe side call VW Specialties.

Belts & Hoses

Have you taken a look at the belts and hoses on your engine lately?

The belts and hoses on your Volkswagen or Audi are an essential part of keeping your car on the road instead of on the side of it.

As far as hoses they should be fairly soft and pliable, you want to check these with the engine cold. Most serpentine belts on VW’s and Audi’s have one smooth side and one ribbed side.

The ribbed side is the best to indicate age and wear. If there are cracks running perpendicular to the ribs then it is time to replace the belt.

Timing belts are a little different; most of them are concealed behind a dust cover that can be tricky to remove. VW and Audi timing belts should be replaced between 80-110 thousand miles depending on the engine in your vehicle.

If you are not sure the last time your belts or hoses were replaced or if they indeed need replacing call VW Specialties we would be glad to inspect them for you.

Wiper Blades

An often overlooked but vital piece of safety equipment on your Volkswagen or Audi is the wiper blades.

Often wiper blades are never thought of until you are in the middle of a deluge and your thinking holy crap I can’t see anything!

An easy way to check your wipers is to use your windshield washer function. If your wipers don’t clean the washer fluid off the windshield evenly and quickly they probably need to be replaced.

Or if you see a piece of the wiper blade flapping in the wind while driving that is a sure sign it’s time to replace the wiper blades.

So for new wiper blades or any other service or repair on your VW or Audi call VW Specialties.

Correct Oil

Did you know your Volkswagen or Audi requires a specific type of engine oil based on which engine your vehicle has.

Not using the correct oil can lead to mechanical problems.

For example the 2004.5-2007 VW Diesel engine requires a special classification of oil due to the extreme pressure on the camshaft.

Not using this oil has lead to camshaft lobe wear on many of these vehicles (this means a new camshaft and a lot of $). Also any turbo engine should be running a full synthetic oil.

Not doing so leads to sludge build up inside the engine and a multitude of problems. So for a correct VW oil change or Audi oil change call VW Specialties. Or any other VW service or Audi service.

Tire Pressure

Making sure your VW or Audi has the proper tire pressure is a crucial safety issue.

Tire pressure is one of the most important safety aspects of your car.

Incorrect tire pressure can compromise cornering, braking and stability. And in the worst-case scenario, improper tire pressure can lead to tire failure — and a serious accident.

Incorrect tire pressure also will affect your comfort, fuel economy and tire life. An under inflated tire is harder to roll therefore consuming more fuel, and with the price of gas and diesel fuel today who can afford that?

If you’re not sure how to check your tire pressure or what pressure they should have give VW Specialties a call we would be glad to assist you.

Coolant Flush

Here at VW Specialties we recommend flushing your engines cooling system every 2 years.

The reason for this is that as coolant/antifreeze gets old it starts to break down chemically.

As it breaks down it does not dissipate heat as well and it begins to cause corrosion in the cooling system. This corrosion can start to circulate through the cooling system and cause blockages.

Also this corrosion causes excess wear on moving parts leading to failure. One common cause of water pump failure is poor coolant quality, since the pump is lubricated by the coolant. Almost all VW’s and Audi’s have a pink colored coolant.

If you check your’s and it looks brown/rusty or like chocolate milk, it’s definitely time for a flush.

If it looks good but hasn’t been changed in 3 or 4 years it’s probably time for a flush as well.

Brake Flush

Did you know your Volkswagen or Audi brake system needs to be flushed every 2 years?

The reason for this is brake fluid is hygroscopic, this means it absorbs moisture.

Moisture causes corrosion and corrosion leads to part failures. Your braking system is probably the 2nd most important system on your car next to steering.

Plus the rather small cost of a VW brake flush or a Audi brake flush is money well spent to reduce the costs or eliminate future repairs.