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Hey All,

I just bought a used 2004 Golf, and I'm looking for some tips on ways to keep it running as long as possible. It's got about 77,000 miles on it, and I just had to replace the cam position sensor, as well as clean out the fuel system and get a new fuel filter. What else can I expect to replace soon to keep it running?

This is my first car purchase, so I'm new to the game. Any tips and advice are greatly appreciated!

Thanks
 

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best tip i can give any new car owner..

drain that oil in there. put your own in.. so you know when it was done and what is exactly in it.
run the oil.. dump it on schedule changes.. follow the service for oil changes for 2.0L in your owners manual.

keep your air filter clean, keep your oil changed, spark plugs changed, common maitenence, that motor will last u
 

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Thats one hell of a first car. My first car was a 91 cougar. I bought it when I was 15 for $240. I did'nt even know how to drive, I was test driving it and the guy was like "are you sure you know how to drive" as i replied "not really". Then I through a rod a month later after taking it on the freeway with low oil.
 

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before or at 100k to 120k I would have accomplished all of the following (a lot of this is included in scheduled maintanance):

-disconnect the negative terminal and remove all of the fuses and relays and clean them with some deoxit. Oxidation on VWs electrical gets bad when the get old

-clean the T28 connector at the instrument cluster with a wire brush and Deoxit.

-clean the MAF in a zip lock bag of isopropyl alcohol

-change out the vacuum lines

-change plugs and wires

-Clean the intake thoroughly

-Sea foam the shit out of the intake, gas, and oil

-do the timing belt and water pump

-shoot air down the sunroof and door drains

-retighten the rear lenses and clean the rear bulb trays

-re torque the oil pan and oil cooler

-replace the belts and lubricate the radiator fans

-flush the cooling system

-change any bad or errant sensors

-replace tranny fluid maybe

-Inspected all of the door and dash electrical wiring for cuts, shorts and damage.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
wow, thanks for the tips so far. i'll be sure to try and do some if not most of the stuff you guys listed.

also, the car is a manual transmission, anything to add there?
and what are your opinions on taking it to a vw dealer for inspection/repairs/maintenance? are they going to rip me off since the car is no longer under warranty? or will an extra cost be worth it because they will know the car better than other places?

@ 1.8turbooo, yeah i'm lucky. i love the car so far and am working to pay it off this summer. couldn't imagine a better little hatchback, except maybe the gti...
 

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Taking it to he dealer for maintenance is going to be a nightmare unless you personally know someone the working on it. Otherwise they will nit pick the car and make you spend lots of money there. Best thing is to buy some tools and learn to do all your maintenance yourself. These cars are not hard to work on. They get a bad rep. Because some idiots don't take care of them and find themselves dumping money into them.
 

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wow, thanks for the tips so far. i'll be sure to try and do some if not most of the stuff you guys listed.

also, the car is a manual transmission, anything to add there?
and what are your opinions on taking it to a vw dealer for inspection/repairs/maintenance? are they going to rip me off since the car is no longer under warranty? or will an extra cost be worth it because they will know the car better than other places?

@ 1.8turbooo, yeah i'm lucky. i love the car so far and am working to pay it off this summer. couldn't imagine a better little hatchback, except maybe the gti...
I am a firm believer in avoiding dealerships at all costs. They are super expensive, do not have motivation to work on cars that are older, only like warranty work where they make the big bucks, have little concept of preventative maintenance versus speculative maintenance and how it relates to the average car owner on a budget, and are not into relationship building unless you are buying a new car every couple of years etc etc etc

You don't see people jumping on the forum to argue this point everytime I mention this either, because it is mostly true in most people's experience. I live in Atlanta where there is one truly famously awful VW/Audi dealer. The are border line criminal and I have plenty of experience and documentation to back it up. They did me a favor though, the awful experiences I had made me interested in servicing my own car -I didn't start working on cars in depth until I was in my twenties.

Honestly, almost everything on my to do list listed previously can be done by a novice shade tree mechanic with a few tools for 10-20% of the cost of a dealer. -although your social life will be impacted severly after spending your weekend under a greesy car! ha ha.

That or find a local VW mechanic who lives and breathes these cars as a passion who wants to make you happy.

That's my opinion
 

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For your manual transmission - change the fluid especially if yours feels like it's moving through treacle -it should move really smoothly. Get some Redline MT90 transmission fluid, it's a cheap and relatively easy DIY and makes a big difference to the shift. Above anything else listed I would be checking into whether the timing belt, tensioner,water pump and cam seals have been changed - these are best done at the same time with a coolant flush (G12 red coolant). Hope you have fun with your new car.
 

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get yourself a bentley repair manual..

if you have basic mechanical ability and that manual. anything is possible.. just take your time and look before you go rippin shit off.. itll help you when you go put it back together.

good luck!
 

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The most important skill is

reading comprehension for the instructionsfor whatever you plan to repair

and practicing your moves in the junkyard!!

Thats what I do. ha ha
 

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get yourself a bentley repair manual..

if you have basic mechanical ability and that manual. anything is possible.. just take your time and look before you go rippin shit off.. itll help you when you go put it back together.

good luck!

^^^ this, especially if you don't have someone around with experience to help you.
There's a Bentley repair manual and a Bentley maintenance manual. Both are good but the repair manual is a little more comprehensive I think. They are not cheap but they can save a lot of heartache. Before you do a repair you really need to have a clear understanding of what you are doing and what parts you need. Otherwise half way into a repair you find you don't have all the parts or find you need some special tool and if you're car is your daily drive then you're kinda screwed. They also give you correct torque specs so you don't start busting things off when you overtighten them.
Good idea when you're taking stuff apart is to take some pics first at different angles then you can at least go back and see how things seated together. The digital camera is a great thing.
 

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Bentleys actually are cheap if you buy them on ebay. Ive seen them for 30-60 bucks new and used.
 

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I understand the function of seafoam.....but, if it cleans the engine internals ( carbon build up) the trash your breaking loose has to end up in the oil and forced through the bearings.

I know it's used to find vacume leaks, but to break loose oil sludge and carbon is worrysome to me.

Other then that, your list is sensible and well thought out..I've only had my car 6 months and it's low miles , so i havn't had any major problems...yet. But from what i see day to day on this forum, is electrical gremlins, with no clear cut easy fix
When the temp is hot outside, and I take a sharp left , my "passanger door ajar" flashes and my dome light flashes, and it also does it if my music is loud, I mean were the f%$K do you even start to trouble shoot that. The bently is a must, because if any of us had the kind of money the dealership wants for repairs, we would be driving a higher caliber vehicle.
In the price range were paying for our VW's it has no equal on the market...IF you do the repairs yourself.
Vagcom is going to be my next purchase, because I'm not paying for someone to fix it...i'm not selling it, and i'm damn sure not parking it.
 

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I hear you Ninja,....i just wanted to throw it out there, because i never hear of any oil contaminant concerns when someone mentions seafoam
I've changed main bearings because of low oil pressure, and it's usually trash that passed through it, the gouge marks are odvious.
 

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I hear you Ninja,....i just wanted to throw it out there, because i never hear of any oil contaminant concerns when someone mentions seafoam
I've changed main bearings because of low oil pressure, and it's usually trash that passed through it, the gouge marks are odvious.
Definitely something to keep in mind.

But Sea foaming is so damn fun!!!!
 

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can u tell me what the torque settings were on the mains and the bigends...im doing the same due to oil pump failure..
 
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