Tag: volkswagen

Volkswagen steering racks serviceable items

Volkswagen steering racks serviceable items

In relation to my article I wrote on identifying the steering rack version in a Volkswagen Golf. One thing I mentioned was that I argue whether or not the Volkswagen steering racks should be covered under warranty or that they should be serviceable items.

After all there are a stream of articles all over the web relating to the steering rack failure with Volkswagen Electromechanical Power Steering.

What is the Electromechanical Power Steering system?

Basically the VAG group (Volkswagen Auto Group) decided in their wisdom to replace the traditional power steering system fitted to most cars. The traditional system being a pump which is driven by engine belts and topped up with fluid in the engine bay. They replaced it with an ALL electronic system, a power steering rack which links into the steering wheel and the power steering assistance is provided by an Electric Motor.

Whilst this does give benefits to the driver…. (examples below)

  • Increased fuel economy
  • Better steering control & input with self-centering steering
  • Speed dependant driving assistance

In practical terms, it’s only so good until it fails. Steering racks on cars do fail from time to time, and they’re easy (AND CHEAP!) to replace. However the Electronic Power Steering on the VAG cars is a problem. The sensors that control everything are built into the racks themselves. Volkswagen don’t repair these they replace them when they go faulty. To replace a steering rack on a VW Golf MK5 you’re looking at around £2000 from Volkswagen, this takes the piss! Most people can’t afford to pay £2k to fix their cars when they’re realistically only going to be worth around £2k anyway

 

BUT – Here’s the big BUT…. when Volkswagen (or the VAG) replace the racks, it’s done on a surcharge basis they actually KEEP your old one and REBUILD it. This means the units are serviceable, if you look at the steering rack design themselves, the units which holds the motor, the sensor and the controller are all replaceable components, it’s just VW won’t do this. So when they remove your old unit, they rebuild it sell it on for another £2k job and it could fail 70k miles later and cost another £2k, a really bad con. This is why as far as I’m concerned this part should be a serviceable component that should be replaced every 70k miles on the car regardless or covered when the timing belt is replaced. It’s especially prone to failures on the MK1 steering racks. Plus a lot of customers would find a bill easier to chew if it was a £200 sensor than a £2000 rack job but then dealerships aren’t like that

 

I’ll be posting more photos as when I remove my old rack I’ll be removing the sensor. A common problem is the magnetic poles on them.

 

I’d love to know VW input on this as it’s clearly a fault, and they haven’t bothered rectifying other they’re just rectifying the problem at the customers expense

 

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VW Golf MK5 Bonnet not closing

VW Golf MK5 Bonnet not closing

Volkswagen Golf MK5 Bonnet not closing : DIY Guide

To read the PDF and HTML versions of this guide you can find them HERE and HERE


The only two tools you will essentially need for the car. A T20 and T27 torx bit. Optional tools can be some insulation tape to hold the plastic guide in place as I found mine kept coming loose every now and then when refitting it to the car aswell as some zip ties and a flat-head screwdriver if you don’t have good pinching grip with your fingers.

The two T20 screws here and remove them from the car {yellow}, these are the screws just next to the headlights in this picture and then once they are removed from the car squeeze in the two plastic clips {red} can do one at a time and then remove the grill from the car.

It’s best to release the tension on the release handle for the bonnet lock before you start the assembly. Mine was always coming loose and I couldn’t work out why. I’m summising it is also because it doesn’t give enough flexibility to the new lock module after you have installed it into your car and it pushes it out of placement. Either this or it’s because the lock runner isn’t installed properly into the bonnet lock. This is how you release the tension on the pulley.Unclip the side casing around the housing that holds the wire for the tensioner and the spring (it’s behind the drivers headlight). It has two little clips to the sides of each will help to release the cover. Then it just comes straight off.Once the cover is off, you can pull the wire and the casing out. The wire itself has a metal ball at the end which fits in a housing in the plastic from the adjoining car side. Just disconnect them and they’re free. In the above examples you can see the casing, the hole which holds the ball for the release lever and the ball itself. It’s fairly easy to do and requires no effort to reinstall back onto the car.

This is the layout of the T27 screws holding the lock in place on the car. There are two long ones holding the main part of the unit itself and a short one that holds the catch bar in place on the car. Make sure to fit these in the correct orientation when refitting your lock. This is a comparison to the lock placement in the above picture for future reference should it be required.

Once the screws for the lock have been removed from the car, it should be a case of extracting it. There is no real tension to it, you should be be able to remove it just by pulling on the normal piece of metal where the bonnet lock catches onto when you shut it after this it’s just a case of extracting it.
remove

This is the plastic inside the guide, this must be fitted to the car otherwise it loses all tension in the bonnet release cable. It’s used to hold the cable the correct distance and so it doesn’t come loose from the car when fitting it
A common problem that I had when I was fitting the tensioner cable to the plastic guide was that it was slipping out and losing grip of the actual guide. This resulted in the cable losing tension and the lock not operating properly. I thought this may have been more due to not refitting the lock correctly but I didn’t want to take any chances. So I bodged the lock with some gaffer tape too. This was to reduce the chances of it coming off when I was trying to refit the lock back into the housing

This is how the wire should be connected to the car when the plastic guide is fitted to it. Or at least how I fitted it to my car, I’ve had no issues after fitting it to the car. Bonnet opens perfectly fine now
guide

REFITTING
Refitting is a complete reversal of the removal procedure, before refitting the grill to the car, it is best to make sure the lock opens. You can manually force the lock closed on the car whilst the bonnet is open. When this has been done, make sure the lock tensioner ball has been reconnected again and then pull on the handle in the car. If the lock opens you should be OK for refitting the grill to the car.
To summarise the refitting procedure once the lock has been replaced on the car itself…

  • Replace lock and all screws (there is a slight notch, use this to guide lock through)
  • Refit the tensioner ball
  • Reconnect the switch for the bonnet open alarm (be careful not to damage it)
  • Manually close the lock with a screwdriver
  • Try opening the lock from inside the car. If it works then everything should be good for repairing

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