As car technology evolves, the breaking-in process keeps changing. If you’ve just bought a new Volkswagen, there are some things you should know before driving it away from the dealer’s lot. For example, try to avoid using full throttle and high engine speeds for the first 1,000 miles. In addition to reducing your fuel economy, this will help you avoid an unnecessary toll on your engine. Leaving your Volkswagen idle for long periods of time is another practice that is best avoided.
Other than that, you should know that being proactive in your vehicle’s health is the best way to prevent problems down the road. As with many other things in life, regular maintenance goes a long way. To that end, we’ve compiled a list of nine maintenance tips that should help you keep your Volkswagen in optimal condition at all times.
1. Brake Service
Any new Volkswagen will come equipped with a proper-working brake system. However, that doesn’t mean brakes don’t need to be serviced from time to time. Stopping from 50 mph will generate a significant amount of heat, and the brakes will always wear down over time.
When it comes to the brake system, the main things you need to take care of are rotors and brake pads. If you’ve read your owner’s manual, you’ll know when’s the best time to replace them. Preventing rotors and brake pads from getting too worn down will keep other parts of your Volkswagen working properly.
2. Tire Care
Unlike the brake pads, new tires won’t need to be replaced for a while. Still, that doesn’t mean you should neglect them. Regular tire inspections and rotations will help you make sure that everything is working as it should. Pay particular attention to tire treads; if they get too old or damaged, make sure to replace them with tires of the factory-recommended size and specifications.
3. Regular Oil Change
Changing engine oil is a very important maintenance step. Without engine oil serving as a lubricant, the hard-moving parts of the engine will constantly be grinding against one another. Additionally, the oil keeps the engine clean from debris and helps dissipate heat that rises within the engine.
Once again, refer to your owner’s manual to find out your Volkswagen’s recommended oil change service interval. Keep in mind that the first oil change is the most important one, as the oil will likely be filled with contaminants from the manufacturing process. On a related note, you should also keep track of your oil filter. This filter prevents the metal particles in the oil from entering the delicate parts of the engine.
4. Controlling Evaporative Emissions
After you finish refueling your car, make sure that the gas cap is tightly closed. Why? For starters, not closing the gas cap properly can compromise your evaporative emissions system which is designed to trap the gas tank’s fumes. This can lead to leaks and corrosion, which in turn leads to other problems with your vehicle’s emissions. Repairing this problem is easy enough, but prevention will always be your best bet.
5. Engine Maintenance
Speaking of repairs, replacing your Volkswagen’s catalytic converter can get quite costly. The catalytic converter works at high temperatures, so it’s susceptible to corrosion and rust. If the problem is not dealt with in time, the converter will fail due to a leak or internal plugging generated by excessive carbon buildup.
Fortunately, it’s fairly easy to tell when the catalytic converter is not working as it should. Some of the more common signs include random stalling and jerking, engine misfires, and wasting more gas than usual. You can inspect the state of your converter by checking exhaust back pressure or the intake vacuum.
6. Spark Plug Checks
As is the case with any other car, spark plugs are a critical component of your Volkswagen. They’re located in the vehicle’s engine, and each of them is supposed to fire at a specific time. If a spark plug fires at the wrong time, it could cause an engine misfire.
There are a lot of potential causes for bad spark plug timing. Other than a mechanical breakdown, you might be dealing with a vacuum leak, bad wiring, or bad fuel delivery. In order to stay on the safe side, remember to check your spark plugs during the regular maintenance process.
7. Cleaning the Interior
Keeping your Volkswagen’s interior free of luggage, strollers, and other unnecessary stuff comes with a lot of benefits. Among other things, this will help you improve the vehicle’s performance. The more extra weight your car needs to carry around, the harder your engine needs to work to keep the car moving. Unsurprisingly, this will cause the engine to overwork and wear out quicker. Plus, an overworked engine will use up more fuel, which means spending more money on gas.
8. Wiper Blade Checks
Many car owners don’t bother with inspecting wiper blades on a regular basis. This is not recommended, as these blades are a critical factor in driving safety. You might not use them every day, but you’ll be glad they’re working fine if you find yourself in a rainstorm.
To make sure your wiper blades are in optimal condition, check your windshield for any signs of streaking, smearing, rust, or chattering. If you find some of those signs, you’re best off getting a new set of blades. Fortunately, replacing wiper blades is one of the cheapest and easiest maintenance tasks there is.
9. Replacing Air Filters
With most Volkswagen models, you’ll need a new air filter for every 20,000 miles. Now, this is something you can easily do in the comfort of your home. Having a technician replace the air filter is not particularly expensive, but there’s no need to give up your vehicle for a day.
How do you replace the air filter? First, pop the hood and find the air filter – it will usually be located in a black rectangular box on the side. If you can’t find it, refer to your user’s manual. Then, open up the casing and make a note of how the filter fits inside it. Finally, remove the old filter and insert the new one by placing it in the same way.
If you would like more tips on keeping your VW in top condition or if you are experiencing unusual issues with your vehicle feel free to get in contact with Game Face Motorsports. Since 1970 the company has provided dependable automotive repair services on Porsche, Audi, and VW’s. Game Face Motorsports – Volkswagen Services offers trusted diagnostics, repairs and maintenance to keep your VW in perfect running condition. Get in touch today!