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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Added this bit after writing the below...This has turned into quite a post. Some of it's rant. Some of it's just an introduction to me and my Touareg. Other parts are pure crap. Read if you must, comment if you like.

New member here, just got my first touareg. It's a 2004 V8, 141,000ish miles, and I absolutely love it. It's not without its problems, of course. But that's good for me--when I own a vehicle that doesn't have anything left to address, I get bored. Bought on December 18, 2015, and I've been busy ever since.



1. Bought it with a battery drain. Did an autoscan on it and found all antennas for the Kessy throwing faults. Replaced all six resistors and two transistors on the Kessy module and all is well. Restored functionality of the keyless entry (touch the handle and doors unlock, etc.) and no more battery drain. Managed to sleaze my way into a new battery from Canadian Tire even though I wasn't the original purchaser ($11 in acetone is a whole lot cheaper than a new battery, PM me if you're curious). Looking at installing keyless start since being able to unlock the door without keys in hand is kinda useless if you eventually have to pull out the keys to start it.

2. Touareg came with some god-awful 22" wheels on it with rubber bands for tires. They're not the worst looking wheels I've ever seen, but definitely needed to go. It also came with a set of 17" wheels (they barely clear the six-pots in the front) with winter tires, but OF COURSE there was more than 3/32" difference in tread between the fronts and rears so I couldn't use them without throwing ABS and ESP faults, so I was forced into buying new all-season tires for the 17" wheels. 22" may or may not return, haven't decided.

3. The front end had some suspension noise that I figured out last night. I was thinking it may be control arm bushings, ball joints, inner or outer tie rod ends, sway bar links or bushings, you know, pretty much anything within the front suspension. I had a 2001 A6 V8 where I replaced the whole front suspension tracking down a noise, ended up being inner tie rod ends. The touareg was much easier. Took off the driver side sway bar end link and took it for a spin, basically removing the sway bar from action. No more noise! So I've got links and bushings on order.

4. The previous owner had put plasti-dip on the grille, front badge, and lower chrome ring. I've peeled most of it off, but still catch little bits every time I wash. This is great if you're going to "murder" a car, but little bits here and there is just a waste, and will just piss off the new owner if you go to sell it.

5. Hood struts were bent and shot, parking brake strut was shot (had to do the typical toe pull every time I released the brake), so I replaced those tonight.

6. I have a accel/decel noise coming from the front end somewhere. I've checked the driveshaft bearing, the typical culprit for this type of noise, and it's either been replaced already, or just isn't bad. Pushing on the driveshaft from below gives me about 1/8" of movement, and it's solid. I've also polyurethane filled the rear transmission mount to the crossmember to no avail. Any ideas?

7. Was throwing a Intake Valve 2 code, and found one of the plastic arms for the variable valve timing broken. Haven't sourced a replacement yet, but have a hack in place to make it functional again.

8. Previous owner installed what are probably cheap 6000K D1S bulbs in the headlights, and one flickers every so often. Not on bumps, not when jarring the headlight, just randomly. Eventually going to replace them with some Hella bulbs, probably 4300K (OEM temp) since the 6000K is what I ran in high school.

9. I am also seeing a code for a catalytic converter "below efficiency". I'm thinking of trying the acetone thing to burn it off, but am a little scared of it. Trying to fix one bad cat can ruin four. Will likely replace the cat.

10. Sagging driver door. Hard to open, hard to close. I'm thinking of laser cutting some spacers at work to mimic the OEM spacers (the ones available on eBay for WAY too much money) out of stainless steel, but for now I've installed some very large fender washers to lift the door back up, between the hinge and the door. This will do for now, and still spreads the load out just like the OEM spacers.

Still to address:
Just a couple spots of rust that I don't want to grow
Sway bar links and bushings (parts ordered)
VVT plastic arm
Spark plugs (ordered NGK iridium)
Transmission valve body
Catalytic converter
Replacing CD Nav with Navall head unit (ordered, should be here tomorrow)
Headlight bulbs
Accel/Decel noise
Add keyless start


So my observations in the past month and a half: The Touareg I've bought is the perfect example of what poor maintenance can do to a car. Yes, it's had the timing belt service done at 134,000 miles (a little late, but done nonetheless). The transmission has been serviced (flush, filter, and fill), probably to try to correct the valve body issues causing harsh shifts, which as a matter of fact are still there. But the little things...the hood struts, the parking brake strut, the Kessy, the suspension noise, the cat, the headlights, the VVT valve, the sagging door...these are the things that most people see and hear when they look at a vehicle. If you're ignoring the obvious, what's not so obvious that you're ignoring as well? Is it just me, or is the Touareg a vehicle that is really dependent on regular maintenance and prompt repair work to be successful? Is it the folks that bite off more than they can chew with these vehicles that screw the resale value for the rest of the market? Don't get me wrong, I'm not regretting my purchase at all. AT ALL. Earlier said, if there's nothing to fix, I'm bored. Wanted one for a long time. Got one. Love it. This thing is a beast.

And VCDS with this one is a must. Well worth the expense if you don't have one already. With as many electronics as are in this thing, you'd be screwed without it. Plus being able to recode things to behave like you know they should is a huge plus. I had one already from current/previous VAG cars, but would have bought one for the Touareg if I didn't have one already. Anyone looking for one in Calgary, I have one in the SW and can meet up if needed. Boredom is my nemesis. Beer is my reward.
 

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Great post. Nice to see someone taking the time to get their new-to-them car in good order.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah, it's overcomplicated but that's part of its "charm". As for the actuator arms, I may just have to order a pair of those. They look a lot more durable than the OEM.

I had a stressful night of spark plugs. Somehow I managed to switch the 1 and cylinder 2 coil pack wiring. Started it up after replacing all of the plugs and had a really bad misfire. Thinking back I didn't remember having two unplugged at once, but apparently I did. Kept scratching my head, searching online, etc. until I finally just gave it a shot and switched them. Success.

Headlight bulbs also changed out for Philips/Osram 4300K. The bulbs I removed didn't have a brand name on them and noted the temp to be 6000K. I've never seen quality bulbs that actually listed the color temp on them, and I'm pretty confident that they are cheap seconds or a lower quality bulb. Managed to get the pair locally for $120 Canadian. Of course now I have a parking light bulb out so I'll have to pull the passenger side headlight again.

Are the front sway bar bushings hard to find for any good reason? I can't find them anywhere, and am not looking forward to the dealer price.

It's coming along. New head unit also in the dash but not fully hooked up yet, as I'm still waiting for the DSP converter to arrive.
 
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