1995 VW Passat? Good? Average? Run away?

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by Dagofast, May 12, 2013.

  1. Kokopelli

    Kokopelli Yeah, right!

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    I am glad your boy is all right. If he was on the way to a memorial service, his mind had probably been wandering.
    #41
  2. SilkMoneyLove

    SilkMoneyLove Long timer

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    My thoughts too. Not an excuse but just a factor.

    Glad every person is OK. Insurance will handle the rest.
    #42
  3. boardrider247

    boardrider247 Weekend Anarchist

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    Take the time to stop in Crescent City, CA. Just barely south of the OR border.
    It was one of my favorites along that coast. And there are redwood forests just a few miles inland from there.

    As for the car. I've had a few VW's from the late 80's/early 90's all were rusted out cheap ass beaters. None had any major mechanical issues, just typical stuff you would expect from old cars. The best a 88 jetta I bought for $400 with 204k on it. I drove it until 245k with only one thermostat and one oil change in between. The local euro car club here has a bunch of 2.0 running upwards of 300k. Your major problem will be the autotragic transmission, but it should last for awhile yet with such low miles.
    #43
  4. SR1

    SR1 Back in S. Korea

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    I think my dad would have said some good things about my driving when I was a kid...but having a relatively dumb and simple accident when I was 16 made me a FAR better and attentive driver. Try not to let it worry you too much...
    #44
  5. Dagofast

    Dagofast Full giggety ahead.

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    We had an uneventful flight (the best kind!) in to Medford on Sunday. My sister picked us up at the airport and we went to visit mom in her new digs. We got the deluxe tour, met many of her new friends and then it was back to my sisters place so the boy could meet his new ride.


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    Grandma explaining some of the finer points of German engineering and ingenuity to the kid. The fact the key could also roll the windows up and down blew his mind. The variations of the different key positions for the trunk operation were just icing on the cake to amaze a kid raised in the fob clicker era.

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    And then, with a promise from him to be on his best behavior and her already having a full head of gray hair anyway, it was time to take Grandma for a ride!

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    After their successful maiden voyage, we took Grandma, sis and cousins to lunch in the quaint town of Jacksonville.

    The holiday on Monday was spent visiting and playing. The boy made Smokey the dog very happy by tirelessly playing "toss the pinecone" for hours.
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    Dudley the bulldog has a zero care factor for playing fetch. He does however, love a good game of tug of war and is serious about winning them all. He also has a fetish for attempting to ride skateboards and will work himself in to a frenzy if he sees one.

    Tuesday dawned rainy and we were up at the crack of dark thirty and heading to Eugene for a 9:00am tour of the University of Oregon.

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    The little Dub seemed to run fine except for a pull to the right. But when we got off the freeway in Eugene and pulled up to a light next to a truck, we heard some serious diesel clatter and assumed it was him. Sadly, after we turned the next corner heading for the university, it turned out the noise was us! Since we were a block from the school, we proceeded to the nearest parking lot and popped the hood. There was nothing obvious and the clatter had disappeared. We shrugged and headed to the student union for the tour.

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    Upon our return from the tour, she fired right up but the noise came back in the parking lot and then disappeared before we could get the hood up. We headed out for some lunch and a few blocks away, the sound came back with a vengeance. We immediately hit a Wendy's parking lot and got the hood up. This time the noise remained and it was coming from the left side and sounded like a bad ball bearing. The only tools we had were the original jack, tire iron and a screwdriver. I managed to use the screwdriver to lift the idler pulley and remove the serpentine belt. The alternator, idler pulley and AC pump clutch both spun smooth and quiet. All the fluids were fine, but the power steering pump was mounted under the engine and driven by a single V belt. There was no way to loosen the V belt due to a lack of tools, but we played around turning the wheels and when the pump was under load, the noise went away. I pulled out the iPhone and it found an independent VW shop 3 miles away in Springfield. We buttoned everything up and headed that way.

    We rolled in to Rich's VW Repair a few minutes later. They needed to finish up a car before they could put ours up on a lift. He pointed us to a nice restaurant just a block away and we walked up, sat down and ordered. A few minutes later, he called: the V Belt was off and the noise was gone. He quoted a very reasonable price for a power steering pump replacement and said it would be ready by 4PM at the latest, so we told him to do it and enjoyed a nice lunch. We called the America's Tire and rescheduled the tire appointment to 4:30

    By the time we walked back to the shop, the old pump was already off and on its way to be exchanged for a new unit. Rich pointed to the couch in his lobby or told us we could walk around town or even use Springfield's very nice bus system. We opted to walk a mile or two and explore and then rode the bus back. They finished up an hour early and we paid them, shook hands and headed for America's Tire on the other side of Eugene. They got us in in under 30 minutes and out in just over an hour. We gassed up, stopped at an auto parts house for new wiper blades, put them on and since we were now hours behind schedule made the decision to head back to Medford and crash there one more night. The drive back was perfect, the pull to the right now gone with the old tires. We stopped for a late supper in Grants Pass and then scooted in for a last visit with my sister, her husband and the niece and nephew.

    Early the next morning, we paid one last call on Mom and took her to breakfast.
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    Then she said goodbye to us and finally to her little red car.
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    Finally, after the hugs & kisses and the inevitable parting tears, we were off on an epic trip home!
    #45
  6. McCormack

    McCormack Cronkite of CSM

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    Cool read Dagofast. He'll remember an adventure like that forever.
    #46
  7. Dagofast

    Dagofast Full giggety ahead.

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    Busy today making it a shiny thing. I'll try to get the post of the road trip up next week sometime.

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    #47
  8. Dagofast

    Dagofast Full giggety ahead.

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    2slow failed the 3rd portion of its emissions test today. It had a high NOX reading, about double the limit. No CEL light is on, it runs great, mileage is about 26 city, 31 highway.

    Any ideas from the VW cognoscenti? :ear
    #48
  9. troidus

    troidus Long timer

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    Nothing VW-specific, but here's a discussion that might lead to a way to pass the test:

    http://www.eng-tips.com/viewthread.cfm?qid=44564
    #49
  10. Dagofast

    Dagofast Full giggety ahead.

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    We finally had a chance today to start looking at the emissions problem. I found 2 bad vacuum hoses, one that had a leak and one that held vacuum even when I took my finger off the open end after using the MityVac to create about 10 inches of vacuum. We changed every bit of vacuum hose we could find. I now fully understand the strangeness of german rubber. :D

    I also couldn't get the EGR valve to open with the car hot and idling when I put a vacuum load on it with the MityVac. It wouldn't hold any vacuum even with new hose and furious pumping. Plus the idle speed never changed so I suspect the diaphragm is bad. GAP, BAP and Autozone are all showing these suckers in the $300 range!? :yikes

    Anyone recommend a cheaper source? Junkyards?
    #50
  11. troidus

    troidus Long timer

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    It's 18 years old. $300 sounds like a lot of money, but you'll probably have to do it only once.

    I looked at Rock Auto. They list a Euro-only part at $140, but your ride might not pass emissions with it. And it says it's for ADY and AGG engine codes, which your 2.0 might not be.
    #51
  12. Dagofast

    Dagofast Full giggety ahead.

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    Yeah, we keep seeing a cheaper EGR valve listed, but it does not look the same. His little beastie has an ABA engine code, so the unit from RockAuto is a no go. It looks like he will be asking for extra hours at Wendy's to pay for this part. :deal Or moving out of the city where emissions testing isn't required. :evil
    #52
  13. troidus

    troidus Long timer

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    He's 16, right? Wendy's may not be able to bump his hours by much without running afoul of labor law. Maybe the daily and weekly hours limits don't apply during summer.
    #53
  14. SilkMoneyLove

    SilkMoneyLove Long timer

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    It is all part of the ownership experience. It is a good lesson "cars cost and must budget for repairs."
    #54
  15. boardrider247

    boardrider247 Weekend Anarchist

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    It is most likely the same EGR valve for all ABA engines.
    Should be tons of them at the junkyards. Every 4 cyl MK3 Jetta or Golf.
    You can use this link to cross check part numbers.
    http://www.vagcat.com/epc/
    #55
  16. troidus

    troidus Long timer

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    Can valve movement under vacuum be detected with the valve mounted to the engine? If so, that makes finding a good used candidate easier. If not, that makes finding a good used candidate a potential exercise in futility, assuming the yard will even let you go out there with a MityVac and a set of wrenches.

    If the diaphragm is visible at all, maybe it just has a pinhole in it that can be sealed temporarily with some high-temp RTV.
    #56
  17. Dagofast

    Dagofast Full giggety ahead.

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    Yep. He might as well learn this lesson now instead of later.
    #57
  18. Dagofast

    Dagofast Full giggety ahead.

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    Added to my bookmarks and signed up so I can view it. Great idea.
    #58
  19. Dagofast

    Dagofast Full giggety ahead.

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    This unit does not have an open diaphragm case, so no patching it or even seeing it move. I know his isn't working because I used a new piece of vacuum tube connected directly to the MityVac and it wouldn't build any vacuum and his idle never changed a bit. Testing a junk yard unit would require at the very least putting a vacuum load on it and maybe listening for it to open. If that works, then removing it from the engine for further inspection.

    A junkyard unit might be worth a shot. Providing they let me test one first. And providing I can do it early before it hits 110 degrees. :knary

    Thanks to each of you for the ideas!
    #59
  20. PaulGinAZ

    PaulGinAZ FNG

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    Hi Dagofast--

    I apologize for the intrusion into your thread but as it contains the two letters "VW" I cannot help but stop by.

    I have owned a few B4 Passat platforms (along with numerous B1, B2, B3 and B5/5.5 cars too) and I can tell you that you have started out in the right light by doing the timing belt/tensioner/water pump service right off of the bat.

    As far as good local resources for parts I would strongly suggest that you look to Affordable German here in Phoenix for good used parts on the vintage watercooled stuff. If you call down there ask for Bill (the owner) or perhaps ask for a technician by the name of Dan for assistance in locating that part.

    If that doesn't work call Chapman on McDowell and ask for the wholesale parts manager (Geoff) and in both cases let them know that Paul with the Syncro Tristar referred ya. There are quite a few good local resources I can extend to you locally as well as elsewhere in the country to keep your mom's car (now your son's car) on the road. :freaky
    #60