Author Topic: Working on your car  (Read 12707 times)
CEB1993
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Camdenburns93
Re: Working on your car « Reply #45 on: November 19, 2017, 08:43:18 AM » Author: CEB1993
It all started when I had a dead mass airflow sensor earlier this year.  That was the first thing to make the check engine light turn on.  I was able to replace that myself, after having the part special ordered from my local auto parts store.  Unfortunately, the airflow sensor I installed did not work because it was a cheap aftermarket part, and not a real Volkswagen product.  I had to take it back for a refund, and then leave my car at the shop to have the repair done.  As it turns out, my car needs a Bosch brand airflow sensor.  German brand parts for a German car, makes sense. 

My car worked perfectly for about two weeks after putting in the Bosch airflow sensor, and then the check engine light came on again.  I took it back to the shop and after running the diagnostic, I discovered that the catalytic converter had quit working.  It would be an expensive fix for a part that does not affect the car's ability to run, so I have put that off. 

Could the mass airflow sensor and the catalytic converter both going bad within about a month be related?
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Aveoguy22
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Re: Working on your car « Reply #46 on: November 19, 2017, 09:17:21 AM » Author: Aveoguy22
It all started when I had a dead mass airflow sensor earlier this year.  That was the first thing to make the check engine light turn on.  I was able to replace that myself, after having the part special ordered from my local auto parts store.  Unfortunately, the airflow sensor I installed did not work because it was a cheap aftermarket part, and not a real Volkswagen product.  I had to take it back for a refund, and then leave my car at the shop to have the repair done.  As it turns out, my car needs a Bosch brand airflow sensor.  German brand parts for a German car, makes sense. 

My car worked perfectly for about two weeks after putting in the Bosch airflow sensor, and then the check engine light came on again.  I took it back to the shop and after running the diagnostic, I discovered that the catalytic converter had quit working.  It would be an expensive fix for a part that does not affect the car's ability to run, so I have put that off. 

Could the mass airflow sensor and the catalytic converter both going bad within about a month be related?

thats another reason i won't own a german vehicle.  most of the recent ones require OEM parts ONLY.  the isuzu doesn't care if the MAF sensor is a AC Delco part or a china made knockoff, as long as it works the way it should. 

to the other question, its possible that the MAF had something to do with the cat, but unlikely.  the car has O2 sensors to monitor the fuel mixture, and the MAF being inop probably wouldnt affect it enough to ruin the cat.  ive only ever seen one instance in person where that happened, and the vehicle was 10 years old with the original O2 sensors, so they may have been giving inaccurate readings as well.
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Lodge
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Re: Working on your car « Reply #47 on: November 19, 2017, 01:49:09 PM » Author: Lodge
I'm with Aveoguy22 on this one, I have yet to see a MAP damage a cat, do you have access to an ODBii reader or a IR non-contact type thermometer ?  Cats aren't hard to test if they are working...  
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RyanF40T12
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Re: Working on your car « Reply #48 on: November 19, 2017, 02:19:59 PM » Author: RyanF40T12
how many miles on the VW when you got the diagnosis that the cat was bad
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toomanybulbs
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Re: Working on your car « Reply #49 on: November 19, 2017, 05:54:45 PM » Author: toomanybulbs
oil burning will kill the cat.
take out the post cat o2 and put a few spark  plug anti foulers in between.
no sense killing a new cat.
will put out the cel without black tape. ;)
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Lodge
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Re: Working on your car « Reply #50 on: November 19, 2017, 06:14:33 PM » Author: Lodge
oil burning will kill the cat.
take out the post cat o2 and put a few spark  plug anti foulers in between.
no sense killing a new cat.
will put out the cel without black tape. ;)

But you can burn .5 quart of oil / 1000 miles without any effect on the cat, so you have to be burning a huge amount of oil in a short period of time before you need to worry about this issue..

And you could just install an O2 sensor simulator, they are pretty easy to build with a handful of parts, but it might not be legal in your state/country...
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Mercurylamps
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Re: Working on your car « Reply #51 on: November 19, 2017, 07:14:21 PM » Author: Mercurylamps
One thing you need to keep an eye on a failing catalytic converter is that it doesn't partially or completely block up. I've heard that a blocked cat will cause problems for the engine itself.
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CEB1993
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Camdenburns93
Re: Working on your car « Reply #52 on: November 19, 2017, 07:38:24 PM » Author: CEB1993
how many miles on the VW when you got the diagnosis that the cat was bad


I had about 148,000 miles when the check engine light began staying on consistently.
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CEB1993
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Camdenburns93
Re: Working on your car « Reply #53 on: November 19, 2017, 07:41:39 PM » Author: CEB1993
One thing you need to keep an eye on a failing catalytic converter is that it doesn't partially or completely block up. I've heard that a blocked cat will cause problems for the engine itself.

I can imagine, making the engine literally choke up since the emissions cannot be expelled from the car.  I have not noticed any unusual noises or rough running yet.  The interesting thing is that cold weather always makes the check engine light come on, so I think warmer temperatures affect how the CC works or how the sensor works.
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Re: Working on your car « Reply #54 on: November 19, 2017, 07:45:11 PM » Author: suzukir122
I've had a blocked catalytic converter. That happened a little after I bought my pontiac grand prix. The
car was very very slow, and it would not pass 3,000 rpm.
I got it completely replaced, and it was like a totally different car... much faster.
I'm pretty sure the damage had already been done though, because it had been misfiring, and it
eventually threw a rod. So yeah, I definitely agree.
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CEB1993
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Camdenburns93
Re: Working on your car « Reply #55 on: November 19, 2017, 08:52:06 PM » Author: CEB1993
I've had a blocked catalytic converter. That happened a little after I bought my pontiac grand prix. The
car was very very slow, and it would not pass 3,000 rpm.
I got it completely replaced, and it was like a totally different car... much faster.
I'm pretty sure the damage had already been done though, because it had been misfiring, and it
eventually threw a rod. So yeah, I definitely agree.

I definitely don't have a limited RPM or reduced speed, but I'll be aware of that if the CC failure continues to worsen. 
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takemorepills
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Re: Working on your car « Reply #56 on: November 20, 2017, 08:10:20 PM » Author: takemorepills
I gotta jump in on this VW bashing going on.

The OP's Jetta is actually holding up pretty well.

I used to be an ASE certified mechanic in the 90's. One thing about German cars back then is that they rarely ever out-right "died", the engines and transmissions (when not shared with GM, cough cough BMW) were reliable and I never had to R/R German engines, it was always US nameplate cars and Hondas I was replacing engines in.

Also, I have NEVER heard of the term "Jokeswagen". And, I would seriously never be caught dead driving an Aveo, and I certainly wouldn't want my username to out me as an Aveo enthusiast.

My entire car-owning life since 1993 has been all Japanese with the exception of 1 Saturn SL2, 1 Camaro RS and 1 Chevy S-10. All Americans were OK vehicles reliability-wise.

I have primarily been a Honda guy my whole life. Regarding "Working on your car" I used to do all services myself. I even put a turbocharged B20Z into my 1992 Integra, converted my 1995 Legend SE into a 6MT (from 4AT) and swapped in a TypeII V6 with 100 shot of NOS and my last big job was in 2007 I put a 2004 Infiniti drivetrain from a wrecked I35 into my 1997 Maxima SE. This was a full CAN bus swap. Both the Legend swap and my Maxima swap were regarded as "impossible" by the then genius internet fanboys. My Maxima was swapped at 190K miles and I sold it at 300K miles and the car ran perfectly, only issue we ever had with that car was a passenger power door lock getting lazy right before I sold the car.

My point is that not only did I work on my own cars, but I was primarily an all Japanese enthusiast and I would not have defended German cars up to this point.

But, in 2015 I wanted to get a sporty, little car. I looked at everybody. Nothing appealed to me, even the Focus ST was a no-go as we have Fords at work and they are not my style. So, I started looking at Honda Civics. The 10th gen Civic. They are having all kinds of problems, dash vents sagging, sunroof mechanisms jamming up, body panels self-denting, infotainment systems needing to be reset constantly, glitches in the electronics causing the Christmas tree lights on the dash and the car needing to be reset, etc etc. This isn't the Honda I grew up with. So I said F-it, obviously Japanese cars aren't what they used to be, so I bought a 2016 VW GTI. It has Android Auto, all LED interior lighting, an underrated 2.0 Turbo engine, DSG transmission, HID headlights with AFS and separate cornering lights, Fender audio with subwoofer, etc etc all for just a little more than a loaded Civic.
It is way faster than a Civic. It has been totally reliable, never even had a single glitch and I am starting to feel it may be the best car I have ever purchased. It is based on the MQB chassis which is beginning to earn a rep for being the most reliable VW ever to such an extent that even VW techs would buy this car for themselves. As has been said, VW has a bad rep, and they earned it. Even VW techs would rarely desire to own a VW.
I have driven new Passats and Jettas and they suck big time. But, VW is turning things around.

And as I have become older, I prefer newer, reliable cars I don't need to work on. Speaking of which, Subarus suck. Saying that they are reliable is a stretch. You want to bash on the OPs Jetta for needing parts at 148K? What about every EJ25 powered Subaru needing its engine rebuilt due to failed head gaskets by 100K miles? My wife was a huge Subaru fan. She has owned 3. Her 2008 Impreza had failed head gaskets by 38K miles (we bought the car new, and they only had 36K warranty), her first Impreza, a then-new 2007 had to be lemon-lawed (Subaru customer service is excellent, I will tip my hat to that) and her current 2006 Impreza needs its HGs replaced any day now. They started leaking somewhere around the 90k mark. Subaru head gaskets are about $2k to have a shop do them. So, the OP's Jetta seems fine by my reckoning. My wife is no longer a Subaru lifer, she is getting a different brand car next year.

Anyways, it may be true MOST German cars are not good for long-term ownership. But in 2017, it isn't fair to blindly bash them when some of the "better" regarded cars like Hondas have become worse than their 1990's versions while the VWs have become WAY better then their 1990's versions.
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CEB1993
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Camdenburns93
Re: Working on your car « Reply #57 on: November 22, 2017, 02:53:17 PM » Author: CEB1993
According to Consumer Reports, newer German cars are doing better reliability wise.  Audi, the luxury version of Volkswagen has the best reliability among German cars.  Volkswagen is decent, but the new Jettas were ranked below average.  BMW and Mercedes are prone to electrical problems due to how high tech most of the newer models are. 

Japanese cars continue to consistently get high reliability rankings.  Honda and Acura have had a few cars ranked below average, probably due to electrical glitches and transmission problems.  With Subaru, I'm prepared for the full time 4WD to be a possible source of glitches.  I've heard Subaru is also known for head gaskets blowing and causing some big engine problems. 
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Re: Working on your car « Reply #58 on: November 22, 2017, 06:47:36 PM » Author: Lodge
According to Consumer Reports, newer German cars are doing better reliability wise.  Audi, the luxury version of Volkswagen has the best reliability among German cars.  Volkswagen is decent, but the new Jettas were ranked below average.  BMW and Mercedes are prone to electrical problems due to how high tech most of the newer models are. 

Japanese cars continue to consistently get high reliability rankings.  Honda and Acura have had a few cars ranked below average, probably due to electrical glitches and transmission problems.  With Subaru, I'm prepared for the full time 4WD to be a possible source of glitches.  I've heard Subaru is also known for head gaskets blowing and causing some big engine problems. 

Consumer reports don't really prove much in the real world though, if you want to know what is super reliable, just see what they drive in places like Africa, I have yet to see any car outlast a Peugot 504 you can literally bust the frame on those and keep on driving, land rovers (not the new fancy ones) are great as well but they don't float, and they will not fit between two huge trees that are to close together and they don't go super fast but they will go everywhere else, and with three winches they will go everywhere else, even across rivers, and up trees so you can fix a tire with needing a jack, and Toyota's they just keep on running, and all the time I was there ( several years ) I've only seen one BMW and no VW products ever where I was..
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Re: Working on your car « Reply #59 on: November 22, 2017, 07:12:59 PM » Author: Mercurylamps
I must say CEB1993 that your VW has served you well indeed. One thing to keep an eye on with Subaru is their wheel bearings aren't very good I've had a few replaced in my time and the headgaskets as takemorepills said. Fortunately my head gasket hasn't blown thank goodness as my Outback is my daily driver. Also beware that many Subaru engines use a timing belt as opposed to a timing chain so every 80,000 miles or so they need to be replaced during a routine service so you may want to factor that cost.
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