Volkswagens have been known for years to have some of the most advanced electronics systems when it comes to onboard engine computer control. A DME, or Digital Motor Electronics, is your engine’s control center and task giver to make sure your Volkswagen runs as efficiently as possible.
The DME sends electronic messages to the engine on how to carry out these tasks. It also uses the most efficient methods with the least possible emissions. As simple as this sounds, your DME is sending and receiving thousands of signals a second to perform its function. You may think of it as the brain or nerve center of your VW.
When the DME begins to have problems, there are some tell-tale symptoms that can alert you to an impending worsening issue. If you notice any of these, it may be prudent to take your VW to an expert mechanic for diagnostic testing.
Your Volkswagen’s DME may be malfunctioning if your car stalls. When the unit receives information and does not calculate the engine’s needs correctly, it may send the wrong instructions. The engine can actually shut down if this occurs.
Just as with stalling, a faulty DME could send the wrong information, causing your engine to misfire. Misfiring can be felt inside your vehicle via heavy vibrations during idle or when trying to drive. An RPM gauge will usually be the first place you will see misfires happening, as the needle will bounce when the engine attempts to adjust for the misfires.
Your car may lunge forward or backfire, possibly related to misfiring or incorrect gas and oxygen mixtures delivered by a bad DME. These are obvious signs your vehicle needs attention. Do not operate it. Instead, have it towed to a trusted shop.
A weak DME module should activate a check engine light or other code if it is not functioning correctly. Some owners will try and save money by taking their VW to a car parts house that offers free computer diagnostics, but this may not be the best answer.
Although Volkswagens are highly reliable, they are sophisticated machines. If misdiagnosed, you could damage your system or, at the least, lose money by replacing good parts when the problem is something else.
As with symptoms, there are some common causes for a faulty DME. Make note of the below reasons so you can discuss them with your technician:
As your Volkswagen or any other car ages, the protection the manufacturers put into components to resist moisture will wear out. Over time, this moisture will find its way into a vehicle’s electronic parts, including a DME, and cause corrosion, especially if you live in an environment where salt is prevalent.
Years ago and before high-tech electronics were installed, most cars with dead batteries were jump-started by placing the positive cable on the positive side of the battery and the negative cable onto the negative post of the battery. This old habit can fry your car’s computer system and is not advised. Always place the cable’s negative side on your car’s metal structure and not the battery post when jump-starting.
Some people want their cars to go faster. One way to do this is to install computer chips into the system that may give your vehicle better performance. The only problem is, many do it themselves and install cheap knockoffs by accident. These poorly designed chips can cause irreversible damage to your DME.
Electronics do not mix with vibrations very well. If your DME is loose or something in your Volkswagen is causing strong vibrations, your DME will probably fail after a time.
The DME in your Volkswagen has a specific voltage it needs to operate correctly. Bad wiring in your harness or even a weak battery can dramatically change the voltage supplied to your unit. If this occurs, your DME will not work properly and cause issues with your car’s performance.
A DME failure, as mentioned, can cause a headache to owners of Volkswagens. Our expert technicians at Euro Plus Automotive know how to troubleshoot and repair any issues with your Volkswagen and many other European vehicle models.
Serving Canoga Park, Woodland Hills, San Fernando Valley, and Los Angeles County, CA with over 30 years in the business, we are truly dedicated to our clients and our work quality. Contact us today to set up your servicing and repair needs.
Volkswagens are excellent vehicles that are durable and dependable. However, like any other vehicle, they experience issues. One of the most common issues that we see in Volkswagens is oil sludge buildup in the engine. Oil sludge buildup is a problem that affects the function, reliability, and longevity of your car.
Oil sludge is also referred to as engine sludge. It is the product of either oxidation and/or contamination of your Volkswagen’s engine oil. It is made up of old oil and contaminants. It turns into a thick gel that sticks to parts of the engine. The sludge will eventually block oil flow. It also adds additional stress on the radiator and cooling system. Without proper lubrication, the engine cannot function correctly. Moving parts will experience friction and can seize up. These issues can lead to complete engine failure.
Engine sludge develops when oil breaks down. The first sign is often oil sludge buildup on top of the engine. It also collects on the valve cover and oil pan. When sludge develops, oil is unable to lubricate the moving parts. A contributing factor of buildup is driving long distances in stop and go traffic. As well as, short-distance commutes.
Common causes of oil sludge buildup include:
Symptoms of buildup:
Identifying engine sludge is easy. It is thicker than regular oil and can usually be found in small clusters. If you think that your Volkswagen has oil sludge buildup, you should take it to a professional. Our mechanics have the tools and equipment needed to handle your sludge problem.
Regular oil changes can help prevent oil sludge buildup. Dirty oil and filters can cause many different issues. Follow your VWs guidelines to stay current on oil changes. Cheap oil may save you money, but it usually doesn’t contain the additives that are needed to protect your engine. It can also have a higher amount of contaminants that will cause it to break down prematurely. This will contribute to oil sludge buildup. You will end up spending more money because you will need to change your oil more often.
Your Volkswagen may begin to feel sluggish and lose power. It may not accelerate as quickly as it used to. Dirty oil can decrease your Volkswagen’s power which, in turn, makes the engine work harder.
Oil is vital in keeping the engine running smoothly. Contaminates lead to friction and component failure, which can cause shaking and vibrations.
Contaminated oil can damage engine components. The debris causes friction and produces metal shavings which are recirculated through the engine causing damage which leads to knocking.
Improper lubrication can produce ticking sounds in the engine due to friction rub. This can lead to further problems down the road.
The check engine light can be triggered by many different issues. If your light comes on, bring it into our shop to have diagnostics run. Our certified technicians will be able to pinpoint the cause.
Oil doesn’t last forever. It gets contaminated and breaks down causing damage. Benefits of regular oil changes will help:
At Euro Plus Automotive, our technicians can remove the oil sludge in your Volkswagen. If you believe that you have buildup or are experiencing any other issues, don’t wait to call us. Continuing to drive your car can lead to bigger issues, including engine failure. Call us today to schedule an appointment. You can reach us on 818-710-8244 or come see us at 7107 Canoga Ave, Canoga Park. We proudly serve the communities of Canoga Park, Woodland Hills, San Fernando Valley and Los Angeles County, CA areas.
Volkswagens are quality German cars with a long history of reliability and intelligent engineering. However, as cars are examples of complex engineering, no vehicle is ever without its faults. These faults can be heavily impacted by age and poor maintenance.
In this article, we will take a look at some of the common issues you could face as a Volkswagen driver that could be the reason your car fails to start when you turn the key in your ignition.
No car manufacturer or brand is perfect, and even if they were, life is full of all manner of unexpected events and circumstances which can impact on the overall condition of your car. As each manufacturer develops its own tailor-made engineering and parts development systems, different brands can become riddled with different types of failure.
It is important to note that these inherent brand failure tropes are often not catastrophic and can almost always be entirely avoided with correct maintenance practices. They most certainly do not detract from the vehicle or driving experience as a whole, and if minor, these problems do not negatively reflect the manufacturer or brand.
Remember, cars are highly-complex pieces of machinery with thousands of parts, and while brands rigorously test each part for a variety of circumstances, there really is no such thing as a perfect vehicle.
Below are listed some of the most common issues Volkswagens are known to face, which can affect their ability to start. It is always important to know some of the potential parts failures of your chosen vehicle, as this knowledge will help you diagnose problems quickly and ensure the repair needed is both simple and affordable.
1. Check Engine Light
This is a problem often faced by drivers of Volkswagen’s hybrid models, such as the Jetta. This issue usually happens at low mileage and is usually just a sensor error or a software malfunction. However, if you are a Jetta driver, this doesn’t give you a free pass to ignore the check engine light if it illuminates. This is a safety and warning system and should always be checked out by a professional as soon as possible. If unchecked and rightly illuminated, a catastrophic engine failure could be right around the corner, resulting in a Volkswagen that won’t start or that has engine damage.
2. Oil Sludge
This is an issue common to Passats from the early 2000s. This can result in engine failure due to a build up of oil sludge often caused by incorrect oil or oil that has not been changed often enough. Typically, these problems will begin to occur at around 70,000 to 90,000 miles. Therefore, if you’re an owner of the earlier models of Passat, keeping on top of your oil levels and changes should be essential. If not, you could be faced with an engine that becomes choked up, making it impossible to start.
3. Ignition Coil Failure
Another issue with the early 2000’s Passat, this probably will usually appear after around 75,000 miles. Signs of failing ignition coil include stalling, low engine power, and difficulties in starting the engine. This issue is quite easily resolved and will usually require a simple replacement. Infact, many good repair shops will often have replacement coils on hand, meaning repairs are fast.
Any vehicle, not just the Volkswagen, face countless reasons for failure to start. Issues such as a worn out battery, faulty MAF sensor, failed spark plugs, and ignition lock tumbler failure are all just a few examples of some of the common causes for engines that won’t start. There are more serious reasons of engine failure but a trip to the mechanic can diagnose and repair these issues far faster than Googling problem after problem and guessing at the fix.
While certain models of car will always be more likely to have certain types of failure, good maintenance standards will almost always help prevent or quickly diagnose any issue should it occur. If you are a Volkswagen owner living in or around Canoga Park, Woodland Hills, San Fernando Valley, or Los Angeles County, CA areas and it’s been sometime since you’ve last had your car serviced, call or stop by Euro Plus Automotive. We are specialists in European cars. No problem is too big or too small for our expert mechanics. With a 2 year/24,000 mile warranty on all parts and labour, our guarantee will put you at ease. Our dedicated team is certain you’ll drive away happy.
We don’t have to tell you how important it is to keep an eye on your gas mileage—it’s one of the most important qualities of any car for the average driver. Your gas mileage can be an unwanted expense, especially if you drive a car that already doesn’t get great gas mileage. Volkswagens, however, are known for their consistently great fuel efficiency, which is one of the reasons why consumers continue to look to the brand for excellence. If you’ve noticed an increase in fuel consumption in your Volkswagen lately, it’s likely due to an issue that has recently come up that requires your attention. In this article we’ll go over some of the key reasons behind increased fuel consumption and what you can do for your VW to restore it back to its original functioning.
One of the biggest reasons for decreased fuel efficiency is inadequate tire health. Uneven wear patterns, improper pressure levels, and worn out treat can lead to a significant decrease in fuel economy; however, this issue is easily fixed. If your Volkswagen is showing signs of inefficient fuel use, it’s best to start with the tires—as they’re the simplest place to begin.
Your fuel injection system is what disperses the fuel into the engine for combustion and ignition processes. When the fuel injectors become clogged, which happens quite often and over periods of time of use, the fuel cannot make it into the engine in the proper amount, leading to an inefficient usage of fuel. Your fuel injectors should be inspected and cleaned routinely, as this can significantly reduce the likelihood of fuel consumption issues.
Your car has a specific, designated type of engine oil that works best for your specific Volkswagen car. If you use the wrong type of engine oil, it can lead to inefficient fuel use as your engine compensates for the extra heat generated by unnecessary friction. Your recommended oil type can be found in your owner’s manual, along with instructions for properly filling your tires with the right amount of pressure.
Many drivers underestimate the effect their own driving habits and typical driving conditions have on their gas mileage. Driving with a lead foot surely takes its toll on your engine, particularly your fuel consumption. Slow and steady acceleration is the most optimal way for your VW to utilize its fuel, and fast acceleration always burns gas too quickly. Paying attention to how you’re driving, or noticing any changes in your route, can help reduce your fuel consumption significantly.
In the ignition and combustion processes, the spark plugs play an integral role in igniting the fuel/oxygen mixture. When the spark plugs aren’t working properly or have begun to wear out, it can play a huge part in inefficient gas usage. Your spark plugs need to be replaced at a certain interval—be sure to refer to your Volkswagen owner’s manual to follow these guidelines.
Failing oxygen sensors and air filters are a few of the top reasons why gas mileage suffers in some VWs. As we mentioned before, the right fuel-to-oxygen ratio is critical for optimal combustion and ignition. If the ratio is off due to insufficient oxygen levels, then fuel consumption can skyrocket. It’s important to have sensors and air filters checked out regularly to prevent this issue.
Gas is expensive these days, and the Volkswagen professionals here at Euro Plus Automotive make it a point to optimize our clients’ vehicle functioning to save them money in the long run. Serving Canoga Park, Woodland Hills, the greater San Fernando Valley, and other areas in Los Angeles County, CA, since 1984 we have catered to a diverse clientele and have honed our knowledge and skills working specifically with Volkswagen cars. If you’ve noticed a decrease in your fuel efficiency recently, the problem could be related to any of the aforementioned issues. To schedule a diagnostic procedure and restore your VW to its optimal performance level, please call us directly or fill out our “make an appointment” form on our website.
* Volkswagen logo image credit goes to: vesilvio.
Your car is a complex inter-working of thousands of parts that all must be kept in functional, working condition in order for your car to run smoothly. In a Volkswagen, these parts are maintained on a specific schedule of service intervals that the manufacturer recommends for optimal driving conditions. The nuts and bolts that hold the various parts together can also become worn out, leaving the larger, more critical parts susceptible to failure—so your automotive services should be performed by a Volkswagen specialist for thorough results.
Suspension parts are the most susceptible to the intense vibration of road contact, because they tend to buffer the brunt of road impacts from potholes, divots, and bumps. One of the most critical “nuts and bolts” pieces of your Volkswagen’s suspension is the control arm bushings. The control arms serve an important purpose in your car’s performance, and when they begin to fail it can be catastrophic to the other suspension parts. However, sometimes control arm failure in your Volkswagen is due to simply worn-out bushings. In this article, we’ll elaborate more on what control arm bushings are and how you can prevent failure.
The control arm is part of a system, or an assembly, which is responsible for connecting the suspension to the car framework. The control arms are adhered to the frame by way of the control-arm bushings, which tend to absorb much of the road impacts your car experiences. Volkswagens are generally durable cars, known for their resiliency and projected life expectancy. Unfortunately, control arms can be easily damaged, despite the fact that they aren’t supposed to need replacement until around the 100,000 mile mark. It’s important for drivers to pay attention to the common signs and symptoms of control arm or control-arm bushing failure so that they can protect the other parts of their suspension from damage.
The symptoms of control arm or bushing failure can mimic the symptoms of other suspension issues. The most important thing is that you bring your Volkswagen in for servicing as soon as you notice the slightest shift or change in performance. Some of the most common signs of failure are: intense road vibrations in the steering wheel; shaking or clanking noises when going over bumps or road divots; and uneven tire wear.
As we mentioned before, control-arm bushing failure is usually due to the driving conditions one experiences. For instance, if you typically drive your car over bumpy roads, your control arms and bushings are absorbing many more impacts over a shorter period of time than perhaps other drivers. Furthermore, over time these parts must be replaced, so the age and mileage on your vehicle can contribute to whether or not your control arms are more likely to fail sooner rather than later.
These parts of your suspension withstand a lot of shaking and intense vibrating from road imperfections, so it’s important to have them checked out regularly by a Volkswagen specialist to stay on top of maintenance procedures. If you have your suspension inspected frequently, your Volkswagen technician can catch these issues before they turn into serious, and expensive, automotive repairs. Furthermore, if you notice any of the aforementioned symptoms of control arm or bushing failure in your car, it’s important to remain proactive and schedule an inspection sooner than later—it might directly affect your repair bill and the reliability of your car.
For over 30 years, the Volkswagen experts here at Euro Plus Automotive have serviced countless numbers of clients’ vehicles from the LA County areas of Canoga Park, Woodland Hills, and the greater San Fernando Valley in sunny California. Southern California is filled with plenty of rough backroads that drivers often take to escape the bumper-to-bumper traffic on highways and freeways. Unfortunately, these rough road conditions can take a toll on our cars’ suspension system, which includes control arms and bushings. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of failing bushings, it’s critical to have it checked out by one of our professionals as soon as possible—please contact one of our helpful professionals to schedule an inspection today.
* Grey Volkswagen Passat image credit goes to: kurmyshov.
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