One of the more difficult aspects of automotive diagnosis and repair is finding and correcting “noises.” Though not all noises come from the suspension, most of the movement in any car that can cause noise is related to the movement of the suspension, or other parts connected to it. Of course, everything is somehow connected to the suspension and from there to the road.
Most of the challenges of noise diagnosis and repair come from misunderstanding the customer’s complaint. And, as suspension systems have gotten more complex with many more points of potential failure, making thorough repairs means taking the necessary steps to get a good outcome.
In this article, I’ll take a look at the designs and repair of the suspension, brake and exhaust systems of Volkswagens and Audis from 1996 to 2005. I won’t be able to cover everything in this article, just some of the highlights of the various models. VW and Audi produced cars in two- or four-wheel-drive configurations, in several body styles and with a number of powertrains. These cars seem to be everywhere here in the Pacific Northwest. There is a model that fits just about every need and with the available Quattro and 4Motion drivetrains they make excellent ski and mountain vehicles.
With extended service intervals and poor maintenance habits, oil sludging problems can cause the camshafts to seize and break belts. And, as engines get more complicated and expensive to repair, educating your
Import Specialist Larry Bailly contends that most noise diagnosis challenges come from misunderstanding the customer’s complaint. And, as suspension systems have gotten more complex, with many more points of potential failure, making thorough repairs oftentimes takes using your senses during the diagnostic process.
To say that Volkswagen and Audi Group (sometimes mistakenly referred to as VAG) is a large part of the automotive scene worldwide is a gross understatement. From basic transportation to record-setting performance cars, VAG is a recognized leader in innovation and cutting-edge technology. A broad spectrum of models has put a huge number (millions) of VAG models on the road in North America, and these cars will provide many years of potential repair and service opportunities. Getting to know the various models, repair techniques and a few shortcuts will help make repairs more routine and profitable.
My stint at being a service advisor for a number of dealer service departments over the years gave me a lot of experience in “bundling” services into a package. Having a service plan or “menu” built value for the customer. It also provided the service department with reliable income. Though there are good and bad points to service menus, the basic idea is a good one, and works well for any kind of automotive service or repair facility.
Mercedes-Benz cars have long been associated with fine design and manufacturing quality. The proof for me is its use as hired transportation (taxi and bus) in many Third World countries. But for the U.S. market, the addition of power accessories and electronics is much more prominent than in other parts of the world. A quick overview of the most common complaints and repair patterns points to electrical problems as a serious problem for many M-B models produced in the last 15 to 20 years.
When I first started researching this article, I called and stopped by several shops that do work on Toyota vehicles. I asked if any of them had any V8 models coming in for timing belts so I could get some pictures of the process. Either a blank stare, or a question like: “What Toyota V8?” was the general response. The idea that there was a Toyota V8 needing a timing belt replacement seems to be generally unknown in the aftermarket.
Just as we get used to the types of powertrain, suspension, brake and exhaust systems that are coming into the marketplace, something different comes along. In this article, I’ll take a look at the designs and repair of the suspension, brake and exhaust systems of Volkswagens and Audis from 1996 to 2005. I won’t be able to cover everything in this article, just some of the highlights of the various models.
In this third article of a series, Larry Bailly continues to detail the performance mods done on a 2005 Subaru WRX project car, the daily driver of Charles Damewood, who manages the service department and coordinates all aspects of Z Sport’s operations. Read on to learn how Z Sport “punches up” performance!