Daughter’s Car is Fixed!

My daughter’s car is fixed and on the road! The repair happened before my daughter came home for Thanksgiving, which gave me time to take the car for a few test drives and to shoot a video (link below). In short, the car looks and sounds great, is running with more power and a younger engine, and has a slew of new parts that should enhance its lifespan. Best yet, she was able to drive it back to North Carolina after spending Thanksgiving with us. The end! Or keep reading for more details! 😉

Her replacement engine arrived at Euro Pros in Yorktown, VA while I was drafting my previous update about her car. This engine has ~70,000 miles. Euro Pros’ owner had already removed her original engine and invited me to have a look and to take some photos before he started swapping components. He is is short-staffed; so, he planned to work on the engine swap around his other smaller jobs. Still, he had a large expense with an engine. With that in mind, he admitted that he wanted the job done so that he could get paid. HAHA!

He ordered the parts that I had shared before, parts that were either historically problematic on the 2015s or parts that may have been prudent to replace. For starters, I added three more injectors so that they’d be matched to the new one on Cylinder #3. I replaced her turbo with a GTI’s IS20, which is good for a 50-hp bump in power. We all know that the water pump, thermostat, and housing designs were problematic on the early cars. I was amazed that she hadn’t had a problem already, but was not surprised to see signs of a leak when the engine was on a stand. We replaced the cooling system parts with the most recent revisions. Her radiator was seeping, possibly due to a light impact; so, we replaced it, too.

Euro Pros shared some troubling things during my visit. There were a number of parts missing from her original engine, as well as bits from under the car. I think the bits from under the car could have been from the previous owner. But the most troubling discoveries were in the intake, a place where her local VW dealer had worked. There’s a support for the plastic intake manifold that was completely gone! Perhaps worse, the port splitters for each intake port were missing, too! Thankfully, the 70,000-mile engine had those parts! I cannot prove that the dealership mechanic is the one who “misplaced” them, but he’s quite suspect when considering what I saw next.

You may recall that her dealership mechanic had recommended an intake cleaning, a job that charges over $700. Thankfully, I didn’t pay for that since it would not have been recommended if he had competently diagnosed the engine before jumping on a “bad” injector. Still, imagine my surprise when I looked into the intake ports and saw THIS (click photo at right). This is NOT how a cleaned intake should look. The photo below shows my intake after Euro Pros cleaned it in 2020. It’s how my daughter’s cleaned intake should have looked!

I’d be peeved if I had paid the dealership  $700+ for that “cleaning!” BTW, most customers will NEVER know if a job like that was done properly. Regardless, I’ll skip the formal complaint since I didn’t pay for any labor or materials. I doubt they’d care, anyway. However, I’d raise Hell if I could prove that they were the ones who left-off the intake parts. My local dealership was able to pull records for the original owner’s warranty repairs such as a new fuel pump, water pump, and other things unrelated to the intake. Routine maintenance, whether done by the dealer or the previous owner, won’t appear in their database unless specifically entered, they said.

Funny thing is Carfax shows plenty of maintenance from other places, including the recent engine replacement at Euro Pros, but nothing about the intake. Even the paint protection installer documented his work! “Yay VW!” So, either the previous owner lost the parts or my daughter’s local dealership did it during their blunder. I won’t name the dealership since I don’t need myself or my daughter to risk legal action for something that I cannot prove. But I will share that they are located in Jacksonville, NC. Consider finding a different shop if you have a Volkswagen that needs attention in that area. Parkway

With the negativity out of the way, let’s talk about the good. She’s thrilled! The car drives great, has tire-scalding power, and has a newer engine than before. She should be happy for quite a while. At least I hope that’s the case; I don’t want to fund another engine replacement anytime soon. For the record, she’s paying me for the engine in monthly installments, which will be far less expensive than a car payment. To recap her mods, her 2015 VW Launch Edition Golf has projector headlights, Bilstein B14 coilovers, APR coil packs, APR Stage 3 IS20 tune, South Bend Stage 3 Daily clutch, Baun Performance front mount intercooler, my old Baun axle-back exhaust, a GTI rear valance, VW Durban wheels, and window tint. Cosmetically, it’s almost a 2-door base model GTI with common GTI mods. OH – IT’S A 2-DOOR! Two-door Golfs were discontinued in North America in 2016/2017. So, cars like hers will be less common someday.

I took the carcass engine to her when I picked her up for Thanksgiving. She and her buddies plan to tear into it to see if they can find a point of failure. She may even rebuild the engine for a future swap project. Time and money will tell if that goes anywhere. I know I’ve had my share of dead-end projects. 😉 See more about her repair and a potential cause in this video. Her first drive after the swap can be seen in this video.

Fixed, but Broke!


About Scott

I grew up near Houston, TX and served in the U. S. Coast Guard for over 30 years. I have an electronics background and continue to work in the electronics engineering field. I taught myself the basics about automotive systems as well as how to perform some of my own maintenance (cars and bicycles). I became involved with Amateur Radio and computers in 1995. The explosion of technology has made my job and several of my hobbies quite interesting. My hobbies include Volkswagens, bicycling, photography, electronics, amateur radio, web management, and reptiles. Visit my websites to learn more.
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