A display of failure

In the twenty years I have now been working on cars, I have achieved a good deal of success. Brake jobs, every bit of suspension, thermostats and water pumps, more intricate things like valve timing solenoids, and even cambelts – I have done them all and been able to make cars run and drive better. But automotive electrics remains one area I do not have a good working knowledge of, or much experience with, having only ventured into doing simple things, like repairing frayed wiring on a boot lid release.

Still, how are you going to learn if you don’t try? The radio display on my Subaru Outback has not worked since the day I bought the car. This has not bothered me, as I don’t use the radio, but instead use my phone to stream music through the Bluetooth setup the previous owner installed. But every now and then I get an itch to take stuff apart and tinker, and so I figured it was time to have a go at fixing the radio display.

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How to change the thermostat on a 1.8T VW engine without removing the alternator

Thermostats on Volkswagen’s 1.8T engine are not known to fail often. But if they do, you will be unlikely to find a DIY guide that says you can replace it without removing the alternator.

Until now. Continue reading “How to change the thermostat on a 1.8T VW engine without removing the alternator”

Leaky Leon

As temperatures have gotten colder, I’ve noticed a lot of condensation on the inside of the Leon’s windows. Today I did a bit of poking around and, to my dismay, discovered the carpet in the passenger’s footwell was soaking wet, and damp in the nearside rear footwell. This is not the type of thing you want to find, because it inevitably means doing what you see below to try and find the source of the leak.


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