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Last week my dealer got their first TDI A7 Golf, or MK7 Golf, OR MKVII Golf. Did I get all the ways to say that it is the 7th generation Golf? LOL

The new Golf and GTI are now built in Mexico. To me it is weird to see the VIN start with a 3, that is New TDI Golf Enginethe country code. We also see several new technologies on this Mk7 platform

  • New series of engines
  • Modular Infotainment System (MIB)
  • Proactive occupant protection
  • Selective driving mode (only on the GTI)

But today I want to focus mostly on the TDI. When we get a brand new car in we do what is called a PDI Perfect Delivery Inspection. For me this is a great opportunity to look at some of the new and cool stuff. I mostly focus on all the things that VW did to make my life hard. Like dumb oil filter locations, or plastic oil pans (yeah, and I still salty about that).

So lets look at some of the new stuff on the TDI.New TDI Golf Engine

For the first time the Golf TDI has exhaust fluid. The Touareg and Passat TDI both have had AD-Blue for years. The thing about the Golf is the location of the filler. VW has moved the filler right next to the fuel nozzle. My thoughts? Well, now instead of spilling Ad-Blue in the trunk, you get to spill it down the side of the car. Kidding about that part, I actually like the move. It means I will not have to move a bunch of things to fill the Ad-Blue tank. Plus the fillers are VERY different.

Oil FilterNew TDI Golf Engine
This is a move I didn’t see coming. For the first time since I have worked for VW, the TDI oil filter is NOT on the top of the engine. This is a strange and weird thing for me. So I know what you are thinking. They moved the oil filter to a really easy place. WRONG! They moved the filter to the bottom, but it is now it’s buried by coolant hoses.

From a mechanics point of view, those are the most important changes. There are a few other things that are different. The TDI now has a water cooled charge air cooler. That is something the TDI Passat has.

Overall I think the new TDI Golf, along with the GTI, is a great platform. I hope that we are past the diesel fuel and HPFP issues at this point. But only time will tell. .

Passat TDI Oil Change
Plastic oil pan MK7 GTI

Plastic Oil Pan?

A few weeks ago I posted a picture of the oil extractor that I bought. I mainly bought it because someone at Volkswagen thought it would be a good idea to use a PLASTIC oil pan on the new MK7 GTI. It’s too early to know if a plastic oil pan is a good idea or not, but let’s shelf that for now.

When I posted the picture, it brought up a good point. Is extracting oil better, worse, or the same as draining it from the drain plug.

Before we talk about the Pros and Cons of these methods. Let’s be sure to define each.

  • Draining Engine Oil
    This is the process where a plug is removed that the oil drains out the bottom.
  • Extracting Engine Oil
    This is where a device is used to suck the oil out. For this discussion, let’s assume we are pulling oil out through the dip stick funnel.

When most folks think of an oil change, they think of draining the oil. Up until a few months ago, that is how I did every service. Let’s talk about the pros and cons of DRAINING oil first


  • It is fast.
    We are letting gravity do the work for us. On a hot engine you will get most of the engine oil out in about 5 minutes.
  • You MAY get more oil out.
    I say you MAY because that is not a guarantee you will get more oil out
  • You can do other things while the oil drains.
    I usually pull wheel caps off while I drain the engine oil
  • It is a more traditional way to change oil


  • It can be messy
    You basically need to be sure you hit the target of the drain pan
  • You have to raise the car up.
    You need to have the car high enough to access the drain plug
  • Risk oil pan damage
    May oil pans are made of soft metal, or plastic, each time a drain plug is removed, the potential for damage is there.

    Passat TDI Oil Change

    Extracting engine oil

Let’s look a little deeper into the Pros and Cons of extracting engine oil


  • Clean
    All of the oil is pulled in to a container. Mine has a spout to make pouring easier
  • No need to raise the car
    This is great when putting the car in the air is not easy.
  • No worry about drain plug damage
    A you can see I am concerned about the long term on these plastic pans.


  • Noisy
    Mine is fairly loud
  • Need air supply
    With most of these extractors, you need a good supply of compressed air, or you have to manually pump the oil
  • You may not get all the oil out
    I have found that mine does not get all the oil out of some engines.
  • It may take more time
    On a cold engine, my extractor takes forever to pull oil  out.

There are a few other points that I want to bring up about using an extractor. They may or may not be cons. It is more like just thoughts. Just because you don’t need to put the car in the air to drain the oil, doesn’t mean you don’t put the car in the air. You may still need to access the filter from the bottom. It is also important to put the car up in the air to do an inspection.

There is also the idea that debris in the engine oil will settle to the bottom. When a drain plug is removed, that will be the first to come out. This sounds like a good theory. But the oil filter will hold most of the debris. The oil is changed HOT. This means the debris doesn’t really have time to settle. Plus no matter what you do , there is still oil left in the engine. Heck there is still oil left in the pan.

Mityvac 7300

This is the extractor that I use

Conclusion, which is better?
Well, like most good questions, the answer is “it depends”. For me, extracting the oil on a TDI that comes in to wait is perfect. The filter is on the top, the extractor gets all the way down to the bottom, and the oil is hot.

I can tell you that on a 2.0 FSI, there is is no point to use an extractor. I still have to put the car in the air to access the oil filter. It would be a waste of time to extract the oil, then lift the car to replace the filter.

Your thoughts
What do you think? Is draining better? Do you get more oil out? Does a 1/2 of a cup left in the engine really matter? Post your thoughts in the comments below.

deutsche auto parts logo

Up next in the How To series with Deutsche Auto Parts is, replacing a VW Intake manifold and fuel injector. This is a great video that will teach you everything you need to know about replacing a bad intake manifold, or fuel injector. Also if you plan on inspecting your Volkswagen for carbon build up, this video shows you what to look for.

If you are not replacing either a intake or injector, skip to about 20 minutes to see what carbon build up on the intake valves looks like. You can also skip to about 27 minutes and see what a clogged fuel injector looks like.

Thanks again to the boys at Deutsche Auto Parts for having me out. Be sure to subscribe to their YouTube channel and follow them on Facebook. Be on the lookout for more VW how to videos from Humble Mechanic and Deutsche Auto Parts

deutsche auto parts logo

As I mentioned in Shop Shots, I had the pleasure of doing some video work with the Boys at Deutsche Auto Parts. This is the DIY video on replacing a High Pressure Fuel Pump (HPFP) on a 2.0t. This is the first a many videos that we teamed up on. If you have any questions about this DIY, please post them in the comments below.

Be sure to check out all the VW DIY videos by Deutsche Auto Parts on their site, or the Deutsche Auto Parts YouTube channel. For those of you don’t know, Deutsche Auto Parts is an amazing resource for VW parts. Whether you are looking for maintenance parts, repair parts, or unique and performance, check out my buddies at Deutsche Auto Parts.

Thanks for watching, head on over to YouTube and subscribe to the Deutsche Auto Parts channel. They are doing great things over there.

Animal damage to TDI

Happy Wednesday everyone! I hope your week is rocking right along. I am back in the shop today. You may have seen that I spent Monday visiting the fellas over at Deutsche Auto Parts. They are a great place to buy VW parts. We did some fun video “How To” stuff, so be on the look out for that.

Also before we get into this weeks Shop Shots, I want to remind you about the discount the folks at Hayden Ind have just for readers of the blog. Head over to HaydenHasIt.Com and use the code “humble-hayden” for 10% off $25 or more.

Alright, now that we have that wrapped up, let’s get into this weeks behind the scenes pictures. Remember, I am still a full time VW tech. So these shots come directly from my shop, unless otherwise noted.

Animal damage to TDIFirst up we have more critters living in an engine compartment. I removed the engine cover to do a service on the Jetta TDI, and this is what I found. After I vacuumed out all the nesting, I did find a little damage. It seems that what ever little creature made the nest, also liked the taste of wires and connectors. Lucky for this customer the damage was minimal. Just some crew marks on 2 injector connectors, and 1 wire exposed. I guess that nice warm engine bay is a good place to build a nest.

Strange things in customers carsI guess it makes sense to keep with the animal theme. Last week one of the tech called me over to see what was in the back of this Touareg. Much to my surprise, he had a dear head and some other animal head in the back. The bad part was the smell. It was awful. It smelled like an old dead animal. My guess is he just picked this stuff up from the taxidermist. The tech working on it was not very happy. Mostly because he had to move them to fill the Ad-Blue tank. YIKES!

VW Engine failure RoutanLast week I showed you guys a picture of a Routan engine waiting to be replaced. Well this is the job in mid-replacement. I have to say, the guy working on this worked pretty clean. When I replace engines, it usually looks like a bomb has went off.

But even working clean, there is a lot of parts involved. Notice the pile of parts on the bottom left of the picture. The bottom center is the subframe. There is an engine on a tire in the top right, and the engine going back in the car on the table.

Sadly this job didn’t go great for the tech. When he was finished with the job, there was a severe noise, and what felt like a high drag on the engine. It also had a slow start. I walked over to give him a hand. I was trying to start the car, and the wire for the starter began to smoke. I have not heard what the final issue was. I will be sure to update when I find out.

That does it for another volume of Shop Shots! I really do enjoy sharing a little bit of the behind the scenes things that happen in the shop. Don’t forget to sign up for email updates. It is the best way to be sure you get all the blog updates.

Flashlight and Magnet

Flashlight and Magnet

You guys may know that I am a big time flashlight guy. I carry one with me where ever I go. So when the folks at HAYDEN Industrial Supply asked me to do a tool review for them, I jumped on the chance. One thing to remember about my reviews. These are my opinions based on experience.

Today we have the Catspaw Flexible Light and Pickup Tool. It combines 2 things I use all the time, a flashlight and a magnetic pick up tool. It is a pretty cool idea, but it can withstand the abuse I put flashlights through. Normally I like to give a tool a few weeks of real world use. In this case that was not really necessary.

About the tool
Like I said, the light is a great concept. It houses 3 LEDs, has a magnetic ring, and telescopes up to about 22.5 inches. It is a really cool orangey/copper finish that seems to hold up well. The button for turning the light on has both a hard on/off and a momentary on. That means you can just slightly push and hold the button and the light will stay on while you hold the button.

The Light
Right out of the gate I didn’t have good luck with the light. The battery pack was finicky and took some adjustment to get set properly. Once I got the batteries set, I found the light to be nice and bright. I did find the button to function rather poor. even a slight touch would turn the light off. As I sit here writing this, I still have to fiddle with the button to get the light to come on.

The Magnetstrong magnet
The magnet pickup is very strong. I was able to pick up and hold 4 sockets. That is much stronger than most pickup tools. The fact that the light extends out makes the magnetic pickup even better. The bad part about a strong magnet, it catches on everything metal. This causes the button to get pressed unintentionally.

I think this tool is a “C-” at best. The light is finicky and inconsistent. It can be the brightest light, but what good is that when it will not turn on. It also uses little watch type batteries. That is not practical for changing batteries. Plus the overall size of the light makes it too big for carrying on your person. For me this tool does not fit the bill.

This may have been one of the more harsh reviews I have done. But I owe it to you all to give you my honest thoughts about a product.

One more thing
The folks at Hayden were awesome and gave me a coupon code to pass on to you guys. Head on over to and use the coupon code “humble-hayden” for 10% off your order of $25 or more. But hurry up because this code will expire 8/24/14