Thank you for visiting Humble Mechanic!

20130920-201909.jpgI have been working as a Volkswagen technician, mechanic, grease monkey, well you get the idea.  I started this site mainly to connect with my customers on a level  that I just can’t in the shop.

You will find out what it takes to be a mechanic in a VERY high tech industry.

This site will give everyone a place to connect with me, and connect with each other.

There has been so crazy things that have happened over the years, and I am sure you will get a kick out of it.

This site was built to help everyone. It does not matter what type of car you own. Many of the things I talk about do not apply to just Volkswagens.

Also, please understand that everything I talk about here comes from me. It does not represent my employer, or Volkswagen of America. Anything that I say or do is my own.

Some other things you need to know

  • I am not a writer. I spell stuff wrong, I write the same way I talk. I use wrong punctuation and tenses. I don’t care, Do not grammar Nazi me. Pay attention to the message
  • I use the term “GUYS” a lot. It does not mean men, it means the same thing as “folks”, “Y’all” that kind of thing. Please don’t worry about it.
  • I also use the word technician. To me, it means the same thing as mechanic. The title of a job is MEANINGLESS! Its the actions you take, and the integrity you work with that makes you great, or makes you SUCK!

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DISCLAIMER! I will give you some really great information here. If you choose to use this information, I fully support that. I can not be responsible if something goes wrong. I hate that I have to even say it, but sure enough some jerk will try to blame me for their car getting messed up..

 

26 replies
  1. Charles VP
    Charles VP says:

    Hello Charles. You answered my question on Answers.Yahoo a few days ago. I asked about the ignition switch problem. When I turn off the key on my 2001 New Beetle, everything turns off as normal, but the dash, radio, etc. stay on. You told me it was an ignition switch problem or a faulty ground off the battery. I believe it is the ignition switch after doing some probing. What goes into changing that and do you thing it could be a DIY job or something I need to take to the incredibly expensive local VW shop?

    Reply
    • Humble Mechanic
      Humble Mechanic says:

      Hey thanks for coming by the site!

      An ignition switch can be a DIY. The steering column trim will need to be removed. I forget if the steering wheel needs to come off on a beetle.

      If the wheel does not need to come off, you can totally do it. If it needs to come off, take it to the dealer. The airbag is a pain to separate from the steering wheel, and you need a special tool.

      With the column trim removed, you will see a round connector on the driver side of the column. That is the connector for the electrical part of the switch. You should see some red paint just to the right. Pick the paint out, that will allow access to 2 small screws. Loosen those screws, and remove the electrical part of the switch.

      That is about all there is to it. I will see if I can find out if the wheel needs to come off or not. Some do and some don’t, I forget which is which.

      Hope that helps, let me know how it turns out!

      Reply
      • Charles VP
        Charles VP says:

        I have yet to get to the ignition switch, but I asked a GM Cert Tech where I work if he has seen anything like this, and he said in GM vehicles the door latch is normally what causes this. He said he has seen this in many vehicles, but never in a VW so he was not sure.

        How do you take off the steering column trim?

        Reply
        • Humble Mechanic
          Humble Mechanic says:

          I have not seen a door latch do that before. I have seen them fail, but not like that. Usually you can’t lock the doors and such.

          To removed the trim, there are 5 screws. You can remove the ones from the bottom front 1st. There are 2 holes in the lower trim. Take a long thin phillips head and removed the screws. You can then pull up the upper trim and see the switch. You will need to turn the steering wheel to remove the other 2 screws. Then there is one T25 torx on the bottom.

          Reply
  2. IMI
    IMI says:

    Ignition Switch Installation

    Could you kindly confirm, if the steering wheel has to be removed to facilitate the ignition switch installation? The vehicle is a 2000 New Bettle GLS. 4 Cylinder 2.0 Liter Engine. Some mechanics say its not required and some say its required.

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Charles
      Charles says:

      Hey, sorry it took me so long to reply. I looked it up in our VW repair manual. It says you have to remove the steering wheel.

      There are some of our cars that you can get the trim off with out, and I forget which ones you can and which you can’t.

      You will need a special tool to remove the airbag. I might recommend having a pro replace it. I usually don’t recommend people mess with airbags.

      Reply
  3. Denise
    Denise says:

    I have a 2007 VW Jetta Automatic 2.5, I think the transmission needs to be replace. How much can I expect to pay to get the transmission replace or rebuilt? Also what should I look for in a repair shop when shooping around for this service?

    Reply
    • Charles
      Charles says:

      Hi Denise!
      I found your twitter post first, but this is a much better way of me to respond to you.

      Depending on what the transmission is doing, I would not just to replacement/rebuild. That year and transmission had a few issues with the valve body. That is the fluid controller inside the transmission. VW extended the warranty on many of them. You can call your local VW dealer and have them check your VIN. IF your car falls under that warranty extension, start there.

      If your car does not, the solution is much more complicated. Most VW dealers do very little trans rebuilds. Usually the cost to rebuild is so close to replacement, it is worth paying a little more to get a new trans with a 12month 12,000mile warranty.

      Tell me a little bit about what your car is doing, and lets go from there.

      Thanks for the question, and sorry you are having to ask it.

      Reply
  4. Chris
    Chris says:

    What advice to you have to an aspiring mechanic? I love VW’s specifically and would love to learn all about VWs, Audis, and Porsche. I hear its very hard work if you want to be at the top….

    Reply
    • Charles
      Charles says:

      Hi Katy,
      Thanks for the nice words, I really appreciate that. I don’t generally take guest posts. I am not 100% against them, they just generally fall short. I also find that they are rarely a big benefit to the community.

      I do have some other options for guest spots on the blog. You can email me Charles(at)humblemechanic(dot)com if you would like.

      Cheers
      Charles

      Reply
  5. Carl
    Carl says:

    Great blog! It reminds me of when I used to work as auto body tech. I used to like fixing VW’s. They have so many parts that just snap together! Keep up the good work!
    Carl

    Reply
  6. Carl
    Carl says:

    Greetings I hope this message finds you in great spirits I have a 1998 VW beetle that I use for my mobile brake service. The car is called the ” Brake Bug” i am having a sitiuation that the fan does not come on causing the car to overheat. I was told to check the fuse – than the fan control module- than the fan is there anything else I should check and where is the fan mod located

    Reply
    • Charles
      Charles says:

      Hey Carl.
      I like that you use your Beetle for work. I actually think that the mobile mechanic is a great business plan. Anyway,

      This is how you need to check the fans.
      1)Take the cover off the battery. Check the middle flat fuse on the top of the battery and see if it is blown.
      2) Also check the 30amp fuse on the right(passenger side) Take the fuse out. The fuse block is good about melting.

      The fan module is under where the battery is. You have to get to it from the bottom.

      If the fuses are good, turn on the a/c, and check for power and ground at the fans. The fuses, the fan module, and the fans are all really common failures.

      Reply
  7. Shannon Slabaugh
    Shannon Slabaugh says:

    Hi i am a mechanic i work on german cars mostly older BMW’s but love all things german. I have a question regarding my 05 touareg with the 4.2 and air suspension. I replaced the steering rack, bad seal, when i was done the stability control light was on and won’t go out. I have not started to go through and start diagnosing yet, although i did check any electrical connectors that were close by just in case they were loose. It drives ok i thought maybe the steering angle sensor could be bad. Do you have any ideas?

    Reply
  8. Julie Downey
    Julie Downey says:

    Hi Charles,
    My husband bought me a used 2002 VW Jetta and ever since we got it, there seems to be issues with it. Right now the A/C is working off and on and it’s over heating. The temperature light has been coming on periodically since we got it, but my husband would fill the coolant up and it would fix it for a little while. Unfortunately, not this time. Any suggestions?
    Thanks,
    Julie

    Reply
  9. Paul Richman
    Paul Richman says:

    2000 Passat – 60,000 miles – I locked my glove compartment for an appointment but when I returned, couldn’t unlock the glove compartment. The keys work for the doors and ignition. Any ideas?
    Also, Is there any signs that the keys will start causing a problem with the doors or ignition? Thanks. P

    Reply
  10. chris coots
    chris coots says:

    hope can get an answer the week of may 17-22. My question is i have a fast heating issue but remains at operating temp. haven’t driven it on a long haul yet. also noticed my fans dont kick on as well as i would assume they would. but tried the AC on trick and both fans run perfectly. So have a few suspects issues. 1. being the fan relay. 2 thermo switch ???? i checked fuse on top of the battery and it looks fine. I just had water pump and timing belt and thermostat replaced last winter. No codes have popped up yet. but planning on taking a long trip up the eastern sea coast and don’t want an overheating issues happen in the middle of nowhere. I’m fairly mechanically savvy. but with these new cars relying heavily on ECUs and relays. diagnosing what was once easy now you have to be careful what you touch. Any help would be appreciated as to where to start

    Reply
  11. A Karl
    A Karl says:

    I have a 2011 VW EOS that has sporadic engine and EPC code errors. It started with cylinder 2 malfunction reads. We replaced all spark plugs and cylinders. Good for a couple of months. Came back on and is now random cylinder codes. Under cylinder 2 code, car still ran fine. Now bucking like a rodeo bronco, no pickup, speed not in excess of 30 miles per hour. Help. I love my car and I am in a rural area with few VW options. Thank you.

    Reply
  12. Rock stem
    Rock stem says:

    Hi
    i  want to post on your site so please let me know
     1- what is the price of sponsor post 
    2-Do you accept link insertion ?if the price ?
    3- Can you post on your  CBD article ?
    Thanks

    Reply

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