Man polishing his Volkswagen Golf

5 telltale signs that your Volkswagen needs a service

Has your car started to make strange noises? While it’s tempting to shrug it off and pray that it’s nothing serious, it’s important to get it checked out in case it turns into an even bigger problem. 

When issues arise with your Volkswagen car, you should always take it to an experienced European car servicer to have a proper look; however, it can be hard sometimes to recognise the signs in time.

To help you pinpoint what’s causing certain noises and issues with your Volkswagen, here are some of the most common car problems and possible causes.

1. Your car is struggling to start or keeps stalling

If your car struggles to turn on or is repeatedly stalling, there may be issues with the ignition coil. This is a part in the car’s engine which transforms the battery’s voltage into the thousands of volts needed to generate a spark in the spark plugs, which ignites the fuel.

Other common signs of a bad ignition coil are when the engine is shaking or misfiring. Coil failures tend to be seen more often in VW Passats, which typically occur once the vehicle has clocked around 120,000km.

Sometimes the reason that a car is failing to start could be a dying battery or alternator that needs replacing; the only way to be sure is to take the vehicle in for a service (and better sooner than later, in case you get stuck in the middle of nowhere or in a high traffic area!)

2. The engine is noisy and the low oil pressure light is on

Have you noticed a tarry, black sludge building up on your oil filter or on the outside of the engine? That is engine oil build-up, the byproduct of old oil that has been repeatedly exposed to high temperatures and oxygen over long periods of time.

Not only does oil sludge look pretty gross, it can also kill your engine slowly by blocking up different passages and failing to lubricate the parts that keep it going.

If your engine isn’t performing as well as normal; the low oil pressure or engine light has flicked on; and you can hear clicking noises when your car is turned on, then oil sludge is probably the culprit.

Earlier models of VW Passats are particularly susceptible to oil build-up, which if left unaddressed can cause certain engine components to fail. Bringing in your car for regular oil changes and ensuring you use the right oil are easy ways to prevent the build up of oil sludge and any costly damage to your car.

3. Your car lights are flickering or dimming.

Has your car’s headlights started to flicker every now and then? Besides potentially sending other drivers the wrong message, you don’t want to be driving around in the dark of the night with failing lights for long!

Usually, dimming lights are a sign that your car’s wiring harness is starting to fail. A vehicle’s wiring harness connects all the different cables and wires that deliver power to its electrical components, as well as protecting them from being exposed.

While a flickering light might not seem that urgent, you can never know how damaged your wiring harness may be, causing other parts of your car that rely on it to fail, or worse, starting an electrical fire.

4. The engine is overheating

An overheating engine can be a sign of a major mechanical issue, such as a leak in the car’s cooling system or a bad gasket – you should take your car in immediately to a certified VW mechanic for a proper diagnosis.

In some instances, it may be that you are simply low on engine coolant, which may be because the car hasn’t been serviced for a while. Again, if this is a recurring issue, then there could be a leak somewhere that needs to be addressed by a professional.

5. The check engine light is on

Every car owner dreads the moment that the check engine light comes on, as there could be a myriad of things wrong with the vehicle. 

While this could just be due to a software malfunction or faulty sensors, ignoring the check engine light can be costly and potentially dangerous if there are more serious issues below the surface.

From failing spark plugs to loose parts or an overheating engine, if it’s not immediately obvious to you what’s wrong with your car, your best bet is to see your local VW car servicing centre.

Looking for a trusted VW mechanic in Perth? If you’ve noticed any of the above issues, or other strange things your car has been doing, bring it in for our team of qualified VW mechanics to have a look over it. To book in a service, get in touch with us today on (08) 9309 3636.

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