If you are in the market for a used hot hatchback, then you have undoubtedly put the MK6 GTI on your list to consider. Right now, the MK6 has entered that sweet-spot of being both affordable and available in excellent condition being that its oldest model year is within ten years old. As we explained in a previous post, the MK6 GTI has a great potential for making quick and easy power with a few bolt-on modifications and is a competitive little scamp with some basic suspension upgrades. Before you jump all over the fun modifications and improvements we mentioned in that post, however, we have compiled a list of simple do-it-yourself maintenance needs that your second-hand MK6 GTI will surely benefit from having serviced.
While we will not go in-depth into specifically how to replace each component in this post, check out our links to the parts and DIY articles we will include so you can be sure to make a confident purchase decision and know we are right here to help you make the MK6 GTI of your dreams become a reality!
As with any new-to-you vehicle, ECS Tuning’s VW gurus recommend an immediate oil change. Our Assembled By ECS Oil Service Kit is one of many which includes a new oil filter, gasket, Genuine Synthetic Factory Recommended Oil, and an ECS Magnetic Drain Plug to replace your existing plug. Replacing your oil ensures you are able to maintain the proper service intervals and can tell you a lot about the condition of your engine’s internal components. Check for excessive metal flakes in the oil as well as coolant or frothiness. These are signs of advanced wear and failing accessories or gaskets that we would recommend seeing a professional for diagnostics. However, nearly all MK6 GTIs will be in great shape, and looking for a stock example can help increase your chances of finding one that has not spent time banging off its rev-limiter.
Cabin Air Filter
Another simple replacement you can complete in minutes with minimal tools is to replace the Cabin Air Filter in your MK6 GTI. While fairly self-explanatory, the cabin air filter provides a critical service: this filters the air in the vehicle as it is introduced from the outside and prevents allergens, particulate matter, and even odors from permeating the air in your car. We use MANN Filters, who produce some of the most widely used and highest quality filters available and it is what we recommend using. They filter odors like nitrogen and sulfur, prevent conditions favorable to bacteria buildup, and trap allergens while keeping your interior fresh and clean to breathe.
Maintaining the filter motif, replacing your Fuel Filter is also a must. Over time, contaminants in the fuel system are trapped here. Think of how your body traps bacteria in lymph nodes: the fuel filter keeps particles and contaminants from clogging up your fuel delivery and robbing your car of performance. Since it can’t clear itself, replacing this filter as the car’s mileage increases is a seriously critical service. Once again, we choose a new fuel filter from MANN Filter to take care of our needs.
Moving back to the engine, Spark Plugs are always a recommended initial service on your previously enjoyed car. While these may seem fairly obvious, often we can make excuses for ourselves that everything is working fine right now, so there is no need to make any changes. Spark Plug replacements will guarantee proper engine performance and will allow you to make the most out of your 2.0T by assuring that all your original horsepowers are present and accounted for under the hood. We use NGK Iridium Spark Plugs to make sure that a powerful enough spark and correct gap for the electricity to arc across are within the factory expectations. Replacing your plugs regains lost power, fuel efficiency, and smoothes rough idles as a result of carbon buildup.
Finally, we encourage all new MK6 GTI owners to perform a suspension service. Our varying stages of suspension refresh kits account for the basic needs, or performance upgrades, available to interchange when performing this service. The Assembled By ECS Suspension Refresh Kits contain essential front and rear suspension components that will have undeniably aged and softened over the lifespan of your MK6 GTI. Important components like shock tower mounts, end links, and bushings are highly recommended. This is also a fantastic opportunity to achieve multiple goals at once by upgrading your suspension with some of our recommended cup kits or Coilover sets as we discussed in a previous post this week.
Drive and Enjoy!
With these services completed, your basic maintenance needs for a second hand purchased MK6 GTI will be addressed and you can enjoy your car the way its original owner did driving it from the Volkswagen dealership! Of course, no two used cars are alike, so we do suggest making observations to other functions of the car and perform suggested maintenance at appropriate intervals. More involved jobs, like servicing the timing chain and guides, are a stretch to tackle at home unless you are a seriously competent mechanic. We do, however, provide any of the maintenance needs, or performance upgrades you may want, right here at ECS Tuning. Let us know in the comments if you have any suggestions, questions, or comments.
Check out some more shots from our friend Ryan @ryan_vw_mk6 and his GTI on Instagram and the photographer @officiallogandonald for some great VW content.