Part of becoming an enthusiast is recognizing that performing maintenance services on your VW aren’t inconveniences, but rather, opportunities. You gain new skills and confidence with every service that requires more work, build a relationship with your car, and become quite self-sufficient with these mechanical skills that transfer fairly universally to other parts of your daily life. Most basic jobs only require standard tools, like a metric socket set, triple squares, a few ratchets, open-end wrenches, and a good pick and screwdriver set. However, as you attempt to improve your mechanical abilities and your car ages, you’ll need to invest in specific tools to tackle more involved jobs. Fortunately, we make it easy for you. From the comprehensive service kits with all the right parts to the specialty tools you need to do the job yourself, our goal is to arm any enthusiast with the right tools and parts to grow their metaphorical toolbox along with their literal one. This week, it’s all about VW specialty service tools and the jobs that require them.
Whether you’re replacing your timing belt/chain or want to tackle a full engine teardown, you’re going to need a few specific tools to do it properly and ensure nothing is damaged in the process. With interference engines, there is a high risk of danger should your engine end up mis-timed. When servicing the timing belt or chain, depending on your engine, you’ll need it at TDC (Top Dead Center) and whole assembly locked in place. There are a few differences between chain and belt services, but the principals are the same – you’re replacing the system that ties your rotating assembly and camshaft(s) together for proper engine timing. These are critical services and definitely not what we’d call ‘entry level,’ but with the right tools, you can tackle them at home.
DSG & Auto Trans Fluid Service
If someone asked me what service I thought was most often taken to a shop that could be easily done at home, I would answer with transmission fluid service. Plenty of non-enthusiast owners change their oil at home, but many owners shy away from doing anything drivetrain service-related despite the process being extremely similar. The cause is likely the extra tools needed and a lack of confidence that they’ll mess something up.
Fortunately, drivetrain services are about as simple as an oil service, especially if you have the right tools. Our DSG & 6-speed automatic fluid service tool is the specific tool referenced in VW service manuals for proper refilling of DSG and automatic transmissions and the same tool you’d find at the dealership. Our Schwaben version allows you to perform the DSG or auto trans service at home exactly like the dealership, giving you the confidence that it’s done correctly as well as the freedom to perform this long interval service from the comfort of your home garage.
As you gain experience spending time working on your car, you start to notice one common thing: everything, and I mean everything is replaceable. It’s what makes cars so appealing to me, as it means that no matter how bad a car is, it can always be made perfect, or at least, better. One thing you may notice that older cars have in common is they generally feel ‘rattly’ or ‘vague’ even with replaced suspension.
As they age, even parts of the car that aren’t generally intended to be wear items do, in fact, wear out. We’re talking about subframe bushings that eventually oxidize and do little to dampen shock or give that stability to your car in the corners that you’d expect after making a few suspension upgrades. Fortunately, like all parts in your car, subframe bushings are replaceable. Unfortunately, they’re extremely un-fun to do because they require a lot of disassembly to get to and a special tool for removal and installation. Fortunately, we have a Schwaben version of that tool so you can make your VW subframe bushings come out as they should and install fresh replacements so it doesn’t feel so much like an old farm truck.
While not necessarily the most difficult parts to remove, VW sure doesn’t make anything any easier for us DIYers if they don’t have to. Coil packs, specifically the two types commonly found on most modern VW engines, can just be a pain to remove, especially in situations where you’re removing them and reinstalling them multiple times, like chasing down a misfire (yay, Volkswagen!)
Our coil puller tools are simple, cheap, and overcome that extra effort VW engineered into their coil pack design. Even if you’re not the most competent DIYer (yet,) every VW owner needs a coil pack puller tool for their engine so they don’t have to struggle with something that should be simple.