Car Washing & VW Customer Services success

22,500 miles, 16th March 2005

Well there are already a few signs that winter is coming to an end. The daffodils are out, the days are getting longer, and yesterday I got into my car and it was a little warm in there! Also, the warming by the sun had revived my car's new car smell. Hopefully the start of spring will also mean less grit on the roads and I won't have to wash the car every weekend or use quite so much screen wash trying to keep the windscreen clear.

Whilst on the subject of washing my car, I am still washing the bodywork with just plain water as recommended by the handbook. Followed by a quick drying with a chamois leather and it comes up looking good as new. I've also been washing the alloy wheels with just plain water but there appears to be a build up of stubborn dirt which led me to try washing them with a shampoo mix yesterday. It didn't appear to help much and so I think I'll invest in some alloy wheel cleaner and hope that gets rid of it.

Yesterday I also noticed how much more smoothly and refined the TDI engine is when pre-warmed by the sun. Even though my Golf sleeps in a garage through the cold winter nights, it still can sound a bit of a taxi first thing in a morning. Another thing I notice when running the car when cold is a slight rattle from behind the dash. I hear that this is a common problem which can be solved by adding a bit of extra padding around the centre dash storage area. But it really doesn't bother me enough to try fixing because it disappears as soon as the car's interior warms up.

I have been in contact with VW Customer Service since my car had its first service. The Variable Service Indicator had quickly started predicting that its second service would be required in approximately another 18,000 miles - exactly the same interval as was indicated for its first service. This, along with VW's latest price list containing a reworded description of the maximum variable service interval suggested to me that their previous claims of 30,000 miles had been a mistake. Today I received confirmation from VW that the actual maximum interval between services for the Mk V Golf is indeed only 18,500 miles. I feel very cross about this because the higher potential service interval was one of the deciding factors behind me buying the car.

I have not been alone in being confused by the service intervals being predicted by Mk V Golf's Variable Service indicators. Take a look at some of the posts at the UK MKIVS MK5 Golf Chat forum. It was from here that I learnt of a Volkswagen Service Bulletin which appears to indicate a problem with the service indicators on certain Mk V's. Click here for more details. Fortunately my car does not appear to have the sympthoms described there.

Addition: 24,000 miles, 8th April 2005
In another letter from VW Customer Service received today they have again confirmed that "the Golf Mk V is on a longlife flexible regime, requiring a service at a maximum of 18,500 miles and 24 months". They have also, as a gesture of goodwill, offered to cover the cost of my vehicle's next service which I am willing to accept.

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