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part 1 of this guide can be viewed here: http://www.myturbodiesel.com/1000q/a6/2010-2011-VW-Golf-TDI-buyers-checklist.htm . This is part 2

Some new cars are damaged at the dealer or in transit. It happens. Even though the dealer should have done it, carefully inspect your new car for dents, scratches, misaligned panels, haloing or spiderwebbing of the paint (see 1000q: Polishing car paint for more details and pictures), or other damage.

Examine the paint for swirl marks and other defects. This is not acceptable on a brand new car. Don't let the happy ether from taking delivery of a new car cause you to overlook defects or damage. A professional detailing will remove any rail dust, sea salt/sand, or road detritus accumulated during transport. Waxing the car will only coat over these paint impurities and seal them in. Browse the detailing index linked above for more details. I recommend washing, claybar, and then waxing your new car yourself. This removes the corrosive railroad dust if they came by rail, salty spray/sand while sitting at the port, and road detritus during transport. See detailing tips at 1000q: washing and wax your car , 1000q: claybar your car. Very minor and consistent orange peel (a slight/wavy texturing of the paint surface) is considered normal on most cars. Inconsistent minor orange peel shows a bad paint job and possibly damage cover ups. This can be corrected with a very light wetsanding and polish that can be done by any professional detailer.

Some cars have had spots or defects in the clearcoat. If a hairdryer makes it disappear it's moisture trapped in the clearcoat. Sometimes it goes away and sometimes it causes flaking. Barring that, don't worry about waxing your new Golf. The factory paint is baked in ovens and have had plenty of time to cure when they were being shipped to you. Non factory body shop paint needs to cure for at least a month before waxing because it's slightly different and can't be baked in an oven or else the interior and all the plastics on the car would melt. High quality body shops can do a better paint job than the factory so don't worry that they don't bake the paint.

TRIPLE CHECK what you ordered vs. what you are taking delivery of before singing ANY paperwork. Many people thought they were ordering one car and for various reasons, took delivery only to discover it was missing an option or had some damage. Once you drive off the lot, it'll be harder to get the dealer to cooperate.

Double check your insurance coverage and see if insurance discounts apply for safety. For whatever reason, some insurance companies may think your car is a gasoline car. Golf TDI have 3 sets of airbags standard and optional rear lower side airbags. All modern VW also have immobilizer anti theft, security alarm, shoulder harness seat belts, traction control, and ESP stability control standard in USA.

Make sure the dealer removes the front suspension blockers. These are black or orange colored rubbery bumpers that lock the front springs for shipment. They could get mangled from driving around on them (below left) or dislodge the shock boot. It's on the delivery checklist but the box often gets checked off even though they didn't do it (and may have charged you for the pre delivery inspection). If the front rides hard and high or you hear a clunking noise from the front, check for the blockers.


VW quirks and other misc stuff to know as a new owner
All 2010 VW Golf TDI use the 2.0L 140hp, 236lb-ft torque common rail TDI engine. This engine is comparable in torque to a 6 cylinder engine in daily driving with the fuel economy of a small 4 cylinder engine. See 1000q: direction injection, pumpe duse, and common rail for a comparison to older TDI technologies. Common rail and emissions filtration system is state of the art for passenger car diesels and results in better emissions, more power, more economy, and a quieter, smoother engine sound than previous TDI. Although diesel fuel prices are higher than gasoline prices, you'll still save money over the long term compared to a similar new car. It also has less CO2 emissions per mile than the base 2.5L gasoline engine.

After you shut off the engine or are stopped at a light: if you hear the engine fan running AND you smell something overheating at the tailpipe, this is the diesel particulate filter (DPF) burning off accumulated soot. If the DPF doesn't get hot enough during a highway run or normal driving, it injects some fuel to burn off trapped particulates. If you shut off the engine in the middle of a filter regeneration cycle you may notice some odor while it burns off. A hot regen cycle occurs about once every 450-600 miles depending on use. More information can be found in the FAQ article: 1000q: DPF and Adblue FAQ for VW.

Because diesel engines are throttled by fuel and run off oil, any diesel engine could have a rare mechanical malfunction called a runaway engine. If the car is in gear it will also accelerate. If the engine races on its own, keep control of the car and shut off the engine as soon as it's safe and practical. Take it to a mechanic before starting it again. Read more about a diesel engine runaway and some causes at 1000q: runaway engine FAQ.

Some TDI have gotten condensation in the intake which settles in the intercooler. In cold weather, this condensation can freeze and cause rough cold running or harder start. The main symptom is that once you start moving, the engine rpm goes up which moves the intake air faster and the engine stumbles. This will not throw a check engine light/malfunction engine light. The danger is that if too much fluid makes it from the intercooler to the engine, once inside the engine cylinder, can hydrolock the engine and bend the engine cylinder rods. http://www.myturbodiesel.com/forum/f7/cr-cold-weather-inspection-4197/ This is discussed in this thread. The fix is a repair kit which includes a new intercooler, sensor, lines, and what appear to be a valve to blow out water.

The minimum wheel size you can use is 15" because of the 288mm front rotors. Golf wagon (Jetta wagon) require a minimum 16" wheel because they use 312 mm rotors.

You can use the remote key fob to open/close the sunroof and windows if you have comfort windows enabled. See the video below for a demo. This is in addition to the holding the key in the door lock operation. See 1000q: comfort windows to enable it. All VW relock themselves if you don't open the door after 30 seconds of using the remote to unlock the doors. This is a security feature.

The manual door lock cylinder is hidden under a cover. First, pull the door handle. Then stick the metal key in the slot under the cover and pull it up and towards you to pop it off if you have to use the manual door lock. If you don't pull the door handle open it can break the plastic.


It's normal for speedometers on most German cars to read slightly higher than actual speed. This accounts for build variations like slightly different tire/wheel size and so that they don't read lower than actual speed. The odometer reading should be correct and is a separate display from the speedometer for warranty and maintenance purposes. Most report that the fuel economy meters are pretty accurate. Even still, the best way to calculate fuel economy is to fill the tank all the way, drive, and then fill the tank all the way at the same exact pump. Different pumps may shut off at slightly different points which can change your calculated fuel economy. You can adjust the speedometer with a VCDS tool or if you complain to the dealer, they should fix it. See 1000q: speedometer fix for more details. It's for a mk5 but the same basic procedure may apply.

The TDI engine must get VW spec 507.00 engine oil for warranty purposes. Because this is a new spec oil, you must order it from an online seller or the dealer. DO NOT trust the dealer to comply with this requirement, even under their 3 years/36,000 mile free maintenance program! Dealer techs are busy and sometimes don't know any better. Sometimes it's just a matter of which bottle is closer. Always check which oil will be used on your car with the exact mechanic who is changing the oil. 507 engine oil is also very low ash. Low ash oil is needed to maximize the life of the DPF exhaust particulate filter. See 1000q: DPF FAQ for more on this system. Until there's testing and long term evidence for use of engine oils other than 507.00 VW spec, I suggest sticking to the factory recommendation. Don't let them tell you that another oil is OK to use because it's you who has to prove any problem down the road, not them! Also check the receipt for the part number. Some oils that meet this spec are Castrol SLX Professional LL03 (VW# gvw 052 195 m2), Motul specific VW 507.00, Total Quartz Ineo 5w30 507.00, and Mobil 1 ESP Formula 5W-30.

Here is a TSB in .pdf format which lists engine oils approved by VW https://www.myturbodiesel.com/d2/images/pdf/vwoiltsb.pdf (scroll down to the bottom for 507.00 oils) The part numbers for 5w-30 507.00 engine oil are:
VW# g v52 195 a1 (gv52195a1) for .5 liter
VW# gvw 052 195 m2 (gvw052195m2) for 1 liter
VW# gvw 052 195 m4 (gvw052195m4)for 5 liters


Black cloth sport seats are standard in the US. Only Canadian highline trim have leather seats. If you prefer sport bucket seats they can be swapped from a Golf GTI. If you prefer vinyl (leatherette), they should be available from a Jetta. No 2010 TDI is available with leather seating or power seats in the US although gas 2009 Jettas and the older 2005.5-2006 Jetta TDI may have it optioned. Make sure to check airbag connector compatibility before swapping seats! Katzskin makes aftermarket leather seat skins which will fit your Golf if you really want leather.

The RCD 510 premium 8 radio is touch screen, 6cd in dash changer, color, and accepts SD cards for music.

The RNS510 navigation syste, is touch screen, color, and uses a hard drive. 1000q: RNS 510 FAQ for more info on the touchscreen headhunt. All TDI for 2010 get standard bluetooth. For 2010 it was 9w2, for 2011 it was 9w7. With 9w7 from the factory or installed as a retrofit, the overhead bluetooth console's LED does not light up. The new system for 2011 is the RNS 315. You can still buy either as parts later and swap them in if you decide you like it. Dual zone climatronic auto climate control and the old steering wheel/cluster is shown because this picture is of a 2009 gas Jetta.

Estimated mileage is not known but real world experience with the 2009 Jetta TDI suggests 35-50 mpg average mixed driving. The coefficient of drag in Jetta (.31) vs. Golf (.32) is almost the same but the Golf 2 door is about 200 lbs lighter. Major factors effecting mileage include individual driving style, car build quality variations, tire/wheel size, tire compound/tread, and fuel quality. Expect mileage to increase during engine break in by as much as 10-15%.

All 2010 Golf TDI come with head curtain, front, and side airbags. Lower rear side airbags are the only optional airbags. ABS and traction control are standard, stability/yaw control is standard in the US, optional on Canadian comfortline, standard on highline.

Production of VW Golf on the assembly line in Germany. All Golf TDI are built in Germany and shipped over. There's a tag on the driver's side door and/or next to the spare tire with a manufacture location.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9CT1zyXEhII
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fdNdWzzpOo4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gfuiGc3SCqM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6mtIG8Qw_s
Engine testing and assembly (very last part is Touareg specific)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZgUkzsjNchI
Chassis testing for test cars (reminds me of driving in Boston although I've hit more huge potholes in NYC)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMni83VZI7Q
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Added a note about the rotor size and winter wheels, thanks for the tip 6thVW-1stTDI! Also split some of the article into this post

When it's colder than 48oF, wait at least 1 second after turning the key to "on" before turning the key to "start" and starting the engine. This lets the glow plugs turn on and warm up. The "wait to start" glow plug indicator light normally goes out in less than 1 second and could be on as long as 4-5 seconds when it's freezing. Start the engine as soon as the light turns off. Don't freak out if you hear a chime when the temperature goes down to 39oF. It's to let you know the road could be icy. For more information on the multifunction display options, see 1000q: MFD menu FAQ.

The Golf TDI uses a timing belt and will need a timing belt change every 120,000 miles. This can be verified in the owner's manual maintenance schedule. All idler rollers, water pump, timing belt tensioner, should also be changed at that time. The DIY parts price is about $400. If you can't DIY, ask around for an independent TDI expert before going to the dealer since dealers not experienced with TDI engines have damaged engines in the past due to lack of experience with the exact engine. If you go to the dealer, expect to pay roughly $900-1,300.

Some TDI with common rail injection have gotten metal flakes in the fuel filter. This is evidence of a disintegrating high pressure fuel pump. The entire fuel system should be replaced since the filter is upstream of the pump which has sent metal flakes throughout all the lines, injectors, and pumps. The fuel filter should be changed every 20,000 miles. See 1000q: fuel filter replace on how to open the fuel filter canister. If you see flakes it should immediately be brought to the attention of the dealer while under warranty. After that, keep your fuel receipts in case they accuse you of putting gasoline in the car. Diesel fuel is an oil and lubricates the fuel system.

If they replace the fuel tank make sure the install plugs are removed. If they aren't you'll hear sucking when you open the fuel filler cap as in this case: http://www.myturbodiesel.com/forum/f19/fuel-tank-vacuum-tank-collapse-18029/

The fuel tank capacity is 14.5 gallons (55 liters).

A few people have had pinhole leaks in the high pressure fuel system which showed up early on. This results in a fuel leak and diesel odor. If this happens to you, report it to the NTSHA since any potential fire hazard should be reported. Here are a few threads which discuss this - it appears to show up on #2 injector line often and it could be a design weak spot. http://www.myturbodiesel.com/forum/f19/fuel-leak-6757/ and http://www.myturbodiesel.com/forum/f19/2011-vw-jetta-fuel-leak-6919/

Many car settings must be set up by the dealer. Your CAN BUS technology Golf comes from the factory in sleep mode to prevent battery drain. Sometimes these settings are never configured (dealer error) or reset later. Some examples are the power seat/power windows/sunroof remote functions. The window pinch protection can even be turned off. These options can be adjusted with a VCDS diagnostic tool or the dealer can do it. Other features can be adjusted through the MFD+. See 1000q: window pinch protection and steering adaptation for how to do it yourself.

The engine coolant is "lifetime" G12. Do not mix it with green Prestone or other non compatible coolants. It's a sealed system so if it's low, figure out where the leak is.

If you have an automatic DSG dual clutch transmission, it needs fluid changes every 40,000 miles. See 1000q: DSG DIY fluid change. It costs under $150 when doing it yourself but could cost $400-900 at the dealer.

All modern VW use an anti-theft system called the immobilizer. See 1000q: immobilizer FAQ for more details. Although you could have the key cut at many shops, an unprogrammed key won't let the engine stay running. Don't buy used cut keys except for parts because immobilizer chips can only be programmed once per car. If you buy a used key it's only good for parts.

The DRL light is normally on. It doesn't mean the DRL are burnt out. If a bulb burns out, you'll see a text message in the MFD display.

The glovebox has a small compartment for the owner's manual. It's hard to see unless the manual is already there or you really look at the glovebox. There's also an AC duct vent in there which can be rotated open or closed.


Apply the parking brake when parking! It's good practice with any car but it is important on VWs because this sets the rear caliper self adjusters. It's best to apply the brake before going into park (auto trans) or first/reverse gear (manual trans) to put stress on the brake instead of the transmission internals.

Securely jack up the rear of the car and spin the wheels by hand. Do not put yourself in a position where you could be injured if the car falls! Many have misadjusted parking brakes. Light touching or scraping on the brakes is normal, resistance is not normal and should be adjusted by the dealer.

If you don't like hill hold or want to add it, you can enable or disable it: http://www.myturbodiesel.com/1000q/a6/hill-hold-disable-vw.htm

The Golf can't use truck stop high flow fueling pumps. Truck high flow pumps are larger and flow much faster to fill a semi's large fuel tank and some will splash out. Only use the small car sized fuel pumps. You may hear of venting or a ventectomy- it does not apply to this generation of TDI. Don't push the fuel filler nozzle too far or else the metal rings around the nozzle can get stuck on the filler neck.

I recommend applying a UV-resistant laminate or headlight protector on the headlight lenses. This will prevent pitting and yellowing of the plastic on your new headlights. This is not a VW specific problem. All modern headlights on US cars use DOT approved plastic lenses instead of glass. A clear film over the front of the car can also protect it but it's a lot more expensive than a headlight cover. If you want to do paint shielding, professional installation is required. It does reduce the shininess of the paint but you can't tell unless you're looking for it. It can be removed without damage on original paint but shouldn't be applied to repainted panels since it could pull off some paint.

You may also want to tint the windows. Auto glass blocks UV light but even clear or light tint will block a lot more UV light. Tinting the side windows helps prevent aging of the interior, aging of your skin, adds privacy, and in the event of the window shattering, controls glass particles by holding them to the stick-on film. Tint darkness can come in clear, all the way to dark limo tints, check your local laws for any restrictions. Use only simple soap and water on window tint, never use ammonia based cleaner on the interior of the window where stick-on tint film is applied. If you listen to AM radio, do not use metallized tint or else you will lose most AM reception. Depending on the brand/model of tint, FM reception should be fine with most metallized tints. This is because the diversity radio antenna is in the hatch window. The sharkfin antenna on the roof is for the satellite radio and GPS (if equipped).

The windshield wipers will twitch once every few engine shutoffs. This prevents them from bending to one side and makes them last longer.

Expected longevity of the exhaust particulate filtering system is not yet known but all emissions equipment is covered under warranty under federal emissions laws. Removal will set off a check engine light but there will probably be aftermarket solutions to this. It's not currently possible to bypass the DPF filter on your VW or disable the Golf's DPF system. See 1000q: DPF system FAQ for more details on the "clean diesel" system.

The Golf has an electric heating strip (auxiliary air heater Z35) in the air vent system to help warm up the cabin on cold winter mornings. It won't blow hot air but slightly warmed air is better than nothing and it will prevent your frozen breath from obscuring the windshield on super cold mornings. This is specific to the TDI and not on the gas VW.

If the sun visor is unclipped, you can slide it longer to adjust the rod length. Both the driver's and passenger side pull out. The passenger side pull-out sunvisor was decontented on Jetta. The center console armrest also tilts and/or slides forward.


Do not add aftermarket rustproofing since it will void the factory rust warranty. Cars are dipped in anti-rust zinc and have a few layers of paint to prevent rust. While it could still happen and the rust warranty only covers certain kinds of rust, the best thing to do is to wash your car regularly, including the undercarriage. See 1000q: car detailing index for tips on how to avoid scratches and swirl marks from car washing. The best thing to do is to avoid automatic car washes unless they are "touchless".
 

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Added a note about the bluetooth overhead console LED - it doesn't light up for 2011 because the new bluetooth is 9w7 which for whatever reason, doesn't work with the overhead console.
 

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Warning: If you get the RNS315 GPS system, it does not come with HD radio even though the RNS 510 GPS and RCD 510 radio do come with HD radio. In other words, the RNS315 removes the HD radio feature. This is not clear on VW's site. If you read the RNS315 FAQ article on this website, the comparison chart does show that the 315 doesn't have HD radio.
 

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The Golf has an electric heating strip (auxiliary air heater Z35) in the air vent system to help warm up the cabin on cold winter mornings. It won't blow hot air but slightly warmed air is better than nothing and it will prevent your frozen breath from obscuring the windshield on super cold mornings. This is specific to the TDI and not on the gas VW.
I have been looking into buying a 2012 golf tdi or 2012 jetta sportswagen tdi. I live in a snowy cold area. Information on these aux heaters is tough to come by. Some people say they all have them. Some people say that theirs doesn't. The dealer I'm dealing with had never heard of them and after they looked into it said neither of the cars have the aux heater, but that we could order one and have it installed at the dealer. Can you clear this up for me. If diesels don't heat up well at idle, that means a remote start (tricky I know) would be nearly useless and without the aux heater there would be no way to defog the windows without driving blind. I live in buffalo NY.

Thank you in advance for any help.
 

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All TDI have them since mk5 generation. However, it won't warm up your car at idle nor will the car warm up much. It's better than nothing but I personally wouldn't idle more than 1 minute even on the coldest days. The aux heater is enough to prevent window fogging if you put air on low but not warm the car much.

They're prob confusing it with coolant heater. If you get that you'll have instant heat/starts/hot engine.
 
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