DJ's adventures in A2 land

timmus

A2OC Donor
...but the power steering can take up to 80amps (I believe)
That is correct. The wiring to the power steering system is supplied by an 80A fuse.

Yep, the A2 TDI needs its massive battery. When my car's original battery gave up the ghost, I replaced it with something marginally larger, because a high-spec A2 TDI (such as Merlin) will, on occasions at least, need a lot of juice!

1) This was in the driver’s rear door card - anyone know what it is / where it comes from?
As mentioned by others, that's the rear bracket for the rear cup holder.

I have Bose and hence the subwoofer in the boot
Other than the jack, which lives in the boot to the right of the subwoofer, all the tools in Bose-equipped A2s are kept in the secret compartment under the driver's feet. Fold the carpet forwards, beneath the pedals, and then lift the triangular aluminium panel to access the tools.

Can anyone suggest what is going on with the flickering rear interior lamp? It’s an LED upgrade so I wonder if it has failed.
Highly likely. This behaviour is common when LEDs start to die. I've fixed the dodgy solder joint issue in the rear interior light hundreds of times, but I've never seen it create flickering behaviour. Personally, I much prefer incandescent lights in the interior of my car, because they emit a warm light and are so much more reliable.

You sit very low down in an A2...
Another discovery was how surprisingly roomy the rear seat
For the size of car, the A2's seating position is actually very high due to its 'sandwich' construction. The whole car effectively has two floors. One forms the underneath of the car, and the other forms the floor inside the car. The two floors are separated by about 9 inches and run as two parallel planes. The gap between the two floors is used to house the electronics (beneath the front footwells), the fuel tank (beneath the rear seats), the battery (beneath the boot) and the exhaust pipe (straight down the middle). The rear footwells, along with the space beneath the front seats, is the only place where the upper floor is missing, meaning that the rear passengers' feet can drop all the way to the lower of the two floors. You'll notice that the feet of the people sat in the front seats are much higher than the feet of the people sat in the back seats.
It is this sandwich construction that means the A2 is higher than most other cars of its size, but also so much more spacious, with ample legroom for those sat in the back. Clever design. :)

Cheers,

Tom
 

dj_efk

A2OC Donor
As you may have seen from this post, I've agreed Merlin is to be loaned to my brother-in-law and his girlfriend, who have moved from London down to our village not even 50 yards from my front door. It's the best outcome to be honest, as otherwise the car wouldn't have got any use until at least summer next year, which is too long for a TDI90 to sit doing nothing without the rear brakes seizing at the very least!! Also this way I get to use the car myself occasionally as part of the deal.

So today, Chris (my B-I-L) got a lift to Maidenhead, where the car is parked at my parents' - My father had hooked the CTEK up to the battery again for a couple of days over the weekend and topped up the tyres ready for the 150 mile journey, so Chris jumped in using the keys (which were left on the tyre in a socially distanced move to protect my parents, who are in their 70's), fired it straight up without fuss and drove to the local fuel station, where the tank was brimmed with premium diesel at my request. He then drove the 150 mile trip home without dramas, save for the engine failing to warm up - the genuine VAG thermostat I had changed as a precaution is faulty!!! Oh well.

So, what did Chris think of the car, bearing in mind he is not by any means a car enthusiast? In short, he LOVES Merlin! He was literally gushing praise about it: How it's so comfortable, spacious and plush inside, how the (Bose) stereo is amazing, the way it takes off like a scalded cat and yet cruises effortlessly and quietly on the motorway, how it looks quite innocuous but yet you could easily smoke much faster looking cars off at the lights (exact words: "it's like a souped-up granny wagon!") - there was much more he liked, he even noticed how the rear footwell is lower to give the rear occupants more room (although one of the footwells has a storage box in it, which again he thought was a fantastic feature). So safe to say, he thinks it's an excellent car indeed, especially considering the fuel gauge needle had only just moved off the stop when he arrived. His other half is similarly impressed with the car; she is already planning a camping trip to France in it when things open up hopefully in the summer. When I explained how the rear seats fold up (or even come out completely), they were even more impressed by how much carrying capacity the car has.

In other words, they think the A2 is the perfect answer to their motoring needs as a young couple, I think I may have converted two more believers!

I also had my first proper drive and I am glad to report, I share Chris' enthusiasm for the car (phew!), it really is great to drive and great fun - I'm looking forward to a very long and happy ownership with many good memories to come.

Three things I want to ask of the members here who are (still!) reading this:

  1. The passenger side face-level vent control "tab" in the middle of the vent grille has broken off - this has previously been broken and then glued and the glue has given up the ghost, I think - can these be replaced easily? Does anyone have a spare? What's interesting is my Touran has the same setup and my kids have broken the rear one in the same way by kicking it!
  2. When I jumped in for "my go" just now, I fired it up and the orange ABS + one other warning lamp (the orange one with the book circled by an arrow) stayed lit, followed a few seconds after by the bong of death and both a red exclamation mark and what looked like the brake symbol flashing up in the middle of the dash, which was scary! However normal service was resumed by the good old "turn it off / on again". Anything to be worried about?
  3. There is an intermittent squealing noise coming from underneath, just ahead of the passenger rear wheel when the engine is running - the same off-on treatment as above also silenced this noise, however it returned after I got back and turned the engine off and then on once again. It sounds to me like a fuel pump noise - any thoughts as to what this noise is, why it's occurring and most importantly, whether it signals a problem / imminent component failure?

I'm hoping that 2 and 3 are just an out-of-use car complaining as it's getting some use once again - and hence they'll go away, not sure if that's a bit too much to hope for!

Here is a pic showing my two boys trying Merlin out for size and giving him the thumbs up:

1607356303353.png
 
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Proghound

Admin Team
Great to see a couple more converts to the A2 ... oh, and your bro-in-law and his wife too, that makes 4 :D Start 'em young, that's always good 👍

If the temp gauge needle didn't move at all that would indicate a dead circuit in the temp sensor to me, rather than the thermostat. Even with a stuck-open thermostat, I'd expect the gauge to reach over 70°C in sustained motorway running. If you were getting properly hot air from the vents, you're certainly up to temperature mechanically. You'd normally replace both thermostat and temp sensor at once to be sure that all is well. Note that the temp sensor has two circuits, one sends readings to the ECU, the other to the gauge on the dash. As long as the ECU one is still reading correctly, all is well, but you won't be able to tell without plugging it into VCDS. When replacing the temp sensor, always choose the OEM unit.
 

Special edition

Well-known member and A2OC Donor
The vent clips are sometimes prone to breaking David and are a bit fiddly to replace. I would personally look at buying a complete replacement vent from one of our parts suppliers...they are usually very reasonably priced if I remember correctly. The fuel filter sits just in front of the rear passenger wheel underneath the car but I've never heard of them making any particular noise....could be theres something else loose or catching under there so perhaps worth a check.
 
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dj_efk

A2OC Donor
Great to see a couple more converts to the A2 ... oh, and your bro-in-law and his wife too, that makes 4 :D Start 'em young, that's always good 👍

If the temp gauge needle didn't move at all that would indicate a dead circuit in the temp sensor to me, rather than the thermostat. Even with a stuck-open thermostat, I'd expect the gauge to reach over 70°C in sustained motorway running. If you were getting properly hot air from the vents, you're certainly up to temperature mechanically. You'd normally replace both thermostat and temp sensor at once to be sure that all is well. Note that the temp sensor has two circuits, one sends readings to the ECU, the other to the gauge on the dash. As long as the ECU one is still reading correctly, all is well, but you won't be able to tell without plugging it into VCDS. When replacing the temp sensor, always choose the OEM unit.

I had both the sender and the thermostat replaced with genuine components a couple of months ago and this is the first use the car has had since - Chris (not being a car-inclined bloke), admitted he hadn’t looked at the temperature gauge all the way down (which incidentally shows you why cars now bong at you to get your attention!), so couldn’t tell me if it did warm through on the motorway or not.

After my blast round the Blackdown hills I took the bonnet off and felt the top hose, which was warm, but not at all hot. In addition, watching the gauge when turning the ignition off and on revealed it did move very slightly, so given all of the above it feels like a duff thermostat.
 

dj_efk

A2OC Donor
The vent clips are sometimes prone to breaking David and are a bit fiddly to replace. I would personally look at buying a complete replacement vent from one of our parts suppliers...they are usually very reasonably priced if I remember correctly. The fuel filter sits just in front of the rear passenger wheel underneath the car but I've never heard of them making any particular noise....could be theres something else loose or catching under there so perhaps worth a check.

Good idea on sourcing a complete replacement vent Dave, @Clackers / @A2Steve can either of you help?

I hope they are simple to replace!

re: the squealing noise, it’s dependent on the engine running, as it was doing it when the car was stationary. I had a look underneath and I could indeed see what looked to be the fuel filter, I could not 100% trace the exact source of the noise over the engine noise, but it seemed to be coming from this general area - is there a pump of some sort located nearby?
 

Special edition

Well-known member and A2OC Donor
If you can see the fuel filter you may have a shield missing (not unusual) but that wouldn't cause the sqeeling noise. I will let others comment re a pump location but i dont recall one under there.
 
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Special edition

Well-known member and A2OC Donor
A2Steve will be able to assist re fitting the vent which I think may involve the removal of the glove box. Sarges "how to" section explains how to do that perfectly. 👍
 

dj_efk

A2OC Donor
If you can see the fuel filter you may have a shield missing (not unusual) but that wouldn't cause the sqeeling noise. I will let others comment re a pump location but i dont recall one under there.

I could see the pipework leading to it, but not the filter housing itself - so all good! Thanks Dave.
 

audifan

A2OC Donor
When was the fuel filter last replaced? Or the water drained out of it? Replace the filter and fit a drain screw from Paul. No pump there, so noise coming from the filter.
 

dj_efk

A2OC Donor
The filter was replaced just recently, as part of the large program of works done recently. It did not make the noise on the 3h journey down to here apparently.
 

A2Steve

Member
@dj_efk yes no problem with a dash vent. You can simply pull the vent out from the front, most likely damaging it further in the process. This is the best way to ensure that you don’t pick up any marks to the dashboard itself. The new vent just clicks into place. The vent will be £10 plus £4.95 postage.
 

gills

A2OC Donor
Very pleased to hear you like the car, after all the time and effort you have already lavished on it!

I'm sure the issues are fairly easily sortable. I get a bit of noise from the fuel filter, which sounds like an electric fuel pump, when the seats aren't in. I wonder if there's a bit of an air lock after the filter change?
 

dj_efk

A2OC Donor
I get a bit of noise from the fuel filter, which sounds like an electric fuel pump, when the seats aren't in. I wonder if there's a bit of an air lock after the filter change?

I have exactly the same noise, except in my case it’s loud enough to hear clearly inside with the seats in place and also from outside the car - I was sure it was an electric fuel pump! I don’t understand how a filter housing can make such a noise - especially as there are no leaks or smells from this area, as I’d expect to be noticeable if pressure is escaping here. This and the fact that it’s intermittent is very strange!
 

spike

Member
Not sure if specific model are affected but there have been issues with fuel lines rattling under the car


Cheers Spike
 

Robin_Cox

Member
re the squealing noise from under the rear seat - my project car (AMF) always does it - usually just after you start up, there will be a few chirps or chirrups from exactly the area where the fuel filter is (my original fuel filter was replaced with a brand new canister this time last year along with a brand new Bosch fuel / vacuum pump) audible in- or out-side the car - it sounds exactly like the squeaky noises our kittens make right now when they are "greeting you but *really* wanting just a little bit more food" in the morning.

When the Webasto starts up and is running, you also then get a regular tick, tick, tick noise at roughly second intervals from exactly the same area, which suggests that it is related to the fuel supply pickup end, but I don't have a clue what makes it. My BHC has never made these noises (but obviously has the newer fuel filter design which I assumed Merlin has with the ATE?).
 

dj_efk

A2OC Donor
Thanks Robin for the input - As the car has just had a new fuel filter as part of its program of maintenance and upgrade works, the only think I can think of is that either there is a pressure leak (but there is no fuel leakage or smell), or that somehow there is air trapped in the filter and it's causing some sort of fluctuation in pressure / bubbling internally?!
 
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oko

Member
The fuel filter noise is not down to any fault. I'm sure it's fluid harmonics and comes and goes depending on various factors such as pressure change, temperature, turbulence within the filter and local piping.
My ATL did it when 2yrs old and Audi changed the fuel pump and was ok for a short time. 240k later still does it though not as much especially since Bosch pump fitted
 

dj_efk

A2OC Donor
As per this post in the "today I" thread, I took Merlin on a high-speed blast this morning (more of a high-speed blast than planned due to the sheer grunt of the remapped ATL!) - The objective being to see if he does eventually warm up, as I still wasn't sure if the thermostat was faulty or the engine is just so efficient it needs 20 minutes of good use before it gets hot. I was booked in at a local garage I'm trialling (as it's so much closer than the VAG specialist independent garage I used for the Touran and I wasn't 100% satisfied with them anyway), so took the opportunity to isolate the issue before arriving at their premises.

Top marks for first impressions were awarded when their Technician came out and plucked the bonnet off as soon as I opened the service flap in what looked like a well-rehearsed move, in order to feel the top and bottom hoses, which did indeed confirm a stuck-open thermostat as once again, the top one was only warm and the bottom one stone-cold.

He then got down and listened to the noise described above and told me in no uncertain terms that it's the low pressure lift pump that he said is located in the tank. Thoughts guys? If correct then I will budget for a replacement in the new year, as I understand from past experience with fuel injection cars' fuel pumps that are noisy that it will soldier on for some time, but will eventually fail.

Further brownie points were awarded when I started to explain to the chap about aluminium / care needed when using a lift - He stopped me and said not to worry, they know and will take care. So far so good! If they continue to satisfy and I will "name and shine" them.

Total bill for the 'stat change will be around £180, to include just over 2h in labour plus £thirty-something for the part - which is doubly annoying as I'd ordered one on eBay for next day delivery earlier this week, but it only arrived an hour or so ago - hence it's for sale in the marketplace, as hopefully I'm not going to ever need it!
 
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