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I am trying to find what other VW owners would recommned for the maintenance for my 2003 VW Convertible. I know what the owners manual says, and I have looked at the Bentley recommendations, but I know that people on these forums have recommended changing the transmission fluid often, and the water pump before it goes out, among other things. Has anyone made an updated maintenance schedule based on actual experience?

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No NB Yellow Trifecta :(
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Unless I encounter a problem, I rarely look at the Manufactures "Suggested" Maintenance intervals; however, now days you should, because nothing lasts a "Lifetime" and that is what led to the issues with the O1M Transmission.

IMHO, take the suggested maintenance guidelines and reduce them by 15% and then increase them 15%; do it in years and miles. This will give you, your "Maintenance Window". If your driving style is gentle, then your maintenance will have a longer duration between cycles. If you drive like you are in NASCAR; the you will have a short duration between cycles.

"Lifetime" in "car speak" is typically 5 to 7 Years or 50,000 to 75,000 miles.
 
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