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Luv my bug!
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,

I am looking at the costs for the various parts my New Beetle needs and looking at the labor rates of the various shops. I have mechanical aptitude and am considering buying a starter tool kit for my New Beetle and taking on some of the tasks myself. I've done some basic mechanical stuff like helped with brake pad changes, done oil changes myself, changed out batteries, changed spare tires etc. Am I going to be getting in way over my head if I dive in under the hood? I am thinking I could do some stuff myself, especially given all the resources out there now on the web and in these forums.

Have any of you purchased/used this kit and what are your experiences? Is there a starter kit you would recommend?

I have a 2005 New Beetle Convertible with the 1.8T 4 cyl engine.

One of the things I'm going to try doing first on my own is installing an aluminum skid plate which was missing when I bought her. I found one that installs in an hour--not so complicated as the Panzer so thinking perhaps I could do it. It comes with its own tools in a kit BTW.

But I would love feedback from you all on if this starter kit or another starter tool kit would be a good investment, or are special tools over rated? I found this starter took kit:
Volkswagen New Beetle 1.8T > ES#2598039 Volkswagen / Audi Starter Tool Set - SCHTOOLST

:runnethov
 

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5/23/10 <3
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11,171 Posts
I think that kit isn't really what you need. Any good mechanic set of tools, even basic, should have more sockets and wrenches than that.

We have a very big set of tools here, but we've accumulated them over the years as we do bigger jobs. We pieced together an "emergency" tool kit to have in each of our cars and is probably more of what you need. A basic set of screwdrivers, socket set (metric, and make sure it goes from about 10mm-19mm...you'll need most of each of the sizes at some point. 16mm seems to be very common, as is 13mm), set of wrenches (in the same sizes), a multimeter, torx and hex keys. Can't quite think of everything we have in there...I'd have to look at mine again to see for sure. But its a smaller bag, fits nice in the trunk, and certainly a good basic set of tools to do a lot of things. Not the super best quality stuff (we did pick up some stuff from Harbor Freight, like the screwdrivers) but the sockets I think were Kobalt stuff from Lowe's.
 

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Luv my bug!
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246 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I think that kit isn't really what you need. Any good mechanic set of tools, even basic, should have more sockets and wrenches than that.

We have a very big set of tools here, but we've accumulated them over the years as we do bigger jobs. We pieced together an "emergency" tool kit to have in each of our cars and is probably more of what you need. A basic set of screwdrivers, socket set (metric, and make sure it goes from about 10mm-19mm...you'll need most of each of the sizes at some point. 16mm seems to be very common, as is 13mm), set of wrenches (in the same sizes), a multimeter, torx and hex keys. Can't quite think of everything we have in there...I'd have to look at mine again to see for sure. But its a smaller bag, fits nice in the trunk, and certainly a good basic set of tools to do a lot of things. Not the super best quality stuff (we did pick up some stuff from Harbor Freight, like the screwdrivers) but the sockets I think were Kobalt stuff from Lowe's.
Thanks bunches, I'm going to print out your list :) I recognize from your list that I actually already have a few of these tools :D I'll have to check my emergency gear bag in my trunk too which I forgot about until now--I don't remember what is in it--I just transferred it over from my car that died when I bought the Beetle. Very basic road side emergency stuff.

I seriously swear I can see myself underneath Mrs Beetle in a smock, up to my elbows in grease, in the very near future. I'm going to be checking all the thrift stores for some ramps, jack stands, stuff like that. If I can't find any ramps, I'll just build some from 2x10s like I had from back in my old horse hauling days way back in the day. They are inexpensive and easy to make, work wonders, especially if you make sure to drive a few nails into the bottom most board far enough that they stick out like little cleats for grippage. I'll have to post a DIY on here for you guys if I end up building another set.
 

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5/23/10 <3
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I used ramps once and never again. It took too much effort to get them to work with the NB since the front bumper sits so low. I use a jack and jackstands for everything.
 

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Luv my bug!
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Discussion Starter #5
I used ramps once and never again. It took too much effort to get them to work with the NB since the front bumper sits so low. I use a jack and jackstands for everything.
Even if you drive her up onto four ramps, one for each tire? I can see what you mean though just driving only the front tires or only the rear tires up onto ramps. The bumper would probably hit the ground? I am afraid of jack stands, they seem so flimsy.
 

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a 2x4 laid flat in front or the ramp will lift the tires enough to clear the bumper when driving up on the ramps

Also your tool list

Just start with a basic metric set of sockets and open end wrenches.

The radio tools in the ecs set can had from Wal world from 7 bucks and he trim tools harbor frieght has cheap.

Also if you're going to do your own work get a bentley manual.

either in paper or the cd rom version. It is the official vw manual.
 

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Homemade 2 by 10 ramps the best deal around. Sounds like you know what you're doing. I have to drive my car up on something just to get a jack up under it.;)

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I'm not a dude.
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the number one tool you're gonna want if you plan on doing anything yourself:

Ross-Tech Store: VCDS License with KII-USB Interface

I literally could not live without my vag com. I don't go anywhere without it. It's invaluable. I don't recommend buying a cheap cable and hoping it works with the unregistered version. Just shell out the $250, it pays for itself almost immediately when you consider the dealership will charge anywhere from $60-$90 for ONE scan. Plus, the people at ross tech are awesome if you call with any questions.

#2 would be the bentley manual, paperback or dvd.

I don't think I own any "special" VW tools... :rolleyes: other than having weird metric sizes of tools.. like triple square sets and security torx. I think the only tools I carry with me in the car are basic ones, and a full torx set.
 
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