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2003 Volkswagen New Beetle GLS Convertible 1.8 Turbo
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I recently purchased a 2003 New Beetle for my daughter, and she is very excited about it. Now the fun part. It is a 1.8 Turbo, and it appears the person that owned it before me knew just enough to rig everything he touched. everything I look at needs attention, but the first goal is to get it through DE inspection. I've fixed the p0300(random misfire) by replacing the spark plugs. I've also fixed p0171(running lean) a vacuum leak after running a smoke test. those were the only two codes until recently when it decided to throw 4 different codes. Since I couldn't get my hands into the area to replace the crank shaft sensor, i took that to a mechanic $500+ later i'm 馃槶. Now it is only throwing p0420, which wasn't any of the 4 before the crank shaft position sensor. p0420 is "catalyst system efficiency below threshold bank 1". they want $1200+ to replace the cat, but I'm unsure i want to sink that much more into this considering the previous owners workmanship. if there are any quick fixes catalytic converter those would be appreciated. I would really love to know what the hose in the picture is. the previous owner had two pieces of hose wrapped with a small piece of hose, and it appeared to be superglued together.
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2003-2005 Volkswagen Beetle - Pressure Line - Volkswagen (1C0-145-712-E)


This boost hose just split in my 1.8T; seems it is only sold through the genuine VW and the URO brands, in rubber. Pricing seems similar between the two sources; i assume, the genuine vw part, is better quality then the aftermarket URO brand.


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2003 Volkswagen New Beetle GLS Convertible 1.8 Turbo
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you!! Right now mine is rigged with two hoses and a coupler because I didn't trust the previous owner's superglued setup when i was having the smoke test done. It will soon be my daughters' car if I ever feel it won't break down on her. 200 miles this weekend, and no real issues, but catalytic converter appears to be the next $1200+ repair or it won't pass inspection..
 

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When, it comes to diagnosing the above code; there are some basic testing you can do and confirm the diagnosis. This video, shows the use of a scan tool to view live data and a infrared temp gun, to see if the catalytic converter is bad.


Lately, we have had some members; try catalytic converter 鈥渃leaners鈥 with positive results.

If you end up needing a new one; we have heard of positive feedback and results, using Bosal cats, a oem for VW. They tend ti be mid range price but oem quality and they pass emissions testing, cure related trouble codes, like the classic P0420 鈥渋nefficiency鈥 code..

Here is their online catalog; don鈥檛 freak out by the listed msrp pricing, they sell for much less online (rockauto, amazon, etc. or at local auto parts stores like AutoZone.






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If your 02 sensors are bad; stick with oem Bosch, here is their online catalog.


Also, be sure to purchase Bosch parts from a reputable supplier; as there are many, counterfeit parts being sold online @ Amazon, eBay, etc. A supplier, like FCPEuro.com; offers good prices, free shipping, quality oem parts and a lifetime warranty, on everything, they sell.


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2003 Volkswagen New Beetle GLS Convertible 1.8 Turbo
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
it was suggested by my mechanic to replace the cat. since i'm now approaching the value of the car with purchase and repairs i've picked up the car to try other options.

First - I cleared the code(p0420), and drove it as hard as i could until it got through a drive cycle, and the code popped back up. the real reason for this was to also waste some gas so i could move onto a cleaner

Second - I put cataclean in it. directions say to drive for about 15 minutes(i think). I drove for about 30 miles, which I also drove it hard, with high rpms randomly. then I only filled it too 3/4 tank instead of filling it up.

Third - My plan is to try an o2 sensor extender. I've read people doing the spark plug nonfouler with great success, even on this forum, but the extender saves me trying to drill a hole without a vice.

Fourth - pay to have the cat replaced at a whopping $1250.
 

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I think the better approach; if the 鈥渃ataclean鈥 doesn鈥檛 work, is to diagnose the problem correctly, rather then throw expensive new parts at the problem and then, make needed repairs, replace defective parts. You can fix the trouble code or replace the catalytic converter WAY cheaper then $1250. Don鈥檛 get discouraged by a pro shop repair estimate; there are always a cheaper alternative, using quality oem parts and ending up with a correct,solid repair solution.

You could replace it yourself, saving $ on labor or buy the new Bosal brand down pipe/converter combo, for much less and/or have a muffler shop install it for you.

As to the 02 sensor 鈥渆xtender鈥,, idea; that may cause a fail for smog testing, visual inspection and the car would probably run better, have better gas milage, fixed correctly and have your fuel trims in spec, car tuned correctly.


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