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About keithvincent

  • Rank
    Shank's Pony
  • Birthday 10/22/1942

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Languedoc, South of France


  • Location
    Hérault, France
  • Interests
  • Occupation
    Retired (officially)
  • Car Make
    Keith Vincent
  • extra_3
    VW Passat Variant 1990
  1. Passat Variant sidelights failure

    Car: Passat Variant, 1995, model CL, mileage 360k+, original engine, original clutch, works as a mobile toolbox, plus trips from South of France to UK. Problem: right hand front and rear sidelights have stopped working. Fuse OK, bulbs OK, left hand side and tail lights OK, so I assume there is a connector somewhere I can't find, which may need to be cleaned/renewed/replaced. And the car is dry inside - it's never suffered the common Passat problem of damp under the carpets. I've been off this forum for six years (shows how reliable the old Passat was), but had a lot of useful help in the past. Can anyone help with advice now? The car owes me nothing, but it seems a shame to scrap it for the sake of failed sidelights! I have three other cars, but this works as a mobile toolbox, useful not least because it's one of the few cars you can carry a three-metre length inside the car (saves a lot of time strapping stuff to the roof-rack).
  2. 1995 Diesel estate model Bagatelle

    Not sure what engine size this is, except under the French system it counts as Puissance 6, whereas my old 1990 diesel 1.6 turbo counted as 4 ... . However, please excuse my ignorance, but across the top of the rocker cover is a cloth-covered thin rubber pipe, about 9 inches long, leading (I think) from the fuel pump. This has split and I need a replacement. a)what's it called (I can work out the French translation afterwards), b) what does it do, and c) how is it clamped either end (the present one has a narrow and very small metal band clamping it to the metal pipe within, but this is much smaller than any jubilee-type clip I can find. Thanks in advance for any advice ...
  3. Instrument panel 1995 diesel estate

    This is a question for experts with an intimate knowledge of the Passat's wiring! I've just acquired a slightly younger version of my elderly but trustworthy French estate - this one originally supplied in the Netherlands. Problem: the instrument cluster was u/s, and was replaced by the last owner with a scrappy-bought one (nothing wrong with that - I'm a favourite customer of my local scrappy), but from a 1992 vehicle. The connections are the same, but the layout of the panel lights is slightly different. On the original (labelled Diesel 3.0 on the rev counter) the turn indicator lights are two green arrows, either side of the odometer. On the older replacement (labelled Diesel 2.3 on the rev counter), the indicators show up on a single green LED, bottom left of the odometer. The problem being that this green LED stays on permanently, flashing off when the turn indicators are used. I'd rather not drive all the time with a bright green LED shining at me, so is there a quick fix to restore the warning LED to its proper state. I know the obvious answer is to find a replacement panel of the same vintage and with the same code/label, but this is proving difficult - not many Passats come into the local scrappies in the south of France ....
  4. Rear wiper fault! And happy christmas

    The switch unit on my ancient Passat is the bit the wiper stalk fits into, inside the steering column shroud, under the steering wheel - probably the same on yours. When I asked my scrappy for the replacement, he said I was lucky he had one on a recent arrival - the VW electrics are among the first things to be cannibalised off scrapped cars, he said, so I imagine it's a fairly common problem. Passats are not that common down here in the south of France, so sometimes I have to "book" a replacement part in advance off the next one scrapped. What you might do if you have to wait for a unit to come in is to temporarily divert the rear wiper wire to a supplementary switch in a spare way on the dash, but if it's only a mild inconvenience, I'd be tempted to live with it, or just disconnect at the motor end.
  5. Rear wiper fault! And happy christmas

    Had this problem on my 1990 estate - and it was the switch unit, so it may be the same on the more recent model. Took it to bits (drilled out the rivets) and found the spring contact weak, and the copper connection wobbly and worn (sorry - I'm suffering too much from the NY celebrations to dream up a more technical description). Got a replacement unit from the scrappy, fitted in 10 minutes - problem solved.
  6. Gearbox failure

    Can't find anyhting on this via the search facility, so I hope I'm not wasting your time ..... Two days after a full service and passing the French MOT, halfway across France, en route for Christmas celebrations in the UK, the top gear in my 1990 CL 1.6 diesel estate failed. While accelerating, the gear will hold, but as soon as I lift my foot from the accelerator, it slips into neutral. I tried to hold the gear lever in fifth position while decelerating, but the lever kicks back too strongly to hold. Fortunately, the car is still driveable in the other gears, though the change is distinctly crunchy (possibly bits of broken gear circulating with the oil?). I made it safely to the UK, but with no chance of getting even a garage opinion over the Christmas/New Year break, so I've left the car in the UK and returned in my G/F's car. So much for the history - now some advice, please. 1. Is the gearbox in the estate the same as in the saloon, or is it a heavier type, or using lower gear ratios (to allow for the load factor? 2. Am I correct in assuming the gearbox is probably unrepairable, and a replacment box (ex service agent or scrappy) is the best option? 3. The car is old but still roadworthy and a good workhorse - the interior length and general space is very useful for transporting my tools and materials - but may not be an economical repair (although engine, front and rear suspension and rear brake system have all been replaced in the last two years - and it has two years to run under the French Controle Technique system). I have an offer of a 1992 Peugeot 405 estate for 700 euros (£500) in excellent order, without the hassle of bringing the VW back from the UK. I'm sentimentally fond of the old VW, and not sure if the 405 would be a worthy replacement - Help! Apart from anything else, swapping to a Peugeot would seem to bar me from joining in the Tyresmoke community - one of the most helpful I've found on the web. I know most of you out there have younger and sportier models than my workhorse, but to those of you (and I see from the posts that there are a few) who drive similar unglam models, what would you do in my place? Happy New Year to all.
  7. Mystery bonking noise

    Just to tidy up a loose end ..... after following all the advice given (and many thanks to all who contributed) with no success, the knocking (sorry for offending some with the more accurate description 'bonking') noise became much more frequent - and worrying. Eventually my local garage man discovered it was a sticking front suspension leg, something I'd never have thought of. Not dangerous in itself, but a nuisance, and in order to get it through the French Controle Technique, I had to replace the pair. All's well now, thanks - at least with the suspension. See later thread for gearbox problem .....
  8. Mystery bonking noise

    I know that asking you to diagnose a noise from a text message is like asking for the moon, but I'm at my wits end .... My 1990 Passat CL diesel LHD estate started making a muffled clonking noise from under the floor pan, right side, front, each time it went over a bump in the road or hit a dip. Just sounded as if something was loose enough to bang against the chassis. Neither of my local garages in the UK or France has been able to find the cause. The car has been up on the lift and the suspension etc checked, to no avail. Nothing appears to be loose. Now the noise has become so frequent it is almost regular - every little change in the road surface produces a muffled bonk. It's not allied in any way to the engine revs, and doesn't vary much with road speed. I've just had it re-checked, but still no clue as to what it might be - yet I feel something is in imminent danger of working loose and falling off. To save my remaining shreds of sanity, can anyone offer advice as to what it might be, or where to start looking for the cause? If you do happen to have suffered similarly, and can provide a solution, can you also advise if it's terminal? The car is old, on its second engine and suspension units, but it's comfortable, economical, and an excellent workhorse. There aren't too many of them here in the south of France, so my chances of finding a worthwhile replacement are slim.
  9. UK scrapyards

    OK - I did wonder if this should go on the diesel forum, but apologies in advance if so. I'm bringing the Passat over to the UK for Christmas, and want to use the time to best advantage for finding some bits - difficult with the usual festive season close-down. Has anyone any suggestions as to scrapyards in the south of England where I might find a reasonable selection of Passat body parts? I'm particularly in need of the left side (driver side in France) window winder mechanism, as mine has stripped several vital teeth. Is there a source for such things? Or ought I to order from a UK dealer by post and hope it reaches my holiday destination in the notorious Christmas post?
  10. Passat electrics - w/screen washer

    Anyone with an intimate knowledge of Passat (1990) electrics? My windscreen washers don't function off the steering column switch, while everything else does. Wiht no nearby VW dealer to order from, and Passat's being a fairly rare breed in the local scrap yards, finding a replacement switch is difficult. For the time being, I'd like to bridge the relevant connection with a temporary switch, but (a) I find the wiring diagrams in the Haynes manual impossible to follow (all right, I'm thick), and (b) five blown fuses later, I'm still no nearer finding the correct wire(s) leaving the two plug-in connectors under the steering wheel shroud. Can anyone advise, please? [My previous cars - Citroens and Renaults - were never this difficult ]
  11. Engine revision or replacement

    Thanks for the offer, Gibsonsg, but by the time I reaceived it, the car was at the scrappie awaiting the replacement. Now I've got it back, I'll try and find the code on the engine and let you know, so at least I'll know what I've had fitted!
  12. Engine revision or replacement

    Thanks, Sven, I took your advice and have had another engine fitted - collected yesterday, and the view out of the rear screen is clear - no smoke! The scrappie has fitted a new cambelt and done a full service, so hopefully it will last a while. Thanks for your help.
  13. Engine revision or replacement

    It's evident you guys have a lot of fun here, so I'm glad I've found you. However, my main purpose is to ask advice, so if I've hit the wrong forum, please advise. I have just bought a 1990 Passat estate, and it smokes like a factory chimney. It was very cheap, having failed the French MOT just on pollution control - the rest of the car is ok. I have no VW agent nearby to help me analyse the cause, and I'm getting a whole variety of conflicting advice. In general terms, I've been told to drop in a replacement lump from my local scrapyard (and to my surprise, they have one), this being cheaper than a complete overhaul of the existing (which has clocked 200,000 kms). But I'm also told it may not be the rings, as the car performs adequately for its age, but possibly the bearings in the turbo allowing lots of oil to escape - it's burning about a litre per 300 kms at present (very smokey!). I was surprised when my helpful scrappie told me the engine is a 1.6, as I had bought it under the impression it was 1.9, and the bulkhead label bears a little orange sticker saying 1.8. Yes, I'm confused! So my questions are: how can I find out what the oil-burning problem is; is the 1.6TD an adequate power source for an estate which has to carry my tools of trade, and can the 1.6 be replaced easily by a 1.9 (my scrappie has both available). Other than that, I'm very impressed with the car - it's a good solid motor (my boy racer days are long gone) and comfortable on long drives, with plenty of legroom for my passengers. If I can solve this one, I may be tempted to look for something more recent. All advice gratefully received.