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Thread: Budget VW Phaeton

  1. #1

    Budget VW Phaeton

    Yip, the title is correct, I have gone and done possibly the stupidest thing ever and bought a cheap VW Phaeton

    What could possibly go wrong!

    I've always loved these but they're not very common and tend not to be overly cheap so when this came up I just couldn't help myself. I sort of took the view that I should just buy one that already has all the common problems rather than an expensive one that will just have all the problems anyway.

    So here she is.

    Vw phaeton 3.0 tdi by John Kearns, on Flickr

    Vw phaeton 3.0 tdi by John Kearns, on Flickr

    Vw phaeton 3.0 tdi by John Kearns, on Flickr

    The first and most obvious problem is the wheels, not to my personal taste but the tyres have thread on them and genuine wheels seem to be bloody expensive so these will do for the time being. They've kind of grown on me a little bit since I picked it up but still not ideal.

    Then we get into the problems, firstly the central infotainment system that controls the radio/nav and airconditioning etc is mostly not working, the screen generally remains blank but if you furiously press the buttons you can get the air con to do stuff and the radio does actually work. This seems to be a very common problem, occasionally it does actually function ok for a few minutes but then just goes into a loop of continuous rebooting. Apparently in some cases a software update can cure this but it comes on a disc that goes into the sat nav and seems to be incredibly difficult to find, if I can get a hold of it I'll try for the craic as its going to need a replacment unit anyway, they can be got second hand, not cheap mind but generally seems to solve the problem.

    Next issue is the boot, its the hydraulically operated option so you should just press the button on the key and the boot will smoothly open and then a button on the boot lid to close but thats also stopped working, you can still open it with the key but thats not really very dramatic . There is a reset procedure if the boot gets out of sync which I've tried and didn't work and having checked with an ancient VAG-COM cable and the free version of VCDS lite it is showing a fault code for the boot lid control module not getting power, I can see that the wiring has been messed with before where it goes into the boot lid and I'll have a good look over that, if I can't find anything there I'll just replaced the controller and that should sort it.

    Then we get to the passenger seat, this wasn't responding either, we'd thought it might be the switch on the seat itself as there are a few buttons broken off it but I noticed that all the seat functions weren't working but the seatbelt height adjustment was working (yes, the seatbelt height on the pillar is electrically adjusted), this uses the same switch and the memory control module thats in the seat base, after clearing the fault codes from the seat and trying again it was making noise but still not moving. I tried going into the adaptations menu in the VCDS and although I didn't actually change or do anything the seat then worked for about 10 seconds and then stopped again, it did this a few times so the motors and the controls seem to be ok and it doesn't show any faults now. I'm going to order the full version of the VCDS shortly as I'm definitely going to need it so maybe I'll be able to shed more light on it then.

    Vw phaeton 3.0 tdi by John Kearns, on Flickr

    Only other thing I'm a bit weary of is the gearbox, it does the old hard change into first and gets a bit confused sometimes but I have fluid here from when I had the 535d so I'll try a filter and fluid change on it, other than that it'll just have to survive for as long as it can cause I ain't changing it

    But apart from all that its a pretty amazing piece of kit, its the 3.0 tdi engine which to be fair goes ok for something of this mass, it is amazing on a motorway, just set the cruise to 120 and sit there in relative silence and glide along while the odd person stares at you strangely wondering what the hell is that big passat looking yoke

    As the spec on these goes its not the best equipped but it still has everything you could ever need. If I can get these issues sorted it'll be fantastic, I'm a firm believer that anything can be fixed, its just the amount of effort your willing to put into it. I'm fully aware that I'll probably never be able to sell it and there is definately a chance that I might be left with a 2.5 tonne garden ornament but for the money involved I think its worth the risk.

    I've a lead on a screen that I might have before next weekend and that's the biggest issue really, I'll try and keep this thread updated because I've a feeling this is going to be interesting and probably not go as smoothly as I'd like Should be fun though! ....... ish.

    I'll try and get better photos at some stage, I only picked it up yesterday and I've an exam on Wednesday that I should be studying for rather that writing crap on the internet
    Dr Per Gillbrand - "“All engines have an oil pump, a fuel pump and a water pump, so why not an air pump, which is all a turbo really is? I think it’s odd that all engines don’t have one!”

  2. #2
    Fair play to you. Love these so will be watching with interest how things play out.

    Older but no wiser.

  3. #3
    Brilliant. A truly wonderful machine. Will be following with interest

  4. #4
    Well wear John. Heck of a machine.
    Hoon–Five–0 2017.
    Ireland - France – Switzerland – Italy – Germany – Belgium

  5. #5
    That's absolutely cool!
    "All the finesse of a badger." (cdiv)

  6. #6
    Fair play to you JK, cool car. Saw one the other day and it reminded me how much I like them. Good luck with the fixes. Hope all your problems are the cheap ones!

  7. #7

  8. #8
    You Sir, are my hero! Love It

  9. #9
    That's fantastic J_K. Giz a pic of the boot hinges!!

  10. #10
    great buy.... Fingers crossed it doesn't hurt you too much.... I'm sure it wont.... And yes the wheels are awful.....

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