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From the Tech Support Archives: VW - No Heat when on "Vent" setting

Applies to the following Volkswagen vehicles: 
2005 > Jetta, 2009 > Jetta Sportwagon, 2006 > GTI/Rabbit, and 2007 > EOS

Audi announces Roadside Assistance mobile application

Audi announced Tuesday that it will launch a Roadside Assistance application for mobile devices. The application will be available for iOS, Android and some Blackberry devices. Audi's announcement follows the release of similar applications by BMW and MINI. Note that roadside assistance for all three brands is provided by Allstate, and it's more than likely that the mobile application is simply rebranded for each make.

AAA also offers a mobile application for it's roadside assistance.

Here's Audi's Press Release: 

Yet another recall for Toyota

Holy Cow, Toyota issues ANOTHER recall! This time for 2008 Highlanders and 2007-2008 RAV4's. In these vehicles the curtain side airbag roll over sensor(s) might malfunction.

FIAT? Did I hear that right?

Now wait just a friggen minute. Did you say FIAT? As in the Fiat that we all know and love from our childhood? The funky little italian jobbies that were always broken down on the side of the road, or waiting hopelessly at the shop for another fruitless repair? Yup, THAT Fiat. Coming back to the US! Starting with the 500 sedan, but rumor has it that a 500 convertible will be here too. Built in Mexico (global economy, remember?), and to be sold in about 150 Chrysler dealerships.

BMW and Mercedes outsell Lexus

USA Today reports that BMW and Mercedes outsold Lexus in the first quarter, this for the first time in 5 years. The article doesn't offer specifics, but assuming the report is accurate this could mean that Toyota's recall problems are beginning to have an effect on it's luxury car sales.

Add the troubles that Toyota is experiencing from the March earthquake, and the outlook might be dismal for the Japanese carmaker. Toyota just announced severe cuts in production, and it's dealers are bracing for a shortage of cars to sell this spring and summer.

VW Introduces New Beetle with more better muscles

No longer a "chick car"? According to Volkswagen, the redesigned New Beetle should appeal to more men, "without turning off it's female fans". A little over 3 inches wider and 6 inches longer than it's (eleven year old) predecessor, it has a "powerful appearance with muscular tension", according to VW marketing folks. You're playing with us again you wily Germans!

From the Tech Support Archives: DTC P1297 in VW's with 1.8T

Pressure Loss Fault Code P1297 in VW's with 1.8 liter Turbo Engines

Fault code P1297 may be set if the car is driven under load or revved up and then returned to idle. Fuel mixtures may go lean as well. If these symptoms occur, check the pressure relief valve in the crankcase breather system. If the valve is NOT moving freely, you found the problem. Replace it.

From the Tech Support Archives: VW A4 platform "Flashing Coolant Light"

On 1999 and later Volkswagen A4 platform cars: Customer complains of a “flashing coolant light when first started cold”. When verifying this complaint, coolant must NOT be warmed up. Back probe the signal wire with a DVOM set to the A/C voltage scale, turn the key on and check the voltage reading. A reading above 0.5v will turn the coolant light on.

With the meter still connected, open the coolant reservoir and gently clean the coolant level probes with a flat tip screwdriver or similar tool and watch for the voltage to drop.

More accelerator pedal/floor mat problems for Toyota

Toyota's not having a good year. The NHSTA reports two more Toyota recalls for accelerator pedal/floor mat related issues:

2006 - 2007 Lexus GS300 and GS350 AWD models.

According to the NHSTA, a plastic pad that is part of the floor mat may interfere with normal operation of the accelerator pedal. The accelerator pedal can become stuck on this plastic pad in a partially depressed position and not return to idle position.

2008-2011 Lexus LX570, 2003-2009 Toyota 4Runner, and 2006-2010 Toyota RAV4 models.

The latest chapter in the race for fuel efficiency

Honda is raising the stakes for fuel efficient gasoline powered compact cars by announcing two new versions of it's Civic, both more fuel efficient current Civic models.

The 2012 Civic HF has a 1.8 liter gasoline engine and is expected to to get 41 mpg highway, compared with 36 mpg for the current gas powered Civic.