Project SportWagen TDI: Protecting Our Investment

When we started our mk2 restoration, the decision was made to return the car to its original Cashmere White color simply because, as VW Vortex contributor Wes says, “it hides all manner of sins.” And its true—black and darker hues, while beautiful when clean, tend to show every last speck of dirt, dust, and grime. So to deal with the wonderfully unpredictable weather conditions and summertime road construction, Pure White was a great choice for our mk7 TDI Golf Sportwagen. I mean—what could possibly go wrong?

For us, it was simply a matter of mods begetting more mods. Our awesome new plus-size Talladega wheels and wider BF Goodrich tires gave us equally awesome splashes of mud and dross along our beautiful white fenders and rear bumper. But just because I like gazing at Greyed Rainbow at the Art Institute in Chicago doesn’t mean I want to recreate the work on the lower half of our wagon.

flaps

This is where VW Accessories came in with their Splash Guards. Molded to fit the mk7 fender wells and utilize some of the original lining mounting points, installation takes about 20 minutes for all four corners—including the time to raise the car. It’s possible to do without removing the wheels, too, but why make things harder? With the car wheel-less on jack stands, the installation can be accomplished in half that time. Once lowered back to the ground, the Splash Guards look like OE equipment (why they’re not, we still don’t understand) and blend nicely with the rest of the car’s lines.

flaps2

With the Splash Guards, VW Accessories also sent the Rear Bumper and Door Cup Paint Protection Kit. This kit, while being nearly invisible if installed correctly (more on that in a minute) is designed to prevent scratches from fingernails & rings when opening the door and from cargo being loaded & unloaded into the rear hatch.

rearapply

 

Essentially pre-cut pieces of clear vinyl, they fit neatly into their respective areas and allow the paint color to still show through. Installation is a bit tricky, though, as Volkswagen says to mix up a solution of baby shampoo(!) and water, to use as a lubricant when applying. They could take a page from Audi’s book, as the paint protection kit we installed on an A4 included a spray bottle with the soap already in it.

rearguard

Nevertheless, we made do the old-fashioned way with a bottle of Windex and a squeegee that VW was kind enough to include in the kit. It takes patience, and a steady hand, but it can definitely be knocked out in less than a half hour. Pro tip: do the rear bumper first, then cut the squeegee in half so it fits easier behind the door handles.

At the end of the day, we ended up with a visible accessory that keeps the TDI Wagon looking minty-fresh, and an unseen accessory that keeps us from damaging our beautiful paint. Now the only question is how the Splash Guards will fit if the car were to say…be lowered? Final suspension tease, we promise.