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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This was the body of a message I sent out to some friends of mine this morning detailing my wonderful weekend </sarcasm>
Thought you guys would find this pretty amusing.
Most of you know that I'm already on my spare tire because I blew a tire a couple weeks back and it's taking forever for my new ones to come in, though I have an appointment Tuesday morning to have them mounted. Ghetto strike #1. Last week while on my way to BFE for some client work, I discover a nice electrical problem that causes anything electronic in my car to shut off and click right back on; A/C, radio, radar detector, engine computer, fuel pump. The best part is when it happens the computer readout in my dash gave out nice little messages like "ABS Fault" "Engine Fault" and my personal favourite "STOP" in rather large letters taking up the whole screen. Ghetto strike #2. Now, those German engineers were nice enough to squeeze 6 cylinders into a cramped space, however I now believe they consulted with their Japanese counterparts at Honda on how to place an alternator/generator in a totally unreachable spot. Anybody who has ever tried to do anything to a Japanese car under the hood more involved than learning how to spell "VTEC" knows what I mean. I think I burned a total of 6 fingers trying to find the loose wire.
This weekend, I decided to go visit the parents in Alabama seeing as I hadn't seen them since they got back from my aunt's funeral. I'm fortunate enough to go on a weekend when their lifelong friends are moving into a rental house as their new house is being built. I experience the pleasure of waking up at 5:45 on a Saturday to lift the sort of heavy furniture from around the world that military families seem to acquire en masse. Fast forward to Sunday evening. I decide to stay for dinner because, hell....another free meal. I shoot to leave around 7ish, so the whole group comes outside to wish me bon voyage. I roll down my window to say something most likely extremely profound, but at this moment I can't recall the words. I should probably give some background at this point. Back in 1999.5 (I don't remember ever writing the year 1999.5 on any checks....must have missed that year) Volkswagen thought it would be a good idea to use plastic power window regulators instead of metal. I think they skipped that day of Materials Science 1001 when they taught that metal is better than plastic. Should have been in the Cliff's Notes too. Anyway, owners of VW Golfs, Jettas, GTIs and God only knows what else would from time to time experience a phenomenon called "window falling into the door". This was due to the plastic breaking leaving nothing to support the window. (generic description) At some point, instead of issuing a recall, VW decided to extend the warranty on this part to 70,000 with no year limit. My drivers' side window has been acting up for the past week or so; a loud clunking noise, the one-touch express up/one-touch express down function not working, etc indicating that my regulator would soon be on it's way to the GTI in the sky. I made an appointment to take it to Jim Ellis (who, ironically has been voted the worst VW dealer in the country....great) to have them replaced under warranty Wednesday morning.
Flash back to last night around 7. I pull out of the driveway and my parents aren't too far behind me. I hit the button to replace the window to the upright and locked position and it gets about halfway up. I hear a noise that is only slightly reminiscent of knocking your two front teeth out and later figuring out you're chewing on your own tooth remnants (ask me how I know THAT one). Immediately my window goes from being halfway up, to disappearing within the depths of the door frame. Great news while there's a hurricane/tropical storm in the Gulf blowing thunderstorms your way. I head back over to my parents place figuring I could pull the window up and rig it up with a coat hanger or something temporary enough to get me back home. Seems reasonable enough, right? Well, 1 tug on the window with a pair of pliers brings it up maybe an inch or so before the damn window shatters IN MY HANDS. You know that look a deer gives you when its staring right into your headlights? It takes a second to realize that the last remaining barrier between myself and nature while I'm driving is crumbling in my hand. (and a little bloody, but that's beside the point) After extolling some choice naval terminology, it's time to brainstorm. I could just bust ass back to Atlanta with no window, but it will be uncomfortable as hell with a window open at triple-digit speeds, not to mention what the hell am I going to do about parking it? I have no garage like some of you *******s
Plastic it is. I figure I should be able to see through it somewhat, and the only thing at hand that fits the bill is a plastic painting dropcloth. I make the executive decision to forgo driving back to Atlanta until 3AM so I can get to Jim Ellis RIGHT when they open. Tape just won't stick to interior plastic and I refuse to use duct tape on my paint. The only feasible solution is to use a piece large enough to wrap around the door and tape it to itself. About an hour later, we had a nicely shrink-wrapped drivers side door. Ghetto strike #3. So this morning I wake up at 3 and hit the road. Ever see those people driving at speed on an Interstate with their convertible top down? No? Probably because it's so damn loud it's like being in the cheapest seat on a 747 if the FAA would permit airlines to seat passengers 3 inches away from the engine. Best part is we pretty much just wrapped up the whole door, handles and all so I had to climb in through the passenger side. I timed the drive almost perfectly though, getting to the Jim Ellis service dept. promptly at 7:20, where they must see this thing all the time. I was handed the keys to my rental Chevy Malibu (don't even get me started) and on my way to work where I succeeding in successfully being tired off my ass and rambling on and on in emails about why you should never roll the windows down in your car. It'll be interesting to see how it all pans out given the fact that I am not paying for anything except maybe the tire. I don't know who is going to have the honour of paying for my rental car, but it isn't going to be me.
I included some pictures below for your enjoyment. This first is my mom and I shrink-wrapping the door. Yes, the shop-vac in the bottom corner currently contains an entire window in compact easy-to-carry form. The second picture shows our handiwork on the door. Can you see how enthusiastically happy I look? Me neither. The last one is just an interior shot showing my lack of access to the door handle, window switches, door lock switch, and mirror settings. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to make an appointment with an audiologist and sleep for a week.




I just thought I'd share my experience with you. If you don't like it, shut the hell up
 

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Re: How I spent my weekend (ATL_Av8r)

manual crank windows are your friend

obin
 

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Re: How I spent my weekend (VWjet)

http://****************.com/smile/emthdown.gif window regulators.
I've done that 3 times (entire door wrap). And it gets even better when the parts are on back order, and the wait is 3 weeks!
 

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Re: How I spent my weekend (Obin Robinson)

Interestingly enough Obin, the manual crank windows use the same clip.
 

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hmm.

So does that mean manual windows fail at the same rate or something?
I bought my first "new' car as a saturn and decontented it completely... wanted no AC but that would of actually cost me more... so i ended up getting it.
I hate electronic controllers for common applications in cars.
valder.
 

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Re: hmm. (valder1)

It was very amusing to read your story. You are a great writter.
I hope things work out okay when you get your car back. Im suprised you got a rental.
Isnt Jim Ellis the dealer that got a lot of negative publicity from a ton of internet forums
?
-Ash
 

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Re: hmm. (valder1)

Isn't it ironic that whenever someone's car fails, they get some "cheapie" domestic loaner? I was just thinking... maybe the reason rental cars are always chevy malibus or ford escorts is because.. oh I dunno.. they're reliable?

As an ex-VW owner who got to know the service people at several local dealerships, welcome to the club. Nice wrapping job on the door btw. You deserve some kind of medal for that one.
-R
 

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Re: hmm. (DownShift)

Quote, originally posted by DownShift »
You are a great writter.

Unfortunately you aren't.

Great story by the way, I had a window reg fail (front passenger) a few weeks ago, my first. Luckily they replaced the clips in the driver's side as well.
 

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Re: hmm. (Hostile)

Quote, originally posted by Hostile »

Unfortunately you aren't.

HAHA! I'm a doosh.
I won't even edit it
.
-Ash
 

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Volkswagen Buys Controlling Stake in Plastic Tarp Manufacturer
Auburn Hills, MI: In response to rumors on Wall Street, Volkswagen of America announced today that it has purchased a 60% stake in Acme Plastic, the nation's largest manufacturer of plastic sheeting and tarp. The move was prompted by the high demand of Acme's products by Volkswagen customers. "It is an obvious synergy", said Horst Schumberg, a spokesman for the company. "With this acquisition, we are moving forward with our plans to include a roll of clear plastic sheeting in the emergency kit of every VW sold in the US."
 

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Re: How I spent my weekend (ATL_Av8r)

Quote, originally posted by ATL_Av8r »
After extolling some choice naval terminology

That had me laughing for a few minutes, I should tell that to my girl as she hears that terminology on a regular basis when I working on my car.
 

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Re: How I spent my weekend (Driftin GTI)

mine has been making some noise lately as well...it only has to last another month and a half and it can do whatever the hell it wants then.
Sorry to hear about your disaster...never fun having something break on your car away from home
Mike
 

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Re: How I spent my weekend (VWMike81)

Foos! I always keep clear plastic sheeting and tape in the trunk of my Jetta. Haven't had to use it yet....
 

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Re: How I spent my weekend (Mark1)

if you want to save some time next time pull the window out of the door and slide it up to the top then put a strip of duct tape at the bottom of the window where the seal is then put a few more at the top.
 

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Re: How I spent my weekend (2002GTI)

Quote, originally posted by 2002GTI »
if you want to save some time next time pull the window out of the door and slide it up to the top then put a strip of duct tape at the bottom of the window where the seal is then put a few more at the top.

dude, read the whole story before you post:
"Well, 1 tug on the window with a pair of pliers brings it up maybe an inch or so before the damn window shatters IN MY HANDS. You know that look a deer gives you when its staring right into your headlights? It takes a second to realize that the last remaining barrier between myself and nature while I'm driving is crumbling in my hand. (and a little bloody, but that's beside the point) "
 

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Re: How I spent my weekend (turbo_randy)

Sorry its just that it was like 15 min of reading... Yea you shouldnt use pliers to pull up glass, if you use your finger it should work fine.
Quote, originally posted by turbo_randy »

dude, read the whole story before you post:
"Well, 1 tug on the window with a pair of pliers brings it up maybe an inch or so before the damn window shatters IN MY HANDS. You know that look a deer gives you when its staring right into your headlights? It takes a second to realize that the last remaining barrier between myself and nature while I'm driving is crumbling in my hand. (and a little bloody, but that's beside the point) "
 

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Re: How I spent my weekend (ATL_Av8r)

For future reference to anyone who might suffer a similar tragedy, duct tape sucks for holding up fallen windows (I'll pull an Obin now and say "Ask me how I know"). My first reg broke on a Friday night at 245xx miles while I was 800 miles from home, leaving a tollbooth on 95N heading to Acadia NP for a camping vacation. Note to self: there are very few VW dealers in Maine.
In any case, we arrived at our campground and used part of a ground cloth to cover the opening, holding it up with what we had: duct tape. This was mid-June and the temps were in the 80s...luckily it didn't rain. We decided not to let this get us down, and we went sightseeing the next day. Slowly but surely, over the course of the day, the adhesive on the duct tape started to melt and the window slowly slid back into the door. The duct tape also left horrific goo marks on the doorframe (and glass), btw.
Fast forward to that night and make the long story short: we found a walmart and bought a roll of clear packing tape. This tape held the window in place firmly and was not affected by the heat at all. Even better: it's transparent so it doesn't obscure your view.
That was my first regulator failure. I've had 5 more since then, with none of hte replacements lasting more than 10 months. Both windows have the new metal clips now, and have been reliable since the last failure 10 months ago.

I haven't had to pay for a single one, of course, and I've gotten to know my service dept really well. In fact, when I took my car in for its 85,000 mile oil change last week they did that service for free AND bought me a tank of gas -- all I paid for was the parts to replace my rear brake pads...all on credit because I had left my wallet at home. If anyone is anywhere near Lynchburg, VA, I strongly recommend Terry VW's service department.
 

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Re: How I spent my weekend (bigelliot)

Too long, didn't read.
 
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