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New User Guide to the MKIV Forum

Newbie Guide to the MKIV Forum - Please read before posting
First off welcome to the forum. VWVortex has over 160,000 registered users and 204 specific forums. As you can imagine, there is a huge amount of information out there right at your fingertips.

Search is our most valuable resource. A link to the search is provided at the top right hand corner of every page. It takes some getting used to, but used right it can supply quick answers to common questions. Search presents you with several options, first the search query - for this you want to be a general as possible (ie. when searching for information on what options there are for Cold Air Intakes start with the term "CAI" or just "cold air", likewise if you want to see pictures of black GTI's you may want to start with just "black"). Because search does not index shorter words and common terms you may need to get creative with it - don't give up, the information is out there. Several other fields allow you to search a specific forum (good for filtering the results, if you want to search all forums just leave it alone), the option to search thread titles or actual posts (titles are quicker, posts give you more results, but may not be what you are looking for), the option to search for posts by a specific username (good if you need to get in touch with a specific user), and the option to search for archived or recent content. Because this forum moves so quickly most of the content is archived relatively fast, make search when you search you search under both archived and recent content (this requires doing a seperate search of each).

MKIV Do-It-Yourself/ Frequently Asked Questions
We have compiled a thread of the most commonly asked questions as well as do-it-yourself procedures that people have written up. This thread is "stickied" (it doesn't move) at the top fo the forum and is filled with excellent resources for easy to difficult. The links run from removing a front bumper to replacing a water pump. It is suggested that everyone take a look at it at some point in order to be aware of the multitude of procedures and common questions already documented. If someone responds to a post by saying "It is in the DIY" Or "Check the FAQ", this is the thread they are talking about. To get a DIY or a FAQ inserted into the thread, simply report the post to a moderator (see Moderators below). We do our best to ensure these links are current, however we have no control over external links and as such, some may me dead. Before you report dead links to a moderator, you may want to look around the the site you were taken to, many times the sites have been redesigned and there is a link to "How-to's" or "Installs" that will take you to your desired location.

Personal Profile
Your personal profile is available in the "Personal Profile" link at the top right hand corner of every page. This is where you can change individual options, forum browsing options, change your location, vehicle or signature, see a list of your watched topics or even a recent history of IM conversations (see Instant Messaging below).

Forum Rules
Please be aware or and abide by the Forum Rules. The rules are in place in order to insure that everyone has an enjoyable and safe experience.

Consequences for Violating the Forum Rules
If you violate the forum rules you will be held accountable. We use a system of user points to keep a grasp of a user's status within the system. Points will be removed if a post or a thread violates the forum rules. Notice there is no way to get back lost user points - once they are gone, they are gone. If you hit zero, you will be banned. In addition, if the violation is serious enough, a user can be banned at any time without any warning. Moderators can edit a post, delete a post, lock a thread (no more replies allowed), or "Black Hole" a post. The black hole is where threads go to die, so not only are no more replies allowed, but users can not access the post altogether.

These forums are moderated, Moderators enforce the forum rules and make sure that things run as smoothly as possible. You can assist the moderators in their job by Reporting threads or posts that clearly violate the user agreement. This icon http://****************.com/default/report_post4.gif, located under the username of every post, allows you to alert a Moderator to a specific post. Moderators are not perfect, and they can not be everywhere at once, reporting posts helps us a great deal with our duties. In addition, if you have a problem with a specific action taken by a moderator, feel free to contact them via IM for an explanation. You may also contact one of the administrators if you feel that a situation was handled unjustly.

Instant Messaging
The forums have a built in instant message program that lets users converse between themselves. This icon
, below the username on every post, will pop up an IM window and allow you to carry on a conversation. IM's also serve as a notification tool by the moderators to alert users of locked posts, edited threads, deduction in user points, and any other administrative issues that come up. You may choose to turn IM's off in your preferences panel, but it is generally not encouraged unless there are extenuating circumstances. You may also block individual users from IM'ing you.

Forum Help
Forum Help is always available at the upper right hand corner of your screen. The help contains links to common questions about the forum software and things like how to post pictures, how to report a post to a moderator, how to make a post, etc.

Please use the search before posting. Once again, you get more information from a list of old threads on the same subject than you do by posting a new one. Once again, you may need to be creative. Examples:
-Someone in the MKIV forum looking to see if his ECU code mattered when buying a used chip. He couldn't find anything. Searching under 'ECU code' in the archived topic titles in the 1.8t forum pulled up 27 results, many of which answered the question.
-Someone was looking for pictures of a Reflex Silver GTI with blacked out headlights (Joey-Mod). Searching under "silver joey" in the archived topic titles in the MKIV forum pulled up about 10 different threads, all with pictures of silver cars with blacked out headlights. Searching under just "joey" returns many more results, and may require some sifting through of the threads, but is easier than waiting for people to post in a new thread.
You need to be as descriptive as possible with your thread titles. Once again, this forum can receive up to 300 new posts a day, people who have the answer to your questions will glaze right over a thread entitled "Help Me". The more descriptive your titles are the quicker you will get an answer or the more responses you will get, additionally, it assists people who are searching for the same kind of info in the future.

Posting Pictures
Images posted on the forums need to be hosted on the internet. VWvortex does not provide an image hosting service. A how-to on picture posting is available under forum help. Once again, images need to be hosted on the internet (not on your hard-drive) and be hosted by a service that allows remote linking (a list of good hosts is included in the how-to). For the benefit of users it is also advised to not host from places with bandwidth quotas, it is not unheard of for a popular thread on the vortex to have 5000 views in just a couple days. This can wreak havoc with bandwidth limited hosts.

Other Forums
The MKIV forum is not the only one here! The various forums can be accessed from the VWvortex forums main page or from the "Forum Jump" bar at the bottom right hand corner of forum and thread pages. Don't limit yourself to just one forum!
Some of the more common:
We have a number of Technical forums that are often more technical (who would have thought) and helpful on the more specific issues as compared to the general model (MKIV, MKII, Passat, etc.) forums. Some of the more common MKIV related ones:
TDI Forum
1.8t Forum
12v VR6 Forum
24v VR6 Forum
2.0 Forum
Our Regional forums are for regional specific gatherings, events and issues. They also provide a common place (usually a dedicated sticky thread) for buying and selling items within the region.
Regional Forums
Our Classifieds forums are where private buying and selling is conducted. Classified posts are not allowed in the general (MKIV, 1.8t, Electronic Gadgets) forums and will be moved to the correct forum or deleted.
Golf IV/Jetta IV Cars Classifieds, Golf IV/Jetta IV Parts Classifieds
Our Community forums include such things as Food and Beverage, Movies and Television, Home Improvement, the internationally renowned Car Lounge, and forums that do not necessarily have to do with VW's. Note: VWvortex does not have an Off-Topic forum, and any thread that is deemed as such will be locked or removed.
Community Forums
Our Help and Suggestion forums are the place to go if you are still confused about something, or have some suggestions for the forums or site. This also includes a Testing forum if you want to get your feet wet (ie.posting pictures) before you take the plunge!
Help and Suggestion Forums
Sister Forums - Vortex media owns several other automotive enthusiast sites. The community forums of all these sites (including Vortex) are merged.
Swedespeed - Volvo Enthusiast site
TripleZoom - Mazda Enthusiast site
MWerks - BMW Enthusiast site
SpeedArena - General Motorsports News and Discussion site
SubDriven - Subaru Enthusiast Site
Fourtitude - Audi Enthusiast Site
VWvortex Home Page - There is more than just forums!

Our advertisers (indicated by "Forum Sponsor", "Banner Advertiser", or "Classified Advertiser" below their username in posts) are what keep this forum alive. Please thank them by taking your business to them. Certain levels of advertisers have more privileges than a normal user (ie. posting Group-Buys in the general forums) and are often seen helping our readers throughout the forums. Our advertising policy is located here. In addition, if you are interested in becoming a Vortex Media advertiser, you may contact our advertising group.
Thank you for taking the time to acquaint yourself with the forum. Now go out and make use of it!

Modified by bhb399mm at 1:46 AM 11-15-2005
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