Baumeisters' Black '15 Beetle Convertible TDI

Baumeister

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2004
Location
Auburn, CA
TDI
'15 Beetle Convertible, '03 New Beetle TDI 5sp, '94 Audi Cabriolet(AFN swap in progress)
Quite slow in here, so I'll share the news that we've added to our TDI stable.
Finally pulled the trigger on a Black TDI Beetle Convertible DSG, 32,500 miles, CPO status that's been sitting at a dealer for nearly a year, and going through auction, etc for a year before that.
Combination of lowered price, timing, 0%/60 month financing, and the amount of deferred work piling up on our '03 NB TDI finally did it.
It's in near-new condition cosmetically and has the back-up camera, but not the Nav or Fender audio.
First mod might be finding a CarPlay capable unit while keeping the slick OE badge pop-up backup camera. Then finding Heritage wheels with the chrome center caps/rings.
Have only driven it home, but impressed with the performance/economy of the EA288/DSG combo so far.
Originally we were going to sell the '03 NB TDI AND the '94 Audi Cabriolet, which is still awaiting a longitudinal AFN transplant. The wife has nixed that idea for the moment, she wants to keep them all!


 
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Baumeister

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2004
Location
Auburn, CA
TDI
'15 Beetle Convertible, '03 New Beetle TDI 5sp, '94 Audi Cabriolet(AFN swap in progress)
Thanks Lightflyer1,
I've been researching for several hours yesterday and today! I'm concluding that I'm not gonna easily get both CarPlay and a good OE RVC image in the same unit. That is, unless there's an easy way to replace the RGB camera with an AV one?

So right now I'm thinking about just mounting an iPad mini for the CarPlay functionality(SiriusXM via streaming, Google Maps, etc.) with the stock unit.
But you're right, maybe just go ahead with the RNS315, and plug in an iPhone/iPad for longer trips. I didn't care for the CarPlay at first in our Chevy truck. Once Google Maps became available for it, it became quite handy and quick to work with while driving.


The price savings of the RNS315 will take the sting out of having to buy a new Ross-Tech interface, my old HEX-USB just won't cut it! I don't want to even start thinking about my original FlashZilla..., gonna work on getting some black Heritage wheels first.






RNS315 works really well. Cheaper too! Plug and play for the most part.
 

Lightflyer1

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Sep 13, 2005
Location
Round Rock, Texas
TDI
2015 Beetle tdi dsg
Bought a new unit ready to go for about $200 IIRC. They also preprogrammed it for me and furnished an oem puck as well as an OEM bumper mounted camera. I connect my Android phone via BT and do everything from there. I use Google maps and nav on the phone along with streaming music and such. I only use the 315 for the larger map display view and sound primarily. The phone does most of the work and connectivity and can be kept put away if wanted. I also use Torque and VAGDPF when needed as well.

From my reading you have to really want Car Play bad and be willing to pay a substantial amount and do the work yourself more than likely. The 315 was several hundred tops and pretty straight forward to do as it was an OEM option IIRC..
 

GTOguy

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 15, 2013
Location
Oklahoma
TDI
'13 Beetle TDI 6spd, Rawtek/Malone 2.0 Eco
Welcome. It will be nice to see a little more travel in here.
 

Baumeister

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2004
Location
Auburn, CA
TDI
'15 Beetle Convertible, '03 New Beetle TDI 5sp, '94 Audi Cabriolet(AFN swap in progress)
Sticking with the RCD-510 for now...

Thank you!

Coming out of a sewing store today a woman in her 80s stopped me and asked if that was our bug. She told me she and her husband have an '18 Beetle in black, then lamented that they've only put 6k on it. Then, like older people do, she started telling me the story of when they were first married, her husband bought a new beetle that's stayed in their family all these years, that was 1957! They like the new one!



There's a few family VWs I wish were still in our family: the '67 white beetle, the '76 Beetle with a '69 block engine, a '67 Karmann Ghia, all the 60s Transporters my parents looked at before buying a brand new '79(wouldn't mind having that one back either). My wife's side of the family has a few, most notably a beat-up '58 Ghia convertible that rusted out past repair, at least to repair in those days. I'm sure in any shape that one's worth at least 5 grand, just for the VIN and title. Just saw a nice one for sale for $60k.

Now that I've driven our '15 a bit (not as much as my wife), I'm really liking the OE rear view camera, enough to convince me not to mess with the RCD-510 for now. An off-brand MDI cord arrived a few days ago, it connects to the iPhone just fine but doesn't charge the phone so its going back. Thinking maybe an MDI cable is not worth bothering with? The Bluetooth works great. Haven't used a phone mount in at least 15 years but we're gonna try some out, maybe with wireless charging.

The DSG is behaving so far. Looking at the average consumption I can see my wife's been using the gas pedal as an on-off switch, she's having a lot of fun. She works nights, she likes the 'light-up' speaker rings, and the quality of the bluetooth connectivity.


Welcome. It will be nice to see a little more travel in here.
 

Baumeister

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2004
Location
Auburn, CA
TDI
'15 Beetle Convertible, '03 New Beetle TDI 5sp, '94 Audi Cabriolet(AFN swap in progress)
Happy Father's Day, everyone!

Today, I added Adblue/DEF for the first time, then figured out how easy it was to remove the locking band on the Kruse bottles. Pried that 1/4" locking ring(similar to a 2-litre soda bottle cap) in a few spots by misusing a flathead screwdriver, then used my network cable snips(they were handy to neatly pinch off the locking ring.

Was hoping to drain the tank first since the car had been mostly sitting for 19 months, but didn't see an easy way to do that so I decided just to fill up for now. to dilute the old stuff.
Also just filled up with 100% Propel HPR for the second time: 12.2gallons each time.

Dosed with Stanadyne Lubricity(purple bottle) on both fill-ups, but thinking that might be redundant while running 100% HPR? I've got PowerService on the shelf too, might try that next fill-up.
Finally got an owner's manual via eBay and Monster Mats are still on the way.
We decided to stick with the stock radio for now, the bluetooth works great and I don't want to mess with swapping out the rear view camera at the moment. I also listen to HD-Radio quite a bit so don't want to lose that.

I did buy a fancy phone holder/ wireless charger. Tried the CD mount which wasn't sturdy enough for my wife's iPhone plus. I then removed one of the switch blanks and clamped it on there: nice and SOLID. My wife loves that, works great for Google Maps/streaming SiriusXM(much better quality than satellite).

Still on the lookout for a set of Heritage wheels and center covers, might go with the SoCal place that refurbishes them. I'll be driving down that way in a few weeks, but if they're still not doing FTF business I'd just as soon have them ship them so I can drive this TDI instead of my pickup. Might be a wash on the shipping vs. additional fuel cost anyways.
For tires, I usually splurge on Michelins on the stickier side but thinking about the General Altimax RT 43 for this stock suspension car. It's got brand-new Ohtsu's on it,(haven't checked the manufacture date yet). Doesn't make sense to me to unmount/remount such a cheap tire, and then pay again to mount decent tires in the next year or so, right? I'm thinking the stock wheels with the full tread Ohtsu's ready to go would get snapped up pretty quick on Craigslist or FB Marketplace.
 

Baumeister

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2004
Location
Auburn, CA
TDI
'15 Beetle Convertible, '03 New Beetle TDI 5sp, '94 Audi Cabriolet(AFN swap in progress)
https://www.ebay.com/itm/VW-Beetle-...163943?hash=item23d9b1ce67:g:oaAAAOSwz0Be6-Tc

Not perfect, and horrid color. Easily painted, and maybe defer some cost by selling the snow tires to someone in PNW.
Wow! you aren't kidding about the color!! Not a horrible deal, but i think I'm gonna go with a reconditioned set like these: https://www.stockwheels.com/Volkswa...num-Alloy-Gloss-Black-8-Hole-69937A-Wheel-Rim


Especially if I can pick them up next month when I'm down that way.
I'll still need the center caps.
 

mrurbina

Vendor
Joined
Oct 4, 2009
Location
CHARLOTTE,NC
TDI
MK4 jetta tdi , alh wagon
Let me know if you're Interested. I haven't officially listed them yet


Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
 

Baumeister

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2004
Location
Auburn, CA
TDI
'15 Beetle Convertible, '03 New Beetle TDI 5sp, '94 Audi Cabriolet(AFN swap in progress)
Heritage wheels

Those look great, wish you’d caught me last week. I have a refurbished set in my possession right now.
 

IndigoBlueWagon

TDIClub Enthusiast, Principal IDParts, Vendor , w/
Joined
Aug 16, 2004
Location
South of Boston
TDI
'97 Passat, '99.5 Golf, '02 Jetta Wagon, '15 GSW
Saw a black NB TDI convertible with the top down while driving home Monday night. looks nice in that color. A colleage here at IDParts has a white one with a tan roof. Manual transmission. Not common.
 

Baumeister

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2004
Location
Auburn, CA
TDI
'15 Beetle Convertible, '03 New Beetle TDI 5sp, '94 Audi Cabriolet(AFN swap in progress)
We're liking it a lot. My wife works nights and I taxi our kids around during the day so we're both driving it, especially since we have the unlimited miles 2yr CPO warranty.


Last week I saw a black convertible on the road with the Heritage wheels that looked SO MUCH better than the 10 spoke(Philadelphia?) stock wheels we have. I happened to get a check for more back-pay than I planned so I pulled the trigger on buying a set, especially since the Ohtsu tires it came with leave a lot to be desired. I'm not usually one to change wheels, but the combination of getting rid of the Ohtsus and the look of the Heritage wheels is just too tempting.


Still not settled on tire choice. Been running Michelin Pilot Sports on the '03 for a LONG time, but looking at more economical choices.


The DSG isn't terrible, but I think I liked the Tiptronic in our now-gone '04 Passat better(opinion is probably swayed by the AWM 1.8t in front of it)


Saw a black NB TDI convertible with the top down while driving home Monday night. looks nice in that color. A colleage here at IDParts has a white one with a tan roof. Manual transmission. Not common.
 
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Baumeister

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2004
Location
Auburn, CA
TDI
'15 Beetle Convertible, '03 New Beetle TDI 5sp, '94 Audi Cabriolet(AFN swap in progress)
Lots of idle chat:

I saw the black Convertible Beetle with the Heritage rims here in town again today. Definitely still sold on the gloss black finish(contemplated an authentic retro silver/gray for a bit).

My Heritage wheels arrived last week, nicely refurbished/repainted in gloss black, just waiting on the beauty rims/center cap set from OE245. I'm heavily leaning towards General Altimax RT-43 to replace the Ohtsu it came with. I just can't see unmounting/remounting the Ohtsu tires, or even re-balancing them at this point, there's a slight shimmy and they're noisy, which is, of course, especially an annoyance in a convertible. (or maybe it's just that the engine is too damn quiet!!)


The paint is also in need of a color correction/protection/protection film.

After that its the 40k service, including the DSG, which I don't yet have the tools for. I try to do as much as I can DIY, as every encounter with our closest dealer over the past 16 years has necessitated a return trip to fix something they didn't put back together right(or I just did it myself to save the 30 minute drive, profound apologies from the service writer about how that NEVER happens, etc. If they made the mechanics talk to the customers I bet there'd be a LOT less of that!) Plus in California by law every time your car's in the shop they monkey with the tire pressures and set them to whatever is on the door pillar, no matter if the tires don't match that anymore or your load/driving preference. So that's something else to fix after every shop visit.

Been trying out the sport mode of the DSG on the twisty roads around here, it's a lot more fun, almost a necessity when driving those roads versus the hesitancy of the normal shift points. Still not as much fun on those roads as our modded '03 5 speed ALH New Beetle, but it's not terrible.
I've been running a blend of 70% D2/30% Propel HPR for the past 3 tankfuls, along with Stanadyne purple and White PowerService. Gave it a dose of DieselKleen a few weeks ago.
Hoping to change the oil(pretty sure it's been a year according to CarFax) in the next week or so.

It'll make a visit to Matt-98AHU's shop at some point, that's just a few hours away. It's more likely that he'll see our '03 ALH Beetle for a subframe adjustment and other work once I do some cosmetics on that one.

Looking on Cars.com, there's not another EA288-engined convertible for sale there right now, and the earlier years are asking thousands more than this one, so I'm feeling pretty good about the timing of our purchase, and not minding so much dumping some more money into it.

 
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Baumeister

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2004
Location
Auburn, CA
TDI
'15 Beetle Convertible, '03 New Beetle TDI 5sp, '94 Audi Cabriolet(AFN swap in progress)
No pics at the moment as the car is filthy. Now I remember what owning a black car is like!

Past month has seen the Heritage wheels/hubcaps/beauty rings arrive. Stockwheels.com for the refurbished wheels and OE245 for the hubcaps/beauty rings.
For all of you that recommended the General Altimax RT-43 tires, THANK YOU!! Great choice with a stock suspension.

My wife was hesitant about changing out tires. As I predicted, it's a night and day difference from the post-fix Ohtsu tires VW put on it(of course). I went with the T-rated version, they're at stock pressure right now(31?) but I'll try running a few PSI higher, and with the fronts even higher. The wife is extremely happy and can't believe how much better the car drives/rides. Tire noise is a big concern in a convertible, these are pretty quiet, hopefully they'll stay that way.
 

Baumeister

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2004
Location
Auburn, CA
TDI
'15 Beetle Convertible, '03 New Beetle TDI 5sp, '94 Audi Cabriolet(AFN swap in progress)
The Heritage rims and beauty rings/hubcaps make an incredible difference, plus a few coats of Collinite #915 paste wax. Nice fall day in front of our house(yes, that's 2" copper pipe fence rails, courtesy of the previous owner, got about 200' of 'em installed)

 

Baumeister

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2004
Location
Auburn, CA
TDI
'15 Beetle Convertible, '03 New Beetle TDI 5sp, '94 Audi Cabriolet(AFN swap in progress)
Took it in to the Dealer for CPO warranty items nearly 3 weeks ago and they still have it. Waiting on an alternator to make its slow trek across the country. So I had them do the 40k service while it's there, but now I'm regretting not having a family-owned local independent do it. I have much more trust in the local guy doing a quality job on the DSG than the dealer. Oh well, we're only 5 months into a 2 year, unlimited mile CPO warranty.

One CPO issue is a chirp from the belts, sheesh! Thought VW fixed that pulley alignment issue 20 years ago? Now they don't even sell it on its own, have to replace the alternator. Huh, maybe that's how they 'fixed' it...
They cleaned up the rear view camera lens(still not great), fixed the trunk emergency release cable, but haven't found the water intrusion location. That happened the day I took it in, I've only gotten one Gummi Pflege treatment on all the seals. I love that stuff, use it on all our cars. Especially good on the hood and trunk seals that often get neglected.

Friday the dealer finally gave me a loaner, a 2020 Black Passat with only 320 miles on the ODO. Not bad but missing the bug. At least the Passat has lots more trunk space to stash holiday purchases.
 

Baumeister

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2004
Location
Auburn, CA
TDI
'15 Beetle Convertible, '03 New Beetle TDI 5sp, '94 Audi Cabriolet(AFN swap in progress)
Got the Beetle back from the dealer on the 19th, but dropped it off at the dealer we purchased it from(2.5 hours away) on 12/30 due to a flashing glow plug light while we were in that area.
They called in the VW regional Quality Technical Manager to look at it, long story short we're waiting for a new camshaft to be installed, hopefully this week.
 

Baumeister

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2004
Location
Auburn, CA
TDI
'15 Beetle Convertible, '03 New Beetle TDI 5sp, '94 Audi Cabriolet(AFN swap in progress)
The long story is that an engine 'chirp' when cold at 34k progressed to being constant at 39k miles. Since it's a CPO vehicle purchased last May I just took it to the semi-local dealer in November without investigating too much myself.(I bought it from a dealer a few hours away) They diagnosed it as being from the alternator pulley. I've been around VWs long enough to just shake my head that VWs are still having that issue(for 30 years now). Well, the pulley isn't a separate item anymore, so they had to order an alternator, which was only in stock on the east coast(I'm in California). That should have been my first clue that it likely wasn't the alternator, but it being an EA288 it still seemed plausible.
So after a few weeks(over Thanksgiving, slowest cross-country truck ever) they put the alternator on and it still chirped. They then decided it was the timing belt tensioner and replaced that, all parts in stock so that only took a few days. They did give me a loaner brand-new Passat for the last week or so that we were waiting, after I told them I'd just come get it since they not only couldn't get an alternator, they couldn't give me an ETA on it(or have one over-nighted). There were other clues that I wasn't getting the best and brightest working on it, and that "they'd help me out more with the CPO stuff if I bought the 40k service".

So we got the car back before Christmas, quiet and running great for about a week. It then went into limp mode a few times, always resetting with a re-start.Right before New Year's I took it on a long day trip where the check engine light came on and glow plug light started flashing, but no limp mode, and it would re-set each restart. I was fortunately a few miles from the dealer I bought it from so I drove it in there, where it refused to re-start.
The next day the SA communicated to me a 'failed' timing belt tensioner(the new one) which I think took them a week to get and install(due to holiday). Then they were getting some codes that Tech Line wanted the regional Quality Technical Manager to assess. The QTM had them do a few other things then wanted to see it in person, which took another week or so. After looking at the car in person, the QTM had them order a new camshaft assembly, which took another week to arrive, plus install/test time.
I've had it back about a week now and it seems to be in tip-top shape. The first dealer did the 40k service(I'm a bit wary of that now).
The 2nd dealer's write-up details that initially they found a fault for "crank position alication...checked timing marks and the crank shaft position was off one or more tooth positions...I removed the new timing belt and repositioned it with all 3 pins installed...CAR STILL WON'T START....

There's more but the most detail I got was "Camshaft assembly was malfunction inside". The tensioner wasn't replaced again(at least it wasn't on the invoice). Since this was a 'different' failure from the 'chirp', it was a separate $50 CPO deductible. They paid for 2/3 of my rental so I'm not too hung up about that, just irked about it and what the real story likely is on the camshaft assembly failure. Nice to have a free timing belt service but that didn't included the water pump so perhaps the original interval remains.(plus now wondering if proper torque applied, etc.)
Have only driven it post-repair a few hundred miles so far, all seems well. We really like the car and missed having it. We'll see what the next 18 months brings, it has the 2 years/unlimited mile CPO warranty, so if it gets problematic we may just dump it then, like we did with our '04 Passat 1.8t. Fun to drive, but not fun enought to deal with the level of hassle/cost to maintain. I got my VCDS interface updated from Hex-USB to the newest version so I'm set for awhile with it.
The 2020 Jetta gasser rental we had from the 2nd dealer wasn't terrible but my wife wouldn't consider owning one, even for our high-schooler daughter. When your 5' 4" kid has to contort for ingress/egress without hitting her head that's just bad design. I've never experienced that in a German make before. Even my Opel GT had great ingress/egress for my 6'3" frame and that was a pretty rounded-side car. But I'm learning there's less and less traditional 'German' engineering in these cars, even from the German engineers.
 
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ticaf

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2018
Location
baltimore, MD
TDI
2015 Golf SW S Manual TDI
Thanks for the info. This looks to me like another botched timing belt job.
Watch out for oil leaks on the new camshaft housing, it can be hard to get it right apparently.
They also should have proposed you to replace the water pump, as it is prone to fail early.
 

Baumeister

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2004
Location
Auburn, CA
TDI
'15 Beetle Convertible, '03 New Beetle TDI 5sp, '94 Audi Cabriolet(AFN swap in progress)
Ticaf, thanks, I certainly agree. I'll be watching closely, I'm sure it will be back to the dealer at least once before this warranty's up.
When I wrote to the original dealer Service Manager(and VW corporate separately) I included the 'no mention/offer' of replacing the water pump, which I would have gladly paid for.(knowing they can't replace under warranty unless it's failed) But seeing how the timing belt job went, I'm glad they let it be! I figure I'm better off having it replaced closer to the end of the warranty, and if it's not failing by then I'll be fine with that. The car will be 7 years old with about 75k miles on it, having mostly sat for about 2 years of that prior to June 2020.
The original SA didn't have great communication/sales skills, the Service Manager wound up refunding several charges but I'm still out some rental car charges, travel time and loss of use for nearly 2 months.

Thanks for the info. This looks to me like another botched timing belt job.
Watch out for oil leaks on the new camshaft housing, it can be hard to get it right apparently.
They also should have proposed you to replace the water pump, as it is prone to fail early.
 
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