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12 months in the life of a Touran

Started by insanitybeard, August 22, 2016, 07:24:28 PM

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Well, we've now had and been using the Touran for a tad over 12 months, below are some my observations and musings of faults (and jobs I've done to correct said faults) and problems which may or may not be common to the design. It would appear that mechanically the bulk of this vehicle is based on the Mk5 Golf, therefore many parts and procedures will be the same as said model of Golf.

Firstly, the engine consistently returns about 10mpg higher (typically an average of about 40-45mpg, with a fair bit of short stop-start town driving) than my Galaxy, they both have the 1.9 PD engine though it's in a slightly less powerful variant in the Touran (engine code BKC, 105ps max power output) - of course the Touran is somewhat smaller and lighter than the Galaxy, which must help the improved mpg figures.

The build quality is good, but not perfect- I've said this several times before but I fail to understand why VW insist on using surface finished plastics in high use/ wear components such as interior door grab handles, exterior door handles (not applicable if painted handles are fitted from factory), stereo controls, rotary headlamp switch etc. After a few years of use the finish wears off exposing a different coloured plastic underneath which frankly looks crap. The bootlid on this particular Touran is suffering from rust around the rear number plate lamps, this doesn't affect all similar age Tourans I've spotted but from a few tales I've read on various online forums isn't an isolated case.

The independent rear suspension fitted to this type of car is quite complex (i.e, lots of rubber bushes and arms) which is no issue until the vehicle gets a few miles under it's belt and the rubber bushes start to perish/ split/ pull out from the arms, when it can become a much bigger issue to rectify- two of the arms per side have eccentric adjuster bolts and disturbing them will affect the steering geometry, plus the access to some of the bolts isn't great if you need to remove them. To be fair, our Touran has covered 110k and the bushes have only been advisory items on MOT so far (just passed it's first MOT in our ownership back in July) so it's not been a problem yet but if I did ever have to start messing with it it's a job I would fear to be honest, simply because of the complexity and number of things that could go wrong. To be fair, a majority of modern vehicles have similar rear suspension setups so this issue is by no means exclusive to the Touran.

Also, the rear suspension damper bump stops are made from some kind of polyurethane foam which loses it's mechanical properties after 10 years of use and they disintegrate, this means that the shroud which covers and protects the damper rod falls down. This is a common issue as I've seen it on several similar age Tourans. It's not really a big deal and again a majority of modern cars employ a similar setup so it's not an exclusive fault. Below gives a comparison of the old knackered stops compared to the new ones I've just fitted:


The brake discs also have splash / protector shields fitted behind them, these are only made of thin pressed steel and if our Touran is a typical example, they rust through and fall to bits after 10 years service. Replacements aren't massively expensive but (at least in the case of the rear ones) they are a pain in the ass to replace as you have to remove the rear hub/ wheelbearing assembly in order to remove and refit them.

Other faults I've sorted:-

The alternator clutch pulley can stop working properly, this can cause the engine to judder a bit on takeup of drive at low revs and also result in belt squeal, this is a fairly common fault with the pulleys fitted to the alternators on the PD engine, replacement of said pulley is covered here.

The outer CV boots were both loose at the inner clip (small end where the boot clamps to the driveshaft), not sure if this is a common fault but I had to renew one driveshaft complete as it had been left in this state for too long and water had got into the joint and ruined the splines where the shaft mates with the outer CV joint- see

The retaining nuts for the front lower arm balljoint (connecting the lower arm to the wheel knuckle) have a tendency to seize and then shear off the studs when you try to undo them (necessary if you need to remove the driveshaft for example).

The clips which secure the warning triangle cover trim into the tailgate trim seem to break for a pastime, this is a common issue as I've seen several Tourans like this with either gaffer tape holding the cover closed or additional self tapping screws shoved in there to achieve the same thing! Easy enough to put right if you're bothered.

That's about it for now, I've just renewed the rear brake discs and pads (did the backplates at the same time) as the discs were grooved and rusty and the pads worn / crumbling. I've bought a new bit of wiring loom to repair the front brake pad wear indicators as the connector onto the pads themselves is busted and I'm fed up with seeing the 'check brake pad' warning lamp on all the time. The tailgate corrosion is something I need to sort in due course (I've got a new unpainted bootlid to get painted and fitted at some point- no I didn't pay loads for it, somebody was flogging one cheap on good ol' [eBay] ). I've got an engine oil leak to sort from the top of the engine somewhere, likely culprits are rocker cover or tandem pump gaskets/ seals.

I've got several procedures to write up at some point when time allows, I'm sure you can relate to the trouble with finding time to do stuff  ::) , but in the meantime I've taken plenty of pictures of stuff I've done so if I can be of help either post a reply or send me a message and if I can help I will!

More to follow....................

Always learning..... Often by mistakes!

Comparison of the new and old remnants of the rear disc backplates........

Always learning..... Often by mistakes!

I know they get a hammering where they live but them back plates must be poor quality to be that knackered at only 10 years old. I have had cars older than that with back plates in much better condition.

Know what you mean about the coated plastic parts vw use I have had to flat and re do my interior grab handles as they looked awful.

Another bug bear of mine is diamond cut and laquered wheels they just don't stand up to the punishment powder coated wheels do.

I was told that the car had been previously owned by a doctor so maybe it got a lot of use down muddy / wet country lanes but even so, those backplates ended their useful life a long time ago! I know what you mean about the wheels, the Touran has got steel wheels with trims so no issue but the Mk2 Galaxy Ghias had lacquered alloy rims fitted from the factory which look fantastic when new but when they get a few years use and the corrosion gets in under the lacquer look truly dreadful. I've had 4 out of 5 my wheels properly refinished, I did originally buy a refurb alloy wheel from  [eBay] but when I went to have the tyre renewed on it recently huge sheets of lacquer came away when the tyre bead separated from the rim. When I took the wheel to my local refinshers they told me that whoever had originally refinished the wheel hadn't 'baked' the lacquer properly to bond it to the powder coat base, so I've paid twice for that one  ::) Here's the recently re-refinished wheel: !

Always learning..... Often by mistakes!

Yes they do look good when new but it don't take long for the powder crap to start does it?
Your refurbished one looks like a nice job,powder coated whole wheel rather than polished/laquered spokes and coated scallops will last a lot longer.

My wheels were in a terrible state for now I have stripped old stuff off and painted with wheel paint and laquer until I source a decent alloy spare. Then will get one at a time dipped and powder coated.

Yeah, they do a good job (South West Wheel Repairs Exeter), I did what you said about doing- source a tatty but mechanically sound secondhand rim from [eBay], get it refurbed and fitted, then get the next wheel done and fitted as each tyre wears out. I've now got a proper alloy spare as well.
Always learning..... Often by mistakes!

Makes sense to do that way as end result 5 decent alloys and tyres.
Do you still use the standard winch for spare wheel or do you have an extra security measure? The standard set up does not seem secure enough to me I always think I will lose the wheel on speed bumps etc?!

Yeah it's not exactly an over engineered securing mechanism is it?! No, mine is secured only by the winch, which with all the tales of busted/ stripped plastic gears in the mechanism isn't brilliant, and the wheel and tyre is a fair old weight to be swinging off of it. I see you can get more robust alloy gears to replace the plastic ones. Just looking underneath the vehicle it may be possible to rig up some bungee or something around the towing eye/ rear crash beam/ rear subframe, would look like a dog's dinner though!
Always learning..... Often by mistakes!

I have seen updated gears for the mechanism
Which involves drilling rivets etc...... Debating whether it's worth doing or seeing if there is a better way, thinking the old PSA plate and steel rod locking system might work and take the strain off the winch?