Bought a Mk6 GTI. Oof.


Passed Driver's Ed
Hey y'all.

I've been through my fair share of VW's over my 24 years of driving experience. But after the last 13 months of daily driving a nice F150, I was jonesing for a manual transmission and something sporty again.

So I pounced on this local, 1 owner 2012 GTI Autobahn 6-spd manual. 117k of seemingly gentle miles, but stored outside and has lived in Buffalo, NY and Ann Arbor, Michigan. RUST... exists. I'm still just within 12 years... wish me luck for an impending battle with the local dealer. They have hooked up some VERY thorough rust warranty repairs for me in the past (03 Jetta, 05 Jetta, and a 09 GTI that first belonged to @snobrdrdan ).

So far I only did one short test drive with the owner, and then drove it home and straight into the garage for inspection and preliminary repairs.

Front bumper was pretty beat up and not attached well, easy on/off so why not look underneath.

Look at how fackin swirly and awful the paint on the hood was. I did wash, quick detailer, clay bar, scratchX polish (probably better products out there, but its what I had), detailer again, and carnuba wax.

Muuuuch better:

These HID lights are pretty sweet, except for the silly looking string of pearls. Maybe I'll code those off for good in VCDS.

Some mods on the way, can't resist tinkering. Oh and the clutch might be slipping... yay.


Passed Driver's Ed
One of the first mandatory mods was a head unit upgrade. Ancient multimedia connectors in the center armrest just to run my iphone as an iPod wasn't gonna cut it for long, and the factory nav from 2012 was just kind of hilarious.

So I decided to try the Eonon unit; perfect form-fit and true plug and play. Ridiculously easy install, and $175 is hard to beat. The dynaudio system sounds terrific through this eonon unit.

Bye bye stock unit (do these have any resale value?)

Looks like a rats nest, but really only because the eonon has such a ridiculous amount of optional connections; very customizable.

The Eonon home screen is kind of stupid looking and not all that useful. But wireless carplay is very nice!

Finally got to drive the car into work today and learn more about it. People who stay at least 20' away have nothing but nice things to say about the car, haha.

Look what I found in the garage.... hmmm... why not. I recall it working quite well on my Mk5 GTI back in the day.



former GTI owner
Nice score...pretty damn similar to a MK5, minus the styling

Timing tensioner (chains too?) been done?
How much did you get it for?


Passed Driver's Ed
Hey man. I doubt the chains/tensioner has been done. Got very minimal service records, but seems the only major service it has had is an intake manifold replacement. I'll politely ask the local dealer for a copy of all service records when I take her in soon, see what I get.

I need to reacquaint myself with how to check the perceived chain stretch within VCDS. A little bit of a lumpy idle, but no funny sounds. Starts smoothly.

Got the car for $5800. I watch craigslist a lot, and marketplace at times, and finding a 6-spd manual car in nice driving condition for anything much under $10k has been tough. Had to jump on this one. Interior is a very nice 9/10, feels like a LOT of sporty car for the money, but the future maintenance needs is always a gamble with a higher mile VW.

Another mod I've had on the garage shelf and never got installed in my prior VWs, finally did last night :



Passed Driver's Ed
Nice score...pretty damn similar to a MK5, minus the styling
Yes, but also No. Your base Mk5 GTI was plenty nice, and I enjoyed driving it before a nice flip sale, but this Mk6 is kind of like a luxury car in comparison: dynamic HID headlights, sexy leather seats, KESSY, and now a 9" infotainment screen, etc. I also just swapped all the interior lights to LED (Do NOT buy the ECS tuning kit! Ziza bulbs suck and dont fit).

Perhaps the best upgrade for me personally vs my prior GTIs is the 4 doors vs 2. My kids need their own doors and windows!


former GTI owner
I meant the underpinnings are basically a MK5, but with a updated exterior/interior.

Speaking of....where's the upper grille, lol?

The "rub strips" on the doors are a odd/rare addition (courtesy of VW accessories).

The rear looks lowered btw...or was it just loaded up (in the 1st pic)?

It should have the Dynaudio system, right?
That was FANTASTIC in the MK6

You're right on the's gone stupid.

You said there's rust....where's it at?

I wonder if it's ever had a clutch done?
I'd see if the valves (carbon cleaning) have been cleaned too?
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Passed Driver's Ed
I was all set to get a badgeless grill, bought a cheap one off ebay - showed up broken in the box, and didn't seem like it would fit well. Plus the plastic hood notch filler it came with was a total piece of crap. Returning it.

So I just put the OE grill back on, but did a "red delete" with some black vinyl first. Looks ok. Couple more tweaks planned for it, but I'll wait to see how they turn out before snapping a pic.

Zero mods to the car as I bought it. Dude was original owner, now ~65 years old and ready to let go. The rear does sit quite low, maybe original shocks? No weight in the car, in fact I pulled the spare and jack out. But it was facing uphill in that very first pic, so leaning back a little.

Yes Dynaudio, and I agree - fantastic. The clarity and soundstage presence is awesome. Makes my F150 stereo sound like crap in comparison - bummer. The only thing I would like is a quicker way to tweak the bass up and down by the song/genre, but so far on a neutral setting it is fine. I was worried that the Eonon head unit might not play nice with the Dynaudio, but its great.

The RUST is in a lot of places. Front passenger fender has the early little bubbles. Both rockers at very front. Drivers door rear bottom corner (and into rocker there too), and worst spot is the passenger door handle, about to pop all the paint off and be a hole. How much will the dealer cover through rust warranty? hopefully find out soon.

I was getting a pretty good clunky rattle from the rear, especially in slow driving over bumpy surfaces, so I dug in last night.

The tow hitch had to go! I wanted the weight reduction anyway, since I have an F150 for hauling anything. But the hack-job install was NOT COOL. The passenger side rear subframe was missing it's rear bolt entirely. Thankfully I had some new, long VW M12-1.5 bolts in my parts inventory I could pluck as replacements.


former GTI owner
How much will the dealer cover through rust warranty? hopefully find out soon.
So it's a 2012 and I had to Google it, but apparently it's 12 years for the rust/corrosion (I'm assuming from the in service date) is the clock expired or just ticking on that coverage to end?
(aka when was the in service date?)


Passed Driver's Ed
The original owner was quite certain that he bought the car in August of 2012. I read the warranty booklet within the owners manual pouch which confirms the rust warranty is 12 years from the date of purchase/in-service. I've been fixing a few things on the car but intend to get it into the dealer ASAP to start that conversation. I will not be surprised if they attempt to stonewall me for a while.