What Your VW Dashboard Warning Lights Mean

VW-Dashboard-LightsKnowing what common VW dashboard lights mean could help spare your car engine from expensive damage.  Although some dashboard lights are fairly easy to understand, such as the hood open light, other warning lights in the VW dashboard indicate engine problems or safety issues that could become serious problems if not addressed.

Particulate Filter Light

Found on diesel vehicles, this VW dashboard light indicates when the particulate filter, a mechanism that burns off particulate matter in diesel engines, is blocked by soot.  Driving for about 15 minutes at 30 miles per hour will bring your diesel up to operating temperature so that the particulate filter regenerates, which should cause the light to go out.

Immobilizer Light

Activated by the car’s security system, the Immobilizer light indicates that you may be using the wrong key while attempting to start the vehicle.  This VW dashboard light is designed to protect your car from theft using a copied key.

Apply Brake Light

One of the most misunderstood of all VW dashboard lights, the Apply Brake light indicates that the driver must apply the brake in order to shift the vehicle from park to another gear.  This prevents the driver from accidentally shifting from park in vehicles with automatic transmissions.

Check Engine Light

Although most people are familiar with the Check Engine light on car dashboards, few understand that when the light appears, it does not mean a catastrophic problem in the engine.  In fact, the Check Engine light is simply an all-purpose warning light sending you information about a potential problem with the engine.  The Check Engine VW dashboard lights actually have different levels of warning.

Colors and Flashing

Another feature to understand about VW dashboard lights is that a flashing light is more urgent than a solid light.  If the light is flashing, have the issue diagnosed at a dealership as soon as possible.  The color of the light is also an indicator of the severity of the problem:

  • Green – A green light is simply a warning.  For example, if the DRL VW dashboard light is green, it means your Daytime Running Lights are on.
  • Yellow – A yellow VW dashboard light is an early warning of a potential problem or a situation the driver should be aware of, such as a burnt-out lamp.  A dealer should check yellow dashboard lights as soon as possible.
  • Red – Although they do not always indicate an emergency, a red VW dashboard light requires immediate attention.  The parking brake light and door ajar lights are red, and although that does not constitute an emergency, those issues should be addressed quickly.
  • Red Flashing Light – If a red flashing light appears on the dashboard, you should stop driving as soon as it is safely possible and contact the nearest Volkswagen dealer.

When the dashboard lights up, decide what your next step should be and call your VW service department!  Don’t wait too long, and make sure to check out service specials online.  Give us a call and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn!

The Types of Car Fluid

Lewisville VW Car FluidsJust as people use fluid to keep their bodies hydrated, car fluids play a crucial role in helping vehicles perform smoothly and efficiently.  Although most people are quite familiar with some car fluids, such as oil and gasoline, there are other fluids that must be checked often and kept at proper levels to extend the life of the vehicle.

Oil

 Oil is as important to the health of a vehicle as blood is to a human’s health.  The oil in the vehicle’s crankcase keeps the engine from freezing, which is why it is crucial to keep this car fluid level properly maintained.  Checking the oil is a simple process.  Let the engine cool for at least five minutes, then open the hood and prop it open securely.  Look for a looped handle, normally colored red or yellow to make it stand out.  Pull the loop and wipe the dipstick with a paper towel.  Reinsert the dipstick and check the markings on the stick to be sure the oil level is within an acceptable range.  If it is low, add oil and check again.

Transmission Fluid

 For vehicles with an automatic transmission, checking the transmission fluid is also important to be sure the parts of the transmission remain sufficiently lubricated.  To check this car fluid, locate the transmission dipstick, normally located behind the oil dipstick with similar colorings or markings.  Start the engine before checking the transmission fluid and follow the same procedures used to check oil levels.

Cooling Fluid

 Uncapping the radiator in a hot engine to check the cooling fluid releases highly pressurized liquid contaminants and scalding steam which can result in serious burns. Therefore, it’s best to let the engine cool before safely checking the cooling fluid.  Remove the radiator cap and look inside. If the car fluid is not near the top, add more.  Automotive technicians recommend adding 50 percent water and 50 percent coolant.

These are merely a few of the various car fluids found in vehicles today.  When it is time for your car fluid changes, consider Lewisville Volkswagen.  Our dealership has served the Dallas-Fort Worth area for over a decade, selling used and new cars, and offering excellence in customer service before, during and after every sale.  Visit our website to learn more, or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.

 

How to Drive a Manual

Driving-a-stick

Many customers who visit a Volkswagen dealership are reluctant to purchase a vehicle with a stick shift, simply because they have never learned how to drive a manual transmission vehicle.  However, with rising gas prices, more people are learning how to drive a stick shift vehicle due to added fuel economy and improved car performance.  Not only does a manual transmission offer better economy, it also can be a fun experience.

Learn the Parts Used

Because learning how to drive a manual transmission means learning how to shift the gears yourself rather than relying on the transmission to do the work, it is important to understand the various parts of the vehicle you will use during shifting.  When shifting, you must depress the clutch pedal, located next to the brake pedal.  Pushing in the clutch pedal disengages the clutch, allowing for gears to be shifted

Learn the Gears

The next step to learning how to drive a manual transmission is learning the location and purpose of the gears.  Neutral is actually not a gear, but in the absence of a gear, the car will not move while you are in neutral no matter how often you press on the accelerator.  The best advice is to practice shifting gears while the car is not moving to get used to the feel.

Starting and Shifting

Once you are comfortable shifting into and out of gear with the vehicle’s engine off, start the engine.  First, put the vehicle in neutral and use your left foot to press the clutch all the way to the floorboard.  Put the car into first gear and slowly raise the clutch pedal while simultaneously using your right foot to press on the accelerator.  It’s common for anyone learning how to drive a manual transmission for the first time to stall or lurch. After all, this requires a great deal of coordination to press the accelerator and ease off the clutch simultaneously. As they say, practice makes perfect.  Once the car is moving, listen to the engine to know when to shift into a higher gear.  If the car is making a high revving sound, or the tachometer goes above 3,000 RPMs, shift to the next gear by pressing the clutch and shifting.  When climbing hills or slowing down, you may need to downshift from higher gears to lower gears.  If the engine sounds as if it is chugging, it is time to downshift.  Simply press on the clutch and shift to a lower gear.

Although learning how to drive a manual transmission requires more patience and practice than an automatic transmission, they are often more fun to drive and offer much better fuel economy.  For your next VW, whether it is an automatic or manual transmission, consider Lewisville Volkswagen.  Our dealership has served the Dallas-Fort Worth areas for over a decade, selling new and used cars, and offering excellent customer service before, during and after every sale.  Visit our website to learn more, or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or YouTube.

The Top 5 Best Games for a Family Road Trip

No matter how well behaved the children are in the car or how compatible you and your spouse may be, family road trips can test the patience of even the most close-knit loving family.  Lewisville Volkswagen, your family Volkswagen dealership, offers five fun games that can keep the whole family occupied on your next family vacation.

Family-Road-TripPunch Buggy

This game for family road trips has been around for years, yet is still a great thing to play while traveling on family vacations.  Although the original game entitles the first person to see a Volkswagen Bug to “punch” another player, a better version is to just have the children announce they’ve seen a “Punch Buggy” each time they spot a VW bug.  The one who spots the most wins the game.  For added fun, award two points for a vintage VW Bug, and one for the newer version of the car.

The Alphabet Game

The Alphabet Game is one that can be played on family road trips, even with young toddlers, and can help them with memory skills and learning the alphabet while having fun.  Start with the letter A and name something that begins with that letter.  The next person names something that starts with a B, including the first word.  Continue through the alphabet, repeating each letter until you end the alphabet.  For example, if the first player says “apple,” the second player could say “apple” “baseball,” and the third player “apple, baseball, cat,” etc.  If a player forgets a word or cannot think of a word that starts with the letter at their appointed turn, they are out.  You can use themes, such as animals, foods, cars, etc. to make the game more difficult if you have older children.

Name That Tune

Another fun game for family road trips, especially for teenaged children, is the Name That Tune Game.  Have family members guess the name of a song on the radio in the shortest amount of time, and the one who guesses the most songs correctly wins.  You could have each family member answer randomly, or you could take turns, requiring a set time limit for the family member to guess.

The Color Game

This game is perfect even for younger children on family road trips.  Choose a color to look for, such as yellow or red.  Have everyone look for something that is the chosen color, and award points based on the size of the object.  For example, if you choose yellow, a school bus may be worth five points, while a car is only worth two and a street sign one.

License Plates

There are many ways to play games with license plates on your next family road trip.  Children can list the license plates from each state they see.  Young children learning the alphabet can find license plates in alphabetical order, for example, the first one has to have an “A,” the second a “B,” etc.  For children learning math, have them add up the numbers to see what they come up with.  You could try having older children come up with a sentence, word or phrase using the letters on the plate.  For example, the letters T, O, and V could become “vote” if you are using words, “Tell old Valerie” for a sentence or phrase.

These family road trip games are a great way to keep the entire family entertained and help keep your sanity on your next family vacation.  Before heading out on your next family road trip, be sure to visit Lewisville Volkswagen for your vehicle needs.   Our dealership has served the Dallas-Fort Worth area for over a decade, selling new and used cars, and offering excellence in customer service before, during and after every sale.  Visit our website to learn more, or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or YouTube.