The Volkswagen Polo is a well-built, dependable, comfortable little car. It’s got all the appeal of the Golf, but for a smaller price, and that’s never a bad thing. It’s been with us since the 1970s, so we have obviously welcomed it into our motoring culture, and rightly so. Be it as a first car, as a second car, or even as a daily ‘every occasion’ car, there’s not a lot a Polo can’t do.
The other joy that comes with owning a Polo is the fact they’re a doddle to work on. Not only that, but service parts are cheap and readily available. However, as with every car out there, quirky idiosyncrasies lie within.
But that’s what we’re here for. We took a Polo down to its component parts and built it back up again to create our VW Polo Haynes manual. Here are some insider tips we learned along the way…
On 1.2 litre petrol engines, except engine code BMD, the air filter is actually built into the engine cover. To fit a new filter you need to remove the cover, turn it upside down, then remove the three screws, release the clips and detach the filter housing from the cover. Simple!
Most of the petrol engines have an ignition coil fitted above each spark plug. These can be more than a little stubborn to remove. The trick is to pull them straight up, ninety degrees from the top of the engine. VW have a special tool, or instead use a bent welding rod, hook it under and yank it up.
The engine oil pump on the three-cylinder diesel engines is driven from the crankshaft by the balance shaft chain. This means the chain has to be removed, but don’t fret. When you’re refitting it, Volkswagen has included coloured links that you can match up with the marks on the crankshaft sprocket and balance shaft.
All diesel engines except code ASY, are fitted with a tandem fuel pump. On these engines, just the act of disconnecting the central connector for the unit injectors may cause a fault code to be logged by the engine management ECU.
This code can only be erased by using a fault coder reader. But don’t think only a garage can do it. A quick look online will reveal all manner of cheap code readers, so you can do the job yourself.
Got ‘keep fit’ windows rather than electric ones? If you need to remove the winder handle or replace it, you’ll need to slide the retaining clip out. This lives between the winder and the door card. It moves in one direction – along the length of the handle/winder.
More of a warning than an insider tip. The left-hand front headlight can only be removed by taking the bumper off. There is access to get in behind it to change a bulb, but if you have hands any bigger than those of a toddler, you may struggle. Maybe see if you’ve got any small-handed friends who can help?