R32 FAQ (cleaned up and modified from http://www.vwvortex):


Q. I/My mechanic was looking at the drivetrain and noticed that there are nuts missing from the bolts on the driveshaft going into the Haldex unit at the rear. Should I have them fix this?

A. No. It's not broken, it's not missing anything. Don't touch it. Those nuts and washers are there to balance the driveshaft and are not used to hold it together. If you add additional nuts and washers you'll throw the driveshaft out of balance. The dealers were given a TSB on this subject so hopefully they won't try to fix it.


Q. Will there be an '05 R32 model?

A. Nope. MkIV R32 production is finished worldwide, and there won't be a replacement for the R32 on the MkV chassis for 2 or 3 more years.


Q. Is the R32's engine block aluminum or cast iron?

A. The VW VR6 engine has a cast iron cylinder block, forged steel crank shaft, and aluminum alloy cylinder head.


Q. Does the R32 come with a spare tire?

A. No


Q. Can I get one for it?

A. Yes. The spare from the Audi TT225 fits in the spare tire well, but requires two tire changes if you get a front tire flat, because the donut spare won't fit over the front brake calipers due to the size of the rotors. More info on spares


Q. Mileage?

A. In general people are reporting 18-20 city, 24-26mpg highway (and as high as 30mpg on long trips driven at the speed limit)


Q. Under what conditions does the exhaust flapper open and close?

A. 1st requirement: Road speed must exceed 45 MPH; 2nd requirement: Engine RPM must exceed 3400 rpm. The flap closes the system back up when RPM drops under 3000 RPM, or when road speed drops back below 45 mph.


Q. What is the "flapper mod"?

A. It's basically just modifying the normal function of the exhaust flapper valve so that it either stays open all the time, or can be switched open or closed. It makes the exhaust louder at low speeds/low rpms, and gives a bump in hp and torque.


Some information about side effects of disabling it: http://forums.vwvortex.com/zer...13929

And other links to some of the threads that describe how to disable it: http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=1233574 and http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=1283757

Important note: If you disable it in one of these ways, do *not* leave the rubber vacuum tube open. The flapper actuator reservoir gets its vacuum from the intake manifold so leaving the tube open will cause a vacuum leak. Be sure the hose is either clamped or plugged.



Can now wire up a 2 or 3 way switch inside the car to allow you to enable/disable the flapper on the fly. Extensive instructions here:




Q. Can I tow with the R32?

A. The R32 is not rated for towing, and owner's manual specifically recommends against it. However, some people have found tow hooks that can be mounted to 4motion cars in Europe.


Q. How does the Haldex based 4motion system compare to Torsen based systems and other AWD systems?

A. http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=1256669


Q. What's the deal with the factory recommended tire pressures?

A. Factory recommended tire pressures are 35 front, 44 rear (http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=1314669)


Q. What's the smallest winter wheels that'll fit over the front brake calipers?

A. 17", and fitment must be checked. Only a small selection of 17's will clear the brake calipers. Tirerack sells a 17x6 wheel that'll fit (see tire/wheel fitment guide above), and

VW's Monte Carlos and Long Beach wheels (both 17x7) will fit.


Q. I heard the R32's 3.2l VR6 comes from the Touareg SUV. Is that true?

A. Actually the 3.2l VR6 was developed for the Beetle RSi in 2001 and was released in the R32 *before* the Touareg was released mid year 2002. It is shared by R32, Touareg, base model Phaeton and Porsche Cayenne however.


More info http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=1250224


Q. Can I drive the Goodyear Eagle F1's in the snow?

A. No.


Q. Even just a little bit?

A. No. This is a high performance summer tire and will offer zero traction in slippery conditions such as snow and ice. Bad tires coupled with ABS will make it nearly impossible to stop the car.


Q. What kind of power does the stock R32 make on a dyno?

A. Anywhere between 174whp and 190whp depending on the type of AWD dyno it runs on, and has put down 218whp running in FWD mode alone on a standard Dynojet 2wd dyno. The car switches between AWD and FWD mode while driving, so all the numbers are relevant but will never tell the whole story.


More info here http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=1239963


Q. Can the R32 be tested on a 2 wheel dyno?

A. Yes. But first you have to disable Haldex.


Per Rich @ EIP in response to a question by pl@gu3:

"You can simply unplug the main harness connector to the Haldex ECU (located at the back of the rear differential housing). Be sure to have the car turned off when disconnecting and then re-connecting the plug. The car will then dyno just like any FWD vehicle. You will get a light (EPC / ABS if I recall correctly) when doing the runs as the ECU will register a code for the Haldex ECU being disabled and for the ABS sensing the difference in wheel speeds. The light should reset after re-connecting everything and then driving the car then cycling the key."


I would add that the R32 should not be run this way on the dyno for extended periods of time as it'll heat up the hydraulic fluid in the Haldex unit, because it never really stops pumping.


Q. Why is the 0-60 time so high?

A. Because you have to shift twice to get to 60 while most other cars only have to shift once. Won't matter in the real world and this illustrates why: http://www.houseofthud.com/cartech/zero2sixty.htm


Summary: A shift costs time during a time to speed test, but only costs a few feet or less in a time to distance contest. In the real world virtually all head to head contests are time to distance. That said, two magazines have achieved 0-60 times under 6 seconds even with 2 shifts.


Q. Should I go with a Turbo or a Supercharger?

A. http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=1282728



Q: The throttle response is sluggish for the first couple minutes after starting the car first cold start of the day. Is this normal?

A: Yes. While the car is in cold start mode (running rich, and injecting air into the manifold with the secondary air injection pump), throttle response is relatively sluggish. Also will notice exhaust is extra loud for first 30 seconds for the same reason.


Q: Can you left foot brake the R32?

A: Only for a short time. If you stay on the gas while holding the brake pedal down,

it'll cut the drive by wire throttle completely after about 3 seconds.


Q: Can you heel-toe given the above limitation?

A: Yes. No matter how long you've been on the brakes, you can reach over and blip the throttle. It just won't let you stay on both the gas and the throttle for extended periods of time.


Q: Is there an aftermarket suspension that will not drop the car, but will improve handling?

A: Yes, HPA SHS which utilizes custom KW V1 coilovers




Q: Is there one that'll drop it more than 25mm?

A: Yes. Neuspeed's offerings, KW V1/V2/V3 coilovers, H&R Coilovers, Bilstein coilovers, and plenty of others. .


Q: What is the *other* cheap exhaust mod?

A: Replace the triangular crimped section of pipe with a straight round one. http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=1368225

$50 at a decent exhaust shop. No change in sound. Not dyno tested yet, but can't hurt.


Q: What oil should I use?

A: Factory recommendation is 5w40 Synthetic.


More info here http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=1377972


Q: When and how should I change the oil in my Haldex unit? (courtesy Al Walker)

A: Oil change 20k miles, filter change 40k miles. VW has special part number for the exact type and amount of oil in a change.


More info here: http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=1398724


Q: How do I just "open the vent" with Climatronic?

A: Not without a fight.:

  1. Push ECON button to turn off A/C
  2. Select which vent you want it to vent from (otherwise it won't do anything)
  3. Hold down - temp button until it reaches min (otherwise it'll still put some air through the heater core)
  4. Hold down - fan button until it shuts off the fan and Climatronic is now off.
  5. This is how to get fresh, unmolested air into the car.


Q: How do I get max heat, or max cold air from Climatronic?

A: Hold down the temp button of choice until it reaches max or min.


Q: Sometimes when driving in very heavy rain, the exhaust gets very loud and there's a vibration from under the shifter. Is this normal?

A: We're not sure yet, but many people have had it happen and it's not unique to the R32. Here's a thread discussing it in detail: http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=1490327


No definitive answers yet, but many things ruled out (not getting water in

the intake for instance). Current working theory is that it's caused by

differential heating/cooling of the exhaust pipe, causing it to flex

and make contact with the heatshield.


Q: My R32 sometimes doesn't want to start in the morning. What's wrong?

A: Very high probability that you're well above sea level. Several people at elevations of about 5000 feet or higher have noticed that every so often the R32 will sputter a bit and drop from high idle to low, or die and have to be restarted.


More info here http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=1537428


No known fix, but also not a serious issue. It always starts again.


Q: I was driving along the other day on the highway with the cruise set, and all of a sudden it just dropped out of cruise, and when I tried to accellerate it felt like the gas pedal was disconnected. I eventually saw an EPC light. What's wrong?




Q. I or someone else noticed that my brake lights have been coming on by themselves recently. What's wrong?

A. There's a TSB for previous model MkIV's which references a possible brake light switch failure. It causes the brake lights to come on by themselves, which has side effects of causing the cruise control to cut out, and because this car has DBW throttle, it also cuts the throttle, and after a while it'll get confused enough to throw a code because it knows you can't really want to be using the brakes and gas at the same time, all the time.


Thread discussing the issue:



Some dealers will say that the TSB doesn't apply to the R32. That is wrong.


Q: When I tilt my front seat forward to let someone into the back, the headrest hits the visor, or more annoyingly it goes forward fine but gets caught when trying to put the seat back. What can I do to prevent this?

A. Modify your technique. This happens even with regular Golf seats when the headrest is up where they're supposed to be. To avoid this problem, don't let the seat buttom rise and slide forward until you've swung the seat back all the way forward. When you want to put it back down, push the seat back directly backwards with your hand, or even just with your leg first and then when you swing the seat back back, it'll clear the visor just fine. Train your regular passengers to do the same.


Q: Can I do a throttle body alignment (TBA) by just turning the key to ON position and waiting 30 seconds? I've heard this works.

A: No. It's a myth that comes from misinterpreting the normal operation of the drive by wire throttle body.


Q: Why are the holes in the lower driver's side grill all filled in, while those in the passenger side are open?

A: It's more aerodynamic, and there's nothing down there that needs cooling.


Q: I want to put my CAI there. Is there an open grill available for purchase?

A: No


Q: Can the openings be cut or drilled out?

A: Yes but don't drill them. It'll make a mess. Use an Xacto knife and about 4 or 5 fresh sharp blades. Takes about 60 minutes and is pretty easy. Can be made easier if you have a candle burning that you can use to heat the blade of the knife a little. The hot/warm blade will go through the plastic like butter.


Q: What number R32 out of 5000 do I own?

A: Nobody knows. There is no way to know. The R32 does not have a separate numbering scheme like the 20AE. The R32 was produced at the same time as many other cars on the same assembly line so the R32 VIN numbers are mixed in with others.


Q: But as an original R32 owner, I got this poster from VWoA with a # on it. X of 5000. Is that my R32's number?

A: Nope. Just your poster number. There's no correltation between R32 build dates and poster number.


Modified by Daemon42 at 12:42 AM 8-31-2006