More Jetta Mods

Since I haven’t updated in awhile (well, other than the two other short posts a few minutes ago), I thought I’d back track a few weeks to keep people informed on what I’ve been doing. 

Not too long ago, I rolled over the 20k mark in the Jetta.  Time for another oil change, plus a few other things.  One of those things happened to be a new fuel filter.  Ouch, that’s a hefty $30 just for the filter.  However, I had been reading about the CAT 2 micron filters that could easily be retrofitted onto the Jetta.  The CAT filters are normally used for big rigs, but the filter replacements are actually cheaper, try half the price, plus they last way longer.

Unfortunately, you have to buy a new top to the filter.  This top, fittings, and a filter set you back $120.  Granted, I don’t know how long I’ll have the car or anything, so I don’t know if I’ll make back the money, directly ($15 every 20k+ miles takes a lot of miles), but I do know that the extra filtration will help keep the gunk out of the engine.  This is especially helpful since it seems like some of the places I end up filling up at are only used by me. 

As easy as the directions are for the filter install, it of course never is that easy.  Well, actually, it was that easy after I found the needed tools.  To begin with, I needed two strap wrenches.  After busting one of Bud’s strap wrenches just changing my oil filter, I didn’t want to get some cheap things just to have them break.  I hunted, and I hunted, but all I found was really cheap, or really expensive.  So, I ended up getting the Craftsman pair.  At least that way, if they break, they have a lifetime warranty.  Then, I needed to get something to actually clamp the fuel lines (one going into the filter, and one leaving it) while I replaced the filter.  I had seen these nice and simple ones that were essentially just a piece of metal and a wingnut to tighten it down.  Well, finding these would be next to impossible.  Thanks to an old coworker, I was able to locate something similar to at least go on.  I then called Carquest and they actually found it cheaper than I could.  I was more than impressed and they could get it to their store by the next day, Friday.  This part is key because I was heading up to Traverse City the day after that, and wanted to have this done.

So, Friday I left work a little early, swung by Carquest and picked up my Lisle Hose Pinchers, and headed home.  The goal was to get the filter replaced before I had to pickup Erin to go to her sister’s birthday party.  I get everything set, and tighten down the filter to the filter top.  *SNAP*  Of course, one of the stupid strap wrenches breaks.  Thankfully I had gotten everything tightened down enough. 

Amazingly enough, that was the only problem throughout the whole install.  I actually only took me 20 minutes, and the car actually started on the first crank.  I was so proud of myself.  Too bad I stunk of diesel. 

It’s been a few weeks since then, and no reported problems with the filter yet, which is always a good thing.  Now, if diesel would only drop below $2.50/gallon…

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