Facts About the Volkswagen Touareg
The Volkswagen Touareg is a pretty awesome crossover SUV, but the vehicle's name is a mystery to most of us. Apparently, Volkswagen named it after the Tuareg people, nomads who inhabit the Saharan interior of North Africa. Most people would probably associate them with veil covered characters that are typically seen in movies that are set in desert landscapes. If Volkswagen wanted to associate their SUV with toughness and grit, then the Tuareg folk are probably one of the toughest in the world.
The Touareg is part of a new line of SUVs that were designed to perform well off-road, yet handle like a sports car when on roads and highways. It was actually born out of the Volkswagen Group PL71 platform, which was co-developed by Audi and Porsche, and is used in vehicles like the Porsche Cayenne, and Audi Q7. Although a lot of styling and technical differences can be seen in all three SUVs, they're all made in the same plant in Bratislava, Slovakia.
If you've seen the marketing ads that Volkswagen put out for the Touareg, you'll see that they've playfully set it up against their own vehicles. One ad even featured a Volkswagen Beetle that's stuck in the snow bank while a Touareg goes by effortlessly.
Because of this SUV's strong performance and popularity, it's been used in a couple of off-road races such as the Baja 1000 and the Dakar rally. It has won a couple of races already and is a strong contender in future ones because of its dominating performance.
As part of its launch campaign, Volkswagen actually featured the Touareg in an interactive stunt simulator in their website that coincided with the launch of the movie The Bourne Ultimatum. Folks can maneuver the Touareg through explosions and stunts with full control of speed, sound effects, and camera angles. You won't want to do the same to your Touareg in real life.
If you need further proof of that the Touareg is the best SUV in its class then just check out the awards that it took when it came out. It was named as Overlander's 2003 4WD of the Year, Car and Driver magazine's Best Luxury SUV for 2003, Motor Trend magazine's SUV of the Year for 2004, and as "Four Wheeler" magazine's Four Wheeler of the Year for 2005.
Common Problems with the Volkswagen Touareg
Most SUVs that have come out today are only meant for city driving and light off-road use. But that's not the case with the Volkswagen Touareg, a mid-size crossover SUV that's been out since 2002. Developed by Volkswagen together with Audi and Porsche, this SUV was meant for off-road use while handling like a modern sports car. If you'd look at its specs sheet, you know that this isn't an ordinary luxury vehicle and that it's actually capable of handling itself in rough roads and open terrain. Unfortunately, even a great SUV like the Touareg has its fair share of problems. Learn to spot these issues so you can fix them quick before they turn into a bigger problem in the future.
Recurring issues with the Volkswagen VR6 transmission system
The VR6 isn't used exclusively on the Touareg but was also installed on the Volkswagen Passat and Corrado. Past issues with this transmission system have come up in the Touareg including transmission control module (TCM) failures, fluid leaks, and hard shifting.
When the transmission starts to slip whenever you're shifting between the second and third gear, you might want to check your TCM. Wear and tear due to excess voltage to the TCM can lock-up the clutch and result in gear slippage. The best solution for this problem is to replace the TCM with an aftermarket part.
Fluid leaks can also cause the transmission system to fail. Make sure that you inspect the tube base, the drain holes, and the general surrounding area of the transmission system for leaks. Any broken or worn out parts should be replaced with compatible Volkswagen Touareg accessories immediately.
Clogged transmission filters
Hard shifting can be a direct result of a clogged transmission filter. Since the filter traps contaminants in the transmission fluid, it will get clogged up after awhile, especially if you're using a poor quality lubricant. Flushing the transmission system and replacing the filter would solve this problem.
Recalls for the first generation Touareg
One of the biggest problems that early adopters of the Touareg faced back then was a faulty center support bearing. Unfortunately, most owners experienced this failure long after their 100,000 kilometer warranties have already expired. On a smaller note, the Touareg was also recalled because of faulty rear belt locks in Australia that were attributed to a rivet defect. Both problems can be solved by simply replacing the affected parts with aftermarket components.
Three Simple but Helpful Tips to Maximize the Life of Your Volkswagen Touareg
It's not hard to see why SUVs have grown in terms of popularity; and design-wise, they have also evolved. Sport utility vehicles nowadays, like the Volkswagen Touareg, are not anymore all about off-road capability. Modern designs have now given way to comfort and confident handling on city driving. You get a vehicle with an all-terrain capability that help you manage snowed road and still easy to drive on pavements. Of course, you would want to maximize the drivability as well as the life of your Touareg. Below are some tips to help you with that:
- Get rid of dirty air filters.
Just like you, your car needs constant and unhindered air flow to breathe. Your engine does not run on fuel alone. Air is also an essential ingredient that keeps your vehicle's engine running. And air needs to come into the engine without restrictions. It should also be free from debris. That's where the air filters come in—they are the ones responsible for keeping all junks from entering the engine. Hence, air filters get clogged with dirt over time. Air filters typically last a long time, but if you are in an area with harsh driving conditions, you might find yourself needing to replace them more often. That's preferable though than starving your engine for air or letting in too much debris in the engine system. Every time you change your engine oil, it is advised to check the air filter. If it's dirty, you need to replace it even if you haven't reached the necessary mileage for replacement.
The engine's hoses, which are responsible for transporting liquids within the engine system, are made to last longer. However, intense heat and pressure will eventually wear out these hoses and cause them to fail. When they are old and cracked, these rubber hoses can cause leaks of antifreeze and oil. The two fluids are the very important in keeping your engine performing at its best, so you don't want them to just end up on your garage floor.
It's not hard to spot leaks in your engine. All you have to do is look under your vehicle; sometimes, you can even just smell them. If you see even a small drop of engine oil or coolant on the pavement, better lift up that hood and check what's causing it. It's better to stay ahead of minor leaks and have a cracked rubber hose or connector replaced than suffer a major engine problem.
- Go easy on your vehicle, avoid rough driving.
Although your Volkswagen Touareg may be built for performance driving, you still need to go easy on that gas pedal. Cars are made to run, but they tend to last longer when they are run at a steady and continuous speed. Abrupt stops and starts can get your engine worn easily; it's especially tough on those engine components that have to work harder in order to get the engine running abruptly after a dead stop. It is advisable to keep your speed and RPMs at a consistent level. This does not only prolong the life of your engine and its components, but it also gives you better gas mileage.
The Volkswagen Touareg: The Off-Road Vehicle that Drives Like a Sports Car
The Volkswagen Touareg was a joint venture project developed by three German automakers—Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche. When it was launched, the SUV didn’t only come with its stylish appearance, but it also boasted innovative features.
First generation: 2002 to 2006
The first-generation Volkswagen Touareg was launched with a standard four-wheel drive system. This automatic vehicle came with progressively locking center differential as well as a manual override. It also has a “low-range” setting that can be activated with in-cabin control. To make the Touareg more capable off-road, the company also included options to be installed in the SUV. These included an air suspension system that can raise the car’s ride height on command. There was also the choice of installing an interior switch that allowed the rear differential to be manually locked.
As for the engine, Volkswagen installed the V10 TDI in the US models. However, due to emissions regulations, it was temporarily forced off the market beginning 2004 and was completely cancelled by the end of 2006. Since 2007, the V10 TDI had been replaced by the V6 TDI engine, which met the CARB minimum emission requirements.
First generation: The 2007 facelift
At the 2006 Paris Motor Show, the Volkswagen Touareg’s first facelift was launched as a 2007 model in Europe. The same facelift was unveiled at the 2007 New York Auto Show as a 2008 model in the US. The redesigned SUV featured the shield grille similar to other vehicles in the Volkswagen Passenger Cars lineup. Aside from the 2,300 redesigned parts, the updated Touareg also showed off some new technology, including:
- ABS Plus, which worked in conjunction with the traction control system and shortened the braking distance by up to 25% on loose surfaces;
- Front Scan, which was an adaptive cruise control system that can slow or even stop the car depending on traffic conditions; and,
- Side Scan, which was a blind-spot warning system that used radar at the rear of the vehicle to sense another car’s presence, and caused LEDs built into the wing mirrors to flash as a warning.
Second Generation: 2010 onwards
The second generation Volkswagen Touareg was revealed on February 2010 in Munich, Germany, and then at the 2010 Beijing International Auto Show. The most notable innovation in the new SUV was the world’s first “glare-free high beam” headlight technology, which the automaker dubbed as “Dynamic Light Assist.” Unlike an adaptive high-beam system, this new technology continually and gradually adjusted not only the high-beam’s range, but also its pattern. The aim of the continuous pattern change was to avoid drivers going the opposite way from being blinded by the light, while keeping the surrounding area illuminated at high-beam intensity.
With more years ahead of the Touareg, this off-road vehicle is bound to bring in more innovations that the automotive world will surely admire.