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hi-- i just found out about this site. im not an expert on anything to do with car modifications, and dont plan to do anything really exotic with my 2001.5 passat gls 1.8T--which i bought a week after they came out here in san diego. (march 2001). i now have 45,000 miles with no real complaints. i did need one new headlamp--shortly after the warranty expired. and i recently had to replace a coolant temp sensor (or something like that). that seemed expensive. anyway, to my questions:
i have been using regular gas in the car, as i recall "click & clack" on public radio say it was fine to use regular. but my mechanic told me i really should be running premium, as premium prevents some kind of build-up in the system. he also suggested i would get better mileage. if the mileage part is right, then my added cost for the gas would be offset by the better mileage. also, when does one know when the turbo comes on? im always curious about the threshold for that. someone also told me the passat does not have independent rear suspension. i appreciate any feedback. anybody have suggestions for simple modifications to this car for this neophyte?
 

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Premium is a must for this engine. Anyone who tells you that you can run regular and get the same performance doesn't know what they are talking about. Your gas mileage will improve as well. The turbo will come on at about 2500 RPMs and you'll feel a rush of acceleration all the way up through about 5500 RPMs. If your radio is off, you'll also hear the sweet high pitched whine of the turbo spooling up. I think it sounds better than any music I've got in my car. Sorry don't know about the rear suspension on a 2001.5.

The simplest modifications, and being a new owner of a Passat the first ones I will make are;

-GIAC chip = $495
-Eibach pro kit = $700
-New wheels & tires = $1300

These three easy modifications will turn your Passat into a kick a$$ sports sedan. With a 2001.5, if you install a chip, you might want to get a new diverter valve as well, I think. I have a 2004.5 and as I understand it, it has an upgraded DV from the 2001.5 model. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.
 

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Premium fuel. Predetonation (aka knock) must occur before the ECU retards timing. The threshold before timing is retarded is unknown and causes unnecessary wear on the engine. You are only saving about $3.00 at tank. There are plenty of threads on this discussion.

If you are planning on chipping the car you WILL need to run premium fuel as the reprogrammed chip WILL NOT retard your timing. So make the switch now so it becomes habit before you chip the car.

Make sure you spend some time in the Information forum and do a search for oil to get a feel for what everyone prefers. (Hint: Synthetic 0/5W40 Valvoline, Mobil1, Castrol, Amsoil are quite popular) Just make sure whatever you use has the certifications specified in your manual and meets the climate it will be operating in.

On top of the suspension, wheels, tires, and chip you may also consider a rear sway bar. This will help neutralize the understeer in your car. Plan about 180-200 bucks for one. (Neuspeed or Autotech are popular) Changing the OEM front sway bar will just enhance the understeer.

Down the road you may also consider replacing the stock exhaust with a new cat back exhaust.

In regards to the rear suspension, only the Passat 4Motion has an independent rear suspension along with a dual exhaust.
 

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Easy, for your car to run better: Premium (91octane +), Full syntec oil (mobil or Castrol), K&N air filter (air flow highly important for 1.8T). My car is a Stock 01 1.8T with 60.000 miles on it and outside of doing a oil change every 3.000 miles, never had a problem when i do the basics like that :thumbup: . I could run into problems, but for now....................
 

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I run my car on 91 octane (chipped GIAC), K/N filter, needing a new diverter valve and thinking of ditching the suitcase resonator.
 
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