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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can ESP be retrofitted? At what cost?

I have a 2003 1.8T variant that is nearly paid off. I have a short commute and so am at just over 20,000 miles. I switched to synth two or three oil changes ago. In other words, I hope to drive this car for a long time to come.

Unfortunately, I opted out of ESP while negotiating with dealer back in '03. With new evidence of its benefits, it seems like a good idea to have on a car I intend to keep for a while.
 

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Well, technically, anything can be done with sufficient money, but the easy answer to your question is "proably not". ESP involves the addition of yaw sensors, a steering angle sensor, and likely a new ECU (I'm guessing there... I don't know where the ESP code resides or how it is activated.)

It is likely on the order of retrofitting Climatronic.

My dealer told me that requesting ESP was what was holding up getting the B5.5 I wanted. (my original goal was Colo Red 5spd 1.8T GLS, cloth, ESP) I held firm, because the ESP was so cheap in comparison to the benefits. (I ended up with all that, except the car is Anthracite Grey... they killed Colo red to replace it with that awful "Samoa Red". Random side note: Samoa is a tropical south-pacific island. It is not red.)

SirWired
 

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Every time I've driven a VW with ESP, I've turned it off after the second corner. I don't drive like a maniac, but I routinely get the little flashing "you're going to die!" light on the dashboard when ESP is on. It's not worth the money. You have ABS, that's all you need.
 

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SirWired is correct. Retrofitting would be way too expensive. Better off selling your current vehicle and buying one with it already installed if cost is an issue.

I held out for the ESP option on my 2003. For the $280 cost it was well worth it.

ESP is not ABS. ESP uses ABS and it has saved me a couple times going too hot into a corner. Sometimes it is a bit intrusive and the best systems allow you to pick different settings. But the Passat is not a sports car so its electonic stability control programming is a bit on the conservative side.
 

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It should be noted that the light flashes not necessarily due to the stability control, but due to the traction control portion kicking in.
 

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It should be noted that the light flashes not necessarily due to the stability control, but due to the traction control portion kicking in.
i'm sure in my case, it's traction control. i'd have the ASR light come on everytime i floored it from a stop in my b5.
 

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ESP is extremely expensive to install if not done at production, besides all the components ESP equipped cars also have Brake Assist System(BAS), so that adds another item to install. I won't say it's not worth the money, many reports and tests have proven otherwise. I got a tire blowout at 70mph and ESP kicked in and kept the car on track while I slowed down. As a $280 option it was a bargin in the benefits. The Brake Assist also assists in panic braking. The slight downside is that in hard takeoffs the ESP usually kicks reducing your 0-60 times. Newer VWs like the GLI and GTI (2007>) have incoporated something called Launch Control which addresses this. Its available on DSG equipped cars only.

VWs ESP includes these additional features:
AEM - Adaptive Engagement Model. The car is continuously monitored, even when travelling in a stable manner, so that the system can take fast corrective action if instability occurs
BAS - Brake Assist System

In addition to the already standard itmes:
EBD - Electronic Brakeforce Distribution
EDL - Electronic Differential Lock
ABS & ASR.

http://www.edmunds.com/ownership/safety/articles/45992/article.html

I waited 2 months for mine in 2003 and hafd to settle with my second color choice Silverstone grey. At the time VW was the only company to offer ESP from the Golf up as a $280 option. You also get an Insurance Reduction if you have it.
 

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ESP was indeed a bargain option - it was standard on the W8, so I feel spoiled in that regard.
I don't know that it is worth selling your "almost paid off" car solely to get one with ESP, or trying to retrofit it.
 

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Newer VWs like the GLI and GTI (2007>) have incoporated something called Launch Control which addresses this. Its available on DSG equipped cars only.
early 2007 gti's did not come with lc from the factory, but there is a tsb to reflash the 07's with lc. also, some 06 gti's have reported successful reflash to lc too, as some have the same mechatronic unit as the 07's.
 

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early 2007 gti's did not come with lc from the factory, but there is a tsb to reflash the 07's with lc. also, some 06 gti's have reported successful reflash to lc too, as some have the same mechatronic unit as the 07's.
Typical VW to phased it in. Even though the 07' brochure lists it as standard. I assume that since the GTI is made in Germany it may have the updated hardware to support the reflash as opposed to the Mexican made GLIs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
It would cost less to just learn how to drive:p :poke:
Don't be an ass. I was double-clutching a GTI on hilly serpentine roads before I had a license. There's no weakness in inquiring after technologies that are proven by evidence. You know, "the best tools for the job" and all.

You, however, appear to be just a tool.
 
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