New owner issues and what to do...

pickering

Active Member
Apr 3, 2021
18
3
I’m sorry this is pretty lengthy so I understand if people only want to reply to one or two of these questions, that’s totally fine ☺️

Hello! Basically I’m just going to dump a question or two I have here incase anyone can help. Bought a mk1 Leon 1.9 tdi (pretty sure it’s the S so the slower of the bunch) and want to put some effort & money into it as it’ll be my first “proper” car. (Just as a heads up I’m in Manchester so any recommendations on garages these ways are appreciated)

- the brakes have rust behind them on what I’d call maybe a disc shield / cover (it’s been a long week lol). What would be a good option to swap out the whole unit? Should I just buy everything I need and driveway fit them or has anyone got a garage in the North of the UK that they could reccomend for brakes?

- the clutch is stiff as a nun on Easter Sunday, I’ve been told a bleed might help but is there anything else that might help? I’m guessing a new clutch tbh...

- would a remap be worth it? I’ve had a google an see a few offering 90 to 130 and wouldn’t mind slowly swapping out some crusty engine parts over time anyway as for the best part of 16 years the previous owner obviously had a skill for parking under heavily bird populated trees.

some final questions so I don’t have to make any more posts:

- mid range coil over recommendations around the £500/£700 mark

- rear bumper recommendations (mine hides the exhaust and I’ll be needing a new one of those)

- any tips for a new owner?!

D6DEBFD3-F647-4A7B-B7CF-279FFFF25B09.jpeg
 

bruceR

Active Member
Apr 11, 2005
2,470
578
Monifieth, Dundee
Welcome to the site and Leon ownership .
Firstly, the dust shields can either be removed or left in place and cleans with wire brush then revolted using stone chip paint or if they are too bad can be easily replaced (cheap ones on eBay or Euro Car Parts, etc).
Not sure regarding the clutch but if bleeding this it’s best to use either a pressure bleeder or vacuum bleeder (the master cylinder seals can be damaged/rolled if you use the pedal pump method).
As for brakes, well the limit is your budget but you can always upgrade to the Cupra/FR brakes.
The most common problems with these cars tend to be:
Leaking for seals - the seal behind the metal plate which is behind the door card,
Faulty door lock modules,
Leaking rear window washer


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iammooks

Active Member
Nov 27, 2018
1,568
993
Don't worry about asking questions and posting a lot - it's what the forum is for, and the likelihood is that most things you encounter, most of us have come across at some point too, or will at least be able to point you in the right direction.

How well do you know the car? Depending on what you know about the service history, how it's been driven, that should give you some pointers as to what you need to look at. Has it had the cambelt changed recently, for example? If I were to sell my car today, I'd be able to take a buyer on a guided tour around the car, pointing out all the things I've done and need doing. Most people probably can't or won't do that, but given you have the S model, I wouldn't imagine it's been thrashed.

Maybe have a look at the government MoT website to get an idea of things it may have failed on, as well as some advisories you might not know about.

I've been considering a remap for a while now, but I know that most of the reputable places will be reluctant to touch the car without a clean bill of health, which is why I've cleaned a lot of the components, replaced the cambelt, and I've got a new clutch in the boot ready to go in. You might be surprised how much of a change in power you get from cleaning the turbo and intake manifold, while at the same time, if I take it to get tuned with an asthmatic engine, the remap will be on an engine that might behave very differently once it's been cleaned.

For the bumper, make a note of your paint code and have a look on eBay - not just for listings for bumpers, but do a search for 'SEAT Leon mk1 breaking' as a lot of breakers don't have the time or energy to list every last component. For your car, I'd probably go for the FR/Topsport style bumper to suit the existing rounded look. They're also cheaper than the Cupra and Cupra R bumpers.

If you're working on the car regularly, you'll get to know it really well over time. Once you've done a lot of the bigger jobs, you won't have to go near them again for a while, so it pays to have that peace of mind. For example, I've replaced all of my suspension bushes in the past few months, and I have no intention of touching them ever again, but they're done now, thank goodness.

Oh, and penetrating lube. Soak all the bolts in the stuff. Even if you're not planning on undoing them any time soon. Then spray them again. Some of your bolts won't have been touched the entire time the car's been on the road - that can be twenty years of rust, grit, road salt and rain.
 
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MoToJoJo

Active Member
Mar 25, 2014
665
487
Northants
Brake upgrades - 312/256 disc upgrades. Look for Audi TT or Octavia VRS setup on eBay. Add in braided lines and decent pads and you can outbrake most

Rear bumper - Cupra or FR, they don't cost much

Engine - Luckily the dons of VAG diesel tuning aren't far away from you aka Darkside Developments.
 

pickering

Active Member
Apr 3, 2021
18
3
Welcome to the site and Leon ownership .
Firstly, the dust shields can either be removed or left in place and cleans with wire brush then revolted using stone chip paint or if they are too bad can be easily replaced (cheap ones on eBay or Euro Car Parts, etc).
Not sure regarding the clutch but if bleeding this it’s best to use either a pressure bleeder or vacuum bleeder (the master cylinder seals can be damaged/rolled if you use the pedal pump method).
As for brakes, well the limit is your budget but you can always upgrade to the Cupra/FR brakes.
The most common problems with these cars tend to be:
Leaking for seals - the seal behind the metal plate which is behind the door card,
Faulty door lock modules,
Leaking rear window washer


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Thanks for the reply bud! The dust covers are probably creating more dust than preventing them so I’ll have them replaced along with some new brakes I think! Would certainly nice to throw some cupra brakes on it 😬
 

pickering

Active Member
Apr 3, 2021
18
3
Don't worry about asking questions and posting a lot - it's what the forum is for, and the likelihood is that most things you encounter, most of us have come across at some point too, or will at least be able to point you in the right direction.

How well do you know the car? Depending on what you know about the service history, how it's been driven, that should give you some pointers as to what you need to look at. Has it had the cambelt changed recently, for example? If I were to sell my car today, I'd be able to take a buyer on a guided tour around the car, pointing out all the things I've done and need doing. Most people probably can't or won't do that, but given you have the S model, I wouldn't imagine it's been thrashed.

Maybe have a look at the government MoT website to get an idea of things it may have failed on, as well as some advisories you might not know about.

I've been considering a remap for a while now, but I know that most of the reputable places will be reluctant to touch the car without a clean bill of health, which is why I've cleaned a lot of the components, replaced the cambelt, and I've got a new clutch in the boot ready to go in. You might be surprised how much of a change in power you get from cleaning the turbo and intake manifold, while at the same time, if I take it to get tuned with an asthmatic engine, the remap will be on an engine that might behave very differently once it's been cleaned.

For the bumper, make a note of your paint code and have a look on eBay - not just for listings for bumpers, but do a search for 'SEAT Leon mk1 breaking' as a lot of breakers don't have the time or energy to list every last component. For your car, I'd probably go for the FR/Topsport style bumper to suit the existing rounded look. They're also cheaper than the Cupra and Cupra R bumpers.

If you're working on the car regularly, you'll get to know it really well over time. Once you've done a lot of the bigger jobs, you won't have to go near them again for a while, so it pays to have that peace of mind. For example, I've replaced all of my suspension bushes in the past few months, and I have no intention of touching them ever again, but they're done now, thank goodness.

Oh, and penetrating lube. Soak all the bolts in the stuff. Even if you're not planning on undoing them any time soon. Then spray them again. Some of your bolts won't have been touched the entire time the car's been on the road - that can be twenty years of rust, grit, road salt and rain.
This was super super helpful so thank you!
In terms of the cars health it’s had a new cam belt put on it last week and I think the safest thing is to swap out the clutch and do an engine clean. Going off the cars history (and there’s a relatively extensive one) there’s nothing that would shock me of a car this age and the lady who owned it previously obviously kept on top of what she could.

I never really thought about searching for people breaking them, might have to make Facebook again and join some groups whilst I’m at it! I can’t wait to have fresh suspension, brakes and clutch - I think then it’ll be more about enjoying and reviving the car rather than hoping it makes the trip to work and back 😂
 

pickering

Active Member
Apr 3, 2021
18
3
Brake upgrades - 312/256 disc upgrades. Look for Audi TT or Octavia VRS setup on eBay. Add in braided lines and decent pads and you can outbrake most

Rear bumper - Cupra or FR, they don't cost much

Engine - Luckily the dons of VAG diesel tuning aren't far away from you aka Darkside Developments.
Funnily enough my pal who owns a TTs was talking about Darkside today so that seems to be the safe bet! will keep an eye out for a decent set of those brakes, nice having something people recommend rather than just hoping for the best
 

iammooks

Active Member
Nov 27, 2018
1,568
993
This was super super helpful so thank you!
In terms of the cars health it’s had a new cam belt put on it last week and I think the safest thing is to swap out the clutch and do an engine clean. Going off the cars history (and there’s a relatively extensive one) there’s nothing that would shock me of a car this age and the lady who owned it previously obviously kept on top of what she could.

I never really thought about searching for people breaking them, might have to make Facebook again and join some groups whilst I’m at it! I can’t wait to have fresh suspension, brakes and clutch - I think then it’ll be more about enjoying and reviving the car rather than hoping it makes the trip to work and back

Always nice to have a good service history. I'm probably going to be the last owner of my car, but even so, I've kept the receipts for all the work I've done and the mileage of the car when I did it - there have been some horrible stories on here where people have taken things apart only to find rounded bolt heads and cut corners, so you're super fortunate.

I go by the rule that if you can't find a receipt for something, it probably hasn't been done - especially if it's a big job like the clutch or timing belt.

Breakers are good, but obviously some are better than others. Some of them know the things that tend to be needed or in demand and so list them separately, but for others, if you're not buying an engine or a panel or something, they don't even bother replying to your messages.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

smutts

Active Member
Apr 12, 2020
292
156
Learn Zen meditation for when the door locks go wrong.
Ditto for the Climatronic if you have it. Mine works as designed, I just hate it.
Big tube of butyl mastic for sealing the door card leaks.
VCDS, as it will save a fortune. Tough cars otherwise.
 

pickering

Active Member
Apr 3, 2021
18
3
Learn Zen meditation for when the door locks go wrong.
Ditto for the Climatronic if you have it. Mine works as designed, I just hate it.
Big tube of butyl mastic for sealing the door card leaks.
VCDS, as it will save a fortune. Tough cars otherwise.
Honestly mate I went to wind down the back window for my dog today and felt the mechanism break and nearly ended up throwing all sorts of rationality out the window (probs would have if I could open it lol)

main problems just the clutch, been told the dual mass ones are a bit pricey to sort out as well which should make pay day fun
 

pickering

Active Member
Apr 3, 2021
18
3
Always nice to have a good service history. I'm probably going to be the last owner of my car, but even so, I've kept the receipts for all the work I've done and the mileage of the car when I did it - there have been some horrible stories on here where people have taken things apart only to find rounded bolt heads and cut corners, so you're super fortunate.

I go by the rule that if you can't find a receipt for something, it probably hasn't been done - especially if it's a big job like the clutch or timing belt.

Breakers are good, but obviously some are better than others. Some of them know the things that tend to be needed or in demand and so list them separately, but for others, if you're not buying an engine or a panel or something, they don't even bother replying to your messages.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Going through the receipts it seems like they were really sensible in terms of staying on top of it, I guess my main concern is they stuck on top of it for so long that when they felt the clutch going it was more viable to get rid on the cheap than shell out £400 or so.

luckily I live literally behind a VAG breakers, had a word with the owner yesterday and he’s got a load of stuff he can’t get rid of so it’s at the minimum maybe a new rear end and exhaust. Love the sound of the car just know how much better it’ll sound without a little pea shooter at the back 😂
 

verbal_kint

Active Member
Apr 15, 2010
640
31
North West Kent
Honestly mate I went to wind down the back window for my dog today and felt the mechanism break and nearly ended up throwing all sorts of rationality out the window (probs would have if I could open it lol)

main problems just the clutch, been told the dual mass ones are a bit pricey to sort out as well which should make pay day fun
Replacement winder mechanisms are cheap on ebay and come complete with the backing plate and new foam. I can change those now in under a hour, practice makes perfect :(
 

pickering

Active Member
Apr 3, 2021
18
3
Practice makes perfect 😂 loving this new life I’ve found myself in, morning drive to works like an episode of deal or no deal, engine light comes on at will, DMF is beyond gone and the weird curry smell it retains is NASTY
Replacement winder mechanisms are cheap on ebay and come complete with the backing plate and new foam. I can change those now in under a hour, practice makes perfect :(
tiv
 

iammooks

Active Member
Nov 27, 2018
1,568
993
Don't forget as well that the car is the same platform as the Golf mk4, so anything that's not panels or interior will likely fit.

It also helps if you're looking for a how to - lots more out there for the VW than the Leon. Every time my search for a Leon problem doesn't come to, one for a Golf mk4 normally delivers.


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Yellow fr

Gone to new owner so seat less for now
Sep 6, 2018
1,544
1,058
Sandbeds West Yorkshire
Funnily enough my pal who owns a TTs was talking about Darkside today so that seems to be the safe bet! will keep an eye out for a decent set of those brakes, nice having something people recommend rather than just hoping for the best
I know a guy who has a set front and rear
 

pickering

Active Member
Apr 3, 2021
18
3
Don't forget as well that the car is the same platform as the Golf mk4, so anything that's not panels or interior will likely fit.

It also helps if you're looking for a how to - lots more out there for the VW than the Leon. Every time my search for a Leon problem doesn't come to, one for a Golf mk4 normally delivers.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Some quality advice, was wondering which golf my wheels came from so I’m guessing it’s the mk4 😂
 
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