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You’re driving down the highway, it’s pouring out and it's late. You’re almost home and then it happens. THUD. You hit something. Well, we did at least. 

Here’s how we blew out the oil pan (and other expensive bits) on our 2017 Volkswagen MK7 GTI, and how it can happen to you.

 

Didn’t watch? Here’s the quick rundown:

We were driving our 2017 Volkswagen GTI home from Waterfest when we hit some road debris. The debris wiped out the oil pan, differential control unit, and dented the front subframe.

Here's what we had to do next, and what you will need to do if you find yourself in a similar scenario. 

 

Step 1: Fix Your Oil Pan


Are you at risk? If you’re like me and own a Volkswagen Golf Mk7, the answer is probably yes.

volkswagen-golf-r-mk7-oil-pan

Not only is the stock oil pan on your MK7 GTI made of plastic, but there's also no (read: zero) underbody protection for it. The photo above is of my exact car, completely stock, with no protection on the underbody. As many people have learned, the plastic oil pan on these cars is extremely exposed and it doesn’t take much to rupture them. The best way to fix it is by replacing it. 

Fortunately, previous generations of the EA888 motor came from the factory with a steel oil pan; Upgrade to it and you’re golden. It’s a quick job when paired with an oil change. 

Nate Vincent runs through the entire job in this quick 15-minute video:

 

 

Mk7 Volkswagen GTI Oil Pan Upgrade

 

Step 2: Protect Your Oil Pan

Adding a skid plate is one of the easiest ways to protect against your recent (steel) investment and to divert road debris and grime from bothering you any further. Especially now, with winter months approaching (we are located in Milford, CT), this becomes even more important.

Because there are so many options out there, we narrowed it down to two: Kevlar-reinforced plastic and aluminum.

We've done reviews on both, and encourage you to watch them in full for the nuances between them, but essentially it boils down to what kind of driving you'll be doing.

If you're going full rally car, or even just frequently drive on dirt roads, we encourage the aluminum option. For everything else, go with the Kevlar-reinforced plastic unit. 

 

Step 3: Drive Your GTI 

We truly love our Mk7 GTI. With all the upgrades we've thrown at it, (SACHS Performance Coilovers, 034Motorsport camber arms, trailing arms, toe links, downpipe, res-x delete, a rear sway bar, carbon-fiber cold air intake, P3 multi-gauge, and a carbon fiber battery cover, the chassis responds with a bigger and bigger grin every time we take it to the track. It's never been better.

 

However far you decide to take your project, we can speak from experience by at least recommending an oil pan upgrade. You'll thank us later. I know I'll be doing mine soon!

If you have any questions or comments, leave them in the comments section below!

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Written by :
Kyle Bento
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Kyle is FCP Euro's Director of Marketing. He drives a 1986 VW Vanagon Syncro, but in the summer months, you're more likely to catch him riding his Suzuki DR650, taking photos, and working on that Vanagon we mentioned earlier.


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