Inspector Gadget – passing the TÜV registration check

When we did our TURBOS & TÜV movie (check the video HERE) our mate Björn helped us buy the cheapest VW Golf GTI on the Internet and was instrumental in guiding us through the legalities of modifying a car in Germany. He has just re-registered the Golf in Germany and gave us a great rundown on the process. This is Björn in the back seat. Say g'day to everybody!

"In Germany to register a car it has to pass a technical inspection and an exhaust test every two years. The TURBOS & TÜV Golf had to do this in July 2020.

Doing this is like doing an exam: you are nervous, you try to be as friendly as possible to the TÜV engineer, and you clean up your car to make a good impression. Hopefully the engineer is having a good day as well and, after 30 minutes of feeling insecure, you might get the vehicle inspection sticker and are allowed to drive for two more years!

But this time it was very hard to get a new TÜV sticker for the Golf and it took 6 visits before it passed!

At the first visit the Golf passed the exhaust test. For the technical inspection some issues had to be fixed: the car was too low; a piece of the inner wheel arch was missing; the left tie-rod was not good; the rear exhaust mount was rusted nearly completed away; and the engine had a slight oil leak.

As the front bumper is not an original one it had to be added to the car’s paperwork. When you want to add a single tuning (aftermarket) part to your car, any TÜV engineer can inspect it (it is called 19.3 inspection). But when you add wheels, suspension or a different front bumper another inspection (called a 19.2) and not every engineer is allowed to do this 19.2. This inspection has to be done to make sure the front bumper is not rubbing the ground or tyres.

The TÜV engineer was too busy so he asked to come back another day to do the front bumper inspection. Before the inspection I mounted a new passenger door handle, as the old one worked for a while before the cable came off. The Golf also got a new airbag sensor at the VW dealer so the airbag light is not shining anymore, and they also changed the fan sensor to make it work again.

In the mean-time I mounted a new tie-rod and exhaust hanger, stopped the oil leak, adjusted the ST suspension and went to a wrecker to get a used inner wheel arch. Then it was time to visit the TÜV again!

This time another engineer did the inspection and he was not satisfied with the gap between front bumper and front fender even though this was no problem at the first inspection, but now it became one! So, I went off to another TÜV station.

This time the engineer was not allowed to do the 19.2 inspection so he sent me of to another station but the engineer at this station was also not allowed to do the inspection and asked me to go back to the station I just came from! I explained him that his colleague was not allowed to do the inspection as well.

A few days later i went back to the first TÜV station and met the engineer of my first visit. In the mean-time he had done a research by himself and told me, that he made a mistake at my first visit, as he was not allowed to do a 19.2 as well.

So, I went off-again. I made a couple of phone calls, to make sure to find an engineer, who had the license to do the 19.2 inspection.

Finally, I found an engineer who was allowed to do the inspection and the Golf passed it with no problem at all, as well as the normal inspection!

Now Björn can get back on those awesome German roads...

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