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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,

First poster here and just looking in the market for a 2018 golf GTE advance soon. My commute will probably be up to 46 miles a day mostly with some days roughly 23-30 miles. Initially will be charging via 3 pin with an eventual plan to install a wall charger.

One feature I'm interested in is a feature to remotely pre-heat the car via an app of some sort? Does it need to be plugged in to do this or can it be done in a car park at work for example. I'm also trying to figure out what car-net is and does that still exist in 2021 ? The vw website mentions We Connect e-remote, is that the one that works with the GTE? What remote features does the car have and what subscription is needed for this. There is only mention of a 3 year subscription, what happens after that point? Is it easy to register a used car to the app service ?

Sorry in advance for the countless questions!!
 

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Pre-heating should really be done when plugged in. The GTE doesn't have a heat pump so the heater uses quite a lot of power. If you have the car plugged in it will draw only the maximum power available from that circuit. So on a granny charger it will heat slower / to a lower temperature (max 2.3kW) than a wall box (max 3.3kW) though I haven't found this to be a particular issue in the UK. (It's always been completely warm even on the granny plug after the 30 minute heating period.)

If it's on the battery then it will drain it fairly quickly, meaning less range (the battery isn't very big as it is) and the car does heat up fairly quickly from 'dead cold' so it's not needed IMO. The advantage to pre-heating is really the range benefit since the heater spends less time blasting at full power and can instead run at low or no power for the start of your drive. As the drive gets longer the benefit wears off. It's also more comfortable of course! Not having to scrape ice/snow off the windscreen in winter is a fantastic plus.

You can schedule pre-heat from the car using three timers, this is free of charge and works without the subscription. The timers can be set for a morning and evening time and then you have one spare, the days of the week and one off etc can be configured. But no more than 3 are supported. Annoyingly the Passat GTE supports up to 10 timers but for reasons that escape me VW did not extend this to the Golf (and indeed the ID.3 still has the 3 timers limitation, baffling.)

If you want to control the car from an app then you need to subscribe after 3 years. It's about £90 for two years or £55 for a year. I find it useful enough to subscribe but you can't get a refund for unused time so if you plan to sell the car after 2 years for instance think about the subscription.

Registering a used car is not too difficult, you need the VIN and mileage, but it takes a few days for the boffins in Germany to activate it, and my car had some teething problems that required a remote 'reset' to resolve. The customer service 'works' but it's a bit slow.

The app itself isn't great, gives plenty of random error messages and is slow to do anything (a modern phone helps immensely though, my old iPhone 6 was so slow, but the iPhone SE 2020 that I use with it works so much better.) Using the phone you can start/stop the air conditioning/heater*, start/stop charging and edit the schedules. Also it will tell you charging time remaining and range and where you parked the car if you are prone to forgetting that. Doing any action however takes 'ages', like at least 30 seconds from pressing the button to getting confirmation as the car isn't live 24/7 but it synchronises through SMS or some similar protocol. Basically the server in Germany has to send a text to your car which has to propagate through the local cell network. It also means if you car is in a garage or underground it probably won't work.

If plugged into the mains the heat/cool function runs for 30 minutes. If on battery it times out automatically after 10 minutes.

*On my car the air conditioning (pre-cool) feature doesn't work reliably even though normal A/C does. Not sure of the cause but suspect it's a software bug. Since I moved south recently I'm finally bugging VW to fix this, hopefully resolved by a software update or a further remote 'reset'.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
tom66,

That is incredibly useful reply. I have a feeling initially I won't be able to plug in the future car while preheating but hopefully by the time winter comes this may change. I'm guessing at the very least, if I set the timer even if the battery is depleted it will fire up the engine for pre heating? Does the key play a role in remotely starting the car with the doors still locked at all ? I have seen that in some cars.
 

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Annoyingly the Passat GTE supports up to 10 timers but for reasons that escape me VW did not extend this to the Golf (and indeed the ID.3 still has the 3 timers limitation, baffling.)
I had a 66 plate Passat GTE, now have a 70 plate (2021 model) Passat GTE Advance - neither has 10 timers for departures, but the usual 3. You may be confusing it with setting different charging locations which the 66 plate had up to 10 locations that could be set. The location setting feature seems to have gone on the new one (didn't see much point in it anyway).

If I pre-heat my car without plugging in it uses up about 4-5 miles of range.
 

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tom66,

That is incredibly useful reply. I have a feeling initially I won't be able to plug in the future car while preheating but hopefully by the time winter comes this may change. I'm guessing at the very least, if I set the timer even if the battery is depleted it will fire up the engine for pre heating? Does the key play a role in remotely starting the car with the doors still locked at all ? I have seen that in some cars.
You guess incorrectly. The car simply won't pre-heat if the battery has less than about 10% capacity remaining (2-3 miles) and you'll get into a cold car.

There is no way (as far as I am aware) to remote start the GTE. The principle is you start in electric where possible and switch on the combustion engine when either the battery runs flat (which will happen automatically) or you want to use more power/speed/go further and pre-empt this by switching it yourself. Unlike a few other PHEVs the GTE can run the heater without the engine going, so you can enjoy a warm car regardless.

Generally I'd not recommend bothering with pre-heating unless you're plugged in, unless you are really intolerant of getting into a slightly cold car. The heating system in the GTE, from dead cold, is producing heat within 30 seconds. It is pretty good, unlike some other cars.

@MrMoo I may well be mistaken about the Passat, well at least that is consistent! The 10 locations does seem rather excessive in comparison to the 3 timers, I can't see any real-world use for that many locations with so few timers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
You guess incorrectly. The car simply won't pre-heat if the battery has less than about 10% capacity remaining (2-3 miles) and you'll get into a cold car.

There is no way (as far as I am aware) to remote start the GTE. The principle is you start in electric where possible and switch on the combustion engine when either the battery runs flat (which will happen automatically) or you want to use more power/speed/go further and pre-empt this by switching it yourself. Unlike a few other PHEVs the GTE can run the heater without the engine going, so you can enjoy a warm car regardless.

Generally I'd not recommend bothering with pre-heating unless you're plugged in, unless you are really intolerant of getting into a slightly cold car. The heating system in the GTE, from dead cold, is producing heat within 30 seconds. It is pretty good, unlike some other cars.

@MrMoo I may well be mistaken about the Passat, well at least that is consistent! The 10 locations does seem rather excessive in comparison to the 3 timers, I can't see any real-world use for that many locations with so few timers.

Thanks tom66,

To clarify my understanding - If the car battery is sufficiently charged, and I set the pre-heat timed on the infotainment or via the app, it should preheat before I set off ? I'm thinking of circumstances at work after a 12.5 hours shift and coming to a frozen car just wanting to go home instead of scrapping ice and waiting for the car to demist. I would like to just set it so it comes on for say 10 minutes and then reduces that burden a little.

Additionally, I have been speaking to a few dealers now and they say these cars go quickly on the used market and suggested reserving it without seeing the car as many people buy it before even a test drive, which is frustrating! I have never sat in a Golf or driven a PHEV. I'm sticking with approved used to ensure warranty and further extension to the warranty.
 

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Yup.

There's a checkbox to tick which enables heating when not plugged in, "permit air conditioning via battery", but other than that it should work.

Not sure how the pre-heating works with regards to the battery only operation, it might start later or not heat up as much. You'll need to experiment. But it does have that option and I have used it once before.

The older PHEVs are valued because they are still exempt from London Congestion Charge if I recall correctly, and the pre-2016 ones attract no VED. I have to fill a form out every year and send it to DVLA (online) to 'pay' my nil tax though.
 

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I used pre heat via battery a couple of times last winter when it was snowing and I didn't want to put it in the garage, which would melt the snow and ice but you end up with a garage full of water . Anyway used pre heat and window heat 10 minutes before I set off the next morning via the app and got into a nice warm defrosted car . Well worth losing a few miles electric range. And I can charge at work which helps
 

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I used pre heat via battery a couple of times last winter when it was snowing and I didn't want to put it in the garage, which would melt the snow and ice but you end up with a garage full of water . Anyway used pre heat and window heat 10 minutes before I set off the next morning via the app and got into a nice warm defrosted car . Well worth losing a few miles electric range. And I can charge at work which helps
I totally agree.
You can also cool the car. When parked outside all day at work (or elsewhere) in the sun, it's bliss to get into an already cooled car :)
 

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I'm thinking of circumstances at work after a 12.5 hours shift and coming to a frozen car just wanting to go home instead of scrapping ice and waiting for the car to demist. I would like to just set it so it comes on for say 10 minutes and then reduces that burden a little.
If you've a good walk to the car, then stabbing the app button as you shut the laptop, does the job nicely.
Same if you are on call -- stab the app on responding to callout, by the time kettle boiled and dressed /kit ready for the occasion the car is ready to go - I found regardless of plugged in or not, worked fab. Per above probably better to have plugged in overnight. Over 4 years I just used granny 2-3 times a day and left always plugged in overnight in winter.

Likewise, you & family have parked at a cinema/retail complex on a nasty winter night. Shopped, seen a film then dinner. When the bill gets put on the table and the teenagers brace themselves for another bad joke from Dad about splitting the bill ...... stab the app and by the time you've got to the car, windscreen defrosted, points winner.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
If you've a good walk to the car, then stabbing the app button as you shut the laptop, does the job nicely.
Same if you are on call -- stab the app on responding to callout, by the time kettle boiled and dressed /kit ready for the occasion the car is ready to go - I found regardless of plugged in or not, worked fab. Per above probably better to have plugged in overnight. Over 4 years I just used granny 2-3 times a day and left always plugged in overnight in winter.

Likewise, you & family have parked at a cinema/retail complex on a nasty winter night. Shopped, seen a film then dinner. When the bill gets put on the table and the teenagers brace themselves for another bad joke from Dad about splitting the bill ...... stab the app and by the time you've got to the car, windscreen defrosted, points winner.
Again, thank you replying to my thread. Just bought a 2018 golf gte. Should be collecting it the next 1-2 weeks. Does Anyone have any advise regarding servicing schedules ? I haven’t bought a service pack yet but may do soon?!
 

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Again, thank you replying to my thread. Just bought a 2018 golf gte. Should be collecting it the next 1-2 weeks. Does Anyone have any advise regarding servicing schedules ? I haven’t bought a service pack yet but may do soon?!
It's a slightly more aggressive schedule than a regular Golf but any garage can do it. 10k miles / 1 year oil changes and major service every second service, although your car might be on the flexible scheduling and if so car will advise when oil change is due though inspection still due at the 2nd year mark I believe. GTE uses fully synthetic oil, I think it's 5W30 but do double check as it may be different for your car!

DSG oil change due every 40k or 4 years. This can be expensive, about £300 from a good garage, more from VW.

Some debate over cambelt servicing - service manual suggests it's lifetime as long as you're not in a high-dust country (UK is not a high-dust country), others say 100k miles or 5 years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
It's a slightly more aggressive schedule than a regular Golf but any garage can do it. 10k miles / 1 year oil changes and major service every second service, although your car might be on the flexible scheduling and if so car will advise when oil change is due though inspection still due at the 2nd year mark I believe. GTE uses fully synthetic oil, I think it's 5W30 but do double check as it may be different for your car!

DSG oil change due every 40k or 4 years. This can be expensive, about £300 from a good garage, more from VW.

Some debate over cambelt servicing - service manual suggests it's lifetime as long as you're not in a high-dust country (UK is not a high-dust country), others say 100k miles or 5 years.
It’s done 50000 miles and the dealer said it’s due a service before I get it. Probbaly next one in 10000 miles. I will just save the money for now instead of a service plan for the time being.
 
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