Background

In the spare tire hold surround (under the luggage area carpet), there is a self-stick label with VW codes printed on it that describe vehicle-specific equipment and options.

The label begins with the VIN followed by a description of the vehicle, in our case “New Beetle GLX I2132/1.8”. The next line — 1C16N6 — is the Volkswagen sales code for “1.8L 4 cyl gas 180 Hp (132 KW) AWP engine with the 6-speed transmission”.



The rest of the label details the engine, transmission, paint, and options installed by the factory.

Option decoding

Here is the full option decoding for our 2004 Turbo S.

CODEDESCRIPTION
AWPengine version of 1.8T block
FZQ6-speed O2M manual transmission
FZQgear ratios 3.818 2.105 1.345 0.972 0.970 0.806
FZQrack & pinion 1: 3.94 2: 3.09
LD7Xpaint code platinum gray metallic (SEE DETAILS BELOW)
C9Aalloy wheels 6.5J x 16 ET42 (dealer option)
CP9alloy wheels 7J x 17
G0K6-speed manual transmission
H7Kall-season tires 225/45 R17 91H (NAR)
J1Lbattery 280 A (60 Ah)
K8Froundback (body style variation)
4UMdriver and front passenger airbag (NAR) with front passenger airbag deactivation (2-stage)
MQ74-cylinder SI engine 1.8 l/132 kW (20V) turbo base engine is T8C/T16/T63
U0Minstrument cluster with tachometer, trip odometer, km/h speedometer
0A12 doors
0N5standard rear axle
1ATelectronic stability control (ESC)
1C2antifreeze up to -35 degree Celsius tolerance up to -40 degree C
1G1space-saving spare wheel (16-inch wheel)
1H0without proportioning valve (BRM)
1XVsteering wheel
2JGbody-colored bumpers
5RRright exterior mirror: convex (US)
5SHleft exterior mirror: flat (US)
0CUvehicle class differentiation 1C0
4X8side airbag in front, with head airbag and optimized head impact elements (USA)
0GMemission standard LEV1
3L3manual height adjustment for front seats
3Q1rear head restraints
QG0without service interval prolongation
4A3seat heater for front seats separately controlled
8BLhalogen headlamps for driving on the right, US design
G87shock absorption in front
8YTradio premium (Monsoon)
B0Dcomponent parts set, complying with vehicle type for USA (without California)
QZ3power steering (limited steering lift mechanism)
3FEelectric tilting and sliding glass sunroof with sun screen/sun blind
4KUside and rear windows in laminated glass
4R4power windows with comfort operation and circuit breaker
9ABmanually controlled air conditioning system

Paint code detail

2004 model colors

The vehicle color scheme, printed opposite the label Paint No./Interior, is formatted as four letters/numbers, a space, and sometimes two additional characters. Exactly what the last two characters mean remains a closely held VW trade secret.

Aftermarket paint vendors therefore focus on the first four characters as the identifying paint code.

For example, LD7X corresponds to Platinum Gray Metallic clearcoat, a two stage paint, that was applied across a number of different VW models often under different names. The “2R” addendum is ignored. Remember that the paint code is the critical specification, not the English paint name or description.

A primer prepares the surface. Basecoat is the automotive term for the actual color. Sometimes a midcoat, a semi-transparent layer, adds a glitter-like appearance (call a tri-coating process). Clearcoat refers, as the name implies, to the finish over the basecoat (and midcoat is there is one).

Paint can be purchased in a number of different sizes and delivery methods.

  • PAINT PEN: 1/2 oz — similar to a felt marker but with a firmer chiseled tip; avoids the “brush blob” problem
  • BOTTLES: 1 or 2 oz — small size comes with a built-in cap paint brush for chip repair; large size typically used when a larger spray area is required
  • SPRAY CAN: 12 oz (4-5 oz of liquid paint) — covers approximately four square feet; darker colors generally require more paint than lighter ones
  • ROUND CAN: pint (16 oz), quart, gallon — a pint covers approximately 20 square feet