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.
Here is the full option decoding for our 2004 Turbo S.
|AWP||engine version of 1.8T block|
|FZQ||6-speed O2M manual transmission|
|FZQ||gear ratios 3.818 2.105 1.345 0.972 0.970 0.806|
|FZQ||rack & pinion 1: 3.94 2: 3.09|
|LD7X||paint code platinum gray metallic (SEE DETAILS BELOW)|
|C9A||alloy wheels 6.5J x 16 ET42 (dealer option)|
|CP9||alloy wheels 7J x 17|
|G0K||6-speed manual transmission|
|H7K||all-season tires 225/45 R17 91H (NAR)|
|J1L||battery 280 A (60 Ah)|
|K8F||roundback (body style variation)|
|4UM||driver and front passenger airbag (NAR) with front passenger airbag deactivation (2-stage)|
|MQ7||4-cylinder SI engine 1.8 l/132 kW (20V) turbo base engine is T8C/T16/T63|
|U0M||instrument cluster with tachometer, trip odometer, km/h speedometer|
|0N5||standard rear axle|
|1AT||electronic stability control (ESC)|
|1C2||antifreeze up to -35 degree Celsius tolerance up to -40 degree C|
|1G1||space-saving spare wheel (16-inch wheel)|
|1H0||without proportioning valve (BRM)|
|5RR||right exterior mirror: convex (US)|
|5SH||left exterior mirror: flat (US)|
|0CU||vehicle class differentiation 1C0|
|4X8||side airbag in front, with head airbag and optimized head impact elements (USA)|
|0GM||emission standard LEV1|
|3L3||manual height adjustment for front seats|
|3Q1||rear head restraints|
|QG0||without service interval prolongation|
|4A3||seat heater for front seats separately controlled|
|8BL||halogen headlamps for driving on the right, US design|
|G87||shock absorption in front|
|8YT||radio premium (Monsoon)|
|B0D||component parts set, complying with vehicle type for USA (without California)|
|QZ3||power steering (limited steering lift mechanism)|
|3FE||electric tilting and sliding glass sunroof with sun screen/sun blind|
|4KU||side and rear windows in laminated glass|
|4R4||power windows with comfort operation and circuit breaker|
|9AB||manually controlled air conditioning system|
Paint code detail
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