First Year Journey with Emma – Volkswagen Golf MK2

Exactly one year ago, on January 29, 2022, we picked up our Volkswagen Golf 2 from Wolfsburg. How has our first year with Emma been? Let’s find out.

Spring | The Preparation

A lot has happened. Until early March, I spent time fixing the obvious damages and getting Emma registered.

I chose to do the registration online to avoid the hassle of appointments, and surprisingly, it was quite easy.

The First Long Drive

In April 2022, we took our first long trip with Emma. It was me, my wife, and our dog heading up to the Harz mountains.

The drive was pleasant, despite the sunny weather and the lack of air conditioning. Emma handled the uphill sections with ease.

On our way to the Harz mountains, we took the A36 from Braunschweig to Bad Harzburg. This was when I got to push the engine a bit. However, out of consideration for the dog, I didn’t accelerate beyond 130 km/h.

Summer | Emma becomes our Daily Companion

During the summer, we drove Emma almost daily. Whether it was for grocery shopping, commuting to the train station, or going directly to work. We also took her out for weekend trips. And I must say, she never let us down.

During the middle of summer, I addressed Emma’s modest high beams and installed a set of Osram Nightbreaker bulbs. The result was much better than the stock H4 bulbs.

Autumn | The First MOT Inspection, No Problem for a Volkswagen

In November, it was time for the MOT inspection. Before that, I went for a preliminary check, which revealed that the front left strut mount was worn and the brake lines needed replacement after 33 years. So, I ordered the front strut mount, bought the necessary tools, and replaced the strut mounts. And yes, the front left strut mount was more than just worn. I also replaced the brake lines with copper lines from Quicke.

During the MOT inspection, I had the new brake lines certified and received an appointment for a re-examination because the catalytic converter was faulty. So, I ordered a new catalytic converter, thinking it wouldn’t take too long to install… -> Separate post.

Once the exhaust system was ready, I went back to the MOT inspection. After unsuccessful attempts to bring the idle speed below 900 rpm, the friendly inspector manually adjusted it on the test device. The emissions test was passed.

Summary from the inspector:

  • Overall, the bodywork is in good condition with no rust.
  • Dust caps on the rear shock absorbers could be replaced.
  • Emma is in great shape despite her age.

The entire MOT inspection story in a separate post.

Winter | Heading Down South

For New Year’s Eve, we put Emma to the test by driving 550 km to Heilbronn, which involved crossing the Kassel Mountains. You can read all about it here, but long story short, we arrived safely and returned home.

All in all, the first year was filled with ups and downs but mainly a lot of work. After passing the MOT inspection, it is clear that Emma will receive all the love she needs to stay with us for another 32 years. And maybe, someday, she will even attend a Volkswagen gathering here in Germany. 😄

Volkswagen Golf 2 "Emma"

Emma in Bad Wimpfen at the train station.


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