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Yes the door panel has to come off to check it. It isn't that bad of deal, the Bently explains it pretty well. Go to Harbor Freight and get their 5 piece plastic door panel popper set. Go easy removing the silver C shaped piece from the inner door pull, easy to scratch. As you pull the panel away from th door, there are several small wire connectors for the door handle, the light shining on the ignition switch, and the light for the handle, Remember where they go, and remember to plug them back in.
Mine doesn't work once in ten openings. If you take the red lever that unlatched the saftey catch, hold it all the way over and let the spring thunk it back in place, my light comes on. If you don't open the trunk often it gets dticky.
I suspect you have a fuel level sender problem, or as Pedro said it needs to be calibrated. Does your car have the original cluster in it? Since gas (and oil) is lighter than water, and the pump sucks at the bottom you don't have a water problem, you have a fuel problem. Remember that the pump is cooled by fuel going through it so running it low or out of fuel is really bad on it. How long have you had the car? Is this since you've had it or is it something new? A plugged fuel filter wouldn't care how much fuel is in the tank. I'd pull the pump/sender out and check it over, Make sure the sender is the right part number. There have been issues where someone changed a cluster or sender and the gage wouldn't indicate correctly. Some times they can be coded, sometimes not. Let us know what you find.
I had to loosen the rearmost strut rods, that run from the eliptical adjuster to the lower rear part of the spindle. I marked them prior to loosening, but still needed an alignment when it was done. There is a mid-point bolt on that arm, but it will allow the strut to swing out and forward to give you enough room.
Yeah, it's involved. With the right tools took me about 5 hours to remove and replace both shafts, not including repacking or replacing boots. With the axle off, there is a cover and a c clip to remove and the inner joine slides off, then you can do the outer boot. Sunset told me about a "kit" using Porsche parts to repack all four joints, replace all four boots, and new clamps all around, about $130 if I remember right. I have my old axles bagged, waiting for me to get around to rebuilding them when I have notheing better to do.
The noise you hear inside the car is the interlock switches. As you press the clutch pedal in there is a click as you just start to press it, that click is what kicks the cruise control off, and as you get the pedal almost to the floor, there is a second click which is the switch that lets you start the car. As you slowly release the clutch pedal from the floor you can hear the two clicks as these switches clear. My car makes a sharp metalic click, not sure that you can feel them in the pedal, don't know that i've ever tried. You can hear them well with the car off, just cycle the pedal and see if that is what you are hearing. If the clutch isn't slipping, I don't know that it would be the disc chattering. Does the noise stop if you put slight pressure on the clutch pedal? Or do you have to press the clutch in to make it stop? It could be cv joints, does it gey better or worse driving n circles to the right and left? It could be a bent or broken finger on the pressure plate, that is usualy with a high pedal pressure, or uneven pressure. Does it make the same noise accelerating, coasting with the car in gear, and decelerating (engine braking)? if you plan on replacing the clutch, think about upgrading the IMS while you are there. Let us know what you find.
Assuming the battery was disconnected for the work, the ECU may have gone to factory norms, and may take a drive cycle to adjust itself. Technicaly nothing that was done should affect the power the car is putting out. When my wife says things like that. I open the hood, fiddle with things and tell her I adjusted the flux capaciter and it should be much better. She drives it the next time and says it is.
I tend to replace both bulds when either bulb goes. Keep the "spare" one to use in fog lights or other things. VW New Beetles have a lever mechanism that pops the headlights out pretty sweet. Especialy if you don't know how long the other buld has been in there, why not replace both.
Do you do the work on your own cars? The CV boot is about $$85 to replace the pair here in the US. A new shaft is about $550. Rebuilt shafts are cheaper. "S" cars with a manual are hard on boots, if you have one split it's time to replace all four. I replaced both axels, then rebuilt my originals so I have spares.
Your car will need a cycle or so to re-learn it's parameters. You might also try filling with fresh gas and see how that goes. If it's been a while since you've drivien it, it may be your ears that need recaiibration. Yop up and top down also has a big effect on the audibles.
Do your warning lights come on when you first start the car? turn signal indicators? hig beam indicator? Is the only thing missing the illumination for the three gages?