Is the dealer full of it?

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Thread: Is the dealer full of it?

  1. #1
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    Is the dealer full of it?

    They are telling me my sway bar, upper control arms, and both motor mounts need to be replaced. They also said that I need a power steering fluid flush and an alignment. For all of this they want to charge me $4,670 dollars plus tax. My step dad was going to take it into his shop sometime soon, so if I did need some or all of what they said needed done, is there anything else I should do in the process while it is in the shop? I was also annoyed because the tech messed with the PSI in my tires. I had them set to 32. I got them back and all four were different... 31 PSI, 33 PSI, 35 PSI, and 34 PSI. I don't even know what to think of the tech that worked on my car if he couldn't properly inflate tires.

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  3. #2
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    If you are not under warranty, why go to a dealer? Find a good independent mechanic.

    What is the mileage on the car? All of that could be due. Swaybar bushings maybe, but not the swaybar. the control arms are probably due around 60k miles, alignment done then too.

  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by GermanGuy View Post
    If you are not under warranty, why go to a dealer? Find a good independent mechanic.

    What is the mileage on the car? All of that could be due. Swaybar bushings maybe, but not the swaybar. the control arms are probably due around 60k miles, alignment done then too.
    I'm at 110,800 miles

    I had a coupon haha 70 dollars for oil change, filter, and tire rotation.

    I found a shop that has amazing reviews that specialized on German cars, but they were charging 100 dollars for an oil change I get it is full synthetic oil, but that is way too much money for an oil change.

    My step dad is probably going to take it to his. I do notice some new noises like something is rattling over bumps, and then there has been a creak on the drivers side over every bump since I got the car. If all it needs is the bushings replaced and control arms done, it shouldn't nearly cost 5 thousand right? I also lose about a quart of oil per thousand miles driven. I was thinking of replacing my pcv hoses and suction pump then double checking my vacuum hoses. I have been getting terrible gas mileage lately. I get around 21-22mpg on the parkway going 80. It's a 2.8L ATQ.

    I was looking at the PCV kits on ECS tuning and I am thoroughly confused with the whole match the vin aspect of it. My vin is WVWRH63B22P449576. Is this the right one to buy that will cover what needs to be replaced?https://www.ecstuning.com/b-assemble...e-1/3b0198001/

    My car used to be so quiet at idle and I just don't know what changed as to why it is louder. It sounds like it is running rough, but it isn't; no misfires or anything. I only get a P0432 I think it is? It's whatever the catalyst warmup threshold is. I notice that code comes depending on my oil level... it is very odd.

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  6. #4
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    What year, auto, past history??

    The dealer is going to cost you! An Indy usually will be less. It would not surprise me that the above mentioned need attention with the mileage noted. Especially if it's all original. NJ is pretty harsh on vehicles especially with as much salt they use during the Winters.

    You can check the motor mounts to see if there is any new or old fluid (fluid stains) on the underside of them. If there is they're in need of replacement. So long as it's not oil or transmission fluid that's gotten on them. Bushings on the control arms wear out; look closely to see if you they have any dry rot, cracking or separation. Doubtful the sway bar needs replacing. The bushings are more likely what they meant.

    The PVC system you listed is what I used on my 01 but on my 04 it is different and much more expensive!!! Call ESC and ask them. Plan on replacing the vacuum hoses when you do the PCV system. Oil consumption doesn't seem bad.

    I would look at the shocks, trans mounts for wear as well as the snub mount (it's located at the bottom of the engine front and center)
    Mikey319 likes this.

  7. #5
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    I hope they meant "sway bar bushings", because the sway bar itself is not a wear part.

    In any case, those are all perfectly reasonable things to require replacement by this point, but that price is more than a bit high.
    Mikey319 and John_E like this.

  8. #6
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    For that amount of money I would replace the ENTIRE CAR! Walk away and do some checking and maintenance yourself. These older cars will eat your lunch bringing them in to get maintenance/repairs done.
    TomK
    Mikey319 likes this.

  9. #7
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    I can see the upper control arms, sway bar bushings, and motor mounts needing replacement, but sway bar and power steering fluid flush? I'd run, not walk, away from that dealer as fast as you can. There's a reason people refer to them as stealerships. This is why the majority of us learn to do our own maintenance on these cars. You can buy a complete set of upper and lower control arms, tie rod ends, sway bar links, and all hardware for about $300. Motor mounts are about $35-50 each. Sway bar bushings are probably less than $15 for the pair. These are ballpark prices so YMMV depending on who you buy them from. ECS Tuning and FCP Euro and two excellent sources for parts for the B5 Passat.

    The reason they charge so much is because they have much higher overhead than indy shops. You're also paying full retail for genuine VW parts vs. aftermarket.
    John_E and Mikey319 like this.

  10. #8
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    A PS Fluid flush is not an unreasonable maint. item. Like the coolant and transmission fluids, it's technically "lifetime", but really isn't.
    John_E, jjpark and Mikey319 like this.

  11. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjpark View Post
    What year, auto, past history??

    The dealer is going to cost you! An Indy usually will be less. It would not surprise me that the above mentioned need attention with the mileage noted. Especially if it's all original. NJ is pretty harsh on vehicles especially with as much salt they use during the Winters.

    You can check the motor mounts to see if there is any new or old fluid (fluid stains) on the underside of them. If there is they're in need of replacement. So long as it's not oil or transmission fluid that's gotten on them. Bushings on the control arms wear out; look closely to see if you they have any dry rot, cracking or separation. Doubtful the sway bar needs replacing. The bushings are more likely what they meant.

    The PVC system you listed is what I used on my 01 but on my 04 it is different and much more expensive!!! Call ESC and ask them. Plan on replacing the vacuum hoses when you do the PCV system. Oil consumption doesn't seem bad.

    I would look at the shocks, trans mounts for wear as well as the snub mount (it's located at the bottom of the engine front and center)
    automatic 2002

    it is all original. I haven't touched anything with the suspension on the car. The only mount that was replaced was the snub mount about a year ago.

    I made a mess of one of the plastic vacuum hoses by snapping it. I spent at least an hour and a half taking off the original rubber one and then piecing the plastic back together with new rubber hose/some new plastic.

    I hear some kind of ticking/knocking coming from under my valve covers. The knocking on the passenger side is new since the oil change yesterday, but the slight ticking noise has always been there.

    I'll have my step dad's shop check the shocks and trans mounts when he takes it in.

    Thank you everyone for the replies

    is it hard to remove the valve covers to check under them? I would do the gaskets while the covers would be off correct?

  12. #10
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    I had some power steeeing fluid from the dealer so I used a turkey baster and drained the reservoir and topped it up with new and let it run and turned my wheel back ad forth and then drained the reservoir again and filled with new to the max line.

  13. #11
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    at your mileage you need a control arm and tie rod end job, that means bushings, etc. if you do all of them together, you only need one alignment at the end (do not skip that). inspect the mounts as well, and replace if they are shot.

    as for the ps fluid, it should have been changed at least once so far.

    you need to service your pcv system, then replace valve cover seals if they are leaking, and inspect the CCT and its pads while you are in there. an oil pressure test might not be a bad idea if that ticking is new.

    brake fluid change? transm pan drop and clean, new trans filter, and new fluid? plugs, and wires? air filter? timing belt, water pump, new coolant, and belts?

    most of the parts are not expensive if you buy them yourself. fcp euro is a pretty good deal, but look at rock auto, ecs, etc.

    you can save on labor if you diy, or have access to someone who can wrench with you. It's not uncommon to brake something while fixing something else. it takes years to get used to the room around these engines, and unless you take it slow, you are bound to break something that was old and brittle anyway.
    Mikey319 and John_E like this.

  14. #12
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    just wanted to pop in and say i recently bought my 2004 2.0tdi for 5300 USD

    and yea, for parts being oem, and standard labor rates at a dealer, i can see the suspension work alone being atleast 3k.
    hell, there are a couple of upper arms, that through vw directly OEM at cost are still like 120-140-ish.

    their prices are not off, remember that this is simply the cost of oem new dealership service.

  15. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoosterEggs View Post
    at your mileage you need a control arm and tie rod end job, that means bushings, etc. if you do all of them together, you only need one alignment at the end (do not skip that). inspect the mounts as well, and replace if they are shot.

    as for the ps fluid, it should have been changed at least once so far.

    you need to service your pcv system, then replace valve cover seals if they are leaking, and inspect the CCT and its pads while you are in there. an oil pressure test might not be a bad idea if that ticking is new.

    brake fluid change? transm pan drop and clean, new trans filter, and new fluid? plugs, and wires? air filter? timing belt, water pump, new coolant, and belts?

    most of the parts are not expensive if you buy them yourself. fcp euro is a pretty good deal, but look at rock auto, ecs, etc.

    you can save on labor if you diy, or have access to someone who can wrench with you. It's not uncommon to brake something while fixing something else. it takes years to get used to the room around these engines, and unless you take it slow, you are bound to break something that was old and brittle anyway.
    Okay I'll have my step dad do that and then the alignment. I'll have him do the mounts if they are shot as well.

    The pic tubes didn't seem clogged when I checked a few months ago. My step dad probably won't open up the valve cover. I'll let him listen to it and if he agrees to open it then that would be good for me haha

    Timing belt, water pump, alternator, serp belt, and fan clutch was done around 88,000 miles. Plugs were done at 80,000.

    Brake fluid I have no clue, the power steering I took out all of the fluid in the reservoir and added new and let it run and then siphoned it again and added more new. It seems more amber/green than the brown/black color it was. I have some left over so I'll take some more out and top it off with new again.
    John_E likes this.

  16. #14
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    Brake fluid is pretty easy to change on these cars. Do it if you are unsure of the age of the juice currently in there.
    Mikey319 likes this.

  17. #15
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    Mikey, I think you got the go away kid (and don't come back) price. One qt of oil every 1k miles is awful. I add less than 1 qt per oil change (5k miles) Same engine, 175k miles. I believe oil usage is well documented here in this forum. Search. Your gas mileage appears to be maybe 10% low, but gas mileage is a fickle thing born of too many variables so it may be fine.
    John_E and Mikey319 like this.

  18. #16
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    I don't see any leaks so I wonder where it could be going

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