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Discussion Starter #1
This is a new thread that continues on from this thread http://www.passatworld.com/forums/42-volkswagen-passat-b5-discussion/385105-should-i-get-these-things-fixed-college-kid-2.html

L&T called [mechanic]:

Here is the official list in order of importance in their opinion:
1) Battery is dead ($125)
2) Front tie rods have play in them. Parts, labor and alignment: ($275)
3) 2 new front tires (Unquoted)
4) Right-front CV Boot. Axel is not damaged yet. Parts and labor ($145)
5) Cold Air Intake. KN filter tubing is cracking. Return to stock. (Unquoted)
6) SAIP is iffy. Throwing codes but still working.
7) Right front door wire harness is bad. ($225)
8) Center armrest lid is broken (45)

--- and the biggie --

9) Intake manifold carbon build up. He said parts are expensive but the labor is. He didn't specify a price, told me that he didn't because he wasn't sure if I want to tackle it. I was notified of this problem in July, and I tried using sea foam. So major problem in foreseeable future.


What does do?

I have $1500 total cash right now, and I think when I do my tax return I will get it all back. I only made 4600 and they withheld 900.
Battery was replaced
Front Tie Rods replaced
2 new front tires replaced
"New" used Axel with CV boot
Air intake was returned to stock
I did nothing about the right door wiring harness
I did nothing about the SAIP
I did nothing about the Armrest
And I don't think I'm going to do anything about the "carbon buildup"

After all this, my funds were cut in half. In the time since, I built my bank account back up to around $1300.
#1) Yesterday my head unit died, so I need to get a new system. The right side has been out since day one and now the whole thing just doesn't play. I'm an audiophile, I need music.

Today I went to the mechanic for some parts... I want to run bg44k through my tank and I read I should change the fuel filter first. My coolant was also low.
#2) I asked the dude how much a fuel filter would cost. $95 for parts and installation.

1.5 liters of G12 coolant was $15

Before I left, my sixth sense tingled. I asked him how I can check to see how much brake life I have left. I told him how much I have left on the fronts (1/2") and how much I have on the rear (1/4"). He said I should be good for now. I asked him if a sensor would let me know when I need to change them and he said yes.

I drive home and right as I pull onto my street... CHECK BRAKE PADS
#3) Quoted at $190 for pad replacement on the two front tires, and $325 for rotors and pads... for the front. Visually inspecting the rear ones tell me that those will need to be replaced soon too as they are down to 1/4".

I have an inspection coming up on June 23rd that I may not pass.
#4) Apparently my windows are tinted too dark (BS! they are lighter than what comes stock on most cars now-a-days). Apparently I need to have the tinting removed.
#5) My headlights are too dim (Again BS! They are brighter than my mother's Nissan Altima's stock "high intensity" headlights. If anything they are too bright...) Apparently I need to have them removed and install stock ones.

#6) Tail lights are tinted black. They need to be returned to stock. This one I understand and is agreeable.
#7) Engine Light still going off due to SAIP I believe

On top of all this, I have to change my oil.

I was accepted into Pitt, Penn State, Temple and Rutgers. I want to bring a car to college but don't necessarily need one. Especially if I go to Pittsburgh. I'm completely against selling my car though. Even having the expense of a car while not in use is still more appealing to me than sacrificing my freedom and selling my passat. I at least want to hold on to it until I go off to college.
That being said, I would be willing to buy a miata... I think

Help me please I need advice
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I just don't have a jack or any jack stands

I've been reading up though and could squeeze under the car and try
 

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I'm sure you've done your research, but some universities don't allow 1st and in some cases 2nd year students to have cars on campus (in different ways, i.e. I went to UConn, you must have 54 credits, or equivalent to 3rd year credits, to apply for an on-campus parking permit.)

If this does not apply to you and/or you just have that "drive" that you need a car, then my advice follows:
#2, as Asto said, ff is cheap and very easy to replace, assuming you follow a good writeup and have the right tools, i.e. vice grip/clamp of some sort, jack stands/ramps.
#4 Tint Laws -- Apparently tint laws in PA are pretty strict. They measure tints in terms of percentage of light allowed thru, 100% being clear, 0% being complete dark. 70% is pretty light, compared to, for example, CT, where side windows are allowed to be 35%. You will have to determine how dark your tints are, and whether or not they comply with state laws. If they don't comply, they're probably tinted with some sort of film which you can remove with a variety of methods.
#6 A quick google search for "PA tail light tint laws" seems to indicate they're not legal.
#5 Again just do a search for PA headlight laws (I'm getting lazy at this point), and find out if your headlights comply.

For #4-6, I'm actually wondering who or what kind of official told you this information. If it's some random mechanic, put these items on the bottom of your priority list. Better to make sure your car runs than worry about styling issues.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'm really concerned that I will fix all these things and then not be able to drive anywhere because I can't pass inspection. That is honestly my biggest fear in regards to the car right now. The dude who I bought it from did sketch things to get it passed inspection. It failed emmissions for my mechanic and then he took it to some random place 40 or so miles from here and came back with the stickers. I was naive and didn't catch the red flag. I'm pretty sure he bribed the dude or something.

I am doing my research but I'm so frustrated. They run amazingly for ____ time and then all of the sudden all the shits happens at once


Hell, the windows are mirror-ized. According to that site, mirror-ized is completely illegal in PA. How the $%#@ did he get it through?
 

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After all this, my funds were cut in half. In the time since, I built my bank account back up to around $1300.
#1) Yesterday my head unit died, so I need to get a new system. The right side has been out since day one and now the whole thing just doesn't play. I'm an audiophile, I need music.

Today I went to the mechanic for some parts... I want to run bg44k through my tank and I read I should change the fuel filter first. My coolant was also low.
#2) I asked the dude how much a fuel filter would cost. $95 for parts and installation.

1.5 liters of G12 coolant was $15

Before I left, my sixth sense tingled. I asked him how I can check to see how much brake life I have left. I told him how much I have left on the fronts (1/2") and how much I have on the rear (1/4"). He said I should be good for now. I asked him if a sensor would let me know when I need to change them and he said yes.

I drive home and right as I pull onto my street... CHECK BRAKE PADS
#3) Quoted at $190 for pad replacement on the two front tires, and $325 for rotors and pads... for the front. Visually inspecting the rear ones tell me that those will need to be replaced soon too as they are down to 1/4".

I have an inspection coming up on June 23rd that I may not pass.
#4) Apparently my windows are tinted too dark (BS! they are lighter than what comes stock on most cars now-a-days). Apparently I need to have the tinting removed.
#5) My headlights are too dim (Again BS! They are brighter than my mother's Nissan Altima's stock "high intensity" headlights. If anything they are too bright...) Apparently I need to have them removed and install stock ones.

#6) Tail lights are tinted black. They need to be returned to stock. This one I understand and is agreeable.
#7) Engine Light still going off due to SAIP I believe

On top of all this, I have to change my oil.

I was accepted into Pitt, Penn State, Temple and Rutgers. I want to bring a car to college but don't necessarily need one. Especially if I go to Pittsburgh. I'm completely against selling my car though. Even having the expense of a car while not in use is still more appealing to me than sacrificing my freedom and selling my passat. I at least want to hold on to it until I go off to college.
That being said, I would be willing to buy a miata... I think

Help me please I need advice
1) You don't need a stereo, you are a young adult in college, finishing school should be your #1 priority in life right now. A large part of achieving that goal is successfully managing and maintaining a proper budget. With the current state of your finances, a stereo shouldn't even be a thought, let alone the number one item on your list.

2) Coolant is cheap and certainly something you can do yourself. Fuel filter is a good thing to do, follow the DIY on this site and save yourself the labor cost (it's easy to do, and a good way to get your feet wet working on the car) I don't know what that supplement you mentioned is, but I doubt it will do anything/be worth the cost.

3) $190 for labor is way too much for just the fronts. It should be half that, or less. If you can get away with it run the pads down a bit, Passats basically require new pads and rotors even if you change them on time.

4) No comment here, I'm not familiar with the tint laws in your state.

5) Ditto.

6) You don't want to hear my opinion on tinted taillights, let's just say the gov't is doing you a favor here.

7) Get it checked, if it is the SAIP you may be able to get a cheap tune that will code it out for you (Gonzo tuning, etc)

I don't see that much work needed here, DIY will cut your costs down significantly, give you some valuable skills, you may even find someone on PW from Pennsylvania that can help you out with the work.
 

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You could probably trade your headlights and taillights to someone else on the forum for free. Just take pictures and post up a FT thread in the classifieds.

You can remove window tint with a razor blade and patience.

Also, you should use spell check as serious problems are different than sirius problems. I thought this was a radio thread - lol.
 

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Based on the following self-disclosed fact from your other thread you should have a pretty easy decision to make.
I can't turn a wrench. What can I go without fixing and what is priority. Thats the question I should have asked
If you don't want to sell the car, then just leave it home. Put some fuel stabilizer in it and park it in the garage until you get done with college, or until you learn how to turn a wrench and work on it during summer breaks.
I live in a college town and I noticed cars that don't get moved until the summer break arrives. Either if it's parked at college, or it's parked home - same darn thing.

Contrary, if you think you don't need it at all for four (five) years, then sell it - or have your parents sell it. You'll need all the money you can muster to attend one of those universities/colleges mentioned.
Moreover, you save on parking permits in either scenario.
 

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If you can't turn a wrench; you either need to know a good shade tree mechanic that works for free (does this describe your Dad?), or have a lot of money to pay a qualified mechanic. If you don't have access to either of those, you best option may be to sell for whatever you can get and combine that with other funds you are saving to get a car that doesn't needs so much work in the future.

I just bought a 2000 Passat for my son to take to college. I am his free shade tree mechanic, otherwise I would have been looking exclusively for a Toyota.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I spelt sirius write dough

You could probably trade your headlights and taillights to someone else on the forum for free. Just take pictures and post up a FT thread in the classifieds.

You can remove window tint with a razor blade and patience.

Also, you should use spell check as serious problems are different than sirius problems. I thought this was a radio thread - lol.
I don't want to remove the tint or trade headlights. I'll probably just buy a used set and just pop it in and then pop it out and replace with after markets after inspection.

I still don't understand how my tints could have passed inspection in June. He must have done something under the table. I want to do the same thing if I could

Where in PA do you live? Eastern, western, etc..
I live in the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton area, really close to the Lehigh Valley International Airport if you are familiar.

1) You don't need a stereo, you are a young adult in college, finishing school should be your #1 priority in life right now. A large part of achieving that goal is successfully managing and maintaining a proper budget. With the current state of your finances, a stereo shouldn't even be a thought, let alone the number one item on your list.

2) Coolant is cheap and certainly something you can do yourself. Fuel filter is a good thing to do, follow the DIY on this site and save yourself the labor cost (it's easy to do, and a good way to get your feet wet working on the car) I don't know what that supplement you mentioned is, but I doubt it will do anything/be worth the cost.

3) $190 for labor is way too much for just the fronts. It should be half that, or less. If you can get away with it run the pads down a bit, Passats basically require new pads and rotors even if you change them on time.

4) No comment here, I'm not familiar with the tint laws in your state.

5) Ditto.

6) You don't want to hear my opinion on tinted taillights, let's just say the gov't is doing you a favor here.

7) Get it checked, if it is the SAIP you may be able to get a cheap tune that will code it out for you (Gonzo tuning, etc)

I don't see that much work needed here, DIY will cut your costs down significantly, give you some valuable skills, you may even find someone on PW from Pennsylvania that can help you out with the work.
1) I think now would be the best time to buy a stereo. At least a head unit. Driving without music is... not that great. If I don't get it taken care of now I will not have stereo until after college. Now I have money. In college... hahaha I'll be broke. Plus, the resale will be much lower without a working sound system.

2) Coolant was taken care of. BG44k is one of the few fuel system cleaners that are worth the money. Its similar to Techron. I'm going to try to do the fuel filter myself.

3) I'm going to contact my mom's ex bf and see if we can do the brakes this weekend. I'm going to bring it to the shop today to see which brakes/rotors should be changed. I don't want to buy new rotors if I plan on selling it (which I'm not sure about yet).

I measured the rotors with a micrometer: 9.5mm which is above the minimum 8mm. I could be measuring wrong though so I am going to have the shop check it out.

6) I will pop them back in after inspection... unless I get an under the table inspection (unlikely but preferred)

7) Thanks for the tip I will look into it

If you can't turn a wrench; you either need to know a good shade tree mechanic that works for free (does this describe your Dad?), or have a lot of money to pay a qualified mechanic. If you don't have access to either of those, you best option may be to sell for whatever you can get and combine that with other funds you are saving to get a car that doesn't needs so much work in the future.

I just bought a 2000 Passat for my son to take to college. I am his free shade tree mechanic, otherwise I would have been looking exclusively for a Toyota.
I don't have a dad.

No but seriously. I wish I learned these skills from someone. My best arguments against selling is:

If I buy another car, I have no idea what kind of problems I will run into. At least with the Passat I know what I'm dealing with.
I bought the car for 3900, sank 1000 into it day one, and another 800 about 2 months ago. I'm already invested :rolleyes:

Of course there are counter arguments to each point.


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New questions:

A) I'm going to the mechanic today to pick up parts. Should I just buy OEM brakes and OEM rotors? Or am I better off getting some same-pricerange non-oem pads and rotors? Can you guys suggest the best brake/rotors for my situation? I am willing to spend money on nicer things because they last longer. You get what you pay for. I don't believe in wal*mart type discount parts.

B) My "check brake pad" light went off yesterday - as in it no longer displayed. Then it went on again today. What does this mean? Figure it could just be electrical problems and I don't actually need new brakes. I still should change them though. They look low on the rears.




Thanks for all those who have contributed, will contribute and hopefully continue contributing.
 

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New questions:

A) I'm going to the mechanic today to pick up parts. Should I just buy OEM brakes and OEM rotors? Or am I better off getting some same-pricerange non-oem pads and rotors? Can you guys suggest the best brake/rotors for my situation? I am willing to spend money on nicer things because they last longer. You get what you pay for. I don't believe in wal*mart type discount parts.

B) My "check brake pad" light went off yesterday - as in it no longer displayed. Then it went on again today. What does this mean? Figure it could just be electrical problems and I don't actually need new brakes. I still should change them though. They look low on the rears.




Thanks for all those who have contributed, will contribute and hopefully continue contributing.
A) Check out forum sponsors. As much as I hate giving them my money, ECS Tuning has killer deals and all pads and rotors with free shipping. www.ecstuning.com. I use their BBK on my car, and I have to say I'm really happy. I beat on it like crazy and pad and rotor wear is minimal after 20k. Do not waste your time or money on performance pads and rotors for a daily driver.

B) It will flicker for the first few days of being low, then it will be on forever until you change the pads. It has a little filament imbedded in the pad that erodes with the pad. Once the pad is skinny enough, the filament is busted and the ECU throws the brake pad warning light. Generally you have a few weeks before they need changed, but if you are lining up repairs check out ECS for pads and rotors.
 

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I live in the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton area, really close to the Lehigh Valley International Airport if you are familiar.

1) I think now would be the best time to buy a stereo. At least a head unit. Driving without music is... not that great. If I don't get it taken care of now I will not have stereo until after college. Now I have money. In college... hahaha I'll be broke. Plus, the resale will be much lower without a working sound system.
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New questions:

A) I'm going to the mechanic today to pick up parts. Should I just buy OEM brakes and OEM rotors? Or am I better off getting some same-pricerange non-oem pads and rotors? Can you guys suggest the best brake/rotors for my situation? I am willing to spend money on nicer things because they last longer. You get what you pay for. I don't believe in wal*mart type discount parts.

B) My "check brake pad" light went off yesterday - as in it no longer displayed. Then it went on again today. What does this mean? Figure it could just be electrical problems and I don't actually need new brakes. I still should change them though. They look low on the rears.
You really need to know the guys at L&T, right up Airport Road (L & T Enterprizes, 6220 Airport Rd, Allentown, PA 18109 (484) 240-9146) They're a VW-only junkyard, service shop, and used car dealer; last I was there they had stacks of OEM head units on the shelf.

OEM pads and rotors are good, far better than the junk they'd sell you at a local generic auto parts store. You can get good ones from a dealer like ECS, but it takes time and watch the shipping cost. The dealer may be cheaper. And yes, the light may be intermittent for a while.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
You really need to know the guys at L&T, right up Airport Road (L & T Enterprizes, 6220 Airport Rd, Allentown, PA 18109 (484) 240-9146) They're a VW-only junkyard, service shop, and used car dealer; last I was there they had stacks of OEM head units on the shelf.

OEM pads and rotors are good, far better than the junk they'd sell you at a local generic auto parts store. You can get good ones from a dealer like ECS, but it takes time and watch the shipping cost. The dealer may be cheaper. And yes, the light may be intermittent for a while.
I was just there. The son Warren is a real dude. I've been there enough and try to stand out when I'm there so he does know me. He checked the brakes visually for me and said the fronts are good, and the rear are about half way. The rear I will need to replace about the time I go in for inspection.
He believes that the sensor faulty/corroded and that he will fix it for me real quick for free.

I still got the prices for the rotors and brake pads.
Front Brakes and Rotors: $240
with labor it comes out to $325

Rear brakes and rotors w/ install comes out to $275

Then I proceeded to A&S Installations. L&T recommended me to go there. The headunit is dead, so I'd have to buy a new one (Pioneer deh x7500hd)
Radio install would be $60
He speculates that the reason I only have left side sound is due to the amplifier dying. That will cost $150 to replace and rewire.


As long as the brakes truly are fine and its just corrosion on the plug, I am financially in decent shape. He didn't remove the tires though, or go under the car to check the inner pads so I will post pictures up in a little for pWorld's opinion
 

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ImportRP (a vendor on this forum) is FTW when it comes to brakes. I've bought from them quite a few times, and they have the best service, pricing, and shipping of any brake vendor I've ever worked with before. I went with Brembo rotors and PBR Ultimate pads, they are a bit dusty (but the dust is very non stick, it comes right off with just a spray from a garden hose, unlike some pads which have dust that sticks on), they also stop quite well and are noise free. You can go with cheaper pad options, but that is my personal favorite combination.
 

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Then I proceeded to A&S Installations. L&T recommended me to go there. The headunit is dead, so I'd have to buy a new one (Pioneer deh x7500hd) Radio install would be $60 He speculates that the reason I only have left side sound is due to the amplifier dying. That will cost $150 to replace and rewire.

As long as the brakes truly are fine and its just corrosion on the plug, I am financially in decent shape. He didn't remove the tires though, or go under the car to check the inner pads so I will post pictures up in a little for pWorld's opinion
It would be interesting to see the back of your radio. If the Pioneer installation was done right, you could unplug the adapter harness and plug in a factory head unit in ten minutes. If the wiring was cut and spliced, they might be earning their money. The $60 isn't in addition to the $150, is it?

Brembo rotors and PBR pads for me, as well - and this week I have to do the rears again, after 63,000 miles. Not too bad... Note that the rears wear faster than the front, and the inner pads faster than the outer. Also, the wear sensors are on the front brakes only. (Thanks, VW)
 

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ImportRP (a vendor on this forum) is FTW when it comes to brakes. I've bought from them quite a few times, and they have the best service, pricing, and shipping of any brake vendor I've ever worked with before. I went with Brembo rotors and PBR Ultimate pads, they are a bit dusty (but the dust is very non stick, it comes right off with just a spray from a garden hose, unlike some pads which have dust that sticks on), they also stop quite well and are noise free. You can go with cheaper pad options, but that is my personal favorite combination.
It would be interesting to see the back of your radio. If the Pioneer installation was done right, you could unplug the adapter harness and plug in a factory head unit in ten minutes. If the wiring was cut and spliced, they might be earning their money. The $60 isn't in addition to the $150, is it?

Brembo rotors and PBR pads for me, as well - and this week I have to do the rears again, after 63,000 miles. Not too bad... Note that the rears wear faster than the front, and the inner pads faster than the outer. Also, the wear sensors are on the front brakes only. (Thanks, VW)
I'm currently sitting in the parking lot of L&T and am about to find out if it's brakes or the sensor/wiring. Hopefully it's that.

As for the radio, it is $60 on top of $150. So 210 for everything and I assume a new amp. The current broken head unit I have is a pioneer deh p6000ub. Since I plan on buying the newer model of it, I think I could just unplug and replug the wires which would save me 60 dollars. I'm going to buy off crutchfield so I'll get all the tools and wiring to do it.
 
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