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Discussion Starter #1
So one of my lower driver's side control arms failed. Replaced by a non-Massachusetts dealer (er, I mean 'stealer') under extended warranty...

Just when I thought I'd seen everything, guess how much? Shield your kids' eyes for this...this is totally obscene.

$869 frickin dollars!!!!!! For 1 control arm!!!!! $599 in parts ($335 for the arm, and $264 for 'links'), plus labor.

On my way out, I was like, "$600 for parts?! I can buy a set of all 8 for about $550!" They just shrugged their shoulders.

And earlier they tried to sell me on new brakes, when I've got 1 mechanic who's told me 50% is left and another says 35% is left.

Holy flyin' mugwumps^*[email protected]#^%! I'm not sure about my plan to keep this car to 200K... :nervous: :suspicio: :weirdo: :nervous: :crazy:
 

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Wow, that blows. Sorry to hear that but seems like that stealer is trying to ream you. Feel the pain yet? JK, sounds like their labor rate is WAY high. So how much did the extended warranty cover?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Scuba2001 said:
So how much did the extended warranty cover?
The whole shebang, thank God! I feel sorry for those warranty guys! I've seriously never seen a company get reamed this bad before! I thought it was just us small fry average consumers.

Naw, it's the parts! $600 parts charge for 1 arm! $300+ for the arm and $200+ for 'links'. The highest cost of an arm I ever previously heard of was $250 and that was like, 3 years ago before the arm problems became known and they cost came down to $100-150. Anyway, what the hell are 'links' for these arms (NEVER heard 'links' mentioned in a Passat arm thread before) and whyinthehell would they cost >$200??

Have they NO shame?
 

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If you have an aftermarket suspension will the extended warranty cover the control arms and CV boot (i think thats what it is called)?
 

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HOLY CRAP!!! I'm glad your e/warranty covered that 100%! I'm with you on that plan re-think. With the crap I've been going through with my suspension (which came out of service worse than it went in) I'm beginning to make a wish list. That said...
I can buy a set of all 8 for about $550!
Where did you find that price? Did it cover the links too? With baby number one on the way, one repair bill less than $2,000 might be smarter than starting all over again with payments.

By the way, who is your e/warranty company? Mine screwed me over during my last service.

TGH
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well, first off, ironically I have a 'Honda Care' extended warranty sold to me by what was at the time an Audi/VW/Honda dealer (Bernardi, Natick Massachusetts).

I've got Bilstein shocks and a rear sway bar. Frankly, it shouldn't matter because everyone knows now the arms on this car are completely faulty. I filed my complaint with the NHTSA as soon as my arm failed, btw, and so should all of you!

This non-Mass stealer, which for now I'd rather not name, initially said they weren't going to honor this warranty, the service writer mumbled something about needing them to pay by Visa. I was like, 'You do realize a VW dealer sold me this warranty at time of purchase, like that might matter to you, but I'm sure it doesn't" She actually said, "No, it doesn't" :shock: Then suddenly she said, OK, she'd deal with the warranty, because they do honor Visa. I think it was all standard VW B.S. static, because she suddenly said OK while reading the warranty booklet and I can't find the word 'Visa' in there anywhere.

Next, I'm like, the headlight adjustment gears disintegrated. I willing to pay you to fix that as long as it costs <$250. On the receipt, all it says is 'customer says do not fix headlight'. Pretty funny stuff.

Finally, on my way out, I'm like, I know there's a TSB on the popping sunroof and I think you should fix that for free. She's like, if it's not safety related then there's no recall. And I was like, yeah, that's what I figured, I'm pretty familiar with your 'policies'.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
[quote="Where did you find that price? Did it cover the links too?

By the way, who is your e/warranty company? Mine screwed me over during my last service.

TGH[/quote]

www.ecstuning.com, tonight actually shows only $495 for a kit of 8 arms. I'm confused about the links, I only see them with reference to the sway bar. Are these necessary for an arm replacement? Incidentally, only $35/link at ECS. BTW, I heard the bolts that come with the ECS arms might not be ideal, just look into that, no idea if true or not.

Honda Care, administered by 'Apco', I think.

Who denied your coverage and what was the reason? I'm $300 ahead of the game with about 18 months /38K miles to go, and I hope these Honda guys hang in there.

BTW, I think my next car will be some GM, as boring and not-as-clever as they are, I know personally they are a hell of a lot more reliable and cheaper to maintain than this VW. Plus, with Bob Lutz in charge now, I think he's going to whip them up a bit into making some more interesting cars again.
 

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get a new dealer

so you were looking for a dealer when you stopped at this place.... don't stop looking yet...

I hate mOrrons, and sometime thats all some dealers hire...
 

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I was probably the one who brought up the quality of the bolts sold with ECS' kit of 8 control arms. They cost me $530 for all 8 arms/links. I think the term control arms and links might be one and the same.

Anyways, during my install one of the pinch bolts snapped. The other one is fine and I reused the other. I went to the dealer and bought two new bolts and nuts for $5 so I'm going to replace them soon.

Glad to hear you got your warranty to cover the work. So now all my control arms are replaced and the car is much better, but I'm still noticing a bit of a pop once in a while. I think I might loosen all bolts when the vehicle is at rest on the ground and retorque the bolts. One day it'll be warm and sunny in New England (don't take that as a complaint of the weather though)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Free_Styling said:
Are the news arms good meaning won't fail again. and how do you know they are going bad?
I think there's an informational thread now on the control arms issue. To summarize quickly, it's mainly an issue on '98s and early '99s, though it wasn't ever completely solved. The replacement arms are supposed to be somewhat better but really aren't. Typical symptoms of bad arms range from creaks/groans in the front susp. (noises are very common, even on OK arms, due to elastomeric lubed-for-life bushings = noise prone design), to 'wandering' or 'tramlining' on the highway (partial loss of steering control), all the way to wheels that magically separate from the car (rare).

I've got a great mechanic in Mass (Brian's Garage, Needham, MA), unfortunately I was out-of-state at the time and the independent I found where I am now not-in-Mass couldn't get his act together. So, off to the dealer I went.
 

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RechtsFahren said:
(NEVER heard 'links' mentioned in a Passat arm thread before) and whyinthehell would they cost >$200??

Have they NO shame?
Way back when VW redesigned several of the front suspension components on the B5 Passat, they also redesigned the sway bar links. As to why they charged you more than $200, I think you can look at the price they charged you for the one control arm. These links retail for about $55 ea. plus bolts (<$5/side).

This dealer obviously charges list plus, where most dealers only charge list. That being said, there are still a few dealers that will sell parts at a discount via the web or mail order.
 

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NOOOOO!!! NOT A GM!!!!

BTW, I think my next car will be some GM, as boring and not-as-clever as they are, I know personally they are a hell of a lot more reliable and cheaper to maintain than this VW. Plus, with Bob Lutz in charge now, I think he's going to whip them up a bit into making some more interesting cars again.
Please don't do it!! The horror of it all!!! :nervous:
Seriously though it will be interesting to see what Bob Lutz does over there at GM. It is going to take a little while for the impact to be seen but the improvement should be huge. I heard when he came there he looked at everything that was on the drawing boards and threw it all out completely. Notice how the Pontiacs don't have the cheesey plasitc lower body cladding anymore, that is his doing. They are completely changing the way they design cars at GM, putting the designers back in charge instead of fricking commitees. Reliability wise I don't know how much they will improve, as bad as VW is, GM is worse, but getting better. However, I really don't think VW is getting better as fast as GM is.
 
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