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Why VW Why did I...?

ultraNoob

Yoshinoya Destroyer
Jan 20, 2007
4,515
1
Hills of Paradise
Ahhh, the people's car. Simple, effective, reliable, and economical.... 30 years ago! Don't get me wrong, I love working on the old beetles, but IMHO VW's are no longer mechanic friendly. Most are very well priced and that's why I think they're so popular. They're great cars until you have to fix them.

I've worked on VW's as old as 1954 and as new as 2007. Up untill the early 1980's, VW designs were simple and easy to maintain. Don't know what happened, but by the mid 80's they started coming out with these weird molded hoses, incredibly bad wiring, poor suspension, etc... It's great for me cuz stuff like that pays the bills, but for the customers it's a different story.

Then comes this 2003 Passat VR6 with a leaky waterpump. :disgust:
The customer had tried to do it themselves so the car was towed to me with the ominous "box of bolts" in the passenger seat. After thouroughly checking what he had failed to do, I gave him the estimate... $750 with all OEM parts (including that overpriced $78 molded radiator hose, no aftermarket parts were available at the time). He bitched and banged his hand on my counter accusing me of "highway robbery".

Then I showed him the "FACTORY" directions on replacing a WP. After explaining that we had to remove both headlamps, front bumper assy, radiator, radiator support, and a few of the parts HE damaged (including a rounded off crankshaft bolt)... he said these exact words...

"Why?! Why did I Fukken listen to my wife when she said we should by a VW.?!"
 

sanjuro

Tube Smuggler
Sep 13, 2004
17,412
0
SF
I think that guy is living in fantasy land. Cars were simpler back in the 70's, but they were either much heavier and inefficient, or lightweight deathtraps.

I replaced my waterpump when I had my belts changed. About $600 total, but my mechanic warmed to do now because if it breaks later, the same labor is involved.
 

Westy

the teste
Nov 22, 2002
36,461
3,225
Sleazattle
Cars (and everything else these days) are designed with efficient manufacturing in mind not serviceability.
 

DH Diva

Wonderwoman
Jun 12, 2002
1,808
1
Hmm. I just did the timing belt, water pump, all accessory belts, and tensioner pulley on my '00 1.8t wagon. It took my hubby and I two evenings, instructions made sense, went together super easy, and all parts only cost $300. Didn't seem that bad for a newer car.
 

G-Cracker

Monkey
May 2, 2002
528
0
Tucson, beatch!
Same issues with my girlfriend's 99 Cabrio. Window regulators that break every 6 months (at $400 a pop), convertible pump won't work, numerous electrical issues we can't figure out, and now the A/C went kaput, and no idea why. It was just fixed a year ago. And have to "reset" the radio with a special code every time you disconnect the battery... otherwise it won't work.

IMO... Veedubs have become OVER-engineered.
 

ultraNoob

Yoshinoya Destroyer
Jan 20, 2007
4,515
1
Hills of Paradise
IMO... Veedubs have become OVER-engineered.
:clapping: THANKYOU!!!! I've been looking for a term to classify VW's. Hope you do don't mind if I start using that.

Hmm. I just did the timing belt, water pump, all accessory belts, and tensioner pulley on my '00 1.8t wagon. It took my hubby and I two evenings, instructions made sense, went together super easy, and all parts only cost $300. Didn't seem that bad for a newer car.
You have a 1.8T. VR6 is 2x the motor in the same workspace. Kudos to you guys doing it yourselves. It ain't that easy if it's your first time.
 

DH Diva

Wonderwoman
Jun 12, 2002
1,808
1
You have a 1.8T. VR6 is 2x the motor in the same workspace. Kudos to you guys doing it yourselves. It ain't that easy if it's your first time.
I think the big mistake people make when they do it themselves is not putting the front end into service mode properly. We researched the job first and a lot of people, after removing the bumper skin/beam took everything else off too. Makes the job more difficult. We used the support rod method where we disconnected everything but left it on the front end, just slid it out on to two poles. The good VW mechanic locally (not the crappy dealer) recommended this method and it work awesome. It opens up tons of room on the front end and then everything just slides back into place.

Number one mistake is not researching the job enough before you start taking things apart.
 

dante

Unabomber
Feb 13, 2004
8,815
8
looking for classic NE singletrack
I thought this was going to be about the $7500 premium for the Jetta "Sport" Wagon (starting price of $24,500 vs $16,990 for the sedan). :rant:

Favorite VW story was a buddy of mine had a 95 Jetta and the sunroof was held on w/ duct tape. :clapping:
 

benno

Monkey
Apr 7, 2006
201
0
The points just failed in my '58 last night and she stopped dead near a park.

****en grrr. Gotta grab the treadly and ride all over town hoping like hell someone has them in stock.
 
Mar 23, 2006
142
0
NoVA/ Richmond
I ran in to this same type of problem on my 1997 Chrysler Cirrus LXi with the 2.5 V6. It seemed to me that they designed the engine bay around the 4-cyl engines, then decided at the last minute to shoehorn a V6 into the same space. I think that newer cars in general are being designed to be somewhat difficult to work on, just so owners are required to bring them into the dealer for any work that needs to be done.
 

ultraNoob

Yoshinoya Destroyer
Jan 20, 2007
4,515
1
Hills of Paradise
The points just failed in my '58 last night and she stopped dead near a park.

****en grrr. Gotta grab the treadly and ride all over town hoping like hell someone has them in stock.
If you're having a hard time finding them, I can give you the # of a VW parts specialist near me. They could prolly ship it to you.
 

blue

boob hater
Jan 24, 2004
10,165
0
california
It's not a VR6, it's an Audi 2.8L V6.

And the V6 isn't "shoehorned" into that bay. The B6 S4 uses a 4.2L V8, for chrissakes. It's really quite an easy car to work on, far easier than a transverse A-platform VW (Jetta/Golf). Not discounting the reliability problems VAG cars have, but it sounds like your customer isn't the brightest crayon in the box.

i love my vw, i drive a vr6 the nice thing about that is it uses a timing chain you don't have to replace it like you do timing belts :thumb:
I'd much rather replace an easy timing belt on a 20v or V6 every 60k miles than the gigantic pain in the ass a VR6 timing chain setup is every 100k. Once again...you live in delusional oblivion.
 

DirtyDog

Gang probed by the Golden Banana
Aug 2, 2005
6,599
0
Well, they look good and drive well (when they are working) :D
 

Toshi

Harbinger of Doom
Oct 23, 2001
26,561
1,912
It's not a VR6, it's an Audi 2.8L V6.

And the V6 isn't "shoehorned" into that bay. The B6 S4 uses a 4.2L V8, for chrissakes. It's really quite an easy car to work on, far easier than a transverse A-platform VW (Jetta/Golf). Not discounting the reliability problems VAG cars have, but it sounds like your customer isn't the brightest crayon in the box.
the B6 S4's V8 also had to have a lobotomy in order to fit. all new castings ring a bell? :D
 

V-Dub GTI

Monkey
Jun 11, 2006
952
0
blah!
VW's are great cars.... till they break. But you just have to be a little mechanicaly inclined, or have the 60,000 mile warentee. [sp?] which I do. The electrical system is rubbish. Damn you Bosh!!!
 

stinkyboy

Plastic Santa
Jan 6, 2005
15,192
0
¡Phoenix!
I've had a few Dubs, and have a love/hate relationship with them.

I ride past a VW dealership most days and still drool over the new R32 they have up on a pedestal.

They are now the "Greenest" car company out there and Honda was recently told to cease and desist their claims. (maybe 'cause they're not running most days).
 

N8 v2.0

Not the sharpest tool in the shed
Oct 18, 2002
11,007
149
The Cleft of Venus
I've had a few Dubs, and have a love/hate relationship with them.

I ride past a VW dealership most days and still drool over the new R32 they have up on a pedestal.

They are now the "Greenest" car company out there and Honda was recently told to cease and desist their claims. (maybe 'cause they're not running most days).

Papa Porsche would be proud:

 

Icantdrive65

Monkey
Mar 21, 2005
611
1
Chinquapin fire road
Shoulda gotten a Toyota. I hear they don't need maintenance.:monkey:

What is wrong with people? Take care of your car and it takes car of you. :lighten: I have a 2001 V6 Passat with 106,000 miles and the timing belt/ water pump is the only work I have had to take it to the shop for.
 

stinkyboy

Plastic Santa
Jan 6, 2005
15,192
0
¡Phoenix!
i <3 Toyota
Me too.

The agency I'm at does over 90% of their business with auto related advertising. I don't wear my Cars Are Coffins shirt, but my Gas Sucks/Ride A Bike socks did get noticed as I rolled in on the singlespeed one day.

At least there is a big push to be "green" now.
 

black noise

Turbo Monkey
Dec 31, 2004
1,033
0
Santa Cruz
I worked at a shop that serviced European cars and the service lead had a lot to say about VW's. With Eurovans you should expect to have a few electrical problems out of the factory...

They used to kick ass, though after the '70s it seems there's been a decline in quality. I have a '67 bus and it has its quirks, but it's solid and there isn't much in it to break. How many cars can still be daily drivers after 40 years?