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melbatst April 8th, 2019 21:30

Mechanic "blew engine" after repair while test driving
2002 Jetta TDI
Had the local shop fix a coolant leak - replaced Coolant Temperature Sensor #TS5729SB. When I picked it up they recommended that I go to the local VW Specialist because of two leaks from my fuel injection pump and that they didn't normally do that type of work on VW or diesel.
Drove it to the "specialist" in the next town (20 miles) - after discussing the issue with him on the phone. He recommended a rebuild vs. replacing the pump. I agreed due to the difference in cost.
Finished rebuild today, reinstalled, and he test drove.
Called and said that during the test drive the idle was running high. Drove it back to the shop and in the time it took him to get out of the car to open the hood the motor "blew up". Said that it had a rod go through the side of the block.
In the past I have always had someone locally that was trustworthy and would answer questions about the car - I am now on my own and am questioning the mechanic's responsibility.
He said that with the mileage the car had on it that catastrophic failure wasn't a surprise and then mentioned that he had another Jetta that he would be willing to sell me (4 years older and not a diesel)!?!?
What responsibility does he have in this situation? Is there a relationship between the fuel injection pump and the damage that has been done? The first mechanic, that repaired my coolant leak, didn't see any other issues with the motor when he returned the car to me beyond the fuel injection pump leak.
Any advise or direction is appreciated

KLXD April 8th, 2019 22:43

Pump needed seals...

Seals replaced, maybe the QA was installed a little off and the engine overrevved. Maybe inhaled some oil and and ran away.

I wonder what his definition of idle "running high" is. Maybe he never actually got to the test drive.

Rod through the block is surprising regardless of the mileage unless it was abused in some manner. A Diesel "specialist" should know this.

How many miles on engine? How do you drive it? Do you ever redline it or do you baby it?

Seems to me it's his fault but good luck.

melbatst April 8th, 2019 23:13

What is a QA? Yes, seals were needed and the one mechanic in the armpit of a town I am in sent me to the "specialist".

Said he was driving it when it ran "high" and left it running as he got out to open the hood.

I have owned for 2 years (not my first diesel) - mileage, when I bought, was 290ish and is at 328(?) now.

Not an abuser at all - probably let the coolant leak go a little longer before repair, but was careful with keeping the fluid level up and using correct antifreeze. Drive too much to redline - mostly freeway miles.

melbatst April 8th, 2019 23:15

The second mechanic also replaced lower radiator hose (was soft)

oilhammer April 9th, 2019 03:48

You cannot "rebuild" a pump without the proper equipment. DFIS is right in your neck of the woulds (relative to me, anyway), they can explain more.

Chances are he tried to do something he shouldn't have, and something in the pump stuck and the engine ran away and blew up.

I'd say that shop should make an insurance claim, and find you a good used engine and install it on their labor.

Growler April 9th, 2019 04:19


Do you drive you car typically soft and easy trying to get the best mileage all of the time, with few hard runs up to speed? is your turbo functioning properly?

if you are not the type to occasionally (like once a week or so) run it hard and exercise the turbo and engine, it is possible that there was a built up puddle of blowby oil (from turbo seals and CCV) in your intercooler.

If the mechanic DID run the car up to speed hard to test it out, this puddle of oil can work its way up into the intake. Oil is a fuel for these cars, it sounds like it had what is called a runaway where the car was running on its own oil (would sound exactly like a super high idle) and even turning the key off might not have stopped it. Since runaway is uncontrolled, and in the case of a new driver to the car running it hard for the first time in a while, it is plausible that this was unavoidable.

However, it is just as plausible that the 2nd mechanic didn't get the QA (quantity adjuster) put back in the correct location and the IQ (injection quantity) was too far off.

If it was outside of the specified range upon reinstallation, the pump itself can also cause a runaway like situation of uncontrolled RPMs This can manifest itself immediately by raising the idle RPMs much higher and continuing to increase when starting the engine after a reseal and doesn't take long to fix with a quick hammer mod to get the IQ into the correct range. As you can imagine, this is a high stress situation and quick correct response is required.

Did the 2nd mechanic have access to VCDS to check and adjust the IQ before he took the car for a test drive after resealing the pump?

melbatst April 9th, 2019 04:59

Questions back to oilhammer
oilhammer -
DFIS is a repair facility?
What state is your neck of the woods located? :rolleyes:

CoolAirVw April 9th, 2019 05:00

if the car engine "ran away" most likely its turbo failure. If an autopsy on the turbo showed failure then shop isn't at fault.

oilhammer April 9th, 2019 05:05


Originally Posted by melbatst (Post 5498274)
oilhammer -
DFIS is a repair facility?
What state is your neck of the woods located? :rolleyes:

DFIS is a Bosch authorized diesel fuel injection repair facility many of us send our pumps to for a proper rebuild.

You seriously do not know in what state St. Louis is located? Wow. :p

melbatst April 9th, 2019 06:11

Back to Growler
Back to Growler,

I am not an “old” driver, yet - could assess my ‘in-town driving as law abiding. Highway/Freeway not so abiding. Regularly 700+ miles a month in the fast lane. 1,500 +/- miles total per month.

Turbo performance - I think it is functioning correctly. This is an area that I still need a lot of education. My knowledge is based on engine sound and performance.

He did use the term “runaway” on the phone and the car has been parked more in the last six months than any time before.

I would think your scenario with the QA and IQ is completely plausible - the shop is only open 4 days a week and I got the impression that the business slow down was intentional - semi-retirement vibe and I think the owner/mechanic is the only employee in the shop.

I don't know if the second mechanic had VCDS access - but will find out.

Maybe my first step is to talk to the first mechanic; confirm that the fuel leak was the only issue. Find out where the rebuild kit was purchased and confirm that all the required items were shipped. Ask to see the old parts (o-rings, seals, …) that were replaced. Does that sound like a good starting place??

KLXD April 9th, 2019 07:21

Redline was a poor choice of words. I meant do you drive it as Growler describes. Driving in the fast lane is not the same.

Smells like an oil fed runaway to me initiated by incorrect QA position.

I don't see a TC happening to fail after a guy opened up the pump.

300k Is not high mileage for a TDI. Mine has 400k and I would have no qualms about redlining it. And here I do mean redlining.

CrazyQuantumMan April 9th, 2019 07:50

I made a post today in the B4/A3 section regarding a similar situation where an individual took their AHU TDI car to a "mechanic". My top 3 most distrustful list goes as follows:

1. Mechanics
2. Dealers.
3. Doctors

Your "mechanic" didn't have VCDS or the knowledge required to change seals. I'd put money on the fact he installed the QA without getting the "stud in the hole". You can check this by removing the QA with someone running video to prove it. It pisses me off to no end when a "mechanic" destroys one of our precious TDI's by doing something stupid then blames someone or something else for their stupidity. GRRRRRRRR

No fuel control=max RPM=turbo over rev=seal blown=runaway engine

Where in Oregon are you? I'm in the Portland metro area. If you are nearby I want to get involved.

tactdi April 9th, 2019 07:55


Originally Posted by oilhammer (Post 5498276)
DFIS is a Bosch authorized diesel fuel injection repair facility many of us send our pumps to for a proper rebuild.

You seriously do not know in what state St. Louis is located? Wow. :p

Some do not know that New Mexico is a State within the USA!

Lightflyer1 April 9th, 2019 08:14

Is this "specialist" from our list here or just someone your 1st mechanic pointed you to as a "specialist"?

CrazyQuantumMan April 9th, 2019 08:58


Originally Posted by tactdi (Post 5498317)
Some do not know that New Mexico is a State within the USA!

That was awesome. I've encountered that before when talking about jobs I do in NM!

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