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VW MKIV-A4 TDIs (VE and PD) This is a general discussion about A4/MkIV Jetta (99.5-~2005), Golf(99.5-2006), and New Beetle(98-2006). Both VE and PD engines are covered here.

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Old February 28th, 2011, 16:12   #1
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Nor. Cal.
Red face Trouble with Nor Cal Mechanic on Trusted Mechanic List

Hi Everyone!
I'm frustrated! I took my 03 Jetta (ALH engine) to a mechanic on the "trusted mechanic" list and have not seen my car in almost 3 months. I took it there because my car (who's name is Fred) had low power, so I checked the many suggestions from the forums (MAF, vacuum tubes, etc). I recently moved up to NorCal from San Diego and love this forum, so decided to take it to "Streetwerke" in Palo Alto, which is 40mins from where I live in the Bay Area. I also asked them to just do service since I don't have tools up here. The mechanic named Josh was the one working on my car at the time and he replaced the oil/ filters/ checked all the vacuum tubes. They called me to tell me it was ready and they were taking it for a test drive and then they called back to tell me that the car kept accelerating (runaway engine). They told me that the pistons were blown and some other stuff. But now since it's been so long, I feel like they are just taking advantage of me because I am a girl. I've talked to the guy who own's the place (Darren) and he refuses to call me back to let me know what is going on, nor has he given me an estimate on the work he has done.
Any advice? I think I should tow the car somewhere else because I kind of need a car now, I just started volunteering at the Aquarium of the Bay and the SF weather is usually too cold for me to ride my motorcycle.
Thanks in advance! and thanks for reading my rant about my troubles

Last edited by jackly; February 28th, 2011 at 16:15.
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Old February 28th, 2011, 16:56   #2
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Scotland
Fuel Economy: No idea

I don't know what to suggest but it does sound a bit odd the way you haven't been told anything, I mean an engine strip down and rebuild could be done in a week if you knew what you were doing. It sounds like it might be an idea to have someone go with you to find out what's happening with your car, 3 months? what could take that long to fix?
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Old February 28th, 2011, 21:38   #3
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Chico, CA

if you don't feel comfortable or confident in negotiating with the mechanic, definitely get somebody to negotiate on your behalf. The whole situation sounds fishy / weird.

Bola: 03 Wagon, RC2
Disclaimer: all advice worth price charged
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Old February 28th, 2011, 22:58   #4
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: 97068

sounds like they "possibly" owe you a engine with similier miles that your original one had. If they continue ignoring your corresondance, contact a lawyer after contacting the BBB.

Another thing, there is a vendor frustration thread where this thread belongs...im sure a mod will eventually see this and move it.

Goodluck with your misfortune and i do hope all turns out well for you and "fred". Do not give up and let them get away with this...3 months is ridiculous for a thrashed engine...by now they should of replaced the engine with another one or had rebuilt yours by now.
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Old March 1st, 2011, 00:33   #5
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Montreal, Canada

Interesting that your car gets a runaway engine exactly when it's in their possession.

There are a few similar threads I've read in the past. Actually, more like identical threads. I think legal action was needed to solve the conflict in some cases. Hope you won't have to resort to a lawsuit.

Maybe some members here know the mechanic personally and can help you?
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Old March 1st, 2011, 06:35   #6
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Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Bridgewater,Ma.,USA

I recommend sending a PM to member Zippy_car.


She is an East Coast transplant, in the Bay Area, who is very active in the VW TDI community. I'd be surprised if she isn't able to put you in contact with someone who can help you out.

2005 Passat Wagon
1999.5 Golf
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Old March 1st, 2011, 15:41   #7
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Oregon, WI
Fuel Economy: 13.7 c, 12-15 towing hwy. 17-19

Well the low power could have been a bad turbo and driving it hard could have sucked up the excess oil....just saying.

3 months is crazy though...
Jason, Service work available. www.jasonTDR.com
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Old March 2nd, 2011, 08:16   #8
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Nor. Cal.

Thanks for all your advice!! I'm going to call them again today. I hope I don't have to resort to a lawyer as well... been there and done that when my boss crashed my BMW motorcycle a few years ago and refused to help pay for the repairs.
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Old March 2nd, 2011, 08:24   #9
Ski in NC
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Wilmington, NC USA
Fuel Economy: 48-52 typical

In troubleshooting a sick running tdi, the experienced mechanic understands that the intercooler may be full of oil and flogging it is a risk. All one needs to do is dump the intercooler from below. Or take air hose off egr and give it a good rev. Oil will blow out of the hose if IC is loaded with oil. No oil, go flog. Oil there, fix turbo first.
2001 Jetta TDI 5sp Stock 201k mi
1981 Rabbit IDI 4sp Sold at 339k mi
1990 S-10 4.3 4wd 5sp 154k mi
1986 VW Pathfinder 1.6 45hp Marine 4700 Hrs
2001 Cummins 8.3 420hp Marine 1660Hrs..REFIT DONE!!
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Old March 2nd, 2011, 08:57   #10
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Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: san antonio & austin
Fuel Economy: Golf: 54/48/43.5 B4 Passat: 52/48.5/45 B5.5 Passat: 30 mpg mixed

The trusted mechanic list fails again.
jackly- My advice is to get a lawyer.
autos: 15 Volvo V60, 14 BMW 535d xDrive
Find your VW part numbers here.
Why I recommend fuel additive.
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Old March 2nd, 2011, 11:31   #11
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Nor. Cal.

I was hoping it wasn't the turbo, but after checking the MAF and everything else with my dad.. I knew I was doomed. I mentioned it to them, but I don't think they listened. Thus a runaway engine occurred. I'm thinking they really damaged my car and are trying to cover themselves now. All the owner Darren tells me about an estimate is "as of now, you don't owe me anything." I even offered to help find parts.
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Old March 2nd, 2011, 11:38   #12
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: UK
TDI(s): MK4
Fuel Economy: 56mpg (UK gallons)

Get "Jason" (above) TO RECOVER IT FOR YOU
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Old March 2nd, 2011, 12:25   #13
Join Date: May 2004
Location: central Ohio
Fuel Economy: 50/45/35

runaway engine is no small matter, and I'm sure they know that. It could just be bad luck it happened at the shop.
I would ask them to evaluate the damage from the runaway and provide an estimate to make it right.
Avoid using words like 'lawyer' and 'law suit' until you're sure you want to go that route.
Sad story and I do wish you the best of luck!
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Old March 5th, 2011, 22:55   #14
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Scotland
Fuel Economy: No idea

You'd think being a mechanic who knows vw's he would know how to stop a runaway and prevent it from killing itself. I don't know about lawyers but I wouldn't let him fix my car after reading this thread and I kinda think he should pay towards repair of the engine if it is damaged if not all of the cost. Just my opinion based on what I've read.
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Old March 26th, 2011, 10:38   #15
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: The Insane Asylum Known As CA
Fuel Economy: Up There

Any update on the status?
2002 Golf, 2005 Passat Wagon Stonehenge Gray

Chainless Since 4/22/09
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