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Old March 13th, 2018, 13:28   #1
C00lit
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Montreal
TDI(s): 2007 TDI BRM
Fuel Economy: not sure yet
Default Skip Tuning

I apologize if it's not in the right place. I am not sure where to put this review but it's a must.

Skip Tuning Review

First I must say I am astonished this garage has 5/5 stars on Google and FB. When you do some real digging within VW Communities such as tdiclub, VWQuebec, VWVortex, montrealracing… you find horror stories…

I knew of those reviews and I decided to give the benefit of doubt.
I was hoping this review could be a positive one and say Skip Tuning is excellent…

Unfortunately for me, the bad reputation did not disappoint.

I wanted a fully equipped MK5 Jetta TDI. I found exactly the car and color I wanted. It was gas, with a blown engine. I figured I can get a skilled mechanic to do the swap, and build it up for a well performing and reliable daily drive.

I can say Skip Tuning did an overall good job on the engine and transmission, however failed miserably when it comes to properly finishing off the project due to lack of communication or care.

Project started off well, the time estimate was originally 1 or 2 weeks (if all goes well and I expected maybe a few months from this answer), but the project lasted about 5 months. Some of those delays were fair, such as a break line unique to MK5 BRM Tdi’s being backordered. However, the entire experience went downhill after picking up the car the first time and paying the man in full.

I was told I would road test it for 1-2 weeks and that the car isn’t finished. The owner had to go away for 1-2 weeks. Make a list and on his return, he will finalize everything.
The car drove, but I felt that it’s wrong to give a car back on which a client put in over 6000$ on parts and labor, without having working door locks.

I made a list, brought it back.
(rattling noise, handbrake, boost gauge air leak, glow plugs, cel light, seat warmer, day lights, rear window defrost, door locks, remote door locks, gas door release, dash cam wire, odb2port, exhaust fumes coming in cabin)
I got the car back a month or so later. The checklist is missing. Half the points were done. Door locks work with the remote, but not the key. Exhaust fumes still leaking under the hood and getting into the cabin, rear view defrost not working and… CEL light resolved, glow plugs still don’t work. (I gave up on some a few requests I wanted such as reverse cam, dash cam wiring and said it’s ok if you don’t do it)

Before I could bring it back, I drained the battery trying to start the car at -20 degrees. So I towed it.

I made an updated check list.
Any call or texts are not answered for a full month. The car was sleeping in front of the place. I dropped by on a Sunday, saw the car unmoved, buried in snow. I dropped by the following Saturday and surprised the owner. I told him I am going away for a month, and I was considering taking the car elsewhere, I was promised that it would be finished by the time I get back.

I come back.
I am told everything is fixed.
I go there, checklist is missing…
I test the door locks with the key, alarm rings, doesn’t open doors. Ok Fine.
I take my car and go on my way. He did fix the Exhaust leak under the hood, the rattling noise behind the dash, changed the boost gauge as requested… did some of the fixes but… Rear view defrost, still not working, glow plugs, don’t appear to be working but hey, it’s not -20 anymore so I’ll have to figure that out later. He said changing the battery fixed it… which is hard to swallow.
I also asked if AC works… it was on the checklist which always vanished so I still don’t know.

I get an alignment done elsewhere and I learn my car is visibly leaking fuel. I take a picture, I text Skip tuning to let him know, I also mentioned other points which were ignored… no response in over a week.

So I have to finish my car elsewhere.

So… to be fair, the car drives nicely. I also know they have built and sold some solid cars... or so I think. They have potential, but the garage has a lack of structure and care. I understand Skip Tuning might have had problems like a mechanic leaving, landlord issue or other personal complications, but it’s no excuse for poor communication and obvious lack of care.

---------------------------------------
Things left to do
AC?
Glow plugs
Rear View Defrost
Key door locks
Reverse camera wiring
Dash Cam wiring
Fuel Leak
Rust (this one is on me)
---------------------------------------

Specs
2007 MK5 Jetta
TDI BRM Swap

Firad + 15%
PD140 Turbo
3bar map
Stage5 Custom Malone tune

----------------------------------------
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Old March 13th, 2018, 14:07   #2
Mongler98
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Northern MD
Fuel Economy: Race: 12mpg, Gandma:65mpg
Default

TLDR: for everyone else

OP took his car to a hipster named social media force fed shop for people with bolt on CAI and fart cans. OP gets crumby service and a bad experience as expected from advice he read from serious car owners and put it up against the opinion of iPhone user and "whats and oil change" car owner reviews.

Glad this experience is in your past, look forward to trusted mechanics in your area and do the work yourself or have someone who knows what the heck there doing or a company who has competent honest mechanics.

File a complaint with BBB, post your review on google, yep, etc. and move on.
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Old March 13th, 2018, 16:28   #3
narongc73
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Here I thought it was about not tuning. I've never seen a shop do good work unless it's something simple. That's why I do everything myself. Shops are for the unskilled masses.
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Old March 13th, 2018, 16:40   #4
ToxicDoc
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by narongc73 View Post
Here I thought it was about not tuning. I've never seen a shop do good work unless it's something simple. That's why I do everything myself. Shops are for the unskilled masses.
As I get older (coming up on 50) and a lot of things hurt more, I find I'm less able to do some jobs or don't have the time. for others. A lot of us have little choice but to use a shop for some things. That's why there's a list of trusted shops posted.
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Old March 13th, 2018, 18:11   #5
Mongler98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ToxicDoc View Post
As I get older (coming up on 50) and a lot of things hurt more, I find I'm less able to do some jobs or don't have the time. for others. A lot of us have little choice but to use a shop for some things. That's why there's a list of trusted shops posted.
and this is why i convinced my mom and dad (in there mid 60's) to buy a new car with less than 100 miles on it and trade it in every 5 years for a new one, Subaru holds value the best.
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Old March 13th, 2018, 18:14   #6
Mongler98
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Fuel Economy: Race: 12mpg, Gandma:65mpg
Default

Also OP is saying that this shop had 4.4/5 stars but that was based on 10 reviews and the same dam reviews are the ones on facebook as well. i would trust 1 bad review on the forums over 10 good ones. 99% of the time, shops get you all wrapped up in making good on the job and they can remove reviews if negative on google.
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Old March 13th, 2018, 19:17   #7
ToxicDoc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mongler98 View Post
and this is why i convinced my mom and dad (in there mid 60's) to buy a new car with less than 100 miles on it and trade it in every 5 years for a new one, Subaru holds value the best.
Yup. 13 years ago I bought an older Dodge 4x4. put 3 different engines, rewired it, cut out the old suspension with a plasma cutter, etc over the following 8 years.

Now we have a new Subaru and Jeep in the driveway and the Jetta is my hobby/backup car. It's almost 2/3 smaller and a lot easier on me. Even so, those tight spots and not having every required tool, so now I'm more of a parts manager and director/critic.

Shops know they can't pull one over on me, but more importantly I hold on to a good mechanic like a crazy ex-girlfriend.
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Old March 14th, 2018, 06:13   #8
C00lit
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TDI(s): 2007 TDI BRM
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Default

Sorry to trouble everyone... Overall, I am still happy with my car. It drives great and what is left to do, gives me things to look forward to.

Beyond changing my wheels, oil change, sanding, grinding rust and minor body fixes... I am not a mechanic...

Can anyone identify this part for me ?
I need to order a replacement as I am leaking fuel from here.

https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/1...PavsqjxvJXzzQE
https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/p...alse&ftu=false

Last edited by C00lit; March 14th, 2018 at 06:17.
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Old March 14th, 2018, 06:26   #9
nomorotors
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Why didn't you just buy a really nice MK5 Jetta TDI from a TDIClub member? Grief.

-Jason
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Old March 14th, 2018, 06:56   #10
C00lit
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Join Date: Jan 2013
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by nomorotors View Post
Why didn't you just buy a really nice MK5 Jetta TDI from a TDIClub member? Grief.

-Jason
Here is why
https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/p...alse&ftu=false


Pretty sure it would have cost me less too...
But do we have many club members around Quebec area selling cars?
I also REALLY wanted it white and fully equipped... Just hard to find.
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Old March 14th, 2018, 06:58   #11
AndyBees
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Coolit

That is the fuel cooler. It is on the return to the fuel tank. The automatic TDIs were the only ones to have it, if I remember correctly.

A quick fix would be to remove it and splice hose in it's place. Absolutely nothing lost!
__________________
'84 Vanagon '02 ALH TDI engine Malone Stage 1 tune. CAT, SS 2" exhaust, E-vac system, DMF with upgrade pilot shaft, 4.57 R&P, fan assisted IC. (32 to 35+ MPGs consistently)
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Old March 14th, 2018, 07:47   #12
C00lit
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyBees View Post
Coolit

That is the fuel cooler. It is on the return to the fuel tank. The automatic TDIs were the only ones to have it, if I remember correctly.

A quick fix would be to remove it and splice hose in it's place. Absolutely nothing lost!
Cool !
Thanks for the advice.
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Old March 14th, 2018, 07:59   #13
KLXD
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Default

Might just be the hoses connecting to it. The ends look pretty wet.
__________________
Saying no to gas for 25 years:

Current: 02 Jetta, Auto; 98 Jetta, 5 Spd; 98 Dodge, 5 Spd, SB, 4x4; 84 Grand Wagoneer with Nissan SD33T, NV4500, Dana 300, Reverse Cut Dana 44, Dana 60

The Black Sheep (Only gasser): 85 CJ, 4.2 w/4.0 Head and Mopar FI.

Past: 85 Mitsubishi PU, 4D55T; 81 Rabbit, 1.6; 80 Dasher, 1.5; 79 Rabbit, 1.5
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Old March 14th, 2018, 08:56   #14
flee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C00lit View Post
Sorry to trouble everyone... Overall, I am still happy with my car. It drives great and what is left to do, gives me things to look forward to.
Beyond changing my wheels, oil change, sanding, grinding rust and minor body fixes... I am not a mechanic... (edit)
I think you got out of this pretty well. A swap like that is a major project, not to
mention all the other things you had done. Now read up and learn about the
basic maintenance to keep your 'TDI' healthy for the long haul.
__________________
2002 Jetta GLS TDI wagon, 2012 Audi A3 TDI S-Line
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Old March 14th, 2018, 09:13   #15
C00lit
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Montreal
TDI(s): 2007 TDI BRM
Fuel Economy: not sure yet
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by KLXD View Post
Might just be the hoses connecting to it. The ends look pretty wet.
Wetness under the car is part of where I live
This is from this morning
https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/p...alse&ftu=false

Quote:
Originally Posted by flee View Post
I think you got out of this pretty well. A swap like that is a major project, not to
mention all the other things you had done. Now read up and learn about the
basic maintenance to keep your 'TDI' healthy for the long haul.
Maintaining my "investment" is what I do best.
My previous car was a 2000 ALH for 6 years.
I know the BRM are already more sensitive and will be careful with the engine oil and hope my lifters last... I hope to make this one outlast the previous.

Last edited by C00lit; March 14th, 2018 at 09:16.
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