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Fuels & Lubricants Discussion all about Fuels & Lubricants. synthetic oil, conventional oil, brands, change intervals, diesel grades, gelling and such debated items like that. Non TDI related postings will be moved or removed. This forum is NOT for the discussion of biodiesel and other alternative fuels.

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Old August 10th, 2019, 11:24   #1
Dale Ginn
Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: South Carolina
TDI(s): Jetta, Golf
Default Need advice please!!!!!

To make a long story very short, I had an oil change and tire rotation on my '03 TDI Golf at a VW dealership almost a month ago. 16 short miles after I left the dealership I was stranded on the side of the interstate. (I did look under the hood to see if the oil cap was on but sometimes I am a VERY stupid female and didn't pull the dipstick. Yes, STUPID!!!) I had my car towed back to the dealership where I was told two days later that they did an "hour of complimentary diagnostics." I was told that either the injection pump was out of time, the pump itself was bad, or something was going on with the injectors. (Note- I had the timing done in April of 2018 by an independent diesel mechanic.) So, I did not want to leave my car at the dealership because of lack of trust and I didn't want to incur the high charges from the dealership. I had my car towed to the guy who did the timing. He diagnosed a dead cylinder 1 and blown turbo! So hard to believe that the dealership didn't do this, right?!?! VW keeps pleading the "it's a coincidence" case and doesn't appear to want to assume ANY responsibility. 16 miles after an oil change I have a blown engine and turbo! I wanted my mechanic to go to the dealership and let him witness the VW techs taking off the head or I wanted them to send a tech to my mechanic to witness him taking off the head. Well, they cannot allow someone in the service area, blah, blah, blah. I also suggested my mechanic video tape the head coming off and then they say that VW may not approve, blah, blah, blah. I just keeping the run around and don't know what to do. There is more to the story, but these are the highlights. Any advice on a plan of action is greatly appreciated!
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Old August 10th, 2019, 12:33   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: California
TDI(s): 2014 JSW
Fuel Economy: 30

Personally I feel you’d have a tough case to win, playing ball with a 16 year old vehicle
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Old August 11th, 2019, 03:31   #3
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I’d say they either forgot to put oil in the engine or forgot to tighten the drain plug.

Did you leave a trail or puddle of oil alongside the road?

The techs that work at the dealership were probably little kids when your car was made, yours might be the first one of that model year the guy trying to diagnose it had ever seen.
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Old August 12th, 2019, 03:41   #4
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: outside St Louis (where it's safe)
Fuel Economy: fantastic

It will be a tough time trying to lay blame on them. It may just be coincidence. Probably not, but what scenario would have had to have gone down to land at this outcome? Possibly the oil WAS changed, but they forgot to fill it back up, and the porter came and got the car, drove it out and parked it... THEN the tech realized what happened, tracked the keys down, filled the engine up, but the damage was already done and it manifested itself 16 miles later.

But how would/could you prove this? Essentially impossible. So you are stuck.

You can have a third party take the engine apart. If it starved for oil, it will be pretty obvious. But I know from having to deal with this sort of thing, you likely won't get anywhere. That happened to my Golf before I got it. Dealer did a timing belt, then about 2k miles later it mysteriously came apart... well they CLEARLY tensioned the belt wrong (tensioner turned backwards), but the told the owner "meh, it is an old car with a lot of miles... they just do that".
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Old August 12th, 2019, 17:09   #5
New Mickey
The user formerly known as mickey
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Utah
TDI(s): 2015 Passat

I agree they forgot to put oil in it. Loose drain plug would have left a long trail of oil.

I don't believe in coincidences. As for their "diagnosis": That's a joke. "It's either the pump or the injectors or the belt or the driver's side seat adjuster or the rear window seal or the fuel cap or......" Well thanks for narrowing it down. And I notice that none of the things they SAID it was were actually what it was.

They definitely ruined your engine. A blown turbo won't take out a piston or any other internal parts unless you keep driving (and driving, and driving) with OBVIOUS problems and leaving a cloud of smoke until you run out of oil, and nobody is that dumb.

An engine that has been run dry is very easy to diagnose. EVERYTHING will be wrecked. Every bearing. Everyplace where metal can slide on metal. And there is no scenario that can cause that except "no oil."


p.s. Did your timing belt mechanic tell you if the sump was dry or not? If so you absolutely have a case. All you need is 1 juror who understands cars. Oil doesn't just vanish. It leaks out, burns up or it was never there.

Last edited by New Mickey; August 12th, 2019 at 17:12.
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Old August 13th, 2019, 08:26   #6
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Chatsworth, CA
Fuel Economy: 40-ish

There would have been a very hard to ignore CEL from lack of oil pressure at start up.
If this was not present then the engine had oil pressure so that was not the cause.
If it was present and was ignored then it is an expensive lesson you will not forget.
2002 Jetta GLS TDI wagon
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Old August 20th, 2019, 18:54   #7
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Baltimore

How many miles are on the car. If you want a legal battle and can afford it. First of all stop contacting vw. Find a lawyer and see what they say. To many variables cause if you have 200k plus a turbo can blow and take out an engine easily. My experience with no oil is that the car will shut off.

Last edited by Quayleman89; August 20th, 2019 at 18:59.
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