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TDI 101 Got a simple/basic TDI question? Are you a newbie (new to the forums). Feel free to post your question here.

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Old May 8th, 2008, 08:08   #1
darkscout
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Default Newbies: Do not go to the dealer!

Newbies, do not go to the dealer. They don't know how to work on your car. They are over priced and cut corners. They won't do all the parts necessary for a timing belt. In general they will just mess your car up. There is sticky about "Gurus" look them up and make friends. Driving 4-5 hours to see a guru to have a timing belt done every 100k (or 60k depending) is MUCH cheaper than taking it to the dealer, including fuel and time. That's just the upfront costs. You'll also save $1-5k on a new head or engine when the dealer timing belt breaks.

I don't have time to follow all threads on the forum, if you see something that falls into category send me a PM so I can add it. I'd like to concentrate everything in this first post.

Timing Belts:
another botched timing belt job
Problems after replacing timing belt
What to expect when a Dealer does a Timing Belt Job
Dealer timing belt change
Timing belt mess
98 jetta tdi that "runs away"
Default engine hesitating after timing belt replaced and engine decarbonized (Look at the Parts List)
Default Timing Belt Replacement, Dealer Quote: $1500
Default Dealer Replaced Timing Belt, Now Replacing Engine
Dealer changed timing belt - now no power
Mississauga VW Stealership Boycott
Default help possible dealer issues
Help me prioritize deferred maint. on our used '00 Golf
HELP...

Other:
vw dealers has no answers but still wants money
Default Have I been ripped off by a VW dealer?
Car Dies Randomly -- Dealer Stumped
What can I do about a dealership service complaint?
Stealership story
Dealership mistake - New Developments
Bent rods in 2006 New Beetle


Positive Dealer Experiences (Fair and Balanced):
Default Timing Belt/VW Dealer

Thread idea:
Quote:
Originally Posted by york77777
We should have a big banner up right when you log into the site that says "Stay away from the Dealer! Find a Guru in your area "
Thanks to all the contributors who have PM'd me: TDikook & DieselOx
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Last edited by darkscout; May 11th, 2008 at 17:34.
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Old May 8th, 2008, 14:28   #2
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bump for quality thread!
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Old May 8th, 2008, 14:46   #3
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Agreed
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Old May 8th, 2008, 17:34   #4
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I think it should be noted that not all dealers offer poor service. There are some good service departments at dealers. That said they tend to be more expensive, the tend to replace rather than repair and to replaces systems rather than just a part.
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Old May 8th, 2008, 17:56   #5
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What dealer is good? Anybody who is convinced dealer service is the way to go just likes burning money.

Totaly take it to a TDi fanatic who works cheap and spend the extra money on upgrades!

Or work on it yourself, save more money and buy Beer and Upgrades!
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Old May 8th, 2008, 18:05   #6
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When I bought my 2002 from a private individual, he had it service at "the dealer" exclusively. He was proud to tell me the recent service included servicing the tandem pump. Hmmm....a 2002 ALH doesn't HAVE a tandem pump (but they charged for the service on it).

I am sure there are countless "dealer stories" like mine. I agree with DS on this after what I have read on this site since owning my Golf.
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Old May 8th, 2008, 18:19   #7
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Agreed, pm DS. about my contributions to the thread.
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Old May 8th, 2008, 20:53   #8
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I don't think that bashing all dealers is either factual or helpful to newbies. Before I bought my first TDI, I did some lurking on this site for infomation and almost did not buy the VW. I am glad I went with my gut and bought it anyway as these cars are truly excellent. I have found the dealer to do a good job, although not perfect. I think the hysteria about horrible dealers is tiring and I decided to write this as I feel there is a great amount of unfairness toward the group in general. (The people I know use dealers and have high mileage cars). If there was a local guru that I could go to I would, but to think there is no other alternative is very misleading to a newbie. Actually the known VW guru in our area told me to take it to my dealer for work with TDI's so I took his advice.

I have found this site to be very informative where a number of knowledgeable people provide good factual information. Sometimes it is hard to sort through fact and opinion to make informed decisions. My experience shows the dealer issue is opinion and should be taken as a caution only (as with any brand GM ,Toyota, BMW).
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Old May 8th, 2008, 21:19   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vwtom
My experience shows the dealer issue is opinion and should be taken as a caution only (as with any brand GM ,Toyota, BMW).
Quote:
Originally Posted by pbbreath
What dealer is good? Anybody who is convinced dealer service is the way to go just likes burning money.
Everyone should know most all dealers, including those from other manufacturers, are scam artists. This thread is more of a warning to the corners they cut and how it can severely damage your engine. Timing belts are the biggest one, second probably by MAF/Turbo diagnostic, then using the correct oil.
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Old May 9th, 2008, 04:12   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pbbreath
What dealer is good? Anybody who is convinced dealer service is the way to go just likes burning money.
I certainly don't like spending money. And yes my dealer does cost more than I would expect a local independent. But from my experience they have been not much more expensive, convenient and they have done a good job.

To paint all dealers with the same brush is foolish. They are not all the same. That said, I believe most should be avoided. I even avoid my dealer most of the time. I have a timing belt coming up in the next year and I will use my local independent, not the dealer for this one.

In my case my local independent is not all that local and my dealer is more convenient. Sad to say, I do have a local independent shop. They were the #1 shop second to none for air cooled VW's but today they have moved away from VW and only support other European makes.

My dealer is Hatfield in Southwest Columbus Oh.

The other car in the family is a Toyota and a local dealer also has a very good service department. On the other hand it has a miserable sales staff.

I would suggest that if in doubt, avoid the dealer.
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Old May 9th, 2008, 23:08   #11
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i went to one to do the belt and i was planing a trip next day ok? guess what happend......my car wasn't ready i said ok they give me a "loan car" my god it was an super SUV big to me ( 5-1 woman little yes) and results??? as soon I got my car I know something was wrong they didn't do it right and my trip was history. and last time some one from here did it and was a real good job better than the dealer if u can call them that.
never again.
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Old May 9th, 2008, 23:23   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by york77777
For those of you that say "all dealers aren't bad" I'd have to say there are most likely some reputable dealers out there that are competent and complete a job properly.

However, I'd like to see some hard evidence that in those situations said dealer would do a job as cheaply as a Guru from the site and as quickly as a Guru. To date I've never heard of such an example.
Cheaply? Not going to happen. I have a neighbor who is a Mitsubushi (sp?) mechanic and he revealed to me (after a few cold ones) that it is the dealership's "highest priority" to suck money out of people who drive their cars in for service. Car sale profits are secondary.

Other high profit areas are "extended warranties" and financing.
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Old May 9th, 2008, 23:36   #13
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York: yes, he told me that mechanics who don't consistantly 'beat" the book time to do a job are frowned upon. Although he gets his cut when beating the book, he admitted to me that "shortcuts" are taken by the mechanics to get the job out. This is a guy I have know for 15 years and is looking to go out on his own soon.

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Old May 10th, 2008, 04:32   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by york77777
For those of you that say "all dealers aren't bad" I'd have to say there are most likely some reputable dealers out there that are competent and complete a job properly.

However, I'd like to see some hard evidence that in those situations said dealer would do a job as cheaply as a Guru from the site and as quickly as a Guru. To date I've never heard of such an example.
That is not likely to happen. Dealers generally have higher overhead and will end up charging more.

It is also true that not all independent mechanics are good or honest or don't charge as much or more than your local dealer.

I believe it is best to dispel the idea that dealers are gods and that you can only have your car serviced there. Recognize that we live in an imperfect word and the buyer needs to beware.

Using absolutes in this situation is, I believe, wrong.
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Old May 10th, 2008, 05:54   #15
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Then I'll cut to the chase; it is my experience and opinion that driving off the lot should be a TDI owner's last experience with a stealership or its no-service department.

NOTHING good has happened for me and my TDIs at dealerships - none. Every interaction with a guru has been beneficial and satisfying.
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