Mechanic "blew engine" after repair while test driving

melbatst

Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2018
Location
Oregon
TDI
2001 & 2002 Jetta
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

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 22, 2009
Location
Lompoc, CA
TDI
'98, '2 Jettas
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.
 
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melbatst

Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2018
Location
Oregon
TDI
2001 & 2002 Jetta
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.
 

oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Location
outside St Louis (where it's safe)
TDI
There are just too many to list....
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

Got Soot Vendor
Joined
Nov 24, 2003
Location
Millersport, Ohio
TDI
Schmutz, 2015 Golf Sportwagen DSG & Schnurren, 2001 Golf GL 2 door 5M
melbatst,

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

Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2018
Location
Oregon
TDI
2001 & 2002 Jetta
Questions back to oilhammer

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

melbatst

Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2018
Location
Oregon
TDI
2001 & 2002 Jetta
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

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 22, 2009
Location
Lompoc, CA
TDI
'98, '2 Jettas
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.
 
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CrazyQuantumMan

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2009
Location
Oregon
TDI
96 Bagged B4V TDI Syncro Haldex Peloquin, 05 Beetle BEW Beastmobile
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.
 

scooperhsd

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Location
Kansas City KS
TDI
NB, 2000, RED(5 Speed conversion) 2015 Golf SE
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.



My ALH Beetle will pull redline very handily (5000 RPM) - and smoke like a train doing it (overfueled). I try to avoid that. And I'm at 370K miles. My tune enables this....
 

iluvmydiesels

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 21, 2015
Location
phila area
TDI
AHU
almost all these cases posted where the engine over-revs a valve will go into a piston before a rod goes out of the block.
seems obvious he was hot-rodding it. probably hard.
how many miles were on it?
 

belome

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Apr 8, 2010
Location
Mid MI
TDI
2002 Jetta GLS TDI 5-speed
almost all these cases posted where the engine over-revs a valve will go into a piston before a rod goes out of the block.
seems obvious he was hot-rodding it. probably hard.
how many miles were on it?
I'm not sure you can hotrod a motor much more than having it runaway.
 

melbatst

Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2018
Location
Oregon
TDI
2001 & 2002 Jetta
Have been to St. Louis many times - was questioning the reference that "DFIS was right in my neck of the woods" - as the west coast of Oregon is in a different woods than Missouri, just take Farty-Four and keep driving.

Thanks for the info on the Bosch facility
 

melbatst

Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2018
Location
Oregon
TDI
2001 & 2002 Jetta
I agree with your mileage assessment. Probably don't redline it as I guess I need to.
 

melbatst

Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2018
Location
Oregon
TDI
2001 & 2002 Jetta
Quantum,

I'm about 3 hours away (central coast) but can get to Portland - would be thankful for any involvement. Mad at myself for getting into this position.
 

csstevej

Top Post Dawg
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Aug 12, 2004
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north nj
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2001 golf tdi 4 door auto now a manual, mine, 2000 golf 2 door M/T son's,daughters 98 NB non-TDI 2.0, 2003 TDI NB for next daughter, head repaired and on road,gluten for punishment got another tdi 2001NB,another yellow tdi NB
I would take the pump off and document it with video and send it to DFIS for a tear down report and see what they find.
It’s hard to go against an authorized dealer with high recommendations and depending on there findings go from there.
I would also get ahold of your insurance company and possible a lawyer.
 

CrazyQuantumMan

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2009
Location
Oregon
TDI
96 Bagged B4V TDI Syncro Haldex Peloquin, 05 Beetle BEW Beastmobile
I'm currently in NC but will be home April 17th. We are headed to Newport next week to visit family so if you're in that area I can come help out. I'll bring my video gear and we'll do a quality reveal on the pump.
 

IndigoBlueWagon

TDIClub Enthusiast, Principal IDParts, Vendor , w/
Joined
Aug 16, 2004
Location
South of Boston
TDI
'97 Passat, '99.5 Golf, '02 Jetta Wagon, '15 GSW
It doesn't really matter what happened: the car threw a rod while in your mechanic's care and while they were test driving it after a repair. We could speculate on why that happened but regardless I would say they owe you an engine.
 

bizzle

Veteran Member
Joined
May 21, 2013
Location
Southern California
TDI
2015 GSW SEL (totaled), 2013 Touareg Executive
I don't think we can simply conclude that, since it broke in the mechanic's possession, he's liable for replacing it. That kind of rule would expose businesses to an untenable amount of liability--any time someone brought something in for repair the shop would have to refuse to test drive the car or else risk having to replace anything that breaks after the repair is complete. They'd simply give you the car back and, if something breaks on the drive home, you'd be legally liable for it under this new "possessor fixes any defects" legal theory. People would shoelace and bubble gum their cars back together to limp them into their closest mechanics in the hopes the engine would blow and they get a new one.

Less theoretical, however, is the very real mindset of anyone reviewing this case and concluding that a 300K vehicle is susceptible to anything happening regardless of who is driving and the owner could have just as likely been behind the wheel (maybe that's how test drives would be done, with mechanics riding shotgun and refusing any liability for anything going wrong before, during, or after an isolated repair). That is, if it ever gets to the point of a judge or insurance adjuster looking at the facts, they're going to want and need a piece of paper or testimony from some expert stating that the mechanic caused the fault rather than it simply happening in due course while under the mechanic's care/supervision.
 

BobnOH

not-a-mechanic
Joined
May 29, 2004
Location
central Ohio
TDI
New Beetle 2003 manual
Real tough case, we've had 2 of these today. Best of luck to you. DFIS will certainly tell you what shape they find the pump in, and it'll cost roughly the price of a new one. But I don't know if they or anyone can tell you that's what caused the engine damage.
 
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