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Discussion Starter #1
My daughter's college Beetle GL just bit the dust at under 90k. It is 2.0ltr automatic, silver with black cloth interior. About a year ago, it was in very good shape. However someone banged up the driver door and front fender. And she seems to think the bumpers are meant to be bumped. It was throwing a code for a small emission leak so it did not get a MASS sticker this year. Then out of the blue it started to stutter and idle very poorly and threw a bunch of codes. Her local garage said there was one cylinder with no compression and it needs a motor overhaul. It's now sitting up in Framingham MA and I need to decide if we will sell or donate. Any thoughts? What's a beetle with engine problems worth? It has 4 tires that are only a year old. I will try and get some her to send me a picture or two. The interior was in good condition no rips or tears.
 

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I would have loved to have seen this post a year ago! I scowered the web for a beetle with engine problems. I bought one to make an electric vehicle out of. If you don't want to part it out you might consider checking out some EV websites to see if anyone is looking for a roller.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I was hoping to get some feedback here on what a price woudl be for somethign like this. The donation minimum is $500 and I'm concerned that they would not have much vested interest to look for maximum price - probably throw it to recyclers for bid. However the plus is it's quick and easy.

I'd probably list for $1k or b/o. Kind of bummed as when we got it we replaced tires, did front and rear brakes (have a second set of new front rotors that were not needed which I will throw in) and some other stuff (I have to check records not sure if we replaced alternator or if that was my other car).

I may ask my daughter to drive it here (Cape Cod) so I can make a more informed decision.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
My daughter surprised me and showed up with it. So it was able to make the drive from Framingham to Harwich.

She said it stalls at idle and has very little acceleration but maintains when you are up to speed. The garage told her that one cylinder had no compression and the others were fine. She thinks they said something about a pressure test and air coming outdo something that indicated it was bad rings. She says it does not smoke and I'm wondering if it could be head gasket. Not sure I want this as a project so still leaning towards selling. Hopefully it will warm up this weekend so I can take a look and get a better idea of what is going on.
 

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Sounds like a broken valve spring, pretty easy to replace. Just pop the valve cover off and see which 1 it is.

Sent :)
Thats cool, kinda what I was wondering cause no compression doesn't seem like rings. Got to think that one cylinders unburnt fuel would make the system unhappy, bad for cylinder walls, getting into oil?
 

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Nah,that thing will run alot better on all four though! All you have to do is pop the valve cover off,and you can tell real quick if it should find a new home.Valve springs break and are cheap to replace.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Nah,that thing will run alot better on all four though! All you have to do is pop the valve cover off,and you can tell real quick if it should find a new home.Valve springs break and are cheap to replace.
Thanks for the info and pix. I thought broken valve springs were extremely uncommon, but maybe not. I picked up a head gasket kit and will hopefully check the valves this weekend. If it's not a valve spring, I will hope for a head gasket...
 

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Discussion Starter #12
silly question. How do you check for broken spring? I have the cover off. I can push down a bit on some springs but with resistance. When the engine turns over the valve lifters seem to stay on track with the cam. Do I need to take of the cam and lifters to inspect each spring?
 

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No, you can just do a visual inspection. If you remember which cylinder they said was dead,it will be 1 of those 2 valve springs. And when you turn the engine over you'll see 1 of the valves acting different than the other seven. As in not popping back up,the lifter will just stay down. Usually,a head gasket will have two adjacent cylinders with low compression ratings.

Sent ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Just pulled the plugs. Three were dry and whitish grey. #1 looked like this. Does this look like valve, head gasket or rings?
These were platinum plugs. The Ground almost looks melted?
 

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Uh-Oh, that looks like predetonation.
Put a good spark plug in that hole and fire it up and see if that fixes it ! I bet that's all the the only problem it ever was. Some dishonest mechanic was probably trying to take advantage of a girl and charge her 3000 dollars and only put in a spark plug, steam clean the engine make it look new. It happens all the time. Best case scenario is you will get a hug engine with the new valve cover gasket on it now.
Sent :)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
This is the end.....

Well on a positive note, the garage was not trying to rip-off my daughter. On a negative note, take a look at piston #1 and the rest of them. Any thoughts on what would lead to this? We bought from a used car lot who had service records as the prior owner used them for maintenance. Nothing unusual aside from some electrical work.

When we bought I noticed some coolant on the block near the crazy coolant flange and we were losing coolant. The flange was leaking so replaced and did a compression and pressure test. At that time 2 pairs of cylinders had very similar compression and both sets were 20 pds or so off. Pressure held fine. It stopped losing coolant and all was well for a year until it started running rough and throwing misfire codes a few weeks ago.

I did not pull the cam off the head but the #1 cylinder valve springs seem fine. Can not push them down and they go up and down with the cam.

One of the other pistons seems to have some corrosion (almost looks like rust) in the same spot where the other one broke. Also seem to have quite a bit of carbon buildup. The head gasket showed no clear sign of failure.

Anyways, I'd like to try and figure out what may have gone wrong. Aside from that, happy to sell for parts for $500 to anyone that can pick it up in Harwich, MA. Otherwise it will be going to a car donation. If my sons wanted a Beetle I might have gone for a rebuild, but it's not cool enough for them...
 

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Aww, total bummer dude! Well, you gave it a good shot and it was fun while it lasted. Hopefully you got a few good miles, and some good memories out of that thing. And at least now you know what the problem was.:eek: The lower end on these little engines is usually pretty stout. Are you sure she didn't have a 50 shot of nitrous on that thing, hiding in the trunk?:p

Sent:)
 

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You've gone in pretty deep; any thoughts on finishing the repair? Have you estimated the repair costs? I would be tempted to fix it having torn into it to this level but sounds like you don't see the point. So, what exactly is the damage? Looks like part of the piston is melted?; what is the condition of the cylinder walls? I wonder if you had the head checked, Plastigauge the rods, mains for wear; replace rings, pistons that need it, hone cylinder walls and button her back up if she would be ok! Forgive my questions; I always want to fix things and get them back on the road! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
You've gone in pretty deep; any thoughts on finishing the repair? Have you estimated the repair costs? I would be tempted to fix it having torn into it to this level but sounds like you don't see the point. So, what exactly is the damage? Looks like part of the piston is melted?; what is the condition of the cylinder walls? I wonder if you had the head checked, Plastigauge the rods, mains for wear; replace rings, pistons that need it, hone cylinder walls and button her back up if she would be ok! Forgive my questions; I always want to fix things and get them back on the road! :)
Not sure what happened to the piston, it appears that part of it broke or disintegrated. The wall has a bit of damage going down the side where the piston is broken. Given the condition, I would expect to find more issues and costs to mount and just don't see the value. Thanks to all for your input.
 
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