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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Everyone -

Well, we've got some work that needs to be done on our 2001 Beetle. About 5 months ago, I noticed some squeaking when turning the steering wheel. The VW dealership recommended a power steering flush, so we did that. The issue continued, but we drove it for a bit longer. I figured the pump was probably going bad and we didn't have the funds at the moment to just replace it. Then the other day the CEL came on and was hearing some sounds, like air blowing around, from the engine. Hoses I figured...

So I took it in and had the brake fluid flushed as it was needed, and figured I'd have the check the noise from the steering and diagnose the CEL issue.

Got the call I never thought I'd hear. Next are the notes from the work order, quotes, and what is needed for the car. It isn't pretty...

- SCANNED FOR FAULTS; FOUND PCV VALVE FAILED AND TURBO RECIRC VALVED FAILED, ALSO FOUND CRACKED VACUUM HOSES. $1,592.14 CUSTOMER DECLINED REPAIRS AT THIS TIME.

- INSPECT AND FOUND STEERING RACK HAS METAL SHAVINGS. $2,520.70 ALIGNMENT RECOMMENDED.


So, as you can see, we are looking at quite a hefty maintenance bill. $4,000+. Details I received over the phone were that the steering pump and racking system were shot and that metal shavings were found in the system. While the car is still driveable, it's a ticking time bomb until there is metal on metal contact and that we wouldn't want to be driving when this happens. I asked the service advisor, when I picked up the vehicle if this (pump/racking system) issue was common in New Beetles with 135,000 miles. His response was that he didn't see Beetles come in with 135k miles. I guess that was a compliment? I'm not sure.

I guess what I'm looking for here are all of your thoughts? Is steering issue common for these cars? Should this have even happened? Seems a little too soon in the life of the car for a $2500 service being required. Also, what kind of work is the PCV/Turbo Recirc valve? Can this be done by myself - someone with minimal knowledge but willingness to possibly attempt the job?

This is my wife's baby, her first car that she received when she was 16. It's been with her for 13 years now. We've driven it all over the US, and even took it with us to Europe for 3 years and drove it over there. We're not looking to get rid of it. For now it is sitting outside our house, and will later probably be moved to my parent's extra garage down in AZ until the repairs can be made.


Thanks ahead of time for any comments and concerns!
 

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Wow ! seems very high. I did a quick price check at Rockauto. Complete Rack and Pinion assembly start at $176, Power Steering pump $73 + $50 core charge.

Do you have any local shops, other than VW dealer, that specialize in German cars ?

PCV valve can most certainly be done by the owner.
 

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whaat?

Turbo recirculating valve? Maybe they are referring to the Diverter valve and that's only $40-50 bucks and you can do that yourself. It's probably just all gunky and won't cycle I would remove and clean, test it with a vacuum pump. The PCV valve? That's only $15-20 bucks and you can replace that but the hardest part is getting access to it cause it's under the intake manifold and you have to remove the SAI pump out of the way. There are DIY on replacing all those around here just do a search. Good luck man
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Wow ! seems very high. I did a quick price check at Rockauto. Complete Rack and Pinion assembly start at $176, Power Steering pump $73 + $50 core charge.

Do you have any local shops, other than VW dealer, that specialize in German cars ?

PCV valve can most certainly be done by the owner.
This makes me feel pretty good. There are several shops in the area that mention they specialize in German cars, but I've never been to one. I'll go swing by the local forum and post in there, maybe I can get a few names of places to check out. I'm assuming the installation/labor of the rack and pinion/pump must be pretty extensive for the quote I was given.

Thank you so much for your help!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Turbo recirculating valve? Maybe they are referring to the Diverter valve and that's only $40-50 bucks and you can do that yourself. It's probably just all gunky and won't cycle I would remove and clean, test it with a vacuum pump. The PCV valve? That's only $15-20 bucks and you can replace that but the hardest part is getting access to it cause it's under the intake manifold and you have to remove the SAI pump out of the way. There are DIY on replacing all those around here just do a search. Good luck man
Thanks! Both yours, and the poster above, give me some relief in this area. I'll do some more research as you suggested and see what I can come up with. Might be able to get this thing back on the road sooner than later. Appreciate the feedback!
 

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Thanks! Both yours, and the poster above, give me some relief in this area. I'll do some more research as you suggested and see what I can come up with. Might be able to get this thing back on the road sooner than later. Appreciate the feedback!
If I recall correctly forgive me it's been almost 5 years since I've worked in a VW dealership service dept, but the power steering rack replacement just as the rack and not the power steering pump writes up as a 4 hour 30 min job and the power steering pump writes up as a 2 to 3 hour job, plus you also have to remember the parts that are getting installed are genuine VW parts and everyone knows dealer parts are excessively overpriced. Plus you'll also have to factor in flushing the existing lines of metal shavings if not replacing them entirely since most dealers replace rather than flush or fix something, it's more cost effective for them. So after adding up labor, cost of parts, fluids and any other unforeseen mishaps I can see the dealer giving an estimate of that.....sadly.

And the reason your service writer said that he doesn't see too many beetles is because most people only go to the dealer for service when it's a warranty issue, recall or the car is brand new and there's some sort of maintenance package included in the sale of the vehicle. I hardly ever ever ever see any 13 to 14 year old BMW's come into my dealer let alone any BMW that's out of its warranty time period or term. I'd say 75% of the work I do each day is warranty work and when a service comes in like yours for instance I jump at it, because it's the customer paying the labor charge not the warranty company which cuts it down to 35% most times.

I'm not trying to steer you away or even towards the dealer, just some inside info on how things work, and also if your going to have an independent shop do the work find out some background on them first. I've seen really high end clean shops do poor and haggard work, and I've also seen some small mom and pop places with grudgy looking guys and messy shops with poor lighting and such crank out some top notch work and service.

Some food for thought and good luck with your repairs my friend
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
If I recall correctly forgive me it's been almost 5 years since I've worked in a VW dealership service dept, but the power steering rack replacement just as the rack and not the power steering pump writes up as a 4 hour 30 min job and the power steering pump writes up as a 2 to 3 hour job, plus you also have to remember the parts that are getting installed are genuine VW parts and everyone knows dealer parts are excessively overpriced. Plus you'll also have to factor in flushing the existing lines of metal shavings if not replacing them entirely since most dealers replace rather than flush or fix something, it's more cost effective for them. So after adding up labor, cost of parts, fluids and any other unforeseen mishaps I can see the dealer giving an estimate of that.....sadly.

And the reason your service writer said that he doesn't see too many beetles is because most people only go to the dealer for service when it's a warranty issue, recall or the car is brand new and there's some sort of maintenance package included in the sale of the vehicle. I hardly ever ever ever see any 13 to 14 year old BMW's come into my dealer let alone any BMW that's out of its warranty time period or term. I'd say 75% of the work I do each day is warranty work and when a service comes in like yours for instance I jump at it, because it's the customer paying the labor charge not the warranty company which cuts it down to 35% most times.

I'm not trying to steer you away or even towards the dealer, just some inside info on how things work, and also if your going to have an independent shop do the work find out some background on them first. I've seen really high end clean shops do poor and haggard work, and I've also seen some small mom and pop places with grudgy looking guys and messy shops with poor lighting and such crank out some top notch work and service.

Some food for thought and good luck with your repairs my friend
Greatly appreciate your feedback!
As a side note, I've been using the dealership for this car, for the past 6 years because my wife was in the military. It was easier to keep the work warrantied as we moved from place to place. There'd be no way for us to take a car back to a local shop if something were to happen - at no additional cost.

But I agree with what you were saying, I'm not surprised by the quote given, just depressed. I realize I'm going to pay more for the labor in end going to the dealership. I'm definitely looking into several local shops currently for completing the work (as well as looking into doing some of the work myself) and hopefully, in return, find a reputable shop we can use in the future long terms as we are now planning to remain in the area for many years.

Thanks again for the insight. I'm always interested on hearing former employees of service department's $.02.
 

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Greatly appreciate your feedback!
As a side note, I've been using the dealership for this car, for the past 6 years because my wife was in the military. It was easier to keep the work warrantied as we moved from place to place. There'd be no way for us to take a car back to a local shop if something were to happen - at no additional cost.

But I agree with what you were saying, I'm not surprised by the quote given, just depressed. I realize I'm going to pay more for the labor in end going to the dealership. I'm definitely looking into several local shops currently for completing the work (as well as looking into doing some of the work myself) and hopefully, in return, find a reputable shop we can use in the future long terms as we are now planning to remain in the area for many years.

Thanks again for the insight. I'm always interested on hearing former employees of service department's $.02.
Hey not a problem at all I'm always happy to share advice and give help where I can. If I happen to come across a beetle that needs similar work to yours I will make sure to do a DIY write up just like I am for everything else for example I'm about to post up a in depth timing belt and water pump instructional. If you have any other questions or need any advice don't hesitate to seek me out, I'm always willing to lend a hand how ever I can.

Regards, Chad
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
A guy on YouTube has beaten me to the punch! Here is the link for power steering rack removal and installation and this is specific for the Beetle.

YouTube Link- VW A4: VR6 GTI Power Steering Rack Removal (same for 1.8T & 2.0L) - YouTube


There ya go :D
Thanks so much! I ended up going with a local shop and there were able to do the job, and all the extras, for a little more than $900. Now just have a cracked manifold and an A/C (will need to look up the exact issue) to deal with. How difficult is an exhaust manifold fix? Thinking about just picking up a used one off eBay and putting the car up in my dad's garage and giving it a go.
 
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