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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A couple of weeks ago my mechanic replaced the cable between the alternator and the battery because it wasn't charging. I had to pick up the car after hours and as soon as I started it, the check engine light was on. The various codes I pulled were related to the oxygen sensor, the wiring in particular, and one part of it being shorted.

The car still ran well, but I took the car back to the mechanic because the engine skipped a little and the codes changed from the fuel/air mixture being too rich to it being too lean. A few days of diagnosing later they want to replace three oxygen sensors for just over $1,000.

I find this to be an odd coincidence. I know oxygen sensors go bad, but right after the mechanic did some rewriting. (They had to build the alternator-to-battery cable because they claim VW is now selling it only as a set with a fuse box and other components my car didn't need.)

Is there a possibility they are related, and if so how do I prove it?
 

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Well, this would tough to prove; we see, many troubleshooting threads, where multiple issues are happening at once. The charge harness and harness issues with the 02 sensors, are both documented problems with the latter sometimes damaging the ecu.

I’m not totally clear, as to what is involved in the latest $1k repair estimate; that being said, the parts should not cost that much, they maybe pricing them as genuine VW parts. Keep in mind, the same oem Bosch sensors can be purchased; as a Bosch branded part, at a much more affordable price. These, will be identical to vw sourced parts and cost much less. If you buy them from FCPEURO; you would get a lifetime warranty and free shipping!

If you wanted to “diy”; installation would be too hard and you might rent some 02 sensor sockets from a local auto parts store for free.

As to diagnosis concerns; i’m not sure what the wiring harness damage may have done to the pre-existing sensors, possibly the ecu, etc.

If you have a written documented estimate, work order, etc; you might post the details and we can discuss things further and see, if there are ways to save some money.

The “diy” route; buying your own parts, doing the install yourself, is the typical way to save money over having a shop do it for you, that being said it may or may not fix your current issue. Lets assume their previous diagnosis is dead on and new parts just need to be installed; in a that case, “diy” is the way to go, substantial savings being gained, in the process of getting your hands a bit dirty, working under your car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It turned out that the oxygen sensors were filled with water. The mechanic asked me if I had driven through water or if it was parked in water. Neither was the case and he even noted we haven't gotten much rain to speak of during this drought.

He said even if I had gone through a car wash, which I haven't either, they are sealed and shouldn't get water in them. Seems odd.
 

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Sounds odd, i don’t know what “full of water” means exactly and how that could happen?

What kind of auto repair shop is this and do they specialize in Volkswagen repair?

Did the replacement parts; fix the current problem?

If you have the details of the repairs documented; on the work order, that might help us, understand work done and parts replaced.


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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah, the car is running well with the new oxygen sensors. And it didn't turn out to be $1,000 for the fix.

"Full of water" sounded vague but he said there was water in the sensors, and that caused them to short.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So, just out of curiosity; what was the total damage and what parts, work, did they do? So, is everything fixed and you are back on the road?
It was just over $800. They installed three new oxygen sensors. I think they replaced a couple of little things but I don’t have the invoice with me. All fixed and the car runs great.

Now if only I can prevent the trunk latch from closing right after opening it! One thing at a time.
 

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A adjustment procedure and new trunk lift shocks; is the typical fix for that, common problem.



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