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Discussion Starter #1
My '99 2.0 has been at the dealership for 5 days.

Last April ('08), my window regulator broke. I thought I'd try to fix it since the warranty was over, but the car sat in my garage for 4 months before I fixed.

August ('08), when I started using the car again, I found the A/C was not blowing cold air. I figured the seals went bad for the lack of use. Winter came and I didn't need A/C, so I left it as is.

This summer ('09), I took the car in for A/C service, anticipating only a freon recharge. The dealership comes back saying that the fuse holder is melted AND says something about blockage in the evaporator because of bad pressure readings they are getting

I ok'd the $738 job, which apparently did the following:
- r134a charge $50
- Holder $103(I'm assuming this is the fuse holder)
- Valve $83(I'm assuming this the pressure release valve)
- ... and a few seals and fuses.
- and of course $437 in labor

Next day, they call and say it's fixed.

The car sits in their lot for another day before I can pick up and when I did, the A/C wasn't cold at all ... just outside air ... and "hot" since it's 90 degrees out here lately.

Service advisor says it WAS cold when he called me.
He says later that they do a flush at no charge in case there's blockage somewhere else.

After the flush, still no luck. Now they are suspecting the compressor.

I'm feeling like I'm getting strung along. I don't suppose it too much to ask to get correct diagnosis from the beginning (What do you guys think?)

Second, does this make sense to you guys?
I'm wondering now if it was the compressor all this time and they are either incompetent or they are just trying to bleed me? if it is the compressor, what has been the going rate for that?

Depending on what I hear from you guys, I might just tell the dealership to give my money back (minus the $200 I originally committed to for diagnosis). Who knows what that'll get me.

Any advise is greatly appreciated.
 

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yea i would tell them that you paid 7$$ to get the car fixed and that it needs to be fixed or you want your money back
 

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It has always been my experience that the dealer "nickles and dimes" you to death. They will fix what they hope is an isolated problem and hope it stays fixed until you get off the lot; then when you come back they treat it as an entirely different problem, regardless of whether it was the initial problem or not.

Is it possible to get them to truly fix the A/C for what you have already paid; I'm skeptical.

When I have the choice of either letting my NB sit for months or take it to the dealer to be fixed; I'll let it sit and research how to do it myself.
 

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I just quoted a price of $1400 to $1600 for compressor replacement at the local VW dealer. Ouch. They said the bumper and fender have to come off, which seems outrageous. A local shop quoted $1100. I may attempt this myself since a re-man compessor, receiver, exp valve, and gaskets runs $350, a gauge kit and the hoses for re-charging is no more than $140, and the local garage will remove R134a for $35. I can borrow a good vac pump. I need to pick up a repair manual to see if the dealer is pulling my leg on the bumper/fender.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Saga update...

I spoke with the Service Manager yesterday, since the advisor who worked with me wasn't there.

He looked at the tech notes and said he'd be willing to refund me the rapairs for the valves because he thinks that probably wasn't a problem. But I'm still stuck with $350 for the fuse holder, since he said that was clearly broken (melted, which is typical in NB).

But, that still doesn't seem fair.

I think we all would like to be told what it's going to cost to fix THE WHOLE thing. I mean, if they told me from the beginning that it would cost over $2000 to fix, then I would have been happy to pay for the diag fee ($200) and said, "Thank you, but it's not worth it."

I'm still happy to pay for the diag fee ($200, which is what I originally committed), but not a penny more. That more than covers the fuse holder part ($102) that they replaced. That might seem to leave them short with all the labor they have done, but THEY ARE SUPPOSE TO BE THE PRO'S ... and if I'm gonna be paying PRO HOURLY RATE, they atta be accountable for their mistake.

What do you guys think?
 

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mini-beetle said:
I just quoted a price of $1400 to $1600 for compressor replacement at the local VW dealer. Ouch. They said the bumper and fender have to come off, which seems outrageous. A local shop quoted $1100. I may attempt this myself since a re-man compessor, receiver, exp valve, and gaskets runs $350, a gauge kit and the hoses for re-charging is no more than $140, and the local garage will remove R134a for $35. I can borrow a good vac pump. I need to pick up a repair manual to see if the dealer is pulling my leg on the bumper/fender.
I'm looking at my Bently manual right now. It actually doesn't give a procedure for replacing the compressor. It tells you about it and shows you where it is but doesn't give directions. It doesn't seem to advocate replacing these components yourself...doesn't really tell you how to replace much in the a/c system at all. But it looks like that where its located, you are going to have to take the front end off. I wouldn't suspect the dealer to pull your leg about taking the front end off. It needs to happen for a lot of repairs, as its too cramped to get to anything in that engine compartment. With that said, my bf managed to change out my radiator fan without taking the front end off but it was a total pain the butt and was really really cramped. It took a lot less time, but taking the front end off would have made the job 10x easier.



As for the OP's saga, that's why I don't take my car to the dealer. They like to fix things that dont' need to be fixed. And like to fix things without telling you. And they have a hard time figuring out what is wrong half the time. I've had my own issues with the dealer and I will never go back. I have no reason to anyway--I don't have a warranty to worry about. Here in the Raleigh/Durham area, we have 2 really good local shops that work on VWs and Audi's and I know the guys who run them and others that work there, as they are all a part of our local VW forum. Local shops are the places to go. They are cheaper and tend to be a lot more caring about the work they do. I had my car in for a water pump/timing belt service (among a few other things) and my dipstick was broken. Even though its a $6 part, the guy called me and asked if I wanted him to replace it. Local shops are the way to go for work!
 

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My Online Bentley Manual provides Removal and Installation procedures for these A/C items...

1) Pressure Switch and High Pressure Sensor
2) Condenser (I looked at the photos and you need to remove the front end to do this work)
3) Heating and Cooling Controls
4) Temperature Door Cable
5) Footwell/Defrost Door Cable
6) Central Door Cable
7) A/C Clutch
8) Heater/Evaporator Unit
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Smileybug ... thanks for the feedback.
If I have to hang on to this car, I think I will post around to see if there's any local shops to me (Boulder County, Colorado) people here can recommend. It's awesome your shops actually belong to this forum community.

The Saga continues ...
I haven;t heard from the dealer yet about a better refund, but I did notice now that my copressor is NOT engaging at all. Before I took it in ... and even after the first time they called me to pick up ... the compressor was engaging - meaning, when I press the "A/C" button, I hear a distinct sound under the hood and the idle changes slightly.

But now, after getting the car back from the dealer (for the second time), it doesn't do that anymore.

I don't know if they've removed the freon completely. I heard that when there's low freon pressure, the sensor keeps the compressor from engaging. I'm assuming this is why it's not engaging anymore. But I hope those guys didn't really screw it up.

I read once that if you're compressor is engaging, it's likely NOT the problem. Is this true?
 

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There is a pressure switch that keeps the clutch from engaging if there is low or no freon.

I think your only problem was the fan fuse on top of the battery(I think the fuse box on top of the battery is around$1oo) . They replaced that and then continued to screw up the system.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Could you guys help try to figure the following:

The clutch was engaging before. So if there is a sensor for freon pressure, then does that mean I did have "enough" freon in the system?

If I did have enough freon, why was I not getting cold air ... not even a little?

If I didn't have freon to begin with, could the melted fuse box have kept the sensor from working properly, which would explain why the clutch engaged anyway?

The dealer said the managed to get cold air after replacing the fuse box and expansion valve, but like I said, a day later when I got the car back, it wasn't cold anymore. But even then I remember the clutch engaging when I was testing it.

And lastly, the dealer said after looking at it again, they finding bad pressure in the system ... so they thought they atta flush out the system for any clogs. When that didn't fix it, they said they suspect the compressor.

Does anyone have any thoughts on what could have happened or happening. Could they have broken something? Or could they have simply vaccummed out the freon since it was non-operable?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The Saga Ends...
The dealer continues to insist that I still needed to pay $350 - basing it on the diag fee and the fuse box.

To make a long story short, with more arguing, he finally conceded and refunded me the additional $150, leaving me to pay for $200, which was all I wanted to pay - the diag fee.

I've certainly learned my lessons ... and will never take a problem to the dealership.

At the end of all the talks, dealership really AREN't in the business of "doing the right thing" ... they just out to make as much money as possible.

I mean even with this service manager ... after getting all the info that proves that his advisor didn't give all the information ... that they mis-diagnosed the problem ... and that had I known the whole problem I would have never authorized ANY repairs ... he was still insisting to stick me with the bill.

So at the end ... I guess it's a win, but what a pain!
 

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Hey there. I have a good independent mechanic here in Fort Collins. I haven't used him yet but others have and like him a lot. It's a drive for you, but might be worth it if you can't find someone in Boulder. Send me a PM if you want his name and number. Also you might want to fill in more info on your profile. I didn't know you were in Boulder until I read your post.
 

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D2Beetle said:
My Online Bentley Manual provides Removal and Installation procedures for these A/C items...

1) Pressure Switch and High Pressure Sensor
2) Condenser (I looked at the photos and you need to remove the front end to do this work)
3) Heating and Cooling Controls
4) Temperature Door Cable
5) Footwell/Defrost Door Cable
6) Central Door Cable
7) A/C Clutch
8) Heater/Evaporator Unit
Thanks. So I guess if you can get the the A/C clutch without removing the front end, you can remove the compressor. I wouldn't be surprised if the problem in my case is just a clutch bearing (blows cold air but makes a knocking sound), but the dealer said that to change the clutch bearing you've got to take out the compressor anyways. And once you've got the compressor out, may as well just put a new one in.
 

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mini-beetle said:
Thanks. So I guess if you can get the the A/C clutch without removing the front end, you can remove the compressor. I wouldn't be surprised if the problem in my case is just a clutch bearing (blows cold air but makes a knocking sound), but the dealer said that to change the clutch bearing you've got to take out the compressor anyways. And once you've got the compressor out, may as well just put a new one in.
Yes, you can get the compressor out without removing the front end and the clutch can be removed and replaced. My A/C has not worked for years, I like the windows down, so it has never been an issue for me until recently as I'm going to be adding some tint, so I need to get my A/C fixed. A replacement compressor will run you somewhere between $350-$550. My 'trusted' repair shop quoted $1200 :( for the whole job.

I'm still hem-hawing about doing it myself... I could it will just take time... but that means I'm back driving the Ford Explorer instead of my NB.
 

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*Just* finished replacing my a/c compressor with one I picked up off of eBay. The kit included the compressor, expansion valve, dryer, all kinds of o-rings, and some oil.

I've been a Beetle owner for about a month (little experience with this car), have decent tools and I was able to get the entire job done in about 5 hours. I bought an a/c manifold kit and vacuum pump from Harbor Freight for $45 and $15, respectively. Didn't even touch my floor jack.

My "saga" can be found here... http://newbeetle.org/forums/2-0-liter-gas/49932-c-compressor-wont-kick.html

If you have any questions, feel free to PM me. I'm trying to "pay it forward" for all the great advice I've gotten in the last month! Its a pretty straightforward project, thankfully. Now that we're in June in Raleigh-Durham, I'm quite happy to have a/c!
 

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Rockauto has compressor sets which include compressor, expansion valve, and dryer/filter and ac o-ring sets for nearly every new beetle. All of those items for my 2002 comes to around 250 bucks. Autoport on the Navy base I work at will do the install for 375 bucks.
 
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