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Good-bye Curby...
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Discussion Starter #1
ok, my engine's ticking and pinging and i'm a paranoid car owner, for sure. my car currently has 89K and i just asked my mechanic for a quote to do the following (based on kit from ECStuning, i believe):

* timing belt
* timing belt tensioner roller
* water pump (metal impellar)
* thermostat
* accesory drive belt

he quoted me $436 for the labor and about $130 for the parts (cheaper than ECS, i believe). about $566 total. does this seem like a good price? should i do it? i am torn. or, should i wait it out until spring when i'd have more money? is there any way to know if the timing belt is going bad? or the water pump?
 

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a.k.a. porkchopzz4
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890 Posts
The same parts you listed are $155 from ECS - so it sounds like a good price. Just be sure the tensioner and timing belt are OEM - it's not something you want to do again any time soon.

What sort of mechanic is this? Does he know the stretch bolts on the motor mount have to be replaced? Does he know the car should be refilled with G12 coolant? If he does, I'd say his price is decent. If he doesn't, find a new mechanic.
 

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Good-bye Curby...
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8,727 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Porkchop said:
The same parts you listed are $155 from ECS - so it sounds like a good price.
where do you think i got the laundry list of parts? ;)

Porkchop said:
What sort of mechanic is this? Does he know the stretch bolts on the motor mount have to be replaced? Does he know the car should be refilled with G12 coolant? If he does, I'd say his price is decent. If he doesn't, find a new mechanic.
well, he's male, in his 30s... i dunno. he's the first guy i picked after i left my current mechanic of over 10 years. it's a local shop, with just a few people working there. i've only been a few times, but i have been happy with how they've treated me.

what are stretch bolts?
 

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a.k.a. porkchopzz4
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callisto9 said:
what are stretch bolts?
The bolts in the engine mount "stretch" when they are torqued correctly. Since they can't be stretched again, if they are reused, they would never torque back down correctly - so they need to be replaced because they are removed when the timing belt is replaced. I need to get them myself... it's the only thing I'm missing to do this work myself.

I also recommend replacing the cam shaft seal and crankshaft seal since you won't be back in there for 80-100K miles... (they're cheap.. like $4 each from ECS)
 

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Good-bye Curby...
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8,727 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Porkchop said:
I also recommend replacing the cam shaft seal and crankshaft seal since you won't be back in there for 80-100K miles... (they're cheap.. like $4 each from ECS)
allright, well when i do this, i might as well get it all done, what else?
 

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Good-bye Curby...
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8,727 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
73standard said:
Don't let him talk you into changing your headlight fluid.
what about the pipe cleaners in my airshafts? or the flangars in my catspie? i've heard that the staples often need changing around 90K, too. ;)
 

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Good-bye Curby...
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8,727 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
73standard said:
OH! And only let him use Canadian air in your tires.
LOL. canadian air. i won't forget to mention that!

sometimes i feel overwhelmed with this car and all the things i want to learn about it. then i remember it's me with the problem; i am anal and obsessed!
 

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Good-bye Curby...
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8,727 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Porkchop said:
You might need a new muffler bearing too.
:rolleyes: i'll be sure to look into that. must...remember...muffler...bearing...

i'll also need q-tip part #529834 for the inner door jamb.
 

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Get yourself one of the manuals, Haynes, Chitlon, ect... and just start going through it. Granted it won't answer all of your questions, but it can point you in the right direction, and give you the right questions to ask.
 

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Good-bye Curby...
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Discussion Starter #14
73standard said:
Get yourself one of the manuals, Haynes, Chitlon, ect... and just start going through it. Granted it won't answer all of your questions, but it can point you in the right direction, and give you the right questions to ask.
i have the bentley, but have only flipped through it a few times.
 

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Good-bye Curby...
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Discussion Starter #16
ok, i misread my mechanic's email and here's what the costs are:

$436 for labor to do the timing belt, water pump, thermostat, accessory drive belt.
$135 - $150 for parts; timing belt kit from ECS or other vendor.

total: around $586, parts and labor

transmission flush: $130, parts and labor. my question is this: at 90K miles, do i need to have a transmission flush done? what is the benefit? does this seem expensive?

i am also thinking of getting my oil passages cleaned out, too, per advice from another org'er on here. maybe the fuel lines, too. so anyway, i am in for a lot of expenses soon. any advice is appreciated.
 

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Yes, get the transmission done too. Dunno, that price doesn't look TOO bad considering the hour or so of labor it takes.

I'm not sure about getting the fuel lines and oil passages cleared out, it'd be nice, and if you're going for 400K you might want to.

But I think you'd be fine using like a treatment right before your oil change.

And get a 'top engine clean' if it doesn't kill ya on the price tag. Along w/the throttle body if it's not included.

Essentially they SLOWLY drip some hardcore solvents in though the manifold, while running, shut it down let the heat & solvents do some work, then start it up, blasting any carbon build-up type stuff out. Cleans your valves, your manifold, your pistons, etc.

Throttle body clean = they spray it w/cleaner and let it drip back out onto a rag. Both sides of the butterfly. I seriously doubt any professional mechanic would actually remove it and take a toothbrush to it.

...
oil passages would be nice, but you don't run a performance motor, so you shouldn't have MUCH heat goin' on. It wouldn't hurt I'm sure, but it may get expensive compared to the benefit. If you've kept up w/ 5K oilchanges you should be fine, if you've kept up w/ 3K then don't even think about it. Me personally, maybe suggest a detergent treatment right before an oil change to get it in and get it out.

& a bottle of fuel injector cleaner in the tank maybe for the fuel lines. If you let the car sit for long periods... maybe I can see having something else done, but if it's your daily driver and you've had the fuel filter changed a couple times by now, it should be fine. ... ... you have had the fuel filter changed, right? ;)
 

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Good-bye Curby...
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Discussion Starter #18
noR said:
And get a 'top engine clean' if it doesn't kill ya on the price tag. Along w/the throttle body if it's not included.

Essentially they SLOWLY drip some hardcore solvents in though the manifold, while running, shut it down let the heat & solvents do some work, then start it up, blasting any carbon build-up type stuff out. Cleans your valves, your manifold, your pistons, etc.

Throttle body clean = they spray it w/cleaner and let it drip back out onto a rag. Both sides of the butterfly. I seriously doubt any professional mechanic would actually remove it and take a toothbrush to it.
...
oil passages would be nice, but you don't run a performance motor, so you shouldn't have MUCH heat goin' on. It wouldn't hurt I'm sure, but it may get expensive compared to the benefit. If you've kept up w/ 5K oilchanges you should be fine, if you've kept up w/ 3K then don't even think about it. Me personally, maybe suggest a detergent treatment right before an oil change to get it in and get it out.

& a bottle of fuel injector cleaner in the tank maybe for the fuel lines. If you let the car sit for long periods... maybe I can see having something else done, but if it's your daily driver and you've had the fuel filter changed a couple times by now, it should be fine. ... ... you have had the fuel filter changed, right? ;)
thanks for the advice. as for the fuel filter changed, i don't know...let me check my records...the last major service that was done by the previous owner, the records states "inspect fuel filter" but nothing about changing them. is it an expensive thing to do? it isn't, right?

i don't know what to do, really. the engine makes all kinds of noises that don't seem right; it pings when it's hot and ticks when it's cold. the car is "jumpy" and the engine sounds like a diesel when i drive it. i don't want to spend all this money, but i want to drive this car for a loooooong time (yes, maybe 400K) so i want to fix all the things i can. well, i want someone else to fix them, i can't do it myself.

i drive my car every day, but not a lot. i put about 9K on a year. previous owner drove the hell out of it as she was a travelling saleswoman. she took good care of it, from what i can tell. i don't know how often she changed the oil, but i do it every 4K miles.

when i say oil passages/channels cleaned, i think my mechanic actually suggested what you are talking about - a treatment. said it would cost around $60 or so. run some stuff through the system, clean it out, etc.

ahhhh, where to start...i am so confused.
 

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Good-bye Curby...
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Discussion Starter #19

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fuel filter costs maybe $7? $17? and takes less than half hour to do it. Probably worth the investment. (I have no CLUE how someone can 'check' a fuel filter; it's metal, not transparant like on old bug's where you could see the fuel & element through the plastic.)

Wow traveling sales woman huh. .. Well, I can get behind what the mechanic suggested then. He's talking about a more effective method than what I was (off the shelf stuff); but that's cool. If you're serious 'bout keeping the bug that long, and since you didn't put the first 80K on it.... Yes, I could back his recommendation of cleaning the oil system in that way.

Timing belt (waterpump, tensioner, belt, etc);
Accessory belt if it needs it, it's easier to get to than the timing belt, if it is still in good shape, let it ride.

...
Based on what youve got go written by 88K; and that mechanics' advice. The top engine clean should assist w/that problem. (if he's right).. problem probably being that the carbon deposits are causing pre-ignition? I ... think. Getting kind of guessy here. But there's still some knowledge behind that.

(
deposits get hot, they don't cool off like the metal does necessarily, they can get hot enough to cause the fuel to ignite before your coil sparks. If I remember correctly that's preignition.

When fuel is ignited, and starts to burn, and builds up so much pressure that the yet-unburned gas ignites simultaneous on its own , I think that's called detonation.
[gotta kinda picture the combustion process as a forest fire to understand the flame-front going on in there; it burns from 1 end to the other, and as it burns, it builds pressure & heat.]

... I may have my terminology wrong, hopefully someone will correct it if so. But those are some causes of pings and knocks and whatnot.
)



Anyway, goin' for the big miles, many years of service, etc etc. On a car bought used at 80K. If it can be cleaned, get it cleaned. If it can be flushed go for it. That'll give you a good basis to start on. Given that history, it all sounds fair so far. (still not 100% sure 'bout how they do the fuel lines, but if it's just $60 for the oil job, it might not be 'TOO' expensive)
 
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