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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey!
I'm new to this forum and would like some advice, tips, cool ideas, etc. I'm not expecting some magical diagnosis via Web, but if any of you have some advice that could save me from emptying my bank account at the mechanic well right on! Lol
I'm looking forward to hearing from you all and sharing some VW Beetle stories/pics!

History:
Bought my 2001 GLS 1.9L TDI New Beetle in March 2015. I was pleased i made a great purchase after 2 "new car" inspections. Both places said all that was needing done are typical for a car over 160k miles. ***not verbatim but as soon as I unpack and find my estimates/receipt I will update this post***
-brake pads
-tires (the front 2) / rotation
-rotors new or resurfaced
-valve cover/gasket (the rubber part?)
-shocks/springs
-cv axle/joint

Current:
- no alert tones: i.e open door, seat belt, gas low, light on, when car is on but not started, etc. (Can't remember if they ever worked)
- 3 lights are on but no notice in performance: ABS, Engine, and airbag.
- car "shifts" (it's an automatic) hard when A/C is on
- when turning car off it vibrates, as in the whole car shakes a bit.

That's it *knocks on wood*
No other issues per se.
I'm hoping none of this rings a major bell and that maybe the absence of the tones and the arise of the lights are due to the instrument panel.
I'm thinking maybe the shifting and vibration are just me being paranoid lol.
Also, should I have a smell from my TDI? When the car is running and after it is running what should it smell like?
 

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5/23/10 <3
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I would start by getting your car scanned for codes. Those lights are all on for a reason.

The hard shifting...well unfortunately the auto you have in this car is known to be a weak link, especially in a TDI. Hard shifting is not uncommon. Might need new fluid and a filter, might need a valve body.

TDIs do have a bit of a shake when you turn them off. More so when the EGR has been deleted. Not sure if that's been done on your car though.

Smells...well, diesel has its own smell for sure. Its hard to really describe, as its just the smell of diesel and diesel exhaust. It doesn't really bother me, but we have 2 diesels at home, one being an old '84 Jetta with no emissions stuff on it so its definitely sooty and smelly!


With the miles on the car, I would get the timing belt/water pump done ASAP unless you have good receipts from it being done before recently. TDIs are different animals and due to their very high compression, they have some very tight tolerances so if a part of the timing system goes, you'll have at least a damaged head.

Not sure where you're located, but I'd try to find yourself a good TDI mechanic. This is a good list to start from: Trusted TDI Mechanics - By State - TDIClub Forums
You also should head over to TDIClub and myturbodiesel.com and read up. There are some great FAQs and basic information over there on TDIs that will help you keep this car running its best and serve you well for many, many miles and years.
 

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Since you have 160k miles, unless you know when the last time the timing belt/water pump was changed, it needs to be done ASAP. You should be able to get parts/find somebody recommended on TDIclub for around $600+. Do NOT let a dealer do it, they will charge 2x as much and probably mess it up not replacing everything that needs replaced. As Smiley said, the minimum damage of a blown TB is needing a new head.

The ALH TDI does not have a separate valve cover gasket. The gasket is built into the valve cover. If it has a leak you can try sealing it with RTV, but to replace the gasket the entire cover needs to be replaced.

Air bag light is probably the belt buckle needing replaced, you'll have to get it scanned with a Vag-com to be sure.

If you have rough shifting with an auto, you need to get the fluid changed yesterday. If it goes too long then you'll be looking for a new transmission before long.

And yes, your diesel will smell like a diesel, not horribly bad, but there is a slight smell. If you aren't already, I would recommend using Diesel Kleen (silver in summer white in winter) with every tank. It will help keep everything lubed as well as boost the centane level of the diesel some.

Without getting codes scanned it's hard to say about the lights, especially the CEL.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
So.....been taking my car to Meineke and they really did a job on my beetle (see damages in photos).
The 2 new tires I bought, both went flat and had to be replaced. They did that of course no charge because I had a warranty.
The skidplate/splash guard they won't replace although they broke it and I do mean broke it.
The oil dipstick container they broke while changing the oil and sent me home with it broken ( this is also when they broke the skidplate) but only replaced the dipstick container saying the didn't have to remove the skidplate to change the oil. Lol how ridiculous!
After bringing it in for them to at least reattach the skidplate plate I am told they can change the valve cover gasket and new oil change for 132.48 w/tax after 2 days they call saying they've sprayed everything and stripped the aluminum bolts I have to take it to VW because they don't have the tools. The oil leaked completely and now I am out of a car.
I've called corporate office and she told me since it is a franchise she can't make them do anything.
Advice?
 

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5/23/10 <3
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So.....been taking my car to Meineke and they really did a job on my beetle (see damages in photos).
The 2 new tires I bought, both went flat and had to be replaced. They did that of course no charge because I had a warranty.
The skidplate/splash guard they won't replace although they broke it and I do mean broke it.
The oil dipstick container they broke while changing the oil and sent me home with it broken ( this is also when they broke the skidplate) but only replaced the dipstick container saying the didn't have to remove the skidplate to change the oil. Lol how ridiculous!
After bringing it in for them to at least reattach the skidplate plate I am told they can change the valve cover gasket and new oil change for 132.48 w/tax after 2 days they call saying they've sprayed everything and stripped the aluminum bolts I have to take it to VW because they don't have the tools. The oil leaked completely and now I am out of a car.
I've called corporate office and she told me since it is a franchise she can't make them do anything.
Advice?
1) I can't tell from the pictures...it looks like the skid plate just slid out of where it sits?
2) Its really, really common for those dipstick tubes to break. Its plastic, and its old. But they're dirt cheap and easy to replace. We've replaced it once on each of our mk4's (we've had 4). And usually keep one on hand because it seems they are made of plastic that breaks if you look at it funny.
3) You actually can do an oil change on a TDI without pulling the skidplate. My husband never does. The oil filter is up top and you can use a suction device to get the oil out from there. I also know I could get to the drain plug without taking the plate off of my GTI but I have to take mine off because I can't get to the filter otherwise. So its plausible that what they said on that is true.
4) You posted pictures of the bent rocker panels. That's pretty common and I doubt they did that. The rockers are plastic and all it takes is a person who isn't careful and a jack that isn't designed right to throw dents into those. My Beetle came with a dent or two in mine at 55k. My husband's TDI has some too (all mk4s have that same plastic rocker).

*Certainly not trying to defend the Meineke. But just want to clarify some stuff - I wouldn't let them touch my car, but there are some common fail points that can happen regardless who touches the car.*


Have you spoken of the owner of the store since is a franchise? Unfortunately, it will likely be very difficult, and cost more time and money than its worth, to get them to cover anything. These quick-lube places are no good for VWs (not that I'd take any car to them for work anyway...they are inspection stations here so that's the only reason Jiffy Lube or Meineke touches my car). I think it was a Jiffy Lube that ruined my huband's family's car. They took it in for an oil change, they drained the trans fluid and then filled the oil (so that was twice overfull). The transmission was a mess after that of course. But they wouldn't do a thing.

I'd get the car out of there ASAP and to a VW specialized shop, not necessarily the dealer. I posted this thread before, but this is where you should start to find a competent mechanic for your TDI: Trusted TDI Mechanics - By State - TDIClub Forums

Best of luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So.....been taking my car to Meineke and they really did a job on my beetle (see damages in photos).
The 2 new tires I bought, both went flat and had to be replaced. They did that of course no charge because I had a warranty.
The skidplate/splash guard they won't replace although they broke it and I do mean broke it.
The oil dipstick container they broke while changing the oil and sent me home with it broken ( this is also when they broke the skidplate) but only replaced the dipstick container saying the didn't have to remove the skidplate to change the oil. Lol how ridiculous!
After bringing it in for them to at least reattach the skidplate plate I am told they can change the valve cover gasket and new oil change for 132.48 w/tax after 2 days they call saying they've sprayed everything and stripped the aluminum bolts I have to take it to VW because they don't have the tools. The oil leaked completely and now I am out of a car.
I've called corporate office and she told me since it is a franchise she can't make them do anything.
Advice?
1) I can't tell from the pictures...it looks like the skid plate just slid out of where it sits?
2) Its really, really common for those dipstick tubes to break. Its plastic, and its old. But they're dirt cheap and easy to replace. We've replaced it once on each of our mk4's (we've had 4). And usually keep one on hand because it seems they are made of plastic that breaks if you look at it funny.
3) You actually can do an oil change on a TDI without pulling the skidplate. My husband never does. The oil filter is up top and you can use a suction device to get the oil out from there. I also know I could get to the drain plug without taking the plate off of my GTI but I have to take mine off because I can't get to the filter otherwise. So its plausible that what they said on that is true.
4) You posted pictures of the bent rocker panels. That's pretty common and I doubt they did that. The rockers are plastic and all it takes is a person who isn't careful and a jack that isn't designed right to throw dents into those. My Beetle came with a dent or two in mine at 55k. My husband's TDI has some too (all mk4s have that same plastic rocker).

*Certainly not trying to defend the Meineke. But just want to clarify some stuff - I wouldn't let them touch my car, but there are some common fail points that can happen regardless who touches the car.*


Have you spoken of the owner of the store since is a franchise? Unfortunately, it will likely be very difficult, and cost more time and money than its worth, to get them to cover anything. These quick-lube places are no good for VWs (not that I'd take any car to them for work anyway...they are inspection stations here so that's the only reason Jiffy Lube or Meineke touches my car). I think it was a Jiffy Lube that ruined my huband's family's car. They took it in for an oil change, they drained the trans fluid and then filled the oil (so that was twice overfull). The transmission was a mess after that of course. But they wouldn't do a thing.

I'd get the car out of there ASAP and to a VW specialized shop, not necessarily the dealer. I posted this thread before, but this is where you should start to find a competent mechanic for your TDI: Trusted TDI Mechanics - By State - TDIClub Forums

Best of luck!

All of the points you were TRYING to make were defensive because you:
1.Assumed those issues were either there before they serviced my vehicle or
2. That I didn't know what my car looked like prior to drop off.
Now how did your response help me?
It didn't and was quite rude which whether you intended for it to be or not it is.
I'm entitled to take your response how I see fit just as you saw it fit to assume I'm too dumb to know what my car looks like before servicing.
So let me also inform you that:
1. My skidplate (which was new courtesy of the dealership that removed a metal one I didn't like) and rocker panels were NOT damaged and I have the pictures to prove it which I will not post since you stated you can't tell anything from photos. Also, the skidplate was not on correctly when I got it back from them changing the oil, but it was prior to bringing it to them so how could they be right? No logic behind that. How can it slide out of place when it is bolted with washers and nuts? Lol seriously?
2. As for the dipstick container: Plastic or not they shouldn't have released my car knowing they broke it. No excuse.
3. After taking my car to many shops to get it inspected (which I'm sure I noted that here before) I chose Meineke because the manager owns the same vehicle and swore they serviced it all the time. Also they are on the VW list for authorized VW shops. They lied and VW has informed me they are under investigation; however, that only handles their side not the work done to my car.
4. 2 tires that are new going flat? Without outer damage? What's the excuse or rebuttal for that?

Your car is not my car. Just because you bought it at much lower miles with damage doesn't mean a higher mileage vehicle would have worse. There is no valid reasoning behind that.
You said that damage can be done to the rockers if not lifted correctly but they couldn't have done that? That's contradiction. How do you know every guy that works there or the one jacking my car didn't make a mistake or damage my car?

I would never post something online assuming someone is a liar or too dumb to know their own property.
If I have information to help, I will offer it otherwise what my experience is personally is just that- personal, not a rubric.
 

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:confused::confused::confused:

I was in no way intending to say you were "a liar" or "dumb". I have been around these cars (and this forum) for over 10 years now so I was merely pointing out some things that are common to be issues and problem areas, and going off of your information and pictures posted. I never said Meineke didn't cause problems* and shouldn't be held accountable. I also suggested you contact the franchise owner. These things should be sorted out of course, ideally by Meineke. But also, from knowing from my husband's family experience, you may not have much luck getting them to fess up or fix it. But I hope you do have luck. They shouldn't be allowed to mess up cars and then not have to pay for it.

Who/where are they on the mechanics list? It would be good information to know. And if its from the TDIClub list, this should be reported over there so they can remove them off of the list. No reason someone who doesn't even have the proper tools to remove a valve cover is on the list of mechanics. If you give your location, there might be an Orger local to you who can help you find a good mechanic.

I do wish you good luck.


*I know I said "I doubt" they damaged the rocker panel. I didn't say there was no way. But I know at least at my Jiffy Lube, they use a lift under the wheels rather than a jack and don't think it would hit the rocker panels in a way to damage them like that. Maybe Meineke is different and they used a regular jack and jack stands. If that's the case, then if they used a beefy jack, it can dent the rockers.
 

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I would never post something online assuming someone is a liar or too dumb to know their own property.
If I have information to help, I will offer it otherwise what my experience is personally is just that- personal, not a rubric.
Nobody has said that you are dumb or a liar. I don't feel that Smileybug had any intention of saying so nor was attempting to defend the shop. All that was stated was that a lot of these are common problems with NBs. Just because you don't receive a response you like is no need to start an argument.

I also don't see how the skid plate is broken, at least from the pictures. It appears as though the front part isn't in the slots on the bumper. It seems as though it was more put on wrong than broken. Although if it wasn't touched, it's not impossible for some road debris to have made it flex enough to come out of the slots at the front.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I would never post something online assuming someone is a liar or too dumb to know their own property.
If I have information to help, I will offer it otherwise what my experience is personally is just that- personal, not a rubric.
Nobody has said that you are dumb or a liar. I don't feel that Smileybug had any intention of saying so nor was attempting to defend the shop. All that was stated was that a lot of these are common problems with NBs. Just because you don't receive a response you like is no need to start an argument.

I also don't see how the skid plate is broken, at least from the pictures. It appears as though the front part isn't in the slots on the bumper. It seems as though it was more put on wrong than broken. Although if it wasn't touched, it's not impossible for some road debris to have made it flex enough to come out of the slots at the front.

Where did I say SHE SAID I stated ASSUME.
"A post you like" wow, so you're a mind reader? Again assumptions.
This was between me and her, not you. How was my response an argument? That's your perception and opinion. No facts at all in how you feel.
I can however factually repost what was written as I did.
I don't understand how two people can't say what they find offensive without someone calling it an argument. It is a discussion. I wrote I found it offensive and her experience is not everyone's experience, period.
Before I could respond to her second post you come butting in- Mind your business which isn't anything pertaining to me. This is the internet not the Olympics. Get your hero status in REAL life.

To the woman I was speaking to, thank you for clarifying what you were saying. I truly appreciate it. I would like to also extend the olive branch if I was offensive or defensive.
 

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This may have begun between you and Smileybug however once things were brought to the moderators then yes, it is now between me as well. When a post is reported, the moderators will as you put it "butt in" and as a moderator, that makes it my business.

There is no need to have an attitude when a moderator responds to a situation that has been reported.
 
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