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Discussion Starter #1
I was losing coolant, and my regular guy was backed up, so I took it to the dealer. Told me I had a broken coolant pipe (est repair $250 or so), and said I needed timing belt, tensioner,water pump done ($450), said OK, I knew it was due. Then they told me I should replace the thermostat and that there was nothing wrong with it, that it was a maintenance item. Also tried to sell me a oil pan because my drain plug was stripped. Told them no way, I was bringing it back to the guy who did it in the first place, who I called and said VW knows there's a problem because the plug and the pan are made out of 2 different metals and they strip real easy. Anyone heard of either the "maintenance thermostat or oil pan issue?
 

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a.k.a. porkchopzz4
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Hey! I've heard of both!

Okay, thermostat - whenever you replace the water pump, you should replace the thermostat - its not necessarily a "maintenance" item - it's just that it's usually such a pain to get in there and replace it later, its cheaper to go ahead and replace it while you have things apart doing the water pump (and on the 2.0L, you always replace the water pump with the timing belt for the same reason: to save the hassle and labor cost down the road). So, he was giving you good info on the thermostat.

Now, about that $250 coolant pipe. There are two. One is the coolant flange/heart valve which is made of plastic and is on the driver's side of the engine. It gets brittle and cracks and leaks. This is a common problem. The only thing is, the part is about $9 and at most takes 30 min to 1 hour of labor.... $250 is a ridiculous amount to replace it. The other coolant pipe comes off the front of the engine. It has to come off to replace the thermostat (which should be included in the price of a timing belt change....). So there should be no extra labor cost to replace this one. It is metal and if its leaking, it's most likely due to the o-ring gasket (which has to be replaced with the thermostat anyway). once again, no cost to you. And there is no way this pipe costs $250. I would call BS on this one.

As far as the oil pan goes, the pan is aluminum (disapaits heat better) which is soft... the drain plug is steel.. which is hard. So if you crank down the oil drain plug, it can and will strip out the oil pan. New pan is only like $119 from places like www.ecsperformance.com. You don't want some monkey trying to "retap" the oil pan with it on the car bc he'll get metal shavings in the pan.

Good luck with it!
 

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Save a horse, ride a....
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Just wondering if the coolant pipe they are talking about is the one that comes out of the firewall (heater core?) and runs up over the heart valve, makes a left turn towards the passenger side and runs into the motor just to the rear of the thermostat housing. Along the way, several 'branches' have rubber hoses attached to them that run to the tranny cooler and oil cooler etc. This pipe is metal and I can see it being somewhat labour intensive to replace (not much room and several other parts in the way). IIRC, (and I recently spent a lot of time replacing my heart valve and thermostat (myself) and water pump and timing belt (mechanic) this pipe does not come off when you replace the thermostat or the heart valve.
 

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a.k.a. porkchopzz4
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890 Posts
rcy said:
Just wondering if the coolant pipe they are talking about is the one that comes out of the firewall (heater core?) and runs up over the heart valve, makes a left turn towards the passenger side and runs into the motor just to the rear of the thermostat housing. Along the way, several 'branches' have rubber hoses attached to them that run to the tranny cooler and oil cooler etc. This pipe is metal and I can see it being somewhat labour intensive to replace (not much room and several other parts in the way). IIRC, (and I recently spent a lot of time replacing my heart valve and thermostat (myself) and water pump and timing belt (mechanic) this pipe does not come off when you replace the thermostat or the heart valve.
The one I'm talking about is right on the front of the engine and is what holds the thermostat in - I haven't done it myself, just going by the Bentley diagram. I hadn't even thought about the one from the heater core - but I guess that's another possibility.
 
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