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Maintenance & Repair Costs



  • Hi Gang,
    Can someone pleasse tell me why, my volkswagen dealer quoted me a price of
    $1100, when the edmunds website is approximately 3 times as less. I have a 2003
    passat station wagon 2.8l engine. What should be the going rate for this job.
    Why such a price discrepancy.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,602
    Some repair quotes include different things---for instance, your dealer might be including a new water pump, belts, hoses, etc. You'd have to run down the list. Edmunds might not include any of those things. Also labor rates can vary considerably from place to place.

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  • Thanks for your assistance. Let me clarify myself. I am looking into preventively
    changing the timing belt. Would I also need to replace the other iems you mentioned. Unfortunately the cost of raising an autistic son has my on a very strict
    budget. What is your opinion on this job would cost on a 2003 passat wagon?

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,602
    Looks like Edmunds would estimate replacement at around $400, but of course that depends on your labor rate in your area. Where I live, dealers charge $135 an hour, so that's $650 bucks just for labor (it's about 5+ hours work). If this is the 1.8T turbo engine, I'd definitely do it before the 105,000 mile limit.

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  • Was just charged $80.00 to read a code from my local dealer in Hopkins Minnesota. Save yourself the 80 bucks and go to your local auto parts store, some read codes for free, buy some wax and replacement bulbs or something to compensate them (I got a catholic guilt thing workin). They even tried to rip me off a second time for $80 by trying to charge again for reading another code during the same visit. The profit motive will kill this company mark my words... Sad
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    You can find computer readers very reasonably priced on sale at those same autoparts stores. I bought one couple years ago, IIRC was like 40 bucks or so. I don't remember the price exactly and haven't checked the latest pepboy ad's in probably a year. I was having some problem I was trying to diagnose, and figured that purchase was a no-brainer when I saw the sale brochure....given the convenience savings alone. Then you can do it whenever you want, and don't have to travel to the autoparts store!

    This isn't rocket science stuff, you'd think the manufacturers would just have a diagnostic routine that you could run which would then spit out the error codes on your instrument cluster. They could probably do this for a buck, but I guess all of the lobbying from the dealers would block that.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,602
    Someday. Right now, the OBD thingie is a bit wanting. When the code says "02 sensor", that doesn't mean replace your 02 sensor. But it's a start in the search for the cure.

    OBD is better than nothing, but as my dear departed Dad used to say (he was a field engineer for Packard) "a diagnostic machine is only as good as the man running it".

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  • Couldn't agree more with your dad. But man getting charged $80 to read a code that just frosts my hinie.
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,425
    Complimentary code readings could be to the dealer as free Notary Public service is to a bank.
  • obyoneobyone Posts: 8,054
    Your dealership's labor rate must be around $320/hr. Can't take more than 15 minutes to pull a code. That's even if they didn't know where to connect the OBDII.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    I think the charge is also related to recovering the cost of the system they use for getting the codes. I'm pretty sure the dealer is not using a $40 generic code reader from autozone or wherever.
  • CapeCodCapeCod Posts: 117
    Here is the code I get on my 98 Olds Silhouette...
    P0220 - Throttle/Petal Position Sensor/Switch B Circuit Malfunction

    I am able to research the code online....
    but have no idea what the repair will be ???
    Is this just a part that can be replaced? more difficult to diagnose ?
    Clearly making repairs on an 11 year old van is something I want to know about BEFORE I agree to the repairs.
  • obyoneobyone Posts: 8,054
    You need to replace your TPS. Not hard or difficult to do. Not too sure on locating the part but between Checkers, O'Reillys and Napa, one of them should have it.
  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyPosts: 5,441
    The $80 is to find the problem (diagnostics)... which includes reading the code.

    Sucks though as you pointed out. I went to Autozone to have codes read on my 99 Buick. Came back as Mass airflow problem. When I went into dealership to have it replaced they strongly suggested the "$89 disagnostics fee", saying if they just replaced the MAF sensor without the diagnostics, they couldn't guarantee that would fix the problem. Well, it did fix the problem. Also stated my fuel pump pressure was low and recommended replacing it. That was about 3 years ago and fuel pump hasn't been a problem.
  • e56e56 Posts: 1
    Transmission eventually failed because an earlier failure of the Valeo radiator/transmission cooler failure allowing engine coolant to enter transmission. Though this problem had been identified by Mercedes Benz in 2006 and effected cars produced in 2003 I have been unable to learn how they handled this problem when car was beyond warranty period. This has not been an inexpensive experience
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,602
    What/how did they "identify" this problem? I can't seem to find any record of it---do you have a TSB number?

    In any event, a Technical Service Bulletin is not a recall and so after warranty it would be purely discretionary/goodwill kind of thing. Probably if there was a known issue, it would be handled on a case by case basis, which I'm sure would include assistance from the dealer, the extent of the car's mileage, the quality of the service records, and a petition from the dealer & you to the District Offices---things like that.

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  • kelfkelf Posts: 83
    For 2001 MBZ C240? Is this already posted somewhere?
  • I bought a 2008 Kia Optima new and have only 11,000 miles on it. My dealer service center wants me to spend $600.00 now to do what they call required maintence. Does any one know if this is really necessary or maybe what parts of the maintence is necessary? I am a widow and on a fixed income and thought when I bought the car that it was the miles that counted not the months owned. Any help would be appreciated.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,602
    No, this isn't right. In your owner's manual is a list of what is to be done at say 10,000 miles. Some of this is mandatory but much of it is "optional". If you aren't sure, post a list of the services you are being asked to buy and we'll tell you what is necessary and which ones you can politely decline.

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  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    "thought when I bought the car that it was the miles that counted not the months owned."

    For many things it is both, for example, oil changes schedules will usually say X months or Y miles, whichever comes first.
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    Read your owner's manual. The 'Maintenance' section.

    It will indicate both miles and/or time for all maintenance.

    Some items do have a time associated. Most auto manuals want the oil changed at least once a year, no matter how little miles are accumulated.

    Don't do any maintenance not in the maintenance schedule.

    I'm sorry, but I feel many service departments just love for people like you to appear, and recommend many unneeded services.
  • pat121pat121 Posts: 1
    just got a 1999 mercedes C-230, how does one go about changing the oil...
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,602
    edited October 2010
    Well, draining the oil out of the plan should be self-explanatory, but the filter is a little out of the ordinary:

    NOTE: Numbers in parentheses ( ) indicate a component or tool in the associated illustration.

    Screw off screw cap (2) with socket wrench attachment 103 589 02 09 00 or equivalent and remove oil filter cartridge (4).
    Replace sealing ring (3).
    Insert new oil filter cartridge (4) into oil filter housing (5).
    Install screw cover, use socket wrench attachment.


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  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    I would think one of those cheap 'strap' wrenches would work on this, unless it is really tightened down. With a rubber o-ring, I would think it would not need to be tightened down much.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,603
    edited October 2010
    It seems like we are going backwards with these cartridge oil filters.

    They wer common on cars from the 50's and they were usually a mess to deal with. You had to use a suction gun to suck out the remaining oil in the canister.

    Chevys had them until the late 60's. They made a conversion kit that we would install so we could use spin on filters.

    The ones used on Chrysler products with a hemi V-8 were just palin nasty to change and no matter how careful you were they would usually leak afterwards requiring the job to be redone.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    I think the cartridge design is an improvement. As for leaking, the spin on reliance on the rubber gasket to keep oil from leaking out seems to me to be more likely to be a problem.

    I've got guys who change my oil for $5-$10 more than the materials would cost me to buy, so far they have done so with no problems on our cartridge filter equipped 2007 Mazda6 and 2005 Jetta.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,602
    The cartridge filter on my MINI does tend to leave a little mess.

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  • They make a conversion kit for the cartridge filters of the present to change back to a spin on filter.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 22,100
    I figured this was spam at first, but I took a look at the site anyway. Nowhere could I find a standard floorjack nor air compressor.

    In any case, I'd look to Harbor Freight personally. I mean, Fleet's cheapest impact gun is $96, and that's 1/2". Harbor Freight has a 3/4" for $59.99. Not to mention Harbor Freight has brick and mortar stores to avoid expensive shipping costs for such heavy items.

    '17 F150 Crew 2.7; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '09 LR2 HSE. 44-car history and counting!

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