Freaking car! Freaking dealership! MsSisco, I need you! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 06-23-2004, 11:57 AM - Thread Starter
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So I have this VW Passat Wagon, it's a 2000. I put 100K miles on the poor thing. It's been sitting in my driveway having a well deserved rest for the last couple of months, only being used occasionally.

The other day I got in it and the "Check engine" light came on, as well as an emissions warning.

This happened once before, and it was a problem that was covered by a recall, and the work was free.

So I drove it down to the dealership, hoping against hope it was the same thing.

The guy rang me this morning to tell me that BOTH catalytic converters in the thing were bad, and needed to be replaced, to the tune of $3100 +/-.

Is that normal? For two catalytic converters to go, at one time, when the car is only 4 years old?
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#2 of 9 Old 06-23-2004, 01:12 PM
 
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definitely go somewhere for a second opinion. A lot of times my light goes on for no good reason. Corrie

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#3 of 9 Old 06-23-2004, 01:19 PM
 
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I definately suggest getting a second opinion! In fact, I wonder if a smog test would be in order. Wouldn't that confirm if there was an emissions problem.

I've given up on dealerships after they tried to screw me with a 1300 bill for work I didn't really need. In fact they wanted to charge me double what everyone else in town charges for a water pump.
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#4 of 9 Old 06-23-2004, 01:27 PM
 
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Hmm $3100 for an entire custom exhaust is expensive $3100 for two Cats are umm....hog wash. Dh just replaced his stock exhaust on his truck with a Borla(the most expensive aftermarket) stainless steel dual exhaust. Headers to tips and that was only (I hope he don't see that after our discussion about the price) $1400 including two new High flow cats. Take it down to Midas or if you don't have one then another local muffler shop. I just pulled out the bill and his cats cost $129 each. Now they do vary but not that much.

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#5 of 9 Old 06-23-2004, 02:33 PM
 
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It is a little-known fact that in some cars, the "check engine" light comes on automatically when the mileage gets to where they have recommended service. If you can make the light go away by disconnecting the battery for a couple of minutes and reconnecting it (at least this was true on our cars) and it doesn't come back, then this was your problem with the "check engine" light at least. Dealerships know about this and use it as an opportunity to find something to do to your car.

Definately get a second opinion. Since it isn't covered this time, you don't have anything to lose, right?

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#6 of 9 Old 06-23-2004, 02:46 PM
 
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My Volvo mechanic says the "check engine" light means "the mechanic needs to make a mortgage payment"
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#7 of 9 Old 06-23-2004, 05:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Throkmorton
My Volvo mechanic says the "check engine" light means "the mechanic needs to make a mortgage payment"

:LOL Aint it the truth!

I treid disconnecting the battery, and it didn't work, thanks for the tip though.

I'm going to go collect it from the dealer and take it to Midas or something, and not tell them what the dealer told me, and see what happens.

Thanks you all.
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#8 of 9 Old 06-23-2004, 07:03 PM
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The check engine light can also come on when (in the case of my car) my gas cap wasn't put on properly. Happens to me about once a month. I take the gas cap off and putt it back on and the next time I start my car, it is fine.

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#9 of 9 Old 06-23-2004, 07:18 PM
 
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If you can avoid it never ever take the car to the dealership for service unless it's a warrenty issue.

Our van's ac was acting up a bit last summer, just not as cold or whatever and the coolant light was coming on. The heat worked fine mind you.. Dh's mechanic friend looked at it and said the radiator needed to be flushed out and that should solve the problem but that it wasn't something he could do because the stuff needed to be disposed of properly etc and this guy did this stuff on the side not at a shop. Anyway the one place that would even touch our ac was the dealership because GM cars take special coolant (tell me that wasn't on purpose!).

So we go and get the flush done, they broke our mirror off (but they did put a new one on) and now the coolant light stays on permanently because they broke the sensor but they won't admit to that and now say it will cost over a $100 to make it go off so forget that! Then they kept trying to tell dh the ac and heat are broken and it's going to cost $900 to fix them and dh said 'well the heat worked this morning so why is it broken now." they guy looked shocked (it was the middle of the summer in GA I bet he never figured we would have tested it before we let them look at it so he was trying to pull a fast one) but then he quickly changed the subject to the other 400 things he found wrong with the van : it hasn't been right since they fooled around with it. Dh had his friend do all the work that he could do and it's been ok but it seems like now the tranny wants to go urgh.

So that long drawn out post meant get a second opinion!!
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