A sad, sad story – revised

My wife took the VW to the local Wal-Mart and decided to let them change the oil while she shopped. When she returned, she found five guys standing around scratching their heads and presenting her with a sad story. Apparently "whoever changed the oil before" didn't install the drain plug properly. As a result the car now leaks oil.

The repair job at my local shop is in excess of $700, mostly because VW feels the need to screw small car repair shops on their prices for replacement parts. I have to suck it up, and pay the man.

And now the car won't start. Turns out that VW has a security feature that kills the fuel pump when the  Engine Control Module shuts the car down. The only way to start it is to re-set the computer and re-program all the keys to the car. I can't wait to see what this will cost. The work can only be done at a VW dealer, not mentioning the fact that I must tow the car to VW to have it done.


The final tally includes two towing jobs, oil pan and gasket, valve cover gasket, fuel pump and filter, catalytic converter (warranty – free!), and assorted hardware bits. Grand total in excess of $1500. Add another $200 for lost wages. It's been a tough week.

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10 Responses to A sad, sad story – revised

  1. Drude says:

    Oh no! and VWs used to be famous and loved for being cars you could repair yourself with a bit of chewing gum, duct tape or bits of wire… they got too fancy for their own good now.

  2. Hannahbanana says:

    I love my VW, but I don't think I'll buy another one precisely for reasons like this.

  3. Lauri says:

    UGH! This IS a very sad story.I am so sorry! One more Ugh, for you! 😦

  4. jaklumen says:

    used to be famous and loved for being cars you could repair yourselfAye, I understand (and very vaguely remember) my father maintaining a blue VW Beetle when I was very, very young.Ugh, indeed.

  5. Doug says:

    I know, I used to have a '66 Beetle. This has been a good car until now, an incident almost entirely preventable. Ugh.

  6. Doug says:

    I love my Beetle too. However almost all new cars are similarly equipped. That computerized security system with the R/C keys? That's it. Time to switch to agrarian power, mule or donkey…

  7. Doug says:

    Yep, me and my dad spent many hours staring at the inner workings of cars. Now we pretty much have to leave them alone.

  8. Lucy says:

    Ouch! Sorry for the travails.


  9. Seery says:

    Oh hell. I too drive a VW. My local car guy warned me recently about the cost of attaining parts from VW. Not only that but they drag their heels with delivering them too. Sigh. Got us over a barrel. Oil. We're so fixated with the damned stuff aren't we? Time we got serious about moving on.

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