My last and final repair to my 1997 (MK3) VW Golf GTi VR6 Drivers Edition was a sensor replacement. The crankshaft sensor.
See I knew this going in, as I had a VAG-COM cable, and Ross-Tech software that not only enabled me to pull Diagnostic Trouble Codes, but also run some diagnostic software and data log.
I pulled a DTC the day before when my car wouldn't start. The trouble code told me this: camshaft/crankshaft sensors out of sequence.
My first thought here, is that one of the sensors is bad. I talk to a couple of well respected buddies on a forum who know lots about VW's, and they inform me of these facts:
1). Most common occurrence for this DTC is a bad sensor.
2). The only sensor that would prevent my car from starting is the crankshaft/crank angle sensor (aka the engine speed sensor). If the camshaft sensor were bad, my car would still start, would just run funny.
So I explain all of this when I drop my car off. She logs it into the computer. I get a call at work later that day, the female who works the front counter explains to me that the sensors tested fine, and that they needed to rip apart my drive train more to check my timing chain. I ask her specifically, "Are you sure the sensor is not bad? I was really hoping the sensor was bad, because that would be much more inexpensive." She tells me "Yes, we are sure the sensors are fine." At that time, I give her permission to further disassemble my car to troubleshoot the issue.
Well, 3.5 hours later, the mechanic has fully disassembled my timing chain, and then re-assembled back together, and the timing chain is fine. Its perfect actually. At this point, I am informed that MY CRANKSHAFT SENSOR IS BAD.
Normally I wouldn't have been very upset about this, but when I entered the dealership, and I was informed that it would be costing me an extra $400 for the time spent checking my timing chain I was ripshit. My total bill was $750. For a $70 sensor replacement. Ten times what the part cost.
I was specifically LIED to by the female who works in service. Not only that, when I brought it up, I told her that they were conducting some shady business, she turned to her co-workers and said "Take your threats out of here, don't listen to him." I then informed her I would be taking the problem to the Attorney Generals office, as well as the Better Business Bureau.
Then the Manager came out. The rude service woman consistently cut me off, trying to defend their stance, but eventually I just overrode her voice and explained to him that I told them the sensor was bad, they dicked around in my car for 4 hours, and tried to stick me with the labor bill. All because a $70 sensor was bad.
That's not all. They didn't even HAVE the sensor in stock, but they could order it for me for $150. I bought the OEM sensor online from germanautoparts.com, brought it in, and had them install it myself.
The lowest the manager would go, even with the damn sensor I brought in, was $350.
$350 to change out a sensor that takes 10 minutes to replace. The *only* reason I brought it to the dealership was because I didn't have a lift to get under my car. (This sensor is right by the oil drain plug). I couldn't believe it.
I will never give them any business, and will do my best to deter business from them.
Stay away from seacoast volkswagen.
Durham, New Hampshire