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Old 05-20-2015, 10:29 AM   #41
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I have been a member of the TDIClub (VW diesel forum) for 10 years now. It's exclusively for people who own VW diesels and has a worldwide membership of around 100,000 registered members (10,000 active). The site has an extensive database of "how to's" for maintaining and upgrading the various diesel models going back to the 1990s. The database includes recall information and TSB's (technical service bulletins), some of which the VW dealers don't have. The U.S. and Canadian members are very active and not only provide technical advice but also hold annual and periodic regional meetings with members for a workshop event kind of gathering.

There is absolutely noting that can happen to my diesel that I can't get technical advice on within minutes of posting in the forum. Also, the site has a list, by state, of "Trusted Mechanics", individual shops that are reliable and have been evaluated by local members.

You won't find one VW dealership service department listed on the Trusted Mechanic's list.
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Old 05-20-2015, 10:34 AM   #42
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www.nasioc.com - primarly for WRX/STI subarus
www.subaruforester.org - for fozzies
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Old 05-20-2015, 01:28 PM   #43
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An O2 sensor could be as easy as unscrewing it and replacing it. But, getting access may be difficult and it may be corroded and hard to get off. Check Youtube for the DIY on your car.

+1. YouTube/Internet is your friend. I replace the O2 sensor on my Toyota Sienna and it was easy. I was lucky though since it was easy to access the sensor. There are other sensors on the Sienna that are much harder to access.

Do a little research and then you can see if it's worth doing it yourself or taking it into the shop.
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Old 05-20-2015, 01:37 PM   #44
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One hint for stuck bolts or O2 sensors--Time can be your friend. Spray with something like PB Blaster. Let it sit overnight. Drive it. Spray it again. The time and the heat/cool cycles help the oil to penetrate the threads. Makes it a lot easier to break loose.

The Ford engine in our Navigator (same as some F150s) was notorious for having spark plugs seize and break off during service. The cost for spark plug replacement was priced in several hundred $ range and they usually expected at least one spark plug to break. While you have to remove some covers to get to the plugs, I did that about a week before I planned to change them so I could put some PB Blaster on them. Sealed it up and wound up driving for two weeks before I could get to doing the job. Every one came out without much trouble.

Advice after taking them out is to make sure you put anti-seize on the threads when you put them back in! Commonly overlooked by DIY types.
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Old 05-20-2015, 01:43 PM   #45
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Another reason to avoid the American car brands.
My experience is that this happens across the board. I had a Lincoln ES years ago, and was never impressed with the dealer's service. This was especially the case when our window opener needed a third replacement. The first 2 were under warranty, the third was some 1000 miles beyond warranty and they would not give me a break.

We now own a Lexus and Audi. Their prices for non-warranty work are likewise sky-high, and they do push unnecessary services.
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Old 05-20-2015, 02:04 PM   #46
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Another reason to avoid the American car brands.
Bad advice. Almost all of the dealerships operate the same way.
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Old 05-20-2015, 02:07 PM   #47
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Bad advice. Almost all of the dealerships operate the same way.
Toyota and Honda dealers in our area are the same. Complete rip-off. Too many examples to list specifics.
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Old 05-20-2015, 03:51 PM   #48
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I do most of the work on my cars and some family cars. I recently change a thermostat on a Audi A-4, the dealer wanted ~ 700 dollars because the intake manifold needs to come out. Volkswagen thermostat comes in a housing made of plastic which gets brittle over time. S60 Volvo ~ 2004, the housing includes the thermostat plus the temperature sensor. You can not just replace one item.
My friend recently work on a Cadillac in which the starter was below or inside the intake manifold. It took him about 7 hours from start to finish!!
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Old 05-20-2015, 04:35 PM   #49
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My friend recently work on a Cadillac in which the starter was below or inside the intake manifold. It took him about 7 hours from start to finish!!
That's amazing, but I believe it. Friend of ours had a Prius and to replace a headlight bulb he had to take the bumper and fender off!

Engineers who design stuff like that should be taken out and shot.
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Old 05-20-2015, 04:40 PM   #50
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There is absolutely noting that can happen to my diesel that I can't get technical advice on within minutes of posting in the forum.
Ditto here, except I am still messing around with the older IDI VW and Mercedes diesels that have absolutely no electronics. SWMBO is finally getting around to getting a new car that I won't be able to do much with (giving up her 380SL)
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Old 05-20-2015, 04:41 PM   #51
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Another reason to avoid the American car brands.
Buying a foreign brand isn't a guarantee of honest service. The worse dealer I ever, ever dealt with was a Toyota dealer.
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Old 05-20-2015, 04:42 PM   #52
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Engineers who design stuff like that should be taken out and shot.
Or "Engineers ........... should be taken out and shot."
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Old 05-20-2015, 04:51 PM   #53
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That's amazing, but I believe it. Friend of ours had a Prius and to replace a headlight bulb he had to take the bumper and fender off!

Engineers who design stuff like that should be taken out and shot.
Trust me, decisions like that are not made by a single engineer. Packaging design is like an automaker's Congress and it is where appeals are made and lost, deals and compromises are struck and sausage made. Everyone wants their piece of the turf and someone always loses.
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Old 05-20-2015, 05:02 PM   #54
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Or "Engineers ........... should be taken out and shot."
Ouch!
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Old 05-20-2015, 05:09 PM   #55
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Trust me, decisions like that are not made by a single engineer. Packaging design is like an automaker's Congress and it is where appeals are made and lost, deals and compromises are struck and sausage made. Everyone wants their piece of the turf and someone always loses.
I kinda figured that. Some of that stuff is clearly so screwed up it had to be designed by a committee.
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Old 05-20-2015, 05:17 PM   #56
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That's amazing, but I believe it. Friend of ours had a Prius and to replace a headlight bulb he had to take the bumper and fender off!

Engineers who design stuff like that should be taken out and shot.
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Trust me, decisions like that are not made by a single engineer. Packaging design is like an automaker's Congress and it is where appeals are made and lost, deals and compromises are struck and sausage made. Everyone wants their piece of the turf and someone always loses.
Then the overseeing manager should be the one to blame - someone has to approve this stuff.

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Ouch!
Better than shooting, send them out to the field to do the repair (pro bono for the customer), in the cold, and the dark, and the rain and snow.

My Volvo has some little clips to hold in the halogen bulb. It is near impossible to get those clips to sit right, something has to be aligned just right, and it's a blind operation with your hand in there covering up any little view you might have had.

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Car Maintenance Rant
Old 05-20-2015, 05:19 PM   #57
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Car Maintenance Rant

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That's amazing, but I believe it. Friend of ours had a Prius and to replace a headlight bulb he had to take the bumper and fender off!

Engineers who design stuff like that should be taken out and shot.

Not necessarily. Sometimes engineers have to design around specs that they know are full of 'compromises'. They have no choice.

Never mind. Others made the point.
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Old 05-20-2015, 05:25 PM   #58
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try changing the spark plugs on a turbo Subaru - gotta remove the cai, washer reservoir, coil packs, etc. takes forever
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Old 05-20-2015, 05:26 PM   #59
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Not necessarily. Sometimes engineers have to design around specs that they know are full of 'compromises'. They have no choice.
I'm sure that is the case. Nonetheless, I will never, ever, buy a Prius if the company is so incredibly sloppy so as to release a design that requires removing a fender and bumper just to replace a light bulb. I simply cannot envision any reason for something like that.

It tells me they don't care about the customer or his maintenance expenses. All they care about is selling the car.
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Old 05-20-2015, 05:47 PM   #60
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I'm sure that is the case. Nonetheless, I will never, ever, buy a Prius if the company is so incredibly sloppy so as to release a design that requires removing a fender and bumper just to replace a light bulb. I simply cannot envision any reason for something like that.

It tells me they don't care about the customer or his maintenance expenses. All they care about is selling the car.
I had a 1967 AMC Rebel that had a freeze plug rust out and start leaking. Dealer said, "need to pull the engine to fix it". I cut a 4" diameter hole in the firewall, popped in a new freeze plug, pop riveted a cover on the hole and covered it with the carpet.

BTW I was never a package engineer, so don't shoot me.
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