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Old 04-05-2012, 04:12 PM   #1
McQueen77
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40k Service - Costs vs. DIY - Dealer vs. Indie - BS Meter goes to 11

I know there has been a few other stray threads about this, but here is another regardless.

Called around and got a few quotes on 40k miles service today. Spoke with a very reputable independent audi/vw shop in Pasadena, run by two guys who were Audi master techs for 10+ years before starting their own shop. I wanted to know (3) things:

1. What is recommended for 40k service on Mk6 GTI?

Answer: Oil/filter change, tire rotation, top off all fluids, visual inspection of all listed parts/components per owner's manual, fuel filter change. He said that even though the manual says new plugs at 60k, he said esp. if you are tuned that 40k plugs is good preventative maintenance. When I asked about coil packs replaced at 40k he just said "why? there is no need as these were upgraded for the TSI engine.

2. How much for the whole service? (MT no DSG service)


Answer: $500 if spark plug replacement was included.

3. Can I change the oil/filter myself as well as the plugs and just bring it to you guys to change the fuel filter, rotate the tires and inspect everything?


Answer: "Yes, if you have basic-intermediate mechanical knowhow you can do all that. Bring it in and we'll replace the filter, inspect everything, top off fluids etc. and rotate tires for $150 parts/labor incl. So basically $60 for the filter and $90 for an hours labor.

Then I called the dealer.....

I was told the following: (bare in mind, I should have hung up when the head of the service dept. asked me 'what engine do I have' in my GTI)

Fuel Filter does not have to be replaced and that they add a fuel system additive and do a 'flush'. (BS Meter already going off).. What the hell is he talking about? "Thats weird, my owner's manual says to replace the fuel filter at 40k." I said. "Well sir, you must be looking at a different maintenance schedule because that is not necessary on the GTI." What?! When I mentioned changing the plugs early I was told that was "totally unnecessary" and that they "wouldn't do it". In the end I was quoted at $317 for what basically amounts to a glamorized oil change. Jesus.

Jesus Christ.

So, to summarize, the dealer is basically useless unless you are going in for warranty work. The techs I'm sure are totally competent but why do the service reps have to be such morons? Otherwise, stay away. They don't seem to believe in preventative maintenance and apparently, don't like to follow the owner's manual. Maybe because if you ignore preventative maintenance, your car will just take a shit and then they can rail you for any repairs.

-------------------

All that being said, it confirmed the following:

1. after my 30k service I will never set foot in the dealer unless it is for warranty work but will go to them for no maintenance whatsoever. Interestingly, their labor rates are no different than the indie mechanic I spoke to, they just don't seem to know what the hell they are talking about.

2. you can do 90% of the 40k mile service yourself if you have an IQ above 80 and a few tools. If you want to go big, you can do 100% of the maintenance yourself. Just take some video or pictures and save receipts.

3. if you have an IQ above 80 and half of a sunday afternoon to kill, you can do 90% of the 40k service and pay a little over $100 for the rest of it.

4. Parts don't cost more at the dealer. I got a quote from the dealer on 4 plugs and 4 coils and it came out to $189 - Less than ECS Tuning's 'ignition service' pack which goes for $209 + shipping I think.

Hope this was useful.

Last edited by McQueen77; 04-05-2012 at 04:32 PM.
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Old 04-05-2012, 04:24 PM   #2
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Great post. I'm at 35K and plan on doing the 40K service myself as well.
Pretty sure my IQ is over 80.
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Old 04-05-2012, 04:25 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by mkny View Post
Great post. I'm at 35K and plan on doing the 40K service myself as well.
Pretty sure my IQ is over 80.
Great youll be fine then!
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Old 04-05-2012, 05:28 PM   #4
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Good post. Since your dealer's labor and parts rates aren't too expensive, you could always tell them what you want done, if you don't want to take it to an independent shop.
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Old 04-05-2012, 05:30 PM   #5
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FWIW $500 for a glorified oil change with spark plugs is insane.
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Old 04-05-2012, 05:49 PM   #6
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good post mcqueen!

would that indie shop in pasadena happen to be called 'independent audi and vw'?
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Old 04-05-2012, 05:56 PM   #7
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good post mcqueen!

would that indie shop in pasadena happen to be called 'independent audi and vw'?
that is them.

im going to go to them for any post-30k maintenance I have unless for warranty. they also said if i go to them and they think something is going on that would be covered by warranty, they'd send me to the dealer for that. i just appreciate that its a shop where the first person you speak to is a long time audi master tech and not some idiot. "what kind of engine is in your GTI?" are you kidding me?!!!! then just arguing with me and telling me, no, the fuel filter doesn't need to be replaced. "Its right there in my freaking owner's manual". "No sir, you must be looking at the wrong thing." That is what they do at the dealers. Its like trying to get a rattle fixed. "You don't hear that? (rattle rattle rattle)" .... "No, I don't hear anything".

Terrible.

dealer labor i think is $100 an hour and indie shop was $90. I take back what I said about parts too. Dealer marks those up.. 4 NGK platinum plugs from ECS tuning is like $45 while 4 plugs from VW Dealer is $80..
EIGHTY DOLLARS FOR FOUR SPARK PLUGS.

Quote:
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FWIW $500 for a glorified oil change with spark plugs is insane.
yeah it is. when they start talking about random engine 'flushes', i just turn off my brain. wait, am I at Jiffy Lube right now? Basically if I go the route I am planning and do the oil/filter change and spark plugs myself and take it to the indie shop for fuel filter, tire rotation and inspection, it'll go like this:

$150 for fuel filter change parts and labor + however many point inspection + fluid top off etc.

$10 for OEM oil filter

$45 for 5 qt of 5w40 synthetic

$50 for spark plugs
----------------------

$255 for the 40k service. This includes brand spanking new spark plugs & fuel filter in addition to the BS glorified dealer oil change.
I didn't even ask the schmuck at the dealer about how much changing the plugs and fuel filter would be as I'm sure it would tip the scales at around $800.

Last edited by McQueen77; 04-05-2012 at 06:03 PM.
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Old 04-05-2012, 05:56 PM   #8
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Pretty sure my IQ is over 80.

I'm just not sure where the engine is.
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Old 04-05-2012, 06:03 PM   #9
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Yep. Only thing I would need someone else to do is my DSG flush. Everything else I can do.

Tires I'm a little screwed since I staggered my offset but I don't like anyone even breathing on my rims anyways.
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Old 04-06-2012, 02:34 AM   #10
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I think Grambles has a DIY on the fuel filter change, but I'm a little sceered of spilling fuel... The rest, yeah, I think even I can handle. Anyway, that's like 2 years down the line for me. I've had the car 20+ months, I have 14500 on the ODO.
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Old 04-06-2012, 07:42 AM   #11
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all the 40k services are easily DIYs. Fuel filter is easy just get some clamps to prevent fuel from spilling (clamp the lines - saw it in a DIY over on vortex). Dealers always overcharge, how else would they stay in business with ripping women off daily on worthless items?

Case in point, my wife's friend in Florida brought her Honda Civic crap box in for a tire balance and they somehow sold her a camber kit for $250. She called and asked me how much camber kits go for and if she got ripped off. I'd never even know camber kits existed if it weren't for VWs and lowering (at least for me), lol. Dealers LOVE to rip people off.
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Old 04-06-2012, 08:08 AM   #12
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Fuel filter is easier than changing your oil. Just make sure when you take off the lines you place the caps from the new filter on the old filter to prevent the residual that is IN THE FILTER to leak out. I didnt have any fuel to leak from the lines.

I probably had about 2-3oz leak out, not bad consdering I winged it
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Old 04-06-2012, 08:23 AM   #13
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its just a job to them..

its a lifestyle to us..
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Old 04-06-2012, 09:42 AM   #14
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I was quoted $550 for the 40k service including the DSG service.

spark plugs, fuel filter, air filter, oil change and DSG filter and fluid.

I think I'll just let the dealer do this since I am on the road all week now and don't have the time.
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