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Old 02-09-2018, 09:30 AM   #8
Passed Driver's Ed
Drives: 2010 GTI
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: southeast MI
Posts: 7
Originally Posted by CHerna View Post
75K, might be prone to carbon build up. Has this car ever had carbon cleaning done? If not you want to look into it. I see you're in SE Michigan also, try giving Steve's European in Waterford a call, and explain what's going on.

Good luck OP
so here's an update. i took the car into a second shop for a second opinion (steve's european as suggested by @CHerna) the second shop is night and day better than the first.
they accumulated a long list of stuff the first shop screwed up.

#1, the timing was off a tooth on both cams. the first shop swore up and down that it was right and that the problems were engine related. guess they were wrong. turns out, they didn't seat the lower crank gears together properly when putting everything back together after the timing job. the lower crank gears then slipped during startup and the timing jumped. that damage was what was causing the p0016 cam correlation code. so i had to have a new lower crank gear and harmonic balancer installed.

#2, the new cam bridge the first shop put on was all effed up. it looks like the mechanic used vice grips or channel locks to turn the cam shafts during the timing adjustment- the teeth on the tool he used chewed up the camshaft ends where the bridge slides on. so it appears that when the brand new bridge with perfectly machined openings wouldn't slide nicely onto the camshaft ends (it should take zero effort to slide it on), he just beat it on with a hammer and it went on a little cockeyed. there are hammer marks on the outside of the cam bridge, bad score marks on the inner races of the cam bridge where it slides over the camshafts, and the camshaft ends were all scored up. and there was fine metal in the oil pan, probably from this (more on the oil pan later). so Steve's had to order and install a second new cam bridge. they were able to clean up the camshaft ends with emery cloth so they are nice and smooth again, so that saved me some money.

#3, the first shop used, re-used, and re-used again nearly all of the torque-to-spec one time use hardware involved in the job. including the crank bolt, which should be replaced for sure. a lot of the old hardware is damaged- rounded off, out, or mushroomed- as if the first shop didn't have the right bits or something. so Steve's replaced all of the hardware that should have been replaced the first time.

#4, the lower timing cover had been removed and reinstalled it sounds like 3 times while the first shop was trying to figure out the p0016 and misfire codes. instead of cleaning the seal surface each time before reinstall, they just kept adding silicone sealant. There is now so much sealant that it has oozed into the inner edge of the cover. There was so much excess that Steve's was concerned that silicone may have got down into the oil pan and collected at the oil intake screen. So they dropped the oil pan and guess what... there was silicone stuck the oil pickup screen. and that's when they found the metal shavings, most likely from issue #2 (the chewed up cam shafts spinning in the cam bridge races)

so i got the car back on wednesday and it's running much better. no p0016 code, which the first shop couldn't get to go away and assured me meant internal engine damage and a need to pull the head off to look around. it's still misfiring, but my guess is it's the crappy aftermarket coils and plugs the first shop put in for me (which they charged $53 per coil and $22 per plug). and it's throwing an air intake leak code, which could be an actual leak or related to the misfires. i have genuine r8 coils on order and i'll see how the car responds when i put those in.

the service manager at Steve's gave me a 25 page document including a detailed report of their findings along with pictures of every single thing that was screwed up (they even used arrows and notes on the pictures and before/after photos). he also sent it to me in a pdf. i also have all the old damaged parts that were replaced. so i have some pretty good ammo to take to the first shop.

my plan is to present the evidence to them and give them a chance to fully refund their work as well as reimburse me for all of the extra work Steve's had to do to fix their mess. if they don't cooperate i'll threaten small claims court and an long, exhaustive 1-star review on google, facebook and yelp.

this has been a total nightmare. wish i would have known about steve's before now. that's an awesome shop.

Last edited by cwininger; 02-09-2018 at 09:38 AM.
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