Warning about Audi Steven Creek Service Dept in San Jose, CA

Audi Steven Creek Service Department puts _its profit_ over many things including its integrity in giving you a fact based assessment of your vehicle. Please take _extra_ caution if you get your car
service there especially when it is out of warranty.
My misfortune this passed summer 2007 was I misplaced my trust and let them change my time belt at 60K miles. I later discovered I didn't need it till 80K miles. I could have SAVE $2K off my service bill. The service advisor David said it was normal wear and tear during my visit. When I approached him afterward, he changed his story and said it was oil on my belt. His lack of integrity was _unbearable_. I saw this behavior at the service advisor level and management level. I met with their service department manager and learned that this unethical business practice is one way for them to increase their profit.
My advice to you is when they say "your car _need_ something", get a second professional opinion before placing your trust on them especially when your car is out of warranty.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

There should be a few independent Audi repair facilities in the immediate San Jose area to choose from. My advice would be to find one with a solid reputation for customer service and "by the book" maintenance strategies and build a relationship with them.
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That is a GREAT point. If someone knows a good independent Audi repair facility in the San Jose or south bay area, please chime in. I will love to get some references.
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Yes that service writer probably gets a commission and loves his percentage of your extra $2000 job.
What year is your Audi and would the longer warranty on the powertrain help you in this situation? Did you contact the Audi customer center in the USA?
Now you might have needed the belt but I like to have proof that it is needed. If the belt was oily then did they change the seals or gaskets that caused the oil problem too?
things have to make sense! later, dave (One out of many daves)

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Hi dave (vwdoc1), I own a 2001 Audi A4. My car has a 5 years or 40K warranty on it. I believe if I had a timing belt issue and I worked hard and insisted on a cure instead of a bandage solution, they might have fix it under warranty. I don't know if powertrain warranty covers this. After this incident, I had a conversation with Audi Customer Center USA. They were not much help.
Here is the kicker. They told me I had a cam adjuster gasket leak during that same service period. They fixed it and I got a bill for it. As discussed in this alias, cam adjuster gasket leak is _very common_ on my model and year. Apparently, Audi service dept only fix this gasket leak problem during the warranty period when it is at the highest severe level 4 even though it might become a bigger problem (a COLLATERAL damage in my case: gasket & time belt) when your vehicle is out-of-warranty. My advice to all Audi owners is to have a robust conversation with your service dept to learn if you have a cam gasket leak problem and how severe. If you do have one, insist they fix it under warranty
I believe there are 4 severity levels from 1 low to 4 the hightest. Audi questionable position right now is it will only repair level 4 the worst severe level under warranty.
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Hi dave (vwdoc1), I own a 2001 Audi A4. My car has a 5 years or 40K warranty on it. I believe if I had a timing belt issue and I worked hard and insisted on a cure instead of a bandage solution, they might have fix it under warranty. I don't know if powertrain warranty covers this. After this incident, I had a conversation with Audi Customer Center USA. They were not much help.
Here is the kicker. They told me I had a cam adjuster gasket leak during that same service period. They fixed it and I got a bill for it. As discussed in this alias, cam adjuster gasket leak is _very common_ on my model and year. Apparently, Audi service dept only fix this gasket leak problem during the warranty period when it is at the highest severe level 4 even though it might become a bigger problem (a COLLATERAL damage in my case: gasket & time belt) when your vehicle is out-of-warranty. My advice to all Audi owners is to have a robust conversation with your service dept to learn if you have a cam gasket leak problem and how severe. If you do have one, insist they fix it under warranty
I believe there are 4 severity levels from 1 low to 4 the hightest. Audi questionable position right now is it will only repair level 4 the worst severe level under warranty.
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60K miles may be overly cautious for the timing belt changeout but many would also say that 6 years is not terribly unreasonable. What does seem a bit much is the $2000 charge for the T.B. change. I hope for that price they also changed out the water pump and tensioners. You'll always pay a premium to have the dealer work on your car else there'd be few independents out there. Check on Audiworld's forum for advice on a good independent in your area.
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If it is the 1.8T engine, the timing belt/tensioner/waterpump should be changed at 60K miles. They are known to fail on that engine anytime after 60K, resulting in upper engine damage and a $3-4K service bill. Even with low-mileage vehicles, that maintenance should be performed at no more than 6 years, even if the mileage is less that 60K.
As far as what they charged you, that is, at most, about a $1K job at an independent shop in the SF Bay Area. Yes, dealerships charge premium prices for parts and labor, and there service is usually no better (and sometime much worse) than a good independent shop. There are a number of good independent VW/Audi shops in the area, such as Streetwerke in Palo Alto, and Bugformance and Autowerkstat in San Jose.
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If it is the 1.8T engine, the timing belt/tensioner/waterpump should be changed at 60K miles. They are known to fail on that engine anytime after 60K, resulting in upper engine damage and a $3-4K service bill. Even with low-mileage vehicles, that maintenance should be performed at no more than 6 years, even if the mileage is less that 60K.
As far as what they charged you, that is, at most, about a $1K job at an independent shop in the SF Bay Area. Yes, dealerships charge premium prices for parts and labor, and there service is usually no better (and sometime much worse) than a good independent shop. There are a number of good independent VW/Audi shops in the area, such as Streetwerke in Palo Alto, and Bugformance and Autowerkstat in San Jose.
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On Fri, 26 Oct 2007 21:56:35 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Actually, if you have the 1.8T, you did the right thing by replacing the belt at 60K. Because you have no idea if/when the belt will snap (a very expensive proposition), I believe the service advisor was doing his job to tell you it was wise to replace. There were some issues with the tensioner on the 2001 model.
Now, $2000 for a timing belt is unreal; did they do any other service?? The dealer in Colorado Springs charges $1100, but they have 20% coupons, so it would actually be less than that.
If you have the 2.8L, then the belt could have waited quite a bit longer. Audi says 105K, but I believe most of the guys on Audiworld believe 80K is a good (read: safe) interval.
I agree with the others, find a good independent in the area.
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Best yet.
Michele Mouton, running back to the pits after a third run up the hill at Goodwood Festival of Speed.
Less than 200 miles on the belt and it gave way. Any idea what an S1 (Pikes Peak) engine rebuild costs?
But it was nine years old.
On the ur-quattros we recommend 45k miles or six years - which ever first. If the belt goes at speed it's the exhaust valves that go first - and they're made of unobtainium.
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Not really, they're sodium filled and run about $60 each. Not cheap, but not "unobtanium."
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The Audi dealer in Palo Alto isn't much better. They wanted to chanrge me USD500+ to replace a broken hood cable. Getting the hood open when the cable is broken, on a '93 90S is pretty trivial if you can raise the car. They wanted to try and take the grill off without opening the hood (wtf?) and all sorts of things.
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On Oct 27, 12:56 am, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

It continually amazes me when people complain about getting ripped off by a dealer. I mean, c'mon, it's a DEALER. They don't make a lot of money selling new cars any more - they make their money on service and used cars.
In your case, 60 - 80k miles is when you should replace the TB in ANY car. It's much cheaper than a rebuild, as others have noted. But a TB can be done anywhere, it's not rocket science. Doesn't have to be an Audi specialist, even.
Dan D '04 A4 1.8Tq MT-6 Central NJ USA
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I hate reading stories like this.
I am a Service writer at an Porsche/ Aud/ VW dealer on the east coast. I started with VW in 1974 and Porsche/Audi in 1986.
It is with this practice of upselling that has given the title of "Stealerships" to dealerships.
I will always follow what Audi recommends. I cannot tell you how many times I have discoraaged a customer in not going for a supplemental oil change that other dealers may reccomend.
As far as the timing belt being replaced before it is due. There are some items to think about.
First Audi puts a reccomended belt replacement and if the belt should break prematurely I know they have stepped up and helped a customer with the repairs. However each case is judged on an individual basis and nothing is set in stone as to coverage.
If I have a customer who has a water pump leak and the are close to 100k I will give them the option of changing the belt while changing the pump. Since the belt turns the pump anyway
Second when a customer is due for the belt change I will mention to the customer that "You are about to spend a lot of money and I hope you plan to stay in the car for atleast 2 years" and if you are thinking about trading out than take the money for the TB and put it towards a down payment on hopefully another Audi.
Just my 2 cents
On Fri, 26 Oct 2007 21:56:35 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

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