9 Year Old VW Golf - Engine Replaced and “Fixed” by Mechanic but Still Problems

I have a 2009 Golf that has been in and out of the same mechanic for the past year as it keeps having problems. It went to the mechanic last March due to the engine light coming on and the mechanic suggested we needed to get the engine replaced. It took him a while to source a 2nd hand engine but we thought once we got the engine in, we could sell the car. After a few months, we got it back supposedly fixed but the drive was terrible. Back to the mechanic it went and more money paid to him. All up it’s been there for almost a year and we’ve spent $4.5k on it but there’s no way we can sell it in the current condition due to the lurching and sounds it makes. After complaining to the mechanic, he suggested we sell it as soon as possible after he fixes it again for the 3rd time.

How can we sell it when it doesn’t even drive properly - it’s worse than when we first took it in. I’m annoyed he took $4.5k from us (who knows what he’ll charge for this round of repairs) and now suggesting we sell.

What can we do with this car? we’ll have to pay rego and 3rd party insurance soon if we don’t sell. We don’t want to throw more money into this car that we can’t drive. Anyone been in this situation before? What do you advise? Tia

Comments

  • +3 votes

    Did you have any warranty on the install or 2nd hand engine? What did your mechanic diagnose was wrong when you first took it back.

    Sounds like his not owning up to either poot workmanship or incorrect diagnosis.

    Sounds like you need an opinion from a different mechanic.

  •  

    Yes there was a 3 month warranty on the 2nd engine but he said the subsequent problem was due to something else. We don’t know much about cars so had no choice but to pay after he fixed it thinking all issues was resolved. I’m tempted to sell the car for parts or something rather than throwing more money at the problem but don’t know where to even start enquiring about that.

    • +1 vote

      You can try the wreckers. Or some pick a parts type place. You might only get $500 for it. Q? Before you were advised with the engine replacement you would have received a quote from the mechanic. That being say 2k +. At that point you should have gotten another quote. Not know if this guy is a reputable mechanic you just open yourself up to exploitation. All in hindsight. Is a 10 year old VW worth anything? Should have off loaded it when you found out you had issues and sold it as is.

      Or take it to a used car dealer and just take the cash. If you have the time and the space then sell the parts on gumtree or ebay. You should get more for parts then selling it as is.

    • +2 votes

      We don’t know much about cars

      That's the fundamental problem and it's why you (and other people) keep getting ripped off and making bad financial decisions when it comes to cars. As a car owner, it's in your financial interest to know about cars.

      You don't have to be an expert, but you should know the basics of how a car works, what repairs are being done, whether they are actually addressing your problems. You should know when/where to get a second opinion, where to research problems that other people have, join forums where people discuss issues that they have with similar models…etc.

      • -1 vote

        On the other side of the coin there is a problem in this country with regard to how consumers get shafted on lemon cars by a car industry that drags it's feet on their obligations to both consumers and in general ethics. The only time this problem gets exposed is when a motivated individual or group gets fed up enough to go up against the likes of VW, Ford, Holden which is an uphill battle. Cars are a commodity purchase and an everyday necessity for people who live outside of public transport areas. You shouldn't need to be an expert on cars if you are going out and buying a brand new car (like the OP) with the expectation that it will last a reasonable amount of time and certainly more than 35k kms.

        Instead of talking down to and blaming the consumer for making a good faith decision why don't you focus on how the VW empire and other car makers habituatlly washes their hands of responsibilty and ignores design flaws in certain lemon models when they know they can get away with it in countries like Australia because our laws and regulators are weak. VW especially have proven they are a bunch of a****les with their emissions scandal.

        •  

          I agree with what you say. It still doesn't hurt to be educated about things you're spending a large amount of your money on, right? If you want to buy something without knowing anything about it, go ahead, but I think being educated about things tends to lead to better outcomes.

    • +1 vote

      Sorry to say in most cases unless you really know your way around cars, having the engine replaced which is major work isnt really a good idea. Same goes with selling it for parts, you generally need to be able to pull it apart to make some or most of your money back.

      I would be pushing that mechanic hard to resolve it, alternatively head to a different mechanic and never go back there. That mechanic definitely did a poor diagnosis but you're not alone. If you do go to a different mechanic then go to one that knows euro cars and preferrably works on VWs often.

      Alternatively sell as is as mentioned below if you have just had a enough.

  • +2 votes

    Diesel?

  • +4 votes

    Go to a different mechanic and get their opinion on the issue/s.

  • +1 vote

    Sorry for your loss(es).

  • +1 vote

    If it was me I would get a second opinion even if it costs me $100+. PM if you want a Sydney recommendation.

  • +1 vote

    Assuming you do not have a RWC it will be difficult to sell.

    Cut your losses and try to on-sell on an "as is - where is" basis. You could be pleasantly surprised with the response vis-a-vis your current dilemma

  •  

    If I recall, that would be the DQ200 transmission. We had a company car with that jerky and lurchy movement. Very expensive repair but under warranty.

    It's made a lot worse if you're constantly in stop start traffic.

  • +3 votes

    I have a 2009 Golf that has been in and out of the same mechanic for the past year as it keeps having problems.

    Your first mistake was buying a 2009 Golf. Not known for being the most reliable car around. Some of the issues that people are having:

    https://www.carsguide.com.au/volkswagen/golf/problems?page=1
    https://forums.whirlpool.net.au/archive/2360526

    Point is, it's a sunk cost now, but don't keep pouring money into a car that is giving you problems and will continue to give you problems. Get rid of it as soon as possible and get a car that isn't as troublesome. Continuing to put money into a car that will never be a good car is financially unsound.

    It went to the mechanic last March due to the engine light coming on and the mechanic suggested we needed to get the engine replaced. It took him a while to source a 2nd hand engine but we thought once we got the engine in, we could sell the car. After a few months, we got it back supposedly fixed but the drive was terrible. Back to the mechanic it went and more money paid to him. All up it’s been there for almost a year and we’ve spent $4.5k on it but there’s no way we can sell it in the current condition due to the lurching and sounds it makes.

    You've made a really bad decision in pouring so much money into the car. Some basic research would have shown you that the car is a deadbeat car that won't even be a good car even if you fixed it. You've already spent money that you won't be able to get back, paid rego and insurance for a year when you couldn't drive the car (that's probably like at least $1.5k), so ultimately, you've already poured $6k into a car that wasn't even going to be worth anywhere near $6k more when you fixed it up.

    In other words, even if you managed to get it back to excellent working condition now and you're going to sell it, you were better off selling it with its issues vs. trying to fix everything up for a year because the additional amount you were going to get would have not been $6k.

    After complaining to the mechanic, he suggested we sell it as soon as possible after he fixes it again for the 3rd time.

    Just cut your losses and sell it now. Don't keep pouring money into a black hole.

    What can we do with this car? we’ll have to pay rego and 3rd party insurance soon if we don’t sell. We don’t want to throw more money into this car that we can’t drive. Anyone been in this situation before? What do you advise? Tia

    Cancel insurance and rego ASAP (why are you still paying rego and insurance on a car you haven't driven for a year?). Stop spending money on the car. List the car for sale "as is" with fixable problems. Get out as soon as you can. Buy a new car.

    • +4 votes

      Buy a new car - preferably one made in Japan

    • +3 votes

      Half of your essay is just incorrect. The 118tsi is terrible, and so is the 7 speed DSG. 6 speed DSG, and any other engine, were good.

    • +1 vote

      The DSGs and the 118TSI are the bad batch of 2009 Golfs, obviously a golf will never be quite as reliable as a Japanese car, but what's the point of just saying all golfs are unreliable POS.

      •  

        I think you miss my point, which is that continuing to put money into a car that's clearly got major issues is not a good financial decision for someone who admittedly does not know much about cars. OP could have sold the car a year ago, saved on rego and insurance, never paid to fix a problem that is recurring, bought a new car and be happy on the road by now. Nothing to do with the fact that it's a Golf, same logic would apply for a Toyota.

      •  

        Because for someone like OP who obviously can't tell the difference between the good and bad models, it's a bit like Russian Roulette.

    •  

      Easy to say that now, look at when those threads/articles are written, there is no way the OP would've known how unreliable the engine was when they purchased it. I bought one back in 2013 and at the time all the problems I could find online were mainly transmission related.

      Advice is solid though, sell the car as it and get another one. I just got a Forester and will never buy a VW or recommend them to anyone.

  •  

    Thanks for the advice everyone. Definitely feel stupid pouring money into fixing the car though at the time our baby was due snd I felt nervous driving the old golf with the engine problem around so we bought a new car before our baby arrived and was planning to use the golf as our 2nd car. With all these problems, we just want to get rid of it now. We’ll try to sell it as-is - I didn’t realise that could be an option.

    Thanks everyone for all your help.

  • +1 vote

    Wait a minute, I think the 2nd engine you bought could have the same issue. Someone might have been lucky to have sold the faulty engine to you

  • +2 votes

    The forum members are good straight talkers. Sometimes a bit harsh, but true. Good luck. Always lessons learned here. Sometimes its the hard way.

  • +2 votes

    Is this a 118tsi?

      • +2 votes

        It is a known bad engine. The one put in it is probably bad. Your mechanic is an idiot to put a used 118tsi engine back in. Tell him you want it fixed.

        It will likely have a melted piston, very common issue, and VW was actually replacing them with brand new long engines for free or at very reduced cost.

  •  

    Thank you for linking that thread - depressing to read someone else going through the same thing. I bought it brand new back in 2009 and had only done 35k km so seemed a waste to sell but can’t wait to get rid of it now!

    •  

      Yep, just cut your losses and run…unlike this guy who was/is trying to get a brand new car under ACL

      https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/413236

      Edit: Only 35kms! I got a new engine from VW Head Office in a 2010 with 55kms! Promptly sold it ASAP after…could only get $8k for it. Did you already try this?

      https://www.ozbargain.com.au/comment/6577964/redir

      • +1 vote

        Yes my husband called the dealer but they said it wasn’t covered. I wish I had known/researched and pushed harder but had a newborn at the time and really didn’t have the presence of mind to look at the problem. Now that the engine has been replaced - no chance for any recourse now :(

        Edit to add: how did you convince them to do a goodwill gesture? Was your parent’s car serviced exclusively by VW prior to the problem?

    • +2 votes

      9 years and a new engine already, knowing you had the car since new and assuming you dont thrash the car. I would have got a 2nd opinion before an engine replacement.

  •  

    Trade it in. Dealers don't usually drive them before the deal is done.

  • +1 vote

    Name and shame.

  • +1 vote

    Its a Golf, its out of factory warranty, bend over and except the pain

  •  

    Ouch. You have my sympathies OP but I'm with the others that this is a case of 'walk away from it, don't throw more money down the pit'.

  •  

    OP did say a 9 year old VW Golf. What did he expect?
    Thats why VW resale values are so poor.

    Seems to me the mechanic did his best but car has continued to develop problems.
    Thats how it is with 9 year old VWs.

    Fixing cars is NOT a perfect science.
    Indeed its a best guess game most of the time.
    The mechanic did the right thing and made a suggestion to which OP agreed.

    The mechanic is being honest and suggesting to just cut OPs losses.
    Hopefully the mechanic can get the thing going good enough to sell.

    • +2 votes

      Incorrect. It's a fairly exact science most of the time. Pretty simple in OPs case, have a misfire and engine light on. Check compression, down on one cylinder. Leak down test, the leak is into the crankcase from a melted piston. Only someone with no idea would replace a 118tsi with another used one, they are all stuffed.

      What should have happened is OP then harassed VW until they replaced the engine, as they have done in a tonne of other cases, then sold the POS.

      •  

        Very simplistic approach, my friend.
        I can see you are a legendary mechanic.
        This works on 20 year old cars - yes
        But not on the cumputerised cars of today with sensors everywhere.
        Just takes one to play up and create major engine issues.
        You go checking all the engine issues and cant fix the problem.
        So much time and money wasted.
        eventually somebody says "have you tried replacing that sensor?
        Boomm its fixed.

        Like I said - its pretty much a guessing game - ask any QUALIFIED MECHANIC!

        • +1 vote

          I'm a qualified mechanic you goose. What I described in my post is exactly what you need to do. A sensor issue doesn't give you no compression in one cylinder.

          •  

            @brendanm: I read your description and it made sense to me, much more than anything else in this thread.
            My first thought was great, someone who knows what they are talking about…

  • +1 vote

    Dig out your original paperwork and find engine number and then check the engine number as it is now has it changed? Was the engine number ever changed on the rego? I am not saying there are dishonest people/mechanics out there but….

  •  

    Y'all are scaring the shit out of me now - have a 2011 Golf 118TSI DSG since new. So far so good. 130,000km in. Fingers crossed…?

  • +1 vote

    a 9 year old golf. thats like going for lunch at the dodgy looking curry place thats been shut down by the health inspector twice this year. a bad idea.

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