Friday, January 04, 2008

C.A.R.B. states and stealerships

As I mentioned previously my glow plug indicator started flashing. Thanks to the helpful info over at I ended up finding out that the flashing glow plug indicator means something is wrong with your brake lights and/or switch. Why this is the indicator I don't know.

Not realizing that there was a difference between a flashing GP indicator and one that is on all the time, I checked the GP's and they tested good. Somehow in one of my searches I found out that flashing is related to the brakes and that there was a recall - which I did get a notice for but forgot to deal with it - for the brake switch on my 2002 jetta. I did a quick check of my lights and sure enough they were out except for the center one (thank god).

So I went to my local dealership New Century VW in Glendale CA. When dropping off the car the rep said that the bulbs were most likely burned out because the middle light still worked. Because of the Vormax in the trunk I told them not to replace the right brake light as I didin't want to inccur additional labor charges.

I get a call a few hours later to say they replaced the brake switch and one bulb but the GP indicator is still flashing and that it would be $115 to investigate. I assume that meant hook the car up to a Vag-Com and read the codes. Now I felt pretty sure that the brake switch was the issue based on my research and when I dropped the car off the rep told me they would clear the codes if needed.

When I picked it up, I again asked if they hooked it up to clear the code and he said they did but something else was wrong. At that point I figured I would replace the bulb behind the Vormax and if that didn't fix it I would take to my local euro-car mechanic and have him read the codes for $75 and if they only needed to be cleared I would bill VW for it - there is a reimbursement form with the recall notice.

So I get in the car to leave the dealer an no light. It's working fine. It simply needed to go through a couple cycles to clear the computer. The same thing happen to me when I was checking the GP because I had to disconnect the engine coolant temp sender to engage the GP's and the MIL came on for a few engine cycles then turned it self off

The point here, and it's brought up again and again on the net is that most dealerships don't know much about these TDI's, especially if you live in a CARB state (New York, California, Maine, plus 2 more). You can not buy a new diesel in a CARB state so the dealers don't know the cars . But they are happy to charge me $115 while they try and figure out what they are doing. You need to find a good diesel mechanic in your area or find a dealership experienced with TDI's. has a list of recommended diesel mechanics. Stay clear of the dealerships if you can.

No comments:

Post a Comment