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1999 vw Jetta

Recently, my wife and I drove a 1999 vw Jetta out to CA, to give to my daughter. Before leaving we had the car tuned up and checked over. On the drive the check-engine-light came on and so my daughter needed to get it fixed before it would pass inspection. The shop she took it to, “Chet and Cliff, VW Repair” in Sacromento, could not figure out the problem and told her she needed a complete service done on the car. They also told her the car had the wrong spark plugs. So, after charging $512 for the service and passing the inspection; not only did the check-engine-light come on, but now the head gasket is blown!! So, could we have driven the car from Raleigh to CA with the wrong spark plugs?? What could they have done to cause this??

I don’t think the shop could have caused a head gasket problem to occur. I think you have run into the problems of having a used car. Jettas are not the most reliable cars on the road. I personally would have gotten a Japanese car for her since they tend to be more reliable, though they can have trouble also.

Thanks for the response. The Jetta was our sons car and he had never had any engine problems with it. The only problem he had was the check-engine-light always came on even though we replaced all the sensors we could. Further investigation has shown that it was not the head gasket, but that a spark plug insert had blown out of the head cylinder. Seems like Chet and Cliff did not notice the insert and when they put in the “new” spark plug, they cross-threaded the insert causing it to blow out. They claim they can just replace the insert and it should be ok, BUT if it does need a new head cylinder they will WORK with us on the price.
They will not accept responsibility and said we should have told them about the inserts!! Since we never had any problem with getting the sparks plugs changed in Raleigh, we had no reason to suspect that Chet and Cliff would screw it up, although we should have been forewarned when they claimed it had the wrong spark plugs, but we had been driving the car fine for several years with the existing spark plugs. It just seems too much of a coincident that the car runs fine for 3-4 years here in Raleigh, runs perfect on the trip to CA, but 1 week after Chet and Cliff do work on it, the car breaks down. Anyway, we’ll see what happens next and I’ll update the post.