2000 Volkswagen Passat with a warranty

My husband and I recently bought a great 2000 Passat with only 45,000 miles on it. We bought it from the same new/used dealer that my husband had used for car repairs for years, but I’m not entirely convinced they’re trustworthy.

Anyway, we went from a car bought new to a used car to economize, so we got an extensive 3-year warranty to make my husband feel less nervous about the switch.

All that to say, the car is now at 52,000 miles, and so we scheduled an oil change. They called my husband up to tell him that there’s a “cracking” drive belt ($175), rear brake pads and rotors ($432), fuel system clean-up ($190), and fuel filter ($160). Of course, NONE of it is covered under the warranty, because this is “service” and the warranty is for repairs. That just sounds so bogus to me. We have no noises or problems driving – no indication of any issues at all with the car. And we’ve only put 7,000 miles on it and have only had it for 6 months.

Any advice?

All the items listed are maintenance and would not be covered by a warranty. I also agree that most, if not all, are bogus. Cracked rubber in the drive belt is not a big concern unless pieces of rubber are missing. There is reinforcement built into the rubber to keep it together. It will stretch, but they didn’t tell you it was too stretched out. Have another garage check the rear brakes and tell you how thick the pads are. If they are greater than 1/8-inch, you aren’t due just yet. The fuel system cleanup is pure garbage. On that recommendation alone I would never go back to those clowns again. As for the fuel filter, get another estimate. I’m sure that you can get it done for less, if it is needed. You could consider the fuel filter and belt preventative maintenance, espcially if they haven’t been done before.

Thank you so much for the quick reply.

The fuel system “clean up” is completely bogus. The drive belt is cracked because it’s ten years old. It may not be bad, just cracked, but they all show some cracking after a while.

If you need brake work, you need it. The only way to tell is to examine the brakes, which I can’t see from here.

The owner’s manual should tell you when the fuel filter should be replaced. Follow the manual, not the recommendation of the dealership, which has a financial incentive to sell you things you may not need.

None of this stuff is covered by the warranty they sold you, but then again, I doubt there is much covered by the warranty. These things are usually just profit generators, and rarely cover things that are likely to break.

The one thing I’d be concerned about is the timing belt, which is also ten years old. If the belt breaks the engine will suffer significant internal damage. If this were my car I’d replace the timing belt regardless of the low mileage.

The timing belt is not the belt they’re recommending for $175. You cannot see the timing belt when you look under the hood. It resides under its own cover on the front of the engine.

You’re not going to like the price for a new timing belt, but I think it should be replaced.

I recommend finding a good independent mechanic, preferrably one with VW experience. They’re usually less expensive than dealers, and just as good if not better.