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2002 Turbo Volkswagen Beetle

My car has 80K miles on it, and has been maintained very well with regular check-ups. I heard a high pitched squeal coming from the car when I started it one day, & took to the dealer. They have told me there is a major crack in the engine block. I don’t know what to do now…it will cost about $6K+ to repair, is my car dead? How could this have happened? I don’t use my car very much, I’m retired, take trips to the store, around town, but not much. Any ideas about what to do?

I would suggest that you get a second opinion, preferably from an independent mechanic who specializes in VWs, or at least one who specializes in foreign cars.

Take the car (or have it towed if it is not operable right now), and ask them to figure out what is wrong with your car. Give them the symptoms, but DO NOT verbalize anything about a cracked engine block. After the second opinion, come back to this thread and give us a report.

What VDC said. Is there any leaked fluid in your garage? A ‘major crack in the engine block’ is a rare, unusual thing. You can find a mechnic here: http://www.cartalk.com/content/mechx/find.html

It could have happened because of the turbocharger which produces heat and power, at a price. The car itself hasn’t proven to be well made. Cracked blocks are somewhat random and it could have been bad luck. You can always have it fixed or you can dump some stuff into the radiator because you need another engine.

If the engine block has a crack, it may be in an area which can be welded, brazed, stop-drilled, or ignored. Ask a quality mechanic.

Loose drive belt + unscrupulous dealer in recession trying to make trade for new car = “cracked engine block”

That’s my concern. I’d ask for proof (photos, whatever) before I’d buy the ‘cracked engine block’ explanation.

And if–as most of us suspect–you don’t actually have a cracked engine block, please be sure to cross that VW dealer off of your list of dealers for service and/or purchasing your next car!

Thanks for all the advice. I am investigating the situation. The dose of healthy skepticism is helpful to hear. I am more skeptical myself now. I’ll definitely get back to everyone with an update.