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2013 Tiguan 109k mi; no compression in one cylinder; shop wants to replace motor

2013 VW Tiguan with 109k mi experienced vibration and engine light; drove to nearby VW dealer. Mechanic says compression test showed no compression in one cylinder. They did not do any additional diagnostics (apparently they don’t do that; they just replace once compression test fails). They want to replace the motor with a rebuild (with 12 mo warranty); manufacturer will provide new motor; we will have to pay for labor only at $2400 dollars. Does this seem reasonable?

You can’t buy a 2013 anything for $2400.00 sounds fine to me.

  1. What is the hourly labor rate? The quoted figure sounds high.

  2. Why will VW be covering the cost of the motor itself? Warranty? If so, you shouldn’t be paying for labor at all.

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Powertrain warranty is 5 yrs/60k miles, so I guess it’s them being nice?

Maybe the OP has an extended warranty?

My best guess is that problem-plagued VW is doing this as a Good Will Repair.
With that type of situation, it isn’t unusual for the mfr to provide the parts, and for the owner to pay the labor costs. That being said, the labor costs sound…high…to me, but that might just be the reality of dealing with VW and its dealers.

Haven’t received paper quote yet to know hourly rate. What is reasonable?

Just out of warranty but VW will provide motor as “goodwill.”

It does not matter if it is reasonable. That is the cost and you are getting an engine on a vehicle that is out of warranty. Just do it and move on.

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Hourly rate varies widely from area to area. However, dealers tend to be higher in my experience. Maybe $120/hour? But that would mean they would be charging you for 20 hours of labor. Are there any parts charges in that $2400 quote at all?

I hate it when I’m right.:wink:

If I was the OP, I would also like to see a breakdown on the labor costs, but if VW is willing to make a major investment in an out-of-warranty vehicle, I think that the OP should just accept it in good faith and move on.

I have to agree that the OP shouldn’t look a gift horse too closely in the mouth. However, I am curious how they came up with the $2400 figure. Just because VW is doing the right thing doesn’t mean the dealer is.

The customer will likely have to pay for oil, filters, coolant, wiper blades, CV boots and whatever else found in need of repair plus shop supplies. Of course unrelated repairs can be declined at this time.

I still recall living next door to VW dealership in McLean, VA, where one guy was standing with “My Touareg is a LEMON” sign for few days in the front of the dealer, it was even covered in newspaper.

His motor also failed shortly after warranty lapsed and they did not want to do any “good faith consideration” until he picketed them for few days in a row :slight_smile:

There’s a few bits I don’t understand; mostly related to how labor is figured. If corporate VW is throwing a new engine in labor is normally figured at warranty rates and if the per hour flat rate is say a 100 it’s hard for me to see VW paying 24 hours of warranty flat rate on this.

Unless VW is covering engine only and the labor is left to the dealer to bill at the normal customer pay rates. It could be that 2400 also includes a shop supplies charge, fluids, taxes, and so on.

No matter; you should jump all over a new engine for 2400 bucks. That’s cheap and then some.

If this wasn’t a corporate VW deal I’d want to know why the cylinder was on 0. That usually means a cylinder head valve problem and those are fixed without too much trouble. Probably still 2400 bucks so the new engine is the best option.

Labor time for long block replacement is 18 hours according to my aftermarket labor guide. Local VW dealer labor where I am is $130/hr. Sounds just about right to me.


[quote=“asemaster, post:15, topic:102388, full:true”]

Labor time for long block replacement is 18 hours according to my aftermarket labor guide. Local VW dealer labor where I am is $130/hr. Sounds just about right to me.
[/quote]Yikes! The last (only) VW engine swap I was involved with took about 45 minutes. And that included removal of the engines from both the donor and recipient.

(Swapping the engine from a Beetle into a Karman Ghia :wink: )

You couldn’t do a routine oil change service on a modern VW in 45 minutes! I doubt I could do much better than 18 hours for a longblock.

$100/hr for a VW dealer . . . ?!

forget it

I agree that the 0 compression is probably a top end problem, burnt valve or something along those lines

It’s a lot of money, no doubt about it, but the estimate seems fair

If I was OP, I’d pay the money, get the car fixed, drive it for another 2-3 years, then sell it and move on to something else. I don’t think hanging onto this vehicle for another 5 years or so is a good idea.


I agree with the others. The cost seems a bit high, but I’d still take this deal. Keep in mind that a new motor could be a selling point if you sell the car in the next few years.

What’s the issue with a 100 dollars per flat hour on VW db4690?

I’ve worked for 2 VW dealers over the years and their flat rate charges were about the same as any other dealer in the area no matter the make.
Is there something I’m missing?