Car at bodyshop for month, now won't start


I was rearended about a month ago in Colorado. After driving around for about a week, I took it to a bodyshop. The car ended up staying at the shop for over a month because the person at fault was not talking to his insurance company to confirm what happened. After sorting out the insurance issue, I finally got the ok to start the repairs. But then, I got a call from the shop saying that the car won’t start. I thought it might have been a blown fuse, which has happened before, but that wasn’t it. The guy at the shop said a mechanics looked at it He said the problem was that the engine compression was too low – it was around 20 lbs.

I talked to some people, and they all thought something smelled fishy, like people at the shop were driving around in my car. But this is a reputable shop. My parents have taken their car in before and were pretty happy with their service.

I don’t know how to go about this. I have a 2000 VW Passat with V6, mileage around 130,000.

If the car sat for a month, the problem could be as simple as a dead battery–or it could be much more ominous.

Have a mechanic of your own choosing go to the body shop in order to check the compression and the battery charge, and to check the condition of the timing belt–assuming that the car has one.

If the timing belt is over 6 years old, it is very possible that it snapped, and that could explain a lack of compression.

Edited to add:
I just checked, and your engine does use a timing belt, and is of the interference design, so checking the condition of the timing belt should be the first step!

+1 for @VDCdriver. The problem could also be a bad fuel pump. They can get damaged in rear end collisions. In any regard…you need a second opinion. A body shop usually does not have very many mechanics on the payroll.