Main wiring harness replacement in 2000 VW New Beetle

airconditioning

#1

The A/C on my 2000 VW New Beetle (~71600 miles on the car) stopped working so I took it to the dealership. The service manager told me that the wiring to the fan is burnt and that the main wiring harness needs to be replaced. He said the part would cost $2000, labor would cost $8000, and it would take 6 to 8 weeks to fix.



Are these estimates reasonable?



Also, what would happen if I don’t replace the main wiring harness (other than the A/C not working)?



How often does the main wiring harness need to be replaced? I was told it’s a major part that connects the wires from the headlights to the tailights.



thank you!


#2

Why did you take it to the dealer?

Dealers are no better (or worse) than independent mechanics for almost anything you might need done on your car.  They will almost always charge more per hour and often more for parts and supplies.  They also tend to look at repairs a little different than the independent.  

A dealer may well recommend work that strictly may not be needed, but could be connected to the problem or maybe replace a part when a little repair would fix it ALMOST as good a new. [/b] In this case I would expect an independent would just thread a new wire leaving the old one in place. [b]

There is no need to bring your car to the dealer for any service other than service that is going to be paid for by a recall or original warrantee. 

I suggest that most people would be better off finding a good independent (Not working for a chain) mechanic.

#3

I could go on a rant about the multitude of electrical problems plaguing VW vehicles in the late 90s to early 00s, but in deference to Mr. Meehan, who loves his NB, I won’t.

The VW dealer will GLADLY charge you 10 grand to repair your car, if you’re crazy enough to pay them.

On the other hand, you could take your NB to an independent mechanic, preferably one who specializes in VWs, and perhaps he or she can fix it for a hundred bucks, or a few hundred.

When I owned Volkswagens I dealt only with an independent VW mechanic. His knowledge of VWs was equal to or better than the mechanics at the dealership, he was MUCH more friendly and customer-oriented, and his prices were a bit lower than the dealer.

The fix could be as simple as splicing a new section of wire into the circuit to replace the damaged wire. It could, of course, be more complicated, but you owe it to yourself to get a second opinion before you fork over more than the car is worth in repairs.

And if you read this, Mr. Meehan, I, too, used to own an Imp.

Now everyone will ask, “What the heck is an Imp?”


#4

By the way, yes, the main wiring harness is the electrical heart of the vehicle. It reaches every corner of the car, and connects EVERYTHING to everything else.

I find it very hard to believe that the main wiring harness is not modular, and that sections of it cannot be replaced without replacing the entire harness. Although, this is a VW we’re talking about, so anything is possible.

Get a second opinion from someone other than a VW dealer, and save yourself some money.


#5

The main wiring harness of modern VWs is a normally self-regenerating biological, electrically-conductive net. Sometimes they can get infected with viruses and die. When this happens they have to rear a new one from infancy. As you have seen, it is very expensive.


#6

10k to replace the main wire harness, what a joke ? is the harness pure gold ? is their labor rate $1000 an hour ?


#7

I agree. That’s just plain crazy. Are we being pranked here?


#8

I’m very skeptical of those figures, both parts and labor.


#9

Mr. Meehan, you give a lot of good advice. However, this response is getting a little stale. At least respond to the question. Thanks.


#10

I think your best bet is to find a shop that specialized in electrical work. They may be able to run a separate line for the airconditioning, as someone else suggested.


#11

Absolutely not!

If a section of the wire insulation is compromised, it is a simple task to cut out the bad section and splice in a grafted piece of spare wire. If the connector has melted, a used one can be installed, preferably one from a junked car for about $2.

I can easily recall a time when serving a customer wasn’t trumped by fear of litigation and common sense seemed to be more common. Too bad it’s only a memory now.

An analogy that comes to mind is a patient who needs a heart bypass but the surgeon recommends replacing ALL of the veins and arteries above the waist. What do you think of the chances that the patient will come out alive? I’m talking about your car now :wink:

Ask around your circle of friends. Surely someone either can do it, or knows someone that can do this repair for a few dollars. I know I would if I heard the story and was nearby.


#12

Hey, it looks like I’m responding to your post but I wasn’t. It was directed at the Q from the OP. Didn’t want you to think I was disputing your idea, in fact we said the same thing.


#13

Mr. Meehan, you give a lot of good advice. However, this response is getting a little stale. At least respond to the question. Thanks.

I had a choice. I had no useful advice on the A/C, but there still was the secondary issue. While you may be fully aware and have seen my response as well as similar responses from others, the OP likely has not and hopefully he will be able to profit from it. Sorry if it bored you.


#14

I could go on a rant about the multitude of electrical problems plaguing VW vehicles in the late 90s to early 00s, but in deference to Mr. Meehan, who loves his NB, I won’t.

Don’t worry about me. I am very happy with my car, but it is not the best car for everyone and yes they still have more of their electrical problems and I see no excuse for it.


#15

I guess in this case the price and the method of repair being suggested fit my boiler plat response very very well.