VW Timing Chain and Bent Valves

The timing chain broke on my 2010 Volkswagen Tiguan (79k miles). Due to a settlement, the dealership will cover 100% of the timing chain repairs and 40% of any resulting damage. The dealer called me and told me that after doing a compression test, they determined that 3 out of 4 valves are bent. They quoted the cylinder head replacement at $6800 total ($4300 for my portion). What would you recommend? Should I even bother shopping around for a lower quote or just scrap the car at this point? Keep in mind that if I go somewhere else, then I’ll have to pay for the timing chain repair myself.

Here’s the “math” I would use:

  1. Does the vehicle still meet your current and future needs? For example, do you have any babies on the way and foresee needing something bigger?

  2. What is the value on the car? Check out Edmunds or KBB. Personally I wouldn’t put more into the car than it’s worth.

  3. How is the maintenance history on the car? Is everything else in good shape, or falling apart?

  4. Is the vehicle paid for, or do you still have a loan on it?

Number 1 is the most important to my way of thinking, but you’ve got to make your own call. Good luck.

  1. I like the car but don’t “need” it for daily commuting, errands etc since I live in Boston. I could get by without a car but I like having one for weekend trips and convenience
  2. As is, the value is 1k at best. Even in “outstanding” condition it’s only worth 5k
  3. Had the water pump replaced in the last year (may receive a settlement from VW for that too) but it seems to be in decent shape. I’m worried that things are going to start falling apart as I reach 10 years/100k milles (assuming I fix it)
  4. It’s completely paid for, so no worries there

Personally, I wouldn’t fix the car, given your responses.

I’d either put it on Craigslist as a “mechanics special”, maybe see what the dealer would offer for it as is…or just call the local junkyard.

What you do next is up to you, but at least you wouldn’t have to worry with this car. Stuff happens.

I’d let it go if only worth $5k on open market.

They will replace chains and tensioners and cam sprockets but not bent valves? Which are rotated by chain? Ok. And than want 6000 for 1 single cyl head? Whew.

Something to keep in mind for the future is that coverage or partial coverage of a problem does not mean the car manufacturer is at fault. They do this because the bean counters figure it’s cheaper to do this than to fight it out in court.,

The car is roughly 10 years old with low miles. Unless the oil was very religiously changed as to both miles and time I suspect the problem was caused by lack of oil changes. Almost all chain failures are due to lax oil changes. In turn this often means other wear that is not apparent.

Tough call but if the car is super clean I might be tempted to fix it compared to what else you might buy for the 4300 dollars and which could turn out to be an even bigger headache.

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To be brutally honest, I don’t think this car will be very reliable, even if maintained religiously

In fact, I think it’ll turn out to be a money pit

Maybe pay the $4300 and drive it 1 - 2 years, then trade it in for a brand new vehicles

Or dump it right now

I’m in full agreement with @Cavell . . . the price for the cylinder head is insane. You used to be able to buy a long block for that kind of money, not too long ago

Maybe the dealer would be willing to send out the head to have the valves replaced and the necessary machining to get them to seal. Shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg. I don’t see why an experienced machine shop shouldn’t be able to do this . . . wouldn’t be the first time for them

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If the work will return the engine to like-new performance, and the routine maintenance has been kept up to date otherwise, I’d just let VW handle the job, pay the $4300 and be done with it. If you haven’t been diligent with the oil & filter change regime, or you’ve driven the vehicle super aggressively, probably time to let it go.

the total bill is over 6800? they are paying 100% of timing chain costs. parts and labor. and the extra costs for removing head and putting on a new head is 6800? what is the breakdown for parts/labor for just the head WHEN the timing chain is already removed? whole front of motor is removed to do the chain? timing cover, motor mount, and so on. you can get a used head for 400. what is the dealer cost for a new head?

That cost does seem high. I’d get an estimate from a reliable independent shop that works on VWs. It could be cheaper even without $$ from VW.

So it turns out that I misunderstood their quote (probably because this is all through text and I am having a hard time getting them to send me an official quote with a breakdown of costs for each part and labor), but $4,300 is actually the total and my portion would be $2,600. Still seems like a lot but a little more reasonable.

I have proof of proper maintenance and oil changes which is why VW is willing to pay 100% of the timing chain repair.

Spend the 2600.00 , get back on the road. Then you can decide to keep or trade the vehicle . You will have a period of warranty for the repair so you will have time to make the decision .

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broke chain is covered. anything it touches is not. it requires new head
ok, they are picking up 4300-1700=2600? nice

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Run over to the dealer right now and pay it, before the offer expires

And if you can’t go there right now, call them and tell them you’re agreeing to their terms and would they please get started.

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They just sent me this. Thoughts?

Just looked up some of the parts and the cylinder head is only $1,283 on the dealer’s website. Same location and everything. How can that be?

That may be a bare head, minus valves and valve stem seals, and so forth . . . ?

Madison , you are getting repair help and the dealer is getting paid less than they normally would because VW corporate is involved . Just have this repaired and move on . After you get it back then you can trade or drive it .Sometimes it is just not worth worrying about things you have no control over.

My opinion, the dealer padded the bill so he wouldn’t lose any money. Why, for example, do you need a new camshaft?. If this is a bare head, why are they charging for one valve? They are claiming the warranty rate for labor is $100/hour, how much is their non-warranty labor rate?

I think you should call the Volkswagon customer service rep listed in your owners manual and run this quote by them. Maybe they will get the dealer to be more reasonable.