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Old 01-31-2014, 04:32 PM   #1
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Default Rough day at the shop

Long story long:

On Tuesday, I fired up the car (06 4.2 w/ 74k) to go to work, and it started misfiring and shaking like a bad monkey. I immediately turned it off, waited 10 seconds, started it back up, and it was a little better. Cycled again and it was better yet. CEL was on, and still was rough and didn't have much power. I was planning on taking the car in to get some estimates on some pending work, so that just made me take it up over an early lunch.

List:
Air Bag Light
Front bushings shot
NAV Antenna no worky
Front brakes
Valve cover gasket leak

They couldn't get to it until Thursday, and finally got some decent news.

-Air Bag Light caused my rear passenger seat belt circuit going bad. Same one my kid tried to rip out because he got pissed it wouldn't extend for him. $600 to replace whole assembly, decided to pass.
-NAV Antenna defintely is bad, but they would have to go to dealer to fix. I said I'll duct tape a Garmin to the dash before I do that. The rep laughed and agreed.
-Valve Cover gasket is slightly leaky. He advised to keep an eye on it. It isn't leaking bad enough to do any damage to bushings or anything else. $600 or so to fix.
-Front Brakes, I said I'd do those. That's an easy 2 hour job, with beer.
-Bushings were indeed torn. $620 to get that fixed. That was the first estimate...

The second estimate came this morning, and at the tech's recommended that it would be wise to replace the control arms since the ball joint fail anyway and they probably would be bad since they had been taking strain instead of the bushings. I agreed, but we're up to $1250 or so.

Phone rang at 3:30, I'm hoping the car is done, but they had been fighting a bolt all day. Impact tools, blowtorches, napalm, nothing was making it budge. They strongly recommended replacing the steering knuckle at that point, since the aluminum component had taken so much stress, and aluminum doesn't bend, it snaps. Part has been ordered, but I won't have a car until Tuesday. And then I won't have ~$2200 + tax.

Rough day at the house after telling the accountant wife. But really, that's the only repairs I've had to make to that car. The coil packs were replaced, but that's been it for almost 4 years. It's just a big hit to deal with. Kind of depressing, but I guess that a lot of people have worse problems with their cars than that.

The repair shop I took it to is highly recommended, and I could tell the service rep wasn't real keen on dishing the bad news on me. He was empathetic, and I appreciate that. I know they did everything they could. Hopefully that's the end of it and I get a a couple more good years out of the car.
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Old 01-31-2014, 04:42 PM   #2
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that's BS on the knuckle, they are a pro shop and should not have problems with a pinch bolt. I did my right side bushings first and the pinch bolt broke but I got it out, on the left it would not come so I had to buy a knuckle. I purchased one used for $150 shipped. WTF is $2200 + tax.........Go to car-parts.com and they start at $75

so what about the CEL???

Last edited by newa6er; 01-31-2014 at 04:45 PM.
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Old 01-31-2014, 05:02 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newa6er View Post
that's BS on the knuckle, they are a pro shop and should not have problems with a pinch bolt. I did my right side bushings first and the pinch bolt broke but I got it out, on the left it would not come so I had to buy a knuckle. I purchased one used for $150 shipped. WTF is $2200 + tax.........Go to car-parts.com and they start at $75

so what about the CEL???
$2200 is for all 4 upper CA bushings, both upper control arms, the steering knuckle, with labor. I don't have the willpower nor tools to tackle something that big. I used to swap suspensions on my older BMWs, but this is a little over my pay grade.

GenuineAudiParts.com lists the steering knuckle at $520.80 alone. I think they wanted $920 inc. labor to swap it. I think that's pretty fair.

As for the CEL, when I drove it up the shop, it drove just fine. The shop wasn't able to replicate the problem and the only codes were multiple cylinder misfires.

Last edited by mperfct; 01-31-2014 at 05:08 PM.
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Old 01-31-2014, 06:18 PM   #4
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$920 is better, but again, they are the professionals, so any mistakes that they make, they should pay for, not you. Any audi specialist should have the tool and the knowledge that the bolt is difficult to remove, isn't that what we pay them for? Just my 2 cents.
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Old 01-31-2014, 08:05 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by newa6er View Post
$920 is better, but again, they are the professionals, so any mistakes that they make, they should pay for, not you. Any audi specialist should have the tool and the knowledge that the bolt is difficult to remove, isn't that what we pay them for? Just my 2 cents.
Sure, I see what you're saying. I'm not sure if they are at entirely at fault though. The bolt is steel and the knuckle is aluminum. Apparently there was a lot of the chemical reaction that occurs in that situation. I know there's a name for it, just can't remember it right now. But I see your point. I bet I could still get them to shave a little off the cost, but my nuts are kind of in their hands too. I can't exactly come get the car. I'll call them Monday and post up if I was able to get any remediation.
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Old 01-31-2014, 11:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newa6er View Post
$920 is better, but again, they are the professionals, so any mistakes that they make, they should pay for, not you. Any audi specialist should have the tool and the knowledge that the bolt is difficult to remove, isn't that what we pay them for? Just my 2 cents.
I agree. They screwed up the pinch bolt by not taking their time and soaking. They beat it till they broke it. Now the are charging the customer for their haste.

It's a 06 with only 75k. That's young for pinch bolt issues. There might be some corrosion rust or galvanic reaction, but good mechanics deal with all the time. I recently did a 03 with 125k, soaked for a decade on Colorado mag chloride, and just took some time to soak the bolts and use an air hammer on low to vibrate the rust loose.

If you beat on a German car, you will break it, as the mechanic here did.

Since the OP is taking the shop's side and ignoring the advice here, not sure why he bothered to post.
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Old 02-01-2014, 06:51 AM   #7
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I agree. They screwed up the pinch bolt by not taking their time and soaking. They beat it till they broke it. Now the are charging the customer for their haste.

It's a 06 with only 75k. That's young for pinch bolt issues. There might be some corrosion rust or galvanic reaction, but good mechanics deal with all the time. I recently did a 03 with 125k, soaked for a decade on Colorado mag chloride, and just took some time to soak the bolts and use an air hammer on low to vibrate the rust loose.

If you beat on a German car, you will break it, as the mechanic here did.

Since the OP is taking the shop's side and ignoring the advice here, not sure why he bothered to post.
I see your points. I'll talk to the rep on Monday. The more I think about it, the more I agree with you all. I can see charging an extra hour of labor or whatever, but that nearly doubled the price of the whole repair.
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Old 02-01-2014, 05:56 PM   #8
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I see your points. I'll talk to the rep on Monday. The more I think about it, the more I agree with you all. I can see charging an extra hour of labor or whatever, but that nearly doubled the price of the whole repair.
I agree. If they used standard industry practices, whatever time used is warranted. A mechanic friend told me about pinch and control arm bolts that almost two days to remove. He applied penetrant every 3 hours and used an air hammer on low to vibrate the stuck bolts. After day and a half, the bolts popped out. Each application only took 5 minutes and I think he tacked 45 mins on the bill. He was less than thrilled havering a lift tied up, but there was no question about the right way to do this.

There is not a single bolt on your front end that is not taken off 1000 times a week in the US. Hell, there are even great you tube videos on best practices to remove Pinch bolts, control arm bolts, axle bolts and ball joints.

Good luck!
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Old 02-03-2014, 10:57 AM   #9
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The AirBag light is a known issue - it is caused if a heavy kid sits in the center rear seat. Just reset the light and you'll be fine. Or if u really want to fix the issue, just replace the sensor on the rear middle seat.

If I were you, I'd find another indy. My indy is willing to do valve gasket repair for $200, including parts. Whats $600 for??
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Old 02-04-2014, 07:14 AM   #10
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The owner of the shop ended up taking the knuckle off the car and taking it over to his press and got the bolt pressed out that way. Saved me the cost of replacing the knuckle, but they did charge some extra labor to get it done, which I think is agreeable.

Maybe I do need to find a different shop. Or there just isn't that many great shops in Kansas City. These guys have a sterling reputation, both on Google, Yelp, and just with speaking with other Audi/BMW owners.

So it was about $1660 with all the diagnostics (which wasn't much), all four control arms, bushings, and labor. Definitely high, but not $2200 high. I'm just glad to get it back, it certainly drives a lot nicer and firmer.
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Old 02-04-2014, 07:14 AM
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