Mechanics

VOLKSWAGEN PASSAT SENSOR PROBLEM

2000 Volkswagen Passat • 139,863 miles

Hello, my repair sheet from my mechanic is as shown. I have a 2000 vw passat 1.8 turbo b5 model with 139863 miles, taking off from a red light the car began to hesitate to accelerate and felt as if I applied more gas it did not jump and take off, engine light flashes after 2nd take off from another light, I immediately pulled over and turned it off. 10min wait, turned on yet engine light was not present. Diagnostic shows codes of 17522-(P1114)"Bank sensor oxygen, 17521-(P1113)"B1S1 oxygen sensor", 16684-(P0300)"random multiple misfire", 16686-(P0302)"cylinder 2 misfire" It also states that even though sensors and minor vac leak with a throttle leak is the culprit, they add the estimate to add NEW engine and tranny mounts.

my estimate is $2,100 for the repair of sensors and engine/tranny mounts, I need all opinions as of buying online from warehouses to purchase these sensors rather then have their price of 239$ each, or any other opinipn would be appreciated. I want to sell this car bc it has done nothing but add 8grand in repairs in 5years.
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B51.8
March 20, 2013.



First of all, fault codes never say to replace parts. They only indicate the circuit or system that needs further diagnosis. I don't have a listing for code 1113 to know exactly what is setting that one.

P1114 – Engine Coolant Temperature (ECT) sensor circuit intermittent low voltage

The 1114 code is most commonly caused by a wiring problem and least likely the temperature sensor. Misfire codes don't tell you the reason for the misfires. Based on that lack of information, what sensors are you going to order? What will you do when they don't solve the problem?

Very few mechanics will install parts that customers provide. It's more common than you think to get new parts that are defective. Also, some aftermarket parts, particularly sensors, may work fine for one application but not in another due to subtle differences so you can create a new problem even though that part is listed for your car. The markup shops charge for parts, just like at any other store, covers the cost of ordering replacements when they're defective, the cost of delivering them, and the cost of re-diagnosing the system again later and replacing the new part if it caused a problem. When you provide the parts, it's like bringing your own food to a restaurant. If the steak is tough you'll still be expected to pay them for cooking it AND you'll be expected to pay for them to cook a second one. If your new parts are wrong or defective you will still owe the mechanic for installing them, and for installing the next part. He didn't do anything wrong if the part is bad and he should not be expected to work for free.

The story is different if you're going to do the repairs yourself. You can buy the parts from wherever you choose. Mail order stores can be a good value if you don't need any advice or help. Many auto parts stores will rent or borrow tools if you buy the parts from them. In some cases that can save you a lot of money on special tools you don't have to buy. The problem still is what are you going to do when the problem is still there? You'll have to go back to the mechanic who knows you cut his throat for a few dollars, and now you need his help again. How appreciative would you be in your line of work?

A better course of action, if you don't like the first estimate, is to get a second one from a different shop. Compare them to be sure they found the same diagnosis and recommend the same repairs.

Caradiodoc
Mar 20, 2013.
Hello Caradiodoc!

I wasnt sure what sensors to order as my sheet here only says "Replace both oxygen sensors $239 each labor $233" so with that being shown I didn't want to spend their cost bc they guarantee the 3 year warranty which makes me question if I should even be putting more $$ and exquisite parts?

& also like you stated, if I go and get another opinion from another mechanic and the status is the same should I go through with fixing these items as I loved your "what if the problems continue after repair". It seems to be everything little adds up and these repairs now seem relentless.

Thank you again for your input

Tiny
B51.8
Mar 21, 2013.
This is going to be a judgement call and a hard one to make. It is not as common today as years ago to hear about someone constantly having one problem right after another, on any car brand. What we hear more of today is that the repair bills are infrequent but very high. That is due to the design of newer cars. Old ones from the '70s still cost relatively little to diagnose and repair because they don't have nearly as much technology, but they also didn't cost a year's wages to buy new either.

We used to run into this same dilemma when fixing customers' tvs. They would ask if it was better to just buy a new one or fix the old one. We made more profit fixing the old one but new ones were less likely to keep on breaking down. That positive word-of-mouth advertising resulted in us selling a lot of new tvs so we made it up in higher sales. For the customer that newer technology usually meant fewer repairs but there were exceptions. If you got a certain brand we could guarantee it would have a lot of breakdowns. In that case they would have been better off fixing the old one. The problem is if they didn't buy the new one from us, we had no way of knowing what brand they would get. Without knowing that we couldn't make an honest recommendation on which was better, a new one or fix the old one.

Also, we learned early on that if we sold you a new one on our recommendation and it broke down every year, you'd be angry with us. If we fixed your trade-in, sold it later to your neighbor and he never had a problem with it for many years, you'd be even more unhappy. If we thought you had a good tv and we talked you into fixing it, then it gave you more trouble, you'd still be angry with us. We learned to give the pros and cons and let you make the decision. Your car may not give you another problem for years. Past experience taints your judgement but it should really not be a factor. There is no common history I'm aware of with your model that suggests it will have more problems than any other car.

One other thing to consider that also applied to tvs is fixing things when you're planning on trading it. This goes back to the '80s and '90s so the prices are out-of-date but the idea is the same. We might offer you $100.00 for your old tv in trade for a similar new one, ... If it is working okay. If we make a service call and find out it needs a $75.00 repair, that does not mean we'll only offer $25.00 for trade. We might still offer $75.00 when it's broken. To say it another way, you would have to pay a $75.00 repair bill to get $25.00 more in trade value. Cars work the same way. If you get a quote for a new car with trading in this one, you will not get much more for it in trade if you spend $2100.00 to fix it first. All dealers know the trade-ins are going to need work and that is already factored in to what they offer you.

Fix it if you'd prefer to keep it. Avoid any further repairs if you want to trade it. My personal preference is to avoid any car with unnecessary computers so I'm very happy with my old '88 Grand Caravan. My last new car was a '93 Dynasty and I don't even drive that because I don't trust it as much. Since that car I haven't even looked at a new one and have no intention on buying another new car until someone builds a simple one with common sense. So much for my soapbox speech!

Caradiodoc
Mar 21, 2013.
Hello again Caradioc! Looks like I'm not sure how to go about this because the next day I went to the Vw Dealership, he gave me a free diagnostic to help with my highly priced quote from my previous mechanic, now they both received the readings of "02 oxygen sensors need replacing and throttle cleaning" the only thing was, the 2g mechanic quote wanted engine and tranny mounts added with the check valve to be fixed bc of a minor leak, the dealership did not find these to be true but adds I need just a "motor" mount bc mine is broken. Dealership quotes repair for $860 for throttle clean/sensors/front motor mount, that seems reasonable for once but he said the car is drivable unless the light started flashing again. It did, and now I'm curious who to really trust? Ill have to fix this problem to at least private/trade, so thank you for all your comments and advice, it's just never ending it seems!

Tiny
B51.8
Mar 25, 2013.