No, you shouldn't have to pay. Everyone is looking for someone else to blame and to pick up the tab. The first shop is right. An oil leak would have been noticed right away if they caused it. You didn't say anything about oil on the ground where you park or that you even bothered to check the oil level periodically and found it to be low. Therefore, I'd have to assume the leak developed later, or that it is small enough to be insignificant except to the person trying to sell you a service. Some mechanics love to find fault with other mechanics, and you get stuck in the middle.
The 40k service, and any others that are recommended, are designed to make money for the dealer. Many of the services on those lists aren't always needed, or they are of little value. Their biggest benefit is in proving for future warranty purposes that you followed the manufacturer's recommendations. You lost that benefit when you went to another shop. That suggests to me you want to take care of your car but you don't really understand why you should let the dealer perform the procedures. If you're working with a reputable dealership, they will accept receipts from other shops as proof you did everything required to keep the warranty in effect. If you have a less-reputable dealership, they may try to deny future warranty claims or at the very least will not be your advocate, as they should be. You may need to fight your own battle with the manufacturer. When it comes to customer-friendly business practices, Hyundai, Toyota, and Chrysler are at the top of the list. BMW and GM are at the bottom. VW is somewhere in between, but it all depends on who you're asking. My experience is you better keep the dealer on your good side because you'll need their help later.
As for why you think you aren't responsible for repairs to your car, you're going to have to provide some reason that someone else is to blame. The rest of us have to pay for things that break from time to time. If you think a part has been cracked for the last 22,000 miles, it obviously hasn't been causing a problem, so I guess you can ignore it now too. There. I just saved you $451.00. A better suggestion is to have the questionable part inspected at a third shop for an impartial opinion. In this case it's okay to specify what you want looked at, but I would leave the names of the shops out of the conversation. Opinions can be swayed based on whether the various shops are bitter enemies or buddies.
The timing belt is a different story. VW has had problems with some of their water pumps that used plastic impellers that would crack and slip. I don't know if that still applies to your year and model. You didn't list the engine size, so I can't say for sure, but if your water pump is driven by the timing belt, it would be foolish to not replace the belt when the water pump is replaced. Both jobs are very involved and take a long time. The timing belt has to be partially removed to replace the water pump, so the additional cost should be for the belt itself and perhaps an additional hour of labor. VWs can be relatively difficult to work on, so I could believe $670.00 for both parts, but not if the water pump is under warranty.
Almost all shops bill their labor times according to a "flat rate" guide. That spells out the exact number of hours for every procedure on every car model, year, and engine size. It also has provisions to add tenths of an hour for additional, but related work, and to subtract some time when combining related procedures. As a typical example, it might call for 3.5 hours to replace the water pump, or 3.0 hours to replace the timing belt, but if both jobs were being done at the same time, you'd start with the 3.5 hours for the water pump, then "add.8 hours" for the belt. In this case the appropriate charge would be 4.3 hours with the manufacturer paying the 3.5 hours and you paying the rest. You're going to have to find out, then tell me, why they want you to pay $670.00 for what appears to be something the manufacturer is going to be paying for.
As a side note, the majority of import engines are of the "interference" design. That means if the timing belt breaks or even just jumps a few teeth, the open valves will be hit and bent by the pistons as they coast to a stop. That turns an expensive service into a REAL expensive major engine repair. Your mechanic would not be doing you any favors by not suggesting the timing belt be replaced. In the '80s Honda recommended replacing the timing belt at every 75,000 miles, ... And they typically broke at 65,000 miles. That made for a real lot of angry car owners who had to pay for those expensive repairs. You should thank your mechanic for wanting to look out for your best interest in the long run. That timing belt should be considered a maintenance cost, just like buying gas and oil, and not as an unexpected repair cost.
I don't know what VW recommends for your engine's timing belt replacement interval, but if you have an interference engine, I'd be real nervous driving any further than I'm willing to walk back home if I had exceeded that mileage. Some manufacturers have recommended intervals as high as 150,000 miles, but I wouldn't trust that for any engine.
If you do not have an interference engine, you'll still be sitting on the side of the road if the timing belt breaks, but the repair simply involves replacing it, with no other engine work needed. The clinker is though, if that's another 3.5 hour job, wouldn't it have been nice if it had been replaced when the water pump was replaced?
Thursday, December 3rd, 2015 AT 6:18 PM