2002 Volkswagen Passat 6 cyl All Wheel Drive Automatic 80,000 miles
Just got an estimate for $4275 to replace my entire brake system. Monday of this week I noticed my car didn't coast as freely as normal as I slowed to a stop in a parking lot. When I tried to drive off a few minutes later, I could only go about 100 yards. The brakes were completely locked up. Called tow truck and brought to local tire service center that also does brakes (Les Schwab). They immediately did a test with the brake fluid. Put a couple drops into a glass of water and swirled it around. Showed me the fluid coming to the surface and beading up. Said I had contaminated fluid and brake system needed to be replaced. I checked my records and the last shop that did any work on my car did so in late Nov. 2007. Records indicate topping off of all fluids. Took car to same service center (authorized VW center) and did not tell them of the fluid test. I thought I would let them find it themselves. After 4 or 5 hours they said they didn't know what caused the lock-up. I took the mechanic outside and informed him of the test performed the day before. He shook his head and said the fluid tested fine by him. I said ok and suggested they flush the system and I would be back in a day to pick the car up. Called next day to let them know I would be picking the car up on Friday (today) instead of Thur, they said "we have bad news". Your fluid is contaminated. Called me later with the total of $4725. My 1st thought is that they were going to let me drive that car 80 miles home on a highway after their first diagnosis. My brakes would have either locked up at 70 mph or completely failed trying to stop. There would have been an accident either way. Secondly, they were the last shop to work on my care prior to this contamination. Does it seem that they might be responsible for the contamination? How long does it take after contamination before symptoms begin? When I confronted the manager with my thoughts, he told me the mechanic that worked on my care in November 2007 had been working on VW's for 40 yrs and would never make a mistake like that (power steering fluid into brake fluid tank). Also he said they never top off brake fluid. What is your take on this? I've contacted an attorney, but I don't know if I can prove it was their fault. Any advice would be helpful.
have the same problem?
Friday, April 18th, 2008 AT 3:53 PM