Here's the story:
I have an 2005 Audi A4 Quattro. A few weeks ago I found that my heater was blowing only cold air. Also, when the fan was running there was a noticeable odor, like burnt rubber. It was the first time I turned the heat on this fall, and in past years there has been no problem.
I took it into the shop for diagnosis, which was received in writing as follows: "No heat unless engine is revved. Radiator significantly cooler than cylinder head temp. Suspect water pump impeller has broken loose. Recommend removing water pump, inspecting impeller and advise. No abnormal smell at this time." In speaking with service advisor by phone, she stated that it was also recommended to replace the cam chain tensioner gasket. I asked why this was indicated and was told it was part of the "fix" for the heater problem.
Being a single woman without much knowledge of automotive anatomy or physiology, I went ahead and gave verbal authorization to proceed with the above recommendations. By the way, the estimated cost for labor and parts was roughly $2,000.00 (I just paid the car off, and figured it makes more sense to keep it, even if I have to spend some money on repairs. If my logic is flawed here, I'd love to hear your thoughts!).
A couple of days later I got a call from a mechanic who stated that the above two parts had been replaced, but the "problem" was still not fully resolved, as evidenced by the heater fan blowing only partially warmed air. He stated that now the radiator needs to be replaced because it is clogged up. I asked if they had flushed the radiator, and was told "No, there is a lot of gunk in there, it just needs to be replaced." The price tag for this will be approximately an additional $500.00.
So here I am, looking at a substantial chunk of money for something that I thought would be fairly simple and straight forward. I see some red flags, especially now having spent some time reading online, and seeing common troubleshooting recommendations. It seems that some basic, less costly investigative work may have not been done. For example, I have been given no indication that the coolant level was checked. Since the initial diagnosis revealed no heat unless the engine was revved, wouldn't that trigger a look at the radiator and possible flush at that time? Also, no indication that heater hoses or heater control valve were evaluated. And what would necessitate a radiator replacement instead of a flush?
Please help! Am I being taken for a ride here? If this is a legit work-up with logical recommendations, I have no problem. I just really need some solid insight from a trustworthy source.
Your help is
very much appreciated,
have the same problem?
Tuesday, December 31st, 2013 AT 1:58 PM