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Re: 45K mile service, exploding batteries, et al.

Elliott Potter wrote:

> OK, I have a few questions/rants.
> On Thursday, my battery exploded.  The car was towed in to the garage,
> and the dealer mentioned that it was about time for my 45K mile
> service.  I had a list of things a page long (literally!) that I
> wanted
> them to do, so I tell him "well I'm not ready to invest in a major
> service just now--let's wait a little bit."  Since they are about to
> try
> their latest tricks from the bottom of the barrel for the A/C, he
> says,
> "don't worry, we'll cover the 45K mile service."  Cool!  However,
> since
> he's being nice, I decide my list can wait till next time.  The
> results:
> A/C: they replaced the high pressure switch for the third or fourth
> time.  Everyone, even the dealer, knows that this isn't the problem,
> but
> they have no other ideas and the computer keeps telling them that the
> switch is the problem.  It's not my nickel, but all the same I'd like
> for them to fix the stupid thing.
> 45K mile Service: All they did was change the oil, filter, and add
> some
> windshield washer fluid.  They didn't change the ATF fluid, which is
> recommended for this service, and I'm pretty sure they didn't check
> the
> power steering fluid because last I checked the reservoir was almost
> totally empty.  Also I'm pretty sure they didn't check the exhaust
> system for leaks, because it sounds like there is one.  Maybe not.
> Battery: Well, this is what worries me.  First of all, it turns out
> that
> even though this is not the original car battery, and even though it's
> a
> "pro rated" battery that is advertised to last 72 months, it's not
> under
> warranty (I made them prove it to me, it's true.)  $107, plus $60 for
> labor (r&r battery, check charging system).  Ouch!
> The parts that worry me:  First, he was *very* nonchalant about the
> whole thing--"oh," he said, "someone else's did the same thing last
> week."  EEK!  Is this common?  How come my "pro rated" "72 month"
> battery only has a 1-year 15,000 mile warranty?  This is the
> impression
> that I got from him.
> Well, that's all for now.  Sorry for the BW.
> Elliott

     Sounds like you need a good shot of common sense in your dealings
with independent
repair facilities, what are you saving by taking your car to a
non-dealership facility, if your
suffering through all this non-appropriate repairs and service.
     If you know what is to happen on a 45,000mi service, then insist
upon it being done
properly. Of course they said they'd cover the 45k service, they only
did the cheap
parts of the service for you.
     As far as the battery, your original bill of sale for the batttery
is your proof of purchase
for warrenty matters. Pro-rated means this, full replacement warrenty of
the item for the
first year or 15,000 mi., and after that, you would have to pay the
difference between
the purchase price and the remaining warrenty value in increments of
1/12th for every
month remaining starting with 60months remaining. Any Audi/VW dealer has
a copy
of the 72 month pro-rated value form in the parts dept.
      If you've been to the dealer, and they seem to think you A/C
problem is not the
hi-pressure sw., then sounds like you should give them a try, especially
if this independent
shop has replaced it how many times???????.
     Your alternator is probably over-charging, check the regulator on
the back of the
alternator for worn brushes, or maybe you have the wrong battery fitment
for your
      The best preventive medicine for vehicle maintance usually is just
plain old common
sense, not to be influenced by trying to save a buck in the wallet.
     Hope this helps you in your car maintance problems.