Repair shops sometimes charge extensive diagnostic time to determine the problem. It’s not really necessary, as the trouble code you referred to corresponds to “Boost pressure out of range” or “Overboost” or “Wastegate stuck” rather than a general failure of the turbocharger. It takes a specialist about 30 minutes to arrive at this diagnosis. Many knowledgeable shops bill the diagnosis at their minimum one hour of labour for an inspection, which is reasonable.
Is a turbocharger wastegate failure unsafe?
You reported that you were told your Golf will accelerate poorly if it’s not repaired. If performance is decreased but the vehicle can nonetheless be brought to a safe, controlled stop or driven continually, Transport Canada is unlikely to rank your issue as a high priority. And since the fault triggers an engine trouble light, it provides an unambiguous warning to attend to the vehicle.
How much does it cost to repair the VW turbocharger wastegate?
VW sells the turbocharger and wastegate as one complete assembly for $3,000 to $3,500 when installed at a VW dealership. There is a less expensive option: If you can find someone competent to remove your turbo and have it repaired or exchanged for an improved one, you could save a bundle. However, used turbochargers are not reliable, as they are likely to experience the same problem but perhaps sooner than the five to six years in your car.
Here are two options:
- A VW-Audi specialist may be able to loosen the shaft with heat. Unfortunately, this is not a skill you will find at most VW dealerships. This alternative fix can reportedly be done for about $400 to $500. It is temporary, the repair lasting from months to years, and requires that the turbo wastegate actuator still be working correctly. After the repair, you should occasionally floor the engine to engage the turbo wastegate fully, which may delay the accumulation of corrosion on the shaft.
- The APA has identified a specialist, VAG Services, that modifies the turbocharger with an improved stainless-steel part that will not seize again and it recalibrates the wastegate actuator if required. Cost of the repair is about $1,200, installed. Your local shop can ship the turbo from your car and have it repaired or exchanged for one with the improved shaft for $1,200 including shipping to Ontario. (The specialist will receive a credit of $300 when your old turbo is returned bringing the price of the part down to about $900). There are three different turbos, and which one you may be able to use depends on the displacement of your engine—1.4L, 1.8L or 2L. In the alternative, you could schedule a same-day repair at VAG Service’s location outside Montreal, and drop off your car early in the morning. VAG Service says they will set you up with a courtesy vehicle for the day and you can go sightseeing if you’re from out of town.
How to process a claim with Volkswagen
Start by pressing your claim with VW Canada. In Quebec, where the issue has been publicized in the French-language consumer media, VW dealers are sometimes authorized to offer a discount that reduces the price of the dealer repair by $1,000 to $2,500. If you cannot reach an agreement with Volkswagen Canada or the dealer, you could pursue the automaker for a reimbursement of the repair price.
Because most failures occur after the brand’s five-year/100,000-kilometre powertrain or Audi’s four-year/80,000-kilometre comprehensive warranties have expired, the claim would be based on the implied warranty of fitness or durability offered under the consumer protection or sale of goods legislation in your province.
Keep your old part and make sure your repair shop prepares a report on what it found or is prepared to testify on your behalf.
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