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    Thread: 2004 -06 Phaeton with V8; Vibration/Shudder Concerns

    1. Member
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      01-15-2010 12:51 AM #71
      Robert:

      As you might expect VW does not want to repair anything that still "works." They do not seem to be very concerned with whether it works optimally or as designed. As best I can tell, the CPO warranty is good, but do any of us really know what it covers. I for one, have never seen a CPO contract. My dealer enters the problem/solution in the computer and the VW computer comes back and tells them whether VW will pay or I have to pay. Thus, the deck is stacked against you. Knowing this, I personally would be willing to pay for the diagnostic time if they would inform me what they were looking for and what the final solution would be under the different possible findings.

      I had fits with my transmission while under CPO. It shifted horribly and destroyed the refinement embodied in my Phaeton. I was told this was normal, which I knew was not right - but what could I do. I was getting ready to part with the car and really did not want to. Eventually VW replaced the transmission when it slipped and went into limp mode(error code left). My CPO Touareg has an alternator growl that is horrible when cold and possibly tolerable when warm. I am also getting the same stuff. This is normal. This is slight. I've never had an alternator make this much noise and I'm embarassed to drive people in the car. It bothers my wife so much, she is pushing a little to get rid of it and it's her car. However, does the alternator work? Yes and that's all VW needs to know.

      VW has their business model and it seems to work as they are the biggest automaker in the world. So I don't think they are very concerned about my noisy alternator or your transmission shudder. Just work with them and don't go away and hopefully they'll find a justification to solve your shudder problem.

      Good luck.


    2. Moderator PanEuropean's Avatar
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      01-15-2010 06:08 AM #72
      Quote, originally posted by Jxander »
      As best I can tell, the CPO warranty is good, but do any of us really know what it covers... I for one, have never seen a CPO contract...

      Hi Jim:

      I bought the "Real Driver" extended warranty (the one that is discussed here: The NEW VW RealDriver extended contract), and I read the contract when it arrived. The person who sells most of us our service contracts, Chris at VW of Langhorne in Langhorne, PA, will happily send you a copy of the contract to review prior to purchase. Chris is a straight shooter.

      The contract is pretty straightforward and pretty easy to read. Basically, it says that if something BREAKS or SUDDENLY FAILS, the warranty will cover it, but if something WEARS OUT, the warranty will not cover it. There are a few systems that are totally excluded (meaning, a part could explode and they still would not touch it), examples include park distance control.

      I'm satisfied that my extended warranty (service contract, to use the correct term) gives me good value for money. I'm almost halfway through it, and have never made a claim, which is probably the best outcome that both the owner and the warranty company could ever hope for.

      Basically, the warranty provides insurance against catastrophic failure of any major parts on the car. It does not provide any coverage for stuff that could reasonably be expected to 'wear out'... at least, that's how I interpret what I read.

      Michael


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      01-15-2010 08:53 AM #73
      Hi Michael:

      I currently have the VW Real Driver extended warranty from Chris on my Touareg and will probably add the same on my Phaeton in the next 6 months. I do have a contract for that one and it is quite clear. I understand that warranty is backed by Fidelity so repairs come out of their pocket. However, I also currently have CPO coverage for both my Phaeton and Touareg. This I believe is backed by VW and repairs are from their coffer. It is the CPO coverage that seems a bit like a black box and I have never seen a real contract only a marketing brochure and the salesman saying it is exactly like the new car warranty. Ha!

      However, it is phrases like "breaks and suddenly fails" that protect the insurer. A shudder in a transmission/torque converter of a Phaeton is unacceptable at moderate miles but may not qualify legally as a broken or failed component as the car does still operate.

      Note I still appreciate my CPO and the Real Driver warranties for Phaetons. They do provide protection against as you say catastrophic failures and other clear failures of many components. However, if you want your Phaeton to operate as it was designed and it is getting some age/miles on it, you will likely have some pretty expensive replacement of parts that have not failed but if left alone will destroy the vehicles qualitative characteristics. So even if you have a warranty, VW or Fidelity will be on good legal grounds if they decline a claim where the part has not truly failed. An intermittent shudder is not a reflection of a failed part. It might be failing. The car drives and everything operates - albeit poorly. Thus, approach VW or Fidelity very carefully in these cases and try shaming them into correcting the flaw.


      Modified by Jxander at 4:55 AM 1-15-2010


    4. Moderator PanEuropean's Avatar
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      01-15-2010 11:03 AM #74
      Quote, originally posted by Jxander »
      ...[if] it is getting some age/miles on it, you will likely have some pretty expensive replacement of parts that have not failed but if left alone will destroy the vehicles qualitative characteristics.

      I agree, but isn't what you described called (in plainer language) "wear and tear"? For sure, the extended warranty - the Fidelety warranty - excludes wear and tear right off the bat. It is strictly a 'failure and breakage' warranty.

      Michael


    5. 01-15-2010 11:19 AM #75
      Quote, originally posted by PanEuropean »
      I agree, but isn't what you described called (in plainer language) "wear and tear"?

      According to the insurance company, it probably is, but it seems to me that Jim's making a valid, Phaeton-specific point. For a "normal" vehicle, some extra engine noise or an occasional clunk from the suspension probably doesn't make any significant difference to the overall driving experience. However, as we're all well aware, in a Phaeton it does (if it doesn't drive like a Phaeton, there's no point in having it). This is evidently something of which VW is also well aware, and also something it exploits when marketing the vehicle, just take a look at the packaging in the photo of that new vehicle posted yesterday, not to mention the glass factory and all the rest of the sales b/s that comes along with the Phaeton. Which brings us to Jim's point about the CPO warranty. If my understanding is correct, this isn't a "normal" insurance warranty (although that may be the underlying case), it's a warranty administered by VW (at least from the customer's perspective) and sold as a way of promoting the purchase of certified used vehicles, or as a way of first owners to keep their car as if it was still under the original warranty. If VW are serious about their carefully crafted image for the Phaeton, then this warranty really ought to be dealing with problems such as rough transmission shifts, even if it does, ultimately, cost the customer a little more to buy it.


    6. Junior Member dish_dr's Avatar
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      01-16-2010 11:39 AM #76
      Jim,

      Thanks for the well wishes..... Don't worry I won't go away. I have nothing but time and 2 other VW's to drive while they "research".

      Each timeI have interaction and work done on this issue, I will share my story in the hopes somehow someway the concern gets fixed.


    7. Moderator PanEuropean's Avatar
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      01-16-2010 08:18 PM #77
      Quote, originally posted by invisiblewave »
      ... it seems to me that Jim's making a valid, Phaeton-specific point. For a "normal" vehicle, some extra engine noise or an occasional clunk from the suspension probably doesn't make any significant difference to the overall driving experience. However, as we're all well aware, in a Phaeton it does (if it doesn't drive like a Phaeton, there's no point in having it)...

      This is kind of a tough question to evaluate, if one tries to walk a neutral middle path and evaluate what 'reasonable expectations' are from the perspective of all three parties involved - the person buying the used car, the dealer selling the used car, and the dealer franchiser (the importer) who is supporting the dealer's sales efforts by providing the CPO warranty.

      There are dealers out there, supported by their franchisers, who have done a very good job of keeping the 'premium' aura attached to their used car lot. BMW, Mercedes, and Lexus all have 'premium pre-owned' programs that market their 1 to 3 year old used vehicles (normally these are cars that have only had one previous owner) as being 'good as new', and both the dealers and the franchisers have a track record of supporting these programs well. For example, if you buy a 18 month old BMW 7 series trade-in, and you have a problem with a squeak or rattle during the first few months, they handle that problem in exactly the same way that the would handle it if you had just bought a brand new car from them.

      What we seem to be failing to consider, in the case of the Phaeton, is that none of the Phaetons in North America today would qualify for inclusion in any of these premium used car programs operated by BMW, Mercedes, or Lexus, simply because the cars are too old. The newest Phaeton in North America today (a MY 2006 car) is now 4 model years old. The vast majority of Phaetons in North America today (MY 2004 cars) are now 6 model years old, and few if any of those cars are changing hands as 'one-owner' cars. Today, most Phaetons being sold have been owned by at least two previous owners. Let's not kid ourselves, these are well and truly 'used cars'. There's another post active on page 1 today entitled "W12 advertised for less than $20K". That's the current state of the market.

      VW did do a pretty good job of treating the second owners very well during the period 2007 to 2008, when the bulk of the Phaetons imported to North America were acquired by second owners. I personally recall picking up (ferrying) a gorgeous W12 4 seater for another forum member who paid a premium price to buy a truly premium vehicle. The car had very low miles, and was perfect in every way. Phaeton Customer Care treated this owner as if he bought the car new, and his new dealer (located thousands of miles away) also treated this owner as if he had bought the car new. But, hey, that was in 2007!

      I think we need to ask ourselves "What percentage of original selling price did I pay for this vehicle?" If, today, someone pays 50 to 60% of original selling price for a one-owner MY 2006 Phaeton - that being about the average percentage of original selling price that the BMW, Mercedes, and Lexus dealers get for their premium used cars - then yes, that purchaser has a reasonable expectation of premium after sales support. However, if the buyer is paying perhaps 25% of original selling price - that being what most third and fourth-hand Phaetons are changing hands for today - then c'mon, let's be realistic. We're buying third and fourth-hand used cars that are between 4 and 6 years of age, we're not buying premium used cars.

      It might, then, be more realistic for the owner to say "OK, I'm getting a really good deal on this 4 to 6 year old top of the line VW (compared to a 4 to 6 year old top of the line BMW, Mercedes, or Lexus), so, I'm going to set aside half of my capital cost savings to look after minor nuisances that the dealer is not willing to look after due to the age and the low selling price of the car.

      Michael


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      01-16-2010 11:22 PM #78
      Quote, originally posted by PanEuropean »

      What we seem to be failing to consider, in the case of the Phaeton, is that none of the Phaetons in North America today would qualify for inclusion in any of these premium used car programs operated by BMW, Mercedes, or Lexus, simply because the cars are too old.

      Michael


      Not true for BMW which was my other primary alternative for the Phaeton. BMW warranties their CPO cars for 6 years or 100k miles. Thus a 2004 BMW is just coming off CPO even if miles are pushing 100k. Their new car warranty is 4 years or 50k miles. So the CPO gives you another 2 years like VW and an additional 50k miles versus the 24k miles with VW.

      You mention problem Phaetons with multiple owners & dubious service histories. I doubt these type of cars qualify as CPO vehicles for any manufacturer. The W12 for $20k you mention surely isn't a CPO nor probably eligible for an extended warranty such as Real Driver. When you buy a CPO car from a dealer you expect that they have inspected the car, checked its service history, and believe that it is worthy of CPO coverage. They certainly advertise that they do all these things. If they think one of their off-lease vehicles is a dog, they should send it to the auction and wholesale it. If they think it's a good bet and put their CPO label on it, then they need to step up to the plate and stand behind what they manufactured and have sold two times.

      Now the good news for VW. If a covered part does truly fail while under CPO, you won't have any trouble with VW. They'll willingly repair it at their cost. The only problem is when your complaint has to do with a component that functions but not well or as designed. Transmission shudders, harsh downshifts, or slight slippage might be some examples. If these do not leave a diagnostic error code, you're probably going to have a fight on your hands and might lose in the end. It's frustrating for owners who purchased a Phaeton for its refinement and find it behaves worse than the neighbor's Camry or Accord - whether it be used or new.

      I must also say VW has been good to me - everything considered. I purchased my Phaeton for $26k with 57k miles as a CPO. I would not have bought the car at any price without that warranty. This was July of 2008. The service history was clean. All service was done on or before VW schedule and even tires were through a VW dealer. However, the CPO warranty has covered(note only 1 significant problem)
      1, New intake runner vacuum actuator(plastic link was broken) - est cost $500
      2. Transmission started shifting poorly - they did a multiple drain and refill of fluid, new filter, and reflash. I was told that I would have to pay as they didn't cover fluids. However, a new fluid not original to the car was ultimately used and based on that, they covered it. est cost $1200.
      3. Transmission subsequently slipped or disengaged while travelling on interstate and went into limp mode. Based on this and I assume a diagnostic error code from the event, they replaced the entire transmission. est cost = $10k.

      VW probably would have been better off financially to send mine to auction, but they didn't. Do I understand they likely will lose money on my Phaeton - yes. Do I feel that I am expecting too much from them or the car- No. It's just business and they made a bad decision to offer mine as a CPO.

      Sorry for the long post.


      Modified by Jxander at 7:24 PM 1-16-2010


    9. 01-18-2010 11:25 AM #79
      Jim, what was the mileage on your car when the harsh shifting started? I suppose it boils down to what is considered a "failure", and whether or not the context of this being a Phaeton is factored into that. With regard to a transmission, I don't think it's unreasonable to expect it to function as new for at least 100k on a vehicle maintained in accordance with VW's specs. Even my last two GM cars lasted to about 90k before the transmissions got the "GM clunk", and the only real maintenance I did on either of those was oil & trans fluid replacement (the Impala I traded for the Phaeton was probably the cheapest motoring I've ever had, taking into account the depreciation and running costs).

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      01-18-2010 06:41 PM #80
      Quote, originally posted by invisiblewave »
      Jim, what was the mileage on your car when the harsh shifting started? I suppose it boils down to what is considered a "failure", and whether or not the context of this being a Phaeton is factored into that. With regard to a transmission, I don't think it's unreasonable to expect it to function as new for at least 100k on a vehicle maintained in accordance with VW's specs.

      I agree that Harsh and erratic shifting was around 65k miles. The fluid exchange and reflash seemed to deal with the gear hunting but accentuated the harsh downshifts tremendously. The poor shifting was somewhat intermittent but never could I drive it for over 10 miles without some shifting incident that was not right. The shifting behavior was bad enough that at first I would not take the car out of town for fear of being stranded hundreds of miles from a Phaeton certified tech. I knew something was wrong and doubted the transmission would last too long as it was. It was going to self destruct at some point. So I was concerned with the loss of refinement, but even more I was concerned about reliability. I finally concluded that VW was not going to become too proactive in dealing with a report of poor shifting. There had to be a true failure. So I drove it and if self-destructed, so be it. So it did finally disengage on the interstate and went into limp mode. Limp mode probably protected it from self destruction. At this point, I suspect an error code was left and based on that they replaced the entire transmission. With my limited knowledge I always thought the initial problem was only in the control part of the transmission - the valve body or the transmission control module - since it would often shift normally. So if it were my problem to pay I would have opted for a fluid exchange and a rebuilt mechatronic unit(combined valve body and TCM). As we know, most shops find it more effective to replace parts rather than rebuild or repair on site. So I did not object when they offered to replace the transmission.


    11. Junior Member dish_dr's Avatar
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      01-20-2010 11:17 PM #81
      I received notification that the DEALER has finally duplicated my 1400-1600 RPM Shudder. They don't recommend trying any of the VW recommended fixes, but rather to just replace the transmission with a new one. I was quoted $8,253 parts and labor.

      Any one have any suggestions on HOW I can get the VW Dealer to call VW....read the information you all shared with me and try to flash and update the fluid???????


    12. Member chrisj428's Avatar
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      01-21-2010 09:40 AM #82
      Quote, originally posted by dish_dr »
      I received notification that the DEALER has finally duplicated my 1400-1600 RPM Shudder. They don't recommend trying any of the VW recommended fixes, but rather to just replace the transmission with a new one. I was quoted $8,253 parts and labor.

      Any one have any suggestions on HOW I can get the VW Dealer to call VW....read the information you all shared with me and try to flash and update the fluid???????

      Robert,

      They want to play with $8200 of your money? Something doesn't sound right here. What they're recommending is akin to your doctor performing a lobotomy on you the first time you show up in the office with a headache.

      I tend to be more conservative. When mine had a transmission issue, we started with a transmission flush, then a Mechatronics unit and, finally, the transmission. But only after the other two options didn't solve the problem.

      So, there are two schools of thought: (1) we start out small and run the potential to have another trip at additional expense or (2) we take the shotgun approach and just go straight for the whole enchilada.

      --Chris

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      01-21-2010 11:19 AM #83
      Chris:

      I agree with you wholeheartedly. Start simple and move forward with the potential solution set. I will always believe that a mechatronic unit would have solved my transmission problems. However, VW chose to replace the entire unit after unsuccessfully trying the fluid exchange and reflash. I was happy with that since I did not have another round of test driving. But in my case it was VW's money being spent so they were in charge of the decision-making.


    14. Junior Member dish_dr's Avatar
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      01-21-2010 03:12 PM #84
      Chris,

      Thank you. I agree with you completely. I just got off the phone with PCC. They said they can not and will not assist since I am outside of the powertrain warranty. Even though the issue has been happening for quite some time......nada!!!

      I requested that PCC assist me in getting the dealer to take baby steps and I was told NO ...they do not instruct dealers what to do, how to do it....regardless of the technical information available.

      I guess my next step is to contact the CEO of VW. Unless anyone else has suggestions?????


    15. 01-21-2010 05:01 PM #85
      Can you not just TELL the dealer what you want them to do??? I can't see how or why they'd object to doing the job in steps, if that's what you want. You're the one with the greenbacks, they're working for you, if they won't do what you ask, take it to someone who will!

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      01-21-2010 05:32 PM #86
      Robert:
      Your problem is different than mine - so I should be careful making recommendations on how to proceed when it is your money. Mine was just erratic shifting initially. I had no shudder. If you do follow the steps noted - a fluid exchange/reflash, replace mechatronic unit, then new transmission - you could spend(est) $1000(fluid) $3000(mechatronic), and $8k+(transmission). That might be a total of $12k+ to solve your issue if you did it piecemeal and had to go all the way to resolve the issue.

      Thus, there is a case to be made to just replace the tranny first thing - especially if the tech has past experience with this issue. On the other hand, you could resolve it for the $1000 fluid change. I just wish VW or ZF would have been more upfront with what lifetime fill really meant. If they were, I believe many of the transmission problems we experience would not exist. However, we would have had higher maintenance costs.

      The price you are getting on a transmission replacement is pretty good, I think. I've seen the rebuilt tranny retailing for around $7k and its a labor intensive task to replace.

      Good luck,


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      01-21-2010 08:00 PM #87
      Robert,
      Your description of the shudder sounds exactly like the one I had two years ago. The software upgrade / new fluid solution, as I documented elsewhere in this thread, worked perfectly: to this day, 2 yrs later and at over 51kmiles total, the car shifts flawlessly, without ever physically touching the transmission, let alone replacing it. So, if i were you, I would go with the non-invasive procedure, especially if you have to pay out of your own pocket, but I would make sure that your tech follows it to the letter.
      Stefano

    18. Member chrisj428's Avatar
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      01-21-2010 08:25 PM #88
      Quote, originally posted by dish_dr »
      I requested that PCC assist me in getting the dealer to take baby steps and I was told NO ...they do not instruct dealers what to do, how to do it....regardless of the technical information available.

      Robert,

      The PCC cannot instruct a dealer on what to do. They can offer guidance and recommendations. They can also tell a dealer that VW will be participating in a repair which falls outside the normal scope of the warranty. However, they cannot force a dealer to do anything. Dealerships in the US are independently-owned franchises.

      --Chris

    19. Junior Member dish_dr's Avatar
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      01-21-2010 11:05 PM #89
      I am going to speak with the dealer ask them to do what I ask or take it to another dealer and start over. Can you tell me where you took your car? Do you have the steps and or could you email me your detailed work order as a reference point??

      dish_dr@msn.com


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      01-21-2010 11:07 PM #90
      Chris, I understand they can't tell them what to do...but I would think the technical experts at VW Corporate would have some leverage to help instruct the dealer on what needs to be done. The fact the dealer refuses to look at the information shared with me from my fellow Phaeton owners and they refuse to call the VW tech support line .......confuses the hell out of me.

    21. Member chrisj428's Avatar
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      01-22-2010 10:00 AM #91
      Quote, originally posted by dish_dr »
      Chris, I understand they can't tell them what to do...but I would think the technical experts at VW Corporate would have some leverage to help instruct the dealer on what needs to be done.

      This is a job for Tech Line (VTA), not PCC. The technician would take it upon him or herself to make the call.

      Quote, originally posted by dish_dr »
      The fact the dealer refuses to look at the information shared with me from my fellow Phaeton owners and they refuse to call the VW tech support line .......confuses the hell out of me.

      While dealerships are, justifiably, a little leery any time they hear the words "I read on the internet that..." (Heck -- if it's on the internet, it must be true! I read just the other day that Jaime Lee Curtis is transgendered, Bigfoot exists and Kirstie Alley ate Valerie Bertinelli for brunch last Sunday...two out of three are true, your choice), their refusal (as you state it) to (a) call for assistance and/or (b) approach diagnostics/repairs with the same level of reverence towards your resources as you have, raises a red flag for me. (P.C.: Edit that for me, please -- I can't make it flow. )


      Modified by chrisj428 at 8:02 AM 1-22-2010

      --Chris

    22. Junior Member dish_dr's Avatar
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      01-27-2010 11:27 PM #92
      After serveral discussions, the dealer has come around stating they finally reached out to VW and now not just one transmission flush but two are recommended. They want to also perform 2 flashes plus charge additional labor for "diagnostic time".

      2 trans flush $ 1759.60
      2 flashes $210
      Diag time $315

      Owning a Phaeton - Priceless........

      Sorry I couldn't resist.....


      Of Course I have asked VW to pick up the tab as this has been an ongoing misdiagnosis issue since the 40k service.

      I have many people involved!! I will keep you all in the loop as this progresses.......Wish me luck!


    23. 01-28-2010 10:10 AM #93
      Quote, originally posted by dish_dr »
      After serveral discussions, the dealer has come around stating they finally reached out to VW and now not just one transmission flush but two are recommended.

      That reluctance to call VW sounds distinctly fishy to me. When I picked mine up the other day after a battery change (which has utterly failed to correct any of the memory problems), I spoke to the tech who worked on it and when I said I didn't think it had cured the problems, his instant reply was that if it hadn't, to bring it back and they'd "call Michigan".


    24. Junior Member dish_dr's Avatar
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      01-29-2010 09:27 PM #94
      The ironic item is your dealer and my dealer must be related. I am not dealer bashing here....but, you would think if the dealer no longer employed the expertise required to service a Phaeton they would send you somewhere where they did.......

    25. 01-30-2010 11:36 AM #95
      They've apparently got three qualified techs there, I believe. The service advisor also told me quite clearly when I asked that if the battery didn't solve the problem they wouldn't charge me for it and would put the old one back in. That was several days ago and they still haven't had the car back yet because of a lack of loaner vehicles, so I'm sure I'll have a fight on my hands next week when I insist on having the old battery back.

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      02-02-2010 04:50 PM #96
      Robert,
      Two flushes (instead of one) are indeed required, plus at least one hour driving at regular speed between the first and second flush: sorry to be redundant but please check my post much earlier in this thread, and My Phaeton Tech Larry's follow up post not long after mine, where he describes what he did to my car. As I already mentioned, the fluid change (to European spec) plus software flash completely cured my problem. So, in this respect at least, your dealer is correct (though I'm surprised it took them so long to enlist VW HQ help).
      As for cost, this fluid is quite expensive, and the car uses a fairly large quantity, so the cost quoted, though significant, seems at least partially justified. In my case the cost was covered under the original vehicle warranty so I have no real comparison.
      Finally, regarding warranty coverage, it's really between you and VW: it is possible that, by being "nice nice" you might get a contribution towards the full cost out of "good will" but it is rather a long shot given the mileage and age of the car. In sum, the Phaeton is rather complex and demands a slow and methodical approach to maintenance, with a lot of attention to detail and precision. For this reason, assuming that you care about the car and want to keep it a long time, I'd recomemnd taking it to a dealer that can give you a better assurance of excellent, Phaeton-specific service, even if it is far from your home town. In my case, for example, though I now work in Boston it does not bother me to go back to Pittsburgh for service: this is where I bought the car and I know the tech, Larry quite well: I respect his expertise and like his approach to diagnosis and repair, and am willing to pay the premium that such expertise commands.
      Stefano

    27. Member
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      02-02-2010 04:56 PM #97
      Martin,
      Assuming that
      A) you are referring to your left (or comfort) battery, and
      B) your old battery is the one originally installed in your car (you can verify this easily but checking the manufacture date stamped on the negative pole)
      you are much better off with a new one. Based on age alone, your old battery was at the end of its service life, and cannot be expected to last much longer even if recharged. I suspect that the remaining gremlins are related to a non-orderly reset of the various codes after replacement, but even if they were more serious replacing the battery after almost six years is a necessary step in my opinion.
      Stefano

    28. 02-02-2010 06:33 PM #98
      Stefano,
      My original thought was the battery because of the age of the car, but when I tested it, it was putting out 12.53 volts. I know it's not a comprehensive test, but it was nowhere near as low as some of the other voltages reported. I also looked for a date stamp and there didn't appear to be one, despite it being a VW battery. Anyway, I've just got off the phone with the dealer, after changing that battery and resetting all the faults, they're still seeing a whole boatload of other start up faults. They now want to change the starter battery, and during the conversation about the car balancing the load in the event that one battery isn't putting out enough juice, he said that the tech had told him the two batteries are identical. I nearly went pop when he said that. He assures me that the tech is certified on the Phaeton, but it doesn't give me much confidence in anything they're telling me or any bills they're presenting me with. I asked the advisor to look up the price of the two batteries and then explain to me how one was 2.5 times the cost of the other if they're identical. He offered to put in the other battery without charging me the labour on it.

    29. Member
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      02-02-2010 07:15 PM #99
      I would definitely stay away from this dealer! The charitable explanantion is that something (a lot really!) got lost in translation between the Phaeton tech and the service adviser you are dealing with. But even so, I would not be comfortable entrusting them to replace the starter battery: as Michael posted in one of his impeccably detailed threads elsewhere in thsi forum, pulling that (the right side) battery up is rather difficult and there's a risk of inadvertently breaking the negative terminal at the fender. If I were you I would try another dealer and insist in meeting and speaking with the Phaeton tech him (or her-)self, to ensure they are reasonably familiar with the car.
      By the way, I am not convinced that start up fault codes could be caused by a depleted start battery. As pointed out elsewhere in this forum, the car's load management circuit automatically switches to, or parallels, the comfort battery when the start one is low or fails, so, for as long as the comfort battery is new and strong, no fault codes should be generated. On the other hand, I'm beginning to suspect the "new" comfort battery itself: i'm sure it is new, but if it is relatively old stock and has not been recharged the outcome could be similar to the old one.
      Good luck.
      Stefano

    30. 02-02-2010 08:06 PM #100
      Yes, I've read all the battery threads, and I'm far from convinced that the new starter battery is going to help, and I wasn't slow in pointing this out to them today. Their "theory" is that the starter battery doesn't have enough juice to crank the engine and takes some from the comfort battery, thereby reducing the current available for the memory function. Having read the battery threads, this does make some sense, but it begs the question of why they didn't check both batteries last week.

      As far as them not doing the battery change, he agreed to waive the labour charge, so if there's a risk of breakage I might be better off staying with them. Either way, it's too late now.


    31. Member
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      02-03-2010 07:19 PM #101
      Although this theory does make some sense, as you point out, I doubt that it applies in your case. Consider:
      - If the comfort battery is new and fully charged, even if it is called upon to start the car, it should have plenty of energy and would be recharged by the "generator" (VW-speak for alternator) while the car is running.
      - So it seems unlikely that a new and fully charged comfort battery would drop significantly below minimum voltage even if the starter battery is fully depleted.

      In any case, if the starter battery is the original one you are probably better off replacing it anyway. You might want to show them the picture of the ground connector that is relatively delicate, though. I'm pretty sure it's somewhere in one of the battery threads in this forum.
      Stefano


    32. 02-03-2010 08:43 PM #102
      I agree, it's unlikely. I'll find out tomorrow, they've already changed the second battery. Pissed as I am at having to fork out for two new batteries that were doing their job, I knew I was going to have to replace them before long anyway. They told me today that there were no longer any "low voltage codes" in the system, so I'll be taking the laptop with me to make sure.

      What's bothering me now is what to try next. I'm assuming this isn't going to change anything, and I think I have to find some way to force them to do the software update, which is probably going to need a phone call to the PCC line. And what use is a platinum warranty if you have to spend a couple of grand fixing guesses before they replace a faulty part that the warranty will pay for??


    33. 02-04-2010 05:21 PM #103
      Both batteries replaced, memory functions good so far. Various errors still showing on the scan though.

    34. Moderator PanEuropean's Avatar
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      10-07-2012 07:06 AM #104
      Attached is a German language service note about software versions for the 6 speed that might be of interest. I do not know whether it applies to transmissions installed in North American cars.

      Michael
      Attached Files
      Please don't send me technical questions via IM - instead, post your questions onto the end of the most appropriate thread in the FAQ, so that everyone can benefit from the answer, and everyone can assist in providing the answer. Thanks, Michael

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