I'm about 99% certain that I've got a leaking thermostat. Has anyone ever had the dealership replace the thermostat? If so, how much did it cost?
I first noticed some dried up coolant that dripped down the starter. Then under the hood, I noticed coolant caked and dried up near the clutch mechanism. Directly above those caked up puddles? The thermostat. There's a seam on the bottom of the thermostat near the bolts that hold the bottom-most part on, and that seam has dried up coolant almost all the way across the edge. I suppose that there could be a gasket that's going bad... who knows. But with 130k on the original thermostat, it's probably wise to just have the whole thing replaced even if there's just a gasket problem. It's not a bad leak. In 300 miles, the coolant level hasn't gone down. And there are no drips *yet* under the car. Funny thing... my '91 Jetta had a leaky thermostat at 10 years old, too.
So yeah. Any dealership estimates would be greatly appreciated.
Also, I assume that it might be wise to replace the 10-year-old 130k coolant hoses at the same time. Any ideas on that cost?
I dont know how much the dealership would charge, but have no intent to find out. I will be tackling the rats nest under the hood myself.
As far as the parts, I will source everything from MJM Autohaus. They are local to me and their pricing is much better than dealership cost. 2 radiator hoses, thermostat kit (which includes crack pipe and seals), metal impeller water pump are gonna run just at $300. Its the other smaller hoses that are gonna drive up the cost though.
I can't believe that no one has had this done yet. I don't have the tools, the time, or the knowledge to tackle this by myself. The Bentley manual does not give a set-by-step breakdown of how to remove the thermostat, so I'm just not confident enough. I will call for a dealer estimate tomorrow.
I'd say a dealer would probably charge around 8-10 hours @ $87? = $700 to $900 plus fluids and parts. Prolly around a G-note if you can't do it yourself.
As far as the coolant hoses go mine are all replaced with standard heater hose I grabbed from NAPA. I think I spent $20-$30 total. The hoses are fine after 50k even after being in a hot turbo'd bay repeatedly at the track. The OEM replacements are just really stupidly expensive for what they are (from what I remember).
If you're going in there to replace the t-stat housng & t-stat it would be a good idea to replace the crack pipe and water pump too. They'll probably die soon if the t-stat housing is already on it's way out. If you don't have the sensor with the green top I'd get that updated as well.