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Drained the diff instead of the Haldex

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by chadvaliant, Nov 27, 2012.

  1. chadvaliant
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    chadvaliant Member

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    [Nov 27, 2012]
    Hi everyone

    I just wanted to post this story because a similar story helped me win my court case against my local Audi dealer. It's a story about confusing the Haldex with the diff.

    I took my 2007 8P S3 (brand new to me) to my local Audi dealer for 60k haldex service.

    When I got it back there was a whining noise from the rear of the car at 100km/h. I called the dealer and they sent a service manager out to me and he said it's a common fault with leaking diff seals (lie 1).

    They got it towed to the dealer and I watched them drain the diff and it only had 50mls of oil in it. I told them I wasn't paying a cent. Their senior technician told me under his breath that someone had drained the diff.

    They made a warranty claim by saying it had a damaged bearing (lie 2).

    Warranty company wanted a diff expert to see the diff and they asked the dealer if they had serviced the vehicle. Dealer denied servicing it and said it just came in with a noisy diff (lie 3).

    Diff expert said bearings are fine and it looks like it was accidentally drained and driven empty.

    Warranty company accidentally approved the claim but only paid the first NZ$5800, leaving me with over NZ$1800 to pay.

    They had in fact drained the diff instead of the Haldex and then double filled the Haldex. This explained the empty diff and also why the underside of my car was coated in Haldex oil (yellowish and odourlessish, I know it's not a word but I like it anyway) and why my sway bar was recently wiped clean. This was further substantiated by the blatant dishonesty that the Audi dealer was showing.

    They had tried to steal from me from the word go and if I didn't have a warranty I would have had to give them the car to pay the bill. Most of their customers would probably have paid the thousands of dollars and not even questioned them. Luckily I have more sense than dollars (I'm not saying I have a lot of sense, I just have very few dollars) and I did question them.

    I took them to court to get my money back and won thanks to the diff specialist but also because I was able to show the judge stories like this one.

    Moral of the story is... Diff and Haldex drain plugs are easily confused.
    Or maybe the moral is... Never trust someone who profits by saying trust us we are highly respected and very honest.
    Or maybe... Never trust someone just because their shop has a big fancy sign out front.
    Or maybe... Experts and amateurs are often only seperated by arrogance.

    I hope this information can help someone else.

    p.s. Sorry, as if this post wasn't long enough.... Can anyone tell me if their Haldex to main driveshaft flange has 4 nutless bolts sticking out about 25mm? When I got my car back I put it on my hoist and I thought it looked like something was missing. Maybe a dust cover or counter weights or something over the flex disk.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2012
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  3. Jonathaan
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    Jonathaan Diesel Power!

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    [Nov 27, 2012]
    Made me :lmfao:
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  4. JamesS4cab
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    JamesS4cab Well-Known Member

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    [Nov 27, 2012]
    Wow. Quite a story and not the first time i have heard this. Shocker.
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  5. crunchie
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    crunchie Active Member

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    [Nov 27, 2012]
    Quality story mate!
    Glad you didn't let them rip you off!
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  6. chadvaliant
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    chadvaliant Member

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    [Nov 27, 2012]
    It does seem to happen far too often. I can't believe they don't have something stamped on the drain plugs saying what they are for.

    It doesn't help that the gen 1 Haldex drain plug is the same as the gen 2 diff drain plug either.

    The funny thing is, I would have forgiven a mistake and if they had owned up to it and claimed under their insurance they would have saved money and probably still had me as a customer. That and they wouldn't have had to commit insurace fraud or lie in court. Just pure arrogance and inbreeding.
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  7. chadvaliant
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    chadvaliant Member

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    [Nov 27, 2012]
    Yeah, thanks Crunchie. It was hard fought and I wouldn't wish this whole mess on anyone. Well actually I'd wish it on the dealer, over and over again.

    My story was just a brief outline, they actually lied a lot more than I mentioned. I even contacted Audi New Zealand to report them but they didn't seem to care that much. Gone are the days when you have a fault and the manufacturer actually helps out. It's all about the bottom line now, or so it seems.

    My next stop is the local news, luckily for me nothing important really happens here in New Zealand and this might make a good story for them.
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  8. Vorshprungdork
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    Vorshprungdork Active Member

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    [Nov 28, 2012]
    So if I was to move to NZ the dealers wouldn't be any better.....brilliant!

    We had a smililar VW experience a couple of years ago which I won't recount here, begs the question, who can you trust nowodays???
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  9. MacrosTheBlack
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    MacrosTheBlack Member

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    [Nov 28, 2012]
    Completely sympathise and glad you got it sorted. Sorry it was such a fight though.

    Had the same problem with mine. Didn't want to trust it my local dealers (who I'd had previous nightmares with) so google'd up a local VAG specialist. Found one recommended on a VW forum, asked them if they could do the Haldex oil change. They said no problem. Booked it in. Got a late afternoon call to pick up after they'd done the work. Drove it a mile or so down the road and heard the whining. Drained the poxy diff and not refilled. Nightmare, I called them up from the roadside, they'd left for the day. I'd been gone 5 minutes if that!

    Long story short they got it sorted and had Audi fit a new diff to fix their f**k up. Annoyed the hell out of me though as I heard this happening before on here, so printed them out a sheet saying be careful not to drain the diff and haldex and not refill both properly! Yet they still mucked it up.

    Needless to say they lost me as a customer. Not looking forward to the next time. Need to find a good garage!
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  10. Artimus
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    Artimus Short Back

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    [Nov 28, 2012]
    Jeez, you'd think Audi dealers would either train their techs to service Audi's, or pay enough to keep the experienced ones from leaving ...both would probably be a good idea. :think:
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  11. S3Alex
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    S3Alex Rarely neutral

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    [Nov 28, 2012]
    It's just hard work getting it sorted,when honesty should prevail.
    It's not limited to any one manufacturer though...few years ago a friend of mine had his Porsche Carerra serviced,and a few hundred miles later the Tiptronic ate its gears...turned out they'd drained the 'box,and not replaced the oil,then tried to attribute it to his driving skills.
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  12. chadvaliant
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    chadvaliant Member

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    [Nov 28, 2012]
    Trust the fact that you can't trust anyone. I'm sure there are excellent mechanics out there somewhere but how do you find them? You only find out too late that they are useless. I'm seriously thinking that googling the problem and then doing it yourself might not only be cheaper but actually easier too.

    Sorry to hear you had the same problem too.
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  13. chadvaliant
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    chadvaliant Member

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    [Nov 28, 2012]
    Wow! That's even worse because you even told them to be careful. How do these people fit their whole heads up their own arses?! I'm glad they got someone else to sort it out for you. Do you think they just tell the apprentices to go and do it and simply never check what the apprentice is doing? Is it because they just have to service so many cars that they just go into automatic mode and just process them and not actually pay attention? Either way, one small mistake by them, one giant nightmare for us. It doesn't seem fair to me.

    We need stickers to put over the diff drain plug, "Nicht Offnen Dummkopf!"
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  14. chadvaliant
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    chadvaliant Member

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    [Nov 29, 2012]
    I can only assume that it's just more economically viable to piss us off. There must be too much new business for them to worry about repeat business.

    Funnily enough, the dealer that I took to court, their strongest argument was that they were experts and well trained. They said that they've done hundreds of Haldex services. I found out that it was an apprentice that did the work and so I pointed out that the definition of an apprentice is someone who is not an expert yet and that the number of services their whole network has done is irrelevant unless all their mechanics were working on my car all at once. They weren't too happy with that.
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  15. chadvaliant
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    chadvaliant Member

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    [Nov 29, 2012]
    You're right honesty should prevail. I sometimes wish we lived like in that movie "The Invention of Lying".

    Customer: You broke my car!
    Mechanic: Yes, but I'd prefer not to pay for it.
    Customer: You must pay for it.
    Mechanic: OK.

    I can't imagine your friend was too happy about his Porsche. I bet that mistake cost a fortune for someone, hopefully not your friend. It's funny how they blame the driver. I had oil all over the bottom of my car after my incident and in court they tried to explain that away by saying that I must have driven over a bag of oil on the motorway. I don't know about the rest of the world but we don't store our bags of oil on the motorway here in NZ.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2012
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  16. S3Alex
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    S3Alex Rarely neutral

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    [Nov 29, 2012]
    It cost his dealer around £6k for a whole new 'box as the original was ruined.
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  17. Vorshprungdork
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    Vorshprungdork Active Member

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    [Nov 29, 2012]
    I think "Dummkopf" catches all here :)
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