So called "VW/Audi Specialist"


Well-Known Member
VCDS Map User
Another rant from me - this time regarding a so-called specialist that has wound me up.

This story stems from my Grandad, who has owned his B5 A4 1.8 for the past 12 years.
Its always garaged up and has only covered around 20,000 miles since he bought it, it has only covered 2,000 miles over the past 12 months.

Every year, he takes it to a specialist located in Liverpool for an annual service and MOT.
I have never really enquired or asked about this annual service until my grandad asked if I could change the cambelt for him. Immediatley I told him that the 1.8 20v was timed by a chain which should never need replacing under normal circumstances.
He said that the garage recommended that the cambelt needed changing as it was looking perished - normally I would forgive a garage for mistaking the auxilary belt and cambelt when talking to a customer, however they had quoted my grandad over £400 - so they obviously didnt mean an auxilary belt!
(I wonder if they would have taken the money)

From this point onwards I was dubious, so asked if I could have a look through the invoicing - baring in mind he has taken the car to this "specialist" for the past 9 years!

What I found angered me - I found every single invoice, every 12 months listing the following work;
Replace oil filter
Replace air filter
Replace fuel filter
Replace spark plugs
Replace PD engine oil (the car isnt a diesel!)
Check and top up all levels
Strip and check brakes
Check tyre pressures etc
Stamp service record
Road test.

Now, over the past 9 years the car has driven 12,000 miles, so according to the service invoicing the car has had 9 fuel filters and 9 sets of spark plugs! - a little excessive dont you think?

Upon looking further, the manufacture date of the air-filter is dated 2004, the spark plugs certainly dont look new (ceramic browning up the body of the plug).
Which makes me question wether the oil and filter has been changed as regularly as they say it had!
The body of the fuel filter is rusty too, not great when it was supposedly replaced 2 months ago and every year prior to that.

The comments at the bottom of the invoice (below) make me laugh too;
1 - All discs slightly worn - this was an advisory on the MOT aswell (The brake discs on my own A4 are a month old, im sure they are "slightly worn" too!
2 - "Has cam belt been done" - Well, no - and never will be either as this engine has a cam chain!

We should have a section of the site to name and shame traders like this - if it was a small indipendent garage then you expect a few shoddy ones, however the fact this place call themselves a specialist annoys me.
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Registered User
I'd take this to watchdog and every media outlet possible personally. Ripping off old people is one of my pet hates.


Registered User
Terrible conserning the plugs and fuel filter etc .

The PD oil is good and will have a joint medium to high VW petrol spec anyway.

"Strip and check brakes," yeah right !


Registered User
Definitely report and raise a case with your local Trading Standards , they may get a vehicle engineer out to inspect.

They would of been bang to rights if they did the "cambelt."

They owe your Grandad big time , Grandads are legends and most of us don't have any left .


Registered User
can you get the oil tested to see how old it is ?
or take another car in and get them to service it but mark it all first or report them to motor trades association or whoever they are registered with .


Registered User
I'm sure they would have a place on the net to leave nice feedback


Registered User
The 1.8 engine has a timing belt driving the crank and cam and a chain that drives the camahafts...the timing belt needs changing at regular intervals...


Registered User
So why didn't they want to replace the cambelt every year and why have they brought it up at year 9 ?

Did the 2004 "2 month old air filter" look old and dirty ?
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Registered User
A 1.8 20v has a timing belt, that is basic knowledge that you dont know yourself....

So you should maybe call them for an explanation since they know more than you..


Registered User
A 1.8 20v has a timing belt, that is basic knowledge that you dont know yourself....

So you should maybe call them for an explanation since they know more than you..

I'm no mechanic but replacing spark plugs on each service is unnecessary, especially when he looked at them and they didn't even look new.


Registered User
Maybe the old chap has went in saying "give it a full service", how do we actually know?

I agree it sounds dodgy but we dont actually know the circumstances and the guy calling them cowboys doesnt even know that a 1.8T has a timing belt!