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Moderator Note:
The following threads on this subject:
(My front air suspension blew out at 65mph. - UK Air suspension problem - connector snapped??) have been combined into this thread.

Any posts that might be completely irrelevant as a result of duplication may be removed from the discussion as needed.


I reluctantly went to the dealer today, to go ahead and have the drivers side headlight surgically removed, and have the inner tray replaced with a new one while we where at it. $180+ some labour. Not too bad, thought I'd make a 1/2day of it looking at the new VAGs in the showroom.

Service rep calls me from the waiting/showroom area, and tells me we have to show you something, with a serious look on his face. This is what he showed me below on the passenger side inner wheel well. Took the pictures with the iPhone.

The air hose had snapped off the shock housing as you can see, when the mechanic raised the egg to take off the bumper, in order to remove the headlight assembly. He claims that's when the aluminum hose ending broke off. Now here's the initial, give one a heart attack kicker. The mechanic on the spot beside my truck, told me that this can't be repaired, not only that, but there is no replacement part for it, and that the WHOLE COMPLETE HOUSING (air shock) would have to be replaced. $2880 tax+labour included :shock: ! The mechanic went on to say that it was repairable on Audi's air susp, but not the Touareg's. After I swallowed whatever it was that I swallowed and regained my composure, and it was then that I snapped these pictures. I then told them, that with all due respect, it made no sense at all, that because of one bloody small hose snapping off, it necessitated the comlpete replacement of an air strut! [-( No friggin' way!!! And with that blurted out politely by me, as we walked back to sit in the service reps office, and "discuss the situation further", the manager suddenly showed up, and was quite open and honest in saying with no hesitation, as he must have overheard the commotion, that the mechanics prognosis MIGHT have been in all likelihood wrong, and that he seemed to remember a TSB on that particular repair. The hypothetical TSB involved changing some sort off "inner sleeve" within the air shock housing, and he went on to say, that it would be difficult to remove, but it was feasible, but there was STILL A CHANCE, that the air shock would be damaged beyond repair, during the initial old sleeve removal.

I then told the manager that the mechanic had said that it was not possible repair it in any case, and the manager then winked at me, and said I have an other man who will do the job. There's confidence for ya! ;):rolleyes:

So what do you guys think about all this? I'm posting this for 1st, is this a simple repair? Was the mechanic truly BS? Am I about to get wallet sucked for nothing? I'm not in the mood to spend $3000 grand so soon in the game over one lousy hose snapping off. 2nd reason I'm posting this, is so that you members out there with the air suspension, to take notice of this particular area. It truly is prone to aluminum type of oxidation, call it corrosion if you will.

The other side of the truck, the drivers side, although still intact, was also showing signs of corrosion, and the mechanic told me at was a matter of time before it too snaps off. WTF! I took a pic of that also for your viewing pleasure, which would be the one on post#2.



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It sounds like they didn't lock the suspension which would have prevented this from occurring. If that is the case they should know before lifting the vehicle. So this is their problem and they are responsible no matter the cost of repair.
 

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I see it the same way, if it wasn't broke going in, and the broke it while in their hands, they pay to fix it.
 

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I actually threw that right back at them, but they immediately, with no hesitation, took me to the other side of the truck(post#2 picture), and showed me the one that was still intact, was hanging on by a needles head, saying that it would probably bust on my way out down the street. I then said nothing, they managed to shut my mouth...but now that the two of you's have said what you said here, I've come to realize that I'm an idiot and my negotiating skills are finished.

Now it's considered too late for me to call them up(tomorrow morning) and start giving them s*it after I gave them the go-ahead for repair. In case I didn't mention it, the egg is now in their shop, for an overnight stay, waiting for the "inner sleeve" thingys to arrive from the Toronto warehouse. The price is not TOO Bad. It's about $180 plus labour, which they claim could be anywhere from 15 minutes, to 2 hours MAX and I quote. Assuming of course that they don't bust the air shock during the procedure.

I'm suffering from anxiety now, no joke.



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In the manual it states (in a warning box no less):
The jack-up mode must always be switched on when the vehicle is lifted by a floor jack or a workshop lift."

I think what happens is without the suspension locked the bags deflate and the suspension will sag well beyond normal travel when filled. And those air couplings ripped from their housings. I hope new ones screw in properly.

Fight this - and replace the driver side while your at it. I hope everything works out.
 

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In the manual it states (in a warning box no less):
The jack-up mode must always be switched on when the vehicle is lifted by a floor jack or a workshop lift."

I think what happens is without the suspension locked the bags deflate and the suspension will sag well beyond normal travel when filled. And those air couplings ripped from their housings. I hope new ones screw in properly.

Fight this - and replace the driver side while your at it. I hope everything works out.
If this is true, on how vulnerable the air suspension really is if one is not careful when jacking it up, how the hell is one supposed to be able to drop off his Touareg at any dealership, simply drop off the keys, and blindly go about a days work in a naive fashion, thinking that everything will be alright? It's like, you literally have to be standing there, by the bay window watching, to see if they are doing the procedure right. Is this what it has boiled down too?

Should I really go ahead and replace the drivers side also? It's not leaking... therefore should I? I'm already having second thoughts, to call them up first thing tomorrow, and tell them to just fix what is now broken, and leave everything else alone. I don't know anymore...


Is your Touareg still under Warranty?
Excellent question. Yes..I mean no. What I mean is, I do have a 3rd party warranty, that cost me $85 to have transferred to my name from the original owner, when I bought it from a private sale a few months ago. Of course I called them up today, from the VW dealerships service department no less. Everything but the kitchen sink is written on that 3rd party warranty contract. Well guess what? You guessed it. :rolleyes:



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If this is true, on how vulnerable the air suspension really is if one is not careful when jacking it up, how the hell is one supposed to be able to drop off his Touareg at any dealership, simply drop off the keys, and blindly go about a days work in a naive fashion, thinking that everything will be alright? It's like, you literally have to be standing there, by the bay window watching, to see if they are doing the procedure right. Is this what it has boiled down too?

Should I really go ahead and replace the drivers side also? It's not leaking... therefore should I? I'm already having second thoughts, to call them up first thing tomorrow, and tell them to just fix what is now broken, and leave everything else alone. I don't know anymore...


Excellent question. Yes..I mean no. What I mean is, I do have a 3rd party warranty, that cost me $85 to have transferred to my name from the original owner, when I bought it from a private sale a few months ago. Of course I called them up today, from the VW dealerships service department no less. Everything but the kitchen sink is written on that 3rd party warranty contract. Well guess what? You guessed it. :rolleyes:
We trust that dealers who are supposed to be certified for VW vehicles know exactly what to do with our cars. :confused:

The corrosion on the drivers side looks like it needs to be cleaned up. It won't get any better and at some point would probably start to leak which could cause the compressor to constantly run which could of course cause other unwanted outcomes.

I'm really sorry that this has occurred to you. But remember the problem was not caused by you it was the bone heads at the dealership. They need to own up to their mistake.
 

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So sorry to hear of your problem but thanks for posting those pictures. Once I read your post the first thing I checked on my Touareg was the struts. Here's a shot of my 2004 (sorry iPhone shot). It spent the first 4 years/58K miles of its life in New York and the last year or so in California. I wonder why your Toaureg has such extensive corrosion in that area.

I hope everything works out for you.
 

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Excuse my ignorance. I have very little experience with the air suspension, but what's the difference between the wheel going to full droop during off-road driving and you lifting it up on a workshop lift? Does it actually go BEYOND Xtra level when you raise it off the ground if it's not in lock mode and the engine's not running?

I always thought that the lock function is there because your standard jack won't be able to lift the vehicle high enough to change a tyre when in Xtra level... :confused2:

The fact that the hose fitting broke (corrosion) is a big concern but I think blaming the tech because he didn't lock the suspension is pushing it a bit. If it is indeed his fault, I'd say it's a pathetic design from VW. While they're at it, tell them to lengthen the hoses to prevent it from happening again... ;)
 

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It's pity you agreed to them going ahead with the repair as there is no going back now but I myself have no expreience with air but maybe they may come to some understanding about the other side to get the pipes longer would be a great idea, and also you must find the cause of such corrosion and if need be smear the joint with some grease to stop it happening again, PS I would still have a chat with the manager and see if you can come to some arangement sorry to hear your in this problem, but on another note to replace that tray is a pain in the ass had to do it myself and its not easy,do remmber when replacing that tray I had to remove the inside of the wheel arch to conect the back two screws and I am just saying it would seem to be very easy to hit that pipe and break it in that tight space, its funny the pipe on the other side did not break as well , yours Stewart maybe you can use this as leverage with the manager
 

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Apparently - so I've been told - the fitting is brass and the canister aluminum. As another forum member pointed out, those materials oxidize, they do not rust. Search under STOP FAULT RUNNING FGEAR and read all about it.

The aircanisters are ~1650 apiece and I too was told that the money end (where your hydraulic line snapped) is indeed not a separate part.

As to liability because it broke on the lift...hmmmm...dealer should cut you some slack even if it were a simple coincidence.

Good luck. My fronts were replaced under the VW Platinum Driver's Gear Real World Warranty or whatever they call it.
 

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I like the idea of cleaning in there and maybe coating them in some grease to keep the salts and other crud away...the problem I encountered was attributed to an air leak...diagnosed via the old soapy water spray bottle technique...after they were replaced, the fault warning reappeared, so they then replaced the compressor and a distribution valve...lending additional credence to the earlier post in this thread that a subtle air leak could likely cause your compressor to overwork itself and fail.
 

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As another forum member pointed out, those materials oxidize, they do not rust.
Rust is oxidation of iron in the presence of water. It's exactly the same as what's happening to the aluminium. It's just not called rust because it's not iron/steel. The green stuff that forms on copper is also the same thing. ;)
 

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Thanks, AndrieK for the metallurgical clarification!

The VW Platinum warranty excludes repairs where the culprit is determined to be "rust". Since the components are (allegedly) brass and aluminum - not iron - the point was made to me that brass and aluminum don't "rust"...hence denying claim for the presence of "rust" isn't possible? Have to do a wikipedia search now....

I never had to explore the rust vs. oxidation argument: My dealer handled it on my behalf, saving me a ton of money.,,,new canisters up front, plus a new compressor and distribution valve was close to 6K USD.

That said, vwdude's got some issue. I'd question the design of a suspension component so prone to "oxidation" that it could snap right off, much less easily leak. Those connectors should be designed to be field replaceable.

Hopefully we are not witnessing the start of some sort of airsuspension canister failure pandemic. I am lucky my dealer values my business.

Carry on.

PS....the green stuff on copper is called verdigris
PPS...if we keep this up, VW Real Driver will catch on and change their exception clause to "oxidation"!!
 

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the way I understand this problem, from my sailboat experience, is that the problem is two dissimilar metals create an electrical charge. The problem is called electrolysis. The presence of salt, ie road salt would probably make it worse. I've had to deal with this on the boat and it can get expensive. As far as I know, the only way to permanently solve the problem is to have a non-conductive barrier between the two metals. Seems like it was not too well thought out in the planning process. Cheers!
 

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PPS...if we keep this up, VW Real Driver will catch on and change their exception clause to "oxidation"!!
Ha ha, good one Jim... :D:D:D

All Touaregs in SA are sold with a 12 year anti-CORROSION warranty. I would assume this goes for the US vehicles as well.

Rust, oxidation, verdigris, call it what you like. It's all corrosion and should really be covered by the FACTORY warranty. I'd seriously consider exploring this route.

BTW, diesel4me, I agree. The fact that they have an aluminium housing with a brass/copper/whatever fitting is probably what's causing the corrosion. Poor design IMO.
 

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All Touaregs in SA are sold with a 12 year anti-CORROSION warranty. I would assume this goes for the US vehicles as well.
Probably for the body panels, which are probably hot-dipped and then painted, etc. Not sure it would apply to mechanical pieces -- would have to read the fine print, as they say.

Cheers, John
 
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