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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2010 V6 with 100k miles
My VW dealer quoted me nearly $8k US to replace my Cat. Convertor and O2 sensors.
This seems insane to me. Apparently it's because the parts are $6.7k alone and have to be ordered from Germany.
Any idea if this is true or am I getting scammed?
Any after market stuff you'd recommend instead?

Thank you!
 

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V6 gas or diesel?

Aftermarket cats on ebay for a 2010 Tdi are GB£160-200 which is about US$220-275.

O2 sensors are around 40 bucks.

Why are you taking a 10 year old car to a main dealer?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
V6 gas or diesel?

Aftermarket cats on ebay for a 2010 Tdi are GB£160-200 which is about US$220-275.

O2 sensors are around 40 bucks.

Why are you taking a 10 year old car to a main dealer?
V6 Gas. I normally don't go to the dealer unless it's absolutely necessary, but sometimes it's hard to find people who will work on VWs where I live. I thought I was going to have to Uber home too and my normal shop is 20 min away, but the dealer is about 2 min. I just wanted to know why my check engine light was on and was going to take it else where to get it fixed.
So realistically, if I replace the cat after market, it should be relatively cheap compared to his quote? I am guessing he was talking about VW parts specifically.
 

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I love how they justify stupid prices by saying parts have to come from Germany rather than say Des Moines...as if every VW part doesn't "come from Germany"
 

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I love how they justify stupid prices by saying parts have to come from Germany rather than say Des Moines...as if every VW part doesn't "come from Germany"
Yeah I love driving my car but it’s such a huge pain getting anything done. Everything is hard to find or expensive and dealers always grift.
 

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I'm not unhappy with my dealer as long as they keep replacing parts under the AEM without giving me grief. Post warranty will likely delete delete delete at the 1st sign of trouble
 
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BMW does this with old parts they don't want customers to order. The most egregious example is a multi-thousand dollar hunk of metal (a literal solid block of metal) that bolts into the trunk of the cabrios to reduce cowl shake.

I also remember Toyota 4Runner original full catbacks were a few thousand back in the 90s so I could easily see them being $6K now.

Then there probably is some kind of shipping surcharge at this point in history. While many parts do come over from Germany they fill up a container and then ship it with a global rate vs. a one-off purchase that is shipped over on its own. You might be able to tell them you're willing to wait for the next year for them to find leftover space in one of their regular containers but that's not really something most people want to do. We used to do it with BMW parts because we were shipping entire body kits and other things that weren't time sensitive--but it really was a group of people waiting around for a call that our container had come in after about 8 months.
 

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That dealer is definitely raking you over the coals. I did some checking around and for the left and right cats the nominal price I found is ~ $ 2,200. This is new OEM pricing. See link below for example.
This is the exact reason they get called stealerships. I honestly think most of them are geared to sell new cars and not really boned up on repairing them.


Link >>> EXHAUST SYSTEM. EXHAUST COMPONENTS.. Volkswagen
 
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I honestly think most of them are geared to sell new cars and not really boned up on repairing them.
I believe this is reversed. No doubt they're making money...that's their purpose. But how much is the question.

Does someone have the book hours on this job? It could be as "simple" as dropping the belly pans, the driveshaft, and R&R the entire exhaust system or call for completely removing the front clip and dropping the engine. Could be 10 hours or could be 20 hours. If it take a couple techs double digit hours, that takes up a whole bay for a few days and they also lose out on double digit oil changes and brake jobs (which my Indie friends told me years ago were their bread and butter so I imagine similar holds true for "stealerships").

We also can't just look at the price tag. We have to account for shipping and time. As I mentioned earlier, unless the customer wants to wait for this thing to float over it's arriving via air. No one has one of these 2010 exhaust systems sitting on their stock shelves and no one said, "let's throw one on this container ship just in case." It's a one-off and there are costs associated with that.

A couple thousand for those two raw parts, another $500ish for fasteners and gaskets, I'll err on the lower end with a 10 hour budget for another $1500 and we're talking about $2K above and beyond the job costs itself, which isn't much when you think about it. The techs have to get paid, the instrastructure has to be maintained and accounted for, and then, yes, profit does have to be made for none of this matters.

I do agree they could be "making" up to about $2k but that's not much at the end of the day. It's too much for me, which is why I'd do it at an indie shop, but that's not the same as claiming they're screwing people out of $4,500 dollars because aftermarket cats are only a couple hundred bucks. Totally different argument, imo, although I do agree with the "stealership" label.
 

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I believe this is reversed. No doubt they're making money...that's their purpose. But how much is the question.

Does someone have the book hours on this job? It could be as "simple" as dropping the belly pans, the driveshaft, and R&R the entire exhaust system or call for completely removing the front clip and dropping the engine. Could be 10 hours or could be 20 hours. If it take a couple techs double digit hours, that takes up a whole bay for a few days and they also lose out on double digit oil changes and brake jobs (which my Indie friends told me years ago were their bread and butter so I imagine similar holds true for "stealerships").

We also can't just look at the price tag. We have to account for shipping and time. As I mentioned earlier, unless the customer wants to wait for this thing to float over it's arriving via air. No one has one of these 2010 exhaust systems sitting on their stock shelves and no one said, "let's throw one on this container ship just in case." It's a one-off and there are costs associated with that.

A couple thousand for those two raw parts, another $500ish for fasteners and gaskets, I'll err on the lower end with a 10 hour budget for another $1500 and we're talking about $2K above and beyond the job costs itself, which isn't much when you think about it. The techs have to get paid, the instrastructure has to be maintained and accounted for, and then, yes, profit does have to be made for none of this matters.

I do agree they could be "making" up to about $2k but that's not much at the end of the day. It's too much for me, which is why I'd do it at an indie shop, but that's not the same as claiming they're screwing people out of $4,500 dollars because aftermarket cats are only a couple hundred bucks. Totally different argument, imo, although I do agree with the "stealership" label.
At least you agree with the "Stealership" label.
 

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Where do you live? Magnaflow sells cats but depends on your state or country.

Anyone know how difficult it is to replace the cats? I haven't been underneath my new Touareg yet and I haven't found any good pics online to scope it out.
 

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In my younger days I worked in dealerships in management, finance and as a trainer so would like to think I learned a little about how they work. The goal was always to have the gross profit from parts and service cover 100% of overhead with the margin in sales going to the bottom line. That's right out of Toyota's dealership operating manual and I think most mfgs have adopted similar principals.

As for parts VW (or any other mfg) doesn't ship anything on a silver platter. They have contracts with ships and aircraft and can/will stuff anything they can in to a cargo hold or container on as as needed basis since it's going anyway. Small high value parts are better shipped by air anyway so that's routine IMO. So yes some larger or low volume items aren't sitting on a shelf in Des Moines, but the cost of getting it to a US dealership is built in to their pricing. Stuff is moving constantly.

Having said all that, dealers have wide latitude in how they price parts and how many pricing levels they have. A BMW dealer I did lots of business with had 5 ranging from employee, wholesale, list, list + and list ++. I think that's where these conversations come from..the list ++ and maybe another + for good measure.

I buy my OE parts from VW dealers online but for small stuff or if I'm time crunched I'll go to my servicing dealer and they will quote me 2x list. I roll my eyes and they drop it in half. You have to ask.
 

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Perfect example here. I had my windshield replaced yesterday and half the "conduit" that houses the wires above rear view mirror is broken. I call my dealer who quotes me $33 when I know list is $24. He doesn't care so I go online and all the usual online VW dealers are at $13-14 plus shipping but no sales tax. I'd be into it for $20 which is still a stupid price for a 5" piece of plastic 1/2" in diameter...but it's not $35 w tax.
 

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Perfect example here. I had my windshield replaced yesterday and half the "conduit" that houses the wires above rear view mirror is broken. I call my dealer who quotes me $33 when I know list is $24. He doesn't care so I go online and all the usual online VW dealers are at $13-14 plus shipping but no sales tax. I'd be into it for $20 which is still a stupid price for a 5" piece of plastic 1/2" in diameter...but it's not $35 w tax.
Dealer wholesale is the best way to go if you can get it. Cheaper and faster than purchasing from ECS. I try to avoid ECS but convenience sometimes prevails...
 

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Honestly if your catalytic converter is shot get an aftermarket high flow cat. You'll pick up a little horsepower, you'll get a little more responsiveness, it will be way cheaper.
 

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I have had good luck with Bosal Exhaust products in the past.

Bosal cats are running in the $7xx range for the FR, FL, and the rear. So all three cats are about $22xx.

 

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There are lots of high flow race cats in the 100 dollar range no need to get crazy
 

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There's a good chanced that your cat is still OK. VW's fault sensor is overly sensitive and sets a CEL when the cat is still 95% good. A simple O2 sensor extender on the post cat O2 sensor will solve the problem. You need to get a scan done to find out which side is throwing the code and which sensor is bad. Replace the bad sensor and add the extender to the post cat sensor on the side that's bad.

The rear O2 sensor measures cat performance and the extender will not affect engine performance. Buy one of the extenders with both straight and angled pieces so that you can fit. I have an 04 v8 that has been running for over 40k miles with an extender. Also an 01 Audi A6 with 338k miles that have been running with extenders on both sides for the last 200k miles. The dealer won't do it. Indy's might or might not, but it's really a DIY. You may need a good O2 sensor wrench with a flex joint. My sensor socket did not fit in space. Takes about an hour. Run the engine for 15 minutes if the sensor won't budge. Heat will loosen it.
 
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