Piston Slap: of Lemons and VW GTIs
Good Morning Sajeev,
Today is my 2010 GTI’s 15th day in the shop (shocking, right?). Earlier this month it was in for 13 days, I had it back for 6, and I dropped it back off two days ago. The issue is somewhat strange, but in my mind, easily fixable. I have been getting CEL 2294 and when I run my own VCDS scans, I have been getting the following logs (edited down).
- 004501 – Fuel Pressure Regulator Valve (N276)
- P1195 – 000 – Open or Short to Ground – Intermittent
- 008852 – Fuel Pressure Regulator Valve (N276)
- P2294 – 000 – Open Circuit – Intermittent
Note that the above mentioned valve is integrated into the fuel pump and cannot be changed.
Since the issue has started the dealer has replaced the high pressure fuel pump relay (makes sense), the fuse box (makes less sense to jump to that with no other issues, but I get it), and the throttle body wiring harness (also makes sense). The three previously stated fixes were done on the first visit, and seemed to work for about 3 days (well the throttle body wiring harness seemed to work for about 3 days, the other fixes didn’t fix anything). Late in the day yesterday (day 14 of shop time) a call was placed to the VW tech line as the dealer was stumped. As it is being covered until Power Train Warranty and I have received exceptional service (frequent updates from Service Adviser, free loaners), I have been reluctant to force the issue of why they are not replacing the last, and seemingly obvious, point of possible failure: the high pressure fuel pump (Note I have a TSI, not the FSI with the known HPFP/Cam Follower Issues).
My technical experience isn’t vast, but it seems like if all the downstream fixes don’t work, its time to go to the source. I also am a bit confused, as the amount of shop time this is costing them and the other parts they have invested, all add up to far more than the cost of a fuel pump ($250ish retail, so probably way less than that to them). So how hard do I push them down the last obvious road? Do I take it back and spend the $250 and a few hours myself, just to have it done? Do I trade it? Should I stop making assumptions?
Thanks for all you do,
(P.S. – Feel free to forum search the codes above, chances are you will only see my threads!)
It is nice to see the Mk6 Golf continuing the last generation’s legacy. And by nice I mean it allows the B&B to make blanket statements about VW’s terrible long-term value without digging into the heart of the matter. Michael Karesh’s TrueDelta may beg to differ in a year or two, but that remains to be seen.
Replacing a wiring harness at this age? That’s a quality product right there!
Your dealer’s diagnostic sounds logical and I’m not dumb enough to remotely question their actions. Why? Because if the pump is putting out pressure within specifications, it was never the problem. And therefore it isn’t the next logical step. The engine computer itself may be the problem, and we may never know.
My advice? Time to start using the phrase “Lemon Law” with your dealer. Don’t be mean about it, just be honestly frustrated and seeking advice. And check your state’s specific rules on the matter, and see if (or when) your GTI fits into this category. I’ve seen cars get Lemon Law’d for less, so do yourself a solid and ask around on this matter.
Off to you, Best and Brightest!
Send your queries to firstname.lastname@example.org. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry.
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