Automotive

2010 Audi Q5 piston replacement

  • Last Updated:
  • Apr 2nd, 2019 11:35 pm
[OP]
Newbie
Mar 24, 2019
2 posts
2 upvotes

2010 Audi Q5 piston replacement

Hello everyone, I need some help/advice on this situation regarding my 2010 Q5 3.2 Premium (This is going to be a long post, TLDR is at the bottom).

I dropped the car off at the dealership for scheduled servicing almost two months ago and it has been there ever since.
The servicing was done in a day, which is great, so I go pick up the car the next day. This is when the car takes a dump - or tries to, lol - the engine shook really badly on first startup and then stalled. I immediately went to get a service advisor to take a look at it. The car shook violently when they tried to start it up as well, so they suggest I leave it there to have them check it out.

After a few days I get a call saying that piston and rings needs to be replaced (quoted at $13k) with possibilities of other issues "along the way" that can only be seen as they take the engine apart, which will cost $20k+ to do. Those numbers hurt...

Before agreeing to any of that, we talked some more and they offered to test the (base?) timing to see if that was the cause. Supposedly, if that was the cause, replacing the timing chain and tensioner would have fixed the car. Sadly test results show that the timing was not the problem.

The service advisor mentioned a few times that the car is old and that he does not think repairs are worth it, but was not forceful about it and gave us time to think. We had no plans of getting a new car at this time so we decided to contact Audi of Canada (AoC) in hopes that they can help with the repairs. A case was opened and AoC instructed the dealership to do more tests on the car.

After a few weeks the dealership says that they have taken apart the engine, confirmed that piston and rings do indeed have to be replaced and that Audi Canada will not be helping out - stating that the car is too old/out of warranty. The dealership offered to cover the labour costs but we have to pay for the parts (~$3500).

I called AoC again hoping to change their mind but they said that the decision was final, and this is where we currently stand. The $3500 bill is a lot more easier to swallow but I am still pissed that we have to pay for some engine (internal) defect that killed our car without warning.

TLDR:
- 2010 Q5 3.2 Premium with ~115k km mileage, always dealership serviced, bought new/one owner, located in Ontario, Canada
- car suddenly dies after regular servicing at dealership
- piston and rings need replacement, with initial quotes of $13k to $20k+ repair bills
- contacted Audi of Canada (AoC) to start a case, their final decision is to not help because car is too old
- dealership offered to cover labour costs, while we pay for parts at ~$3500

Obviously I would like for AoC to pay this bill, but I don't know how to get them to change their "final decision". So I am turning to everyone here in hopes of learning new information that I can use when negotiating with AoC again.

So please, any suggestions/comments would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance!
Btw, how did I do in handling the situation so far? I have never been a strong negotiator tbh, maybe I should have posted this when the whole thing started, to ask for advice...

Note: I've cross posted this on a few forums that I know about/visit sometimes/lurk on, to cover more ground, not sure if I can list them here. I don't know if I chose the best sites for posting, so if anyone has suggestions on where else I should post this, please let me know! Thanks again.
42 replies
Deal Guru
User avatar
Oct 5, 2008
10936 posts
4002 upvotes
Toronto
your car is out of warranty, why are you expecting Audi to pay for anything?

Frankly, it sounds like they have been more than generous already.

Are you suggesting they damaged your car during routine service?
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jul 26, 2007
3808 posts
1520 upvotes
Toronto
How does $10k bill get reduce to $3k? This must be best dealer ever or they botched the oil change job somehow and they don't want to admit fault, I mean who would?
Deal Fanatic
Jun 26, 2007
5762 posts
1179 upvotes
???
Not gonna lie, this story seems fishy. Dealerships are not gonna just fork out labour without compensation from anyone. They loose money and the techs and staff still needs to get paid. I’m assuming what happened was someone messed up the Oil change real bad, like not put any oil in it bad. Then when they realized the mistake and realized that you had no idea either, they took advantage of that. A piston failure would not just suddenly appear after a service. There’s also symptoms etc, it just doesn’t magically appear out of nowhere.

What they are trying to do is make it seem like they are giving you a deal, hopefully you’ll take it. Repair it, and get you along the way without too much fuss. What they are scared of is you smartening up and getting legal representation and going after them for a botched oil change.
Newbie
Nov 29, 2012
52 posts
11 upvotes
Mississauga
3.5K is good price for engine rebuild by audi. Probably a goodwill since all service done at dealership. Have them change your timing chain and timing chain tensioner too.
Sr. Member
Jan 17, 2009
724 posts
561 upvotes
Toronto, Ontario
zarcate wrote:
Mar 25th, 2019 12:56 pm
3.5K is good price for engine rebuild by audi. Probably a goodwill since all service done at dealership. Have them change your timing chain and timing chain tensioner too.
3.5k is a steal for out of warranty engine build. I'm shocked the dealership would goodwill any of it, but i'm sure you always taking the car there maybe they feel bad for you.
Deal Addict
Sep 8, 2017
1916 posts
1961 upvotes
GTA
Take the $3500 rebuild. Even if they messed up the oil change, you have no proof of that.
Deal Addict
Apr 6, 2008
1361 posts
799 upvotes
I would be tempted to put the service manager on the spot and ask him point blank to see if anything "odd" happened with the service. Just be careful of your wording, don't accuse but bring it up and see their reaction. You should be able to figure out if they knew something was wrong. I would have a hard time paying that bill knowing the car was running perfectly when you initially dropped it off. This is one of those times a dashcam may have helped, yes they may have disconnected it but if nothing else it'll provide time stamps for what happened that day.

I feel your beef is with the dealer, not AofC. Assuming the dealer did everything right, AofC owes you nothing as it's outside of warranty, goodwill is usually a few months after the warranty is up not several years. If the dealer did make a mistake, they should step up and repair it, but the onus is on you to prove it.
Deal Addict
May 4, 2014
3765 posts
3762 upvotes
Toronto, ON
derass wrote:
Mar 25th, 2019 1:02 pm
Take the $3500 rebuild. Even if they messed up the oil change, you have no proof of that.
The question is, if they botched an oil change, what are the chances they can rebuild an engine properly?

For all we know, the inside of that engine could be covered in glitter.
Deal Addict
Sep 8, 2017
1916 posts
1961 upvotes
GTA
Yeah, who knows. My experience has been that rebuilt engines never last as long as when they came from the factory anyways.

But OP doesn't have much bargaining power here. Perhaps another option would be to spend that $3500 swapping in a used, unopened engine. Whether that be at the dealer or elsewhere.
Sr. Member
Sep 6, 2017
637 posts
317 upvotes
How come the OP did not get a 2nd or 3rd opinion elsewhere? When you think the garage is fleecing you, take the car elsewhere. Oh boy, now I am getting worried about my pistons and rings on mh vehicle.
Deal Addict
Sep 8, 2017
1916 posts
1961 upvotes
GTA
Everyone who gets their oil changed by someone else should do their due diligence and check the oil level when they pick up they car. In addition to checking on a regular basis, of course.

Time and time again, mistakes are made during oil changes. Whether that be at the dealer, or at Jiffy Lube.
Deal Expert
Mar 23, 2004
24038 posts
4320 upvotes
What the heck caused this? I was going to guess timing chain tensioner but the you have a 3.2L V6, not an EA888; plus, you mentioned the timing is in anyway. But something must have happened to do the damage, right? There must be a point of failure here.

I'm not familiar enough with the 3.2L to point out what common problems it has, if any could have caused this. However, have you tried posting on forums like Fourtitude (Vortex), Audizine, Audiforum.ca, etc.?

LMAO at a 2010 being "old" though--what a bunch of clowns at the stealer :rolleyes: Yes it's out of warranty, but I wouldn't call that "old" exactly. I mean as others have said $3500 seems pretty cheap for what sounds like a rebuild at the stealer. But if that's just parts it sounds like more than just pistons and rings. Unless they're replacing the entire long block?
Deal Addict
Sep 8, 2017
1916 posts
1961 upvotes
GTA
ES_Revenge wrote:
Mar 25th, 2019 7:00 pm
What the heck caused this? I was going to guess timing chain tensioner but the you have a 3.2L V6, not an EA888; plus, you mentioned the timing is in anyway. But something must have happened to do the damage, right? There must be a point of failure here.
Given that the dealer is offering to slash $10k of the repair bill for no apparent reason, we suspect they never filled it with oil. Starting it up and driving it out of the shop without oil was probably enough to destroy the engine.

But OP didn't check the oil when they discovered the problem, so we'll never know.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Feb 11, 2007
10108 posts
9262 upvotes
Oakville
peteryorkuca wrote:
Mar 25th, 2019 12:36 pm
How does $10k bill get reduce to $3k? This must be best dealer ever or they botched the oil change job somehow and they don't want to admit fault, I mean who would?
+1, sadly any evidence of mistake is now covered up by the dealer.
derass wrote:
Mar 25th, 2019 1:02 pm
Take the $3500 rebuild. Even if they messed up the oil change, you have no proof of that.
+1
derass wrote:
Mar 25th, 2019 1:15 pm
Yeah, who knows. My experience has been that rebuilt engines never last as long as when they came from the factory anyways.

But OP doesn't have much bargaining power here. Perhaps another option would be to spend that $3500 swapping in a used, unopened engine. Whether that be at the dealer or elsewhere.
+1
derass wrote:
Mar 25th, 2019 3:16 pm
Everyone who gets their oil changed by someone else should do their due diligence and check the oil level when they pick up they car. In addition to checking on a regular basis, of course.

Time and time again, mistakes are made during oil changes. Whether that be at the dealer, or at Jiffy Lube.
+1
Servicing is done by teenage students with no experience and no care. Dealers are in it to make money, so actually taking care of your car in the long term is not in their interest.

OP, do you have photos of the damaged pistons? Either the piston skirts/rings had a lubrication failure (no oil squirting from below) or you had massive engine knock, possibly due lots of carbon build up in the cylinder, or lean burning for many reasons.

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