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Discussion Starter #1
Our daughter took her 2009 EOS in for scheduled maintenance at her local VW dealer. It was running well, no performance problems, had 64000 miles.
The mechanic called and informed her there was a blown gasket which had to be replaced for $2000. She is a average driver and does not race or stress the car. The car was not running hot and there was no coolant leak. The mechanic hasn't said why he thinks it is a blown gasket although the compression was low on one cylinder. He said they can fix it and be "95% certain" the problem will be fixed.
Are there tests the mechanic can run that might isolate or narrow down the problem? Are there other questons she could ask and maybe get more info? Perhaps there has been a service bulletin issued?
It just seems odd the gasket could fail right after the warranty expires on a fairly low mileage car.
 

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When cars get problems you usually get some symptoms. When technicians start throwing their test equipment at your car they seem to find a string of problems you never knew existed. It is like going to hospital with one problem, then by the time they have thrown all their tests at you, you think you haven't got long to live!:(

They need to tell you the actual compression results and the variation across cylinders, 'low' is not good enough. Compression testing does not always give accurate results and many do not know how to do it correctly. Did they do it on a warm engine after running ten minutes or so or a cold engine when oil will have drained from the cylinder bores?

I suspect they just stuck their compression tester in each plug/injector port and got a set of readings. What they should do next is repeat the run with some light oil dropped into each cylinder. This ensures a good seal between the cylinder wall and the bores to reduce pressure leaks and errors in their results. Most modern engines use oval pistons and they do not become circular and better sealing until hot. If the compression readings come back higher and consistent, then the problem is not a gasket or valve seats.

What you should do now is get the scheduled maintenance completed and hold off a decision on the 'suspect' head gasket until you get more info.

From what you say, I supect your daughter nurses the car a bit. It is time to make the car work harder on a long drive with some spirit in the drive and rpm. Before you do it, go buy an engine/injector cleaner additive. Run the tank down to 1/4 full, put it in and go drive hard.

Then get the compressions re-checked correctly by another workshop. It won't cost that much. If your readings are o.k you spent $20 on additive and some gas instead of $2000. :)

You still might have a head gasket or valve seat problem, but I would be inclined to get a second opinion. What you have been told leads to a workshop repair which is cheap on parts, very expensive on labor and good on profit. Just the kind of jobs shops like!

Come back and tell us your result.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Giving up

The result is that I have no idea what is going on 1000 mi. away. They did clean the goop off the injectors and replaced the head gasket. Now she says they are waiting for a part ("a cylinder"???). I guess I'll just wait and see what they come up with.
Thanks for the replies.
 
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