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Recently, the shop has been dealing with multiple Volkswagens needing repairs related to the diesel-gate scandal – the cars that got Volkswagen into trouble a few years back. These cars received an extended warranty when the modifications were completed by Volkswagen.

In Canada, the model years affected were 2009 through 2015 2.0 TDI’s and Audi’s 2.0 and V6 TDI’s up to 2016. The warranty small print says: For automatic vehicles, the warranty period is the greater of 10 years or 193,000 kilometres, whichever occurs first from the vehicle’s original in-service date or four years or 77,000 kilometres, whichever occurs first, from the date and mileage of the completion of the emissions modifications.

Manual transmission vehicles are slightly different with 10 years and six months or 203,000 kilometres or four years and six months or 87,000 kilometres respectively.

Early year models are now out of their extended warranty period, but VW began performing emissions modifications in 2018, so this is for owners who are nearing their four-year anniversary.

As per VW Canada, The emissions system warranty shall cover the following parts or systems:

  • The entire exhaust gas after treatment system, including the Diesel Oxidation Catalyst, NOx Reduction Catalyst, Diesel Particulate Filter, exhaust flap and all sensors and actuators;
  • The entire fuel system, including fuel pumps, high pressure fuel rail, fuel injectors, vibration damper, pressure control valve and all sensors and actuators;
  • The Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) system, including EGR valves, EGR cooler, EGR filter, EGR temperature sensor, all related hoses and pipes and all sensors and actuators;
  • The air intake pipe and charge air cooler, charge air temperature sensor and air-mass sensor;
  • The turbocharger, including the turbocharger damper;
  • The Glow Plug;
  • The On-Board Diagnostic (OBD) system – any malfunctions detected by the OBD system other than those related to the transmission; and
  • The Transmission and Transmission Mechatronic Unit (specific 2009 MY vehicles ONLY).
  • Additionally, the engine long block warranty shall cover the engine sub-assembly that consists of the assembled block, crankshaft, cylinder head, camshaft, and valve train.

This is a significant warranty extension that covers a lot of ground, and because I’m all about easy clichés, get in while the getting is good if you can. This warranty is also transferable, so if you have recently bought an affected TDI, you should investigate your vehicle’s original in-service date and also exactly when the modifications were done.

Your automotive questions answered

Hi Lou,

I purchased a new 2018 Mazda CX-5 from a local Halifax dealership in July, 2018. The vehicle only has 21,500 kilometres of light wear.

Recently the brakes began making noise, so I took it to the same local Mazda dealership for what I thought would be a warranty inspection. Thirty minutes later, I received news that all four brake pads were down to metal and all four rotors needed replacement. The vehicle is an automatic with a power emergency brake system.

Upon hearing the news, I had a few words with the service manager and told her I was shocked. I’ve been driving for 30-plus years, with the previous 15 years driven exclusively on new Volkswagens and have never heard of anyone needing a brake replacement with so few kilometres.

The Mazda service manager had sympathy and told me that my situation was unusual, but not unique in her time at the dealership. Mazda Canada’s representative was also not helpful or sympathetic when I reached out by phone. Is this normal and what recourse, if any, do I have in this situation?

Thanks, Paul H.

There is no way that this vehicle should be metal to metal in both the front and rear at that low of a mileage. This is most definitely not normal. Something must be seized causing the brakes to drag, leading to the unfortunate, premature wear.

I have to wonder if you ever serviced your brakes? If you had not serviced your brakes since new, then this would be the reason why they wore out so early. The brake pads became seized in their caliper brackets, stopped moving and couldn’t release. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that because of the low mileage, you didn’t even think they needed a service.

Dear Lou,

I only drive my 2006 Mazdaspeed6 in the summer and drive it about 5,000 to 8,000 kilometres a year. My current odometer reading is 75,000 kilometres. Because of the turbo, and the higher operating temperature that comes with one, I only use synthetic oil. My mechanic advises me to do an oil change every spring. He says moisture builds up in the oil during winter storage. The oil looks as good as new. Question is: Am I pouring money down the drain for doing so? Your expert input, please.

Thanks, Paul C., Truro, N.S.

Regardless of what the oil looks like, or mileage driven, a yearly oil service should be completed in my opinion. The question, therefore, is whether it should be done in the spring or the fall.

There are two schools of thought, with both perspectives having valid points. The typical reason to replace in the fall, before parking it for the winter, is to get rid of all the contaminated, fuel-diluted oil. The theory being there is no need to let the dirty oil sit in the oil pan all winter long.

Alternatively, as per your mechanic, there is also reason to change it in the spring because of moisture building up during the winter. If you are the type who regularly starts the car and lets it idle multiple times per winter, I would service it in the spring. But if you store the car without running it during the winter, which by the way, is what I recommend, change it in the fall.

Of course, there are always exceptions to every rule. In your case, I believe that as your location is considered somewhat of a wet climate, I would go with your mechanic’s recommendation.

Lou Trottier is owner-operator of All About Imports in Mississauga. Have a question about maintenance and repair? E-mail, placing “Lou’s Garage” in the subject line.

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