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lou's garage

We just bought a 2011 VW Tiguan. It came with a 500-mile warranty, but I exceeded that just getting it home. One day later the engine light came on. I took it in to my local garage and was told the turbo is bad and it would need to be replaced at cost of about $3,000? I called the selling dealer and explained that the engine light came on one day after purchase and that I wanted to bring it back to be fixed. He said most likely they won’t honour the warranty because it was over the 500-mile mark.

Any advice?

Mike T, Chicago

I can see that Illinois state law requires dealers to offer a 15-day, 500-mile warranty which seems pointless to me, as this is hardly any better than buying “as is.”

My key points for any used car purchase, regardless of where you reside are: Research your purchase; a two-minute online query would have revealed a higher than normal turbocharger failure rate for the vehicle in question. Get an independent prepurchase inspection of the vehicle you are about to buy. Invest in a decent third-party warranty when you are looking at a used vehicle that may be known for big dollar repairs.

As far as your particular situation Mike, I wish I had more to offer. Try and work with the vendor to come up with some sort of compromise. Any reputable business should be able to see that extenuating circumstances exist and at least meet you halfway financially.

I drive a 2007 Mercedes Benz E280 4MATIC. When I start the car first thing in the morning (cold engine), the engine feels rough for about 3-4 minutes. After the car has warmed up, it’s okay; however, I feel the engine is slightly rough when I stop at the lights. Very noticeable in cold weather and less in the summer. I have replaced spark plugs as well as cleaned out the intake manifold, but no success. I welcome any suggestions.



The rough running you are referring to is popularly known as a misfire. During those initial 3-4 minutes, at least one of your six cylinders is not combusting fuel adequately and the engine stumbles until it warms up.

You haven’t mentioned if your malfunction indicator light (MIL) is illuminated. I am going to assume it is not, which means your technician will need to have the car sit overnight so that he or she can try to diagnose it while it is actually acting up.

Outside of regular tune-up items and ignition coils, and common to this vehicle, are these additional items: one or both primary oxygen sensors, engine-control modules (ECM) and air leaks from the intake manifold.

Without a code present in the ECM that will direct the technician to the specific misfiring cylinder, they will have to use common diagnostic techniques. Take it to a local Mercedes-Benz specialist and plan on being without if for a few days.

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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