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Old 12th June 2014, 22:57   #1
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Default VW Jetta, Premature driveshaft wear - VW Palace Cross won't replace

Remember the clanking sounds of your Maruti 800/Zen at around 30000km when you turned a corner? That was the Grim Reaper knocking on your door to claim the souls of your drive shafts. Lately, most driveshafts are built for a much longer time. My previous cars - Honda,, Skoda, Swift all crossed 60000 km with nary a clank so you would not expect anything from a tough Jetta?

Well, it has happened, read on..

Last month, my friendly dentist referred his patient to me over problems with his VW Jetta. I had a quick conversation with him and asked him to email me with the history.

In his words:

Quote:
1. The vehicle is the Jetta diesel AT, purchased from VW palace cross in Nov 2012- 2 years warranty.

2. Nov 12 To end Jan/ early Feb 2013,- I had clocked between 2-3,000 kms. I had by this time experienced a occasional shuddering/ vibration from the front wheels/ drive shaft (??) at speeds of 120 kmph and above. This shuddering/ vibration would come and go, sometimes making me wonder if it was the road quality. I managed to establish it going over the same patch of road many times and experiencing the shuddering/ vibration occasionally, not every time. Also, noticed a metallic rubbing noise from front wheels.

3. End Jan/ early Feb- visited VW Palace cross Rajajinagar VW workshop with above info to investigate physically and by test drive. No conclusive answer.

4. Approx. Mar/ Apr 13 - visited VW apple workshop in Whitefield with the above concerns. Investigation led to the finding that boot drive assembly clips on both front wheels were missing and in their place are plastic tie wraps that electricians use to tie electric cables together. I had left the vehicle at the workshop and gone for some work, so did not see this physically. There might have been traces of lubrication leaks from the unit which they must have cleaned out.

5. Subsequently, many visits, not all recorded or with job card history, plus email correspondence highlighting the concerns took place till date.

6. Currently, lot of metal against metal sounds when turning the vehicle either side and front wheel noises have increased and are now obvious.

They had offered to replace the boot assembly and clips but I refused to accept unless they could prove to me that no metal fatigue/ damage due to shearing/ stress forces have not occurred and why. They have not been able to put that in writing and give me.
He has written to VW - both India and Germany who advised him to take it in to dealer to resolve, which has not been done. The dealer doe not seem to have engaged VW to look into this.

Basically, the damage has been done, no amount of circlips will rescue the situation and the car needs new driveshafts. The owner wanted me to keep the car for a couple of days and verify.

I suggested he checked the wheel balancing etc which was done. The owner also complained of noises and clonks under hard braking.

Today we met and as we pulled out of InOrbit mall, the clanking started as soon as the car turned up the ramp.From the driver's seat you could hear the bearings groaning (like an old Ambassador Taxi). I did not get any strange clonks under braking, it might occur under extended use

We then took it to the area outside the KPTO Convention Centre and I drove some tight circles around in both directions. Man, it sounds really bad

It was time to look at the damage

Even with the wheels steered back, it is difficult to see the driveshaft but if one pokes a hand with a phone camera in, you see a lot. You also get a lot as when I poked my hand in, I got plenty of grease on my hand (those driveshafts are sealed remember and as much grease comes out as grit gets in!!). So lets look at the pictures

The driveshafts on both sides

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As you can observe

1:There are no clips attaching the boot to the shaft, grease has seeped out, the shaft is encrusted with mud + grease.

2: The boots are intact and did not seem torn hence no damage for use

3: There is not reason to remove the boots at any service as these are sealed for life.

Note the Jetta has done short of 22000km and is immaculately maintained.

Am sure any hapless owner would be told, "They all look like that!" So, what is the ideal way to calibrate that this is not the ideal state? Find a similar car with similar miles. I knew one car which was 6 months older and done almost the same number of kilometers - mine!

Since I could not take pictures in the office basement, drove to Bangalore Club to meet the school bus. While waiting, I reached with my phone into the wheel arch.

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See the difference - the shaft is relatively spotless, no greasy bits evidence and note the presence of the circlip.

It looks like someone goofed up on the driveshaft assembly and forgot the circlips. Putting them on as an afterthought will not work and a very shameful thing for the dealer to suggest since the damage has been set in motion once the abrasive grit etc has entered the drive joints. Replacement is the only answer.

As the car is under warranty, I have advised the owner to take it back to the dealer and insist on driveshaft replacements to resolve this as soon as possible before the warranty expires.


Summary
  • Driveshafts assembled without circlips
  • Grit/ abrasive material enters driveshaft joints and begins to hasten wear
  • Dealer refuses to stem the advance wear happening and suggested fitting circlips despite the abrasion continuing.

It was a shame that VW Palace Cross have not sorted this out since I normally get outstanding service from them

Last edited by ajmat : 13th June 2014 at 08:00.
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Old 12th June 2014, 23:30   #2
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Default Re: VW Jetta-Absent Circlips causes Premature Driveshaft wear: VW Palace Crs will not

Is VW ready to change the drive shafts under warranty. Obviously both sides drive shafts need to be changed under warranty. Forgetting to seal the boot is seriously callous.

Who has put the plastic ones? They should be metal screw type ones not the plastic zip ties.

I don't think there should be any more issues once this is replaced but for such a mistake, perhaps a one year extension on the warranty out of goodwill can be given by VW.
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Old 12th June 2014, 23:56   #3
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Default Re: VW Jetta-Absent Circlips causes Premature Driveshaft wear: VW Palace Crs will not

Another sad incident. This group must be avoided, however well we may like their cars.

For OP: Is it possible that the car got damaged in transit, and the damage was fixed at dealers before handing over the car. Perhaps dealer did not want to wait for new clips, hence just put cable ties to get the car of the door?
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Old 13th June 2014, 00:23   #4
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Default Re: VW Jetta-Absent Circlips causes Premature Driveshaft wear: VW Palace Crs will not

Remind me to check those on my car ASAP!! Really sad, and begs investigation. Where did the originals go, were they forgotten at the factory? And who put the plastic ones on?
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Old 13th June 2014, 08:28   #5
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Default Re: VW Jetta-Absent Circlips causes Premature Driveshaft wear: VW Palace Crs will not

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vid6639 View Post

I don't think there should be any more issues once this is replaced but for such a mistake, perhaps a one year extension on the warranty out of goodwill can be given by VW.
Replacing the driveshaft under warranty would be sufficient


Quote:
Originally Posted by latentpotential View Post

For OP: Is it possible that the car got damaged in transit,
There is no evidence of damage. The car is immaculate. Unless the car was dropped on its nose but it drove just like mine!

Quote:
Originally Posted by VeluM View Post
Remind me to check those on my car ASAP!! Really sad, and begs investigation. Where did the originals go, were they forgotten at the factory? And who put the plastic ones on?
There were no originals in the first place! The dealer put the plastic ones on.
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Old 13th June 2014, 10:25   #6
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Default re: VW Jetta, Premature driveshaft wear - VW Palace Cross won't replace

I had another thought, would somebody have removed them by mistake during any alignment & balancing job?
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Old 13th June 2014, 10:44   #7
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Default re: VW Jetta, Premature driveshaft wear - VW Palace Cross won't replace

Quote:
Originally Posted by latentpotential View Post
I had another thought, would somebody have removed them by mistake during any alignment & balancing job?
You don't ever need to remove them unless there was crash damage or similar
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Old 13th June 2014, 11:08   #8
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Default re: VW Jetta, Premature driveshaft wear - VW Palace Cross won't replace

Usually how long does the CV joint last in a typical vehicle?
Jetta in particular?
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Old 13th June 2014, 12:11   #9
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Default Re: VW Jetta, Premature driveshaft wear - VW Palace Cross won't replace

Another VW incident, am a Vento owner myself but have no qualms in accepting that the service provided is pathetic, both by service centres and the parent company itself. Me and my friend (who bought a Rapid 2 years back and i got a Vento) have made a list of part failures in our cars and that list is touching almost 25-27 issues which is huge for a 2 year old car - brake shuddering, seat belts not working, gear mounts/engine mounts gone, headlamps faded etc which i will soon update in my ownership thread after 2nd service.

Even if you send a mail to VW, they direct it back to dealer and that does not help, mail to any other brands higher ups and atleast you get a call back from the company which is very reassuring. Another thing i have noted with both VW and Skoda is that their people are trained to run away from warranty replacements, they just dont want to replace anything under warranty as if the warranty replacement is going to cost from their pockets.

The cars are good no doubt and build quality is great as well but part failures are quite high and poor service backup from the company itself. Wish i could get adjusted to Japanese cars but i dont think that is possible and that is the reason i have all unreliable ones in my garage - ford, fiat and VW
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Old 13th June 2014, 12:21   #10
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Default Re: VW Jetta, Premature driveshaft wear - VW Palace Cross won't replace

Quote:
Originally Posted by alpha1 View Post
Usually how long does the CV joint last in a typical vehicle?
Jetta in particular?
The CV joint in modern cars lasts the life of the vehicle. The only time it goes bad is if a stone hits the rubber boot causing a leak and dust to enter. Or the rubber itself begins to crack.

In older Maruti's the life of the CV joint depended on maintenance. Usually the service guys grease it and seal it back but if this is neglected, the CV joint used to go bad in 30-40K kms.
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Old 13th June 2014, 22:26   #11
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Default Re: VW Jetta, Premature driveshaft wear - VW Palace Cross won't replace

Quote:
perhaps a one year extension on the warranty out of goodwill can be given by VW.

Expecting this from a VW or Skoda would end up in deep disappointment. They make money in service more than sales and it would take a lot of stress and strain to get this done or let alone get this replaced under warranty.

German car makers in general could really care less about customer satisfaction. Their cars actually sell on their own and the rest is just a risk a customer took.

I own a Jetta and everytime something goes wrong i always tell myself, there is a long way to go before getting this fixed under warranty.

I know this first hand because i know my struts were kaput and it took over 5 weeks to accept and replace them underwarranty.

They even swapped the suspensions to ensure it was the struts. The warranty department will do testing that will frustrate you to the point, you rather replace it on your own cost. But thats the breaking point. If you can cross that without stressing yourself, you can reach your result.

Hope this get replaced under warranty.
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Old 5th July 2014, 11:36   #12
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Default Re: VW Jetta, Premature driveshaft wear - VW Palace Cross won't replace

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vid6639 View Post
Is VW ready to change the drive shafts under warranty. Obviously both sides drive shafts need to be changed under warranty. Forgetting to seal the boot is seriously callous.
Quote:
Originally Posted by coolboy007 View Post
. Another thing i have noted with both VW and Skoda is that their people are trained to run away from warranty replacements, they just dont want to replace anything under warranty as if the warranty replacement is going to cost from their pockets.
A frustrating update

The owner took my advice and took the car to VW Rajajinar. Unofrtunately, Naresh who was the best service advisor had left them.

The Service Manager, Mr Ali merely said: "If we put the circlips on, it was be all right"

This is ludicrous, the joints are worn and leaking. In the UK, this car would fail the MoT fitness test.

Looks like things will turn legal soon!
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Old 15th November 2014, 22:34   #13
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Default Re: VW Jetta, Premature driveshaft wear - VW Palace Cross won't replace

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajmat View Post
A frustrating update

The owner took my advice and took the car to VW Rajajinar. Unofrtunately, Naresh who was the best service advisor had left them.

The Service Manager, Mr Ali merely said: "If we put the circlips on, it was be all right"

This is ludicrous, the joints are worn and leaking. In the UK, this car would fail the MoT fitness test.

Looks like things will turn legal soon!
Ajmat, Did the problem get resolved?
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Old 16th November 2014, 14:36   #14
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All I know is that the owner had engaged a lawyer and was taking it to the consumer forum
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Old 4th December 2014, 21:10   #15
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Default Re: VW Jetta, Premature driveshaft wear - VW Palace Cross won't replace

I own a 2011 Vento. My front three AC vents got broke. All the slats started falling-off. I knew it was something to do with poor quality of vents. I've raised a complaint through VW Toll free number and dealer was VW Downtown - Housr Road.
Immediately got a call from CRM and they took photographs of the vents and told me that, they will send it to HO and let us know. I’ve never heard from them for past two weeks. Called up the VW Toll free number once again and got to know that complaint was closed. I’ve insisted to reopen the same complaint once again.
Got a call from the same CRM and she promised to replace the vents with “GOOD WILL”
My job was done!!
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