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Discussion Starter #21
I get the not wanting to deal with the lemon law/lawyer bit. Maybe it will work out. Can you provide info from here/vortex/FB pages of those with the same issue that had the head gasket replaced? The issue simply is, VW has a threshold for the pressure test i.e. certain amount of pressure loss of a certain amount of time. If it passes, the dealer doesn't get paid for the repair if they do it for you. Now, with that said, they can certainly talk to VW and go to bat for you on this. Also, have they run a pressure test over night? That seems to be a key. How much coolant loss are you experiencing? I've had some small loss over time, at 22K miles I've topped it once and I don't smell it. I just watch it and will note it next time I'm in for service to have a record. I've had 3 VWs and each had some de-minamus loss of coolant over time...even my Ford Focus did it over the first few 10's of Ks. Consistent coolant loss on the order of the tank being empty every few weeks is obviously a problem that VW needs to sort out. They've done it for plenty of people.
They did the overnight test. No pressure loss they said or leaks that they found. However, since getting it back the coolant smell is stronger than ever. The coolant reservoir hasn’t really moved since they marked it. I have no idea why we are smelling coolant and neither do they apparently. I asked about head gaskets and they said that the pressure test would have found if that were the issue. We will see what they check this time when I take it back in. Still waiting on them to call with a loaner large enough to fit my fam.
 

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They did the overnight test. No pressure loss they said or leaks that they found. However, since getting it back the coolant smell is stronger than ever. The coolant reservoir hasn’t really moved since they marked it. I have no idea why we are smelling coolant and neither do they apparently. I asked about head gaskets and they said that the pressure test would have found if that were the issue. We will see what they check this time when I take it back in. Still waiting on them to call with a loaner large enough to fit my fam.
Hope you get it sorted out. I've read of folks with the MK7 Golfs (GTI, R, Golf) that have similar issues - smell it but no drop in the tank. Bizarre.
 

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Discussion Starter #24 (Edited)
As a GTI owner I can chime in one the coolant thing.
It is an issue on the 2.0T as well.
The usual culprit is the thermostat housing that is leaking.
thanks for the heads up, I will ask when it goes in to check that.

And Karts... I just had the SVC manager send me over all of my repair orders and service history... They did not do an overnight pressure test like I sated earlier in our convo. I thought that is what they told me. They only performed the one they do for a few hours. With that being said there have been 4 repairs completed due to quality issues and 2 documented coolant references. The other time it was checked they didn't even bother to document it. This is most likely why VW corp told me to pound sand and deal with it b/c in SC its 3 times for the same issue to be considered a lemon. So, I copy and pasted the lemon law items linking them to my concerns/repair orders, along with the link . I gave them a final written notice to fix the issue and we will see how it goes. At this point since its all documented properly I am going to at least chat with a lemon law lawyer. I really want to enjoy this Atlas but every time I'm in it and smell coolant it pisses me off. I didnt buy this to trade in in after a year and its painful. They are like a boat anchor in value. $44K Sticker price and consistent trade in values coming in at $28k. Absolutely horrible but I assumed that would be the case when we bought it.
 

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Discussion Starter #25 (Edited)
As if I needed more confirmation of buyers remorse. Our atlas has 36k miles on it and it’s now in the shop for the next week to have the engine torn apart and a head gasket plus other various parts replaced. I am happy and a bit relieved that they seem to have found the issue if indeed this is the cause. Only time will tell but I would like to enjoy the car as intended. However, I am not happy at all that my engine is torn apart with MAJOR repairs happening so soon. I have no idea what to expect in terms of longevity with this thing and that is extremely concerning considering we drive about 25-30k miles a year.

VW has agreed to open the buyback case again and hopefully they will do the right thing and buy this POS back. If not its getting traded in and I forget all about this awful experience. Either way its gone by March 1st!
 

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Discussion Starter #26
Finally got my atlas back today and look at this list of repairs! Wow! I asked how much this would have been out of warranty and they said easily
Over $10k!!! And 10 miles down the road it’s going back in because now the heat doesn’t work. Probably an air bubble in the line but seriously this is insane.

For everyone saying smelling coolant is a VW thing or it’s normal, etc..... this work order says differently.
 

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who said anything about an investment? But thank for the investing tip that autos are not a good one, had no idea! You are a VW fanboy and that is ok, they are nice looking autos. This atlas along with many others have been disappointing so far. The Service Advisor here stated this morning that more atlases come in for warranty work than any other VW. Most all of them are coolant issues that no one can explain. A sealed system does not lose coolant unless there is an issue. I am actually typing this from the service department which has basically become my home office since owning this thing. Cant wait to dump it and go back to a proven product, Toyota.
Well I'll be a "VW Fanboy! I've been with VW for 16 years and work as the Service Manager. Firstly, "All" new vehicles can have issues (take Hyundai for example.. recall to replace engines) maybe should of waited a few months or a year and waited to see what ongoing trend repairs are happening and make an informed decision based on track records. I can explain the coolant issue to you... yes it is an enclosed system but our "synthetic" antifreeze is a mix of water and coolant. Just like a boiling water on your stove water evaporates and the remainder product stays and the system can generate an air bubble and drop the level too. Don't be silly and ruin your car by putting in a different universal coolant!! You also probably think recalls are bad things ""they are not" safety precautions before something happens, safety is important isn't it? Tire pressure light will come on when temp drops 3-4 ponds due to temperature, please check your tire pressures as specified on the drivers door. Most people don't read their owners manual!
 

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I hate to be this guy but I absolutely hate this car! My wife and I were very excited to finally buy a NEW family( usually buy used) vehicle and one with a great warranty that would give us POM for a few years. We travel quite a bit and shuttle kids around to 4 diff activities and school throughout the week. So far we have owned our 2019 Atlas v6 4motion with rline and tech for almost 1 year and 30k miles. We HATE IT and this will be our last VW. I am only keeping it because of the warranty but I am seriously thinking about taking a $5k bath in neg equity to dump it and buy an older Toyota Sequoia. Resell value is an entirely different thread. That is also absolutely horrible. My 5 year old base model Truck with 100k miles is worth about what trade value on this atlas is. Overall, we are completely disappointed in this rig especially with a $44k sticker price.

I am sending it back to the dealer this week fora few things:
  • TPS sensors are malfunctioning..... Again. this morning they told me i had a flat. checked all tires and they were all great. the light have been on for a week now
  • coolant issues...... Again. I have had to add fluid twice and i know I can smell antifreeze. according to the adviser over the phone " this is normal". that cant be normal
  • the front struts sound like they are going to come through the hood. without a doubt at least 1 is broken.
Man, I totally understand where you are coming from! So sorry
 

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What happened with yours?
Okay so here we go. VW Fan my whole life (I think I am with good company here and grateful to have found this forum under irritating circumstances). Toyota is 'total write off' back in August (shame as I had it 8 years and no issues. Thought 'this is the time I get into another VW - love the Atlas'. Reviews all seem positive for the most part etc etc. Test drove great, find a great one online 7000 miles (2019 SE 4 motion with tech). Bought it in mid August 2020 for $36K 7000 miles SE V6 4 Motion with Tech and Towing - not too bad I thought.

First week in the used one from Autonation Georgia Mall (great place btw) - but only purchased there because for some reason hard to find white models in Asheville (blue and black seem common). Cracking Asheville VW garage (good) so happy to get another one knowing how good they have been with my 2016 GTi (APR dealer also).

Issue ONE: Okay so I am waffling. Back to the first week driving it (Aug) and at low speeds accelerating up my road there is a loud (ish) but not obnoxious wooshing sound (metallic in sound) very similar to others on this forum which lasts about 5 seconds (or longer if you don't accelerate anymore and keep constant at that low speed about 5-10 mph).
Issue TWO: spotted around week 2 turning into a parking space when the steering wheel is almost full lock it judders for a few seconds like it isn't happy - no noise but odd. I later change the steering in the custom settings to 'Light' I think and it improves and hardly does it anymore - NOTE read some others on juddering at higher speeds (60-70 mph) - tried this last night and mine is thankfully rock solid at all speeds and lovely and smooth ride

Issue THREE: On the highway and I would say 8 out of 10 times the ACC shows the orange error (not available for the ACC) - not particularly cold but it was low thirties (degrees F) - any advice anyone can give on this would be great as I obviously love using this and it's annoying as you really don't have any options on the highway without turning it off and on when you next stop.

Issue FOUR: This is the one which really bothers me and when I am going over minor imperfections in the road surfaces (not off road or gravel) or bumps there is a more noticeable clunking rattle from the front suspension - like an empty shoe box clunking. The actual ride is still smooth and it doesn't seem to affect the ride quality but it sounds like it is 10 years old. Most probably wouldn't notice (my wife didn't until I pointed it out) but it doesn't sound right

Issue FIVE: Anyone else got excessively loud front wipers? Probably need replacing but seem excessively loud

Spoke to the dealer on Monday when I took it in for service appointment - they are very helpful and after I had told them about the above they said they would test drive etc and address. The one thing he did know about he said was he seemed to think that the noise from the front suspension may be the 'Sway Bar links' I think that is what he said. He said a few Atlas needed them replacing. As it happened I had to take it home and will take it back in for 2 days next Monday Dec 7th as he didn't have a loaner. I shall keep you all informed.

SO there we are - thanks for anyone reading - great forum under some annoying circumstances - clearly I am not in the same boat as some poor souls who have issues but I am feeling a little sick about paying what is a lot of money for me and feeling as though it's not quite what I would have expected at now 11K miles.
 

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I am hoping they have fixed all these issues with the 2021.5 atlas model that we are going to pick up this month. Those seem to he a bit minor and the dealership should be able to rectify all of those I would assume.
 

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Okay so here we go. VW Fan my whole life (I think I am with good company here and grateful to have found this forum under irritating circumstances). Toyota is 'total write off' back in August (shame as I had it 8 years and no issues. Thought 'this is the time I get into another VW - love the Atlas'. Reviews all seem positive for the most part etc etc. Test drove great, find a great one online 7000 miles (2019 SE 4 motion with tech). Bought it in mid August 2020 for $36K 7000 miles SE V6 4 Motion with Tech and Towing - not too bad I thought.

First week in the used one from Autonation Georgia Mall (great place btw) - but only purchased there because for some reason hard to find white models in Asheville (blue and black seem common). Cracking Asheville VW garage (good) so happy to get another one knowing how good they have been with my 2016 GTi (APR dealer also).

Issue ONE: Okay so I am waffling. Back to the first week driving it (Aug) and at low speeds accelerating up my road there is a loud (ish) but not obnoxious wooshing sound (metallic in sound) very similar to others on this forum which lasts about 5 seconds (or longer if you don't accelerate anymore and keep constant at that low speed about 5-10 mph).
Issue TWO: spotted around week 2 turning into a parking space when the steering wheel is almost full lock it judders for a few seconds like it isn't happy - no noise but odd. I later change the steering in the custom settings to 'Light' I think and it improves and hardly does it anymore - NOTE read some others on juddering at higher speeds (60-70 mph) - tried this last night and mine is thankfully rock solid at all speeds and lovely and smooth ride

Issue THREE: On the highway and I would say 8 out of 10 times the ACC shows the orange error (not available for the ACC) - not particularly cold but it was low thirties (degrees F) - any advice anyone can give on this would be great as I obviously love using this and it's annoying as you really don't have any options on the highway without turning it off and on when you next stop.

Issue FOUR: This is the one which really bothers me and when I am going over minor imperfections in the road surfaces (not off road or gravel) or bumps there is a more noticeable clunking rattle from the front suspension - like an empty shoe box clunking. The actual ride is still smooth and it doesn't seem to affect the ride quality but it sounds like it is 10 years old. Most probably wouldn't notice (my wife didn't until I pointed it out) but it doesn't sound right

Issue FIVE: Anyone else got excessively loud front wipers? Probably need replacing but seem excessively loud

Spoke to the dealer on Monday when I took it in for service appointment - they are very helpful and after I had told them about the above they said they would test drive etc and address. The one thing he did know about he said was he seemed to think that the noise from the front suspension may be the 'Sway Bar links' I think that is what he said. He said a few Atlas needed them replacing. As it happened I had to take it home and will take it back in for 2 days next Monday Dec 7th as he didn't have a loaner. I shall keep you all informed.

SO there we are - thanks for anyone reading - great forum under some annoying circumstances - clearly I am not in the same boat as some poor souls who have issues but I am feeling a little sick about paying what is a lot of money for me and feeling as though it's not quite what I would have expected at now 11K miles.
Issues 1 is normal and there is simply nothing VW can do about it - it's just a trans shift map issue There is a huge thread here in the problems forum about it with some good info for you.
Issue 2 seems just like a normal condition to me at full lock at it sits on the stops.
Issue 3 needs attention at the dealer, no idea.
Issue 4 needs attention at the dealer, could be strut mounts or sway bar end links both are known issues.
Issue 5 - buy some new wipers, easy.
 

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Issues 1 is normal and there is simply nothing VW can do about it - it's just a trans shift map issue There is a huge thread here in the problems forum about it with some good info for you.
Issue 2 seems just like a normal condition to me at full lock at it sits on the stops.
Issue 3 needs attention at the dealer, no idea.
Issue 4 needs attention at the dealer, could be strut mounts or sway bar end links both are known issues.
Issue 5 - buy some new wipers, easy.
Hey thanks for the response. Yes am hoping so too. I shouldn’t be too hasty, but when you have had a Sienna for 8 years or so and nothing ever seemed to go wrong or draw your attention it becomes the benchmark. I guess I was spoiled. Appreciate the information.
 

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I am hoping they have fixed all these issues with the 2021.5 atlas model that we are going to pick up this month. Those seem to he a bit minor and the dealership should be able to rectify all of those I would assume.
Hey that sounds great. Good luck and let us all know how the new vehicle performs
 

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Hey thanks for the response. Yes am hoping so too. I shouldn’t be too hasty, but when you have had a Sienna for 8 years or so and nothing ever seemed to go wrong or draw your attention it becomes the benchmark. I guess I was spoiled. Appreciate the information.
Understood but I'd hope that the driving experience with the Atlas is a bit better than the Sienna!
 

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Karst
Understood but I'd hope that the driving experience with the Atlas is a bit better than the Sienna!
Hey KarstGeo,

So took my Atlas in this morning. Just wanted to follow up with you as it seems better than expected (sometimes reading this forum makes one feel a little negative)!

Issues 1 is normal and there is simply nothing VW can do about it - it's just a trans shift map issue There is a huge thread here in the problems forum about it with some good info for you. - Yep got it - he said he would look at it anyway to see if there was anything they could do

Issue 2 seems just like a normal condition to me at full lock at it sits on the stops. - Same as above

Issue 3 needs attention at the dealer, no idea. ACC Alignment and Calibration needed apparently for $369 - He said that he had the error logs downloaded and these errors occurred due to alignment not done - I can only trust this is coreect - I asked him to also check to make sure that the ACC sensor is not broken (found this common issue on VW's in UK)

Issue 4 needs attention at the dealer, could be strut mounts or sway bar end links both are known issues. - Yes you are correct - the rattling sound is coming from the Sway Bar End links - they are on backorder and are apparently a very common problem

Issue 5 - buy some new wipers, easy. - Done - will see if it makes a difference!

Anyone who has any further feedback on the ACC errors let me know if they also shelled out $370 and it corrected situation.

Thanks

James
 

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Karst

Hey KarstGeo,

So took my Atlas in this morning. Just wanted to follow up with you as it seems better than expected (sometimes reading this forum makes one feel a little negative)!

Issues 1 is normal and there is simply nothing VW can do about it - it's just a trans shift map issue There is a huge thread here in the problems forum about it with some good info for you. - Yep got it - he said he would look at it anyway to see if there was anything they could do

Issue 2 seems just like a normal condition to me at full lock at it sits on the stops. - Same as above

Issue 3 needs attention at the dealer, no idea. ACC Alignment and Calibration needed apparently for $369 - He said that he had the error logs downloaded and these errors occurred due to alignment not done - I can only trust this is coreect - I asked him to also check to make sure that the ACC sensor is not broken (found this common issue on VW's in UK)

Issue 4 needs attention at the dealer, could be strut mounts or sway bar end links both are known issues. - Yes you are correct - the rattling sound is coming from the Sway Bar End links - they are on backorder and are apparently a very common problem

Issue 5 - buy some new wipers, easy. - Done - will see if it makes a difference!

Anyone who has any further feedback on the ACC errors let me know if they also shelled out $370 and it corrected situation.

Thanks

James
Sounds like you got some clarity!
 

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Karst

Hey KarstGeo,

So took my Atlas in this morning. Just wanted to follow up with you as it seems better than expected (sometimes reading this forum makes one feel a little negative)!

Issues 1 is normal and there is simply nothing VW can do about it - it's just a trans shift map issue There is a huge thread here in the problems forum about it with some good info for you. - Yep got it - he said he would look at it anyway to see if there was anything they could do

Issue 2 seems just like a normal condition to me at full lock at it sits on the stops. - Same as above

Issue 3 needs attention at the dealer, no idea. ACC Alignment and Calibration needed apparently for $369 - He said that he had the error logs downloaded and these errors occurred due to alignment not done - I can only trust this is coreect - I asked him to also check to make sure that the ACC sensor is not broken (found this common issue on VW's in UK)

Issue 4 needs attention at the dealer, could be strut mounts or sway bar end links both are known issues. - Yes you are correct - the rattling sound is coming from the Sway Bar End links - they are on backorder and are apparently a very common problem

Issue 5 - buy some new wipers, easy. - Done - will see if it makes a difference!

Anyone who has any further feedback on the ACC errors let me know if they also shelled out $370 and it corrected situation.

Thanks

James
Hey team,
Thanks for the write up James. This thread has been helpful.

I’m about to pull the trigger on a 21 (not 21.5) SEL V6 4Motion. I’ve been putting battling with the dealer for a bit and I’ve got them to 38k out the door. Which I think is a good price.

I know I could start a new thread, and probably should, but I figured this was the place to find the disgruntled owners who could give me the best advice.

Before I give away very hard earned money on Thursday, is there anything I should look for? When I took the car out, I made sure to make some tight turns at speed to listen for sway bars, but it was quiet. The steering wheel pump doesn’t seem to jitter when at either extreme.

I’m excited about this car. It’ll the first and probably only new car I’ll ever own. I know Audi/VW can have its issues, but I’m a capable mechanic and the warranty is reassuring for the first couple years.

thanks team. If I’m lucky this will be the first of many posts.

-cFogs
 

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Hey team,
Thanks for the write up James. This thread has been helpful.

I’m about to pull the trigger on a 21 (not 21.5) SEL V6 4Motion. I’ve been putting battling with the dealer for a bit and I’ve got them to 38k out the door. Which I think is a good price.

I know I could start a new thread, and probably should, but I figured this was the place to find the disgruntled owners who could give me the best advice.

Before I give away very hard earned money on Thursday, is there anything I should look for? When I took the car out, I made sure to make some tight turns at speed to listen for sway bars, but it was quiet. The steering wheel pump doesn’t seem to jitter when at either extreme.

I’m excited about this car. It’ll the first and probably only new car I’ll ever own. I know Audi/VW can have its issues, but I’m a capable mechanic and the warranty is reassuring for the first couple years.

thanks team. If I’m lucky this will be the first of many posts.

-cFogs
Hey Buddy,

Sounds like you have made your decision - if I had my chance again I would have put my $37K into investments and bought a used Sienna again and would have been totally boring. Atlas checks a lot of boxes though and I wanted one for all the right reasons - just glad that I was able to have these things fixed. Good luck and keep us posted!

Jimmy
 
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