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Feeling Ripped Off


New member
4 Aug 2011
Hi All,
As part of an investigation into my occasional misfire, I have been looking at the coil packs. I spent 3h, removing the arch liners, lights, bumper, intercoolers and heat shilds. I removed the coil packs and found that 5 of the 6 had cracked. OK! Missfire Source (hopefully) identified!

So, something struck me. I very recently paid for a major service on my 996TT, including a new set of plugs. The work was done by an award-winning Porsche specialist I have always used. However, there is no way that anyone removing the coil packs to get to the spark plugs would miss the fact that the coil packs needed replacing. 3 had clearly visible cracks and 2 were badly de-laminating. Additionally, there were a few very challenging fastners to undo when removing parts. Two in particular, mounting the intercooler assembly, were so badly corroded / fused together that I had to drill them out and fit new ones. I.E. there is no way that the intercoolers were removed 60 dry miles ago... So, I removed the plugs and they look rather dirty considering I have only driven 60 miles since the service.

Probably a stupid question, but is there any way a specialist can replace the plugs without removing the intercooler assembly?

I'd be tempted to ask them to explain what you have found. Doesn't inspire confidence though. Good luck.

I've seen worse than that. I have a Cayenne turbo as a daily driver. The previous owner had paid for a service including apparently coils and plugs.

The coil packs had fresh stickers on the top for a company called Crossman or similar, who I'd never heard of. The packs came out, mostly leaving the rubber boot glued to the head from old oil. On fishing these out, the coil packs were in fact Beru, there were still traces of green Beru stickers underneath the clearly printed and glued on "Crossman" ones.

As fort the plugs, nah, no chance had they done 1,000 miles. all NGK's which were in a proper state.

This is why I do all my own work, even making sure I have a clone PIWIS2. the bodges and ***** up's I've seen apparent specialists leave when the former owner used them, is comical. Stripped threads, OSV bellows sealed with silicone instead of just repalcing when stretched and worn, stripped oil drain plugs on both cars etc..
A cousin of mine used to work at MB Park Royal and then Audi Alan Day Finchley Road. I wasn't really listening but something along the lines of they often don't even bother doing the oil change and spark plugs as its all time based and targets nowadays. I take my own oil and ask them to leave the spark plugs in glovebox so I can see they have been changed.

On our SUV we have renewed warranty every year since buying new for £100k+ in 2014. Needed some minor warranty work and went to claim recently.

"Sorry sir you haven't renewed your warranty!"

"I beg your pardon I renew every year."

"Oh in that case if you give us the time and date of call we'll go and find the telephone conversation."

Me a bit tetchy now mind. "Are you listening to yourself lad? You want me to remember the exact time and date of my 6th year warranty renewal? We have renewed every May since taking delivery new in May 2014 and extending warranty since May 2017. Please ask your MD to call me back."

MD calls back and all sorted but the incompetence off the scale. I wouldn't spend money with MB UK again. If I complain about OPCS my God MB literally the worst. By contrast VW properly excellent and as good as Gold with my little GTI. With Porsche its why always I personally use a good indy whoever has a slot TBH. Sadly 9e miles away so only send to them for mods mainly. Try and stay away f.expensive Kens a crack dealer :grin: :hand: :floor:

I wouldn't get too excited about vw dealers either. My mates next door neighbour was a service manager for a main vw dealer. He said when you come home at night having ripped off customers all day you just feel s**t.
It really got to him having to lie to customers all day ,every day and he now has a job where he can come home with a clear conscience. :bandit:
Thats sad to hear re certain VW dealers too. We've only had regular servicing every 12 months ours have been ever so reliable and just needs a bit of oil every 3-4 months. The lady that looks after us at VW lovely too by way of example she hadn't realise ours a GTI PP with bigger brakes and quoted us for cheaper GTI standard brakes. She agreed to hold original price she quoted and I was not even going to a ask.

The arrogance of OPC Hatfield when my 997 turbo blew its engine in 2014 in extended warranty was unbelievable. The service manager took delight in refusing a new engine without a leg to stand on! Why its under warranty? Oh you do not like brown people?!! (Highlighted to me by an Asian member of staff at Hatfield OPC). Shortly after all senior management and some chavs in sales fired. Better for it too. Oh they coughed up for a new engine too after a FOS complaint. Wet themselves when the FCA went on to them. I'd pick VW St Albans over OPC Hatfield anytime. Way better.


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I looked at Alex,s link .. yup it's possible but i feel in our country with our climate its not feasible .. the heat shields .. they often snap due to corrosion , the turbo heat shield .. lol .. they rarely come undone due to corrosion ..

The garage should also have pointed out the coils need replacing .. i always wait till the customer has said yes or no to these before sticking it all back together .. it's only parts cost at that point as the coils are already off .

From reading the OP,s post and several others here .. yet again i feel depressed at the " state " of my trade ..

2 similar posts in a week like this .

We make a profit from providing a service .. not providing the service is wrong and totally illegal imho .. its theft pure and simple .

For the OP .. i can't be totally sure .. the heat shield etc might have come undone .. but if they did why no mention on the invoice that coils are needed .. It's a pretty common item on these .. sigh .
Evening All,
Here are the spark plugs. Do they look like they have done 62 miles?
Thanks, Ian


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And, here are the Coil Packs. Surely someone would see that 5 out of the 6 on the car needed replcing? These are not minor cracks...


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The coil pack issue isn't easy to miss.

I have written to them to voice my concerns and hear their PoV. There may well be a mixup in the workshop and a disconnect with what I asked for and subsequently paid for.
I spoke to the specialist today and we have cleared it up. I do believe that this was a genuine mistake.

Both the owner and workshop manager come across as genuinely good people who are passionate about the cars and their customers. Everything else on the list was completed (of course I have double checked) apart from the plugs. However, I remember they were very busy in the run up to the bank holiday weekend and were trying to get my car completed by the Friday, close of play. Unfortunatey they didn't quite manage it, so the car stayed in the workshop, half done, and they finished the work the following Tuesday. I suspect that this might have been the issue. The workshop manager himself worked on my car and he was convinced he had changed the plugs. However, with the pictures I sent showing the plugs, coil packs and ceased fixings that had to be cut off and replace, he agreed that the plugs had not been changed and moreover he would have not refitted the old coil packs in that condition.
They are going to reimburse me of course, but have offered an additional gesture of good will. I am rather relieved to be honest, as I have been with these guys for over 11 years and didn't want to start looking elsewhere.

Thanks all for the input.
I hope it was a genuine mistake, sometimes you get that tingly feeling that you're being taken for a mug. I've had very good experience from the indys I've used close to me, Precision Porsche and 9E.

I also used one up in Northampton which started off being very good, but changed significantly when he got popular. I used them as I had some work up there any way.

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