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Logicly it would appear that the fan motor itself is the problem.....but the next time it is not working try wiggle the wire harness to see if it could be a poor wiring connection.
I wish I could tell you what is wrong but unfortunatly I cannot in this forum. Some intermintant problems are difficult to diagnose when I have the car here in the shop. I can only suggest to find a good honest reputable technician (many are around) and pay to have your problem proper diagnosed. Get referal from friends or coworkers.
Simple take it to another shop....and get referals of a good shop first.
P0171 is a lean air mixture code and P0725 is a engine speed sensor fault. I do not see the other codes in fault code list. You may be getting some bogus codes depending the scanner that gets the code for you. P codes are generic but VW uses codes like 5 digit numbers. Might try clearing codes and retry starting and see what comes back. VW has had a history of mass air sensor failures and the P0171 would relate to that.
The estimate is about right for both valve covers. Note oil leaks can be difficult to pinpoint the source at times and sometimes cronic in nature on high mileage engines. As the engine ages and develops more crankcase pressures due to worn piston rings and wear in valve guides it has a tendency to build some pressures that PCV (ventalation system) may not handle thus forceing oil when under loads.
I wonder if you have the correct fuel fill cap on your car. Also I would inspect the hoses fuel vapor cannister to see if someone may have plugged a hose or misrouted them. Sounds like it not pressure that would crumple the tank but a build up of vacumme would suck the tank in. Like if a engine vacumme hose could have been switched with a fuel vapor line.
Yes it sure is.
All electronic controls on GM trucks. Mode door motor may have gone bad. Shop with Tech2 scanner can run diagnostics on it and may try a recalirbration to see if it will start working again. Many independand shops have the Tech2. Manny scanners can run diagnostics.
Brake pulsations are what I beleive you are trying to discribe. The brake rotors have warped...or in some cases when the wheel was removed and if the brake rotors were moved from the wheel hub it is possible for a piece of rust or dirt to get between face of brake rotor and hub and it will will be out of parallel causing pulsations when braking.
On most rear diffs we remove the rear cover to drain fluid. Many of the front diffs that do not provide a drain plug may not be possible to do easly so we use a fluid suction gun to insert a tube in the fill plug hole and remove most of the oil that way. BTY that car does call for a different spec fluid for front and rear diffs.