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Thermostat

(2003 Volkswagen Passat W8)
in Clairton, PA on January 20, 2010
My dealer told me that my Passat w8 with 56,000 miles needs a new thermostat and to replace the thermostat the engine has to be removed and it will cost $1200. Repair Pal says it should cost 3 to 4 hundred. Who is right?
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In a labor guide I see the thermostat housing/ thermostat costs just under $500 (confirm on www.rockauto.com they are pretty good) the labor guide I have says 3.5 hours (independent of Repairpal's estimate guide so I would say there time is correct).
on November 21, 2012
Dealer cost is $800 in New York. Had it done at 75,000 miles.
on March 29, 2011
The thermostat sits under the intake manifold on top of the engine. The thermo stat is expensive, it is electronic and uses feedback from temp sensors. They should not have to pull the engine, just the intake manifold.

This web address shows a VW W12 (very similar to the W8) getting a thermostat replaced. They did not pull the engine.
http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthread.php?2993477

If the car runs, try to get a second opinion from another mechanic..

good luck.
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