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Fri Feb 23, 2007
Until quite recently, Meyle has been a brand that I've trusted to be good quality. Meyle was always one of those "real german parts" brands. Lately I'm noticing a disturbing trend among Meyle parts. Several months ago I needed to replace the plastic dipstick tube on my A2. The original tubes seem to last 10 or more years, but all the replacements (even if they are OEM) seem to last 2 years at the most. The tube I was replacing on my A2 was a little less than 2 years old, so I wasn't too surprised. The replacement tube that I purchased was a Meyle brand. I bought it at Atlantic. I went to press it onto the metal tube attached to the engine block, and it immediately split apart at the bottom. On top of that, the dipstick was a real sloppy fit in the other end of the plastic tube. I returned to Atlantic with the broken part and they gave me a replacement for free. I came back home and the replacement part basically shattered when I tried to press it on. I gathered up all the pieces and headed back to Atlantic, and they confirmed that it was the correct part. I also took the A2 dipstick with me, and we found that it was a sloppy fit in any of the Meyle brand tubes that they had in stock. This is also the same part for the A3s, and one of the owners of Atlantic drives an A3 Jetta and had recently installed a Meyle dipstick tube on it. We went out to take a look at his, and it was just the same - broken at the bottom (but still attached), and a sloppy fit around the dipstick. They had a few of the tubes in stock that were a different brand, so I went back home with one of those. The dipstick was a proper fit, and it pressed on just like it should.

Now, fast forward to a couple of weeks ago. Pete's inspection month was here, and the TDI Beetle was the first vehicle he made an appointment for. It failed for rear brakes (no big deal), a small exhaust leak (a pain, but that's life), and (drumroll please) ... broken sway bar end links. Okay, I'll explain how that relates. Those sway bar end links were replaced back when we repaired the damage from the broken timing belt, because we noticed one of them had broken. That was only in November of last year - about 3 months ago. That is pretty poor life by anyone's standards. Pete removed the broken end links, and I was less than surprised to see "Meyle" stamped into them. Real nice. Behold, the broken Meyle swaybar links:
Broken Meyle swaybar links

So, there we have it. I'm not saying that all Meyle parts are junk... I'm just saying be careful, especially if it's a plastic part. Plastic swaybar links seem like a terrible idea to me in the first place, but whatever.

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