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Old 11-11-2012, 09:15 AM   #1
09Prodigy OP
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Audi / VW - Educate me

Looking at buy a 2003 - 2006 Audi A4/6 or Passat

I have never owned a euro car and am ignorant as to the Maintenance and/or issues. I know there has to be some experience here and would like to hear your thoughts.
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Old 11-11-2012, 09:43 AM   #2
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I had an A4 that was slightly older than that and it was a maintenance pig. A true pain in the ass to own (and I owned it since it was new). Currently the wife owns a VW (2012) and it's been the only car we've owned together that hasn't had anything break in the first 10,000 miles. Probably just jinxed myself.

As wonderful as they are to drive, I'm not sure I'd want to buy one that was pushing ten years old. Things can get expensive.
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Old 11-11-2012, 02:10 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adam_c_eckhardt View Post
I had an A4 that was slightly older than that and it was a maintenance pig. A true pain in the ass to own (and I owned it since it was new). Currently the wife owns a VW (2012) and it's been the only car we've owned together that hasn't had anything break in the first 10,000 miles. Probably just jinxed myself.

As wonderful as they are to drive, I'm not sure I'd want to buy one that was pushing ten years old. Things can get expensive.
Older Audi's can be money pits in a hurry. There are exceptions to the rule, but as been stated, they are on the higher end of cars and can get expensive. One of my techs has an A4 and some of his regular service bills are on the steep side.
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Old 11-18-2012, 09:00 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by adam_c_eckhardt View Post
I had an A4 that was slightly older than that and it was a maintenance pig. A true pain in the ass to own (and I owned it since it was new). Currently the wife owns a VW (2012) and it's been the only car we've owned together that hasn't had anything break in the first 10,000 miles. Probably just jinxed myself.

As wonderful as they are to drive, I'm not sure I'd want to buy one that was pushing ten years old. Things can get expensive.
Yup. I had to go flapping my gums.

I'm in NJ and wife is in NH. Check engine light came on with a flashing glow plug light. Car runs and drives, but roadside assistance said they'll tow it anyways. We'll see what we're up against.

At least it went 11,000 miles before it had a problem- that's our record so far!
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Old 11-18-2012, 09:58 AM   #5
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Yup. I had to go flapping my gums.

I'm in NJ and wife is in NH. Check engine light came on with a flashing glow plug light. Car runs and drives, but roadside assistance said they'll tow it anyways. We'll see what we're up against.

At least it went 11,000 miles before it had a problem- that's our record so far!
Year after year you can always count on VAG to stick to their same quality standards

But I will admit to buying a 2005 Jetta TDI brand new with the PD engine and having a great track record with the car (and this was one of the mexican built VW's). We sold it to another inmate here just shy of 100k miles, and the only issues were a recall at 5000 miles, a cd player that failed in warranty, and a fuel pump at 85,000 miles. Otherwise it was just maintenance items like oil changes, filters, and tire rotations. To my knowledge it has provided owner #2 with a similar experience.

I was diligent with maintenance, used only parts and oils that I was positive met VW's rather stringent specs, and even when folks started running different weight oils as the specs changed I refused to deviate from what the owner's manual said. I think things like this can sometimes have a lot to do with whether or not the ownership experience is good or a nightmare.
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Bueller screwed with this post 11-18-2012 at 10:04 AM
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Old 11-18-2012, 04:19 PM   #6
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Year after year you can always count on VAG to stick to their same quality standards

But I will admit to buying a 2005 Jetta TDI brand new with the PD engine and having a great track record with the car
Yeah we'll see what turns up. My wife is pretty pissed over this. I've calmed her down and told her we need to wait to see what the problem is. Might just be a one time fluke.
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Old 11-18-2012, 06:18 PM   #7
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Used VAG cars are a "get what you pay for" kind of thing. It's the old adage- Fast, cheap, reliable... pick any 2.
I've got a 2002 Audi Allroad 2.7TT. It was like a $40k car new full of every whiz-bang option you can imagine. Heated everything, adjustable air suspension, etc.... and they are cheaper now than a Honda Civic of the same year.
You get all kinds of performance, good looks, super comfort.... but the trade off is turbos (2 of them!) that like to fail, flaky computers running everything, and pretty bad gas mileage .I baby it to get 23mpg on the highway- town can easily be 12-15, with a 6 speed manual. What can you expect for a 4200 lb AWD car?
I do all the work on the car myself, and I don't find that parts are really that expensive. But, the car is packaged very tightly, so some repairs (turbos, etc) are better done with the engine out. So, it is a labor intensive car to own. To me its a "hobby" to own it. I do something to it at least a couple times a week- lubing this, adjusting that...etc.
Overall, it's a great car to own. It is WAY more car than the price would suggest- but go into it with your eyes open.
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Old 11-19-2012, 03:19 PM   #8
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Yup. I had to go flapping my gums.

I'm in NJ and wife is in NH. Check engine light came on with a flashing glow plug light. Car runs and drives, but roadside assistance said they'll tow it anyways. We'll see what we're up against.

At least it went 11,000 miles before it had a problem- that's our record so far!
Prayers sent.
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Old 11-19-2012, 04:14 PM   #9
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Prayers sent.
Ahhh THERE you are. This is your fault, you know!

(They said it's an EGR valve, had to order it in. This means she's driving my truck around, which is not great for the marriage. )
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Old 11-11-2012, 10:16 AM   #10
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Speaking from the VW side.....the 2006 Passat had nothing but black marks against it for electrical and AC issues, and it didn't help that they sold them from mid-2004 thru 2006. There are a lot of them out there for attractive prices, so be careful.

Don't know what your price range is, but it might be worth stepping up to a 2007 Passat.....we have one of those and can't really complain about the reliability after 80,000 miles. The car went back for a horn contact issue under warranty (it would beep at random while driving down the road), and I had to replace a headlight bulb. The 2.0T delivers 30mpg on the highway, and it has a ton of cargo space for a wagon. My only grumble is excessive oil consumption.

The filters, plugs, and engine oil are quite easy to change, and I usually take it to the dealer for coolant/brake fluid/tranny flushes when they have a coupon special. There are a ton of mail order VW parts outlets, and it is easy to get things in a hurry with a good discount.
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Old 11-11-2012, 10:17 AM   #11
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Something to keep in mind (and this is very true of BMWs, Benzes, etc.) is that, even though you're buying very used, you are buying a premium automobile, and your repair bills will reflect this. The A4 is a nice car. The four wheel drive system is very similar to that used by Subaru. Myself? I'd seriously look at the Subaru product.
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Old 11-11-2012, 10:44 AM   #12
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2006 passat is not the same car as a 2005 passat, I owned a 2005, 2006 was first year of the transverse mounted engine (non Audi based) currently own a 2012 passat tdi
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Old 11-11-2012, 12:06 PM   #13
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Good info Thanks all!
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Old 11-11-2012, 01:27 PM   #14
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I wouldn't own either if it didn't have an OEM warranty,

kraut cars are just not as refined in the reliability dept as the japs or some american cars are now

These are known as $2k cars based on their repair costs at dealships per visit
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Old 11-11-2012, 02:24 PM   #15
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I wouldn't own either if it didn't have an OEM warranty,

kraut cars are just not as refined in the reliability dept as the japs or some american cars are now

These are known as $2k cars based on their repair costs at dealships per visit


There's a reason 12 year old BMW 3 series sell for roughly the same as a Honda Accord of the same year. Saab's are even cheaper, great to drive, and have countless issues
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