1995 VW Passat? Good? Average? Run away?

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by Dagofast, May 12, 2013.

  1. Mambo Dave

    Mambo Dave Backyard Adventurer

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    VW over five or six years old? No thank you.

    They just aren't made of quality components, and soon enough - even without the miles on them - things will start going wrong (like wire insulation flaking off, etc.).
    #21
  2. Dagofast

    Dagofast Full giggety ahead.

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    My mom has had 2 and had decent luck with both. Of course she isn't exactly normal with the low miles she drove them both. She would still have the first one if a drunk in Vegas hadn't totaled it.

    I hear you though. An old german car of any brand would normally be verboten in my book. BTDT, and don't want to do it again. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed this one remains a trouble free car for the kid.
    #22
  3. Dagofast

    Dagofast Full giggety ahead.

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    Out of curiosity I surfed Lithia VW's website for their Medford store. Guess what I found? A 15% off coupon for a timing belt change! :clap The service is scheduled.
    #23
  4. rapidoxidationman

    rapidoxidationman Easily trainable

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    Thank you for perpetuating the myth that VW's suck (OK, their slushbox transmissions actually DO suck:deal), thusly keeping the price low on older models for those of us who know how to keep them in perfect running order.

    Older Mercedes Benz models aren't made of quality components either.:norton


    To the OP: <$800 isn't bad for changing the belt and related components. You shouldn't need to do that again for another 100K miles.
    #24
  5. Dagofast

    Dagofast Full giggety ahead.

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    Thanks for the positive words! :freaky (be sure to check your PM's for a lovely gift from jdiaz! :rofl)

    I obviously haven't had a chance to get my hands on the owners manual yet, but the Gates website lists this model as using a T262 belt having 60k service intervals. I will have to see if VW concurs or if they recommend 100k intervals now.

    Since at this point we are still unsure of the boys college plans after he graduates high school next year, we have no idea how long he will be needing this car. Right now it looks like 18 months minimum so even 60k seems a long way off. If he won't need a car for the college he ends up at, he should be able to sell this car and make a little money on it or at worst, break even.
    #25
  6. rapidoxidationman

    rapidoxidationman Easily trainable

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    IIRC the belts, and the maintenance intervals involved in replacing them, were upgraded from 60K to 100K. Could be wrong though: my experience was with a Tdi.
    #26
  7. bkrmoto

    bkrmoto Been here awhile

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    Get a Bentley' manual, replace all the plastic piping/sensors in the cooling system, flush and refill with the proper red VW coolant. Replace any hoses that look bad.

    For an example of the plastic crap-

    http://www.germanautoparts.com/Volkswagen/Passat/Cooling/117/2

    Get quality oem parts from places like germanautoparts.com, ecstuning.com, etc. not autozone junk.

    Timing belt service should include complete replacement of all related parts- belt, water pump w/metal (not plastic) impeller, tensioner, thermostat, plastic thermostat housing, and new motor mount bolts.

    Most german parts specialty places stock auto trans fluid/filter/gasket kits for about $100 or so. Do yours now. By 100k it's too late.
    #27
  8. vwboomer

    vwboomer Buffoon

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    When I replaced my belt at 80k on my 96, the coolant was still crystal clear. That made me feel better about spending 20/gal or however much it was on the refill :deal

    If the OP ever needs a replacement head I have one. Bought a spare when I upgraded to stage2 and never used it.
    #28
  9. discochris

    discochris Long timer

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    They used to be cheap transportation that were easy to fix (growing up, my parents had three Beetles and two Rabbits).

    I think the reason that people bought them in the 90's and beyond is that they do make great looking cars, with great interiors and many are really fun to drive, and they appeal to young urban hipster types who want that Euro image.

    The problem is they're made with substandard components, many in factories in Mexico with what would seem to be poor QA standards. I know probably a dozen or more people who have owned VW's from 1990 to the present, and not one - literally not one - would ever even consider buying another one. Almost to a tee, they've all had electrical issues, and most have had problems with parts literally falling off the cars, weird breakdowns and all of them expensive to fix.
    #29
  10. McCormack

    McCormack Cronkite of CSM

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    No matter how the car turns out (and I bet it will fill the role it is intended for just fine, and without problems) the trip to get it will be something the boy will remember for a lifetime.

    Man, this thread is making me want a road trip.
    #30
  11. Dagofast

    Dagofast Full giggety ahead.

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    My mom is a full blooded German. She found the idea of buying a VW made anywhere but Germany to be a ridiculous notion. Zees car ezz from zee fatherland! :lol3
    #31
  12. Dagofast

    Dagofast Full giggety ahead.

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    Yeah, I've been jonesing for a road trip too! And he is naturally looking forward to this trip very much. The last time we were in Medford in 2011, he was still on his permit and we did an epic 4000+ mile trip to go to the MotoGP race at Laguna Seca. The extra miles were because we went through Utah, Nevada, California, Oregon and Idaho to see all of his grandparents and other family members.

    This time we are planning, time permitting, to eschew the Interstates and hit the Oregon coast as soon as we leave Eugene and run run down Highway 1 until at least Santa Barbara. We'll be taking plenty of pics! I'll post some up in this thread.
    #32
  13. Dagofast

    Dagofast Full giggety ahead.

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    I already bought a Bentley manual on CD off of fleabay. Damned if it isn't one of the best repair manuals I've seen in years! Since a VW dealer is doing the timing belt, its safe to bet they will be refilling the coolant with the correct red stuff. And they are using all genuine VW parts. In fact, the service advisor said if it didn't have a VW water pump in it, it would cost more since VW wouldn't give him a core credit.

    My sister found all the service records and emailed them to me. There were regular fluid changes every 2-3 years; coolant, brake fluid, new radiator/heater hoses, CV boots, valve cover gasket, ect. But nothing ever showed a timing belt/water pump change. This timing belt service and the new battery & tires should in theory* have the kid set for the next 40,000-60,000 miles.



    *Theory. That wonderful place in the universe where everything works just like it should.:deal
    Theory, I really wanna live there!:wings:happay:flug
    Because living in reality can sometimes suck. :becca:(::waysad:dic
    #33
  14. Sniper X

    Sniper X De Oppresso Liber

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    I would think the interval for a timing belt has to be at least 75K or so. But it is rubber so it is probably best to change it.
    #34
  15. mjydrafter

    mjydrafter evil boy for life

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    You can get the whole kit to do all the belts and WP from GAP for ~$100

    That includes the upgraded tensioner. The 2slow is one of the easiest TB & WP to do in the auto world.

    Took me ~3 hrs, that was with a few odd complications.

    Just FYI.

    It's often argued that you must use the fancy-schmancy german coolant, but I being the ultimate rebel, use the Prestone all makes... Works just fine. Main thing to remember is not to mix the german stuff with ANYTHING else. And multiple water flushes if you switch. (part of my reasoning for switching was availability of the german coolant) You can get 'murican prestone at Baby's r Us...:lol3
    #35
  16. NikonsAndVStroms

    NikonsAndVStroms Beastly Photographer

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    While I'm happy my VW wasn't made in Germany :lol3

    Instead it was made in Tennessee!

    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/HcDFLfwGQGo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    #36
  17. KungPaoDog

    KungPaoDog Been here awhile

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    As long as he is smart enough to get a high paying job to pay for that kind of maintenance, it's all good. He can at least check oil and change a flat, right?:lol3
    #37
  18. SilkMoneyLove

    SilkMoneyLove Long timer

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    Good deal - He needed a car and his grandma had one. The timing was right. The rest of it is just money and most used cars need service work.
    Let the adventure commence!
    #38
  19. Dagofast

    Dagofast Full giggety ahead.

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    He can and does check fluids, I require that of both my son and daughter. It is non-negotiable. They also are required to get the air pressure checked in their tires at least monthly or do it themselves. He does it, she hits the drive through at Discount tires. He can and has changed flat tires...so far under supervision. Our daughter has as well, but we all know she never will attempt it on her own, she is just going to call me or roadside assistance. As far as oil changes; they've both done them, but neither one remembers the finer points from one change to the next.

    His smarts aren't in question, he is pretty bright, excellent at math and other subjects he likes. He just hasn't got any feel or desire for working on mechanical things. He does like working with his hands. He's going to be splitting his days senior year between the HS in the mornings and the regional technical HS in the afternoons where he will be taking massage therapy. In a class that is 80% female. :evil Where they learn by working on each other. :deal Told you; he ain't dumb! :lol3
    #39
  20. Dagofast

    Dagofast Full giggety ahead.

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    As of Thursday, the 'Dub has a new battery, fresh oil and a new timing belt/tensioner/water pump. The tires are ordered and an appointment set for Tuesday. We're flying out in the A.M.

    Sadly, yesterday (Friday) we got the phone call no parent ever wants to receive. With only 2 more days of faithful service left to fulfill, the poor old 'Burb took a major licking when the boy was on his way to a memorial service and failed to see an oncoming car and did not yield the right of way on a mid-block left hand turn in to the church parking lot. Both vehicles did their jobs well, even though no airbags were deployed. Thankfully both he and the person in the other car were wearing their seat belts and they are fine. The other car looks much, much worse, but after talking to the flatbed driver, I fear both are totals. The lady on the other end of the phone line at the insurance company pretty much said as much too. Dreading the call from the adjuster next week. :eek1

    It was kind of surreal dealing with all this in a church parking lot after finding out my kid and the other driver were both safe, while knowing his 17 year old friend was laid out and being mourned inside the building. It gave me the perspective not to get pissed and chew his ass. Both police officers on the scene were amazing. Very calm, helpful and polite. Dagoboy did get cited, but he knows he deserves it.

    We've spent much of today talking about how precious and fleeting life can be and how his actions yesterday could have resulted in so much more tragedy. My son is a licensed rider as well and when I pointed out it could have been a motorcyclist and the result would have certainly been much worse, he almost cried. Hopefully he takes the lessons from this to heart and becomes a better driver.

    For my part, I feel that all the training and teaching I gave him and all the training from MSF and Bondurant courses we sent him to should have made him a far better, more observant driver than the average kid his age. And now that this has happened, I'm not so sure. After yesterday, I might start worrying like their mother does. She almost lost it as we approached the accident scene and there was an ambulance onsite. Luckily, she sucked it up and was calm and collected when we pulled in. Her I'm keeping! :clap The kid..well, I guess we're stuck with him. :deal Nobody bats 1000, right?
    #40