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iamdonquixote Fri Sep 06, 2019 11:22 am

asking for a friend,
hes retired on fixed income looking for a good used car budget around 10k , wants a hatchback. He doesn't want to go to a mechanic every month I don't think. I told him mazda 3, honda fit, toyota prius. But he keeps asking about golfs, I told him "maybe" on the 2.5 5 cyl. He is interested in the tdis. I see they are making them available now with a warranty. I dunno, I still gonna tell him 'no' but I told him I'd do some research, so here I am :-)
let er rip.

Erik G Fri Sep 06, 2019 11:58 am

I'm shopping them now. My boss sued and kept her TDI passat, it gets the same mileage as it did before, but she travels over 100 miles a day. She loves it and prefers it over her new diesel Jag

a friend turned his in... and is buying another one. loved it.

I'm thinking about a sport wagen model, but VW's just don't have any resale value at all. as long as your friend is ok with that and that they take the blue fluid stuff, they seem to be a good deal

Chad1376 Fri Sep 06, 2019 11:59 am

The 2.5 is considered one of VW's most reliable gas engines. I had one in a Mk5 Golf and had zero issues. It's a reasonably sporty engine (the latest version makes 170hp). It's torquey and pulls very strong up to about 5,500 rpm, but no more. It's downfall is poor mileage for it's size.

All off the other aforementioned cars feel very cheap. The Golf's have a much more solid feel and higher quality interior.

I don't know what VW may have done to correct the emissions issue on the TDI's (if anything at all.) Personally, I would be more worried about the stigma behind it, more than the reliability. People can get weird at times.

obus Fri Sep 06, 2019 12:50 pm

Am i wrong or do all of those recalls have a "lemon law" title? So trying to ever resell that in a title state would be difficult,no? I see a bunch here in NJ that have under 5k miles and are dirt cheap

iamdonquixote Fri Sep 06, 2019 1:06 pm

thanks for all the helpful comments.

as far as the aforementioned models feeling cheap, well since he is on a fixed income its more important that the is car IS cheap than feel cheap.

dunno about the lemmon law thing, but I don't think he is concerned about resale.

good point about adding the "blue juice" don't think that will be something he will want to do.


are they reliable?

[email protected] Fri Sep 06, 2019 1:50 pm

lots of issues with these especially in the NE....

DPF issues, DEF tank heaters just to name a few.

I wouldn't do it if he's on a fixed income. he's be better off in a honda honestly.

Chad1376 Fri Sep 06, 2019 2:28 pm

[email protected] wrote: ...
I wouldn't do it if he's on a fixed income. he's be better off in a honda honestly...

From a practical standpoint, I agree.

I autocross with a guy who raced a Fit, along with this wife, for a number of years. Not only did were they able to drive it competitively (they're both good drivers), but as far as I know, they haven't had any issues with it. This is full redline shifts, hard braking, cornering on 3-wheels, spinning and thrashing the car. No issues. If it can put up with that, it should be super reliable as a retirees daily driver. I've ridden as a passenger, and it does feel like a rattly POS though.

Try to discourage your friend from test driving a Golf first though. He'll notice how lightweight (quality wise) the other cars feel. I'm admittedly biased - on my 4th Golf in a row.

iamdonquixote Fri Sep 06, 2019 2:30 pm

yeah I told him the golf will drive much nicer than the others,

I think the mazda3 would be next in terms of drive quality.

raygreenwood Sat Sep 07, 2019 11:17 am

[email protected] wrote: lots of issues with these especially in the NE....

DPF issues, DEF tank heaters just to name a few.

I wouldn't do it if he's on a fixed income. he's be better off in a honda honestly.

Yes....VW's TDI issues....were not actually the technology. Theirs was as good or better than most. It was the sub systems that they were working through.

As you note...the DPF (diesel particulate filter) and the DEF (diesel exhaust fluid tank heater)....they did have some issues with.....though so did many others. Its also worth it to bear in mind ...those that HAD a DEF system were either earlier models that were not included in the "diesel gate range"...or were dealer retrofits of the DEF system.

They also had issues with the dual mass flywheel system on the manuals...and so did BMW and Mercedes in Europe...as they all used the same make and design of parts. All TDI's and direct injection have had some injector quality and programming issues.

I think VW caved way too early. If you happen to look at the polluting data....that came out of WVT university....really they only break the regs for NOX and particulates at about 10-15% of the time for the average driver and about 20% of the time for the hard driver.

About that time I sat down with my Ex- EPA buddy/trainer...and she sat there and did the math (from that advertised level of polluting)...multiplied it X the a high average mileage per year and 500k vehicles...and it turns out the level of NOX and fine particulates is approximately equal to about 2 days from a coal fired power plant....so all this screaming about environmental damage is kind of media hype BS.

The media made it out to be 100% pollution all the time...which was BS. And considering within a two year period that same university now with a government grant for developing test programs....nailed a half dozen other mfgs for cheating or lying on emissions testing. Since then 2-3 others have been nailed for software related cheating. VW just happened to be first.

Overall...the vast majority of people I know that were driving their TDI's did not want to get rid of them. The performance and mileage was stellar...even with some reliability issues.

And...about 40% of all of the cars recalled already had wiring, systems and brackets to install the DEF system.....and the few I know that had that done...the drop in performance was maybe 3%....mileage about 3-5...which still puts them near the top of the class.

Its sad...that VW did not even have to do this. They could have just installed the DEF system and still had a competitive car...just like BMW and everyone else.

I just ran into a buddy of mine driving a black 2012 Golf TDI...and was asking how he can drive it. Why was it not recalled. He noted that its a 2012 same as my Golf...and was one of the last that had the DEF from the factory. Here in the non-frigid part of the country...he has had "0" issues. He loves it. Its got 130k miles with no issues.

Yes....in my estimation the last generation of the 2.5L/ 170 hp 5 cylinder was just the best. My Golf has 156k miles on it now. Still getting 32 mph highway...."0" issues. The only issue has been the high end premium head unit went south around 50k miles.

And....all head units used in North America...are Delphi made units. all kinds of trouble....while the same units in Europe and Asia are made by Bosch/Blaupunkt....no issues. Go figure. Ray

TDCTDI Sat Sep 07, 2019 12:27 pm

The dual mass flywheel was an issue with their dual clutch transmissions (automatic) also.

There are issues with one fuel pump (whichever craps out first) taking out all of the pumps & injectors.

The retrofitted cars have been spontaneously combusting.

oprn Sun Sep 08, 2019 5:51 am

raygreenwood wrote:

Yes....VW's TDI issues....were not actually the technology. Theirs was as good or better than most. It was the sub systems that they were working through.

As you note...the DPF (diesel particulate filter) and the DEF (diesel exhaust fluid tank heater)....they did have some issues with.....though so did many others. Its also worth it to bear in mind ...those that HAD a DEF system were either earlier models that were not included in the "diesel gate range"...or were dealer retrofits of the DEF system.

They also had issues with the dual mass flywheel system on the manuals...and so did BMW and Mercedes in Europe...as they all used the same make and design of parts. All TDI's and direct injection have had some injector quality and programming issues.

I think VW caved way too early. If you happen to look at the polluting data....that came out of WVT university....really they only break the regs for NOX and particulates at about 10-15% of the time for the average driver and about 20% of the time for the hard driver.

About that time I sat down with my Ex- EPA buddy/trainer...and she sat there and did the math (from that advertised level of polluting)...multiplied it X the a high average mileage per year and 500k vehicles...and it turns out the level of NOX and fine particulates is approximately equal to about 2 days from a coal fired power plant....so all this screaming about environmental damage is kind of media hype BS.

The media made it out to be 100% pollution all the time...which was BS. And considering within a two year period that same university now with a government grant for developing test programs....nailed a half dozen other mfgs for cheating or lying on emissions testing. Since then 2-3 others have been nailed for software related cheating. VW just happened to be first.

Overall...the vast majority of people I know that were driving their TDI's did not want to get rid of them. The performance and mileage was stellar...even with some reliability issues.

And...about 40% of all of the cars recalled already had wiring, systems and brackets to install the DEF system.....and the few I know that had that done...the drop in performance was maybe 3%....mileage about 3-5...which still puts them near the top of the class.

Its sad...that VW did not even have to do this. They could have just installed the DEF system and still had a competitive car...just like BMW and everyone else.

I just ran into a buddy of mine driving a black 2012 Golf TDI...and was asking how he can drive it. Why was it not recalled. He noted that its a 2012 same as my Golf...and was one of the last that had the DEF from the factory. Here in the non-frigid part of the country...he has had "0" issues. He loves it. Its got 130k miles with no issues. Ray
Read this carefully! It is the absolute truth about the whole politically motivated scandal.

We have had 4 TDIs now, lost 2 to collisions and our 2 youngest kids are each presently driving '02s. Absolutely the BEST dollar for dollar cars we have ever owned and trust me I have owned and driven many different makes and models. The older ones '99 to '05 are the best in our experiance and if you can find one with lower miles in good condition - buy it! Price be dammed!

On the price issue, I have been closely following prices on used TDIs since this whole fiasco started and I am not seeing any decline here in Western Canada. The prices are rock solid and if anything they are going up! The wagons are extremely desirable, hard to find and commanding the highest price.

I am presently going into a fixed income situation myself and have my ear to the ground to acquire a mint older TDI. I highly doubt our kids will give up theirs even when they are done college!!!

vwracerdave Sun Sep 08, 2019 8:34 am

I would never own any water cooled VW. Honda and Toyota make a much better product. Get over your brand loyalty thing about VW's just because you own an old air-cooled VW. Ask a professional mechanic that works on all brands of cars any they will point you in the right direction.

Zundfolge1432 Sun Sep 08, 2019 10:37 am

X2 on that ^^^^^^^^ Id have to go with consumer reports recommendations which are more closely aligned with real world conditions. You need to balance purchase price to frequency of repair to resale value. Put it all together and the VWs come out near the bottom. Honda,Toyota,Subaru, Lexus. Ck it out. As for asking a mechanic here about VW, the ones here seem to be brainwashed too.

oprn Sun Sep 08, 2019 12:29 pm

You have got me tagged completely wrong! I walked way from VW in the late '70s when they no longer offered a family car in the working man's price range. I came back to VW for the TDI because of it's reputation for dependability and cost effective operation and we were truly impressed.

There is nothing on a VW dealership lot today that I would even consider looking at! They lost my loyalty when they discontinued the diesels. That has been the only car VW has produced in years that stood out above the crowd.

gt1953 Sun Sep 08, 2019 1:31 pm

{[hes retired on fixed income looking for a good used car budget around 10k , wants a hatchback.]}
Subaru. The have hatchbacks all wheel drive reliable and you will not see the mechanic very much at all. Finding a pre owned one is tuff. They last and last. Less $$ then Honda or Toyota.

oprn Sun Sep 08, 2019 4:13 pm

Lets see... in 3.5 years driving the Forester we replaced the radiator, thermostat, clutch, drive shaft, shocks, rear brakes, plugs twice, battery, timing belts twice, tie rod, rear wheel bearings three times, and the exhaust system is needing to be done. Bought it with 60K km on the clock and now has 255K km. That and it gets 25 to 27mpg compared to 55 to 62 mpg in the TDIs.

So no, it has NOT come even close to being as maintenance free or as cheap to run as our TDIs have been.

mark tucker Sun Sep 08, 2019 6:44 pm

I was driving around today in my roadster...and the thought hit me....shit! it sure wood bee nice to have a vw turbo diesel instead of gass.the vw I rented about 7 years ago was freeky fast&awesome millage.hell I think I went across & down the state and back and never put fuel in it...and better power than the bigger citron I rented in Italy and drove around Italy&Switzerland last year and never put fuel in it either..... my roadster wood bbe nice with much more tq&power than gm put in it. and 3x the mpg too!!!

[email protected] Sun Sep 08, 2019 9:18 pm

Zundfolge1432 wrote: As for asking a mechanic here about VW, the ones here seem to be brainwashed too.

not really. most vag products made around/after are mechanical nightmares. there has to have been 1.8 billion revisions on the timing chains/VVT system on these cars. from HPFP fuel pump leaks that kill cams, to failed breathers that suck the rear main (ahem, all) seals into the engine....

BUT... most of these issues can be prevented by being proactive, and not following (yes, not following) the asinine 10k+ oil changes.

I have a customer with a '13 CC with 198k on it. engine has never been opened.

every (almost every) mfgr in this era had insane oil consumption issues...every one...including your beloved honda and Toyota

http://www.hondaproblems.com/excessive-oil-consumption/

https://www.classaction.com/toyota-oil-consumption-defect/

those are just quickies I found...other engines, models etc are effected as well.

all of this bullshit in the name of going "green" the administration at the time (and, save you from yourself California) made unreasonable CAFE standards and pretty much put fucking 2 strokes out on the market...

(really "green" ripping apart a 10-30k mile engine, huh?)

most of these oil burners got fixed due to class action lawsuits.....most of them. some are on the ragged edge....be careful what you buy second hand.





oprn wrote: Lets see... in 3.5 years driving the Forester we replaced the radiator, thermostat, clutch, drive shaft, shocks, rear brakes, plugs twice, battery, timing belts twice, tie rod, rear wheel bearings three times, and the exhaust system is needing to be done. Bought it with 60K km on the clock and now has 255K km. That and it gets 25 to 27mpg compared to 55 to 62 mpg in the TDIs.

So no, it has NOT come even close to being as maintenance free or as cheap to run as our TDIs have been.

either you drive a ton of miles, or have horrible luck, or use 100% junk parts.

I solely service Volvo and Subaru. I will do VAG and BMW for existing clients. having said that, other than rot, Subaru's eat tires, brakes and some suspension bushings.

engine wise, the are pretty bullet proof. head gasket issue is all but solved at this point. I have 1 client with a 09 fartster. other than the above mentioned and basic service (tune up/t-belts) they have about 250k on it, original clutch (is starting to slip) and it's getting crunchy (rotted) they bought it used with 20k on it.

anything...new or used is a crap shoot. taking a survey amongst my clients a strong 90% who buy a new car will dump it at 60-80k or before the warranty runs out.

about 70% will buy a "new" to them car about 2-4 years old and dump it when the payments/warranty ends.

as a guy in this industry....I can't even make a solid recommendation (from a repairers standpoint) what to buy anymore....stuff that would go 150k is dead early....brake boosters that lasted the life of the car...dead at 70-90k...
steering racks leaking at 40k...it's insane.

the only thing I can suggest anymore is to buy it like an appliance, don't go too fancy and try not to pay a lot.

average new car owner dumps at 6 years according to RL Polk. average "new car" life expectancy is 11.4 years according to them. it's the second hand owner that gets "blessed" by all of these issues. sadly, it has become a crap shoot.

like most here i'm not too fussy. I drive a 01 A4 1.8T quattro. I bought it with 40k in 2004. heated seats, auto dim mirrors, 5 speed, hot heat and cold a/c...what else do I need? other than oil changes, timing belts, a MAF at about 85K and a cup holder....it's all been basic maintenance. been chipped with a APR tune for 60k+ without an issue.

the "golden era" of todays cars ended in about 08-09 in my mind. mfgr's had to really cut corners to meet CAFE standards and thus put out some real trash. like anything there are exceptions.

don't even get me started on cash for clunkers....

Chad1376 Mon Sep 09, 2019 8:58 am

[email protected] wrote: .. the only thing I can suggest anymore is to buy it like an appliance, don't go too fancy and try not to pay a lot...

Knowing everyone's needs, expectations, and means are different, I have one thing to add: --Life is too short to drive a car you hate.--

Especially if you are a car enthusiast on any level, seeking the ultimate in reliability and practicality can lead to purchasing a vehicle that sucks all joy out of driving. Sometimes a decision needs to be made what shortfalls you can live with to own and drive a car that brings you joy.

Case in point - Years ago I purchased a Prius for all the practical reasons. I hated the car before I even pulled it out of the dealer's driveway. I never "learned" to love that car, never turned around to give it a glance after I parked it, never joined a forum to talk about it. It was an appliance.

ACVW guys here have no problem investing significant time and money to drive a totally impractical car (by modern standards.) Why do they do it? The cars bring them joy.

[email protected] Mon Sep 09, 2019 12:59 pm

Chad1376 wrote:
ACVW guys here have no problem investing significant time and money to drive a totally impractical car (by modern standards.) Why do they do it? The cars bring them joy.

I agree with what you say. the car has to do *something* for you....but on a fixed income beggars can't be choosey.

what I never want to see is someone buy a V8 S80 because they "got a good deal on it" and while making payments the 2100 alternator job rears it's ugly head.

sounds to me that the o/p was looking for something economical. a used VW gas or diesel is not...and for a lot for reasons. not every garage can, will (or should) service them. specialty car= specialty shop= specialty pricing



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