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Discussion Starter #1
Unless I'm at the dealer and they are reading off the things they've done on the car, I think the car has been reasonably reliable. Recently however, my trust in the car has begun to wane and I'm wondering whether or not It's Time.

In the last four months, I've:

-replaced axle boot seals
-replaced passenger side airbag wiring harness
-two more visits about the airbag light
-replaced the airbag
-replaced the battery
-replaced the water pump (second time)
-replaced the oil pan (I change the oil frequently and the galvinized bolt and aluminum pan weren't sealing anymore)
-brought it in for temp light and buzzer(they found nothing)
-serviced a/c
-next visit: replaced thermostat
-quick visit for brake warning light and buzzer

Obviously, some of these things are to be expected. I'm just wondering whether after this rash of repairs I'll get another reliable 30,000 miles; but today, the airbag light was on again, making me fear that each harness and airbag have expiration dates!!!

Generally, I take pretty good care of my cars. I change the oil every 2,500 miles, etc. I was planning on keeping this car another couple of years. Now I'm not sure I can last that long. Unfortunately, VW doesn't have anything I'm interested in at this point. (In some respects, my 2000 NB is better than the new ones.) The GTI won't be here until spring and the dealers probably won't be dealing reasonably on it for a year or two.

My question is whether anyone found that at a particular mileage or point, the car just started falling apart.
 

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I bleed Burnt Orange!
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687 Posts
You are going to notice a time where the repairs start to stack up. Eventually everything will be replace, and you will have another 90,000 mile cycle.

It is the nature of the beast.
 

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overwhelmed/underpaid
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3,319 Posts
Yep...90K-100K is a big hit, and so is 180K-190K, and so on. It's the cycle. There's a lot of 60K and 90k items on the cars, notably belts, water pumps, and timing belts. All that stuff adds up, not to mention the little things that go wrong. My advice would be to keep it, fix it, and drive it for another 95K. If you sell now, you'll take a big hit on price because all the stuff will be factored in that wasn't done. You didn't mention if you had the timing belt done...I know I personally wouldn't buy a 2.0 with over 75k if it wasn't done.

Technically, you're "supposed" to replace the SRS system and all components at 10yrs/100K miles (someone, correct me if I'm wrong here), but many never do. My advice on the airbag issue is to check all the connections under the seat and go from there. Sometimes they just unplug or the plug itself becomes damaged.

Hope this helps!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks

Okay. I just have never been through the airbag thing before. Each one could be close to $1,000 by the time you're through.

Actually, I would consider another. It's too bad they couldn't find a way to put NAV in the 2006. The '06 colors don't do much for me either. And after having a 2.0, I'd like a bigger increase than 150 hp.
 

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a.k.a. porkchopzz4
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890 Posts
The Cheat said:
Technically, you're "supposed" to replace the SRS system and all components at 10yrs/100K miles (someone, correct me if I'm wrong here), but many never do.
I am doubting this is true. For one thing, if a safety system had a shelf life like that, it would be federally mandated for it to be replaced.....

Secondly, air bag stuff is expensive. Heck, some cars are stolen just to take the airbag. Some cars are totalled after a wreck because the cost of a new airbag put the repair bill "over the edge".

However, I have wondered what will happen as cars get in the 20-30 year range that have airbags... especially the early systems. Will they start triggering themselves randomly? Will they just sort of stop working at some point, and we not know it until we're in a collision? The whole thing makes me sad. :(
 

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Premium Member
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98 Posts
The real problem is ....

Tbrodie said:
Unless I'm at the dealer and they are reading off the things they've done on the car, I think the car has been reasonably reliable. Recently however, my trust in the car has begun to wane and I'm wondering whether or not It's Time.

In the last four months, I've:

-replaced axle boot seals
-replaced passenger side airbag wiring harness
-two more visits about the airbag light
-replaced the airbag
-replaced the battery
-replaced the water pump (second time)
-replaced the oil pan (I change the oil frequently and the galvinized bolt and aluminum pan weren't sealing anymore)
-brought it in for temp light and buzzer(they found nothing)
-serviced a/c
-next visit: replaced thermostat
-quick visit for brake warning light and buzzer

Obviously, some of these things are to be expected. I'm just wondering whether after this rash of repairs I'll get another reliable 30,000 miles; but today, the airbag light was on again, making me fear that each harness and airbag have expiration dates!!!

Generally, I take pretty good care of my cars. I change the oil every 2,500 miles, etc. I was planning on keeping this car another couple of years. Now I'm not sure I can last that long. Unfortunately, VW doesn't have anything I'm interested in at this point. (In some respects, my 2000 NB is better than the new ones.) The GTI won't be here until spring and the dealers probably won't be dealing reasonably on it for a year or two.

My question is whether anyone found that at a particular mileage or point, the car just started falling apart.
#1 problem.. The oil pan drainage bolt is supposed to have an aluminum "crush" type washer that seals the bolt and the drain plug port on the pan itself. This aluminum washer should be replaced every time that bolt is removed. On some of the later models, the crush washer is incorporated into the drain plug itself. In that case the entire drainage bolt is replaced at a very cheap cost. This is the sealing mechanism for the oil pan drain. The fix is not an oil pan replacement, but the correct type drain plug. #2, the cv joint boots. Actually the inner boots were probably the only ones that needed replacing as they used to be made from a softer rubber compound that cracked and broke over time. The outter boots have always been made from a special plastic/synthetic type rubber compound that lasts forever. The practical thing to do is to replace all boots as the outter ones are removed to replace the inner ones. The new design inner boots are made from the same material that the outter ones are made from. No further probs. #3. Red temp light and buzzer...I bet this started to happen after they replaced the water pump, or did something that involved draining the coolant from your car. Thermostat replacement???When the coolant is drained from our cars, the replacement or refilling should be done with the aid of either a vacuum pump that places a vacuum on the cooling system and sucks the new coolant into and thru the system or a pressure system that can force coolant all the way through the engine. With the design VW and many front wheel drive cars use, the engine is actually higher than the radiator. This causes air locks and bubbles to get lodged at the top most portion of the engine. The air lock can finally be forced on thru and that would creat a deficit in the cooling mix amount. This would drop the reservoir coolant level. Thats what triggered the warning light and buzzer. 2 quarts of coolant mix maybe needed to completely fill our systems when this air block happens. #4, the air bag problem was diagnosed incorrectly from the start.It was probably the actual airbag unit that had failed all the time and perhaps an additional sensor, connector, ect. #5 VW factory batteries are of poor quality to begin with. Mine only lasted 4 and a half years. I replaced with battery used in the diesel engine model and have more than adequate power for extreme cold starts and the heavy load our electrical system put on our batteries and alternators. #6 The thermostats on our cars almost never fail. If they do, they fail in the wide open position that allows coolant to flow and this would make for along warm up time but no over temp. condition would or could occurr if this unit failed. #7 You did not mention what the A/C prob. was.. #8. Brake light warning and buzzer. This is caused by a low brake fluid condition in the fluid reservoir. As the brake pads wear, they get thinner and they have to pressed out further by the caliper piston to reach the rotors. If the reservoir is filled to the correct level when the pads are new, the max mark, and always refilled to that level when brake fluid is bled, the fluid should remain above the low level min mark that can and does trigger the light and buzzer all the way down to the wear out thickness of the pads. When the pads are replaced and the caliper pistons are retracted, the fluid level goes back up. It is critical that this fluid be bled every 24 months with out fail...
All or most all of the problems you have listed are the result of bad service by the dealer. When the 20,000 mile scheduled maintenance is done, most all conditions that will eventually fail, can be picked up on before they actually fail. That scheduled service or preventitive maintenance is only as good as the tech. that does the job. I used to watch the techs to make sure that every thing is being done. I now use a German born and trained (Audi/VW) all car systems tech. Certified in all systems. He is as honest and proud of his work as he can be. My dealer lets me request him when ever I like. Bad dealer service with uneducated service advisors that are either taking advantage of the customers and trying to crank up the repair bills, or this dealer lacks in certified VW techs. I understand how you feel regarding any VW product available at present. I will stick with my 99 GLS 1.8 turbo thats optioned out to be a GLX less the stability control system until it goes no longer. It has 63,000+ miles and only uses 1/4 quart of Mobil 1, OW40 European formula synthetic oil thats changed every 5,000 miles and a VW oil filter is replaced at that time also. My dealer just throws in the crush washer that seals the drain plug. My model has the 10 year/100,000 mile power train warranty that I have maintained and kept in good standing with all reciepts for all oil changes and every service that has ever been done to my car. I also have an extended warranty that covers almost everything on that car for 7 years or 75,000 miles. I am now hearing my A/C compressor getting louder and louder and I hope it failes before the extended warranty is out.
No other dealer has ever worked on my car....If you find a good dealer with a great service department, stick with them.. Good Luck, JK
 

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Talking about expiration dates...my NB has suddenly become rotten. This week my 2.0 ENGINE completely gave up (w/only 116000kms). Thank god for VW CPO:bowdown: because they did over $3000 of work (rebuilt the engine). I am extremely disappointed in my car...over the last year, VW has changed my throttle body, ABS computer, ABS pump, MAF sensor, latches on trunk and doors, window lifters, etc...I estimate that it would have cost me $6000 in repairs this year, excluding maintenance:screwy:. Needless to say, I went to look at the new 2006 Honda Civic, and if I find a good interest rate I think I will trade the NB:toilet:.

I am very passionate about cars and *believed* that if I get the scheduled maintenance done I should have a reiable car...I have been proved wrong. The funny thing is that 6-7 months ago, I thought I had a very reliable car.
 

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Good-bye Curby...
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8,727 Posts
my car is about to hit 90K and i bought it at 83K. i just got the timing belt work done. wasn't cheap. i agree there is a point in all cars where things just start falling apart / going wrong / needing replacement. in my saturn, it was between 90 - 120K. other cars may be as early as 60K. the only way you're going to be safe from these issues is if you have an extended warranty.

you may have just gotten unlucky with your car, but this could happen to you no matter what car you own. i remember thinking damn, i have all these things that keep needing repaired on my saturn. well, it was at 100K and i hadn't even done any of the scheduled maintenance.

you might want to look at the bigger picture here. a lot of people will "dispose" of their cars around 100K, but you could invest a few grand and drive it another few years, or you could invest twenty grand and buy a new car that's going to have similar work needed when it hits that same mile marker.
 
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