Main IndexAuto Repair Home Search Posts SEARCH
POSTS
Who's Online WHO'S
ONLINE
Log in LOG
IN









Search Auto Parts

Are used Volkswagen Golf and Jetta TDIs reliable? Relatively cheap to maintain?


  Email This Post



Lovamelin
Novice

Jan 13, 2014, 8:57 AM

Post #1 of 17 (1243 views)
Are used Volkswagen Golf and Jetta TDIs reliable? Relatively cheap to maintain? Sign In

I'm not sure this is exactly the right place to post this but I wanted to get some general feedback from mechanics. Since you guys fix and repair cars so often I imagine you have a good notion on cost of ownership and reliability in general on most vehicles.

That said I'm looking at a used Golf or Jetta TDI due to their great mileage and peppy performance (things that usually aren't paired together). But a lot of times when I look at ads for used vehicles it seems people have just replaced or repaired a multitude of things. From all of the research and reading I've done I get the feeling that unless you are doing the regular scheduled maintenance on these cars that they can go down hill quickly. That doesn't sound the most reliable to me not to mention the maintenance can sometimes be very costly.

Compare this to my 2007 Honda Civic that costs me roughly 300 dollars a year to maintain and runs like a top every day. This includes things like wipers, oil changes, fluids, air filter, etc. There are occasional expenses like brakes and tires but these happen more on a 2-3 year basis.

Anyways my concern basically is are these cars really all that reliable? It sounds like they can be if you are willing to put a regular, and significant, amount of money in them. As a note I do know that pre 2006 models tend to have electric issues and I think 2004 is the ones with the bad engine. So I would of course try to avoid these or buy one that has these things already fixed. Thanks guys!


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Jan 13, 2014, 9:01 AM

Post #2 of 17 (1239 views)
Re: Are used Volkswagen Golf and Jetta TDIs reliable? Relatively cheap to maintain? Sign In

You will be shocked to see what it costs to repair those cars and how few people actually know what they're doing when it comes to repairing them. I would stick with a Honda or Toyota.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Lovamelin
Novice

Jan 13, 2014, 9:06 AM

Post #3 of 17 (1235 views)
Re: Are used Volkswagen Golf and Jetta TDIs reliable? Relatively cheap to maintain? Sign In

Yeah...sigh. I also feel like it will limit my options on who to take it to. I refuse to go to dealerships for repairs since they pretty much gouge you every time unless you're still under your warranty. But I doubt my current mechanic would be very good on VWs. He could probably do the basics but I would doubt his ability to do more complicated things. That said there seems to always be import or VW experts who do nothing but work German cars. They're probably reliable but I wonder if they're expensive too...

Also it seems like a lot of VW owners with TDIs are gearheads who do their own repairs. As such their cost is greatly reduced not to mention they probably enjoy doing the work to a certain degree.


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Jan 13, 2014, 9:10 AM

Post #4 of 17 (1232 views)
Re: Are used Volkswagen Golf and Jetta TDIs reliable? Relatively cheap to maintain? Sign In

You DO realize that is a diesel, right?



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Lovamelin
Novice

Jan 13, 2014, 9:20 AM

Post #5 of 17 (1228 views)
Re: Are used Volkswagen Golf and Jetta TDIs reliable? Relatively cheap to maintain? Sign In

Oh yeah. Diesel doesn't bother me at all. A bit more costly for gas but that's far outweighed by the incredible mileage.


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Jan 13, 2014, 10:15 AM

Post #6 of 17 (1223 views)
Re: Are used Volkswagen Golf and Jetta TDIs reliable? Relatively cheap to maintain? Sign In

Just a comment: You do realize how fast a few extra MPGs value is lost when a repair cost your right arm vs a simpler engine? Your money,

T



Lovamelin
Novice

Jan 13, 2014, 10:19 AM

Post #7 of 17 (1218 views)
Re: Are used Volkswagen Golf and Jetta TDIs reliable? Relatively cheap to maintain? Sign In

Agreed. That's why I'm trying to see if I'm right about cost of maintenance. If people come back to me and tell me that cost of repairs isn't as bad as I thought then the mielage savings is totally worth it. But I totally agree if all those savings are eaten up by repairs and expensive maintenance then I won't buy a TDI. Wish I had the money to buy one of the newer ones as this would probably reduce the cost of maintenance. Thanks for the comment though.


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Jan 13, 2014, 10:37 AM

Post #8 of 17 (1214 views)
Re: Are used Volkswagen Golf and Jetta TDIs reliable? Relatively cheap to maintain? Sign In

It's just my opinion that the insane yearning for the best MPGs bites you in repair later making more mainstream cars LESS expensive to operate in the long run. If some strange $1,000 buck issue comes along there goes about any saving for the life of the car even with high fuel prices.

Hammer already said and I agree the more common cars mentioned should be the best for overall economy in the long run, that all just my thought on it,

T



Lovamelin
Novice

Jan 13, 2014, 10:47 AM

Post #9 of 17 (1207 views)
Re: Are used Volkswagen Golf and Jetta TDIs reliable? Relatively cheap to maintain? Sign In

Yeah I don't disagree with that. I don't really understand why better MPG cars have to be more complicated though. This is becoming less the case as many mainstream cars from Ford, Chevy, Honda, Toyota, etc are increasingly hitting the 40mpg mark since fuel economy is a major selling point these days. But if you go back just 10 years your options for really great mileage about 35mpg is fairly limited.

Also part of the reason I'm looking for a new car is not just mileage. I'm dissatisfied with my Nissan Versa. Nissan really barebones you on any amenities (mine didn't even have cruise control initially) and the car just feels so bland to me, I don't enjoy it and feel like I settled. So I'm trying to find something that's a bit of a step up features wise and I figure if I'm going to spend money on a new car then I'd like to get some other things along with that like better mileage, better performance, etc.

My wife bought a Mazda 3 hatchback and it's Grand Touring edition. We both really like it and I feel like it's a lot of bang for your buck amenities wise and performance. So I'm kind of looking for something like that but with better mileage.


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Jan 13, 2014, 1:19 PM

Post #10 of 17 (1196 views)
Re: Are used Volkswagen Golf and Jetta TDIs reliable? Relatively cheap to maintain? Sign In

Everything is more complicated some are just more expensive. If you hate a car that ends that. It just amuses me with say some hybrids how much more $$ you pay for the fuel savings and if you calculate it some have to last 400,000 miles vs one that isn't to break even and almost nobody sees that kind of life out of a car.

It confused me. Paying to save??!! Just funny but it's true. If you are righteous about saving fuel do your thing. Ride a bike. Not fair because personally I don't put on enough miles for fuel to bother me at all if it was $10 bucks a gallon.

Factor costs up front, expected maintenance which is more for many and if you like the thing at all. EPA has a site listing current MPG ratings for each vehicle out there and factors your driving habits/situation.

You can get a car so small you may not fit in it too. Passengers, cargo needs and so on. Laugh, for Winter I drive a truck that's a real pig locally many low speed limits and stop and go or plain sitting but so what for driving less than 50 miles a week it wouldn't matter. Then some drive 30-40K a year and it starts to really hurt.

A fav for overall utility for a car is a Corolla for example. Euro cars seem more expensive to fix or even maintain all around but if you love it go for it. Take in all the factors and your budget is about all I can say??

T



Lovamelin
Novice

Jan 13, 2014, 2:03 PM

Post #11 of 17 (1190 views)
Re: Are used Volkswagen Golf and Jetta TDIs reliable? Relatively cheap to maintain? Sign In

Yeah I've done a ton of different research so I know what's available and most of the pros and cons. I just wanted to reach out to mechanics about the TDI vehicles because if you go to a TDI community they're all big proponents but they're obviously biased so I wanted more objective input.

I use the EPA site all the time as well. I am considering the initial costs of ownership now that's why I'm asking this question to a couple mechanics because I could see the writing on the wall if I bought a TDI and I ended up loving it but I also ended up paying for it negating any fuel savings so I just wanted to make sure my fears of their reliability and cost of maintenance was substantiated or not. It appears my fears are substantiated.

All of that said there are definitely ways to save money when getting your car worked on. So I may do some calling around to get some estimates and see what some import shops or even just a guy who does solely imports out of his house would charge me for different things.

Would you guys say working on VWs or German cars in general is a special skill set? I know you kind of inferred that in the first reply but I guess I'm wondering how many mechanics out there would be able to work on my vehicle adequately. We'll see, the hunt continues :)


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Jan 13, 2014, 3:12 PM

Post #12 of 17 (1185 views)
Re: Are used Volkswagen Golf and Jetta TDIs reliable? Relatively cheap to maintain? Sign In

You said you weren't happy with a Versa. Was it throwing surprise repairs at you or just didn't like it? Buying a car which is a huge expense for most people is hard. If you buy new and the dang thing hurts your back (known several folks) you get killed trading for another something.

The best way to double your MPGs is to always drive with one other person and split the cost. Some folks really like the feel and road handling of the Euro cars and that was most important to them.

Too big if parking is a problem and so on. So much to think about. If you pound the miles on will it last as well. Tough calculation but break it all down do cost per mile you expect to own it - all costs. What will it be worth when ready again for another which is a guess but it counts. Is crash safety most important - yikes some folks that's the only factor.

Most newer/new cars have pretty good expected known maintenance costs for the first 60K or so. Not all that much if no surprises. All things have to fit. Personally I've never owned a new car out of countless cars and my worst fear it if I did that I might hate the thing and lose a fortune to get out of it for another something vs used you don't take a huge hit unless you bought a real mess by mistake.

Then there's lease vs own also. It a big deal choosing what's best for you,

T



GC
User
GC profile image

Jan 13, 2014, 6:37 PM

Post #13 of 17 (1170 views)
Re: Are used Volkswagen Golf and Jetta TDIs reliable? Relatively cheap to maintain? Sign In

Im with Tom, buy a Corolla. I had a 2010 and loved it. Most places work on them if you need something done, but mine didnt need a thing over the couple years I had it. If you want something a bit nicer, a Camry is a bit bigger and a step up. Most popular car in US if I remember right. I know people who have had Jetta TDIs that got 250k with just maintenance, no repairs, but if something goes, it can cost. Always a crap shoot with vehicles any which way


____________________________________________________
Willing to help, willing to learn... Rob


Lovamelin
Novice

Jan 14, 2014, 7:35 AM

Post #14 of 17 (1163 views)
Re: Are used Volkswagen Golf and Jetta TDIs reliable? Relatively cheap to maintain? Sign In

I'm not interested in a Corolla or Camry. Neither gets the desired mileage although Corolla is at least in the wheel house.

I'm not happy with my Versa because of lackluster of a vehicle it is. What I do like about is good mileage (averages 30-32) and it's reliability. Not really much of any unexpected expenses with it honestly. Just the typical work that needs done after having it for awhile.

I do really like the handling of european cars so that is part of it. I guess I am one of those people who really wants to like their car or love it and with the Versa I don't. It just has no features, it's stark, it feels cheap in many ways, aside from mechanics it's just not that great. I don't hate my car I just don't like it. I would like a few things that are available in most cars today like ABS, Aux in or USB or something, heated mirrors, leather seats, possibly heated seats, temperature, etc. I don't need all of these things but things that I would consider common in most entry level sedans today are remarkably missing from my vehicle. And I've found driving a car with a 1.8 engine while economical isn't very exciting some time. I am a gas miser but every once in awhile it's fun to just let loose and have some fun with it, something that's not all that possible in my pokey lil 1.8L engine.

I guess I'll just keep my eyes peeled and consider to weigh my options. I'll never lease, you just get fleeced. It's just like renting an apartment, you have nothing to show for all the money you just paid, and the "offer" you get to buy your car is a joke.


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Jan 14, 2014, 7:56 AM

Post #15 of 17 (1161 views)
Re: Are used Volkswagen Golf and Jetta TDIs reliable? Relatively cheap to maintain? Sign In

Yikes, your laundry list of cheap, high MPG, power, low cost maintenance with some creature comfort features doesn't exist. Something has to give and probably costs. Maybe someday but so far nobody makes a car that morphs to your desires on demand,

T



Lovamelin
Novice

Jan 14, 2014, 8:02 AM

Post #16 of 17 (1159 views)
Re: Are used Volkswagen Golf and Jetta TDIs reliable? Relatively cheap to maintain? Sign In

Oh it exists. I'm willing to spend a bit more this time around instead of going super budget oriented last time. I got a great deal on my Versa but I always buy used. There are a few cars that fulfill my criteria that are within my price range. I feel like the TDIs fall in this range, although my only possible flag could be maintenance costs, but it checks all other boxes, I looked at the Mini Coopers, which actually checks all boxes but the interior is atrocious so that got checked off the list. Aside from that there are some other options like possibly a newer Scion xD, Honda Fit, maybe even a newer Ford Fiesta or Hyundai Accent. I haven't really looked into the last two yet but if their prices are right (they have low retail starting prices, so used might be pretty decent). So there are several options I feel but none of them check every box, and that's fine it would be unreasonable to think I get my dream car that checks every box unless I want to spend some major money. But who knows I might happen upon the deal of a life time too :) I'm not in a rush, I'm a patient and pragmatic buyer.


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Jan 14, 2014, 8:17 AM

Post #17 of 17 (1157 views)
Re: Are used Volkswagen Golf and Jetta TDIs reliable? Relatively cheap to maintain? Sign In

If you already like the Jetta than go for it and if it cost more so be it. Folks pay all the time for what they like and put up with higher costs. Try a BMW and others for costs! People love them and put up with it.

At least now you've allowed more bucks at this so you have some wiggle room. All features at once you don't, T







  Email This Post
 
 


Feed Button




Search for (options) Privacy Sitemap