Author Topic: Car issues, need some advice  (Read 6059 times)

Jags4186

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Car issues, need some advice
« on: January 02, 2015, 01:41:47 PM »
Hello all,

I currently own a 2012 VW Jetta GLI with 59,000 miles on it--I drive about 20k miles/yr due to my job and am required to have a "decent" car (no actual specs, but I drive clients around and such).  I bought it before I discovered MMM--easily my worst financial decision.  I put a cool $0 down and have a $500/mo payment.  I have 24 payments remaining and the balance of the payoff is $11800ish at 0.9% interest.  So far I have made $18,000 in payments over the past 3 years.

There is a nice 6 inch wide dent in the rear driver's side fender and a huge scrape in one of the rims from when my car was hit while I was parked.  I never had it repaired.  I also have a few small scratches on my rear bumper which I would classify under "normal wear and tear". According to Kelly Blue Book I have $41 equity in the car if you take the dealer trade in "fair condition (which I believe my car falls in due to the dent damage).

I have had the following issues:

1) Fuel pump failed at 35,000 miles -- repaired under warranty

2) Intake manifold failed at 57,000 miles -- repaired under warranty

3) Sludge build up in engine (apparently common in this model) -- $316.00 to clean and possibly cause for the manifold failure.

4) Timing belt snapped at 59,000 -- currently being repaired under warranty

5) I have had more tires develop bubbles in them (low profile tires) than I care to remember--at least 10 tires.  Fortunately I purchased the tire insurance when I bought the car ($800 upfront) and therefore had no out of pocket on this.  I put 1 new tire on the car (the lucky one which never had a problem) out of pocket -- $230.


All this to say...the car comes out of warranty at 60,000 miles.  Had I not been "lucky" enough to have a timing belt failure now and not a month from now after I hit 60k I would have been out another $1100 or so for that repair.

I don't want to dig myself into a deeper hole, however I feel like there have been a lot of "issues" and when the warranty comes up I don't want to be paying for repairs on top of sending $500 a month to Volkswagen every month.  I've considered selling the car and replacing with something else to reduce my loan burden, but when I'm honest with myself I know I would never go and buy a $4,000 car.  So that leaves me moving lateral/down when you consider I'd need to pay taxes, etc. on the new-to-me car.  I guess my question is, Mustachians, what should I do?

Zamboni

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Re: Car issues, need some advice
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2015, 02:03:18 PM »
That's not a very good reliability track record for a new car, and all of those issues surely must have been inconvenient. 

Just based upon the track record of inconvenient repairs, I'd be tempted to do some serious research on the most reliable used cars via Consumer Reports (your local library probably has a copy) and acquire a different car.


Katy Stache

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Re: Car issues, need some advice
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2015, 02:06:04 PM »
Wow! Just this morning I was starting to research a 2012 VW Golf. Your post has changed my mind.

JLee

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Re: Car issues, need some advice
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2015, 02:11:14 PM »
I would sell it private party (which should net you more than selling to a dealer) and look at a gently used Toyota/Lexus/Acura/Honda. You can get something that will still be appropriate for client-facing activity and should have a much better track record.

The new Ford Focus and Fusion seem to be doing pretty well, too. A good friend recently bought a Honda CR-Z and he loves it.  There are plenty of options out there that will still be okay to shuttle clients around, but cost less and be more reliable. :)

Angie55

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Re: Car issues, need some advice
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2015, 02:14:30 PM »
SELL. Seriously.

I sold my VW Eos right before the warranty was up mostly because I was terrified of repair bills. While it was under warranty there were some wierd engine misfiring issues, a failed window motor, multiple check engine lights and technical service bulletin updates. The hardtop roof had to be adjusted because it stopped working at least 3 times!

Stupid complicated German engineering made everything about 3-5x more expensive than a normal car. It also seemed there were tons of safety lights that would stop things for tiny things wrong. My roof for instance, would get stuck getting put down. One time it turned out it was because a tension wire was 1/4" too long. WTF.

VW's are great fun cars under 60k miles minus the $100 oil changes...

skunkfunk

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Re: Car issues, need some advice
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2015, 02:19:00 PM »
VW doesn't work out very well if you're going for inexpensive transportation. Vote for sell.

LionInTheHub

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Re: Car issues, need some advice
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2015, 02:26:56 PM »
+1 for selling that lemon!  I have an Acura and LOVE it.  Great quality, professional look, at lower prices compared to its competitive set. 

JLee

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Re: Car issues, need some advice
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2015, 02:35:04 PM »
What state are you in, if I may ask? I will poke around a bit for you and see if I can find a few vehicles I'd consider looking into.

Jags4186

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Re: Car issues, need some advice
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2015, 02:52:57 PM »
I live in New Jersey. Thanks for the help!!  FYI I prefer a manual transmission... :-)

caliq

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Re: Car issues, need some advice
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2015, 02:54:16 PM »
The new Ford Focus and Fusion seem to be doing pretty well, too.

+1

We have a 2010 Ford Fusion Sport (not the base model, I think it has some non-mustachian fancypants upgrades.  And I know it's AWD, tsk tsk) that my husband bought in 2012 before we were married with about 20k miles.  It's now around 45k and I drive it almost exclusively.  I think they've updated the models again since 2010 but I LOVE this car.  Granted, it's the first non 10+ year old beater/starter car I've had but still.  It's fun, pretty roomy in terms of cargo space, comfortable for me (5'2") and hubby  (5'11") and everyone else that's ever been in it.  The only work it's ever needed has been oil changes, new brakes, and a new side mirror cause my husband crunched it backing out of the garage :( 

My father is really mechanically inclined, built a small company on his mechanical/machining skills, and put himself through college in the late 70s/early 80s buying, repairing, and selling (mostly foreign) cars.  He's always driven Saabs, BMWs, etc.  and starting a few years ago was on a VW TDI (that's the diesels) kick -- my mom recently got a 2010 Jetta TDI, he bought me an older one before I got married but then decided he liked it and kept it for himself, and he bought my younger sister a different older one, which turned out to be a total lemon that he had to fix extensively, which she promptly totaled 2 weeks post-licensing...don't get me started!  Anyways, my dad is really impressed with the Fusion and will often try to make excuses to drive it :D  We recently went away for almost two weeks for Christmas and my dad elected to drive the Fusion the entire time we were gone instead of one of his myriad cars.  And he's gotten rid of the two older VWs, two older "project" BMWs he had kicking around, and is currently shopping for a "non complicated" car that isn't a huge headache to repair. 

In my book, if dad is running away from VWs, anyone who has to pay a shop to do their repairs should be too!

JLee

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Re: Car issues, need some advice
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2015, 03:03:57 PM »
I'd want to do some more research on these and also confirm pricing, but I would consider something like this: http://newjersey.craigslist.org/cto/4827125196.html

Angie55

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Re: Car issues, need some advice
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2015, 03:15:21 PM »
Our Mazda 3 has been great. DH bought it 2 months before I bought my VW. Its about to hit 100k miles (8 years old) and the only major maintenance we've had to do is a thermostat replacement (~$200 at a shop but friend replaced fairly easily), struts? (can't remember if we did this or were trying to get scammed to do it), and new tires.

I highly recommend snow tires though. We got them a few years ago and definitely improved handling.

Also, you will have to be careful those cars are so light that you can get above the speed limit easily without noticing.

pjm123a

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Re: Car issues, need some advice
« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2015, 03:20:11 PM »
I believe one of the most under-appreciated line of autos are the Korean line (primarily Hyundai and Kia). They had a well-deserved bad reputation for quality and reliability through the late 90's. They have since turned things around and I believe their quality is at least equal to that  of the Japanese line (primarily Toyota/Nissan/Honda). Nevertheless the perception seems to linger and used Honda/Toyota/Nissan etc command a premium relative to similar Hyundai/Kia. In my opinion that premium is not justified and as a result the Korean cars are a better value relative to their Japanese counterparts. I have been through 3 Hyundai models personally. My current Sonata model is a 2005 with 125k miles that I paid $2700 for from a private party. It replaced a 2002 Sonata that had 180k miles that I'd had since new. The 2002 got totaled and the insurance company gave me $3500. My son had an Accent that he sold with 100k plus miles. My suggestion is to at least take a look. You might be pleasantly surprised at how much car you can get for your money with them.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2015, 03:22:27 PM by pjm123a »

danny9m

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Re: Car issues, need some advice
« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2015, 05:33:48 AM »
Wow, about 10 years ago I purchased a passat new and had the same type of issues, numerous recalls and various strange uncommon problems.  To top this off, you will find that when you try to sell a Volkswagen there won't be a lot of takers cause in the last few years the word has gotten out and many people like myself won't consider vw.  Btw I would not consider an Audi used because vw owns Audi.  I'd cut you loses , get a subscription to consumer reports.  Just so you don't feel bad Audi for now seems to have momentum here in nj as the new BMW. I had on guy tell me he traded in his slightly used Audi for a new one because the extended service contract was too much, and he didn't want to own it without it being under warranty. Go figure, this guy is old and in bad health so for him the game now is to blow as much as you can   Fetch rid of it. I'd look at Hondas used. Or new.  We bought an Odessey 9 years ago and we have 140k miles on it with now major issues, although the thieves in the service area at my local honda dealer now claim it needs new motor mounts.  I'm skeptical that any car should need new motor mounts, without being a recall.


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DeltaBond

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Re: Car issues, need some advice
« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2015, 05:41:50 AM »
Wow, about 10 years ago I purchased a passat new and had the same type of issues, numerous recalls and various strange uncommon problems.  To top this off, you will find that when you try to sell a Volkswagen there won't be a lot of takers cause in the last few years the word has gotten out and many people like myself won't consider vw.  Btw I would not consider an Audi used because vw owns Audi.  I'd cut you loses , get a subscription to consumer reports.  Just so you don't feel bad Audi for now seems to have momentum here in nj as the new BMW. I had on guy tell me he traded in his slightly used Audi for a new one because the extended service contract was too much, and he didn't want to own it without it being under warranty. Go figure, this guy is old and in bad health so for him the game now is to blow as much as you can   Fetch rid of it. I'd look at Hondas used. Or new.  We bought an Odessey 9 years ago and we have 140k miles on it with now major issues, although the thieves in the service area at my local honda dealer now claim it needs new motor mounts.  I'm skeptical that any car should need new motor mounts, without being a recall.


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Cool, another consumer reports user :) 

danny9m

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Car issues, need some advice
« Reply #15 on: January 03, 2015, 05:50:14 AM »
Kook I'm similar to you in many ways, I'm in sales, have worked at the same company for over 20 years and I make quite a nice income, over 300k.  I'm kind of burnt myself being on all commissions for the past 20 years and no real week long vacations.  Oh I've won trips to presidents club in exotic locations, and these are great for 4 days, but I really long for the week or two without looking at the phone just concentrating on other things.   I digress, this is about you but I wanted to give you some background so when I give you my opinion you have some context. You are suffering from what my co workers call the shawshank syndrome from being at the same place so long, you are institutionalized   You are in great shape, your wife is even working, I didn't here anything about any kids, what is the problem


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« Last Edit: January 03, 2015, 05:58:02 AM by danny9m »

DeltaBond

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Re: Car issues, need some advice
« Reply #16 on: January 03, 2015, 06:11:14 AM »
SELL - German cars are extremely expensive to repair and the German engineers do a lot to keep the cars difficult to work on by needing a lot of special tools, which your local independent shop won't have. I know so because I'm a shop foreman at a German luxury auto dealership.

If you need a presentable/"luxury" car, look at a Honda Accord, Acura TSX, Toyota Camry or Avalon. Great Japanese quality, easy to work and cheap to maintain.

I agree other than the older Benz 123 diesels.  Have you had much experience with those, or are you referring to the newer ones?  I would probably not want a newer Benz than those.

alsoknownasDean

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Re: Car issues, need some advice
« Reply #17 on: January 03, 2015, 06:13:24 AM »
Yeah, I'd get rid of it. Paying $500 a month for the thing is bad enough, let alone on something that's having regular issues.

The GLI, isn't that the Jetta version of the GTI with the turbo engine?

Would you consider a more basic model rather than the one with big alloys (which need expensive tires) and higher-power turbo engines (which need expensive gas)?

A mate of mine had an older, higher trim Jetta, and it started having some pretty expensive issues the older it got (mostly related to the AWD system).

Surely something fairly recent and in decent condition would be sufficient for your work?

Jags4186

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Re: Car issues, need some advice
« Reply #18 on: January 03, 2015, 11:50:29 AM »

Yeah, I'd get rid of it. Paying $500 a month for the thing is bad enough, let alone on something that's having regular issues.

The GLI, isn't that the Jetta version of the GTI with the turbo engine?

Would you consider a more basic model rather than the one with big alloys (which need expensive tires) and higher-power turbo engines (which need expensive gas)?

A mate of mine had an older, higher trim Jetta, and it started having some pretty expensive issues the older it got (mostly related to the AWD system).

Surely something fairly recent and in decent condition would be sufficient for your work?

Yes it is the turbo mode (although I think all the new VWs are Turbo now).

I'm sort of in a pickle because I am required to have a car 5 days a week and since I live in an apartment building I can't get a new car while I'm trying to sell my current one private party due to having no place to keep 2 cars.

I'm considering either just trading it in hopefully for what I owe and buying a Corolla, Civic, or even perhaps a Fit.  I'm going to try and stay away from Turbos because of the increased maintenance.

The other option, which I completely forgot about, is that I have on my Geico insurance "Mechanical Breakdown Insurance."

https://www.geico.com/getaquote/auto/mechanical-breakdown-insurance/

which would cover mechanical repairs with a $250 deductible up to 100,000 miles. I haven't used it yet but it has good reviews.

At my current rate of driving I should have the car paid off by the time I hit 100k then I would definitely have some sort of equity.

This is the first car I ever bought (previously leased and never had problems) and while intellectually I know most cars don't have these problems, emotionally I don't want to get into a similar situation that I'm in now.



Jags4186

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Re: Car issues, need some advice
« Reply #19 on: January 07, 2015, 11:08:52 AM »
Hello all, OP here.

I wanted to give and update and also ask for updated advice.  I'm going to get confirmation this afternoon but it looks like I'm going to have to get a whole new engine installed in my VW--fortunately covered under warranty.  My questions are:

1) would this make you rethink selling/trading in the car knowing you just got 60k miles back on the engine?
2) is this going to positively or negatively affect the value of my car?
3) if this does negatively affect the value of my car, do I have any recourse against VW?
4) if I get a new engine, what would I list the mileage of the car.  Does the odometer go back to 0?
5) any other questions I should be asking but haven't?

Thank you for your time!

Jack

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Re: Car issues, need some advice
« Reply #20 on: January 07, 2015, 11:36:50 AM »
The GLI, isn't that the Jetta version of the GTI with the turbo engine?

Would you consider a more basic model rather than the one with big alloys (which need expensive tires) and higher-power turbo engines (which need expensive gas)?

Yes it is the turbo mode (although I think all the new VWs are Turbo now).

If you want a VW, then the one you want is the TDI (turbodiesel). The turbo gasoline engines are unmustachian (expensive tires, premium gas, etc.) and the naturally-aspirated gasoline engines just suck.

Also, there are only two kinds of VWs that ever make sense to own:
  • A new one, because it's under warranty
  • A really old one, because you're an enthusiast and can either fix it yourself or have friends who will fix it in exchange for beer.

Having owned a 1998 VW TDI (which I still have... currently up on blocks because of the transmission) and a 2003 Hyundai Accent (which I loved and would still be driving if a tree hadn't fallen on it), I second the recommendation to buy a Hyundai.

Hello all, OP here.

I wanted to give and update and also ask for updated advice.  I'm going to get confirmation this afternoon but it looks like I'm going to have to get a whole new engine installed in my VW--fortunately covered under warranty.  My questions are:

1) would this make you rethink selling/trading in the car knowing you just got 60k miles back on the engine?
2) is this going to positively or negatively affect the value of my car?
3) if this does negatively affect the value of my car, do I have any recourse against VW?
4) if I get a new engine, what would I list the mileage of the car.  Does the odometer go back to 0?
5) any other questions I should be asking but haven't?

Thank you for your time!

  • Sell, because regardless of the new engine it's not the right model car for you.
  • Maybe negatively, but you should still be happy about it because a lot of the time VW refuses to replace engines for broken timing belts even when they really should.
  • I've never heard of anybody having good luck with that.
  • The odometer reading is still the reading on the chassis, but you could list it as "60K on chassis, 0K on engine"
  • Be thankful a second time that VW is replacing your engine under warranty. When I read your previous post that the "timing belt snapped... I would have been out another $1100 or so for that repair" I was cringing, knowing that for $1100 the repair would have been incomplete, and the engine would shortly fail again (or at least just never run right).

By the way, I suggest trying to sell the car on the VWVortex.com "for sale" forum. The folks there might be the most likely to appreciate the fact that the engine (and other stuff) is new.

RapmasterD

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Re: Car issues, need some advice
« Reply #21 on: January 07, 2015, 01:29:01 PM »
You are a walking billboard of why not to own a VW. Sell that POS with the new engine. If you have to cart multiple clients around, consider a used Avalon.