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Old 05-15-2013, 11:44 PM   #16
discochris
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Normally, I'd tell anyone looking at a 1990's era VW to get their head examined twice, but since this was your mom's car and you know the entire history (and the miles are freakishly low), it's probably a pretty good deal for a kid car.
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Old 05-16-2013, 07:29 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by discochris View Post
Normally, I'd tell anyone looking at a 1990's era VW to get their head examined twice, but since this was your mom's car and you know the entire history (and the miles are freakishly low), it's probably a pretty good deal for a kid car.
I hear you. Interestingly, I've heard the same sentiment about early 2000 era VW's too. I'm wondering if VW somehow manages to create new legends of unreliability every decade yet somehow stay in business? There must be a hardcore group of loyal owners that keep them going.

We made arrangements for new tires yesterday. We have to go about 200 miles north to Eugene to find a Discount/America's Tire but its worth it since we buy all of our tires from them here in Phoenix and their warranty and service are excellent. Dagoboy was beside himself with joy at finding out Oregon has no sales tax! He felt like he was really sticking it to the man! Plus we can check out the U of O campus when we are there and check that off our potential colleges list.

We hit our local VW dealer yesterday to see if they had a record of a timing belt change for that VIN# and they were spectacularly unhelpful. He never even touched a keyboard, saying only warranty repairs were on computer records. When I inquired about the cost of a timing belt change, he cavalierly tossed out $1250+tax, again without consulting a book or a computer. Needless to say this car will NEVER roll on to their lot.

I'll be calling around for some quotes for getting the timing belt change done in Medford at some independent shops today. Just for giggles, my sister is going to call the Medford V-Dub dealer to see what they would charge. Her daughter has a Tiguan that they take there for service and she says they seem nice enough.
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Old 05-16-2013, 01:52 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Dagofast View Post
I hear you. Interestingly, I've heard the same sentiment about early 2000 era VW's too. I'm wondering if VW somehow manages to create new legends of unreliability every decade yet somehow stay in business? There must be a hardcore group of loyal owners that keep them going.

We made arrangements for new tires yesterday. We have to go about 200 miles north to Eugene to find a Discount/America's Tire but its worth it since we buy all of our tires from them here in Phoenix and their warranty and service are excellent. Dagoboy was beside himself with joy at finding out Oregon has no sales tax! He felt like he was really sticking it to the man! Plus we can check out the U of O campus when we are there and check that off our potential colleges list.

We hit our local VW dealer yesterday to see if they had a record of a timing belt change for that VIN# and they were spectacularly unhelpful. He never even touched a keyboard, saying only warranty repairs were on computer records. When I inquired about the cost of a timing belt change, he cavalierly tossed out $1250+tax, again without consulting a book or a computer. Needless to say this car will NEVER roll on to their lot.

I'll be calling around for some quotes for getting the timing belt change done in Medford at some independent shops today. Just for giggles, my sister is going to call the Medford V-Dub dealer to see what they would charge. Her daughter has a Tiguan that they take there for service and she says they seem nice enough.
You're doing it wrong.

The part you've done right: getting a teenager a cheap car. Looks perfect for him. The bad: he needs to learn how to do some maintenance!

Make the boy change the belt himself so that he can learn what hell he is putting some poor mechanic through when he puts down a boat load of his own money the next time the timing belt needs changing.
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Old 05-16-2013, 02:06 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by KungPaoDog View Post
You're doing it wrong.

The part you've done right: getting a teenager a cheap car. Looks perfect for him. The bad: he needs to learn how to do some maintenance!

Make the boy change the belt himself so that he can learn what hell he is putting some poor mechanic through when he puts down a boat load of his own money the next time the timing belt needs changing.
amen, amen!
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Old 05-16-2013, 02:13 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by KungPaoDog View Post
You're doing it wrong.

The part you've done right: getting a teenager a cheap car. Looks perfect for him. The bad: he needs to learn how to do some maintenance!

Make the boy change the belt himself so that he can learn what hell he is putting some poor mechanic through when he puts down a boat load of his own money the next time the timing belt needs changing.
Oh, trust me when I tell you I've tried to mentor the boy on how to fix bicycles, motorcycles, cars or you name it. This kid has little mechanical aptitude and even less interest in working on cars. If it were my car and I could pack enough tools on the plane to do the job myself, I would. But its his car, his money and his choices that he has to live with. Time is also a factor, we need to be back in AZ by Friday. He has the SAT test on Sat and starts summer school on the following Monday.

It's looking like the Medford VW dealer has their stuff together. They quoted $762 to install a new factory belt, water pump, tensioners and both pulleys. All covered by their 3 year 50,000 mile warranty. The local independent quoted $625 to change the belt and water pump only using aftermarket parts. He kept insisting the tensioner and pulleys were fine with that low of miles, but if we insisted on a new tensioner, then add $100 to the price.

I know who I'd go with. I'm waiting to hear from the kid on his decision.
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Old 05-16-2013, 02:14 PM   #21
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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.).
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Old 05-16-2013, 09:36 PM   #22
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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.).
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.

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Old 05-16-2013, 09:38 PM   #23
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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! The service is scheduled.
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Old 05-16-2013, 09:41 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mambo Dave View Post
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.).
Thank you for perpetuating the myth that VW's suck (OK, their slushbox transmissions actually DO suck), 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.


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.
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Old 05-16-2013, 10:02 PM   #25
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Thanks for the positive words! (be sure to check your PM's for a lovely gift from jdiaz! )

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.
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Old 05-16-2013, 10:20 PM   #26
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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.
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Old 05-16-2013, 10:51 PM   #27
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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/Volks.../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.
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Old 05-17-2013, 12:58 AM   #28
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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

If the OP ever needs a replacement head I have one. Bought a spare when I upgraded to stage2 and never used it.
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Old 05-17-2013, 01:43 AM   #29
discochris
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dagofast View Post
I hear you. Interestingly, I've heard the same sentiment about early 2000 era VW's too. I'm wondering if VW somehow manages to create new legends of unreliability every decade yet somehow stay in business? There must be a hardcore group of loyal owners that keep them going.
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.
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Old 05-17-2013, 04:42 AM   #30
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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.
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