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2002 Audi Allroad, Sell or Keep

I don’t know why I have such angst over these types of decisions, I never know what the right answer is so maybe someone can tell me their experience.

We haven’t ever had our Allroad a year but it is beautiful to drive, most of the time, and I love the look. But, we can see the repairs coming very soon. The check engine light is on and off all the time. We are told the torque converter needs to be fixed in the near future. The shifting is getting hard here and there as well. It is leaking coolant somewhere. The water pump? The suspension is always iffy on these cars. All of the warning lights flash on and off at different times; possibly a loose connection. The catalytic converters are supposed to be replaced.

So here is the thing, if we sell it, we will hardly get any money for it because it is a rebuilt title with 95,000 miles on it and extensive repairs needed. Do you put 8-10 thousand dollars worth of repairs into a car, that is almost worthless and hope that fixes any problems for a few years and keep driving hoping it wont break down? Or do you buy another car for for 10 thousand that is cheaper to repair and sell the Auidi to whomever wants to deal with the troubles.

We also drive long distances with few towns inbetween to our cabin in Montana and at least once a year take a 12 hour road trip. I’ve never worried too much about being stranded before, but I have a 20 month old child. Makes you think differently.

Hard decision, because you never know if the new used car you buy will need repairs half a year into owning it. But, if the repairs are a little less expensive it seems more doable.

Anyway, thanks!

I would sell the Audi, take the $10k and buy yourself a more reliable used vehicle. Do you need AWD? If so, I’d look at a Subaru or Honda CR-V.

It sounds like an easy decision to me. Sell it. Any vehicle with a salvage title is a huge risk. Those problems you mention were there when you bought it; they just weren’t as pronounced as they are today. If you or your spouse aren’t able to fix most or all of the problems yourself (it doesn’t sound like you are), don’t buy anything with a salvage title in the future. The price is attractive, but the likelihood of problems lurking under the surface is too big to ignore.

With that laundry list and vehicle history - sell. In fact the length of the list and the symptoms described makes it an easier decision. With a two or three thousand dollar job you could be tempted to go the fix it route and then find yourself quickly beyond the proverbial point of no return that so many find themselves in as they ‘invest’ in car repairs. Get rid of it and cut your losses before they start to pile up.

By the way, vehicles that have been totalled in a flood are often resold with salvage titles…which is why you should never buy a vehicle with a salvage title.

Myself I would move on and buy a simpler car for the $10k + whatever you can get for the Audi. If AWD is a necessity Subaru Legacy/Outback is a great alternative esp 2005+ where head gasket problems seem solved and interior(Audi used a benchmark) does not feel like 1990.

It’s a hard thing when true love goes bad. You’ve already made the case for getting a more suitable car. Unless you can afford to keep it on the side, it’s time to move on.


Nobody what?

Totally sorry about the nobody! All of the replies never loaded until now.

This is all great advice and I really appreciate the input. I actually found the photos of the accident that made this car a “rebuilt”. It was the front end bumper and the side panel. Really, not a huge accident, but probably cost more to do the body work than the car was worth.

Anyway, good advice as I was rethinking again today that maybe we should just fix it since the mileage on it is so low. We do want all wheel drive and I would totally love a Subaru but could probably only get one with higher mileage right now.

What is everyones opinion on a Subaru over 100K. The other option is a 2003 Explorer with 70k.

What did you pay for the Audi 1 year ago?
You should expect to invest some money to keep a 10 year old car running well.

The most important thing is to find a local NON-DEALER mechanic who can work on the car.
Remember, the labor rate to fix an Audi is the same as fixing a 1975 Dodge Dart jalopy.
Just do not go to the dealer, who will charge you TRIPLE.

List it for sale. If you get a good price, sell it and get a Subaru.
If you don’t, then just keep it. And save some money for repairs.

Also, I would find an Audi forum, where people know the particulars of what your car typically needs.

The labor rate isn’t the same, even the cheapest, part time, mechanic in town working out of his house can fix a 75 Dart. Even I can fix a 75 Dart and I am no mechanic.

For anything as old as you mention, I would buy the one in the best condition and forget what the brand or model is. Have it inspected (expect to pay for it) by a trusted mechanic. If the seller is asking book price for it, subtract whatever it needs from the price plus 10% for your troubles. If you have a smog or safety inspection requirement before the vehicle can be licensed, take another 10% off (maybe 20%) for the risk that you need to make repairs to get the certification if the current owner doesn’t provide it for you.

I would lean towards the Explorer. Friends have owned ones and they have had good success. Make sure you get it checked out by a good mechanic and use any info as leverage to get a good price. If you do break down, mechanics will be reasonably familiar with it and parts availability ig generally good.

Note that the Subaru is coming up for a timing belt change, and that should impact on the asking price. One issue to be wary of is head gaskets on the Subaru. This model year might have an issue. We owned a 2003 and never had a head gasket issue in 150K miles. Others’ experienced varied the other way.

A properly maintained Subaru has plenty of miles left at 100K.

We paid 9000 thousand for the car. Then we spent a couple grand on the front suspension and air bags and a tune up. We put on new tires this spring.

I thought of going to an Audi forum but thought they would be a little more biased toward keeping it and wouldn’t be as able to be objective.

This is all great info. My husband is a farmer and fixes his machinery often, but the Audi makes him a little nervous and would prefer to have a mechanic fix it.

It’s looking like we are going to sell it. And are leaning towards the Ford. We haul a lot of stuff.

Not to burst your bubble, but you overpaid on that car; by a factor of 3. In outstanding condition, and every option available, that car would fetch about 9 grand from a dealership today. Yours is salvage titled and you’d be lucky to get $2000; IF you could sell it at all.

You haven’t burst my bubble. We
Were completely dumb when we got it. The guy we bought it from was totally dishonest and we didn’t know it was a salvage until the day after we bought it. We also never took it to a mechanic. We have beat ourselves up a lot over our foolishness.

I should add, it is in Canadian dollars. Cars are a lot more money up here than in the states. It’s pretty lame.

I would avoid the explorer. I had a 2002 and they eat transmissions, I read that the 2003’s had the same problem. Google it.

I was just reading about that this morning.