Annual (average) repair and maintenance costs for a 5 year old car

passat
wagon
repair
volkswagen

#1

How much would you say you pay, on average, to maintain or repair your car, including scheduled service.



My car is 5 1/2 years old and I’m averaging about $3000/year. That seems high. The service person (at the dealer) says “well, your car is 5 years old.” I didn’t think 5 years is that old.






#2

$3,000/year is somewhat excessive if the car is in ‘normal’ service. But what does (average) mean? Have you spent $15,000 on the car in the past 5 years?


#3

Well, no. So to be fully accurate, for the last 2 years, I have spent about $3000-$4000/year on repairs and maintenance for this car. My warranty gave out 2 years ago, I guess.


#4

$1200/year is a good number in not a little high.

I think it makes good sense to traded yours off personally if you are think of it.


#5

What kind of problems have you been having with it? Maybe you need a different mechanic. And what kind of car is it?


#6

take out your maintenance schedule and look at the recommended and required service that is required for each time period…miles OR time which ever comes first…you should be able to estimate costs from a dealer and local mechanic. Milestones cost extra than routine… Do your homework.


#7

Sorry, when I made the post I had to indicate the year/model and I thought that would show up on the post. It’s a 2005 VW Passat Wagon with 40,000 miles on it.

The service manual specifies required service based on mileage only, not time. I actually had my 40,000 mile service last summer (at 32,000 miles) and the service folks said I didn’t need to get my 45,000 or 50,000 mile, which possibly they were incorrect about.

Part of the cost is probably because I have only taken it to a dealer, not a mechanic. And I’m about to take it to a mechanic to get the latest issues fixed (which I don’t have the specifics in front of me…something about an oil leak (which I can’t see) and a transmission issue (that I don’t feel)).

In the last year, I’ve replaced a PCV valve, an air meter, a cooling fan and mounting bracket. Throw in the 40K service I had last year and that brings the total to about $3000. It’s just starting to feel like every time I bring the car in for an oil change, I end up spending a ton of money.

According to Kelly Blue Book, I can trade it in for about $8000 and I’m seriously considering it. I just wanted to check and see if any of the car-savvy folks on these boards thought these expenses were a bit high.


#8

what you are quoting is more than just maintenance. car is over 5 years old things will go bad. Brakes wear out, a few hundred bucks, ac compressor goes bad a 1000? bucks, alternator goes bad a few hundred. these are not maintenance items. these are failed items. maintenance is alignment, oil, rotation, spark plugs, timing belt wiper blades, lights, tires etc.
the older it gets and the more miles it has the more failed items you will have to pay for


#9

I would be furious if one of my cars cost that much on average, and I’d be trying to sell it as fast as possible.

For reference, my (now sold) 1997 Taurus didn’t cost me one cent in repairs until it was 6 years old, and even then it racked up only about $400 in repairs total over its first 11 years. Years 12-14 got a bit more expensive, but never over $600 in a year. I don’t expect the bills to be that low, but they should not be high at all for a 5 1/2 year old car.

In terms of maintenance, I always overdid it, but even at the dealer’s high prices, you really shouldn’t be averaging over $500-600 a year in maintenance costs, with the exception of years when you need new tires.


#10

$3000 is defintely too high for a non-luxury 5 year old car with only 40,000 miles on it. The average US driver spends about $1200 or so on maintenance, repairs and tires per year. And the average car would be about 5-6 years old and have about 50,000-60,000 miles on it.

Volkswagens have above average repair costs and break down more frequently than most other cars.

So you have a double whammy problem, and if you have the dealer do the service, a triple whammy.

I had a full size Chevy and at that age and mileage it cost $844 per year to keep running. Our Nissan Sentra cost $250 to maintain for 10,000 miles at that age. Both cars were above average in reliability and inexpensive to fix.

Your costs with this model are not unusual, but a good mechanic and careful maintenance could lower the figure to about $2000 per yaer.

But, If I were in your shoes, I would get rid of this car and buy something wioth a better track record, like a Honda Accord, Mazda 6, Toyota Camry, of Ford Fusion.


#11

You did not mention how many miles per year you put on but that sounds really high. We average 10k per year on 2 2003 vehicles, one chevy one ford. Sure something will come up soon but being really generous here I’ll take it to the first 5 years as that was the point for new tires and brakes. 5 years 20 oil changes $500. filters I replace myself $200. Tires $600, Brakes $800. trans and coolant change $250. Alignment $150, plugs $250 $2750 divided by 5 = $550 per year


#12

It depends on your annual mileage, but Edmunds extimates R& to cost about $1800 in year 6 for a 2005 GLX. In mileage, it’s between 75,000 and 90,000 miles. As you approach 120,000 miles, the cost goes to $2500 per year. Here’s the link:


#13

I think you should consider trading the car. My '03 Honda Civic cost about $500 a year to maintain, has 97K miles and has a lot of good miles left in it.

From you experience with the VW Passat, I’d trade it (or sell it) and would not buy another VW. Those kind of repair bills on a car with 40K miles, ridiculous.


#14

I have never noticed this tool on Edmonds.com. This is awesome. Thanks for the reference. I will use this as I figure out my next car, which will (sadly) most likely be a minivan or crossover.


#15

One thing to check out, are they only doing the items listed in the owner’s manual for 40,000 miles, or do they have their own gigantic wish list to make their new boat payments. Unless you specifically tell them exactly what you want, they may well be doing what they want you to pay for. That is, extra things you don’t really need. Some of these dealers really try to do all sorts of things that are not needed.


#16

Personally, I wouldn’t trust Edmunds’ estimates for maintenance costs. I’m not sure how they come up with those numbers, because frankly, I have never seen a car cost anywhere near that much.


#17

well, based on my experience, my maintenance and repairs have been more than what they’ve estimated for my car. So if this is high, I’m really in trouble. :slight_smile:


#18

Any car that averages over $1,000 per year is too much and you’re probably being taken advantage of by the dealer. A dealer can always find $2,000 worth of “problems” to fix. Stay away from the dealer and find an independant mechanic that can fix it when something really needs fixing.


#19

Although the Edmund’s maintenance cost estimate is somewhat pricey it is not outrageous if based on a dealership shop doing the work. It has been my observation that the cost to operate an automobile is very nearly equal to the cost of the fuel on larger cars and light duty trucks and significantly more for the smaller, high-end models.