Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

How long should my Audi last?


I have a two-part question…I have a 2001 Audi A6 2.7T Quattro AWD with just over 117,000 miles on it (and it’s all paid off…no monthly payments!).

Part I: How many more miles can I reasonably expect to get from this car and, Part II: at what point do I conclude that the expenses to replace/repair things like water pump, coolant system, alternator, etc. are no longer “worth it” and I should consider purchasing a new car? Thank you!

The general wisdom around here is to drive a car into the ground. It’s almost always cheaper to keep and repair an old car than to buy a new one. When you get to the point where the cost of repair is more than the retail value of the same car in good condition, then you are at the point of no return, but up until then you should keep up maintenance. I’m not a big fan of gasoline engines with turbos, but as long as your turbo is not causing problems you should be able to hit 200,000 miles without much trouble.

Now, if you are just tired of your old car, or your life situation changes such that it no longer suits your needs, then it’s fine to sell it or trade it and buy something new(er). But, economically, it’s better to keep it. Once it’s 15 or 20 years old, then just about any major repair will “total” it.

You can certainly get to 200,000, if you are absolutely religious on the upkeep, oil changes especially. Some cars of a particular model will be more or less trouble prone than others, but good maintenance is often a good indicator of long life. If you are unlucky, and you Audi starts having major problems, you’ll have to decide when to pull the plug. Don’t worry about further depreciation, you’re already pretty far down that road, so to speak.

In an ideal world, a well-maintained luxury car should be serviceable long past that age and mileage. However, Audi has a pretty poor quality reputation. Worse yet, a lot of their problems seem to be hard-to-diagnose ones instead of simple part replacements like a water pump or alternator. If you’re lucky, it’ll be fine for you for a few more years, but I wouldn’t bet the farm on it.

Thank you - I appreciate you taking the time to post!!

As you put more miles and years on the car you have to expect more repair bills. The answer about when to fix an older car or trade it for a newer one is filled with variables that make a big difference.

Me, I’m retired and I have 3 cars. If one needs repairs I can use another car until I figure out what to do. If you have only one car and need it for work then an older car that breaks down might be a real problem for you. Therefore one big variable is what is your transportation “back up” system when your car is being repaired?

Me, once I fix a car’s problem I have confidence that it is a good car. Many people lose confidence in a car after it is repaired. If that gizmo failed then there must be another widgit that will fail soon too.

Where you live and how “vulnerable” you’ll feel if your car has a problem on the road is another variable.

Your Audi has a lot of miles left in it. Since it is paid off if you keep making car payments to yourself, much like a Christmas Club, you’ll soon have a bunch of money in the “car” account. Put the payments into a separate savings account and you can either use this money for repairs or eventually to buy another car. If your Audi holds up for 5 years and 200K miles you may have enough money in there to buy your next car with cash.

Change fluids at least as often as the manufacturer recommends. This includes brake fluid, coolant, and transmission fluid as well as engine oil. If you never changed the transmission fluid or brake fluid, not is a great time to do it.