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Keep maintaining or trade up..?

I have a 2011 Jetta TDI Sportwagon with 444,000 miles. It is due for brakes, clutch, timing belt, A/C compressor. Still has original transmission. Should I put $5600 in to a car with 444,000 miles or is it time to trade for a 2015 with 10,000 miles…??


$5600 . . . ?!

surely you jest

Please break it down for us . . . parts and labor, if you can

Is this really a 2011 with that many miles. I am not sure if there are any typos, but then I also know of a driver that has a Toyota Yaris with 1 million miles.

Also, are you sure a 2011 has a timing belt or it is the chain?

Generally, you have to look at the repair cost in the context of car payments. So if your next new car would cost you $400 per month, do you think this Jetta is in such a good condition that after this repairs, it will last for at least 14 months?

Rob you are aware of all the TDI stuff going on, right? You’re going to be paid $$$ by VW. I’d figure that out first. But you may have trouble getting a newer one.

The 2L diesel has a timing belt and it is an interference engine.

The buyback is a little over $19,000 and the cas settlement is a little over $5000. There may be a mileage adjustment. I can put find that information just now.

Edit: I found the mileage adjustment. It is the NADA value adjusted for mileage based on driving 12,500 miles per year. That works out to a decreased value of about $3800.

90k per yr? Glad I have never spent that many hrs in car. I have other things to do. Maybe he drives really fast?

First of all, congratulations on having driven a VW this far. Since this was mostly highway driving, unless taxi use, which is easy on a car, the vehicle is not on its last legs.

In any case, VW will buy back this car for a significant amount, which you can apply to buying a better car.

If the buy back did not exist, I would part company with this car since many other things are about to need replacement or repair in the coming years.

It’s possible to get a million miles out of a Toyota without breaking the bank, but a VW in the US becomes very expensive to keep running beyond 400,000 miles.

db4690 brakes (including rotors) $800, clutch (including flywheel if needed @ $875) $2580, timing belt $1300, A/C compressor and drier $1300. Granted , these are dealer prices…!!

galant Yes, it’s realy a 2011 with 444,000. I own a courier service. It’s about an equal split highway and city miles. If the above services were done, I am unfamiliar enough with this diesel engine to reasonably expect it to run reliably to 600,000 miles (I guess this is my main concern).

texases Yes, I am aware. I understand even if I trade the car in I am entitled to all the benefits of any compensation. I also know that I probable can’t expect anything real soon. It will probably be months before an amount for each car is determined. The dealer I go to has Gold TDIs (Sportwagon) for sale. They were recent auto loaner vehicles. They have about 10,000 miles on them for about $23k. Payments would be about $475 monthly.

jtsanders I read compensation may be between $5100 and $10,000. My concern is if course how much less will I get because of the 444,000…!!

Cavell Surprisingly enough, the car is extremely comfortable…!! It’s not that I drive fast (necessarily), I just drive about 350 miles daily…

Docnick Yes, this is the reason for this discussion. If the above items were repaired and maintained AND I knew the engine would indeed last until 650,000 or so, I would keep it. This car has been maintained at the dealer all along (90% of the time). My concern is when will I receive compensation and will in be so low because of the high mileage. Once these repairs are completed, it should only be regular maintenance for the next 120,000-200,000.

I really appreciate everyone’s feedback. (This is my first experience with Car Talk (other than reading my newspaper).

Perhaps an analysis by an independent mechanic would be helpful. Engine compression, transmission and suspension component inspection could help you make a decision. Preferably one that deals with VW’s and can give you some good information on expectations and potential issues. Probably $150 or so, money well spent I think.

Instead of $24,000, you would get a bit more than $20,200. The information I provided was straight from the settlement. You can google the settlement if you like and check the NADA mileage decrease. I’d did and provided the data for you.

How can the dealer sell TDIs? The 3L diesel isn’t available is it? The can’t sell TDIs until the cars are fixed, and it doesn’t appear that the fix is available yet. If you aren’t in the US, let us know. All the information presented so far is for the US settlement.

Thx Barkydog…the VW dealer says it’s 6 of one and half a dozen of the other (BIG HELP…!!) I do have my local repair shop and another place to get more opinions… The problem I’m facing is nobody I’ve talked with thus far has any experience with such a high mileage situation

Can you afford to park the car, use another one for now until you get the settlement?

The problem is, I was looking at the list and IF you really need those done, all are necessary stuff. If you weren’t driving that much, I would say forget the AC, but that would be a painful summer all day long. You can always get one of those tiny fans that work with the 12 volt outlet, but then again, life is too short.


You could probably get all that work done for 2/3 of the price at an independent which specializes in VW and Audi

In all likelihood, they’d be using German parts, perhaps even the oem parts, probably minus the VW label on the box. Except for the compressor, which is possibly/probably a Denso, which is japanese

The kind of driving you do is favorable, versus stop and go city driving. So I’d be more focused on the condition of the car and components, versus the mileage

In spite of the optimism of the others, I’m having a hard time seeing you get around 20K from VW for your car.

For the record, I didn’t read any settlement. I’m just saying this because I’m a pessimist/realist

no offense to anybody reading this :smile:

The settlement includes what VW will pay. Those numbers, adjusted for mileage, are in the published settlement. It doesn’t get more guaranteed than that. Even the mileage adjustment is published data.

No offense to anybody, but I’ll believe it when OP reports back and says he got around 20K for his VW with 444000 miles

Thx jtsanders - Can you direct me to where you saw a compensation of $20k…?? The only thing I could find is anywhere between $5100-10,000.

Thx galant - Yes, these things are absolutely necessary. The timing belt first as VW recommends every 80k miles. I’ve been doing it (with my service guys approval) every 120k. It’s been 144k since the last time it’s been changed. And yes, the A/C is optional, but I do live in Florida…!!

Thx db4690 - I understand I could get these services completed other than the dealer. But it will still be $4200ish. My same question/concern exists…

Thanks again for all the feedback…(but I still haven’t made a decision one way or the other yet… :)…)

Can’t speak to the ongoing VW diesel issue, but a car w/over 400K miles is going to be needing quite a bit of shop time in the future, so if you need a reliable ride suggest to start looking for a newer car. On the other hand if reliability isn’t your primary goal, cost-wise I’d tend to agree w/the 6 of one, half dozen of the other assessment. There’s probably still a lot of miles left in your VW. Just depends how much it would bother you to have to take it to the shop more and more frequently to keep it on the road.

Rob, go to and put in your vin and miles to find out exactly what you’ll get.

This is what the chart shows for the 2011 Sportwagen with typical mileage for the combined payout (buyback plus cash settlement);

VW Jetta SportWagen TDI $18,227 - $20,357

The trade in value will be what the value was in September, 2015.

The NADA value for that car today (clean trade in) is $5185 for my ZIP code.

I say go for “option 2”

OP can use that money to pay for the repairs he mentioned

That car is only 5 years old and has probably done exclusive freeway cruising

I’ll bet it’s not even rusty yet.

If it was an automatic, I’d worry if it might soon need an overhaul. But it’s a stick, and if he does a complete clutch job now, it should be several hundred thousand more miles, before another clutch job is due