Volkswagens

trucks
volkswagen
rabbit

#1

Why do you guys always put down VWs? I love your show, but you never say anything positive about Volkswagens. I have owned 13 VWs, my daughter 2, my son 3. None has ever had an oil consumption problem. I still own and drive a 1982 VW pickup with over 340,000 miles, and it does not use any oil. It has had one minor rebuild and one clutch replacement. I did use this pickup for many years to tow a Formula Vee race car on a trailer with no problems. I did have one lemon in the group a 2000 Jetta, but no oil problems. So why do you pick on VWs.


#2

It is simpler to hit a large target. Hey I once went to an auto show where a guy had done a total restoration of a chevy corvair. I commented that it reminded me of Ronald Reagon’s old joke about watching your mother in law drive off a cliff in your brand new Cadillac. He almost hit me, but hey it was funny at the time.


#3

Volkswagens have GOOD SEATS, handle well, are generally safe, have good quality interiors, and if looked after well, can go a long way. I rode in a VW taxi in Rio de Janeiro on my last trip there. It had 550,000 kilomerters on it (343,750 miles), and ran well.

However, compared to Japanese compacts, Volkswagens:

  1. Cost more to maintain, a $35 oil change on a Civic becomes a $90 oil canhge on a Vokswagen

  2. Electronic and other critical part have statistically a much higher failure rate than on Japanese cars. And they are expensive to repair.

  3. Volkwagen engines, if not maintained meticulously, can develop very expensive problems, including sludging. Any repairs are very expensive. Transmissions (auto) do not seem to stand up well as they age.

  4. Volkswagens made in Brazil and Mexico often do not fare well in very cold temperatures; the plastic parts are not up to the task.

The daughter of a friend of my wife has 2 Volkswagens. They like to drive them, but compared to the friend’s Mazda Protege, they cost an arm and a leg to keep running.

Older Volkswagens were as good or better than the competition; in the early 80s a Toyota was no better than a VW Rabbit.

If you judge a car ONLY by oil consumption you may find VWs to be OK. I have a friend with a severe back problem, and Volkswagens and Volvos are the only cars he is comfortable in.

I do recommend VWs to engineers who are handy or mechanics who can do their own maintenance and get the parts cheap.


#4

You won’t get Tom and Ray on this forum; just a collection of techs and DIYers with opinions.

Thanks to the internet many things get batted around in the public domain. Many people latch onto these things and repeat them as fact, even if there is no basis in fact.
With every car complaint there is always a story and/or a bias behind that complaint, Polls and whatnot do not reflect this.

VW’s do get bashed a lot, and often by people who have never owned or serviced one and whose opinion is based on a near worthless Consumer’s Report or something of that ilk.

I’ve worked for 2 large multi-line VW dealers over the years I’ve seen very very few people cursing their VW as something they wished they had never bought.


#5

You never bought my 1972 vw fastback sedan. Once I stepped on the brake peddle, and the entire peddle assy, including the gas peddle and clutch peddle broke free from its mooring and I had to use the hand brake to stop. A girl friend of mine had a beetle, and the steering linkages rusted out so bad the entire thing had to be replaced. and on and on, but that was a long time ago I guess, it left a sour taste in my memory banks though and I would never buy another vw.


#6

As a longtime owner of a VW (1986 GTI), I wholeheartedly agree with every single point that Docnick makes, above.
Isn’t it interesting that two complete strangers, sharing info on a car-forum, have reached the same exact conclusinons? I would submit that most likeley, what they have observed over the years, even though are only 2 singular data-points, they do bear some statistical significance.


#7

As OK4450 said, T&R don’t come here.

I had a '61. I have to admit that it was the reciprocal of luxury. But the really cool thing about the old Beetles was the design. It was the perfect platform for things like dunebuggys and replacement 'glass bodys.

New Beetles, hey to me it’s just another econobox. No disrespect to econoboxes.


#8

Thanks Bada; I have personally never owned a VW but have many friends and relatives who have over the years.

In the mid 80s, my neighbor bought a Rabbit Diesel with no options whatsoever. This noisy little coffee grinder ran flawlessly. The old style diesel had no electronics. He later bought his wife a Passat, which was an unending source expensive of grief!


#9

Docnick…Just one more data-point I have first hand knowledge of:
My cousin buys a 2003 Passat (B5.5 with the 1.8T engine) as a CPO (Certified Pre-Owned) in 2004, with 9k miles on it. Basically she was really taken with how nice it looked, drove and felt on the inside. And indeed, as you had previously mentioned, VW’s have very nice interiors, with excellent seats and handle very nice; at first blush they [u}seem[/u] to be very high quality inside and out. The car was flawless for another year, or so. Then all hell broke loose: miriad of electrical gremlins; many problems with the automatic transmission. Then in 2007 and 50k later, her oil pressure light came on. She immediatelly took it to the dealer: the engine was all sludged up. And this happend despite the fact she religiously changed the oil every 3500 miles/4 months (severe service according to the VW owner manual). She went by the book with all her maintenance, at the dealership no less, not only because I had told her that VW’s need more attention, but because she is a mechanical engineer, and she understands how engines work, and what is needed to keep them in top shape. So, at about 61k miles her Passat was kaput. The dealer wanted $7.5k to put a new engine in it, or give her $1500 if she wanted to trade it in for another VW. :frowning:
Just another sad VW story.


#10

If you check reliability ratings from sources such as Consumer Reports, you’ll see that they’ve generally been below average for a long time. That’s why.