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Why don't I listen to myself?


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I am a VW fanboy, but that's because I've always liked the air cooled stuff.

My B5 continues to be boringly reliable at 252,000 miles/22 years - but I wouldn't touch a B6 with a bargepole after seeing all the stuff that was going wrong with them from brand new, steering column control units, ignition switches, rear calipers/control units/switches for that stupid electronic parking brake.

MK4 Golfs, used to always suffer the window regulator/rear wiper problems etc but I think they're OK in general - not exactly a new car any more after all.

I just don't like the anti-DIY, overly complex construction of modern cars, no matter what badge they have, and I don't really think about "premium" at my budget - it's either a good afordable car or it's not.

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Understandable.

No idea about newer VAG cars but My Audi 80 Cabriolet is fantastically built, real old-school quality materials inside and out. Although it's from 2000 it's still 'old-money' and feels special. The modernish 5v engine has been fine too with no issues. Heck it even has a brake accumulator, uses LHM and shares it with the PAS!

My old MK1 Megane was really well put together. Nothing fell off, fried, went doo-lally or rotted.  I'd defend Renaults of that era to the hilt.

Rovers are patchy on the build quality side, the 75 is anyway. My current one has a nice dash and trim, but only the seat faces are leather, the rest is pleather. They are decent for rust resistance, sills ends aside. Runs like a Swiss watch though and wafts like a good un.

The Vauxhall thing on here is the only one that pisses me off. It's a stupid thing to say. I had a MK4 Astra for 13 years and it had excellent build quality and reliability was very good, although not perfect. I've had my Corsa B for nearly 11 years and although I had to replace the engine ( I got pissed off with it  breaking down so basically blew it up) the original lasted 16 years with no issues until the end. It has had a fair bit of welding but it's 20 years old. Granted they aren't the most exciting things but they're cheap cars.

Toledo sounds absolutely awful though. I've kind of been put off this era of VAG cars from the stories I hear on here although I do fancy a Skoda Superb MK1 in a good spec.

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3 hours ago, sierraman said:

I’d go as far as to say Peugeot or Renault would be a better bet than a VW these days. Wait until you get one of those 2.0 Euro 5 oil filter housings that’s seized on because it’s been put on dry! On the positive though the fuel filter is easier, none of this pouring litres of diesel down your arms laid underneath antics. 

My experience with SWMBO's 2016 Pug 2008 would not support that assertion 😉. Front dampers started rattling around the time the warranty expired, on several occasions the electronics have announced that bad things have happened in the engine, without any obvious symptoms (36 different spurious troubles codes the first time...), a spurious "low oil" warning once, and a healthy appetite for brake discs. And changing the headlight bulbs isn't much fun either, though to be fair I can't compare that with my Golf as, after 11 years, it's still on its original H7s...

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Lots of interesting replies here, and less VAG love than I expected.. BUT, no real thoughts on why they are still so successful and growing all the time. They sold a car designed by Hitler to the peace loving hippies, sold an air cooled rear engined car long after it's sell by date, built a van with the engine in the back..?? ,  very publically admitted to being underhanded with regards to emissions regulations, built the TT which had a fatal handling flaw then decided to sell the ID3 to customers whilst admitting the software isn't finished. Why are they still so sought after?

Lancia had world beating engineering, rally pedigree to shade Audi, and stunning designs, and bad steel killed them dead in a few years. 

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I've had/have:

1999 VW Golf mk IV - terrible, kept breaking

2001 Audi A4 B5 1.9d - excellent, although the engine did blow up but I put that down to a dodgy thermostat and me giving it the beans when cold

2000 Audi A4 B5 2.5d - ok but a few faults

2006 VW Beetle cab - excellent, although on the third clutch as my wife has an interesting driving style

Not sure what that says, apart from the golf and second Audi had a shady history, whereas the other cars were/are properly looked after. The beetle is my wife's and it has never let us down.

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Said it before, will say it again.  VW built their last good cars in 1991/2 with the run out MK2 golf and stuff of that era.

I got berated for saying I'd have a focus MK1 over a mk4 golf but I still stand by it.

When the answer to everything is 'yeah common fault on them' it's a shit product.

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Vag group cars all cost a big premium over other makes, well apart from bmw and merc up where I live. I always considered them to be like anything from apple, overpriced for what they are. I ran citroens and peugeots for many years, before that rover, before that Vauxhall, last Vauxhall was a mk3 astra. However, I bought an early mk3 leon 1.9tdi which was to the moon and rotten with 6 months mot for doing deliveries and liked it. Then went back to citroen for a £300 Berlin go hdi, again 6 months then sold. Then I went for a 2011 leon 1.6tdi, which was the most expensive car I had bought for years. It was immaculate at 85K and I loved it. For all of three weeks when a deer decided to die by seat leon at 70mph. Write off. A caddy van 1.9tdi followed, it was a rust bucket, but lasted nearly a year with a gearbox replacement. I had it alongside my next leon, which I still have, the 1.6tdi dsg. I wouldn't say I love it, it is too boring for loving it but I've done 17000 miles in just under 2 years, it has a full service history, got a timing belt and all the gubbings last year, and is currently on 78K. It is due a service now and mot in january. I am considering selling it, but it has been 100% reliable and just does what it should and cheapish to run. I should really keep it. Then I have the forum bike bora, now on 245k, it was 238k when bought 4 months ago. It has had a timing belt and service, two broken door mirror glasses, and currently needs rear discs and pads now, and fronts soon.

So I like vag stuff just now, but my daughter has a 2015 leon 1.6tdi and it feels flimsy and less well made than my 2012, which in turn seems less well made than the 2005 bora. So older vag stuff is ok, but I dont think I will buy a newer one than my 2012 one. It has more rust on it then the 2005 bora. It is the one that is going to be kept until it dies, or my leg stops working totally and I cant work a clutch.

Sent from my SM-T585 using Tapatalk

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I'm quite amazed the old "designed by Hitler" line has been trundled out again. He didn't design shit except for some paintings, and the Beetle was designed nearly 90 years ago now.

As for rear engined vans, they used the engine and gearbox they had, to make a cheap van in the 50s. Keeping that layout until the 90s may not have been quite so clever I suppose 

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57 minutes ago, bunglebus said:

I'm quite amazed the old "designed by Hitler" line has been trundled out again. He didn't design shit except for some paintings, and the Beetle was designed nearly 90 years ago now.

As for rear engined vans, they used the engine and gearbox they had, to make a cheap van in the 50s. Keeping that layout until the 90s may not have been quite so clever I suppose 

OK, I was stressing a point.. he commissioned it as the KdF wagon. I know the history, read the books and been to "the" factory 3 times.You cannot get away from the Nazi background to the company,  and yes it was a long time ago, but hippies were the 60s, not 20 years  odd after. I was trying to make a point that the VW group seem to walk on water.

 

The van was built first to move stuff around the factory. And people wanted to buy it regardless the power train was  in the load bay.. then there was Porsche, who tuned the beetle and made it a wee bit more slippery.. and people bought it even though it handled rather oddly.. the weight in the front bumper of a mid 70s 911 tells that the physics weren't ideal.. but people still bought them, at a premium, and still do today..

 

Don't even get me started on BMW...

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1 hour ago, DaveDorson said:

Said it before, will say it again.  VW built their last good cars in 1991/2 with the run out MK2 golf and stuff of that era.

I got berated for saying I'd have a focus MK1 over a mk4 golf but I still stand by it.

When the answer to everything is 'yeah common fault on them' it's a shit product.

Focus, along with the mk1 Mondeo was a fantastically well built car, the amount of genuinely precision engineering that went into both those models was testament to a new era from Ford and luckily I was there to witness and become involved with it. 

That mk1 Mondeo really was that good that they dumbed down the dame Edna mk2 and they never had the same build quality. 

The amount we had to up our game making parts for that era of Ford was unreal, and I say this with experience, that even a giant like Honda are not even on their technology now 25 years on. We were building in traceability, laser marking, automation back then that they've literally just brought in now, some of the engines are still engraved!!!! 

Not slating Honda overall as their quality is fab but the tech used to build the cars is light years apart, Honda is more like a hand built operation rather than mass pro yet as they get supplied almost all their parts they seem to be constantly chasing quality wheras Fords of the mid /late 90's made most of their own parts and quality was kept in house. 

Bear in mind as well that vw/audi/merc/bmw etc were always really pushy about the servicing aspect whereas beyond 3 yrs few people ever took their fords back to the main stealer yet they seemed to plod on just fine. 

I still vouch that jap make the most reliable cars but the trade off is usually steady design and poor economy. 

I also maintain French diesels of the 80/90's were at the top of the tree, XUD heaven. 

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And i do quote like vag stuff to be fair but why things like window regs and wiper motors fail with such ease I can only put down to cheap parts and poor design. 

Fair enough if the regs failed after 6yrs or 100k miles but I remember them going at 3yrs old, no chance would Toyota put up with that, there would be a redesign or recall at least. 

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There's a young lad at work who, through watching Clarkson et al, thinks most British cars are shit, especially Rovers. Never driven one. He also goes on and on about how good VAG cars are.

He took out a loan of £7k to buy an 11 plate 3 series coupe, that was a badly repaired write off, and this paragon of reliability has cost him a further £3k in repairs including various sensors, a full set of injectors, and a new timing chain at 100k.

In comparison, none of my Rovers have cost more than £300. The 45 which shat its dreadful CVT 'box cost just £300 although I did lose that as I gave the car away rather than scrap it. But at least I wasn't £10k into it! My current 600 cost £250 and shouldn't need much more spent on it over the coming months. I've had the front discs and pads done which was the only job it needed. Drives perfectly with 100k on the clock.

But, Rovers are shit old mans cars because they said so on Top Gear, or some nonsense.

I have no interest in any VAG cars, or BMWs after 1986 but I'm not going to tell everyone how shit they are because I have no experience of them.

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7 hours ago, Barry Cade said:

Lots of interesting replies here, and less VAG love than I expected.. BUT, no real thoughts on why they are still so successful and growing all the time. They sold a car designed by Hitler to the peace loving hippies, sold an air cooled rear engined car long after it's sell by date, built a van with the engine in the back..?? ,  very publically admitted to being underhanded with regards to emissions regulations, built the TT which had a fatal handling flaw then decided to sell the ID3 to customers whilst admitting the software isn't finished. Why are they still so sought after?

Lancia had world beating engineering, rally pedigree to shade Audi, and stunning designs, and bad steel killed them dead in a few years. 

Perceived quality and status by non-car people.  The lack of a brand establishment, or confusion around it, kills any manufacturer, regardless.

I know there were a lot of political problems with car manufacturers in the 1970s but in the morass of it all, they mashed up any provenance their products had. Look at Rootes, by 1981 the Anglo French products had gone from being called Chryslers to Talbot, a name that a lot of people must have completely forgotten about by then. No brand values were possible. They might as well have called them Simcas as that's essentially what they were. 

Lancia made an arse of their temporary comeback under FiatChrysler, using a brand that again had no provenance in the UK, same goes for the rest of the Chrysler range. Jeeps are 'famous' so stick the badge on anything and it will sell quite well.

Daewoo had a good go at it but they were only going to get so far at the time, rehashed as Chevrolets and it was all over by 2014. I had a late Aveo and it was good but essentially an oddball Corsa D.

I think unless you are going to have a great selling point like Japanese cars, reliability and standard equipment, a good marketing campaign like Kia with their 7 year warranty and Dacia with their catchy 'you do the maths' no frills and and the OMG low price, non car folks who think they know best are always going to think German.

Fraser's of Camelon seem to do all right out of the weirdness though, their franchise seems to change every 5 years. I think they are MG, SsangYong and something-or-other now!

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All I will add is that I have owned precisely one VAG car and it was the neediest car I ever owned. 1999 Audi A4 1.8t quattro sport, in Java Green. It looked amazing and was a rather nicely specced limited edition model too. However every time I sorted something, something else would go wrong. The ABS on it was the worst. I chased faults around all 4 corners of the car, replacing almost everything, and the fucker would still trigger the ABS at precisely 20mph whenever I was slowing down. It also somehow snapped 3 springs in the 2 years I owned it. Being a SPUUUURTS model the springs were only available from Audi themselves at £90 each.

I lost the will to live and sold it with stuff still wrong with it. The new owner used it to commute for 6 months then it was sideswiped by an HGV. I was so, so so happy to hear it was written off.

You know what the worst crime my A4 committed was, though? For something with 180hp standard (and I got it remapped to over 200hp) with supposed sports suspension and AWD and everything... it was mind-numbingly dull to drive. You couldn't feel anything through the seat or the steering. It just ploughed on obliviously. Its 'handling' characteristics were just grip grip grip then catastrophic understeer with very little warning. Terrible.

I will defend some German cars, though. I'm on my second E36 now and both have been relatively easy to work on, and parts have been reasonable money too. You can actually replace the rear shocks on an E36 without even jacking it up. Not sure I'd want to take on an E46 or anything later, mind.

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12 hours ago, The Mighty Quinn said:

I'd disagree. Yes, BMW, VW  etc stuff has gone downhill but I reckon Fords are really good cars and have been for 10 years or more. I bought a 59 plate 1.4 Fiesta for my Mrs in 2018, first of the Mark 6(?) shape. It had done 115,000 miles (125 now) and it's perfect. There's no rust and everything works perfectly.

Whilst I wouldn't give a ten year old Merc or BMW house room, I'd readily buy a 2010 Mondeo and know it would be a good car and cheap to run.

Yes I have a mk6 fiesta as well and its excellent. I'd still back my point though. Ford might have improved but aren't infallible ( powershift gearboxes and 3 cylinder ecoboosts spring to mind).

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FWIW my two VWs have been good.  T5 van has been great except for cracked exhaust manifold which I am ignoring.  B5 Passat which although suffering from the usual window regulators and water ingress keeps on going for buttons.  T5 has the old 5 cylinder which is not without it's issues but seems all right and mine lives an easy life.  Passat has the 1.9 AFN which is old school and clatters along.  I've probably jinxed them now.

I do agree completely about the perceived quality BS though, my BiL knows nothing about cars and happily stumps up for various Passats and Tiguans on this basis.

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16 hours ago, Asimo said:

I bought a brand-new Golf mk4 so I know that you are correct.

VAG peaked about 1986*and have been living on marketing bullshit ever since.

 

**Junkman-year

I had two from new, did loads of miles in both and (leaky boot wiper thing TADTS aside) they were great. 
 

Colleagues with brand new Golfs seem to have endless bother, mind.

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19 hours ago, Barry Cade said:

 

I like Fiat's.  I get ripped because I like Fiat's.  I find them reliable, easy to work on and cheap to fix. I find there aren't many issues that keep recurring. No one listens.. I mention VAG group cars are shite and I worry my house will get burned down.. Audi especially, can do no wrong.

 

I’ve been beating this drum for a while now. I’ve worked on a few recently and run a 169 Panda as my main car and they are just no nonsense tough. They are straightforward in their construction which means repairs are easy and parts really are cheap, as in dirt cheap. I would say the only real headaches are in the GM Diesel engines.

All my mates/contacts with VAG stuff spend an enormous amount of time or money keeping them working properly and there always seems to be a water ingress problem or knocking suspension. Knocking suspension is the biggest single issue I hear of. They simply are not worth any price premium over a Fiat. In fact, I’d pay more for a Fiat over any German brand bar probably Mercedes.

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2 hours ago, cort1977 said:

Passat has the 1.9 AFN which is old school and clatters along.  I've probably jinxed them now.

That's what mine has, PD might be a bit more powerful but the AFN seems to just soldier on indefinitely. All I've done is blank off the EGR to stop the manifold filling with black death and remove the cat as it has broken up anyway. Currently 252245 miles as I sit here waiting for the mrs

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I have come to the conclusion VAG cars always need to have at least one niggle.

Every time I've repaired something another little thing breaks. Rear brake calipers -> door locks -> door seals -> sunroof drain seals -> secondary air pump -> rear brake calipers -> the little catch on the centre armrest -> climate control temp sensor... etc

Never leaves me stranded, but lots of shitty niggles.

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16 hours ago, Barry Cade said:

  very publically admitted to being underhanded with regards to emissions regulations, built the TT which had a fatal handling flaw then decided to sell the ID3 to customers whilst admitting the software isn't finished. Why are they still so sought after?

Lancia had world beating engineering, rally pedigree to shade Audi, and stunning designs, and bad steel killed them dead in a few years. 

Personally them gaming a few emissions tests in america just bought them my admiration, i mean i think it came out at the time that after VW admitted it, that a lot of other cars were doing similar shit e.g chrysler,renault,nissan,jeep and fiat, but the massive news story was "ze nasty germans were gaming the system." That's just good design in my book, if your test is shite and easily passed that's on you.  I also don't think cheating emissions is that big of a deal, it's not like cheating crash safety tests or something like that.

At the time you could go buy a VW 1.9 pd engined TDI and know that you'd be good for 200k miles, if you just kept on top of the cambelt/water pump changes, which is why they were so popular.

As for the audi tt, they did retrofit a spoiler, i think that they really didn't expect anyone to use it for high performance track stuff...it was always more about look than substance.  Initially at least but once that test driver did die in one, they did retro-actively fix it...which is more than a lot of car companies would have done.

Lancia on the other hand would turn to dust in your yard, long before they came anywhere near 200k miles, how many deltas are there floating around now? compared to the equivalent golfs?  which sort of answers your question.

(and that's coming from someone who really doesn't rate modern VWs)

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19 hours ago, Barry Cade said:

I didn't  mention Vauxhalls .. thought it was a given that people knew about them 😁..  they don't bother me so much as they don't push the " if only everything was as reliable as a Vauxhall "  VAG really bother me as they still trade on a reputation they gained 30 odd years ago. I think everyone on here would agree the Cavalier was an excellent car, but Vauxhall's ( and Opel's in Europe)reputation went down the toilet really quickly

 

I like Fiat's.  I get ripped because I like Fiat's.  I find them reliable, easy to work on and cheap to fix. I find there aren't many issues that keep recurring. No one listens.. I mention VAG group cars are shite and I worry my house will get burned down.. Audi especially, can do no wrong.

 

Fiats get ripped on completely unfairly any time one comes up in conversation, but only in my experience by people who aren't actual car people. I think there was a period where their cars were really shonky, which has unfortunately tarred them for evermore.

That said my friend bought a fiat 500 that has been nothing but grief, whilst my dads panda just trudges along and is a great little car! won't matter soon anyway, once we have the mega car conglomerate of peugeot/fiat/chrysler/renault/vw/nissan whatever the hell they want to pile into one mega marque.

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10 minutes ago, 1duck said:

Personally them gaming a few emissions tests in america just bought them my admiration, i mean i think it came out at the time that after VW admitted it, that a lot of other cars were doing similar shit e.g chrysler,renault,nissan,jeep and fiat, but the massive news story was "ze nasty germans were gaming the system." That's just good design in my book, if your test is shite and easily passed that's on you.  I also don't think cheating emissions is that big of a deal, it's not like cheating crash safety tests or something like that.

At the time you could go buy a VW 1.9 pd engined TDI and know that you'd be good for 200k miles, if you just kept on top of the cambelt/water pump changes, which is why they were so popular.

As for the audi tt, they did retrofit a spoiler, i think that they really didn't expect anyone to use it for high performance track stuff...it was always more about look than substance.  Initially at least but once that test driver did die in one, they did retro-actively fix it...which is more than a lot of car companies would have done.

Lancia on the other hand would turn to dust in your yard, long before they came anywhere near 200k miles, how many deltas are there floating around now? compared to the equivalent golfs?  which sort of answers your question.

(and that's coming from someone who really doesn't rate modern VWs)

The first TTs  were flying off the autobahn, usually on a long sweeping bend. I was in Germany at the time and it was front page news... Audi took them back and fitted a lip spoiler and reworked suspension a little. No one took any notice. 

Cheating is cheating.. either the engineers rise to the task, or find a way round it. Gaining an advantage through bending or breaking the rules.  Would the cost in fines be less than meeting the targets? Somebody bet the farm, and paid the price 

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Just now, Barry Cade said:

The first TTs  were flying off the autobahn, usually on a long sweeping bend. I was in Germany at the time and it was front page news... Audi took them back and fitted a lip spoiler and reworked suspension a little. No one took any notice. 

Cheating is cheating.. either the engineers rise to the task, or find a way round it. Gaining an advantage through bending or breaking the rules.  Would the cost in fines be less than meeting the targets? Somebody bet the farm, and paid the price 

I didn't realise the TT issue was that widespread, but they did remedy it.

cheating is cheating, but when nearly all the manufacturers are at it you have to ask yourself...are they at fault or is the test? The whole emissions thing was pretty bullshit anyway, when you consider the energy put into building a car, then a car that can do 200k miles before being scrapped in my mind is better than a more efficient car that can only do half that mileage before it's uneconomical to repair. The whole diesel-gate thing was in my mind backed by america who were watching VW grow at a rate of knots and shitting themselves over the future of their own car manufacturers. They decided they had to hobble the competition, if ford had been playing the same game, would they have got the same punishment? i very much doubt it.

It is a bit like when BP had the deepwater horizon oil spill off the coast of florida, which was caused largely by their use of american contracting firms if that had been exxon mobil i don't think they'd have got buggered as badly as they were....but because it was a foreign company they were more willing to play hard ball and make an example.

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