Last post on Dec 03, 2013 at 10:03 AM
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#9764 of 10039 Re: Need some advice [tlong]
Jan 23, 2013 (2:23 am)
"Probably I'd love a loaded Mini Cooper if I could get past the really small size. I may have to go out and drive one."
As you almost certainly know, the Mini Clubman is a slightly enlarged Mini. The back has more legroom, and the cargo area has more space. It's still small, but given that you're coming from a midsize car it might seem more realistic. The turbo versions of these are very fast, and yet still get very good mileage.
As you know, the Mini is engineered and built by BMW in England, and so that's really what it is. Seems like they have a fairly good reliability record.
Hope you'll test drive it and tell us what you think....
#9765 of 10039 Re: Need some advice [tlong]
Jan 23, 2013 (3:10 am)
No problem tong, I had a feeling that they had reasons for not being on the list, just wanted to mention them in case you had forgotten about them having manuals. I haven't driven them so don't know how they stack up in terms of driving enjoyment anyway ( though the regal at least should be in the ballpark) and it doesn't matter since they are off your list for other reason which are valid to you.
#9766 of 10039 Re: Need some advice [nippononly]
Jan 23, 2013 (8:50 am)
I'd be curious to know that maintenance costs she's buying every 10K.
An oil change yes, and it should be synthetic, which costs more, but can last you 10K. You probably also have to put in a 1/3 quart every 2,000 miles or so to top off again.
Timing belt is every 75-95K miles. Oh...it's probably a good idea to get a fuel and induction system cleaning every 40K miles or so to keep the carbon build up from happening. Other then that, I can't think of anything out of the ordinary.
Brakes and tires have been my biggest expense really, but those are wear and tear items that depend on how you drive. When I griped about the expense of them to my great mechanic, he said "no one ever said going fast was cheap."
#9767 of 10039 Re: Need some advice [Mr_Shiftright]
Jan 23, 2013 (8:57 am)
I don't know, my mechanic knows them inside and out and says the newer ones are very reliable and good cars.
Proper maintenance is required, and you should have no issues.
I bet 90% of the problems with Audi's on the road are from neglectful maintenance, and/or from incompetent mechanic's and shops.
I got quoted "Multi-ATF Fluid" for my DSG transmission service from one shop. Needless to say, I didn't get the service from them as it requires a DSG Oil; not a fluid.
I bet there's a lot of issues with cars where the maintenance has been done by shoddy mechanic's that do things like put ATF fluid in the DSG transmission.
Also, the car repair business seems to be filled with crooks and criminals. Over-recommending replacement parts, or at least recommending them way too early can raise your running costs considerably. Recommending things you don't need at all does the same.
Find a good honest mechanic; that's the key.
#9768 of 10039 Re: Need some advice [andres3]
Jan 23, 2013 (11:40 am)
Audi has improved over the last few years wrt to published owner repair and complaint numbers and even made top 10 in the last CR survey. Go back a few years and it doesn't go so well. You got a good one, so run with it. Most complaints when I looked and considered buying were electrical, so maintenance and ATF would have no effect.
#9769 of 10039 Re: Need some advice [volkov]
by MrShift@Edmunds HOST
Jan 23, 2013 (11:57 am)
Exactly. Audi's reliability performance has gone from dismal to merely bad and now is actually acceptable. Probably the biggest complaint is maintenance costs. Audi parts are punishingly expensive.
Still, it's a nice driving and nice looking car and I see the appeal. I wouldn't mind having a new one. But not on my life would I ever buy a miled-up used one.
As for association with VW, that's not a plus.
#9770 of 10039 Re: Need some advice [volkov]
Jan 23, 2013 (3:16 pm)
Ahhh yes, I got an A3 with barely any options. It was the options I heard that had the worst reliability (the open sky clips and electrical gadgets as you've mentioned).
You get a basic simple version of the model and you'll probably be just as lucky. As you've stated, CR has now confirmed Audi has improved over the years to be top 10 material. It's been more than a few years, I'd say the QC became important to them starting around 2000. It takes awhile to erase old perceptions though.
That being said, yes, I've left my rear windshield washer fluid spray nozzle non-functional as it's not important (and probably would cost a lot for someone to find where in the tubing the leak is). I've also been living with a center console that won't lock closed as the latch is broken.
It's far from perfect, but when you compare to '95 Dodge that I had:
Head gaskets, auto transmission, AC system, parking brake, o2 sensors, gas tank o-ring seal/gaskets, battery terminals, starter wires/cables, fuel pump, and belts that none of which could last more than 60,000 miles; it's a no brainer.
Not to mention the Dodge at 65,000 miles had 1,000 literal rattles, while the Audi remains quiet, composed, and bank vault tight at 95K +
#9771 of 10039 Re: Need some advice [andres3]
by MrShift@Edmunds HOST
Jan 23, 2013 (5:43 pm)
It's the parts that kill you on an A3.
Steering gear (rack) $1350
Xenon headlamp assembly (if say someone backs into you) $740 each
ECM -- $980
transaxle -- $6199
So you really want a new one, or maybe a car like yours, one-owner, complete service history, low miles, etc.
These cars will beat you up and leave you for dead if you go in blind.
#9772 of 10039 Re: Need some advice (andres 3) [Mr_Shiftright]
Jan 23, 2013 (6:20 pm)
Are there not good non-dealer sources for Audi parts, where one can get original equipment quality parts at lower prices, or OEM parts at a discount?
My wife's '07 A4 2.0T Quattro automatic has 65,000 miles on it. It had problems which were dealt with under warranty, but none in the past 15,000 miles.
Andres 3, have you changed the timing belt on your A3, and, if not, at what mileage do you plan to do it?
#9773 of 10039 Re: Need some advice (andres 3) [hpmctorque]
Jan 24, 2013 (11:16 am)
Yes, many times a knowledgeable shop can go direct to the manufacturer rather than through Audi (say Bosch, Bilstein, or whoever)
There's also a lot of good after-market parts of high quality, or better than OEM for performance, and I think a need for a replacement part is an excellent excuse to upgrade.
I changed my timing belt at about 85,000 miles. They used to recommend them in the old days at 100K miles, but they were getting some breakages in the 90 to 100K mile range, so they've made the recommendation for a new timing belt a very conservative 75K miles. You can look at the belt and see how it is wearing and adjust accordingly.