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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Rebuild Suby or buy Used Diesel VW?

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14 replies to this topic

#1 Guest_dwallbaum_*

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Posted 08 August 2003 - 02:50 PM

All of this brings up an interesting question, and Id like some opinions.

As some here may be aware, Ive been agonizing over the possiblity of a blown head gasket on my '99 Impreza with 150K miles.

Now, nothing wrong with the body, except for worn paint, and the interior is still good, AC works, yada yada.

New engine from CCR, yada yada, out $2500-$3K.

Or, there is a dealer that has an 02 Diesel VW New Beetle for about $11K - listing for about $13,500 or so, offering $2500 on my Suby.

Like the idea of a Diesel engine -- good mileage, should be durable. But I hear horror stories about -- stuff -- going wrong with VWs. Constant check engine lights, CD players not working... nothing really mechanical I can tell, but a lot of vexatious ancillary components flaking.

Sooo.... opinions? $3K on my Suby or $11K on a newer VW Diesel????

Let the fur fly!!!!!!!!! :rollin:

Thanks, all!


#2 Guest_mehwolfy_*

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Posted 08 August 2003 - 03:33 PM

We traded a TDI for an 03 Forester. It is a good car. We needed an off roader (dirt roader) and four doors, because the wagon is not allowed out of town anymore.

The diesel is powerfull and durable. See www.tdiclub.com.

it's a smaller car and less utilitarian even than an impreza.


#3 Guest_Flowmastered87GL_*

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Posted 08 August 2003 - 05:28 PM

Where are you at? Considering selling the Impreza? If you are in the northwest I may want it :D

#4 Guest_WagonsOnly_*

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Posted 08 August 2003 - 10:08 PM

If you spend $3k on the Impreza you could easily get 75-150K more out of it whereas with a VWl...accessories break VERY easily, rust is a major problem, timing belts snap with amazing frequency, build quality is incredibly shoddy, dealer service is "the pits" according to The Lemon-Aid Guide to Used Cars, and many independent garages won't touch them. I'd go with the Soob, having had a rather nasty experience with a VW a short time ago. (Trunk light drained battery; LED in dash quit; wiring fault shorted out windshield wipers so they stayed on all the time; rust hole in floor caused MAJOR leak, had to discard carpet, front and right rear passengers were spashed in rain storms; oil pump went; major oil leak developed shortly after I gave it to my father; gearshift linkage was excessively rubbery and first gear was located underneath 3rd; window washer pump quit; and it had the typical VW electrical gremlins (the non-permanent problems).)

So far with my '99 Forester I've had one electrical problem (interior light stayed on) and a bad O2 sensor, in the 11,000 miles I've had it. I got it with 47K about four months ago. Total maintenance cost in that time is under $150 with oil changes every 3k.

#5 Guest_x silvershad0w x_*

Guest_x silvershad0w x_*
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Posted 09 August 2003 - 01:46 AM

I'm not so sure about going for a new car with the possibilty of a blown head gasket on the impreza. With only 150K, it can go a lot further, and I don't understand why you are contemplatinga new engine from CCR if you only have a head gasket problem. You could fix that yourself for a few hundered $ or less, or even an expensive shop would have trouble pulling much more than $1000 out of your wallet. Unless there is more underlying problems not mentioned, fix the Subaru, you can run it for many more years to come! If you buy the VW you will miss your Subaru, don't do it! :)

#6 Guest_Tolerance02_*

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Posted 09 August 2003 - 05:00 AM

I don't want to hurt your feelings (part of your nickname sounds German) :) but if you buy the VW I should keep the Impreza so you still can rebuild it the moment you'll be sick and tired of the VW. Could be soon. <img src=http://www.ezboard.com/intl/aenglish/images/emoticons/ohwell.gif ALT=":\">

#7 Guest_gunablue_*

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Posted 13 August 2003 - 07:29 AM

Just my two cents.....

My other half has a 99 Beetle TDI(purchased new). The only strong point that I can think if is they get great gas mileage. Never in my life have I hated a car more. Let's see where should I start?

A. No power - we bought a chip from VWVortex.com and had it installed. That did give it more power (I believe it went from 90 hp to 115), but the turbo boost would still cut out early. My 92 Loyale 5 sp had more pep than that!!
D. Every place that we've taken it to get the oil changed in it has managed to damage something. The valve cover has been broken, the bottom engine cover has been broken(last week).
C. Bulb replacement - that's a joke. In our attempt to replace a headlight bulb ourselves based on info we obtained from the net, the assy broke. $65 to fix. You can't change the parking light bulbs or brake light bulbs yourself either. IF you get the chance to, take a look at the owner's manual, it tells you to take the car back to the dealer for simple things and doesn't even say how to do it yourself.
D. Blown dash lights - royal pain in the you know what. The ventilation controls had a short of some sort and would work intermittenly.
E. The final straw - a few months ago our car had the nasty habit of simply shutting down without any warning. It started happening more and more frequently until we wouldn't even drive the stupid thing. When it would shut down, it wouldn't restart for sometimes as long as a twenty minutes. We took it to the local VW dealer and they couldn't figure out what the problem was. They had the car for a week and a half....they had to call Germany for assistance. I believe it was some sort of engine control module issue to the tune of $900.

As you can see, I'm a bit jaded with regards to this car. Never will we buy a VW again. This one was made in Mexico and in my opinion the quality isn't there. We are getting rid of this pos hopefully within the next two months. Whatever happened to the days where you could at the very least change a burnt bulb in your car?

ok I'm done ranting!!

Good luck with your decision. Maybe we got a lemon.....so your experience may vary.

#8 Guest_snotrocket23_*

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Posted 13 August 2003 - 08:38 AM

Well, the VW has a theoretical 350k engine lifespan.
Oil changes suck cuz you gotta take all kinds of crap off to get to anything.
Bulbs are always blowing out, on the outside, in my experience. Fairly easy to do once you have done it a couple times. Does take a certain finesse.
And no power. Great off the line torque, but its all over by 4 grand.
I don't know, but I really like that engine. I'd have to be a jetta, though, the NB and golf are girl cars, period. Usually cute blond girls. Maybe thats why I like VW's. it's chemical.:lol:

#9 Guest_Legacy777_*

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Posted 13 August 2003 - 09:36 AM

I don't particularly like german cars.....bad experience with the older ones falling apart and essentually being hunks of metal......

I hate the new beetle....just never liked it.....oh well....just my 7 cents

#10 Guest_95LEGAWD_*

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Posted 13 August 2003 - 10:26 AM

Don't buy a VW(my .02). My wife's 97 Jetta is falling apart. I went to the dealer to find out why the third brake light wasn't working and they said and I quote "probably a short, we get these in all the time(electrical problems). VW has cheap wiring" Anyhow, other stuff from the inside & out has been falling apart.

Spend the cash to have piece of mind and know the history of your vehicle-it can save you alot of headaches down the road.

I bought my 95 Legacy with some problems, but in the short time I've owned it I can tell it's better built and will last quite a bit longer than the VW.

#11 Guest_Setright_*

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Posted 13 August 2003 - 02:00 PM

Okay, there is no doubt that the VW group have SERIOUS problems with their electrics.

I live in Europe and here the VW Golf (Bootless Jetta) is immensly popular. Can't understand why. The outside bulbs are always blowing, the CD players spend more time back at the dealerships than playing music, and the car's have a nasty habit of draining their batteries overnight.

A friend bought one, despite my arguments, and he is experienceing all the classic problems. On this side of the Atlantic that also means arrogant dealers who don't care that the car isn't working.

A colleague bought an Audi A4. Despite Audi proudly claiming that this is the first production car with a fiber optic bus system, instead of conventional wiring, the stupid thing has all the typical VW group electrical problems.

So, go on, buy a cynical heritage exploiting piece of designer toss. OR, stick with the Sube and live happily ever after :P

#12 Guest_lazyNorm_*

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Posted 13 August 2003 - 05:57 PM

I am not impressed at all with our 99 Legacy GT as far as quality goes. With 53K miles on it has these problems:

Engine vigration at 1500 to 3500 RPM. The dealer says it because of the motor mount design. I say BS, it didn't do it at 30K miles.

The famous Subaru engine hesitation. Dealer say its 'normal'

A loud exhaust leak that makes the car sound like a old beat up VW bug. The dealer say its 'normal'

Then there's the possibility of a head gasket blowing looming in the back of my mind.

Quality??? What quality? There's Chevys out there with more miles and less problems. I have maintained this car exactly as the ower's manual says.

I love the way the car drives and looks and the AWD is great. If I can't find a dealer who is willing to do thier job and fix the problems, instead of feeding me excuses, I most likely keep the car for a long time. If not, I will definately be looking elsewhere for our next car.

#13 Guest_Setright_*

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Posted 14 August 2003 - 01:39 AM

The engine vibes aren't the engine. A drive shaft is out of balance, seen before. Press for a warranty fix.

Hesitation, please elaborate, I am sure someone on this site can help - self included. Off hand, I'd suggest a fuel system cleaner. RedX is my favourite.

Trace the exhaust leak and fit a new OE gasket.

Chill on the head gasket thing, just make sure your cooling system is in good shape, and don't run the car if it starts to overheat! (Goes for any brand, really.)

#14 Guest_lazyNorm_*

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Posted 14 August 2003 - 07:39 AM

I as far as I know driveshafts don't vibrate when they aren't turning. In other words, it vibrates like its missing while reving in park, as well as going down the road.

The hesitation that I tallking about is the same one thats been dicussed on this borard many times. The general conclusion was that its a over senstive knock sensor retarding the timing when its not needed. From what I can gather, SOA is not doing a very good job of finding this and fixing it.

I've tried to trace the leak, I just cant seem to find it, I'll get it fixed one day.

I guess my point was, is that everyone raves about how great the quality is on Subarus. I don't see it. I think it was true 10 years ago or so, but not any more. My 15 year old Cherokee has less motor problems. I realize that all cars have thier weak spots, but for a car to have this many problems with the engine at 53K miles is rediculous. So far the rest of the car has been perfect. I think the only way I'll get another Subaru is if I get one with anything but the 2.5.

#15 Ranger83


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Posted 16 August 2003 - 06:23 AM

Originally posted by lazyNorm I guess my point was, is that everyone raves about how great the quality is on Subarus. I don't see it. I think it was true 10 years ago or so, but not any more. My 15 year old Cherokee has less motor problems. I realize that all cars have thier weak spots, but for a car to have this many problems with the engine at 53K miles is rediculous. So far the rest of the car has been perfect. I think the only way I'll get another Subaru is if I get one with anything but the 2.5.

My OB has 113,700, running great. Also have one with 87,000 that runs well, so you're unlucky.

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