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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 98 Passat is starting to disintegrate right before my eyes. I'm at that terrible stage where I'm trying to decide whether to fix or replace. I've got a lot of things that are wrong with the car, so my question is: how much should I reasonably expect to spend on all of this?

* Need new turbo (should be covered under warranty, but won't be because I can't find a stealership to fix it)
* Will replace water pump and timing belt while turbo is out
* There's something wrong with my brakes. I've had new rotors and pads put on, but I have to push extremely hard on the brake pedal, and leave lots and lots of room for the unbelievably long stopping distance. No one has been able to diagnose what is wrong.
* I have the dreaded front end clunk. I've been told I need new upper and lower control arms.
* I've been told by a good indy that I probably also need to replace shocks and other suspension items within the next 5K miles.

So folks, what do you think? The car only has 66K miles on it, so I really ought to fix it, but depending on how much these repairs cost, I may be better off replacing it. I've got lots of other small problems in addition to the biggies I've listed which are also driving me crazy (CD player skipping, tape player isn't working right, trunk microswitch is fritzy again...)

Happy to get any advice. Thanks.
 

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You're best to just get rid of it. Fix whatever you can that is cheap, and you might be able to get some decent coin for it just because of the low mileage. Have you tried bleeding your brakes?
 

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i think you can fix it all pretty cheap.turbo used 200 bucks.suspension 500 bucks give or take i would upgrade to some better than original but you can always go the cheap route.honestly it also depends how much you like the car nobody knows this but you.me i have a 99 with turbo problems right now as we speak which is being adressed this week i decided to put a used turbo in at an indy shop.I LOVE MY PASSAT THERE IS NO OTHER CAR I WOULD RATHER HAVE THAT IS IN ITS CLASS OR PRICE RANGE.so if it was me i would fix it and keep modding, but if your car is beat up and you dont love it then find a car you do love and give the passat to someone that will really appreciate the fine machinery that it is... :wink:
 

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I'd fix it. I think most of your concern is the turbo and timing belt/water pump. The dealership won't fix the turbo because of the CEL? I'd get the dealership to fix this, even if it means taking it to another dealership out of your way for the warranty. Maybe Timmons of Long Beach? Or McKenna Huntington Beach? I have friends at either places I can make a call for you for some leverage.

As far as the brakes, have you replaced the brake fluid and bled the system out. Often a lot of times, this is the problem. Really a simple solution. You'd be amazed at some these dealerships/indy places that skip this in diagnosing your problem.

Being that your car is a 98, you'll probably have to replace the control arms. I'd do this at the same time when you do the suspension as well to cut cost down. However, I'd get a second opinion though on the suspension.

HTH
 

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Those things really start to add up. Still spending $1000 to $1500 isn't much compared to the cost of a new car. You need to decide if you love the car enough to tolerate the expense of maintaining it. These won't be the last repairs it needs.

Whatever you do, be sure to get the brakes fixed before it's too late. Sounds scary! :nervous:
 

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FIX IT!

There are lots of ways to look at this. I mean, with all the money you're goin to spend, you might look at it as too big of a hassle and it's easier to get sumthing that will be good when you buy it. BUT as far as brakes go, you can go to MIDAS and get a lifetime warranty on ur car, and they'll fix ur rotors too for probly $400, but you'll never worry about ur rotors or brakes again because all you have to do is replace ur brakes with the lifetime warranty all the time. And your turbo that's not that expensive, turbo's go out now and then. I have a 98 Passat, and I love her to death, even tho I've also put a lot of money into fixing her as well, but everyday I wake up..I remember how retarded it was to do all that fixing, but everytime I look at her...*sigh....she still makes me smile.....LOL. My long advice, keep her!
David
 

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If the turbo is really shot, you are owner #1, and theres only 66k on the clock, then any dealership should be taking this job. 10yr/100k warranty.

Don't rush to believe the control arms are gone. I JUST replaced my 1st control arm on my 98 after 95k miles. Often it's the sway bar link making the clunk. A much cheaper fix.

Brakes are probably simple once a good mechanic gets to look.
As for the cd and tape, you can put a nice headunit in there for little money.
You can replace the trunk microswitch, it's very easy. A write-up does exist, I followed it to do mine!
I can't comment on suspension because I am still on my factory springs and shocks. They're not the tightest anymore but it still handles great!

I love my 98. I am about a week away from 100k.
My repairs have been extremely minor and way below average.
Oh except for the timing belt that broke at 92k which got me a remanufactured engine block and head. Under warranty :D

So if you love the car, spend a little.
 

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good analysis ripple, you wont find as nice a car for less than the cost of repair. I guess you just have to evaluate whether of not you've got a lemon.
 

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Of course, does it make financial sense TO YOU to put 1500 bucks into a car worth maybe 8 grand tops - almost 25%?
Take that 1500, plus 7K from a trade, and you've got a nice down on a new Passat, A4 or whatever else strikes your fancy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for the input everyone. I have an appt with a new indy shop that the kind folks here recommended. He's going to go over the car, detail what's wrong with it and tell me how much it'll all cost to fix.

TDIBUGMAN, you hit the nail on the head exactly. I think I change my mind almost daily over whether to get something new or to fix what I have. I loved my Passat when it ran. Now it's a chore. I'm also a bit worried about what else is going to pop up. It seems like there's some new noise or issue almost weekly. Not that i'm complaining, mind you. It's just the trade off of having an older car. Stuff wears out and breaks. Is it worth putting this much money into it? Based on some back of the envelope rough numbers, I'm looking at between 2-3K to get the car in full working order again.

Argh. I wish I could just make up my darned mind!
 

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I have a 98 V6 with 110,000 km on it and it is in immaculate condition - I've only owned it for 9 months and done about 15,000km in it but other than the big 90k service (new belts, waterpump) that the previous owner didn't do at the right time I have only repalced front disc pads a couple of months back.

I love how it feels so solid. On 17X7's and 225/45/17 Yokies, it just sits very nicely. After 20 years of driving Alfa Romeo sedans and living with their quirks, I have been prepared to forego a little bit of finesse and brio for a bit more peace of mind.
 

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Buster-
remember, too that you are talking about maintaining a German engineered car with time against it.
They break - no more than any other car of its vintage. When they do break, they break into expensive little German pieces. I like VW's as much as anyone, but the previous models were easier and far cheaper to maintain. Sure, people can say to go order it on the Net to get cheap parts, but do you have time to do so? Another car to drive when somethng does happen?
Don't mean to sound downtrodden, but the fact it a car is, ultimately, an appliance. If your range/dishwasher/microwave/tv/vcr needed more than 25 or even 30% sunk into it to make it satisfactory, would you keep it? No, off to Best Buy. And in that scenario, we are not talking about items that you must have EVERY day, like a car.
 

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Buster said:
My 98 Passat is starting to disintegrate right before my eyes.
This comment is ever so popular recently. Its getting to the point now where we are getting to the 4-5 year mark on the early 98's and 00's. IMO, I would do what best suits you, and your finacial needs. Can you afford to replace everything? Or would it be best to just get a new, slightly used, low miliage Passat B5.5 in good condition?

Here are some price break downs that I've come up with in the months/years that I've been replacing these exact things.

* Need new turbo (should be covered under warranty, but won't be because I can't find a stealership to fix it) Expect to pay about $2000 to replace the turbo, installed, with OE dealer parts. Even through in indy, you may only save $2-300.
* Will replace water pump and timing belt while turbo is out You will have some cost savings since the car will be apart already for the turbo work, but will still be about $2-400 for parts and slight labor for doing the belt, maybe 3 hours?
* There's something wrong with my brakes. I've had new rotors and pads put on, but I have to push extremely hard on the brake pedal, and leave lots and lots of room for the unbelievably long stopping distance. No one has been able to diagnose what is wrong. Bleed the brakes, this should resolve your pedal issue. If it doesnt, then you have something wrong with the brake booster, and this can be costly to replace, along with messing with the master cylinder. This I have no idea on cost. Maybe estimate $1000? Try bleeding 1st.
* I have the dreaded front end clunk. I've been told I need new upper and lower control arms. Control arms can be anywhere between 550, and 700. $550 for the Mayle (spl?) upper/lower kit from ECS tuning, much better then the OE dealer price of abou 1000 installed. CPP (www.customperf.com) has stainless steel arms, but a little overkill for non-lowered, street/stock driven cars. Expect to pay about 4-5 hours of labor to do this.
* I've been told by a good indy that I probably also need to replace shocks and other suspension items within the next 5K miles. Its possible, but I dont see shocks going out within 66k miles. Mine lasted almost 100k before I upgraded to coilovers. I'd suggest going with a nice Eibach spring/damper set, expect to pay about $500 for springs and shocks. Add another 2-3 hrs labor for install.

So, with that all said, I estimate about $5500 in repairs. Fix some of the small things, and get ride of the car. Use the money yo saved as a down payment on a new car. Personally, seeing pics of you, I'd opt for a new car. A good lookin gal in a new rig is always sexy. :wink:

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Scuba2001 said:
Personally, seeing pics of you, I'd opt for a new car. A good lookin gal in a new rig is always sexy. :wink:

Steve
Aww, thanks Steve...you're making me blush! :oops:

This is exactly the kind of break down of costs I was trying to figure out. I think I'll probably still take it in to the indy to get his cost estimate, and see if he can bleed the brakes and at least get that fixed. I'm really hoping that's all it is - I'm definitely ditching the car if we're looking at a new master cylinder or something like that.

If I decide to get something new, my replacement car will most likely be the Saaburu (9-2x). I drove it and loved it, and they're not selling well, so hopefully I can get a good deal on it. The thing is, it doesn't have all of the features that my Passat has, so that makes me hesitate a bit. I said this about my old GTI (which had a lot of problems as it got up in age) and I'm saying it now about the Passat - when they're running, they're the most fun, best value cars on the road. You get a lot of features that you don't get with other cars. The problem is, when they break, they're really expensive to fix, and you have to contend with surly dealers. I think nothing has done more to turn me off my car and VWs in general than poor dealer attitude. :thumbdow:
 
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