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After about 13 years of ownership, 162,500 miles, and waaayyyy too much time spent here (with over 5,000 posts!), my period of B5.5 ownership is soon coming to an end. Hans, my GLS 1.8T M/T Anthracite Blue Wagon will soon be headed out of my garage.

I had decided that while he may (or may not, depending on buyer) make a fine vehicle for somebody else, the worn interior (saggy door cards, trashed sticky plastic), rattles and squeaks (rattling wiring harnesses beneath fragile interior panels, squeaks from some failed suspension part, again), and the advent of oil burning (1 qt or so/5k... not bad, but not the zero like I was used to) it was time to pass the baton. I want a replacement, I can easily afford one, and I certainly have gotten decent life out of this car. Yes, I could fix everything wrong with him for less than a single-year's payments on a new vehicle, but it'd still be an old car showing its age.

I've started the process of finding and paying for a '17 Honda CR-V (Obsidian Blue EX-L with grey leather, with that new nifty 1.5T engine and what is, by all accounts (don't laugh) a well-sorted CVT) Is it the equal of my beloved Hans? No. It's better in some ways (I won't miss having to thumb through my well-loved Bentley every couple months), worse in others (let's just say the steering feel isn't exactly going to shame a 'vette.) But if you want that versatility and cargo room today, a CUV is where it's at. (And on (hopefully-rare) occasions where it will require service? Being able to clearly see the ground from the engine bay will be a refreshing change.)

Also in the running were a Golf SportWagon... this close to buying one a few one a few months back, but an incompetent dealer, and then VW killing the Limited Edition nixed that plan. It's a fine car, but VW's precarious position in the US because of the TDI scandal, the near-inability to now get one with the new safety features, price increases, and my ambivalence about the seating position took it out of the running. Also in consideration was the CX-5, but I'm tired of waiting for Mazda to get their act together, tech-wise, and the fact that Mazda's are about the only cars in this area with panel rust gives me pause. (As does the reputation for interior noise in the model.)

His most likely fate is just trade-in (I'm not willing to endure Craigslist to extract a few hundred bucks; I don't trust anybody who's never driven a B5 before to not start smoking the clutch), where I honestly have no idea if he'll head to a junkyard or be picked up by some used-car dealer willing to take a big risk. I know he's in excellent overall mechanical shape, driven gently original brake pads went to 150k!), well-maintained, with fairly fresh tires, shocks, brakes, with a t-belt (and coolant flange) only 5k old, but the demand for 13-yr-old M/T high-mile station wagons of legendarily dubious reliability ain't exactly high. If somebody told me "SirWired, what would be a good car I could use for basic, versatile everyday transportation, for not a lot of money?" I don't know what my answer would be, but recommending a car like mine wouldn't be it; it's just too much of a crap-shoot, maintenance-wise.

(But hey, if anybody reading this thinks Hans sounds like the perfect car, perhaps to replace a used-up '98 or something that's gone all sludged up... I'd certainly sleep better at night knowing he's not headed off to the crusher right away. I'll even toss in my spare VW supplies and my Bentley, and if you ask politely, an old netbook with VCDS-Lite pre-loaded.)

I've had some good times here, but All Good Things Must Come to an End. I have a lot of good memories of both the car, and interacting with the people here, and I'd be lying if I didn't say I'll miss you guys.
 

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Thanks Man! We'll miss you too.

A similar destiny for my AEB Passat: After accident repairs (early 2014) rendered it a salvage vehicle, I "sold" it to my brother for daily driver use. When I turned it over, I told him ~5 yrs worth of free diagnosis...but you turn the wrenches and buy the parts.

I would've advised you to search for a B7 or a CC, but I went shopping for B7 Passats and CCs in Fall of 2015, and I come away with a 2004 Passat 1.8T (5-MT) with 89K on the clock.

Good Luck with the CR-V.
 

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All good things do come to an end, eventually. You'll be missed, lots of your posts and comments were a great contribution to this forum.

I my case, the B5 Audi has gone to a new owner, and our '99 1.8T wagon, which we bought new, is hanging on due to it being our son's hand-me-down car. Once its gone, that will be the end of the B5 series for me. I went for a ride in it the other day, and saw how he gets in: open the rear door, reach in and pull the driver's door handle. Next I go to roll down the passenger window, and he says "No, don't do that!" as the glass tilts out of the frame. "Now I have to stop to get out and push that back up!" I keep telling him that when it quits for good, that will be his problem to solve. But it keeps going, and I did just get a new control arm kit for it...
 

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Best of luck with the new car. As you would get nothing in trade-in, you should at least offer it up here first. It's always better to pass a car if someone would like it.

I will be in the same situation in a few months. My car also has rattles (from the roof), peeling soft-touch and sagging cloth, all of which I can fix, but I just don't know if I want to.
 

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)His most likely fate is just trade-in (I'm not willing to endure Craigslist to extract a few hundred bucks; I don't trust anybody who's never driven a B5 before to not start smoking the clutch)

(But hey, if anybody reading this thinks Hans sounds like the perfect car, perhaps to replace a used-up '98 or something that's gone all sludged up... I'd certainly sleep better at night knowing he's not headed off to the crusher right away. I'll even toss in my spare VW supplies and my Bentley, and if you ask politely, an old netbook with VCDS-Lite pre-loaded.).
How much is a few hundred bucks? I may be interested.
 

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Sorry to see you go! I've always enjoyed your help and insight.

I hope you're able to find someone locally who will give it a good home. I still think these B5's are classics, in a VW sense. They'll probably never build 'em like this again.

Best of luck with the Honda, and your new found free time!
 

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sirwired

I have been here a short time but appreciate everything you did in helping me with the issues questions and concerns I had when I introduced myself to my 01 Passat. I moved on to the 04 and still love it.

Give me a PM or text me at 919-795-9355. Would love to see what you got and it's not that far to Cary ;-)

jj
 

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And let me add my words of appreciation to Sirwired who shared with me his thoughts on a post I did not too long ago. My newfound b5.5 wagon would be in worse shape if it were not for the wisdom and practical advice freely given on webposts by folks such this gentleman. Best wishes to you, sir, on your new venture going forward.
 

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sirwired, as all have said your time and help here has been appreciated by many with that many posts. Good luck as you move on to a new ride. As I have done with all of the vehicles I have owned and wrenched myself, I gained knowledge that many can still benefit from. I still go back to the older car forums and help where I can, hope to still see you around here as you have Passat knowledge that can continue to help others. Thank You!
TomK
 

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I was originally planning to try and get 250k out of my '99 B5 1.8T. The car still runs great, but it's getting to where a lot of things are needing replacement. I'm at a crossroads where I have to decide whether or not to keep putting money into the car or bite the bullet and get a replacement. I'm thinking about retiring sometime in the next six months or so and I'd like to have a car that I don't have to work on constantly just to keep it on the road. I've got too many home improvement projects that have been put on the back burner that I promised wifey I'd start working on after I retired. My problem is, once I get the bug in my ear about getting a new car it's pretty much a done deal. My B5 has served me well and I'll miss it if and when I finally do retire it. I'm eyeing up a used 2013 Audi A4 2.0T with about 36k on it for several grand below KBB so I may jump on that. Wifey has been telling me for years that I need a new car so it shouldn't take much convincing to get her to agree to it. The only thing that bothers me is that it's an automatic and I totally love driving a stick.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
One thing I will sorely miss here is the community. There are certainly forums for the CR-V, but it's not exactly an enthusiast's car. CRVOwnersClub has a single "Problems and Issues" sub-forum, and despite the CR-V selling ten times more cars (probably more) than the B5 ever did, it has all of 9,200 threads, and all five generations are mashed together in the single sub-forum, making glancing at the topic list pretty much useless.

I'll probably pick some stuff off the 10th Gen Civic forums, but that'll only help with powertrain issues, and will be pretty useless otherwise... It's a good thing Honda's have a reputation for not breaking, because otherwise I'll be spending a lot of time frantically downloading chunks of the service manual in $10/day bursts. (No consolidated package of the whole thing.)
 

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best thing to do is like what i've done for my past few cars. go out to alldatadiy and spend the like $30 bucks on the online 5 year subsctiption.
one time $30 goes a long way :)

sad to see you go! don't be a stranger!
 

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yikes! what costs that? alldatadiy for me has NEVER run that much!
it's as far as i can tell, the dealer publicated documents, just parsed out to their web form.

we're also talking the alldataDIY, not regular alldata :)
big diff!
 

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You won't be doing anything on a 2017 car until like 2020 or later, so you'll need to buy a junker to keep your DIY skills sharp (and, no, doing your own oil change only counts when you're a noob).

While I can't really fault you for going jap for an economical SUV, I couldn't do it. I would also strongly recommend the CPO route before buying new. They throw in extra warranty, you can save gobs, and it's that much closer to DIY-dom.
 

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I just took the plunge and bought a 2013 Audi A4 2.0T with just under 36k miles on it. I bought it from a wholesaler in Houston that was selling it for about $3K under Kelly Blue Book value. The car is super clean and looks showroom new. Wifey was cool with it, especially since it's an automatic and she can drive it. I put down a deposit so now I'm just waiting to hear back about the credit check, which shouldn't be a problem. Gotta sign some more papers when the financing's approved and then they'll ship it to me. I talked them into including the shipping costs in the price so I got a great deal.

I echo the sentiment about this community. I have been to other car forums and there isn't another one anywhere I've found that's as tight-knit and comprehensive as this one. I have learned so many things from the rank and file and most everyone here is knowledgeable and helpful to a fault. I'm not leaving since I'm hoping the past 14 years of B5 ownership will allow me to help others the same way you have all helped me. I know I won't find an Audi forum as good as this one, but if I can find one that's even just a fraction as good I'll be happy.
 

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I echo the sentiment about this community. I have been to other car forums and there isn't another one anywhere I've found that's as tight-knit and comprehensive as this one.
The thing that I noticed right away about PassatWorld is the seriousness and staying on track, compared to some other forums. Some of the sites that I tried at first, such as VWVortex, rarely helped solve a problem, which was the only reason I went there. Plenty of snark, jokeing back and forth, going off on tangents, but that wasn't what I needed.
 
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