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Discussion Starter #1
My 2000 Passat with 288k miles on it is in the shop because the battery keeps dying. I just called and got an informal list of problems:

Battery barely passes load test
Secondary Air Injection Pump Failure
Front-left tie rod has play in it
Front right CV boot is torn
Front tires are worn down to the bars

I will update the list tomorrow when I get the final call.

I am a high school student going to college in August, and I have been contemplating selling the car before I go to school. This car is one of my most cherished possessions since I paid for it myself, but I can't see sinking money into major repairs when I'm going off to school. What do you suppose I do?

The car probably won't pass inspection in June either. Back in September it threw a catalytic converter code and the engine light has been on since the day after I purchased it. I'm just looking to do whats best for my future and wallet.

And yes, I know german cars cost $$$.

Thanks for the advice Passatworldians
 

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All cars cost money to keep up, if you like the car repair the items. You can't really judge a repair list against what the car may be worth because all cars have maint that needs to be kept up with and sometimes the maint items are large, sometimes they are small. Honestly if you spent a bit of time researching you could tackle most of that list for a few hundred bucks by doing it your self.
 

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Sounds like common maintenance was neglected, probably because of money. Its not really a "German car" thing, as any car, especially one pushing 300K miles, will eventually need a battery, CV boots, tires, suspension parts, plus who knows what else is on borrowed time. Only you can decide to put more money into it, but with those miles and problems, is not worth much. If you are trying to just limp it along, put a battery in it - Walmart sells a replacement that fits well. If you plan to just donate it or part it out at some point, keep the new battery.
 

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I'm just itching to be Banned
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My 2000 Passat with 288k miles on it is in the shop because the battery keeps dying. I just called and got an informal list of problems:

Battery barely passes load test
Secondary Air Injection Pump Failure
Front-left tie rod has play in it
Front right CV boot is torn
Front tires are worn down to the bars

I will update the list tomorrow when I get the final call.

I am a high school student going to college in August, and I have been contemplating selling the car before I go to school. This car is one of my most cherished possessions since I paid for it myself, but I can't see sinking money into major repairs when I'm going off to school. What do you suppose I do?

The car probably won't pass inspection in June either. Back in September it threw a catalytic converter code and the engine light has been on since the day after I purchased it. I'm just looking to do whats best for my future and wallet.

And yes, I know german cars cost $$$.

Thanks for the advice Passatworldians
Battery = $125

SAIP = $800

Front tie rod/control arm overhaul = $300

CV boot = new axles = $600

Tires = $300+

Catalytic converter = 600+

Grand total = $2425 give or take a few hundred. Less if you DIY, more according to various different things.

Whether or not you keep it is pretty simple IMO, you need to first figure out if you need a car. If the answer is no, your dilemma is solved, sell the car for whatever you can get and move on to other forms of transportation. If the answer is yes, you need to figure out what you are going to be able to afford in the future. Can you afford to get all of this work done right now? Is it possible for you to purchase a new/er car? My advice would be to stay as far out of debt as you possibly can. "out of the red, stay in the black, this will save you from a heart attack" You've got this car paid off, make it work for you until you can get a "serious" form of employment. Make a list of the repairs, tackle it by order of importance.

1) tires, find a quality used set on craigslist. People get rid of perfectly good OEM tires from new VW's all the time. $2-300 for a set of brand new tires/wheel = WIN

2) control arms/tie rods. Get the entire front set from FCP, install it yourself following the DIY on here.

3) Battery, this is the least expensive item on the list, not much way to cut costs here.

4) If the CV boot is torn, chances are dirt has already ruined the axle. You can get away with abusing this for quite a while (with no real side effects other than clicking) Save up, get yourself a set of Raxles.

5) SAIP will possibly throw a CEL, but it is a non vital part for the operation of the car. Find a used unit at a junkyard and throw it on for emissions. A new unit is quite expensive (I paid about $800 for an OEM unit + installation)

TL;DR Weigh your options, if you can avoid it, go without a car. If you can't, see what your budget will let you do. Be wary though, it is too easy for a lot of people to sign the dotted line, lose the car when/if they can no longer make the payment and then end up with no car and a broken credit score.
 

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Wants to be TheFlipperGray
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Can you turn a wrench?

I bought a B5 with issues while I was in college. I worked on it in my parents driveway every few weeks when I visited home. This list is not too bad if you can read a DIY and follow along.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I can't turn a wrench. What can I go without fixing and what is priority. Thats the question I should have asked
 

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I'd say tires are a must asap if they are that worn. After that the battery for sure, Then work on the CEL so you can get it to pass inspection.
 

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If you have any interest at all, I would find some tools and learn to turn a wrench. It will serve you very well in the future and save you a bunch of money now.

I agree the tires are a priority. The problem is, if your tie rod has play in it, you are just going to chew up your new tire.
 

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If you can wrench on your own car, those repairs are very doable.

Battery: $100-ish. Advance Auto w/ online coupons is probably the cheapest.
TRE: $20 for an adequate aftermarket unit. The "S4-style" outer TRE's from FCP Euro seem to work pretty well... I'd stay away from their $10 unit. The only tool you need is a small sledgehammer, metric wrench set, a crescent wrench, and a front-end service kit you borrow from the auto parts store. You are probably due for a complete suspension overhaul soon, but that's $200+ in parts. You will need an alignment afterwards.
Axle: $70 or so + an axle/hub bolt if you want to gamble with a cheap aftermarket unit, $170 or so for a high-quality rebuild from raxles. If you want to attempt the re-boot yourself (plenty of DIY's online), that's only $15 or so for the boot kit. Again, easy job. You'll need a 10mm triple-square bit (from Amazon), breaker bar, and 1/2" torque wrench. (The $10-$20 unit from HF should work fine.)
Tires: Well, maybe you can find used tires in the proper size. Not an ideal solution, but you are a starving college student.

If you don't live in an area with emissions inspection, just ignore the SAIP and CAT codes until you have some money.

I venture to say that just about any car with this many miles is going to have some steady stuff that needs working on... for what you need to spend in repairs, you'd be hard-pressed to get a replacement car that won't need any work of its own.
 

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I would rate checking the CV Joint as a high priority.
If the joint is still in good condition, replace the boot, and avoid damaging the axle.
If the joint has problems, you could put it off for a while and then replace the axle.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Emissions will be my downfall. I will not have the money and a new cat is 1000 alone. My thinking is I do critical repairs now, sell car for 3k, take the money I have and buy an american or jap car. I would really hate to see this car go, but I don't know where all the money will come from
 

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Emissions will be my downfall. I will not have the money and a new cat is 1000 alone. My thinking is I do critical repairs now, sell car for 3k, take the money I have and buy an american or jap car. I would really hate to see this car go, but I don't know where all the money will come from
You'd be really lucky to do only "critial repairs" on a 290,000 mile Passat, then get $3K for it. Check around before counting on that, $1000 range might be more realistic.
 

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You probably don't need to repair air injection pump. It can be thrown away, but you need to know how.
I would suggest to ask mechanic to show you all problems, they cheat a lot.
 
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