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Hi,

Need some opinions on whether I should spend the money or not.

We have a 2005 Passat, V6, with 105K miles. Inherited from my parents and my kids and I use it. So, we got the car for free about 4 years ago.

After spending about 2K to repair damage to the car after a hit and run, and about 1K on rims (which my oldest child curbed and damaged after I spent the money to have them repaired), I'm up against the following:

Serpentine belt
Valve cover gasket service (smell burning oil in the passenger compartment)
4 Upper control arm bushings
1 CV boot
2 Frt Ctrl arm bushings
2 Motor mounts
2 trans mounts

And either a bad ABS sensor or brake pressure sensor (Traction ctrl and ABS light come on randomly and stay on). If it's the ABS module, there is NO way I'm spending money on a new module. I'd go reman (assuming I even keep the car).

All of the above added up come to roughly $3300. That's on TOP of what I've spent already.

So, should I spend the money on repairs and keep the car or just get rid of it?
 

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If it’s in decent shape otherwise, I’d keep it. The incidental damage/cost/repair spent prior to the mechanical repairs (now) required shouldn’t factor in to the equation. Seems like a hefty price but the car can give you several more years of service.
 

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Rule 1 of investment analysis: sunk costs are sunk. Translation, only look at the attractiveness of future investments. Personally I wouldn’t throw $3300 at a B5 unless I was in love with it, and that would take a very nice condition B5. BUT (yes, all caps intentional), that work shouldn’t cost you $3300. In fact, for that price, I’ll fly to the US and do it for you myself.

Without checking current prices I would say parts for a full control arm refresh plus 2 complete half-axles (instead of the CV boot) would run about $700. One long Saturday in the driveway and you’re done! (The mounts are pretty cheap and easy).
 

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Do you like the car? Do you have something else to drive instead? How is the rest of the car, interior and exterior? Has the timing belt been changed? Do you have any mechanical ability or are you paying to have the work done?
If the body and interior are in good shape, it's not unheard of to have to refresh the suspension at 105K and that can run $1K if you are paying a shop.
The mounts are not really an issue unless you get thunking when you let off the gas or if you have a manual as the shifter will move around.
Replacing the valve cover gaskets is pretty easy. It's also a good time to clean or repair the PCV as that can cause oil leaks. Often, the cam caps (rubber coated metal plugs) at the back of the motor leak and drip oil onto the cats. They are fairly easy to replace.
There are plenty of people who can provide instructions on how to do the work if you are able. There are tons of DIY writeups in the Info Forum, along with pictures.
 

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If the body and interior are in decent shape I'd do it in a heart beat.
If you have the ability to do all this yourself I'd say you'd be looking at $1500 tops for all the parts needed and that's if you went with Raxle axles instead of just the cv joints.
Other than the axle bolts, the rest of that stuff is relatively easy. Could easily be done in a single weekend, barring the underside of the car isn't all rusted up.

That ABS module can be repaired here CHEAP Bosch 5.3 ABS REPAIR VW Passat Audi A4 A6 A8 S4
The B5.5 models use the Bosch 5.7 ABS module and can repaired for around $160. I've used them myself, rock solid repair from them.

There's been some rumor that cheapabs.com is not in business right now, so if not...

Here's an alternative https://www.shop.modulerepairpro.com/ABS-Pump-Control-Module-VW-Passat-2005_c817.htm

My .02 cents
 
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Keep it. The price you mentioned is ridiculously high. If you have the mechanical ability, you and your kids can work together on fixing most of that stuff yourselves. Teach them something(s) along the way.
If it is the ABS module that's bad, used/salvage yard replacements do work if you find the correct part #.
The 1st site AndreasPassat mentioned is kaput CHEAP Bosch 5.3 ABS REPAIR VW Passat Audi A4 A6 A8 S4
but they do have good info on what part #s are compatible. I swapped a junkyard module about 2 years ago and it is still working fine.
 

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We have a 2005 Passat, V6, with 105K miles. Inherited from my parents and my kids and I use it. So, we got the car for free about 4 years ago....So, should I spend the money on repairs and keep the car or just get rid of it?
At 105K miles, there is plenty of life left, but I wouldn't be surprised if that timing belt system is original and due for replacement. If an automatic, a fluid and filter change would be recommended if never done previously. If the shop that quoted you $3,300 does the job, then the total for the maintenance would probably be well over $5,000. If that is your total investment to have a nice "low mileage" car, it's still not bad. But whether you spend money or keep it is definitely a personal decision.
 

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Rule 1 of investment analysis: sunk costs are sunk. Translation, only look at the attractiveness of future investments. Personally I wouldn’t throw $3300 at a B5 unless I was in love with it, and that would take a very nice condition B5. BUT (yes, all caps intentional), that work shouldn’t cost you $3300. In fact, for that price, I’ll fly to the US and do it for you myself.

Without checking current prices I would say parts for a full control arm refresh plus 2 complete half-axles (instead of the CV boot) would run about $700. One long Saturday in the driveway and you’re done! (The mounts are pretty cheap and easy).
Totally agree with Hirnbeiss; if I could I would travel and do the job for you for that much money, get a second opinion or seriously consider the cost of a BBQ and some Coronas to convince a couple of mechanically inclined friends to come over the weekend after you get the parts you need via eBay. That should cost between $500 -700 and will be a lot of fun.
I do that everytime something brakes in our 2002 with 75.000 miles. The car is worth keeping and maintaining. Do not think you are dumping money down the drain when you fix it and keep it running well, unless you choose to pay $3.300 to some stranger (with a VW sign on the door) to replace a few nuts and bolts which you can do. Think of the cost of opportunity.
 

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I agree with the majority here. If the exterior and interior are in good condition, and you love this car, go for it. And yes, if you can do any of the work yourself, all these repairs should not cost that much. I replaced an axle for under $200 (I did not use Raxle, as they are trey expensive) and there are many places to source a a gasket kit, and that is a dyi job, for sure. Even at $3,300 (or even 5,000 if you do the timing belt and water pump service -- which is recommended if not done in the past), you are spending less than if you bought another decent car with similar condition and mileage (your Passat is really low mileage, considering the age). That said, one thing I would want to know (as a former owner of a 2000 Passat V6 4motion) that no one has mentioned, is how is the compression in your engine. I finally bowed out of our Passat when one of the cylinders showed low compression. It had about 180,000 miles on it, and still drove well, but the low compression led me to finally part ways with a car we bought used and had in our family for over 10 years and over 100,000 miles. (I loved that car -- it is a very solid car and those Passats were really Audi's with VW badging.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for everyone's responses so far. With the exception of a dent in the right front fender (daughter hit a damn parking lot bollard) which I still need repaired via PDR and a couple minor parts that I can replace on my own, the car is in very good shape.

All maintenance while the car was owned by my parents was done at the dealer. After I took over the car, I've been doing the oil changes with Syntec 5w-40 (per spec) with oem/Mobil 1/Wix filters. But everything else was still done at the dealer. However, the last visit left a bad taste in my mouth. Tech claimed it needed a new cam chain tensioner and after putting on a tire over tightened the lug bolt to the point where I could not even loosen the bolt with a 2 ft long breaker bar.

Anyway, I'm leaning towards keep it. Below is a breakout of the quote I was given.

102468
 

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Here's a list I've compiled by shopping online.

102472



All of the items are OEM - VW except the exhaust flex pipe which is from ebay.
This online total is $1.235.73 compared to your part quote of $1,977.59
This online total can be chiseled down to below $1000 easily if you buy an engine mount kit. It includes aftermarket engine and transmission mounts that are actually better than OEM VW.
You'd be around $900 for all of the parts. You could do even better yet if you buy a front suspension kit. You would then have all brand new control arms for even a cheaper price.

I would seriously consider an independent or "Indy" mechanic and ask them if they would install parts supplied by you.
Most will, but they won't offer any warranty/guarantee with those parts.
In the end the warranty for parts is not that big of a deal. It's the cost of labor that is the big hit.
Even if the mechanic used all of the parts sourced by himself/herself, they would still charge you a labor charge for the additional repair work. So that whole labor/part warranty is kind of a sham.

FYI, FCP Euro has a lifetime warranty on all parts.

So in a nutshell, if the car is still in decent shape I would do these repairs in a heartbeat.
My .02 cents worth.
 

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Although others have suggested doing this work yourself, there is a very important consideration before embarking on replacing the upper control arms, that is whether you can get the dreaded pinch bolts out. It is the bolt that holds the upper control arms at the top of the steering knuckle on each side.

They have probably never been removed and so have been in place for 16 years. The last set I dealt with had to be removed by a shop that charged me $300 for the 3 hours it took them! Never underestimate the potential difficulty of removing those!
 

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Coming back to this, I think triage is in order. This is how I see priorities:

1. Brakes: should be fixed. Possibly accurate diagnosis but uncommon. Far more common is the bad soldering in the module which can be fixed for about $100 per posts 5 and 6.

2. Axles: bad boots will lead to CV joint failure in short order.

3. Timing belt: Do you know if and when this was changed? It definitely needs it by now.

The rest you can sit on for awhile. It is not uncommon for shops to claim that the control arms are bad, but honestly the worst you get is suspension sloppiness and clunking.

Regarding the pinch bolt: are you in a heavy salt state?
 
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