I've got a lot of friends that play with foreign cars like I play with
domestics, and they will readily tell VW horror stories- overcomplicated
nonsense like *pneumatic* door locks powered by a 12-v air compressor in
the trunk, thermostat housings with half a dozen hoses that clamp on,
My personal experience with VW engineering is limited to the VW-built
short block that my dad had in a '78 Plymouth Horizon. Second-worst car
I've *ever* been associated with (worst was a '79 Mazda B2000), and a
large part of it was the fault of the VW-Rabbit-derived short block that
was built without the "need" for a harmonic balancer, and could have
done serviceable duty as a hardware store paint shaker. Stupid thing
literally vibrated parts off the car, cracked accessory mounting
brackets, etc. I will say it never turned into an oil burner or outright
failed, but even cockroaches are hard to kill.
Well, yes and no. That one started being a PITA at about 30,000 miles,
and was sold at only a little over 100,000 miles. Contrast that with all
the other cars that passed through the family, NONE of which (exept for
the Mazda) went less than 200,000 miles and several of which went a lot
I have always felt that the real character of a company, or a person,
shows up when there is a problem. The decent company/person will do
everything in their power to solve the problem they created or
contributed to. The average, indecent company/person will run and hide
and do everything possible to avoid any responsibility.
GM, sadly, has shown a lot of the second kind of behavior with things
like it's long standing intake manifold gasket failures.
Took the opportunity to test drive a 2006 Passat today.
Very quiet, impressively powerful with the turbocharged 4 cylinder.
Well behaved car.
I asked the dealership representative about the situation with the
autotrans. He said that the tranny is sealed and only needs service
at very long intervals. When asked if the fluids were extremely expensive
(as someone here on the group had suggested), he responded 'absolutely
This Passat has all the earmarks of a very fine car, IF it holds up.
I believe the Passat has traditionally been on the same chassis and
engine as the A4.
The claimed mileage is more than 31, when driven calmly.
When I nailed the turbo, the mileage indicator in the instrument cluster
dropped to about 7 mpg. When I got off it, and was under no strain, it rose
to 45 mpg.
Now, I know these are not accurate, but are darn helpful with driving
To me, this car felt better than the Camry I recently drove. My wife
it was not as quiet, but that could have been the influence of the turbo
Price is about the same for Camry or Passat, considering like levels of
That would have been me who mentioned the trans.
VW says very long service intervals. People who have dropped the pans
on other forums have found enough metal filings that I would really be
sketched out about not servicing it at a 60k interval or so. 100k is
probably too long. If you think that's a long interval, fair enough.
You will spend $100 just on fluid if you get it flushed.
That said, I have a friend with nearly 200k on an automatic VW who has
not even done a fluid change on it. It still shifts quickly and
precisely. However, it is a 2.0 NB application.
Mercedes and VW seem to think that customers will love the idea of a sealed
system. (Mercedes models of late have no option to check the oil physically.
The VW has the sealed tranny.)
Maybe they are right as far as John Doe is concerned, but I dont care for
I normally service my transmission every 40-50,000 miles, and change the oil
3,000 because it lets me sleep a bit easier. Anyone who wishes can run his
15,000 miles and never change his tranny fluid.
I just dont want to make a big mistake when I shell out for our next car.
3,000 mile changes with modern oils are an absolute waste. You are
throwing away money and oil. Even the 'severe service' schedule on my
VW is 5000 miles, and many people on other forums who have done oil
analysis on their 10k oil changes have found that the numbers are still
great. There are folks on the TDIclub who do 20k changes and have 300k
on their engines.
However, the sealed transmission is silly. It really is like a 100k oil
I agree - especially if you do it yourself. The cost is small for an oil
change and a good filter, usually $12 or so. The idea of trying to save $25
a year so that you can have "bragging rights" about the longest oil change
interval is laughable. I suggest that some of those people review the OP to
see what happened to some of the Toyota owners who opted for the "extended
service plan". LOL
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