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    Thread: Question for '09 Routan owners, how long do you plan to keep it ?

    1. Member early74B's Avatar
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      03-04-2012 07:31 PM #1
      I don't normally unload the 'utility' and/or vacation trip cars we have for several years but I am concerned over our '09 Routan SEL however, as it's had more than its share of troubles in its short almost 2 1/2 year close to 20K lifespan. In all cases, VWoA has made it right, at no cost to us, but it has about 6 months left on the warranty and I can see big bills ahead to fix what shouldn't really fail on many other makes and models (brakes, electronics, etc.). I'm not about to go for an extended warranty, especially on something that will probably drop in value much quicker than the cost of such a warranty -- for others, perhaps that's their plan but I'd like to hear about it. As always, depreciation will be your biggest expense with most cars so trading early versus when the amount of depreciation from year to year levels out but only if the car is relatively reliable enough so you're not calling AAA on trips, etc. The other factor is gas prices, but mostly for our situation it will only be during winter months when we can't swap it for our Miata which stays stored -- we have 3 driver's and 4 cars; the Routan, a '12 Nissan LEAF, an '08 smart fortwo coupe and the '99 Miata (we're out in the rust belt -- Miata is spotless BTW, we're a bit jealous of those living in more moderate climates but it's where my job is). So, to those with an '09 Routan, how long do you plan to keep it or when do you give up on it ??

    2. 03-04-2012 11:08 PM #2
      I will keep my routan till my kids no necessary use it. It is very good family car.

    3. Member
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      03-05-2012 07:08 AM #3
      I'll run mine 'till the wheels fall off. It's been relatively trouble free - most all problems were fixed while it was under warranty. Front pads & rotors were replaced twice, latest at 30K. So far, so good, but the rear pads are ready for replacement now - will replace rotors also.

      Can't sneeze at the 25+mpg on a trip, either.

      We now have 42K on it and, to my surprise, the original Bridgestones look like they'll make it safely to 50K - Best I've ever gotten on a set of OEM tires. I guess I got the lucky set.

      Will probably get the Michelins that are OEM on the new models as replacements. I'd like to hear other's experiences with those tires as time and mileage pile up.

    4. 03-05-2012 01:02 PM #4
      We'll be keeping our '10 SEL until either VWoA brings the T-5 to the states or the MB Sprinter is better equipped at a more reasonable price or the Routan STB. We're not totally enamored with the Routan lets face it, it's a bit "bland" though we got a great deal on it so it's acceptable. If we had paid anywhere near MSRP we'd have to unload it before it was worthless. We traded in our '03 Westy Eurovan that had 100k + miles for $16.5k and then dealer discounted the Routan by $10,500 so we drove it off the lot for about $8k.

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      03-06-2012 12:56 PM #5
      We'll see what VW does. If they bring a van with a TDI in the next couple of years, I'd likely spring for one of those in the second model year it's offered. Or if prices on Toyos or Hondas come back down to Earth. We bought an extended warranty up to 100k miles, and we're coming up on the 60k mile service, so we'll definitely be in it for the next 2-3 years at a minimum. We'll see how it goes between now and then though.

      I've already put $800 in brakes, and now there's a coolant leak coming from the Y-hose diverter for the rear-heater core. Common problem that it leaks from that gasket inside the Y, but since it's one unit with the hose the warranty company denied coverage as an excluded item (hoses, brake pads/rotors & tires are usually (always?) excluded from extended warranties). The part alone is $315, so there's another $350 to have that done if I can't persuade the warranty company that it's the gasket and not the hose that is leaking. We've also had the cable on one of the power sliding doors break (post-recall repair). That should be a covered by the warranty, but it's things like this, and the transmission performance, that makes me question how long we'll keep it. But if it goes the next 40k miles trouble-free, then I'd consider keeping it after the warranty. I like to get at least 150k miles out of my vehicles, and drive them at least a few years after they're paid off. We'll see.

    6. 03-06-2012 01:43 PM #6
      Quote Originally Posted by Zambee500 View Post
      We'll see what VW does. If they bring a van with a TDI in the next couple of years, I'd likely spring for one of those in the second model year it's offered. Or if prices on Toyos or Hondas come back down to Earth. We bought an extended warranty up to 100k miles, and we're coming up on the 60k mile service, so we'll definitely be in it for the next 2-3 years at a minimum. We'll see how it goes between now and then though.

      I've already put $800 in brakes, and now there's a coolant leak coming from the Y-hose diverter for the rear-heater core. Common problem that it leaks from that gasket inside the Y, but since it's one unit with the hose the warranty company denied coverage as an excluded item (hoses, brake pads/rotors & tires are usually (always?) excluded from extended warranties). The part alone is $315, so there's another $350 to have that done if I can't persuade the warranty company that it's the gasket and not the hose that is leaking. We've also had the cable on one of the power sliding doors break (post-recall repair). That should be a covered by the warranty, but it's things like this, and the transmission performance, that makes me question how long we'll keep it. But if it goes the next 40k miles trouble-free, then I'd consider keeping it after the warranty. I like to get at least 150k miles out of my vehicles, and drive them at least a few years after they're paid off. We'll see.
      Damn $800.00 in brakes? Each time I go in I have a complaint about the vibration caused by warped rotors. They replaced the rotors 2-3 times already at no cost.

      As far as keeping it? A few more years tops.

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      03-06-2012 02:30 PM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by blizno View Post
      Damn $800.00 in brakes? Each time I go in I have a complaint about the vibration caused by warped rotors. They replaced the rotors 2-3 times already at no cost.

      As far as keeping it? A few more years tops.
      Maybe closer to $700, but definitely between $700-$800 for rotors & pads fronts and rears. I was around 50k miles, so out of warranty. Dealership quoted something like $530 or $580 for just the fronts, and that was to put in the same OEM crap. My jaw hit the floor when I heard that quote, and I didn't want to take a chance and bother with the dealership just to see if they might comp it out of warranty. It was around $450 at an independent shop to put in some much better quality after-market brakes, so I went that route. Hopefully, getting away from the OEM junk will solve the brake problems. That was the fronts last fall. Just put in some rears a few weeks ago, and that was closer to $250 all said and done. Bought some higher-quality after-market online and saved a bit on labor paying a guy to do it as side-work at his home. Rears are def. cheaper than fronts, but it would have been $300 or $350 at the same independent shop.

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      03-07-2012 01:07 AM #8
      At least to 100,000 miles, and hopefully to 150,000 miles. We are putting miles on it at about a 14,000 miles annual rate. We are at 12,500 miles and only very minor issues - a rattle here and there is it so far. Brakes are strong so far.

      It's mostly Chrysler parts, so no issues with it being a orphan design from a parts standpoint, and it was substantially cheaper than a comparable Town & Country.
      2011 Volkswagen Routan SE w/RSE -totaled 8/8/14 with 43,700 miles
      2002 Mercury Grand Marquis LSE - 133k
      2000 Toyota Corolla CE - 183k
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      03-07-2012 11:13 AM #9
      That's a good question on this thread. I am not sure how long i can keep it, and may be how long the car want to keep me instead. My 11' is ok so far, just some knocking noise here and there. Looks like something are loose within engine. It could falling apart very soon. Just dun have confidence about it.

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      03-07-2012 08:19 PM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by taxman100 View Post
      At least to 100,000 miles, and hopefully to 150,000 miles. We are putting miles on it at about a 14,000 miles annual rate. We are at 12,500 miles and only very minor issues - a rattle here and there is it so far. Brakes are strong so far.

      It's mostly Chrysler parts, so no issues with it being a orphan design from a parts standpoint, and it was substantially cheaper than a comparable Town & Country.
      Sorry - didn't pay attention that the question was about 2009 model year Routan's. I hope everyone's problems are in the past on their vans!
      2011 Volkswagen Routan SE w/RSE -totaled 8/8/14 with 43,700 miles
      2002 Mercury Grand Marquis LSE - 133k
      2000 Toyota Corolla CE - 183k
      1967 Ford Galaxie 500XL convertible

    11. Member early74B's Avatar
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      03-07-2012 08:25 PM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by Zambee500 View Post
      Maybe closer to $700, but definitely between $700-$800 for rotors & pads fronts and rears. I was around 50k miles, so out of warranty. Dealership quoted something like $530 or $580 for just the fronts, and that was to put in the same OEM crap. My jaw hit the floor when I heard that quote, and I didn't want to take a chance and bother with the dealership just to see if they might comp it out of warranty. It was around $450 at an independent shop to put in some much better quality after-market brakes, so I went that route. Hopefully, getting away from the OEM junk will solve the brake problems. That was the fronts last fall. Just put in some rears a few weeks ago, and that was closer to $250 all said and done. Bought some higher-quality after-market online and saved a bit on labor paying a guy to do it as side-work at his home. Rears are def. cheaper than fronts, but it would have been $300 or $350 at the same independent shop.
      Wow, that's even with an extended warranty ... would assume that at close to 60K you must be on a second set of tires (expected) but on our '90 & '97 DGC's we didn't need brakes until around 75K miles, but then on the '90 the trans went (warranty) and a bit later on the '97 (out of warranty) and when the '97 was at 110K the air conditioner compressor had a slow leak, had some rust thru, probably needed a valve job (car had that old car exhaust smell), but otherwise was reliable -- car was only worth about $800 to $900 but got $3,500 as 'cash for clunker's' trade towards the Routan -- of course we got 12 years out of it so definitely got our money's worth.

      I would imagine even if VW 'orphan's' the Routan, the mechanicals will be available with only the VW specific trim pieces being in short supply -- we have a long spring break trip coming up in just a few weeks so perhaps that will be the clincher (if we end up having to use our AAA card for other than hotel discounts!)

      Love to hear more ...

    12. 03-08-2012 10:29 AM #12
      Another consideration is whether or not your comfortable doing some of the maintence and replacement work on your own. I'd never pay a dealer or even a garage $700-800 for a brake job or any other repair that can be done in my garage on the weekend. Though that's just me.

    13. Member early74B's Avatar
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      03-08-2012 08:31 PM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by napman41 View Post
      Another consideration is whether or not your comfortable doing some of the maintence and replacement work on your own. I'd never pay a dealer or even a garage $700-800 for a brake job or any other repair that can be done in my garage on the weekend. Though that's just me.
      Used to myself ... just no time or inclination ... will do the quick or outrageously expensive (like buying a replacement headlamp for my '98 New Beetle -- $400 at dealer install versus $100 wholesale and about 30 minutes); I'm more concerned with the electronics long term versus brakes and trans issues. The car was at the dealer for 9 days while they tried to figure out the whole no start issue that turned out to be the radio head unit --- don't need a repeat that would include excessive labor charges to diagnose post-warranty --- with the power doors, power folding seats, etc. it probably has more motors than a folding hardtop convertible!

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      03-09-2012 10:57 AM #14
      Quote Originally Posted by early74B View Post
      Wow, that's even with an extended warranty ...
      The extended warranty isn't bumper-to-bumper like the first 3/36. I went with a third party warranty because my understanding was that even the extended warranty from VW wasn't bumper-to-bumper or a true "extension" to the the 3/36. Brake pads & rotors are always excluded from extended warranties. They are considered wear items, just like tires. As far as VW orphaning the Routan after the arrangement with Chryco expires, I'm not concerned about parts being an issue for many many years. I'd be more concerned about software support, since Chrysler/Dodge dealerships cannot provide support to Routans when it requires ECU/TCU updates, etc. Hopefully, after the VAG/Chryco arrangement ends VAG will reach an agreement where Dodge/Chrysler dealerships can begin supporting the Routan more fully.

      Quote Originally Posted by napman41 View Post
      I'd never pay a dealer or even a garage $700-800 for a brake job or any other repair that can be done in my garage on the weekend. Though that's just me.
      A good chunk of that was parts and supplies, not all labor. I wanted to put some brakes on there that might last a normal lifespan for brakes, so I put on higher-end components. Rotors were $80 each on the front and I think $60 each on the rear. Pads were ~$50 each. Then add in sales tax and/or shipping, other misc supplies like brake fluid, cleaner, loctite, etc. and that was easily 2/3 of the way there before labor even factors in. I could have gone with $20 pads and $30 rotors to save some cash, but I didn't want to have to do it all over again in the summer. I've definitely paid less for a timing belt job on another vehicle than full brake job on the Routan.

    15. Member haunted reality's Avatar
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      03-12-2012 10:25 AM #15
      We ditched ours already, I had bought a 09 CPO and it was a POS. I was actually ready to walk away from the Routan all together, but VW did help us get into a new one so we got a 11 to try one more time, I did eat some money as well. I've been a loyal VW customer, the Routan would not taint my opinion though as I know it's a Chrysler, not VW. It is a world of difference from the 09 to the 11 I can tell you that much. The fit and finish is much better and the engine is a lot better. So far we have almost 6k on the new one, it has not drank any oil, something our 09 did on a regular basis. We were going to go the SUV route and my wife really liked the Traverse. In the end, VW made it right for us and we decided to try again with another Routan. So far so good, we love our new Routan. I'm hoping to keep this one until at least 100k if not more, seems that's about when Chryslers start falling apart.

      Oh and on the brake issue, I was quote $800 as well to put new brakes on, this would have been the third set of brakes on a 09 with 30k miles. They goodwilled the last one, they said they could not this one.

    16. Member early74B's Avatar
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      04-07-2012 09:53 AM #16
      As always, when you expect things they may or may not happen ... we took our Routan on a spring break trip from the Chicago area to northern FL to visit relatives and vacation. Our '09 was pretty much flawless, mileage started from a low of 17 (local short commutes) to as high as 26.3 in some very flat sections of highway along the way (steady 72 MPH); we hit some traffic as well as a hail storm (luckily no damage) but as has been in the past on trips, no issues. Put about 2,200 miles on the trip -- the only thing to mention is that I may have had one tank of 'marginal' gas as it ran rough first start on one morning until the engine warmed up but that went away on next tankful. This is of course the Routan's best element ... lots of highway miles and long stretches it turns a bit less than 2K RPM at 72 MPH (if it's a level stretch) and gets of course the best mileage. Many hours in the leather/heated napa leather seats proved as comfortable as ever -- little to no fatigue even after many hours. Now mileage stands at a little over 22K so lower miles may translate into a better trade-in but of course we would take a decent hit on depreciation ... need to continue to weigh our options; saw the recent thread about another '09 owner who dumped his but it had far more issues than ours did but higher miles (39K); still not high enough that would be attributed to normal wear and tear and of course just a few miles on the other side of the 36K warranty. It does sound like the newer models have fared better but ... anyone else on the fence like this?

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      04-07-2012 02:31 PM #17
      It seems to me that the vans being traded in early are the 09-10 years with the 3.8. Like your SEL, ours has been spot on too. The 4.0 just seems to be a much more solid motor and friends of ours have the Pacifica with the 4.0 and it has been flawless since 07. We had the roofline weather strip replaced as Marlinsfan stated and I'd have to say they didn't do the best job as it's starting to pop again--Just like our Passat did. We too have had the brake issues. So as of right now we have roughly 10K on the newest brakes--the best we have gotten out of 2 other sets, the others were already warped by now(at 8K). As soon as something is not right with your van and if it is still under warranty you should get it to the dealer. It always baffles me that people wait to do it. I know schedules are hectic, but repairs out of pocket are costly after warranty. I guess I'm not too worried about it as we got the Platinum warranty until 6 years/110K, with saving 8K off the sticker the extra on the warranty was a no brainer. We are going to keep ours until 110K or 6 years, possibly longer if something new doesn't tickle our fancy. I can't give you any advice on the Honda's, Toyota's, KIA's, I'll take shoe leather express(walk to where I need to go) before I own an Asian import. The only thing I can tell you is go and visit their forums see what is bothering them, I know Honda has had issues as of late with their vans. Our van will be paid off in a year or so, but if it wasn't and I did not have the extended warranty the repair would be like another car payment, VS taking the beating on the negative equity in the van and then taking on car payments for the next 5 years. I know everyone has their own way of handling things, but I'll go down with the ship if you know what I mean. We always pay off cars early to try to reap the benefits of no car payments, I think if your trading in before you pay off a lease is a better option. From all the reading I've done the 2011+ Chryco's and Routans are a step up from the 09-10's. Fiat is making some changes to Chryslers old school of thought.

      BTW, the Miata's with a FORD 302 stuffed into them are awesome to watch at the dragstrip. Perhaps that would be an import I could fold for(doubtful, but maybe), but with american muscle under the hood!
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      Be sure to check out the Original Routan Dead Pedal Click Here

    18. Member early74B's Avatar
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      04-07-2012 05:32 PM #18
      Thanks for that 58kafer ... my situation is a bit unique I suppose, we own it outright, paid cash + a cash-for-clunkers '97 DGC in trade in August of '09. We got about $8K off sticker as well so with the extra cash-for-clunker discount it was about $28K for about a $39K list SEL (before taxes, etc.). I figure the trade may be as high as $19K, so I figure losing $9K over that time frame wouldn't be all that bad. I haven't tried to see what it will bring as I've seen the S and SE's go for much less -- this one has navi, backup camera, remote start, mooroof, Sirius radio, etc. but not the SEL Premium's extras as well as no back seat rear entertainment stuff; as with all '09 and '10 SEL's I think the 4.0L is a decent engine. I've owned VW's since the late '70's (a '78 Scirocco, '88 Fox, '98 VW New Beetle TDI and now this van) but of course this is a Chrysler product but have owned two Grand Caravan's ('90 and '97) that did quite well. I'll take your advise and check on 'potential' replacements for my SEL on other forums -- at this point we could use some better around town mileage and don't need something quite this big so we'll see ... could very well be that those with the most issues have the 3.8L instead

    19. 04-09-2012 12:54 PM #19
      We traded in our 09 SE RSE for a 2012 Honday Odyssey EX-L with RSE last week. I too was concerned about the long term prospects of our 09. Up until 36k miles, VW fixed everything for free, but now with the van at 39k and out of warranty and so many things not working, we were looking at lots of costs.

      Here's a list of issues we faced:

      • Front rotors replaced twice under warranty. Now needed new rotors again.
      • Front windows never worked right. If you rolled them down partway, they would not go up at all, unless we rolled them down all the way first.
      • Front passenger window was making loud screaming noise
      • Driver side rear door had a mind of its own. Closed all the way only once ina while, but never gave problems at the dealership
      • We don't have a roof rack. Instead, there were long black rubber pieces running along the roof. One of them was warped out of shape and needed replacing
      • Oil: big issue, and really the main reason we traded the car in. This issue is well documented in another thread. At 36k mile service the car had no oil. Apparently, it is now normal for the car to consume a quart for every 1000 miles. At 39k had to add 3 quarts so it was right on schedule. How can it go 6000 miles between oil changes if it will run out of oil at 5000? Anyway, can't trust that my wife will remember to add a quart every thousand miles, and I don't drive the van enough to really be able to do it.
      • U-connect did not always connect with my wife's blackberry. In NJ it is illegal to use the handset while driving


      That's all I remember. If I remember more, I will add.

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      04-09-2012 05:29 PM #20
      I plan on keeping the 2010 van as long as possible with 3 end of life events:

      1) Maintenance and repairs after the mfg 3/36 will exceed 2400 a year (my skewed logic is that if I buy a new car I will be out at least 200 bucks per month anyway)

      2) The car will reach 160K (at this rate I will have the car for about 12-14 years total)

      3) The family will grow out of the car (the youngest child will reach 12 years - which will be in 12 years).

      I suspect the first one will be the case -- but when will that happen -- let's just hope not in the next 6 years as I would prefer to put at least 7 - 8 years on a car before writing it off.

    21. Member early74B's Avatar
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      04-15-2012 10:07 AM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by paf View Post
      I plan on keeping the 2010 van as long as possible with 3 end of life events:

      1) Maintenance and repairs after the mfg 3/36 will exceed 2400 a year (my skewed logic is that if I buy a new car I will be out at least 200 bucks per month anyway)

      2) The car will reach 160K (at this rate I will have the car for about 12-14 years total)

      3) The family will grow out of the car (the youngest child will reach 12 years - which will be in 12 years).

      I suspect the first one will be the case -- but when will that happen -- let's just hope not in the next 6 years as I would prefer to put at least 7 - 8 years on a car before writing it off.
      #1 is interesting, would think $2,400 would be enough for a trans rebuild, A/C compressor, etc. but wonder what an electric door, third-seat or rear door motor R/R would cost?

      #2 assume it's junk at that point, unless another cash for clunkers deal comes along

      #3 we only needed the van for college trips and possibly help moving the youngest out of the house which now are all done, the extra size and seats are a bonus when we need to pick up something big or I take my staff to lunch but the trade off is the poor around town mileage

      #4 (my own) I'm looking at what point the van is still worth something significant versus accelerated depreciation where it simply would cost too much to swap so keep it until it dies (similar to your #2 but much earlier)

      As most people perhaps don't think about, depreciation is the costliest thing about owning any car and if you keep it a long time, in most cases, it costs you the least but if you don't feel confident it won't break down at the time you need it the most (say on a long trip) its time to unload it -- we never had these feelings about the previous DGC's even when they were getting up in age but after the things we've had happen with this Routan ... in both cases when we had a does not start it was close to home ... you lose confidence that it will stay the course for much longer than the duration of the warranty. Next step is to get a trade-in apprasial, I'll use Carmax as a general rule of thumb, another VW may be the best bet but I have a few vehicles that I plan to test out so we'll see ...

    22. Member early74B's Avatar
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      05-08-2012 08:16 PM #22
      One more just recent annoyance that I failed to really check out as I assumed one thing but in reality it's another ... those lovely heated Nappa leather captains chairs in the second row ... they can't (easily) be removed. I realized that they didn't 'stow n go' before we bought it but had thought that they could 'unlatch' like on my old '97 DGC. Apparently due to the much larger seats, etc. VW went with this route and they have this somewhat ridiculous 'partial fold forward and hold it with a strap design' that gives you a few inches under the second row seats but they still take up much more space than if removed -- I have a large bunch of stuff (actually the FIRST time since we bought it where I could have used more space than just with the rear 2nd row seats just folded) to move and of course it's a bit frustrating. When we tested the seats in the '09's (the entire trio -- DGC, T&C and Routan) the SEL's seats were by far the most comfortable and I thought who cares if they don't 'stow n go', we can always take them out ... nope.

      This also somewhat proves to me that I really only need the space behind those seats most of the time but again that's still a lot a space (80+ cubic feet). Don't get me wrong we love these seats on long trips but again I can see if you need utility you'll need to give up these seats ... have seen some comments that the newer 'stow n go' are a bit more comfortable. Have a business trip coming up so no time now for the appraisal but will follow up later; may still wait for the Ford C-Max or the upcoming Mitsubishi Outlander plug-in but we'll see ...

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      58 Ragtop Bug, 2005 Passat Wagon, 2010 Routan SEL
      05-08-2012 09:15 PM #23
      I think you may need to take another look. When we went to the dealer to look at a Routan they had the passenger side 2nd row seat removed. Then the sales guy reinstalled it before we went for a test drive only took a minute or so. I've never taken ours out, but the 2010 we looked at did it, and we bought a 2010. And VWroutanvanman has had his out for sure and has since converted to sto-n-go. here's a link to a bunch of guys who have done it, a couple of them have 09's and by reading those posts they say it's pretty easy. Now I may have to go try it out!

      Remove Second row seats
      1958 VW Ragtop Bug
      2005 VW Passat Wagon
      2010 VW Routan SEL

      Be sure to check out the Original Routan Dead Pedal Click Here

    24. Member early74B's Avatar
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      05-09-2012 08:55 AM #24
      My wife was giving me a hard time that I pay too much attention to these car forums (current cars including this Routan include a LEAF, Miata and smart as well and many other makes and models over the years so have participated in many online discussions) but it's these 'jewels' of info that makes it worth it. Just like the thread said (and we also own a SEL with the heated seats) the seat came out quite easily once I removed the headrest and now can see those little rollers, just need to flip forward and then pull straight up and out. The engineers have a neat trick in that it's the metal to metal contact needed to conduct the heat to the seat when in place so no need to unplug it, etc. for removal. Taking these out will really help --- thanks again for pointing out this thread !

      It's a wonder why they wouldn't even mention this in the owner's manual as there may be times when you could really use the seats out for more storage. These seats 'feel' heavier than the ones in my '97 DGC but the mechanism is not anywhere near as complex.

      EDIT: Routan performed like a champ, the neat part of the second row seats is how they go back in; much simplier than the '97 DGC seats, just have them tilted forward pull on the spring loaded bar at the back and they snap back in and put the head rests back on --- still amazes how much these van's carry and due to a highway route returned about 21 with a very heavy load (still didn't hit the bump stops but pretty much max loads).
      Last edited by early74B; 05-13-2012 at 10:22 AM.

    25. Member early74B's Avatar
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      07-28-2012 09:56 AM #25
      Hard to believe it's been almost 3 months since this last post ... quickly approaching the end of the regular warranty so brought my '09 in for it's last 'free' service; dealer did the 36K checks/inspections. We haven't driven it much as we were too busy with work, etc. for more than one major road trip since the last service visit this past Nov and 17.5K miles. In any case, it had just about 23K miles and started to hear abnormal noises between 45 and 50 MPH which turned out to be a right side warped rear rotor and both rear rotors were glazed so the dealer replaced them under warranty, the pads needed minor sanding but were otherwise OK. Mileage around town had dropped below 16MPG so now that makes sense if the brakes were dragging. Never did check on the trade-in value as I'm sure I'd take a big hit so we'll see how the first 6 months to a year out of warranty repairs go. If as others have said, it's just the brakes I might have to worry about I have an independent shop that does all my out-of-warranty work -- my much older DGC's ('90 and '97) had brake work done at this shop but of course the brakes lasted much, much longer than this Routan, after market ones seem to be the way to go. Have a decent road trip to Asheville, NC planned for the end of August (about 1,500 mile R/T) so at least I'm all set for that. Except during the snowy winter months, we have other cars to drive so we'll see how well or poorly it does and go from there -- my dealer has been quite good at getting to the root of problems with it but of course this was when VW was picking up the cost, after the late August trip it will be me! Reading on edmunds.com it shows typical repair and mainenance cost averages are actually lower for my '09 Routan than an '09 Honda Pilot or '09 Toyota Highlander Hybrid (two cars I was consdiering) and on par with an '09 Honda Odyssey so we'll see what happens. The big thing for me is not simply the cost to keep but would hate to get stranded on a long trip (although we have AAA) so will time checkup's, etc. before we do those. Some on the forum have many more miles than I do so we'll see how well she holds up.

    26. Member
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      Nocturne Black 2009 VW Routan SEL/RSE, Cinnamon 2010 Lincoln MKX AWD
      07-28-2012 11:18 AM #26
      Our Routan just crossed 47K miles. No issues other than the front brakes which were replaced under warranty twice [at 8K and at 30K] So far, so good. Still running the original Bridgestones [best mileage I've ever gotten on OEM tires]. They'll be replaced soon with a set of Michelin Enegy Saver A/S, which are the current OEM tires. Gas mieage still good, 25 hwy and 18 or so in town/rural/short trips on average.

      I'm about to replace the rear brakes and rotors for the first time, with aftermarket parts. I'll post the results when finished.

    27. Member early74B's Avatar
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      09-05-2012 09:36 AM #27
      As mentioned earlier, I took a solo trip to Asheville, NC over the Labor Day holiday and again my '09 Routan SEL with the 4.0L engine did quite well. Traveled 1,569 miles with an overall MPG of 23.5 with the last leg matching an earlier trip high mark of 26.3. Temps averaged from 94 to 78 so at times the A/C was working hard and typically ran at ~ 72MPH. Set tires at 40PSI for max mileage and it did not compromise the ride quality at all, OEM tires still seem fine at 24,600. Have heard the trade-in may now be as low at 15K but have not checked it; at least gas in the south is still quite cheap compared to Chicago (mid-grade still gives the best MPG). I needed $271.28 in gas for the trip and when you compare that to the new C-Max Hybrid at 47MPG average (even though the C-Max uses regular not mid-grade) would only be $135.62 and even less for regular --- but, would need to drive many miles to offset the depreciation loss, etc. so we'll see. I know as others do that leaving a car parked and/or not using it does more harm than good so these longer trips I'm sure show the Routan at its best. One last point, needed to shuttle a group around while in Asheville and as it was unusually humid, the back seat passengers appreciated their own A/C, again a strong point in addition to the comfy second row seats --- more reports later
      Last edited by early74B; 09-05-2012 at 09:40 AM.

    28. Member PaulAP's Avatar
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      2004 MKIV Jetta GLS, 2009 Routan Comfortline 4.0L w/ RSE, 2011 Jetta VI Trendline+
      09-07-2012 05:28 PM #28
      We have only had ours for the summer (purchased it in the spring).
      I bought it as a CPO one owner with low miles and a year left on the warranty.
      We bought it because our family has grown to 6 people, and with her car seat,
      stroller etc., the littlest one definitely takes up the most room.
      It just seemed ridiculous that one family has to take 2 cars to go out to McDonald's,
      do some visiting, or go wherever, and without a minivan, it looked like it would be
      the end of our much enjoyed weekend road trip getaways around the province.

      Ok, so we need a minivan... and I'm still keeping my Jetta
      Can't afford or justify the cost of a new one, so we're looking for one 2-3 years old.
      I have always been a VW man, so the prospect of owning a minivan was not enjoyable.
      Then I remembered the Routan... OK, but it's a Caravan...
      Two VW dealers in town... No used Routans...
      So I looked at the Honda and Toyota... Nothing special to drive, butt ugly, and expensive!
      Looked at the Kia and Hyundai... Terrible driving characteristics, looks & feels cheap, inside
      and out, and the ones that I saw all seemed to have damaged interior parts and pieces
      And then the T&C and Caravan. Good size, ugly dash, ugly grills, and old school taillights.
      Although they drive better than the Kia & Hyundai, they are not as good as the Honda & Toyota.
      Then I found a high mileage (over 100,000kms) 09 Routan at a used car super center in town.
      Best looking minivan by far, inside and out. It has the most comfortable and supportive seats.
      Taking it for a test drive, I was actually impressed (for a minivan). We have a winner!
      And, as the wife pointed out, it doesn't have that ugly gash in the side for the sliding doors.

      Ok, so we need a Routan...
      The one we looked at (and drove) was an early 09 with no warranty. I wanted some warranty.
      Still none at our local VW dealerships, but found a CPO one with just under 10,000kms left on
      it's warranty in Saskatchewan going for a good price. That deal wasn't right for us though.
      Then we found one in Ontario with just over 36,000kms and over a year left on warranty,
      and it was a great price! In Manitoba you have to pay GST (taxes) on a used vehicle based
      on the book value when you registered it, not the sale price, and it was quite the difference.

      It's an 09 Comfortline (Canadian mid line model) with the 4.0L and RSE.
      We have put over 6000kms on it this summer, and it has performed flawlessly!
      Yeah, it's a pig on gas in the city (compared to my Jetta), but hwy mileage is great.
      The kids love the RSE, and the seats are very comfortable and supportive.
      The miles on the hwy go by effortlessly. The Mrs even drives on road trips now
      And it holds all our stuff (yeah under floor storage). The only issue we've had is that the
      bolts that hold the cross bars on the roof rail are seized, so I cannot remove the cross bars.
      I have an appointment with the dealer to have this looked at under warranty.

      I usually drive my vehicles till the wheels fall off, or someone drives into them causing
      more damage than they are worth. So we plan on keeping our Routan for a long time.
      As for cost of ownership. Caravans have never been terrible, and the original owner
      took the initial loss, so I'm too not worried... and besides, the grill says "VW"

      Here she is on one of our trips to the Whiteshell...
      Last edited by PaulAP; 10-24-2012 at 07:34 PM. Reason: Added her pic :)
      VW 4 Life... For life, that's what the ex said... but i mean it...

    29. Member early74B's Avatar
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      11-22-2012 06:16 PM #29
      Happy Thanksgiving!!

      Figured I would keep this thread going if it made sense and as it looks like I may be getting another VW made even more sense to post it here. As I didn't mention at the start of this thread as things changed a bit, my son who was 'borrowing' our smart car for his work commute will be 25 next late spring and would like his own car so we started car shopping (he likes the FR-S / BRZ sports car twins and the Prius C) so of course this gave me a bit of the bug to check what I posted earlier about the current value for my '09 SEL and it wasn't quite as bad as I thought.

      Carmax offer was $17,161 (includes our sales tax savings, outright it was $16K but as I need to replace it will get the sales tax savings), I did check out two low mileage possible used car replacements (both '11's, a Toyota Venza and a Ford Flex Limited); drove the Venza, the Flex was still in the showroom so just checked out the seats, features, etc.; Venza was just OK, nothing that really stood out, brakes a bit mushy, decent but not great seat heaters, lots of room in back seats and under hatch storage, high road noise from those 20" tires ... nothing to get excited about but this gave me something to negotiate at other dealers if need be. Will pass on the Flex, not sure on its long term reliability, was all white so was a bit plain, Venza had only 8.5K miles, Flex had 21K, they were between $28K and $31K.

      So this gets us to the new VW possibility, as I think I can pass on the need for the 3rd row seat as long as it has five 'full' size seats for adults as well as decent storage AND a bit of style, fun to drive, etc. am looking at Touareg's and not the smaller (but very well built) Tiguan as three in the rear seats is a bit tight as well as limited storage when in use. My last VW other than this Routi was a TDI New Beetle so test drove a '13 Touareg TDI Sport w/navi ... Wow! what a ride, VW outdid themselves with this one, it's not cheap by any means but the first car I've driven in quite awhile that despite its size was great to drive, very comfortable seats in front and rear, state of the art displays, great acceleration and brakes and lots of thoughtful touches that VW's are known for, at almost $50K for the model I drove the price alone should scare me away but remember the Routan was close to $39K list and I'll need to see if going with the gas version (which VW has a number of deals on) would actually make that much of a difference; the gas V6 is 17/23 MPG requires premium and the TDI is 20/29 but has much better resale so will start some number crunching.

      As far as keeping the '09 another year, my guess is best case, it will lose another $4K in value (based on the difference between '10's and '09's now) but perhaps much more once the word is really out on it being another car orphaned by the brand. As a side note when talking to the VW rep when I took out the Touareg they haven't had much of any interest in the handful of new Routan's they still have in stock and we didn't talk trade in value but at least I've got the Carmax offer in my back pocket when the time comes. The Touareg is among the finalist but a black sheep I do plan to drive would be a Honda Pilot EX-L so we'll see ...

    30. Member redzone98's Avatar
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      14' JSW, 1990 Cabby FrankenDub, 09' Croutan
      11-28-2012 09:49 PM #30
      I think of this question at least once a week. the Routan has its stack of VWoA service records, all without a penny spent on my point. Now i am out of warranty and am becoming worried that this car will even last another year without some major issue.

      My #1 concern is the Transmission, well the motor too, but that has been rebuilt already under warranty ... but if the trans starts acting up, i will dump this car for a Ford Fusion or a Hyundai Sonata, I will miss the room, but now that the kiddies are out of the strollers and carriers, its not really needed any longer.

      BUT if the Van holds up i will keep this Trash can for as long as i can...

    31. Member
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      2005 Passat GLS TDI, 2009 Routan SEL
      11-29-2012 12:32 PM #31
      I don't think these transmissions are going to make it to the 120k mile ATF change interval. That sort of interval is "lifetime" for a Chryco transmission - as in, lifetime of the transmission. Might consider an extended warranty for less than the cost of a new transmission. I'd suggest emailing Chris Farnham at VW of Langhorne (pennsylvania) for quotes on VW extended warranties. Mention the Vortex. I don't think anyone can beat the prices he quotes for a true VW extended warranty.

    32. Member redzone98's Avatar
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      14' JSW, 1990 Cabby FrankenDub, 09' Croutan
      11-29-2012 01:00 PM #32
      hmm, interesting ... will do

    33. Member early74B's Avatar
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      '13 Touareg VR6, '12 Golf R,'12 LEAF, '08 smart
      11-30-2012 01:43 PM #33
      I already have my 'favorite' transmission shop that rebuilt the trans on my '97 Dodge Grand Caravan as well as he is the guy that I use for fluid changes (charges less than half of what the car dealers charge and does only what's required based on the condition of the trans fluid, etc.) so actually that's not too much of a concern as this trans is not that much more sophisticated (I would think at being a 6-speed versus the much more complex 8-speeds coming out) but I could be wrong. I'm much more concerned about the overall electrical and electronics and the eventual upgrade to the brakes that sounds like the way to go. I've been driving it almost every day for the last week since my last post and this past tank showed 16.6 MPG; this was a mix of suburban hwy and little to no what I would consider 'city' driving so I guess it's about what I can expect. I think the trans rebuild for the DGC was about $1,300 but the Routi could be much more --- anyone check?

    34. Member
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      58 Ragtop Bug, 2005 Passat Wagon, 2010 Routan SEL
      11-30-2012 09:43 PM #34
      Quote Originally Posted by early74B View Post
      I already have my 'favorite' transmission shop that rebuilt the trans on my '97 Dodge Grand Caravan as well as he is the guy that I use for fluid changes (charges less than half of what the car dealers charge and does only what's required based on the condition of the trans fluid, etc.) so actually that's not too much of a concern as this trans is not that much more sophisticated (I would think at being a 6-speed versus the much more complex 8-speeds coming out) but I could be wrong. I'm much more concerned about the overall electrical and electronics and the eventual upgrade to the brakes that sounds like the way to go. I've been driving it almost every day for the last week since my last post and this past tank showed 16.6 MPG; this was a mix of suburban hwy and little to no what I would consider 'city' driving so I guess it's about what I can expect. I think the trans rebuild for the DGC was about $1,300 but the Routi could be much more --- anyone check?
      It SHOULDN'T be much more it's based off the 4 speed box.
      1958 VW Ragtop Bug
      2005 VW Passat Wagon
      2010 VW Routan SEL

      Be sure to check out the Original Routan Dead Pedal Click Here

    35. Member early74B's Avatar
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      '13 Touareg VR6, '12 Golf R,'12 LEAF, '08 smart
      12-01-2012 10:00 AM #35
      would have a much higher cost to maintain, some of these were warranty fixes (just like our Routan's but more more complex technologies -- TDI diesel) but these experiences scared me a bit (from Club Touareg forum) but of course this driver put 100K on it, my Routi has some more strange noises coming through (tires, trans, etc.?) so need to see what's going on or unload it; as a footnote he paid $1,200 for the 100K warranty so saved some repair costs but the warranty doesn't cover sensors, glow plugs and tires which are considered wear items; more on the story over at link below, of course we're talking about something significantly more expensive to begin with but comparing MSRP's they aren't really that far away, my SEL was ~$39K MSRP, the base gas Tourareg is $43K, base TDI $47K (excluding the highest trim levels on the Touareg) --- a ~$1,300 trans rebuild would seem like a bargain compared to these:

      http://www.clubtouareg.com/forums/f6...iew-80715.html

      "2010 TDI 100,000 miles review

      On 08 November 2012, our Treg passed the 100,000 mile mark. This happened while my wife and I were on a short NC vacation in the Nantahala Gorge, and on our way to the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest. This is the wife's primary drive, and she loves it as much as when we took delivery 09 October 2009.

      To be honest, they have not been completely trouble free miles, but what vehicle can give you that? I will list the "major" problems that were encountered, along with the repair costs. Some may seem too high, but other service may have been provided at those times as well. Additionally, the normal maintenance charges, along with tires, alignment, and brakes will be included. All service was provided by VW dealers, since the Treg had a 100 k waranty.

      38,720 mi.: Urea Agent Reductant Pump (warranty repair) $2,345.72

      46,157 mi.: Oil Pressure Switch 700.92

      53,512 mi.: DPF soot acumulation, ECM Re-Program 231.25

      89,014 mi.: EGR Sensor, 1 Glow Plug 524.21

      Scheduled maintenance through 100 k mi. 3,162.65

      Tires and alignment 1,109.82

      Total, less warranty repair $5,728.85

      That works out to less than $0.06 per mile, which isn't too bad in my opinion. My manual calculations resulted in 24.7 mpg over the 100 k miles. Most of those (85%+) were highway miles, with occasional towing of a 1700 lb teardrop camper, plus gear and 4 - 5 people on board. What other 5,600 lb full-time 4X4 SUV can match that?

      Still loving it!"

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