Sounds to me as if you got a bargain! If it was a 2004, you probably paid about $15k for it, plus $11k in getting it up to scratch, so you're now driving around in a $90k car with 42k on the clock for the price of a Golf.
I recently purchased a low miles (42,000), very well taken care of V8. Full service records, immaculate shape. In the few months I've owned it I've put 7000 miles on it and $11,000 in repairs into it.
If you cannot buy this car with a full CPO, platinum warranty, do not even think about it.
I have no idea what I was thinking buying this thing. It's wiped out a significant portion of my savings and I can hardly bear to see it sitting there in the driveway mocking me. If I were to sell it or trade it in at this point it would be at a steep loss.
Buying a Phaeton was probably the worst business decision I've made in my life so far.
The thermostat problem, while labor-intensive, is DIY-friendly if you do that sort of thing.
I bought my Phaeton knowing she'd be a "high maintenance bitch". I like to tinker, I'd already had and used VCDS for several years beforehand, already had access to service manuals and other resources, and so we're a good fit. Even so, I did pay up for an extended warranty because a used car quite often gets sold for a reason, and that reason might not be apparent when you buy it. I would probably not be as happy with my decision if I wasn't doing most maintenance and repair work on my own.
To each his own. I think it's reasonable to put it out there (again) that you're buying a car that went for $70-$100k, and the repair bills are going to match that, not the depreciated value. I still think they're great cars so long as you go in with your eyes open.
What brought on today's outburst? Not something else broken, I hope?
I bought a used 2004 V8 63K miles on it for 17K (sounds high) in 2011. Since then I did a complete oil change (100 USD in parts) transmission fluid change (650 USD) injection clean (50 USD in parts) headlights (500 in parts) and wheel electronics (850) and a navigation anntenae (250) and airfilters (50).
Or about 2700 USD in cost and plenty of hours under the hood. I can tell I was digusted with the previous owners and dealerships lack of proper maintenance even though the records showed the car be serviced every 6 months.
Bottom line my total investment was about 21K
However, once I fixed the car it rides beautifully like a 100K+ car. Better than the Audi A6 I was eyeing prior to this. The engineering is great but it was not designed keeping the service techs point of view
Two days ago, I spent about $2,200.00 at my local dealer replacing two front headlight bulbs, doing the 50k service, and front rotors/pads (and I had the serpentine belt replaced since the front bumper was off) and replacing a side moulding piece that got caught on a curb when opening the car door. It is just part of the cost of ownership of this type of car. I bought it with about 15,000 miles on it and I have not spent that much to keep it maintained in perfect condition, on a relative basis, given the fact that the window sticker on the car was about $120,000 including tax etc. in 2006. I enjoy each and every minute of driving this car, which here in the U.S. is, I guess, an exotic.
I have previously chimed in on costs/warranties, but feel it might be helpful to repeat myself on this thread.
The Phaeton was an expensive car when new. Repair costs of cars, in general, parallel costs of cars when new - both replacement parts and labor, in my experience.
What is now happening is that the only way to get a Phaeton in the US is in the used car market. One can now readily pick one up for under $20,000. The cars are holding up phenomenally well - I still get questions as to: "Is that a new Volkswagen" when people see mine, which are now 7-year old cars. One of mine has over 100,000 miles on it as well. The amazing thing is that I can't tell any difference when driving the one with 20,000 miles compared to the one with 105,000 miles.
Given the age of the Phaeton, many are now approaching or beyond 100,000 miles. If one looks, for one, a Phaeton with about 60,000 miles is considered a relatively low mileage car nowadays.
I have no doubt that with proper maintenance these cars will continue to last a long time. My thinking is possibly even 250,000 miles. There was a recent thread on this forum asking if 180,000 miles would be considered high mileage on a Phaeton - the responses were quite illuminating. Thus, I really don't see reliability as an issue with these cars.
The Phaeton's lack of sales and lack of recognition resulted in tremendous depreciation of the cars. This is not bad, as buyers who could have never afforded one of these cars when new (myself included) can now readily afford them. I have seen articles that refer to Phaetons as the best luxury used car buy given the value (Price/quality). The problem is that maintenance costs are often not considered by eager prospective buyers.
Even routine maintenance can run a pretty penny, but I agree that the value the car provides can readily justify these. Big repair costs, however, can drive one into the poor house. That is why I have advocated getting an extended warranty - either CPO or the Fidelity DriveEasy one sold by VW. One further reality, however, is that the cars are now getting so old that it is often not possible to obtain such. (Beware of sleazy extended warranty companies out there otherwise.) Thus, unless one has DIY skills far beyond mine or can set up a rainy day "Phaeton Phund" (couldn't resist), best advice to prospective buyers is to go for one with a warranty, or.... pass.
Last edited by Victor R; 05-17-2012 at 12:48 PM.
The flashlight in the console even works.
I'll tell you what, if nothing else breaks for 50k miles I'll revisit this thread bragging about how much I love the car, but today my pockets are $11,000 light and it takes me quite a while to sock away that much green stuff.
I don't detect a lot of brotherly sympathy coming through in this thread! Here's some: I think it's plain bad luck to have bought a car at book value in good faith and then your dealer says to change the gearbox.
Maybe some alternative action other than the dealer's might have eased the financial pain, but at least it's done, and you have a good gearbox with warranty now.
My own car? It is shortly demanding £4500/$7000 of turbos, after the previous owner remained silent on this issue but must have been aware. I go outside and look at it, scratch my head, get in it and immediately forgive everything. So far!
Anyway, assuming you keep the car I really hope you can now get as much luxurious pleasure from it as its creators hoped you would.
You make a good point about lack of sympathy on this thread. I concur that there hasn't been any prior to your comments, though there was sympathy on j3w's thermostat thread and his transmission thread which preceded this one and addressed the problems with the vehicle.
j3w, I do sympathize with you. Getting hit for $11,000 in repair bills (which, moreover, comes out to more than 60% of the original purchase price) (OUCH!!) is truly bad luck and most unfortunate.
This thread, though, discourages buyers from purchasing a Phaeton based on "reliability and repair costs". Reliability is, in my mind, not the issue, which is a point I tried to make. Repair costs absolutely are, which is something that does need to be pointed out to prospective buyers, especially those who choose to "fly" without the safety net of a warranty.
j3w, assuming that your luck doesn't totally go sour, I would not be surprised that you indeed will get 50K miles of trouble free operation and lots of enjoyment out of the car. I wish you only the best.
Chris, thanks for pointing out that we should not lose sight of the impact of these repair bills on the unlucky and unfortunate.
Last Friday, with a broken heart, I traded my W12 for a new Audi A5.
Considering the problems I had with the car I choose not to offer it
to anybody here on the forum.
I still absolutely love the car. I just could not take the ongoing problems anymore.
Every few days the check engine light, the subsequent visits to the dealer.
Recently I started having problems with the TPM system. I really got fast
with the VAG, it took me only about 3 min. to reset the error code and than
the TPMS run for an other 3 - 4 days. Than a repeat. ... and so on.
Last Thursday the sunroof suddenly opened during my drive home.
Then one of the center taillights failed and boy, sometimes you wish back the good old times,
when the only thing you needed then was to replaced the light bulb, but as we know that
is not that simple with our car.
I looked at other car's, but really nothing compares to the our Phaeton.
I had intended to keep the car for good.
It is my opinion, that the lack of able and caring service facilities is one the biggest
I have / had a extended service contract for the car. If I add everything up, I can
say that the insurance has paid more than $ 15,000.00 on repairs.
I spend about $ 1,200.00 on car rental and then several thousand's on regular
oil changes, trans oil changes etc.
I still have no regrets about buying my Phaeton.
Here a note from the guy at Audi (he had taken the car home after I traded it in),
he told me the next day: "wow what a car, why do you want to sell it ?". My guess
the CEL did not come on while he drove it.
So my conclusion, I must have gotten a "Montagsauto".
In the next days I will put up for sale all the parts I bought and so far and did not get
around to install.
So anyone interested can contact me by email.
-All parts for "keyless start".
-A have a wireless back up camera with interface module for our infortainment unit.
-Next is a (latest version) bluetooth module including the modified ON STAR buttons.
-A full set of OEM Bosch OX sensors (all 8 needed) with the original connectors.
-Both driver side lower A arms with the sway bar link and all 4 upper A arms.
-And last not least a fuel filter (if wanted with the special tool for the connectors).
On the above list you are able to see how serious a was about keeping that car.
I had similar issues when I first bought my car at 33k miles. It was a CPO, so everything should've been checked and double-checked before selling (according to the VW CPO program).
Car ended up being in the shop for at least a couple of days every other week, for a whole slew of issues. Brake light went bad and were replaced, headlights were replaced, nav was replaced twice, spare wheel was cracked and was replaced, trim was replaced, batteries were replaced, TPMS sensor and controller was replaced, bumper was replaced (my cost, as the previous selling dealership didn't realize there was an accident, and when they removed the bumper to replace the headlights, a big hole magically appeared from the bondo falling out), finally culminating in a transmission replacement at 70k miles (just under my CPO). Thankfully everything was paid for (except for the bumper) by the CPO warranty.
However, I'm now at 123k miles, and since my transmission replacement, nothing's broken or gone wrong, except for my fuel pump at 120k. And I think it's the greatest car ever.
So don't worry; you'll get there. It just needs some nurturing.
Edit: forgot about replacing 3 cracked wheels at my cost at $500 each. Eventually ended up with Bentley wheels.
The fact is, when I am driving down the freeway at 90 or 100mph and the cabin is silent enough to use the speaker phone on my cellphone, the climate control system is pumping chilled air at whatever body part I choose, the seat massager is gently rolling my backside...the car is a dream.
I just wanted to clearly warn any prospective buyers that there may be some holes in your research (as there were in mine) and that all this technology costs when it breaks.
In addition to the Money Pit, I have access to a new Accord and a Jetta GLI and I never grab the keys to either, ever. Heck, if the Phaeton had the Bose stereo in the Jetta, I might be even more in love with it. The Accord was over 30 grand I think, and in comparison to the Phaeton it feels cheat, thin, flimsy. It's loud, plasticky...however it never breaks and likely never will.
But there's this underlying feeling...like a pretty girlfriend...that you love...who cheats on you if you go out of town for too long. But, in comparison to the Accord which is an endlessly loyal boring fat girl...
I don't think these cars even notice when they are doing 100mph on a motorway. I know I lightly dip the accelerator to pass someone without really thinking much of it and my passenger says 'WHAT speed was that?!" and I have to pull up a bit, being law abiding by intention...
Just check those YouTube videos of young Europeans listening to the CDs while chatting away at 150mph. Worrying, but awesome.
Last edited by Paximus; 05-22-2012 at 07:37 AM.
Is it possible that some of the issues with the car may be related to driving style?While I am aware that the Phaeton can handle 100 mph sustained speeds on the highway, my thinking is that the postings reflect - shall we say - an aggressive driving style. Typically, such a style would also include rapid acceleration and deceleration. That could potentially wreak havoc on an eight-year old transmission in a car that had not been driven much ("4th car in the old guy's garage" - see post #11 this thread) given its low mileage nor hard (given the "old guy" comment).Please edit to 115+mph.
Highly unlikely that driving style could do much to hurt the transmission, imo, since shifts are carefully controlled by software. Also highly unlikely that driving style could do anything else much to hurt a car with design specifications such as this one has, short of taking it on a track for a few hours, and even then I think the worst you'd do is probably boil the brakes. The mechanicals have a similar bullet-proof feeling to Porsche.
Perhaps...Highly unlikely that driving style could do much to hurt the transmission...
On the other hand, an interesting article on How to Extend the Life of Your Car lists the following as No.1 in their top ten tips:
Other factors clearly apply as well. Also, there are always issues with "lemons" and/or bad luck.Drive gently.
While this may be the hardest thing to do for your car, it’s something that will pay huge dividends over the life of the vehicle. Adjusting your driving style to minimize wear and tear on your ride can not only give you a few more years of happy motoring, but it can also save you cash in repairs and replacement parts. It might take some of the fun out of driving, but accelerating gently from stop lights and stop signs, avoiding abrupt braking and completing smooth, non-aggressive turns all play a part in keeping your car in one piece and save you gas too.
Again, my comments on this thread are trying to focus on the issue of reliability of Phaetons. My first one came with 86,000 miles on it. It was supposedly carefully maintained by a local dealer. When I got it, there were issues my dealer here found when I had them go over the car carefully after I first got it. Moreover, as time went on, it became apparent to me that my first dealer did not do work to my satisfaction on the car, which really makes me wonder about the quality of the work done before I became the owner.
This speaks to the need for qualified service personnel. One dealership I contacted about doing work on my Phaeton declined, stating that they were not allowed to work on Phaetons as they had no Phaeton trained tech. Other dealerships had far less qualms about tackling the car without a Phaeton trained tech, and gladly offered to do the work. After a lengthy search I found a dealership with a Phaeton trained tech, and met and talked to him before I entrusted the car to him.
I have had no problems with the car since the new service, and the car is running great at 107,000 miles and counting. As noted, however, even routine maintenence is expensive, though worth it, and any big ticket item in need of prophyllactic repair has been covered by the extended warranty. Moreover, while I am also an "old guy", I do appreciate the capabilities of the car and have been accused of driving aggressively on occasion.
Nevertheless, as my driving style has mellowed somewhat with age, I do find that cars are indeed lasting longer. Including the original Phaeton, I now have three cars with over 100,000 miles in my fleet, and I am in no hurry to replace any of them as they are running well...
I would side with Victor on this one: driving style (not synonymous with driving slowly) does make a huge difference on longevity and reliability, as does having only one person driving the car for the duration. I bought my Phaeton new almost seven years ago, and to-date it has been spectacularly reliable. Over 61k miles I have had no mechanical or electronic failure with the only exception of the failure of one of the active engine mounts, which had to be replaced under warranty a few years ago, and a pane of glass cracked by a stone on the highway. The total cost of all maintenance amounts to $4,400.84, of which $1,162.08 were for a set of 4 new tires and $480 for five new sensor and valves since the originals' batteries . So, while a feel for our fellow forum member's vicissitudes, I do feel that this thread is not titled correctly: it is really about one particular car's problems, not necessarily indicative of the model's general reliability. Just my two bits.
I bought my previous car, a Cayenne S, from a rich guy's small fleet as well and it had 80K on the clock. I drove it like a Porsche and sold it at 175k miles with no major mechanical failures.
I have owned a fair number of cars and they all reached ripe old ages, in fact I've never sold a car with less than 100k on the clock and I've never encountered these kinds of issues.
To be clear, where I live there are lots of long, straight, wide open freeways and most of my driving is at very off peak hours, so going a little faster than the posted limit isn't indicative of anything other than having 5 lanes to myself.
On a scale of drivers, I'd say I'm actually very mechanically sympathetic.
But really, if you have to drive like a little old lady, what's the point of owning a big German sedan with a V8?
I was actually quite surprised how dirty they were...they were completely clogged. But reading the headlight thread I recalled that the air filter indicators in mine always seemed to be red, even though filters were done 4000 miles ago AND when I got the thermostat, belts, roller, water pump replaced.
A quick look and sure enough, they were completely clogged.
I have to say that driving slowly/carefully can also have it's downfall............brakes get glazed and need replacing sooner than they should, engines that never get extended throughout the rev range suffer due to not burning off carbon, only short journeys let water collect in the engine/oil as it doesn't get burned off, DPF's will need repair/replacement as they don't get up to temperature/revs to burn off the deposits.
Lack of use can also lead to perished rubber parts, water gets into the fuel/oil setting off corrosion in the fuel tank and lines.
Basically use the car. occasionally give it a hard run, make sure you always warm it up fully before driving hard, but not just idling on the drive, always let the turbo cool down after a long hard run so it doesn't seize.
So i guess what i'm saying is just use the car, service regularly, have some mechanical empathy.......don't let anyone else drive it!! ...........and hope luck is on your side
There is a huge difference between driving like an old lady and driving like a maniac.But really, if you have to drive like a little old lady, what's the point of owning a big German sedan with a V8?
Regardless of empty roads, 115 + mph, or "over 120 mph" on the transmission thread represents an extreme of driving.
A quick view of State speeding limits:
Even on the Autobahn, speed limits are now 130 kph (81 mph).
Again, everybody here should recognize that the claimed speed is 40 mph above the maximum legal speed limit in the country and for the Autobahn, and 45 miles per hour (!) above the maximum speed limit for the entire US with the exception of Utah and a small section in Texas.
When coupled with the cellphone comment, one has to at least consider the term "reckless". (Law enforcement sure would...)
As noted, my own driving style is not that of a little old lady and I was not advocating that at all. Even driving a car hard, however, would go nowhere near the claimed speeds noted here. How many members here have had their cars above 110 mph for even a short time?
Chris, back to your lack of brotherly love comment. I confess I have little sympathy for someone who claims to drive a used eight year old car that weighs over 5000 pounds at breakneck speeds while talking on the cell phone and then cries in his beer about the lack of reliability of the car when expensive parts fail.
Last edited by Victor R; 05-23-2012 at 02:52 PM.