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    Thread: Brand spankin' new to the VW world from Honda, reliability questions

    1. 02-10-2019 12:58 PM #1
      Hey all!

      Greetings! I'm the newest kid on the block with a leased 2019 SEL that I'm currently in love with. This is my first official dip into anything german (and I'm 40 hah). Been a honda guy for a while. Still am with my other car, was going to go with a Civic EX-L but just fell in love with the Jetta dash and that warranty. I also wanted to mix it up (midlife maybe? So here's a few questions:

      1. Stepping into a world that I'm unfamiliar with, I'm wondering, how long do these cars go for without any major repairs? Also what about longevity in general? Think I can get 200k+ miles if I go the distance with my Jetta? I know I'm asking a very bias crowd here, but I figure you kind people would give me the unfiltered truth.

      2. I've also been reading that repairs on German cars are waaaaaayy more expensive then others. Is this true? I mean after my warranty should I start to get nervous?

      3. Last question, like most of you, I love my speed and slapping a chip on this rig, well, it's going to happen eventually. Do you think that plays a significant impact on longevity?


      Thanks to who ever replies and screw you to the ones who don't! Hah kiddin'.

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    3. Junior Member bones519's Avatar
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      02-10-2019 02:28 PM #2
      Driving the upper tier German cars (Mercedes, Audi, BMW...) is expensive but VW isn't the upper tier of course. A great deal of genuine VW parts are now manufactured in North America (not from Germany and the rest of the EU) and parts are warehoused in the US and Canada.

      Cost of driving and maintaining a VW is sometimes close to or at times favourable when compared to the Asian and North American makes. Make sure you do regular maintenance and your VW will have a very long and reliable life.

      This 'Cost of Owning a Volkswagen' link is to the VW Canada site. The data comes from an independant, 3rd party source.

      Go to the bottom of the page. If you're in the US remember that these are Canadian trim models and in Canadian $.

      https://www.vwmodels.ca/service/vw-cost-to-own/

    4. Junior Member
      Join Date
      Nov 16th, 2018
      Location
      Philadelphia PA / Granby CT
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      2019 VW Jetta 6MT, 1992 Mercedes 190E 2.6, 1988 Mercedes 300E
      02-10-2019 05:55 PM #3
      Quote Originally Posted by Otisflick78 View Post
      Hey all!

      Greetings! I'm the newest kid on the block with a leased 2019 SEL that I'm currently in love with. This is my first official dip into anything german (and I'm 40 hah). Been a honda guy for a while. Still am with my other car, was going to go with a Civic EX-L but just fell in love with the Jetta dash and that warranty. I also wanted to mix it up (midlife maybe? So here's a few questions:

      1. Stepping into a world that I'm unfamiliar with, I'm wondering, how long do these cars go for without any major repairs? Also what about longevity in general? Think I can get 200k+ miles if I go the distance with my Jetta? I know I'm asking a very bias crowd here, but I figure you kind people would give me the unfiltered truth.

      Depends on how they're treated. I have friends with MK4 models that are now almost 20 years old and have 200k miles but are well maintained and drive beautifully. I've also seen VWs stuck on the side of the road, and heard horror stories of engine failures and other issues. I've also seen plenty of Toyotas and Hondas on the side of the road though. As long as you at minimum stick to the maintenance schedule and are proactive about getting issues taken care of (or taking care of them yourself), then you'll likely have a much better experience than the average person. Since you're on a lease I wouldn't worry about longevity unless you want to buy it when your lease is over.

      2. I've also been reading that repairs on German cars are waaaaaayy more expensive then others. Is this true? I mean after my warranty should I start to get nervous?

      Depends on the German car really. I think the cost aspect is an issue perpetuated by ****ty mechanics, your local chain auto parts store, and people who expect cars with lots of equipment to function like the Frigidaire refrigerator in their kitchens. I do all of my own maintenance, and only farm out repairs for extreme things like a Mercedes coil spring replacement (dangerous af) or a rear wheel drive car driveshaft center bearing replacement, and the cost analyses I've done for my own use as well as my friends have indicated that German cars tend to have costs on par with American cars. VW Jettas and Golfs tend to be on the very cheap end of the running cost spectrum when you stay out of GTI/GLI territory.

      I did an average repair part cost analysis once, where I assumed that in an ownership term you'd have to replace the water pump, belts, struts, control arms, brakes, ignition components, fluids except oil, and transmission fluid/filter. I found that VWs such as the NMS Passat and MK4 cars costed significantly below the average part cost of the sample set ($35 and $28 respectively). The most expensive car was a 3 way tie between a Mercedes E430 station wagon, BMW E92 3-Series, and a Kia K900/Hyundai Equus (the Mercedes has a hydropneumatic rear suspension) at $51 average per repair part, the cheapest was a MK4 Golf 2.slow.


      3. Last question, like most of you, I love my speed and slapping a chip on this rig, well, it's going to happen eventually. Do you think that plays a significant impact on longevity?
      Short answer is there is no impact. Long answer involves FMEA.

      Thanks to who ever replies and screw you to the ones who don't! Hah kiddin'.
      Tips for making your car last a long time:
      - Change all fluids regularly, including transmission fluid. Many manufacturers say transmission fluid is lifetime fill, but what counts as lifetime is a corporate secret, but my bet is probably Mean Time To Failure (MTTF) which is determined by people good at probability and risk assessment, the same sort of skillsets you would need to determine a warranty period (perhaps there's a correlation between life, MTTF, and warranty period).
      - Wait for oil to come up to temperature before romping on car. (just because that coolant gauge has a needle at the center point doesn't mean you're engine is warmed up)
      - Conduct services at or before the specified interval
      - Replace shocks/struts on a routine basis (e.g. every 50k miles)
      - Use OEM or quality aftermarket repair parts
      - Follow manufacturer oil and fluid specifications (they exist for a reason)
      - Wash and wax your car regularly (especially in the winter)
      - Check your fluids at every fill up
      - Do a close up inspection of your car regularly (take panels off, poke things, kick tires)
      - Routine Italian tuneups
      - Don't use non-approved fuel additives
      Current Fleet:
      2019 VW Jetta 1.4T 6MT (Jellybean) - 5280 miles
      1992 Mercedes 190E 2.6 (Supreme) - 243000 miles
      1988 Mercedes 300E (junker - mom's car) - 141000 miles

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    6. 02-10-2019 07:10 PM #4
      Bones519:

      Thanks for the link that gave me a lot to chew on even though I'm not Canadian eh! Still good info, and thanks for your reply. Good info!


      A.Cabral:

      1. I guess then the name of the game with Jettas (and well damn near every car when you think about it) is properly maintain it. I've always heard German cars are more touchy then most in this area though so I guess I better up my game if I want longevity. As for my lease, the plan is I may upgrade to the just announced GLI when it come's out (or maybe wait a year for the year later model so they can work out the bugs). If I decide to do that then I will either buy outright or do another least to buy option. My end game is to get out of a lease when I feel I've got a super solid car on my hands. I'm a firm believer in "try before you buy" option with the lease thing. It's already saved my ass, even though it costs way more playing the lease game.

      2. Do you think the Jetta GLI that's coming out is going to fall into your "expensive repairs" territory as you just mentioned? I'm actually really hyped for this 2.0 because of the performance possibilities that have already been done by the aftermarket people. Figure if it's the same engine as the GTI then hot damn! Thanks for the REALLY good info on this answer by the way.

      3. I'll go with your short answer.


      The TIPS:

      I've got not problems with everything you said to do except two thing...
      - What's an "Italian" tuneup??
      - Replace shocks/struts at 50k?!?! Really?? Is that a thing? Is anyone else doing this exact plan? I don't think I've ever done that to a car at that low milage, much less ever unless a mechanic said I needed to or I was doing a performance upgrade. Is that a german car thing?


      Thanks again for that long ass reply!!

    7. Junior Member
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      2019 VW Jetta 6MT, 1992 Mercedes 190E 2.6, 1988 Mercedes 300E
      02-10-2019 07:49 PM #5
      Quote Originally Posted by Otisflick78 View Post
      Bones519:

      Thanks for the link that gave me a lot to chew on even though I'm not Canadian eh! Still good info, and thanks for your reply. Good info!


      A.Cabral:

      1. I guess then the name of the game with Jettas (and well damn near every car when you think about it) is properly maintain it. I've always heard German cars are more touchy then most in this area though so I guess I better up my game if I want longevity. As for my lease, the plan is I may upgrade to the just announced GLI when it come's out (or maybe wait a year for the year later model so they can work out the bugs). If I decide to do that then I will either buy outright or do another least to buy option. My end game is to get out of a lease when I feel I've got a super solid car on my hands. I'm a firm believer in "try before you buy" option with the lease thing. It's already saved my ass, even though it costs way more playing the lease game.

      Some are pretty touchy, like my former MB S-Class, others aren't. The Jetta doesn't seem too picky. Try before you buy is a pretty good idea, I test drove the Jetta twice, once for a little over an hour before buying.

      2. Do you think the Jetta GLI that's coming out is going to fall into your "expensive repairs" territory as you just mentioned? I'm actually really hyped for this 2.0 because of the performance possibilities that have already been done by the aftermarket people. Figure if it's the same engine as the GTI then hot damn! Thanks for the REALLY good info on this answer by the way.

      No, the drivetrain, multilink rear end, and brakes are proven, the rest of the car is standard Jetta. The engine is the same as the GTI, so it's very easy to change the oil on and it's pretty good. It should be pretty cheap on the maintenance front.

      3. I'll go with your short answer.


      The TIPS:

      I've got not problems with everything you said to do except two thing...
      - What's an "Italian" tuneup??


      I hope this video answers your question

      - Replace shocks/struts at 50k?!?! Really?? Is that a thing? Is anyone else doing this exact plan? I don't think I've ever done that to a car at that low milage, much less ever unless a mechanic said I needed to or I was doing a performance upgrade. Is that a german car thing?

      Depends on how ****ty your roads are. Philadelphia rattles cars apart. The car will likely drive fine past 100k miles on the original shocks, but the ride and handling will degrade slowly before then. You'll never notice until you replace the struts, and then you get hit with the 'wow' so much improvement feeling that comes with fresh struts.

      Thanks again for that long ass reply!!
      qtiogIO
      Current Fleet:
      2019 VW Jetta 1.4T 6MT (Jellybean) - 5280 miles
      1992 Mercedes 190E 2.6 (Supreme) - 243000 miles
      1988 Mercedes 300E (junker - mom's car) - 141000 miles

    8. 02-11-2019 06:20 AM #6
      Otis, I've owned my share of both V-Dubs and Hondas -- 15 or more of each over a 50 year period. During that time, the reality (and perception) of quality of Volkswagens has changed a great deal -- from "good" to "miserable," and now back to "good." The current state of affairs -- i.e., the so-so reputation of Volkswagen now -- rests squarely with Volkswagen of America. (You will come to understand this aspect of VW ownership in time.) As for what you can expect regarding your car, that depends principally on how you drive and maintain your Volkswagen. If you think of your Jetta as a "performance car" and often explore most of what it is capable of delivering, it will -- IMHO, of course -- become evermore expensive to maintain than, say, a Honda Accord. If, on the other hand, you drive conservatively, your operating expenses will be comparable. In this regard, if you bought your car fully intending to rely on your new car's warranty to avoid major expenses, it is essential that you maintain a careful record of your vehicle's maintenance history. You can maintain your car yourself (if you know how, of course), or have it serviced by independents, but proving that you have serviced your car in accordance with the prescribed maintenance requirements can be difficult. (See, above, regarding Volkswagen of America.) The one thing that will not be comparable to your Honda experience is depreciation. As a general rule, Hondas are relatively inexpensive to own and (in my experience) easy to sell privately. On the other hand, regardless of whether it's "fair" or not, Volkswagens have a poor reputation for reliability in the U.S. for a host of reasons, and consequently, depreciation is the one area where you can and should expect that your Jetta will end up being more expensive to own ultimately than a Honda. (Rather than debate that here, you can look to the Golf/GTI and Jetta Classified sections of this forum and www.golfmk7.com for insight.) Finally, let me footnote this with the oh-so-humble advice that, if you chip your car, well . . . you're on your own. There is no Free Lunch to be had in the world of VW ownership.
      Last edited by RennWerks; 02-11-2019 at 06:48 AM.

    9. Member Helltime's Avatar
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      Iowa
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      `16 Jetta Sport 1.8T
      02-11-2019 08:02 AM #7
      Depends on how you take care of them. My wife and I have owned 9 VWs and keep coming back because it always seems to be more car for the money vs the competition. As far as costs associated with owning a german car, I have not found VW to be all that expensive for parts (I do all my own work, so I can't comment on labor) and outside of normal wear items I have not had to wrench on them too much. Now my dad has owned an Audi, BMW and MINI, I have owned several BMWs, a MINI and a P38 Range rover, those parts are far more expensive than anything I have run into on any of the 9 VWs I have owned. I like the brand and trust them enough that when my mom was due for a new car to replace her 2010 fusion sport, first stop was the VW dealer. She fell in love with a new passat and even after looking at other cars in that price range she told me that is what she wanted, and I feel confident it will treat her well (and once warranty is up its not a big deal if I need to fix something on it for her). Welcome to the brand and the group, its not for everyone but I have certainly enjoyed my stay.
      16 Jetta Sport 1.8T 5spd
      17 F150 2.7 ecoboost 4wd RCSB - Tuned by BCB
      88 Corvette

    10. 02-13-2019 02:59 PM #8
      A.Cabral: Sooooo basically I have to get a Canadian Tuxedo, Grow a sweet ass mullet and start riding a 1980's snowmobile in order to treat my VW right? Interesting! Yeah so I'm in Utah, roads are fine here. I figure I can get away with not doing anything suspension wise for quite a while. That and I don't commute.

      Helltime: It sounds like I should stay away from BMWs, Minis (still BMW I believe) and Rovers. I hear Rovers are the worst with reliability. Now Audi S-series however..

      RennWerks: I was banking on this generation of VW's to have higher reliability then the stories of the past. According to you, I guessed right? We will see I suppose. And you are EXACTLY right on depreciation and re-sell and I know this. However I don't buy cars as an investment, I buy cars for me. What do I like and will I enjoy it in the long run or will the car be more of a problem then it's worth. I just traded in my ugly but very fun Honda Ridgeline 2007 that I bought used for 15k, got 7k in return. Didn't care because I don't look at cars like that.
      2019 VW Jetta SEL
      2019 Honda Pilot Touring
      2-110 Honda Pit Bikes

    11. Junior Member
      Join Date
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      2019 Jetta S
      02-14-2019 08:59 AM #9
      Nobody here knows if the car will be reliable.

      The 1.4T has had a checkered past, but seems to have been well-enough refined to predict strong reliability. That said, it is a direct injection engine with no port or intake spray to clean the back of the intake valves. Therefore, you must at least clean the intake valves and expect that expense. I plan to use CRC Intake Valve Cleaner to keep them clean -- probably every 20K, but I haven't decided on that yet. Additionally, our 1.4T engines have a secondary air pump and a "german engineering" (aka probably over-complicated) PCV system, both of which are prone to break as the car ages and both of which carry too high of a parts price tag to replace.

      Even if parts are made in the USA or the car is built in Mexico, VW (German manufacturer) parts will be more expensive than US and usually Japanese brands. That gap is closing, not in our favor -- meaning, US/Japanese brands pricing is moving toward German parts pricing, and German parts pricing isn't really going down. Of course...

      And keep in mind that you are expected to change your oil every 10K, which "saves you money" (it doesn't because the oil and filter is >twice the price). I'm dropping my factory oil at 5K in about a week or two and sending it in for analysis and I'll continue with 5K changes, dealer will do the 10K intervals for record keeping. That's what I'm comfortable with - we have endless traffic in Atlanta, not 100 mph autobahns. I lived in Germany, they're wonderful -- we got nothing like that except 400N and a likely speeding ticket. 10K may be feasible with the fancy pants expensive oil VW makes us use, but 5K is feasible to my peace of mind.

      On top of this, the transmissions (whichever you get) are not "serviceable" so you can't just drop the fluid and replace. You can, but it's a bloody process and you aren't going to go do it on a weekend with your buddy drinkin' a Bud Lite. Every VW service you do outside of their 10K oil change and "never have to change anything else" fluid program will cost you a fortune compared to especially the earlier Japanese cars you've owned. I had a 1992 Honda Accord EX with 200K+ that still ran like a top. I don't expect that kind of experience from a far more complicated turbocharged DI engine running 0W20 oil without comparatively more costly maintenance.

      Buuuuuut....
      ...in return, you get a car that doesn't look like a 12-year-old designed it (Honda Civic) and a car that still exudes a sort of "class above" aura vs. the Toyota and Honda. Someone at work asked me the other day in the parking lot what I paid... that the new Jettas look expensive. I told him I paid $14.5K -- eyes popped out. Told him that it's competition is a Honda Civic and a Toyota Corolla and those kinds of cars. He was thinking the Jetta was considered a larger size, premium car. Precisely why I, as a professional who could afford a significantly much more expensive fancy pants car but is sick of dumping money just to drive to work, bought the new Jetta. I don't need the BMWs and the Audis and the Lexuses (Lexi?) that my co-workers have. I need a f'ing clean, crisp, A to B machine that isn't stupid looking and not packed to the brim with BS. It's timeless, it's a perfectly trimmed mustache vs. tufts of ****ty facial hair and a man bun... you know what I mean?
      Last edited by 6speedjetta; 02-14-2019 at 09:05 AM.
      _________________________________________
      2019 Jetta S
      White Silver | Manual | Driver Assistance Package

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