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  1. #1
    Dan's Avatar
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    RANT:My Love and Hate of German cars.

    I really like the way German cars feel and drive, but every time I own one I swear I`m not buying another. I`ve owned several VWs, several Audis, a couple of BMWs and one MB.They are seriously such un-reliable garbage. Instead of upgrading/evolving designs, they start from scratch and make things worse in many cases. VW/Audi is the worst at this. I currently have a 2010 Passat that I`m trying to keep "reliable" but my gut is telling me to ditch it.

    Some funny things (generalizations) I`ve noticed:

    -There are almost no "independent" Honda/Nissan/Toyota shops because they aren`t needed!

    -Asian car dealers try to up-sell you on silly services like throttle body cleanings and fluid changes or tell you you need new brakes when your pads are 1/2 worn because it is hard for their service dept to stay busy/profitable

    -German car forums are filled with people searching for answers, mega threads with all sorts of fixes, Asian forums are filled with questions about who makes the biggest spoiler or what wheels will fit.

    -There aren`t really any major 3rd party sources for Asian cars, for Euro cars there is a whole camp of 3rd party stuff.
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  2. #2
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    Re: RANT:My Love and Hate of German cars.

    My Toyotas have always been reliable. My 2006 Sienna just turned 100,000 miles last weekend. I’ve spent no money on repairs (outside of regular maintenance) in over 5 years of ownership. I bought the Sienna used with 60,000. My only accessory is Weathertech mats
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  3. #3

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    Re: RANT:My Love and Hate of German cars.

    For me, life`s too short to pick vehicles solely on total cost of ownership.

    There`s more to cars than that in my opinion. For many it`s a simple transportation device.

    I like to enjoy the drive because I recognize the enormous amount of time spent in my vehicles. If that means slightly higher cost of ownership, so be it.

    Full disclosure: One of my cars is a 2001 Audi S4... which is notoriously "German." I still love it.
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  4. #4
    Dan's Avatar
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    Re: RANT:My Love and Hate of German cars.

    Quote Originally Posted by JVD View Post
    For me, life`s too short to pick vehicles solely on total cost of ownership.

    There`s more to cars than that in my opinion. For many it`s a simple transportation device.

    I like to enjoy the drive because I recognize the enormous amount of time spent in my vehicles. If that means slightly higher cost of ownership, so be it.

    Full disclosure: One of my cars is a 2001 Audi S4... which is notoriously "German." I still love it.
    You bring up some good points, I guess on a car that you don`t have to rely on, then yes, things can be overlooked a bit. The thing for me is we go on long trips frequently. I hate the idea of getting stranded somewhere.


    I had a B5S4 as well:



    Loved that thing until some lady playing with her phone destroyed it. They were really good cars, some minor issues here and there, biggest one being the turbos went buh-bye if you pushed them a bit too hard.

    The new crop of direct injected VWs/Audis are littered with serious problems though. Germans as a whole have been having terrible issues with HPFPs. DSG issues as well. On the Pre 2000`s it was minor stuff, on the new cars it seems like each one has something that will just grenade the motor or transmission.
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  5. #5

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    Re: RANT:My Love and Hate of German cars.

    Huh, guess I`m, uhm....unusual...in this regard too

    The vast majority of my Japanese vehicles were absolute POS that spent forever in the shop and were sold with unsolvable issues after being out of service for so long that we deemed them worthless/dangerous.

    My German vehicles, despite being makes/models often considered Big Trouble, have been much better overall and I only had one that was seriously bad (2000 A6 4.2 that the dealer bought back for full price, taxes/etc. included, after 12K of use due to DBW response issues).

    That said, my Audi guys are *VERY* glad I haven`t bought more modern ones, and I have zero intention of doing so for a multitude of reasons. If I ever went back to MB or BMW I`d be buying older-tech models too...just won`t own a vehicle that the dealers admit they can`t always fix and that`s the (off-the-record) story I keep hearing about all of those marques.

    Eh, there`s *NOTHING* on today`s market I want badly enough to sell one of my current vehicles. Now if a meteorite falls out of the sky and trashes something...well, we`ll see. But I could happily keep the current vehicles for the rest of my life, and Accumulatorette plans to do that with her `00 A8.
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  6. #6

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    Re: RANT:My Love and Hate of German cars.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan View Post
    ..Asian car dealers ..tell you you need new brakes when your pads are 1/2 worn ...
    Gee, I`d be, uhm...displeased. What, like I don`t know the condition of my brake pads?!? What, trying to knowingly RIP ME OFF?!? There would be a...discussion...they wouldn`t soon forget, I`d probably teach somebody some new words.
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  7. #7
    Dan's Avatar
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    Re: RANT:My Love and Hate of German cars.

    Quote Originally Posted by Accumulator View Post
    Gee, I`d be, uhm...displeased. What, like I don`t know the condition of my brake pads?!? What, trying to knowingly RIP ME OFF?!? There would be a...discussion...they wouldn`t soon forget, I`d probably teach somebody some new words.
    I guess its all relative. I`ve heard co-worker stories of getting their cars towed in and the mechanics telling them they might need a new part X but the they can`t be sure, it will only be about $2000 to open up the motor and check. Then the offer comes from the mechanic to "buy" the car to cover the current diagnostic fees. This isn`t a one time thing, I`ve heard this type of story 2 or 3 times. I`d fly off the handle at that point. I recently ripped a shop left and right for trying to charge $250 for a battery they had sent me a mailer for $99 for and then tried to tell me "that" battery was out of stock and I didn`t want THAT one anyway.
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  8. #8
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    Re: RANT:My Love and Hate of German cars.

    How about some love for always American cars?? I own a GMC which has been worry free...so far.

    I`m actually looking at getting the new Buick Regal GS next year. 310 horsepower/282 lb-ft of torque, 9 speed auto and All Wheel Drive.

    https://www.autoblog.com/2017/07/19/...rx-quick-spin/

    By the way, Buick is the third most reliable car brand...behind Lexus and Toyota.

    My wife had a BMW 3 series a few years ago. The engine had a skip in it - at 60,000 miles - and even the BMW dealership we bought if from couldn`t determine exactly what was wrong with it. They wanted to change all six plugs and all six coils "to see if that would do it". $3,800. Yeah, no thanks. Never again. Traded is in for a 2016 Honda Accord coupe V6.
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  9. #9
    Dan's Avatar
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    Re: RANT:My Love and Hate of German cars.

    Quote Originally Posted by dschribs View Post
    How about some love for always American cars?? I own a GMC which has been worry free...so far.

    I`m actually looking at getting the new Buick Regal GS next year. 310 horsepower/282 lb-ft of torque, 9 speed auto and All Wheel Drive.

    https://www.autoblog.com/2017/07/19/...rx-quick-spin/

    By the way, Buick is the third most reliable car brand...behind Lexus and Toyota.

    My wife had a BMW 3 series a few years ago. The engine had a skip in it - at 60,000 miles - and even the BMW dealership we bought if from couldn`t determine exactly what was wrong with it. They wanted to change all six plugs and all six coils "to see if that would do it". $3,800. Yeah, no thanks. Never again. Traded is in for a 2016 Honda Accord coupe V6.
    I`ve had good luck with American cars go in most respects, but the annoyance there is stupid stuff breaks or wears out because GM or Ford figured out a way to save $0.04. Best example I have is the fact that its a given that a waterpump on most American cars will wear out before the car hits 100k.

    Regarding your wife`s BMW, that`s a story you just hear over and over. Let me throw some parts and the car and see if it fixes it. Part is due to people not wanting to pay for diagnostics (like hours of time), the other is the fact that most dealers and automakers think that once you hit 50k miles you should give your car to a homeless person or drive it off a cliff, and of course buy a new one.
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  10. #10
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    Re: RANT:My Love and Hate of German cars.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan View Post
    -Asian car dealers try to ....... tell you you need new brakes when your pads are 1/2 worn because it is hard for their service dept to stay busy/profitable
    I`m a tech at an independent BMW shop (we also do Audi and Mini, but BMW is the focus); trust me - it`s not just the asian car dealers that quote stuff you don`t need. BMW is having a host of recalls (Conspiracy theory - sure seems like a convenient way to get the older "ripe-for-the-picking" models back in for inspections...), and the stuff we`ve seen them quote has been infuriating. The joke there according to a friend that works at the dealer is that every car needs an oil pan gasket. Our customers will come in with the recommendation list and it`s pathetic. They do seem to quote an oil pan on every car (Most are a 3 out of 10 on anyone else`s leak scale). I had one where they said the customer`s brakes were at 2-3mm. Lowest pad I measured was 5mm.

    People getting ripped off at shops is a hard topic for me to talk about. I get so mad at how crooked techs/shops can be. I left the Audi dealership after being there for 10 years because they were turning into a big money machine and every car had to be broken. Just not the case. The indy I`m at now is a much better fit where we can work with people to make smart plans for keeping their cars going. Then there`s the clueless catch-all shops that throw crappy parts and make the customers pay for their ignorance. See that all too often as well.

    Reliability wise, I drive an Audi. My wife drives an Audi. I`ve put 75k on my current avant, just feeding it oil changes, brakes, and maintenance. Sold my last A4 avant with 225k. Sure, any of the German stuff has the potential to have a little more upkeep, but as others mentioned there`s nowhere else I`d rather spend my time (sorry other brand loyalists!).

    I guess in fairness I should add a BMW is a hard car for me to recommend based on my daily experience with them...
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  11. #11

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    Re: RANT:My Love and Hate of German cars.

    BMW = Bring Money With

    Quote Originally Posted by dschribs View Post
    How about some love for always American cars?? I own a GMC which has been worry free...so far.

    I`m actually looking at getting the new Buick Regal GS next year. 310 horsepower/282 lb-ft of torque, 9 speed auto and All Wheel Drive.

    https://www.autoblog.com/2017/07/19/...rx-quick-spin/

    By the way, Buick is the third most reliable car brand...behind Lexus and Toyota.

    My wife had a BMW 3 series a few years ago. The engine had a skip in it - at 60,000 miles - and even the BMW dealership we bought if from couldn`t determine exactly what was wrong with it. They wanted to change all six plugs and all six coils "to see if that would do it". $3,800. Yeah, no thanks. Never again. Traded is in for a 2016 Honda Accord coupe V6.
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  12. #12
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    Re: RANT:My Love and Hate of German cars.

    I`ll align myself with Accumulator on this discussion. We` had dozens of Germans since I started driving. We`ve never had one that`s been a truly `bad car`. They`ve all been pretty good, if not great. We`ve presently got 3 Audis and they`re all so good I`m afraid to part with any of them. A shear joy to drive and experience.

    We`ve had all the primary Japanese marques. I think one Mitsubishi was a problem child from new, but that was quickly broomed out. Ohhh, we had a 1982 Peugeot that was a problem car but everyone liked driving it so much it remained, for some great mystery, in the family for a long time...until the back window caved in due to rust.
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  13. #13

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    Re: RANT:My Love and Hate of German cars.

    Dan- Yikes, that`s pretty bad. Oh...and when I say the Audis have been relatively trouble-free, I must say that the A8 has cost us a good bit a few times, but it was always something I could justify (well, rationalize justifying ) due to its mileage. But she absolutely *LOVES* it and fixing it is always cheaper than buying something new (but gee, that`s a pretty low bar to set, huh?). At least my Audi tech (only one guy who`s allowed to work on it) *can* fix it, and I know him well enough to know he`s honest.

    Dan & dschribs- My beloved Old Body Style Tahoe, which is *perfect* for what I use it for and the exact SUV-look I like, isn`t really all that reliable. Spits out radiators somewhat regularly and at ~125K could use a lot of big-expense rebuilding that it/I can live without (at least for now). Not holding up nearly as well as the Audis, but then it didn`t cost as much either and I suspect it lived a tough life before I got it (the A8/S8 were bought new and the V8 belonged to a friend so I know its history).

    All that said, none of `em has ever left us stranded. Haven`t had that happen since...gee..(thinking)...the late `70s. There were a few nervous limp-home moments, but nothing this century.

    My worst, most unreliable vehicles ever: `87 Lincoln MKVII LSC, `90 Porsche C4, `94(?) Subaru Outback, `01 Mazda MPV. LOTS of limping home in all those, utter junk. Never got any of `em fixed either; I pity their subsequent owners. Learned a lot about those (never again!) dealers too. Lincoln Service Mngr said "Lucky for us you didn`t buy it a bit later, we might`ve had to replace it under the lemon law". Yeah..actually said that to me (the week before I dumped it for the C4, which was no better ).

    oneheadlite- Oh man do I wish you were in my area! My best independent service guys quit wrenching and now just sell parts and tuning kits (the Demrovsky family, of ECS..that was Euro Car Service...Tuning fame). Andy and his kids walk on water IMO, Best Ever bar none.
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  14. #14
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    Re: RANT:My Love and Hate of German cars.

    Quote Originally Posted by nickclark08 View Post
    BMW = Bring Money With
    Barely Made Warranty
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  15. #15
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    Re: RANT:My Love and Hate of German cars.

    VW`s don`t leak oil; they mark their territory...
    2017 VW Golf GTI 6 Speed Manual - 2015 Toyota Camry SE - 2012 Jeep Liberty 4x4 - 1999 S10 5-Speed Manual
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