Volkswagens Ain’t What They Used To Be…

I had a Passat once before. It was a year old and had 104,000 miles on the clock. It had been used by a rep in Scotland and had been serviced roughly every six weeks. I had it six more years and added 143,000 miles, much of it full with either stock or tools. Apart from regular servicing, the engine was trouble free with only a leaking water pump to report in all that time, though we did have to replace the brake pipes and fix the central locking with a piece of insulating tape (a basic bodge).

Apart from that, the window opening mechanisms were the main source of trouble and were, in the end, the reason I got rid of the car. When you are using it for work there are only so many times you can put up with losing a day because the windows need attention.

The new one I bought a couple of years ago has not impressed me. It doesn’t pull as well as the old one, it has too many electrical fripperies and it has just cost me money for engine parts. I was shocked. In thirty years of running diesels I’ve only ever had to replace one set of glowplugs before and I’ve never had to replace engine parts at 50,000 miles. I’ve always believed that each car should be an improvement on the last, but this seems not to be the case.

I’ve also always believed that Volkswagens rate highly for reliability and longevity, but looking at the internet these days seems to suggest differently.

Modern life can be quite a let-down.

27 thoughts on “Volkswagens Ain’t What They Used To Be…

  1. Helen

    What was wrong with the central locking? I ask because there is something wrong with the driver door on my car. It might not be to do with the central locking but more that particular lock. Hopefully, the car doctor isn’t going to charge me the earth to investigate.

    1. quercuscommunity

      On my car it had air lines to run the system – not sure if they still do. One of the lines wore through on the bodywork, making a small hissing sound, which we were able to trace by ear. It was solved by wrapping a piece of insulating tape round it. I expect they are probably more sophisticated, and expensive, now. 🙁

  2. Laurie Graves

    Maybe it’s time to look for a different brand. We have a Honda Fit that is seven years old and has been a trouper. We will keep that car until it has to be towed away, at which point we are really, really hoping we can afford an electric car.

  3. arlingwoman

    I feel your pain. I have a Volvo, 15 years old, and every time I take it to the shop, it costa un sacco. I used to have a Chevette (14 years) and a Ford Escort (10 years), and they were both much cheaper. Of course my mileage is laughable, as I don’t really drive. Volvo is still way under 50K miles, but as my garagemen told me, things can wear out anyway. I’m keeping the Volvo until I have to have it towed away…

    1. jfwknifton

      A big Volvo in a warm, desert area of the USA or Australia will manage half a million miles if you take care of it. Salt or water will bring that figure down.

      1. arlingwoman

        My car still looks new. I do have to contend with salt in the winter, but so far so good with rust. Half a million! The thing could outlast me at the rate I drive!

  4. Clare Pooley

    My husband was always happy with the Passats he had but he hasn’t had one for five or six years at least. The last company car he had was a Ford Mondeo which he was very sceptical about as his experience with Fords wasn’t good. However, he was pleasantly surprised and grew to love the car and was sad to say goodbye when he retired. He did at least 70,000 miles over 3 years and it gave him no trouble at all.


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