German Car Owners & Former Owners!

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by leftywamumonkey, Feb 10, 2012.

  1. leftywamumonkey macrumors 6502a

    leftywamumonkey

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    Location:
    California
    #1
    I'm in the process of looking for a car. Anyways, I'm considering many brands, but there are a few brands I would like to know a bit more about from people who have owned them. Specifically, Audi, BMW and Volkswagen. I won't be buying new or anything 2005 and up sadly.

    If you have owned or own an Audi, BMW or Volkswagen, could you speak a bit about the maintenance costs, especially the oil change costs? Any additional comments including year, model and where you get them serviced would help me greatly.

    Thank you. :)
     
  2. mgartner0622 macrumors 65816

    mgartner0622

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
  3. Macman45 macrumors demi-god

    Macman45

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    Location:
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    #3
    I no longer drive due to medical issues, but I have owned a number of BMW's..They have proved to be utterly reliable and I had no issues at all.

    I don't know what size of car you are looking for, but a second-hand BMW with service history is worth looking at.

    Don't be put off by age either, they go on and on (especially the larger models) Looking at the top of the 3 series for a small car and maybe the 5 touring as an estate or shooting brake if you prefer there term!

    I've never owned an Audi, but they too are reputed to be solid cars.
     
  4. Alaerian Guest

    Alaerian

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    Location:
    A barstool, Innis & Gunn in hand
    #4
    I've owned 4 cars since I began driving, all of them VWs:
    -- 1974 Super Beetle
    -- 1988 Cabriolet
    -- 1987 Jetta
    -- 2000 New Beetle

    I bought the '00 Beetle in January of 2004, and it's been a dream to drive. The best advice I can give you is to find a great mechanic. Not a good mechanic, not a cheap mechanic, a great mechanic. Don't read too much into it - I haven't needed to use my mechanic every week. ;)

    I'm fortunate enough to have a guy in own who works on nothing but VWs. He does good work, charges you fairly, and is an all-around decent human being. The combination of his service and a diesel engine is a winning combination.
     
  5. tigres macrumors 68040

    tigres

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2007
    Location:
    Land of the Free-Waiting for Term Limits
    #5
    Ther is a reason that BMW moniker is the ultimate driving machine- it simply is.

    17 year owner of all used and mutiple models- never ever disappointed.
     
  6. nissan.gtp macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    Location:
    Virginia
    #6
    I owned a BMW 325i (94-2004) and have a MINI Cooper S (basically a BMW in terms of maint).

    Maintenance on both was more expensive than other cars I've owned -- and Dealer maint was a LOT more. With both cars, there are a number of things you have to use the dealer for (they have diagnostic computers, etc that independents don't).

    The MINI came with 36months "free" (i.e. prepaid) maint, but at THEIR schedule. That meant oil changes every 10K miles or so. I had it changed in-between so I got new oil/filter every 5K or so. I use Synthetic, which is pricey but worth it for me since I keep cars a long time.

    Good luck
     
  7. toothpaste macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 8, 2005
    #7
    I own an Audi 2003 a4 3.0 quattro. It's been a great car to drive. I've been taking care of it...oil changes, spark plugs, filters, etc. Haven't had issues with it. BUT to get a timing belt changed costs $$$. Since the timing belt is in a hard to get place the entire nose has to come off and the cheapest (money) wise I have been able to find is ~$1500 (US).

    German cars overall are very well engineered (german obsession), they are however temperamental and the upkeep is a bit more than japanese cars and most certainly more than American cars. If you beat on it, it will cost you dearly. Take care of it, it'll take care of you.

    Audi quattro, most don't understand until they drive one. Nothing else out there like it.:D
     
  8. senseless macrumors 68000

    senseless

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2008
    Location:
    Pennsylvania, USA
    #8
    Last year, I bought a 2004 BMW Z4 with 50,000 miles. Costs are high, but not unexpected. So far, synthetic oil change and lube was $115, front and rear brake pads and rotors: $600 (rotors must be changed), set of high performance run flat tires: $1600. These are independent shop prices and the dealer service will be much higher. Other than normal maintenance, it's been very reliable for an 8 year old car.
     
  9. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    Location:
    On tenterhooks
    #9
    Is the diesel version of the Beetle available in California??
     
  10. Alaerian Guest

    Alaerian

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    Location:
    A barstool, Innis & Gunn in hand
    #10
    No idea. I'm in the metro St Louis area. They've been available here since they came out.

    The only reason I was able to snap up my car was because of the manual transmision. It had been on the lot less than a day but would have already been gone if an automatic. Anything VW and diesel still goes super quick.
     
  11. Shrink macrumors G3

    Shrink

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    Location:
    New England, USA
    #11
    I have owned two BMW's. A 2002 Coupe many years ago. I currently own a 2007 M Roadster. It like a Z4 on steroids and crack!

    Never had any problems with reliability. With the Roadster, up to recently it was under warrantee, so all servicing was done at the Dealership for free. The people there were always super nice to me and did fantastic work on the car. A full wash and interior cleaning even with just an oil change. I'm off warrantee and now will have to pay for service, so I'm not sure if I will go to the dealership because they are wildly expensive. Will probably go to a local shop. The local shop has all the electronic diagnostic equipment, I think. Probably not the BMW equipment, but the equivalent. Much cheaper than going to the BMW store.

    My ex had a 3 Series, and was madly in love with it. (Apparently more so than me:eek:) Also a coupe, and I drove it occasionally - very sweet.

    I'm totally sold on BMW's. I know that here on MR when you want to indicate that someone is a pompous yuppy jerk, you say he/she drives a BMW. Well, if loving BMW's makes me a pompous yuppy jerk, I can live with it because this pompous yuppy jerk is driving a car that,IMO, is superb in every way.:D
     
  12. VideoFreek macrumors 6502

    VideoFreek

    Joined:
    May 12, 2007
    Location:
    Philly
    #12
    We've owned 5 BMWs and presently have 2 in our family (X3, 128i) plus a new Audi Q5. Obviously, we love German cars. We have the most experience with BMWs, and I tend to keep them for about 10 years before I get rid of them. Maintenance is, as others have noted, pricey and the dealerships are very expensive. Overall, however, reliability has been good, and in particular the expensive drivetrain components (engine, transmission) will last a long time. With proper maintenance, you should be able to get well over 100-150k miles out of the drivetrain.

    BMWs run on synthetic oil, so oil changes are expensive. On the other hand, you only need to change it every 10-15k miles, and you can do it yourself if you want to save money.

    I don't know what your budget is, but right now BMW is offering great financing on 2008 models (a lot are coming off lease): 0% interest for 24 months, or 0.9% for 48 months. On top of that, BMW picks up the first two payments up to $500 each, so you can save an additional $1000.

    Good luck with your shopping!
     
  13. Happybunny macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2010
    #13
    In my time I've owned two BMW's, from new Both were great cars to drive, never a problem with reliability. Dealership first class. Both held their resale price very well.

    I've also had a couple of VW's one beetle, and a Golf GTi, again reliability fantastic, dealership a little less than BMW but still very good.

    I also owned a Mercedes this was one of the greatest cars I've ever owned. Dealership treated like a king, reliability no problems. Resale price not as good as the BMW's.

    Please note I live in mainland Europe, and have no idea if the same conditions apply in the USA.
     
  14. SuperCachetes macrumors 6502a

    SuperCachetes

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    Away from you
    #14
    Based on my experience with my 2000 Jetta, I will never own a Mexican-built VW again, and probably not a VW in general.
     
  15. jca24 macrumors 6502a

    jca24

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2010
    Location:
    DFW
    #15
    Go with a Honda, better reliability, cheaper maintenance and better resale value.

    :apple:
     
  16. senseless macrumors 68000

    senseless

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2008
    Location:
    Pennsylvania, USA
    #16
    All true, but life is so short!
     
  17. likemyorbs macrumors 68000

    likemyorbs

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2008
    Location:
    NJ
    #17
    The drive just isn't the same. I'm on my second BMW and they're just simply amazing cars. Japanese cars are great, but that German drive is just unbelievable. Your car practically hugs the road, the ride is just incomparable to japanese cars.
     
  18. wordoflife macrumors 604

    wordoflife

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    #18
    To be honest with you, our Honda has had more problems than our Volvo.
    Still love them both though.

    But I agree, just know what you'll get yourself into with European cars. The parts are generally more expensive and specialized. If you're trying to look for a decent semi-cheap car, I'd give Japanese cars a good look. You can find a fairly loaded one in your budget I'm sure.
     
  19. h00ligan macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2003
    Location:
    A hot desert
    #19
    Maint cost on BMW is ABSURD. I sold my m3 because of the ridiculous cost of Maint and out of warranty niggling repairs.


    Look up the cost for inspection 1 and 2. And an oil change.

    It all depends how long you want to own...I'd lease a new BMW but not buy probably.

    I drive a VW now, cost is in line with my gf Honda.
     
  20. jca24 macrumors 6502a

    jca24

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2010
    Location:
    DFW
    #20
    Really, the drive on all the Hondas I have owned is like driving on rails. You are 22 and and work at a gym and on your second bmw? Doubtful:eek:

    :apple:
     
  21. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #21
    I gave up my 2002 VW Passat because of the reliability and maintenance costs. http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=336842

    I would not consider a VW or Audi again because of this experience especially if I drove it a lot (I was doing a 60+ mile commute with my VW) and relied on it. A lease with low mileage requirements, maybe...

    Now I drive a Honda. One of many that have served us well over the years. Between my wife and I we've had an Accord, CR-V, Odyssey and Civic Hybrid. All have been far more reliable and cheap to maintain than the other non-Honda cars we have owned.

    B
     
  22. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    #22
    1989 Golf 1.6 4-speed. Drove like a dump truck. Indestructible. Did all the routine maintenance myself.
    1997 BMW 528i. Great driver. After 5 years, small problems with big price tags cropped up. Service was pricey to say the least.
    All the Japanese cars I have owned (Honda, Nissan, Toyota, Acura) have been of the highest quality. Maintenance is more reasonable and often DIY. Driving experience is definitely improving on the Japanese cars, perhaps equal now to the Germans. Best car I ever drove was a Maserati but I would not want to be the owner.
     
  23. likemyorbs macrumors 68000

    likemyorbs

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2008
    Location:
    NJ
    #23
    I have generous parents ;)

    Doubt me all you want, would you like pictures? What reason would i have to lie? I live in Marlboro NJ, look up the median income in my area and then talk.

    Oh, and for god's sake please don't compare a honda to a bmw, Hondas are great cars but that's just foolish.
     
  24. h00ligan macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2003
    Location:
    A hot desert
    #24
    VW reliability has come a long way in 10 or so years. My 2000 gti was riddled with little issues. But so was my 1999 civic
     
  25. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #25
    That's exactly what I thought when I bought my 2002. ;)

    B
     

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