February 22nd, 2007


Never (and I mean NEVER) buy a Volkswagen.

Years ago I had a VW Golf.  1990 Wolfsburg edition.  Apparently Wolfsburg is German for "can't drive through a puddle without the fan belt screaming and the alternator light coming on".  That was a really cool feature.

The car was pretty much a total piece of shit from day 1.  In the first two years of its life, it had no less than 4 $1200 services... and yeah, this is a new car we're talking about.  Not to mention the chronic puddle/scream thing, lots of STUPID design choices, creaks, rattles, various parts falling off all the time, etc.  Those things didn't fall under the really astounding 24 month/12,000 mile service.  <cough>

Oh and every dealership I went to was populated exclusively by assholes. 

A buddy of mine at the same time had purchased a Honda CRX.  He spent a lot of time laughing at me and my various car expenses since inexplicably his car had absolutely zero issues, ever.

I sold my VW before it broke out of warranty... like that mattered... and bought a 1994 Acura Integra.  Since then I've owned nothing by Hondas and Acuras and rarely have I ever had an issue, and never has been the time when any odd thing wasn't swiftly dealt with by the dealer with no cost to me.  Hell, I've had a total break job and an engine replaced OUTSIDE OF WARRANTY on two different Honda/Acura cars.

Ok, so why the rant on Volkswagens?

Yeah, well, yeah...

VW came out with a Volkswagen R32.  For those of you not in the know, this is a Golf with a big engine (240HP, 6 cyl), all wheel drive, 6 spd manual, lowered, 18" alloys, etc.  The thing is a monster, and even looks pretty cool.  I swalowed hard against the bile rising in my throat at the thought of owning a Volkswagen again, and bought one.

Yeah...  yeah...

So it's a fun car, and I love it.  No doubt.  It's definitely better than my old Golf, but it is victim to all the familiar squeaks and rattles I became accustomed to.  Less so in warmer months, but they're still there.  

It is, however, an absolute service whore.  I mean Hondas and Acuras have the regular service of 5000, 7500, 15000, 30000, 50000 and thats kinda it.  I think yer supposed to check in every 25,000 miles or so before it rusts out from under you, but that's kinda it.  The services are usually $100-300 with the occasional big one like the timing chain.   No biggie.  Especially since Hondas do not otherwise break... ever.  So that's pretty much your service bill in it's entirety until the car gets pretty old.

Volkswagens? Ohhhh no, we'll have none of that!

Volkswagens are all setup to come in for service EVERY 5000 miles!  The services are pretty pricey... they 40.000 mile one is over $450, for example... AND they still break all the time.  My most recent entertainment is the engine sputtering at me when I first start it up and having the engine light go on.  The service guy is like "oh well, you didnt bring it in for it's 5000 mile whoring, what do you expect?"  

I'm like "dude, my wife has gone 30k miles without even doing an oil change in her Honda and the thing acted like it was brandy-ass new."  Hes like "well, sir, this is a Volkswagen!"

I'm like "Oh!  I'm sorry, I thought it was a QUALITY piece of engineering... but now you are telling me that it is, in fact, a Volkswagen!  So noted!  Thanks for clearing that up!"

The scary thing is when you ride with people on the little service shuttle to work.  They all talk about their VW issues... and its amazing.  One guy who bought the really expensive Tourareg (8 cyl), was like "it's great... once I worked through the bugs for the first 12K miles its been pretty solid... now at 22K miles we have a few more issues, but we're working on them."

Everyone who owns a VW talks like this.  It's like an expected part of the culture.  I'm like "Hello, people?  This isn't a 1953 MGB project car that you roll out in the summer to take drives with your honey to the local lake for a picnic, it's a goddamned modern-day automobile... it should be nearly FLAWLESS for a good 30K miles or more."  Volkswagen people are fricken whacko.  It shouldn't be "Drivers Wanted"... it should be "Retards who accept mediocrity and consider that a bonding part of community... wanted."

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