New or Used: Audi Syndrome?

Kevin writes:

Sajeev and Steve:

I am currently cruising through all four Canadian seasons in my 2008 6MT Audi S5. Could be worse, I know. The car is owned by Audi Finance, and apparently they want it back at the end of November – something about the lease term coming to an end. As of late, conversations about the S5 have gone something like this:

Q1. Do you like it?
A1. Unequivocally! It’s amazing.

Q2. Are you going to buy it out or extend the lease?
A2. Absof@!%inglutely not.

Q3. Why not – you just said you loved it?!
A3. True, but it’s a constant reminder of the adages (i) never buy a first year vehicle (ii) never lease a car out of warranty and (iii) someone, somewhere, is tired of her sh!t. Well, maybe just the first two.

Read more
New or Used: Audi Syndrome?
Kevin writes:Sajeev & Steve:I am currently cruising through all four Canadian seasons in my 2008 6MT Audi S5. Could be worse, I know. The car is owned by Aud…
Read more
Piston Slap: The Time Value of Automotive Love

TTAC Commentator A Caving Ape writes:

I have a 2001 VW Jetta 1.8 with 130,000 miles on it. It has its shortcomings that I can’t fix (front drive, rear legroom), but for the most part it’s a fantastic vehicle for me. But I worry that it’s a time bomb.

I do most of the small/easy maintenance myself, and and happy to pay an independent for stuff I’m not comfortable with (timing belt, front end stuff, clutch when the time comes). This will likely be true with any car I own. I’m very satisfied with the running costs of my car, but from what I can tell I am the only person in the world with a well-functioning early 2000s VW with more than 100,000 miles. This makes me worry that it will crap out on my one day. It’s my only car so this would be very bad.

Read more
Hammer Time: Abandoned Hope

It was Tamara’s first new car. A 2003 Saturn VUE AWD with a 4-cylinder and all the options. Out the door at $25,000. Overjoyed to have finally afforded her very own new car, Tamara splurged and spoiled it. Saturn seat covers soon adorned the interior and a chrome grille guard was added to give her cute zonker yellow ride a bit more gravitas. The Vue would be her absolute pride and joy for the next seven years.

Until it died. Seven years, two transmissions and only 69k miles, Tamara got fed up with being one of many victims of an under-engineered CVT. Besides she couldn’t afford the $5000+ bill.

Yet she wasnt alone. Far from it. Tamara is just one of thousands of folks who have been given the stiff arm by a manufacturer. All the major manufacturers do this to a degree and no, it’s not because they are evil and uncaring. You have to draw a line somewhere.

Read more
Ask The Best And Brightest: Covering Your Rear (Engine Sportscar) With An Extended Warranty?

TTAC commentator stephada writes:

Hello I drive a 2010 C4S, bought new, now with 42k miles and I am considering an Extended Warranty through a company called Protected Life, sold through the Porsche dealership. My service manager said they used to not offer this because they had trouble finding one that could cover things well enough, until they found Protected.

I’d like the Best and Brightest to weigh in on the specific example I’m facing. I’ve read the original B&B thread but it dealt with the issue philosophically and generally. I trust the B&B can help out again in my choices, as they did on the question of ”S or 4S?” [Ed: follow-up here].

Read more
Weekend Head Scratcher: When Is An Extended Warranty Worth It?
Kurt Wiley writes in:Having been a long time reader of TTAC, I now pose a question to the Best and Brightest:Should one who likes the driving experience offe…
Read more
Chevy Announces Eight-Year, 100k Mile Warranty For Volt Battery

In hopes of convincing consumers that buying a battery-electric car will not be a financial disaster for them, GM is announcing an eight-year, 100k mile transferable warranty for its Volt battery. According to GM’s release, Volt batteries have undergone

more than 1 million miles and 4 million hours of validation testing of Volt battery packs since 2007, as well as each pack’s nine modules and 288 cells. The development, validation and test teams have met thousands of specifications and validated each of the Volt battery’s components.

Tests include short circuit, corrosion, dust, impact, water submersion, crush and penetration, and extreme temperature swings combined with aggressive drive cycles, also known as “Shake, Bake and Roll.”

GM does not, however, specify a minimum-performance range for the battery, saying only that it can run on battery power for “up to the first 40 miles.” That makes it tough to understand what kind of defect or level of performance would deserve a warranty repair or replacement, which is really the key consideration. GM’s claim that this

is the automotive industry’s longest, most comprehensive battery warranty for an electric vehicle

is technically true, but it is also the same warranty period enjoyed by Toyota’s Prius hybrid. Full release after the jump.

Read more
Toyota UK's Warranty Accelerates Past (Most) Of The Competition

Many people (especially on this site) worry that Toyota might become the new old GM. I beg to differ. Toyota is a well run company, it turns a profit and builds good cars (not great, but good ones). When GM was swirling around the porcelain throne, people were desperately seeking ideas to recall lost customers back to GM. One thought was the “5 year, bumper-to-bumper warranty.”

The logic was watertight. Stop saying that your cars are as good as the competition (I’m looking at you, Mr Lutz) and put your money where your mouth is. Why should a customer commit tens of thousands to a car, if you can’t commit to a measly 5 years? But GM never did it. We had a powertrain warranty, but not a bumper-to-bumper one. Now compare this to Hyundai, who where, and let’s not mince words here, a joke in the car world. A commitment to quality and a 5 year bumper-to-bumper warranty (in the UK) later and Hyundai is up there with the best of them. So, if it’s good enough for Hyundai….

Read more
Piston Slap: Save Me From My X5!

TTAC Commentator PG writes:

Sajeev, In their December 2009 issue, Car and Driver has a great article about how extended warranties — such as those offered by U.S. Fidelis and others — are largely scams that deceive customers, don’t really cover the cost of repairs at all, and don’t give refunds at cancellation.

My parents own a 2002 BMW X5 4.4. They bought it from Carmax and have the extended warranty from that dealership. It’s a fantastic car, but it’s had some very costly repairs — thankfully, those have been covered in full or at least in part by Carmax’s warranty. The thing is, that warranty expires this month and can’t be renewed.

The ‘rents are thinking of getting an extended warranty for the Bimmer, but after reading that C&D story I’m pretty convinced they would be throwing their money away. My question: are there ANY extended warranties out there that they can use? What can they do to help avoid the full cost of repairs?

Buying a new/different car isn’t really an option right now, because they want to keep the X5 as long as they can. The car has about 80,000 miles on it and still runs well, except for the occasional hiccup, but those can be pretty pricey on a BMW.

If you or the best and brightest have any suggestions, I’d love to hear them.

Read more
Hyundai's Momentum Explained?
This graph of Hyundai’s market since 1993 is a refreshing antidote to yesterday’s depressing Detroit market share picture. And it doesn’t t…
Read more
Piston Slap: Karma, Idiot Lights and the 100k Warranty

Anonymous writes:

I have a 2008 Kia Sorento with the 3.3L, about 11k miles. The other day, I took it to my local mechanic for an oil change. Drove it all over town during the course of the following couple days. Then, last night, as I am about 3/4 mile from home, my low oil pressure light goes on. At that point, I roll down my window to listen to the car and can hear a grinding type noise (valves sticking?) on acceleration. I limp the rest of the way home and turn off the engine. This morning, I call the mechanic and they send the service manager right over. No oil on the dipstick whatsoever. He adds oil to the engine and drives it down the street to the shop. They inspect, and tell me it is a bad o-ring on the cone filter that caused all the oil to leak out over the course of 2 days, and that it is possible that they had not tightened it sufficiently when the changed the oil. They said no other damage had been done, replaced the o-ring, changed the oil and filter and sent me on my way.

So my question is this…what is the possibility that other (long term) damage could have been done? Should I have the vehicle checked out by another mechanic, or even the Kia dealership? Should I not even inform the dealership, as they may use it as a way to deny future warranty claims? The vehicle is no longer making the grinding type noise, and seems to be fine. I may drive it lightly the next few days just to be sure.

Read more
Piston Slap: Paint Your Wagon, Or In Ford We Rust?

Ben writes:

Hello Sajeev, my father owns a 2005 Ford Focus wagon. The car has 100,000 km’s on it (Canadian) and it has been well maintained. The car has never given him any issues and runs very well but the paint is in horrible condition. He purchased the vehicle after the lease was up and soon after the paint started peeling. He didn’t think too much of it, but recently it has gotten much worse… Ford did not apply primer on the car.




Read more
Ask the Best and Brightest: Are You Having Trouble Getting Warranty Work?
Times are tough. Margins are tight. Carmakers are looking for savings anywhere they can. As mechanical work performed by a dealer under a manufacturer’…
Read more
  • Mike Evs do suck, though. I mean, they really do.
  • Steve Biro I don’t care what brand but it needs to be a compact two-door with an ICE, traditional parallel hybrid or both. A manual transmission option would be nice but I don’t expect it - especially with a hybrid. Don’t show me an EV.
  • ToolGuy Lose a couple of cylinders, put the rest in a straight line and add a couple of turbos. Trust me.
  • ToolGuy Got no money for the Tasman, it is going to the Taxman. 🙁
  • ToolGuy They should have hired some Ford Motor Company employees. No, I'm kidding -- they should have hired some Ford Motor Company executives. 😉