Owning/Daily Driving a 2006 V10 TDI Touareg: A Year In Review
*warning this is a lengthy post*
So today marks the 1 year point in my V10 Treg ownership. I'm writing this in hopes to help anyone who is looking to get into one of these monsters. In my one year of ownership I have experienced almost every common issue you can run into owning this car that you can imagine.
I purchased this Treg sight unseen at a private german car dealership outside of the Boston area. I paid for it to go to a local dealership and had a pre purchase inspection done before I flew out. I bought a 1 way ticket from Pittsburgh (where im from) and drove it home that day, roughly 8-9 hours. It had roughly 133,000 miles on it at the time of purchase. It was a one owner car and lived its life in Maine. From the time of purchase I knew the car had a small oil leak, and the flex pipe on the drivers side downpipe has a small exhaust leak.
365 Days and 40,000 miles of Ownership:
I work as a welding inspector on pipelines and my commute is anywhere from 50-100mi one way to work. So I wanted something comfortable, yet offroad ready without having to make heavy modifications to the suspension so the Touareg platform with air ride was perfect for me. Plus ive been a VAG fanboy my whole life and have always wanted a reason to own one of these, anyways my first day of ownership after the drive home from Boston, I made it 3 miles from my house and I was hit full force by the infamous center bearing driveshaft support failure 🙃. If thats not the definition of "welcome to Gen 1 Touareg/Cayenne/Q7 ownership" then idk what is. I went with the Vertex aftermarket bearing support since the dealership wanted like $1800 for a new driveshaft 40,000 miles later, no issues on that front. I put about 18,000 miles on it after the driveshaft issue with little to no issues, a new set of BFG all terrains lead me to the discovery of seized eccentric bolts in my front lower control arms, so a new set of OE Lemförder lower controls at $200 bucks a pop and was back on the road. Around that time I began to hear a weird thumping sound coming out of the top end. Sure enough a few days later I had a lifter fail on me. I was able to limp it to a local shop near where I was working in Seneca, OH who the owner of miraculously owns 2 V10 Tregs. Long story short, drivers side camshaft and 10 lifters later I was back on the road about $2500 bucks poorer. I have a 3rd party warranty that covers 50% of repair bills so the total cost to change the cam and 10 lifters was about $5000 all in. Continued to drive the vehicle and around 8,000miles later the passenger side lifter/camshaft failed on me around the 163,000 miles mark. Took it back to the shop and bought "the last camshaft in the US" according to the parts guy at the dealership. So I apologize ahead of time if no one can find a cam for cylinders 1-5 I took the last one... Anyways I had the passenger side cam and lifters replaced in January of this year I also had them change the tandem pump while they were in there to eliminate a potential source of my oil leak. Spring forward another 10,000 miles and about 3 weeks ago I had another infamous V10 failure in my Alternator. I did that job myself, as an amateur DIY'er and an amazon socket set it took me about 11 hours from start to finish. The job wasnt very difficult it just takes a ton of effort to get every little bolt off of the valley components. Intake manifolds were a pain, the fuel rails were a pain, that weird x shaped aluminum coolant pipe thing was a pain, but I got her back on the road.
As of today I'm sitting at 173,578 miles on the odometer, and a hair under $10,000 in maintenance and repairs for the year which is close to what i paid for the vehicle ($10,700). So for anyone looking to own this car, yes most of what you read on these forums about how much trouble these things can be to own is true. Ive experienced 90% of the common failures of the model minus turbo failure (knock on wood). But everything ive experienced is servicable with the engine in the car, being the cams, alternator, tandem pump, etc. So it is possible to make these repairs with spending a million dollars at the dealership for them to pull your engine. That being said this vehicle also gets a lot of flack from people who have never owned one, or bought one thinking they were going to be maintenancing a Mk4 jetta 2.0L. My tregs original sticker price from what I could find was in the $67,000 range which correlates to around 85k in 2019 money (USD). It may be a 14 year old vehicle at this point but you're still paying to service an $85,000 car which from the repairs ive experienced through this year is probably very similar to a vehicle in that price range, and you need to be prepared for that if you plan on owning one. Theres still something to be said about the 40,000 miles ive put on this car though.. I am confident that there has not been a V10 Touareg thats rolled off the assembly line and put to the test like mine has. Those 40,000 miles I put on this thing were rough. I use mine offroad every single day, through mud rough terrain up and down giant hills and it still floats like a cloud driving it down the highway at the end of the work day. The only real issue ongoing with it is I cant find the source of my oil leak, even when I had the alternator out i checked the 2 oil connections in the valley where the pressure switch is and where the turbo return/feed line idk which way it goes and I didnt see anything but the vast majority of my leak comes from the valley and leaks down the front of the block so im stumped. Im still pretty sure my turbo seals are bad because theres a small amount of oil in both of my intakes and some drips that hit the DPF going down the road that will occasionally smoke off when i come to a stop sign which makes it look like the engine is blowing up to passer byers lol, but im not gonna change a turbo for an oil leak. When they go they will get fixed.
End of the story if you want one and you can put to the side about what its worth for repairs buy one the driving experience is excellent for a 06' vehicle. I genuinely enjoy driving it more then my 2018 Audi RS3 at times. Near future plans are a Malone tune and EGR and DPF deletes.
Lastly, enjoy some pictures of my struggles/good times in the mud 🙂