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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys and gals,

This is going to be a long post with loads of questions and I really need your help with this. I don’t want to bore the people who are not into this kind of a thing, but if there’s anyone with my interests here, I guess I’ll get replies to some of them at least :)

I’m Bran and I am looking to buy another car within the next few months. The Touareg 7L looks like the best option for what I am looking for and, frankly, I like the damn thing.

The wife and I recently added another human being to this planet and we try and spend what little free time we have travelling around the region, most often in nature. My faithful classic W124 (honestly, an amazing vehicle in its own right if you're into 30+ years old cars) is not cutting it anymore for this kind of a task and I really don't want some run-of-the-mill FWD estate, though the missus wouldn’t mind. What we need is a spacious vehicle (we carry some bulky stuff with us) with nice comfort and some off-road ability, though nothing special.

I wouldn’t want to spend a lot of money on buying one, though I do understand that such a vehicle will use more fuel and be more expensive to maintain. I am fine with that. Basically, I am looking for something that will be affordable enough to drive around and get some dirt on, but also reasonably plush and good on road.

So, the TReg fits the picture perfectly, I’d say.

Due to some market peculiarities (I can explain, but I don’t think you’d care :) ), I’d primarily go for the R5 2.5 TDI. The 3.0 TDI would work only if it were a really good offer, but the 2.5 would be the first pick.

I have a few specific questions for you regarding reliability and maintenance, some features and also fuel consumption (I know it’s been spoken about, trust me, I’ve read it, but this is a bit more specific).

FIRST PART - EXPENSES
For this part, I’d appreciate some answers about the frequency and costs of some of the most common problems with the following parts. Basically, how often can I expect them to go bad and how much would it cost to fix (I can find the parts prices, but just in case there is loads of labour, or that particular thing needs another parts to be replaced as well…):

How long can I expect the tyres to last?

How long can I expect the front brakes to last and how much are they?

How common is the front diff/centre diff problem and how much is it to fix?

How often does the propshaft bearing go and can it be detected when it starts to go bad so that only it is replaced and at what price?

How common a problem is that auto gearbox valve chest issue and how much is it to fix?

The same question for the water pump.

What is included in the regular service and how often should I do it on a car of that age? Also, should I change the oil I use, having in mind the age? I know the R5 is very specific when it comes to oil.

Has anyone tuned these R5 with the auto gearbox and how well do they cope with the increase in torque? I should have no issues with the quality of the tuning file, as I have worked with a number of high-profile tuners, so I’m sure I can source a reliable and well-made tuning file.

NOTE: I am NOT here to sell anything of the sort and never will. I just wanted to point out that I thoroughly understand how terrible a bad tune can be and that I am sure to get a good one if I opt to tune it.

Feel free to add anything in this section if you think it is important and I have missed it.


SECOND PART – STOCK FEATURES
As for some stock features, I’m very interested in boot dimensions, depth, narrowest width and height of the boot.

Also, I’d like to hear your thoughts about air suspension. I know it breaks down more often and costs more, but I’d like to have it, although it is not mandatory. Can you tell me how long I can expect it to last (not much torture, but some roads we travel are not the best)?

Also, since most Touaregs here are without air suspension, I would be grateful if you could compare the ride with and without air suspension. How much would I lose if I actually settled for the non-air one?

Regarding the DPF, I’d rather skip it (again market peculiarities). It is important here if the car had it stock, so I’d choose one without the DPF. I found this “Check your trim package 3-digits codes (stickers inside Manual or trunk space) for 7GG, 7MB, 7MG и 7GA codes. If none, then you haven't DPF.” Can you please confirm or deny and, if so, can someone take the pic of the location in the trunk where that code would be?

Is the sunroof a problem and, if so, how easy/costly is it to fix? I’d love one, but it’s an old car, so if leaks start developing, I’d rather skip it.

From what I understand, its injectors are not the same as the ones on the 3.0 TDI of the era. Are these for the R5 more difficult to find and more expensive?


THIRD PART – THE BORING ONE
Lastly, the most discussed topic – fuel consumption (I know, bear with me please).

I really, really have read all I could find, have seen spritmonitor, have browsed forums and have spoken to two VW specialists here, but I got very conflicting info about the specific questions I have regarding fuel consumption.
I do not expect it to be exactly frugal, but having in mind that we will be covering long distances at constant speeds, a few mpg up or down can make a big difference.

I understand that I can expect an average of about 9-12 L per 100 km (31.3-23.5 mpg UK or 26-19.6 mpg US), but most of my driving will be in somewhat specific conditions, so I am interested in actual consumption in those conditions. As we will cover great distances, but at steady speeds, those are the ones I am interested in. I have another vehicle for city runs and similar, so the TReg will not be used much for those. However, a few MPG can make a big difference for very long trips that we take and plan to take more of as the weather gets better.

It will be used for that kind of travel and mild off-roading (really nothing special, we have the baby with us most of the time) and driving on snow a few months a year.

I would like to know your actual MPG for these steady speeds (I know some of these seem close, but I also know the colossal weight and wind resistance start making a bigger difference somewhere around these speeds):

-50-55 mph (80-90 km/h) on a road with two lanes in total in both directions between two towns (B roads in the UK I guess?)
-65 mph (105 km/h) on the motorway
-70 mph (112 km/h) on the motorway
-75 mph (120 km/h) on the motorway
-80 mph (130 km/h) on the motorway
-85 mph (136 km/h) on the motorway

I do understand that a motorway cruise at 65 will be the best kind, but when going for a run of 1000 miles with a baby, a few hours up or down make a big difference.

I don't tow, I plan to use cruise control when possible and overtake occasionally when someone is really slowing me down. No plans to race in this one.

I got very conflicting info on these, especially the ranges for motorway speeds, so I hoped some real-world input from you guys could help.

Sorry for the long post and I hope you guys can help.

Oh, speaking of which, maybe I can help you guys with something. Once again, I AM NOT trying and WILL NOT try to sell you anything.

Officially, I work as a copywriter for online content, but almost all my work has been within the car industry and often well beyond writing content. I have plenty of book and practical knowledge about the industry and several different markets, I have access to several service reports and loads of information that people find valuable when buying cars, especially used ones. I also have a lot of experience with tuning...

You get it, I love cars, work in the industry, have loads of info and I enjoy every minute of it. If anyone needs any information about other cars, feel free to let me know and I'll respond asap.

However, whenever I bought a car, despite all my resources, knowledge, experience and research, I always took a specialist in that brand with me. Despite all the things I wrote, I believe a mechanic that has worked on that specific model and tore it apart and put it back together hundreds of times will certainly do a better job inspecting the vehicle than I ever could.

So, this is why I am here for that R5.

Once again, apologies for the long post and loads of questions. I hope to have the TReg with me soon.
 

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Bran welcome

Prijatel ... congrats on the new addtional life will never be the same smile and love every moment with your new loved one.

Way to many questions with differant subjects. Try and break your questions down by topic ... eg brakes ??, Tyres??, common vehicle specific problems ??...... etc

Now !!


How long can I expect the tyres to last?

depends on tyre type and brand driving style tyre softness compound etc 60K - 80k ?? I've heard some only get 20k !!! Do some research this will help you going forward and is valuable info. Also see what others are using also. Decide what your intended use is and match accordingly



How long can I expect the front brakes to last and how much are they?

Same as above depends how you use them and brand. In Europe Ate are king. Others here like Brembo, Zimmerman, etc etc. Go for a name brand ! Ceramics are king.



How common is the front diff/centre diff problem and how much is it to fix?

You will need to explain further not sure of this.



How often does the propshaft bearing go and can it be detected when it starts to go bad so that only it is replaced and at what price?

the centre driveshaft bearing support they go at around 100K more or less. This vehicle i have now 120k the previous MY05 V8 i changed at 180K with no signs. Also depends on previous drivers. To fix anywhere from AUD$700 upwards



How common a problem is that auto gearbox valve chest issue and how much is it to fix?

Depends on year model plenty of info here to help.



The same question for the water pump.

Sorry dont know ... just a standard maintenance item plenty of info here



What is included in the regular service and how often should I do it on a car of that age? Also, should I change the oil I use, having in mind the age? I know the R5 is very specific when it comes to oil.

Should be covered in the mainenance shcedule a quick search on the internet will give a ton of info. If you have had VAG vehicles before more or less the same will give you an idea.

You might want to price up oil changes on the R5 ... not cheap for cost of oil. Personally i would contemplate the V6.

Given we are talking diesels we should really be changing half the indicated time that VAG mentions if you want to look after this vehicle ... do calc's just on this ... do you really want an R5 that much ??

Also given the R5 and V10 use specific oil how sure are you that it was received throughout its life. I have read from other members that even just 1x change with the srong oil has enough to ruin the coating on intenral engine components. Oil test would maybe be needed to check if engine is ok ... plenty here on this also.


Has anyone tuned these R5 with the auto gearbox and how well do they cope with the increase in torque? I should have no issues with the quality of the tuning file, as I have worked with a number of high-profile tuners, so I’m sure I can source a reliable and well-made tuning file.

Cant answer this but homework for later for you.

Right now ........ take your time read more learn more and with the additional info you get you will grow confidence to make "some" reasonable decisions ....... this is a learning process which takes time..... dont just rush into this
 

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All your other questions ... break them up or search the forum there is mountains of stuff here .......... take your time

and congrats on the new family member Best wishes to Mother !!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks Odessa, you rock!

Yeah, sleep and free time are a rare commodity now, but there are so many good sides to this :)

Yeah, you are right, I should have split it into several posts, but things just kept coming to mind and... you can see.


As for the R5 vs V6, there are a few reasons – First of all, I have the mentioned my job and experience. From what I gather, the early R5 TRegs, if maintained properly, are like those old diesels that would run forever. I know it is not very likely I’ll find one with impeccable history at that age for a reasonable price, but I am not obliged to buy one. If it appears, awesome. On the other hand, the V6 is a great engine, but it has had its share of flaws.

Next, the 3.0 are less common without the DPF.

Lastly, not the top of the importance list, but the 3.0 both consumes more fuel (about 2L per 100 km, if what I found is correct) and its yearly registration is about 65% more expensive here due to the ridiculous legislature behind our yearly registration fees. It’s not so much that I can’t afford that as it is that I already feel like an idiot for going up to 2.5 L, as that makes registration 100% more expensive than for cars of the same age and power that are under 2 L. Just a damn mess with that here. The leap in price is huge. Literally, a petrol W212 Mercedes with a 1998ccm engine and a diesel W212 OM651 which is 2154ccm - the diesel is twice as much to register because it is over 2L.
 

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If you are still convinced on the R5 reach out to 4ePikanini for more info... he "might" be your man
 
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