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2013, 7P
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

So... My wifes audi A3 1.8T has started to have several issues with it... Starter Motor needed replacing, possible manifold replacement.. Now this has only started happening now. The car is 10 years old , 165000 km, and had been parked in the sun for the last 3 years (which is why I think its ****ting itself). Anyways.. To the joy of the tow truck dude, he took it upon himself to tell me how crap Audi and VW are and that it is the most towed car in Brisbane Australia.. Well... thought I would do some research on this myself, the research suggests that Golf and the like (passat, jetta) etc. have a woeful reliability reputation and VW Australia are under scrutiny from our friendly gov bodies, who are building a report to take to the manufacturer. Couldn't find anything on Touareg that raised concerns. I do feel that 10 years out of a car aint too bad..

So, my question to you all, proud Touareg owners, what do you think? I too own a Touareg 2013 TDI (180kw), which is my second version of this lovely car.
 

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I don't know, I think it's always a combination of the way you use (or abuse) the car, how well you keep it maintained, weather (cars don't fare so well in extreme temperatures, such as we have in the Gulf region of the Middle East), and last but not least, luck! I've known people who've bought different brands of cars from Mazdas to Mercedes, brand new, and they've had problems with them from day 1. On the other hand, some people are still driving their 20 year old Hyundais without any problems.
 

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Depends a lot on the owner.
For example, my 2011 Jetta 1.2TSI decided to kill an engine at 50k km. Took it to the dealer to sort it out, was told that they have seen loads of 1.2TSI engines getting killed by a stretched timing chain (design flow). I got really pissed (your engine s******g itself at 50k is not nice), told the manager I'll set it on fire in his parking lot, et cetera, got a free replacement.
Passats are very reliable though, at least in Europe. And the Touareg, well, I also happen to have a 2013 3.0 TDI. I have owned a few luxury flagships, still have an F01 7 series, and I can safely say that the Touareg has the best build quality of any car (ok I have never had a Bentley, let's leave that one out). I'm at 175k km, absolutely nothing broke on it (except a door lock/unlock switch). I expect at least 400k km without any problems. The V6 TDI is an insanely reliable engine, and so is the 8 speed Aisin tranny. I've seen a T3 hit 600k km without a single problem (no fairy tale, I've driven it, been in it and it really had 600k). Not a single cricket (rattle) in the damn car.
And damn, that thing is rugged. I've taken down x plastic pegs on the road, no scratches. Recently, I banged the mirror into a concrete wall really hard, by the sound of it I thought I had ripped it off, but still not even a scratch.
Bottom line, if anyone ever asks me "What is the most reliable car in the world?" , I'll just say "Touareg 2011+".
 

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"the most reliable car in the world" really is s-t--r---e----t-----c------h-------i--------n---------g it a bit!

The Touareg is like most other cars - some go wrong occasionally, some go wrong a lot and some don't go wrong at all -and it's the luck of the draw as to which one you get!
 

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You're not going to get an unbiased sample here, but my '13 Touareg TDI is the most trouble-free car I've ever owned. I never thought I'd say that. I bought it to tow a 5,500 lb trailer. In five years, it has 62k miles with trailer in tow for 32k of those miles.

One problem since new. The DEF heater was replaced under extended warranty at about 50k miles. That is it.

Not a lot of miles, but a lot of hard work. Great car.

Yes, there are some VWs without perpetual check engine lights.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the replies.. It does look like all lower end cars in the VW range suffer in Australian heat, according various websites. Not that I have any mechanical expertise but one would assume that the Treg would be built with reliability due to the possibility of off-road use.
 

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Yes, there are some VWs without perpetual check engine lights.
My last car was a Mazda 929 V6i. From day one, the engine check light would appear about 5 minutes after start, stay on for 10-15 minutes and go out.

When I donated the car to a charity after 25 years and 395k, it still had that problem.

No one in 25 years could determine what caused it.

Other than that it was a great car.
 

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"the most reliable car in the world" really is s-t--r---e----t-----c------h-------i--------n---------g it a bit!

The Touareg is like most other cars - some go wrong occasionally, some go wrong a lot and some don't go wrong at all -and it's the luck of the draw as to which one you get!
I don't want to contradict you mate, I know you have a lot more experience with cars than I do.
Of course, with any car around (maybe except the ~1992 E class) it's the luck of the draw. I have personally never owned (or hears of) a car that hit 175k and never had even a microscopic issue. And, I have also never seen a vehicle with such build quality. Not getting stranded is the most important part when we are talking about reliability, but I'd also like to never experience any crickets in the back seat or electrical gremlins (like in my Ranger, when some controls randomly decided to swap functions, and instead of wiping the windshield I ended up flashing someone).
But, for me, the 6-cylinder Diesel engines are #1 for reliability. And economy. The V6 in my T3 and the L6 in my 7 series are amazing, never had a damn problem.
If you want to play roulette, get a twin turbo L4...
 

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Touareg has long been rated one of the worst quality cars sold in the states. That said, we've had the common issues (Driveshaft, transfer case stepper, trim cracking, AC blower and flap, trans software etc.), but after 14 years and 200k miles, we are pretty happy with it. Engine has never had service outside of one set of plugs and a belt (besides oil changes) and my wife still loves it - more than she loves her new Toyota SUV (company car). I've had lots of VW/Audi, and they have their share of stupid problems (coil packs, electrics, underhood plastics failures) but wouldn't have anything else anyway.
 

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Touareg has long been rated one of the worst quality cars sold in the states. That said, we've had the common issues (Driveshaft, transfer case stepper, trim cracking, AC blower and flap, trans software etc.), but after 14 years and 200k miles, we are pretty happy with it. Engine has never had service outside of one set of plugs and a belt (besides oil changes) and my wife still loves it - more than she loves her new Toyota SUV (company car). I've had lots of VW/Audi, and they have their share of stupid problems (coil packs, electrics, underhood plastics failures) but wouldn't have anything else anyway.
Love my 2005 touareg and feel comfortable driving it anywhere. It has been pretty reliable and never left me stranded or had to be towed. Have had the usual issues with drive shaft, and fuel pumps, camshaft sensors, speed sensors. I have been driving for quite some time with elongated timing chain and CEL always on for camshaft positioning errors. Car has only been to the dealer twice for an oil change and problem starting when hot. Dealer never figured out one of the camshaft sensors quit working when it got hot making car hard to crank. Think if well maintained a very reliable car. Like all VWs in my book seem to have electrical quirks. In terms of reliability my son's 2005 Honda element beats the touareg hands down and has 3 times the miles on it. My 2013 turbo beetle has been problem free except for occasional odd ball electrical glitches. Same for my wife's 2016 Tiguan. One thing for certain VWs like clean oil and I change at half the book interval. Also never let fuel level get below 1/4 tank.
 

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I had a bad experience with one VW (1988 Jetta) that I owned in college and for the first part of my career...it never had the engine die, but was always having some issue or another. It was like being around someone that always hits you, it would make you flinch every time you drove it.

Against my better judgment I purchased another VW 2006 Jetta and it was a great car. Later on I purchased my 2007 Touareg and have been driving it now for nearly ten years (purchased it used in 2009).

After so many years with a good VW experience I have recommended them to family and friends without worry. My 2007 has been THE most reliable vehicle I could ever want. I have replaced the carrier bushing for the driveline, the transmission valve chest, the dash blower motor, and the battery (outside of maintenance, the one that was relatively new fried). All over 105K miles.

I take VW haters with a BIG grain of salt, if they were so bad as you hear, then I wouldn't love mine...and I love mine because it has been very reliable.

In September of 2019, I will have been driving / owning VW's for 20 years!!!
 

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My 2004 V8 is the most troublesome car I have ever owned. Bought new and now just over 110k miles, and the list of problems is long. Here's what I can remember: bad cat at 80k, starter failure at just over 90k took dealer 2 months and didn't figure itout, so I told him to replace starter...fixed), cam tensioners frozen, have had to free up the intake flaps every couple of years, fuel pumps (fail when in pump filter goes), sunroof drain annual cleaning, rear hatch hinge seal rotted(wet carpet), trans starting to shift hard even with fluid change at 50k(will need valve body soon), front differential starting to whine(again with fluid change at 50k), parking sensors fail after commercial car wash(pulled fuses), eats tires and brakes, headlight wiring rotted, buttons wear, keyless entry problems(new door handles and kessy module), water pump replaced at 65k and starting to weep again at 110, early coolant temp sensor failure, couple of valve cover gasket leaks, horrible Nav system and ridiculously expensive parts. Who designed the giant oil drain plugs that make a mess every time you change the oil?

Dealer service manager claims that my VCDS "is not VW" and doesn't believe my scan printouts. Techs in the shop use VCDS because it covers the older cars better.

Only thing that hasn't failed is drive shaft center bearing mount. I probably jinxed myself.

My son just bought new Toyota Forerunner, beautifully engineered, plenty of room and looks easy to work on except for dropping belly pans to change oil(but still not as bad as touareg).

Has me convinced. Next major issue and...Toyota time.
 

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2006 V8 Touareg AIR, nav, hid
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^^Find you a good Euro independent mechanic and stay the heck away from that dealer.

Intake flaps should not be seizing and reseizing. Change to Mobil 1 0W40 and change it every 6,000 miles max.

The car should not be eating tires. There is something wrong. Brake wear is normally moderate.

The factory valve bodies wear out. Companies like Sonnax make upgraded valves that will hold up. I am also 90% sure that VW stopped using the original valve bodies and now ships replacement parts with the upgraded valves.

The build quality of the Valeo Headlights are 101% crap. Just consider them a wear item.

All soft touch German interior cars of that era peeled. It sucks, but it was not only VWs. In hindsight, the soft touch interiors were a terrible decision.

All VW water pumps eventually fail. Try to make 70K on them and just do them with a new timing belt.

Yes, the cd navigation of the 2004 really really sucked hard. I had one.

Expensive dealer parts. Yep.

You got to stop going to that dealer. Find a good Euro Independent mechanic.
 

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.

The factory valve bodies wear out. Companies like Sonnax make upgraded valves that will hold up. I am also 90% sure that VW stopped using the original valve bodies and now ships replacement parts with the upgraded valves.
You are probably right. My dealer did my VB about one year ago and it was aftermarket. At the time I complained and they said you don't want the OEM one anyways.
 

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My 2007 has been THE most reliable vehicle I could ever want.
I have mostly good things to say about my 2006.

Parts quality went way up in the latter part of 2005. Thankfully!

I don't think I had any assembly problems on my 2004. But stupid parts that were halfway made with little concern for quality control was the rule. I believe that VW spent over $20,000 (at retail, not what they paid) in two years on just my little 2004 Touareg. The day I went to trade the 2004 in, I pressed the homelink button and it broke.

>:)
 

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Well, I am not sure what to say. I have owned a VW my entire driving life. From a 1982 GTi, 89 16V, 92 16V, 2000 Vr6 Jetta, 05 Passat TDi wagon, 05 Audi allroad 2.7T and 10' Touareg TDI.

All of them completely reliable. Worst one was the Vr6 but most issues under warranty. After that not much went wrong.

Audi allroad was next but issues were minimal. Very reliable.

All the GTI's were f-ing bullet proof same with Passat! I did nothing but regular maintenance.

Touareg, 0 issues (117K miles currently).

I am meticulous with my cars, maintain them and understand what is bad for them. I use mainly OE spec oils and fluids from Vw except the touareg uses Titan Fuchs GT1-pro c-3 engine oil, pentosin steering fluid (OEM) and Fuchs 4400 ATF in trans, diffs use only OEM. I don't beat them up and I use top tier gas and for the touareg I use Bio-diesel and filtered Diesel. I make sure not to drive short drives too much and I run A/C in the winter to keep it in shape and seals fresh. Just some rituals. ;)

Now, I also own an Alfa Romeo 164QV. That's another thread. haha. But for the most part that one is pretty reliable as well but it takes a very special person to understand them and maintain them otherwise they are nightmare and just like any car, if you let something go, it is a domino effect. These cars like most all depend on the mechanic. Lousy mechanic and they are problem after problem.

That said, if you are having someone else do the maintenance or work, they should be top notch, if you are doing the work, you also need to be top notch. If not, that is most likely your issue. Yes things happen to cars, some are known for specific issues either due to design by the manufacturer or the component manufacturer. That's where forums like this help to find solutions to common problems with marques.

Anyway, The touareg is reliable but it will have issues. Some more than others but it's hard to say what the causes are as we have no idea how the owner treated the vehicle, how the mechanic repaired it, fluids used, conditions and so forth. I also use mainly OEM parts as replacement parts. I only use aftermarket when they are known to be as good as OEM. Otherwise I don't bother to save the money on aftermarket. Now, you can buy OEM parts in manuf. boxes, like TRW, Wahler and others. For example, I would never use Meyle.
 

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^^Find you a good Euro independent mechanic and stay the heck away from that dealer.

Intake flaps should not be seizing and reseizing. Change to Mobil 1 0W40 and change it every 6,000 miles max.

The car should not be eating tires. There is something wrong. Brake wear is normally moderate.

The factory valve bodies wear out. Companies like Sonnax make upgraded valves that will hold up. I am also 90% sure that VW stopped using the original valve bodies and now ships replacement parts with the upgraded valves.

The build quality of the Valeo Headlights are 101% crap. Just consider them a wear item.

All soft touch German interior cars of that era peeled. It sucks, but it was not only VWs. In hindsight, the soft touch interiors were a terrible decision.

All VW water pumps eventually fail. Try to make 70K on them and just do them with a new timing belt.

Yes, the cd navigation of the 2004 really really sucked hard. I had one.

Expensive dealer parts. Yep.

You got to stop going to that dealer. Find a good Euro Independent mechanic.
Been using Mobil 1 since day one with changes every 5k and besides, intake flap shafts and bushings are not lubricated anyway. By eating tires, I mean max 35k, I should have had them swap to 17's when I bought it. You seem to rationalize every point I make.

Water pumps every 70k, come on. Transmission valve bodies a wear item. BS
 

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Been using Mobil 1 since day one with changes every 5k and besides, intake flap shafts and bushings are not lubricated anyway. By eating tires, I mean max 35k, I should have had them swap to 17's when I bought it. You seem to rationalize every point I make.

Water pumps every 70k, come on. Transmission valve bodies a wear item. BS
I am glad for your engine that you are doing 5K M1 Ow40 oil changes. VW says that the AXQ engine can go more mileage then this. I have tracked every oil change on my AXQ engine since new and tried many different intervals. If you try to prolong Mobil 1 OW40 in this engine, you will get oil problems starting just after the 7K mark. That makes 6K the longest I will recommend.

I find it strange that you have had repeated flap problems. That is usually a one time problem for most people posting here. Do you check the flaps occasionally? I do. So far, one of mine has become slightly sticky once. I worked it free and put a tiny amount of penetrating key lubricant with graphite in it. So far, both are still working properly and the problem has not repeated itself.

Tires every 35K. You are running decent performance tire on a 6000 pound vehicle. Come on. You canna change the laws of physics. Go to rock hard tires and you might get 50K but you will lose traction. Yes, this vehicle is very hard on tires.

Water pump is behind the timing belt on the AXQ engine. It is easy and pretty inexpensive to change the water pump when you do a timing belt replacement. Also, only an idiot would not change the thermostat at the same time. It is also behind the timing belt. Learn about your particular engine and stop complaining.

I never said the fracking transmission valve body was a wear item. It shouldn't be. If you would be bothered to find out about the 2004 transmission, you would know that VW made a few bad choices which equals that a couple of valves inside of the valve bodies do not hold up. It is the valves themselves that are wearing out. It was an engineering error.

The problem is two fold. First, VW wanted valves with soft brass bores. These valves work smoother when new, but do not last as long. Sonnax recommends that you replace these short life valves with a heavy duty valve that Sonnax supplies. Second, VW messed up on the design of the valve body backplate. Sonnax recommends that you drill out a few points on the backplate with a bigger drillbit. This lowers the back pressure on the valves and they last longer.

Upgraded transmission parts are available and that is not BS. Should VW be doing transmission repairs for free? I think so but VW thinks not.

I was trying to be helpful and you get uppity about it. In the words of Steve Martin, Excuse Me!
 

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Uppity is it? Oh my. My BS comment was regarding transmission valve bodies, which you said wore out. I would say faulty design. In your response you admitted that it was an engineering issue. premature failure = faulty design. That's why there are upgraded aftermarket parts.

The German engineering is story is a myth. After taking a look under the hood of my son's 4Runner, my eyes have been opened. I'm leaving VAG after the Touareg. I just hope Toyota has a scan tool as good as VCDS.
 

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@ Johnk

I think your VW experience would be a little different if you wouldn't have purchased on 04' but instead had this experience with a 2006+ Touareg. The 2003 / 2004 "early" years is well known for its mountains of issues. It was VW's fist SUV in the first years.

Not nocking Toyota, especially their trucks, but they are an appliance vehicle that is marketed to be reliable just like Honda. On paper they are more reliable, but I don't think people understand what the actual difference is between brands (VW / Honda / Toyota).

I had a buddy at work that has a Ridgeline and he is always talking about how he choose Honda because of how reliable it is...then he complains about replacing it's ECU, throttle control system replacement, and seat lumbar support all in the last 12 months. He has had a number of check engine lights and rough idles, but he still says it is very reliable versus VW.

I know what it is like to have a crap VW experience, I got crazy and tried again with several models and I would never want something more reliable than my 2007 Treg.

"German engineering" (for what it is as I agree it is mostly marketing) is seen in the Tregs tow capacity, forging depth (considering its relatively low ground clearance, safety, top engine options (namely the V10 and W12 ), and performance in the curves. The Treg is essentially the Swiss army knife of vehicles where other vehicles are purpose built for one thing (4x4, performance, towing, hauling kids...)


I easily and safely tow my 32', 7,500 lb travel trailer with both my Tregs and can park both of them in my small 19.5 by 21 foot garage. That is pretty amazing.
 
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