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Repair and keep it or unload it?

acbjracbjr Posts: 2
edited March 25 in Audi
Just found out that our 98 Audi A4 Avant Quattro wagon needs about $2600 worth of repairs (steering rack & ps pump). 68,000 mi. decent shape. we own it outright. I Hate to get rid ofit but hate to put that much coin into it. Any opinions?


  • vidtechvidtech Posts: 212
    i would get several estimates and seriously consider repairing and keeping this appears to have a lot of life left in sure is nice not having a car payment too.i feel your repair estimate is on the high side for the repairs needed.
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    In almost every case it's cheaper to fix a car than replace it with a new one. Let's assume that you get another entry-level sport sedan; what's the monthly payment going to be? $400? $500? That's about $5000-$6000 per year. Will your A4 require that many unscheduled repairs every year? If you like the car I'd say fix it- you'll be ahead of the game IMNSHO, anyway...;)
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,361
    Not a slam toward Audis...but...It seems these don't age well. They can become money pits very quickly.

    I would have a good shop do a total inspection of the car. If everything else checks out good it may be worth spending the money.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,597
    is to divide the cost of the repair by an estimate of what the monthly payment would be on a new car that I'd consider replacing the old one with. For instance, if that Audi needs $2600 worth of work but a replacement car would cost $500 a month, then I'd figure that if the car lasted me about 5 more months, I'd be even.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    but who's to say that before those 5 months are up you would not have another repair?

    I agree with above: have the car thoroughly professionally checked to get an idea of other things about to need repair.

    While Audis do not age well, I would not think it would already become a money pit at 68K. I must say I find it a little shocking that a car with that few miles would need a new steering rack?

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,597
    you never know what else might be lurking a few months down the road! I've been burned a few times, by not bailing out when I should!

    I'm kinda shocked too, about a car with 68K miles needing a new steering rack. And is a rack and power steering really *that* expensive nowadays?!
  • acbjracbjr Posts: 2
    Thanks all for the input. Came to the same conclusion last night to keep and repair. Best...
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Yea, the cost seemed pretty outrageous. I had a P/S pump go south on the M6 and it was @$300 including labor. I know that there are numerous shops that rebuild BMW racks and I suspect more than a couple also recondition Audi racks. I can't see the job costing more than $1000-that's with oem quality rebuilt parts and a good independent tech performing the work.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    is that if the first rack goes at 68K, it seems not unlikely that the next one could go around 135K, and so on and so forth. By that time there will have been other mandatory repairs too, and what repair on an Audi is cheap? The car just does not wind up sounding like a worthwhile long-term investment.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,688
    Sounds a bit suspicious that the pump and rack go out at the same time, doesn't it?

    I'd get a second diagnosis.

    Definitely keep the car. You'll never get much selling a cripple anyway.

    My rule of thumb is that even 50% of a car payment into repairs each month is worth it.

    I've had some of the worst cars in the world and they never cost me more than $200 a month to keep running, averaging it out over 3 years say. I keep very good records, and that's the worst I've ever done. That's cheaper than any loan or lease.

    The above chatter presumes a car that is cosmetically still nice. I'd never sink money into a rust bucket or heavily damaged car.
  • kinleykinley Posts: 854
    for an Audi. Back to the XJ for 04 or TC.
  • q45manq45man Posts: 416
    15-16 cents per mile driven [Annually] in hindsight might be a good maintenance and repair number for an out of warranty aging lux or quasi performance car.
    My 248,500 mile 1990 Q45 has cost around $22,500 in maintenance and repairs/replacements in the last 6 years [150,000 miles]...3750/yr.....$312.50 per month to keep mechanically perfect like brand new.

    Sure there was one $6,000 year [when things piled up at 100-125k] but almost every thing replaced then is still fine....except shocks and brakes and some suspension parts.

    What kills most people is buying [financing] used THEN having to deal with the previous owners abuse or non replacements.......making a car payment and equal mainteance and repair payments.

    Why does a car depreciate by +50% in the first 3 years and +75% in 6 years.
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    You are hysterical! A TOWN CAR??? Be sure and get the "Cabriolet" roof and gold package.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,688
    I don't see a Jaguar as solving anyone's maintenance problems after the warranty period. Another very expensive car to keep up.
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,403
    I have the same car going strong @ 95k+. I'd say get another estimate and fix the car. Youi've probably got another couple of years in it before running into serious expenses.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,688
    Maybe the car will nickel and dime you but an Audi can easily go 150K+ miles no problem. The quattro system and the engine's bottom end are particularly bullet-proof.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    or dollar and five-dollar you? If repairs like that rack are anything like routine, you could finance a brand new A4 on the same money over five years...

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    there are going to be some parts that you can get nowhere else than the dealer, and they are likely to be pricier than for your standard old 92 ford pickup. but there's no law saying that you HAVE to get shocks or plugs or light bulbs from Heinrich's Haus fur Deutschewagens. no reason you can't go to a tech who left the dealership to start his own shop and charges less with all the training and tools, either, if you have some locally. both should save you money.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,688
    Exactly---German cars have a great aftermarket and there are many specialty repair shops with mechanics as good as or better than the dealer. You have to shop around with German cars---I've always done this and saved bundles of money. I just bought a rotor/brake pad package for my Benz that was an outstanding value, and good German parts, too. I even got brand new Bilsteins for around $48 apiece. Ebay has some nice deals on new stuff as well.

    I go to the dealer for oil changes and light bulbs.
  • kinleykinley Posts: 854
    you need a lot of patience with a BMW. A friend brought home an 03 528i and the assembly is better than the TC, but she has to drive over 100 miles R/T to have it serviced. However, it is a rather cute little car with a great paint job. If we lived in either Portland or Seattle, the 04 XJ would do very well.
This discussion has been closed.