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W8 worries

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SirRangeALot View Drop Down
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  Quote SirRangeALot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: W8 worries
    Posted: 10-Dec-2006 at 03:40
After reading all the "horror stories" and what not about W8 problems over at PW, I want to get some feedback and perspective from fellow W8 owners.

I'll have the loan for my W8 for five more years. (I know, it sucks, long story.) My warranty has two years left. This is my first foreign car that I've owned. That being said, I've seen other people go through a lot of crap with their W8 (especially 2002's, which I have). Engines being pulled out, $7000-8000 bills, etc.

I truly love this car, but I constantly worry about "what happens if" (I worry too much.) This car has not given me any problems yet other than a slow leak that even the VW dealer couldn't detect. I'm taking it back in on Monday to the dealer I bought it from for an oil change and to see if they can find the leak. I guess my question is after all the rambling is, SHOULD I be worried about the reliability down the road? On the other hand, I've also seen many many Passats with higher mileages (180,000+) with no major problems (course, they weren't W8's.)

Any advice would be great.

Thanks,

Jeremy
Get a wagon. Bitches love wagons.
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Marco View Drop Down
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  Quote Marco Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Dec-2006 at 07:06
I've shared your concern with the horror stories. But, I temper those against other indicators. For instance, several have complained of brake pad and disc wear at very early mileage. I preumptively changed my rear pads at 55K, and found my disc specs had barely moved from new. I must presume that the complainers are thrashing their cars needlessly. Having owned >20 cars, including "exotic" European sports/racing models since 1958, I found early that track behavior and street reliability often don't mix. One friend simply could not understand the "unreliability" of his Porsche, while he redlined every possible gear on every trip around town.

A bit of extra attention, mixed with common sense, should carry you through nicely. Marco
Marco M. Pardi 2003 W8 SilverStone Grey Variant w/Sports Package, straight-thru exhaust & various extras.
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  Quote FirestarterGER Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Dec-2006 at 14:35
I have to agree with Marco,
Out of all of the European lineup, I think the Passat is the most solid design. The exotic W8 Engine is an Engineering marvel and will require some tlc.
The rest of the W8 is proofen VAG technology and you will encounter issues depending on how you treat the car.
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  Quote BlueSteW8 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Dec-2006 at 16:09
Many of the horror stories are repeated rumors - one person has something go bad, and it gets picked and repeated ad nauseum.
That being said, I did opt for an extended warranty.
It seemed a good idea to protect my investment until 9/2011 or 93,450 miles on the odometer.
But I will maintain it at a high level, doing as much as I can myself or at a reputable independent mechanic.
2003 W8 Tip Limousine - locked in sports mode
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  Quote W8bahnburner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Dec-2006 at 20:06
The only person that I KNOW had problems is Swami. I believe he racked up somewhere in the neighborhood of $21,000 in warranty repairs.
Other than that, I am not sure of any other "horror" stories.
the W8 is a techno-wonder. Repairs can be expensive.
I'm doing two things to keep my mind at ease:
1) I have an extended warranty for 6 years and up to 100K miles.
2) I am being obsessive about maintenance; everything on time with the best products I can find.
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  Quote jeffsu350 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Dec-2006 at 20:18
I have had some little problems.

brake light switch malfunctioned causing the CEL to come on and the car to buck a total of three times. Two days in the shop - under warrenty

the cam positioning sensor went
car was in the shop for over a month because they needed to diagnos it, order the part from germany which took a week, take the entire engine out of the car, then realize that one of the timing chains was put on in reverse from the factory, then order a new timing chain from germany for another week, then put the engine back in the car - $7500 billed to VWoA

My battery died, I deciced to replace it myself - should be easy right... I ended up taking the plastic molding off under the windshield wipers off and cracked it. This crack led the rain water right into the cabin air filter and into my car. The water correded the electronics near the transmition control unit and shorted my car. after the vw shop found this problem and fixed it the started motor died at 40k miles.

to get to the started motor the subframe must be removed, anoth $1500 - not covered under warrenty.

the car is currently not leaking and running just fine
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  Quote fitzski Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Dec-2006 at 08:23
Originally posted by W8bahnburner

The only person that I KNOW had problems is Swami.


Interesting that you single out Swami, after the earlier post, re: track cars. Swami's W8 spent a lot of days at the track, on the track.

There are others, however, that have had serious issues. Another common problem seems to be dealership incompetence - I recall two separate stories of dealer mechanics unknowingly dropping the manifold dowel alignment pins into the engine. Oops.

My issues haven't been W8-specific, and they have been few. My car has had a new cluster, and a problem with the steering wheel radio controls - common issues in other VW's.

I completely understand your nervousness, and I wouldn't have bought the W8 w/o the CPO, but I think any reputation for unreliability is greatly exaggerated. The engine is not overly stressed (270hp out of a 4L V8?), but it is packed in pretty tight, so many major repairs are going to be costly. In my view, it's no different than owning any other limited production performance car, but non-W8'ers can't see past it being "just a Passat". Which is essentially the view of the public at large, hence its short production span.

In short, I would look into extended warranty if you were to keep it, or sell it and move into a newer one ('03 or '04).

Cheers.
2003 Passat W8 Variant
(Pacific Blue, Tan, 6sp)
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  Quote coach_pilot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Dec-2006 at 11:11
I own my W8 since August this year. It's a 2005 model (built in July 2004) with only 40K km on the odometer and complete equipment. The car is in perfect condition. First owner has been VW itself, second one a logistic company (used by the CEO). The car has got a new engine in autumn last year and a new TIP-gearbox in spring this year (both parts have been changed at the cost of VW). I bought an extended warranty for two years with it (given by Volkswagen Insurance Service).

Currently there are some whistling and/or grinding noises coming from the engine, but only if it's cold (but not the noises coming from a loose belt while starting a car). I assume this is coming from one of the many drive belts in front of the engine. No other problems til now.

I just enjoy the machine.
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  Quote SirRangeALot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Dec-2006 at 02:44
My philosophy in all my cars has been if you treat her right, she will treat you right back. That being said, I pretty much baby this car right down to parking at the far end of the lot so I don't get any dings. So, as long as I don't beat the piss out of my W8 and stay on top of regular maintenance, I should be just fine.

But as soon as those Passat coupes come out, I'm there!!!!!
Get a wagon. Bitches love wagons.
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  Quote coach_pilot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Dec-2006 at 04:06
Originally posted by SirRangeALot

My philosophy in all my cars has been if you treat her right, she will treat you right back. That being said, I pretty much baby this car right down to parking at the far end of the lot so I don't get any dings. So, as long as I don't beat the piss out of my W8 and stay on top of regular maintenance, I should be just fine.

That's it, nothing to add.

Originally posted by SirRangeALot

But as soon as those Passat coupes come out, I'm there!!!!!
LOL   

Edited by coach_pilot - 12-Dec-2006 at 10:08
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