Is this the end of my TDI?

turtle1026

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2010
Location
Florida
TDI
2004 Passat
I just got the diagnosis today. Transmission needs to be rebuilt. Engine runs great. It is chainless and reliable with 160,000 miles on it. It will likely be a $3,000 rebuild. Now what? The value of a 2004 in the market just doesn't seem to warrant the investment. I would love some thoughts on this please. Do I sell it as is? Do I put the money into it then sell? Do I fix it and keep it? For now it is my daughters car, and she is not attached to it. Ideas?
 

bubbagumpshrimp

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2013
Location
Virginia
TDI
'13 Jetta TDI
Have you looked around to see how much a transmission from an auto salvage place (with a warranty) would run?
 

Perfectreign

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2013
Location
Los Angeles
TDI
2000 Jetta GLS 5-speed
I was in the same boat last year with a $2k fix for the injection pump. I sucked it up and am happy driving. I figured the cost over time is still less than that of a shiny new car.
 

turtle1026

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2010
Location
Florida
TDI
2004 Passat
I have not. Since I just found out today I have not had time to do that. I don't know the reputations of any local yards. Can anyone recommend one in Palm Beach area in Florida?
 

vwztips

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2009
Location
Greenville, SC
TDI
2005 Passat GLS Wagon TDI 5 spd manual w/BSM delete 2012 Tiguan TDI/DSG 2005 Audi A4 6MQ 2011 BMW X5 35d
A used automatic is a roll of the dice. A local shop rebuilding your tranny is a roll of the dice. If you want to stay with an automatic, get a unit from VW which comes with a new torque convertor. With labor will run close to $4000. Other option is to go with a manual.
 

turtle1026

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2010
Location
Florida
TDI
2004 Passat
The rebuild quote is from Aamco and comes with a warranty. I think the bigger issue for me is how much should I really put into a 12 year old car? Is it better to sell it before investing further? I have heard that these tend to hold higher value than typical book but is that true in real experience? If I spend the money, if I am lucky, I get it back out when I sell it, barely. It is frustrating because I wanted this car to continue to last. My daughter has been driving it for a few years now. I have put in a lot of work to maintain and upgrade it. I am just wondering if this is the last straw.
 

bubbagumpshrimp

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2013
Location
Virginia
TDI
'13 Jetta TDI
Do a cost-benefit analysis. i.e. How much have you spent on repairs vs. How much would you spend on a replacement vehicle (that's reliable)?

Vehicle age is irrelevant. It's either cost effective to operate or it is not. Once it starts costing you more than it's worth (relative to other options that are out there)...it's time to get rid of it. Just my $.02...
 

Chris

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2000
Location
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, USA
1) I'd be inclined to use anyone but a national chain transmission shop.

2) If you were looking forward to more years of service why wouldn't you fix it and continue on? Is it rusting?
 

turtle1026

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2010
Location
Florida
TDI
2004 Passat
the car is in good exterior shape and has almost brand new run flat tires. Interior is getting pretty tired. Door panels and various trim pieces are getting pretty ugly. Overall, though the car is actually still pretty nice. However, I always tend to look at things financially. The quote was really a high point as well. He won't know exactly what it needs until he opens it. He said it could be less. I had pulled codes before bringing it in. They were 0730 and 0811. They are basically internal and not simple electronic issues. He came to the same conclusion. He hasn't charged me anything yet but will if I tell him to go ahead and pull apart to diagnose.
 

Uberhare

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2006
Location
Ontario, Canada
TDI
Too many.
Long shot but check the passenger floor for water under the carpet. I had a Passat roll into the shop once with fault codes AFTER a national transmission shop rebuilt the transmission. They had it out/in twice and couldn't fix it. Turned out to be a corroded TCM and harness. Glad I wasn't part of the conversation about the unneeded $3000 rebuild.
 

algirdas

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2009
Location
Cincinnati,OH (Dubwerx)
TDI
98 jetta AHU
http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=434593

-Auto to 5 speed set Passat BHW

The basic set comes without a flywheel/clutch and outer cv joints. It’s possible to swap the outer cv joints from the auto axles.

The basic kit comes with a regular TDI box. DHF/EEN/DHL .

The longest ratio 5 speed available is the FHN/GGB. The 2nd “longest” is the DUK.

Price of the basic set is $1200US including shipment

Options to the basic set:

FHN transmission + $185
DUK transmission + $100
Valeo 1.9TDI SMF + $490
Starter interlock switch, connector and wires + $49
2x new quality outer cv joints + $125
 

thundershorts

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jul 15, 2010
Location
west chester pa
TDI
2015 passat tdi sel premium 2015 golf s tdi gls tdi b5.5, 2002 eurovan,Peugeot 505 td,Citroen cx25 prestige
Get your car out of ammco as quickly as possible. They are totally incompetent on these transmissions and use cheap non zf parts. Those who have not listened to this advice have gotten a really good screwing.
 

turtle1026

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2010
Location
Florida
TDI
2004 Passat
I am picking the car up today just to give myself more time to decide. It is always interesting when us do it yourself types are suddenly reliant on third parties. In just this thread I have been cautioned about using both local and national chains. I appreciate the cautions because we all feel the same way. We work on this stuff ourselves to be sure the job is done right and for the lowest cost. I went to this particular Aamco based on recommendation from a friend, but their work was not on one of these transmissions. Just to be fair, I will say, he has been open and honest so far and has not charged me anything yet.
 

turtle1026

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2010
Location
Florida
TDI
2004 Passat
I wanted to note that before I brought it in, I pulled the pan to inspect and change fluid. Fluid was just fine, magnets had mild dust on them. I am convinced there is nothing catastrophic. Is it possible the codes are just valve body related? Am I really just talking valve body rebuild, maybe? It runs fine in limp mode and reverse. I am wondering if it is worth trying some lower cost fixes first.
 

deming

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 9, 2003
Location
Illinois
TDI
(2) 2005 TDI Passat Wagons
Not sure if you would be interested in an automatic transmission, but--
I had a very well known and highly respected mechanic / guru / club member install a VW dealer supplied
ZF automatic transmission and new torque converter in my Passat TDI wagon and I have only put 2500 --3500 miles on this transmission.

Maybe we could work out a deal and I could get the manual FHN I really want in this car.
PM me if you would have an interest in my auto transmission and we can discuss it further.

Thanks
 
Last edited:

vwztips

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2009
Location
Greenville, SC
TDI
2005 Passat GLS Wagon TDI 5 spd manual w/BSM delete 2012 Tiguan TDI/DSG 2005 Audi A4 6MQ 2011 BMW X5 35d
I wanted to note that before I brought it in, I pulled the pan to inspect and change fluid. Fluid was just fine, magnets had mild dust on them. I am convinced there is nothing catastrophic. Is it possible the codes are just valve body related? Am I really just talking valve body rebuild, maybe? It runs fine in limp mode and reverse. I am wondering if it is worth trying some lower cost fixes first.
I have a valve body out of a working transmission if you want to try it.
 

Brian's96TDIPASSAT

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 16, 2000
Location
Connecticut, USA
TDI
15 Golf TDI SEL 14 Passat SEL, bought back by VW 11 Golf TDI, bought back by VW 05 Passat TDI 96 Passat TDI, sold
just for giggles get a quote from Erricson on a re-man, I"m not sure if he does an exchange or will go through yours but I'd certainly trust him more than most anybody else
 

hskrdu

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Oct 17, 2003
Location
Maryland and New England
TDI
2003 Golf GLS 4D 5M, 2015 GSW SE 6M
Overall, though the car is actually still pretty nice. However, I always tend to look at things financially.
Look at things financially.

The current value of your car is not the factor you should be considering, nor is it "current value (resale value) vs cost of repairs." When owners balk at spending, (as an example), $2,000 on repairs for a car that has a resale value of $1,900, because they "don't want to put more into the car than it's worth," they are often justifying spending more (per mile) and in TCO on a different (newer) car. That's fine, but then finances are only one part of their factors- and not the most important part.

Resale value is only one part in your Total Cost of Ownership- a known and expected part of the most costly factor: depreciation. Depreciation is the single biggest factor of TCO, and will raise the cost of any method you use to express TCO (total cost, annual cost, cost per mile).

(My TCO Factors are pasted at the bottom. These are my version, not based on inferior models most commonly seen online, and not nearly as thorough as a professional version. I am not a professional, and YMMV).

Repairs and maintenance are also a known and expected factor of TCO (regardless of how they are expressed), and (for the vast majority of owners) almost never exceed depreciation, and rarely exceed fuel costs, when expressed as a cost per mile. There are obviously rare cases where either (a) a car is driven so little that normal maint and repair does fall on par or exceed fuel costs, or (b) a car is driven an average number of miles but the owner has had either catastrophic repairs not covered under warranty, or spends significant amounts of money to upgrade and modify their car, raising maint & repair on par with fuel costs, depending on the number of miles driven.

Despite the last 2 oddities, depreciation is the costliest factor in TCO, and owners contemplating cost of repairs vs cost of a replacement vehicle would best do the math for a solid financial analysis. There are certainly situations where replacing a car does provide a lower TCO, given the right circumstances. The vast majority of times, repairs provide a lower TCO.

Replacing a car in needed of costly repairs might provide a lower TCO if:
(1) The "repair car" is replaced by a vehicle with low initial cost, where depreciation will be mitigated as a factor, and the car will provide mileage without significant repair or fuel costs (in comparison to the repair car). The specifics of this need to be worked out by each individual. (2) The costs to the "repair car" will not lead to any significant accumulation of miles (which lowers the TCO expressed per mile, etc). In other words, the owner repairs the car, but either does not drive it, or is unable to drive it due to further catastrophic repair costs. Notice I did not say that the cost of repairs fails to mitigate the cost of depreciation by raising the value of the car- the cost of depreciation is so high, that it generally doesn't matter (for TCO purposes) if repairs raise the value of the car; What natters is how many more miles the cost of those repairs will get you (thus lowering TCO and TCO expressed as a per mile cost).

So, if you replace your Passat with a used Honda Civic, where the cost to buy is low and eventual resale value is average (reducing the factor of depreciation costs), and you see FE similar to your Passat (reducing the factor of fuel costs), and you see minimal maint and repair costs and experience no unusual costs such as accidents (reducing the factor of maint and repair costs), then you may see TCO on par or better than spending the money to fix the Passat. This depends on several other issues: (1) Each individual would have to run the numbers on their particular situation to establish their TCO and TCO expressed as a cost per mile, and do so comparing both cars, and (2) As JM said, the future's uncertain and the end is always near. Which means that your TCO analysis doesn't tell you that the Honda needs sig engine work after 2,000 miles, or the new trans in the Passat blows up. You simply can't account for these.

Let's say your initial costs for the Passat were around $25,000, and the market value of the Passat is $2,000. The factor of depreciation, as expressed as a per mile cost, over 160,000 miles, is just over .14 cents per mile. This is not your TCO, nor your TCO expressed as a per mile cost, but just one factor expressed as a per mile cost. Let's say you spend $3,000 for labor and parts for a new transmission (any type), regardless of what your TCO actually is (all TCO factors considered), you will be raising your TCO, expressed as a per mile cost, by .019 cents (less than 2 cents) per mile, for only the current mileage. If you go another 160,000 miles on the new transmission (preferably a stick), you will be raising your TCO, expressed as a per mile cost, by .0094 (less than one cent) per mile.

As an aside, if the same (new) transmission gets you another 160,000 miles, and you then sell the car for $0, your depreciation, as expressed as a per mile cost, will be just over .07 cents per mile. Yes, you cut your cost per mile in half.

In order to get the best (lowest) TCO out of the Passat, you need to maximize miles while doing what you can to earn the best FE, and maintaining the vehicle in a such a way as to minimize repair costs. Depreciation can only be mitigated by lowering the items connected to initial cost to purchase and maintaining the car in such a way to maximize market value at time of resale. Cost of fuel goes up with mileage, but can be mitigated through driving style and FE choices and habits (tires, proper maint). Cost of maint and repairs also go up with mileage, but can be mitigated through DIY, guru maint, and proper upkeep. Other factors in TCO are relatively similar regardless of the Passat or its replacement (but not if the Passat is replaced by a new, more costly car). If these costs are mitigated, higher mileage will yield a lower TCO as expressed by cost per mile, regardless of TCO expressed as a total.

Now, that being said, we all know that there are numerous other considerations outside of TCO that owners consider. I will not attempt to address these, other than to say that some of them might also be included in a full financial analysis. For example, if you lose work time (income) during a period where the Passat is unavailable, we would have to include that cost into our calculations as a new factor in TCO, etc.

Let's face it, TCO analysis is not what people do in these situations. Rather, they see a "big" repair bill, forget TCO and cost per mile, and buy a new Passat, thus raising their TCO for both cars, and eliminating any chance they had of earning an outstanding TCO from the first Passat.

My TCO factors:
TCO factors include:
(1) Depreciation (initial cost minus current TMV, including financing).
(2) Fuel Cost (fuel only, additives are included in “Maint Items”).
(3) Maintenance Items (tools, oils, filters, consumable fluids, bulbs, belts, fuel additives, battery, shocks, struts, suspension items, tires, windshield, dent removal, glow plugs, fuses, sensors, clamps, sprays, various cleaners, waxes, paints, wiper refills, etcetera).
(4) Labor (Fees paid for labor connected to maintenance, installation of parts, diagnostics, shop fees).
(5) State Fees (Vehicle tags, registration, title, inspection, emission fees. Includes initial state sales tax).
(6) Insurance

Not included: Highway or bridge tolls, parking garage fees, and items purchased for fun.

Check my math, I type quickly.
 
Last edited:

iamatt

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2006
Location
Rosharon, Texas
TDI
2014 Jetta 6 Speed manual
Look at things financially.

The current value of your car is not the factor you should be considering, nor is it "current value (resale value) vs cost of repairs." When owners balk at spending, (as an example), $2,000 on repairs for a car that has a resale value of $1,900, because they "don't want to put more into the car than it's worth," they are often justifying spending more (per mile) and in TCO on a different (newer) car. That's fine, but then finances are only one part of their factors- and not the most important part.

Resale value is only one part in your Total Cost of Ownership- a known and expected part of the most costly factor: depreciation. Depreciation is the single biggest factor of TCO, and will raise the cost of any method you use to express TCO (total cost, annual cost, cost per mile).

(My TCO Factors are pasted at the bottom. These are my version, not based on inferior models most commonly seen online, and not nearly as thorough as a professional version. I am not a professional, and YMMV).

Repairs and maintenance are also a known and expected factor of TCO (regardless of how they are expressed), and (for the vast majority of owners) almost never exceed depreciation, and rarely exceed fuel costs, when expressed as a cost per mile. There are obviously rare cases where either (a) a car is driven so little that normal maint and repair does fall on par or exceed fuel costs, or (b) a car is driven an average number of miles but the owner has had either catastrophic repairs not covered under warranty, or spends significant amounts of money to upgrade and modify their car, raising maint & repair on par with fuel costs, depending on the number of miles driven.

Despite the last 2 oddities, depreciation is the costliest factor in TCO, and owners contemplating cost of repairs vs cost of a replacement vehicle would best do the math for a solid financial analysis. There are certainly situations where replacing a car does provide a lower TCO, given the right circumstances. The vast majority of times, repairs provide a lower TCO.

Replacing a car in needed of costly repairs might provide a lower TCO if:
(1) The "repair car" is replaced by a vehicle with low initial cost, where depreciation will be mitigated as a factor, and the car will provide mileage without significant repair or fuel costs (in comparison to the repair car). The specifics of this need to be worked out by each individual. (2) The costs to the "repair car" will not lead to any significant accumulation of miles (which lowers the TCO expressed per mile, etc). In other words, the owner repairs the car, but either does not drive it, or is unable to drive it due to further catastrophic repair costs. Notice I did not say that the cost of repairs fails to mitigate the cost of depreciation by raising the value of the car- the cost of depreciation is so high, that it generally doesn't matter (for TCO purposes) if repairs raise the value of the car; What natters is how many more miles the cost of those repairs will get you (thus lowering TCO and TCO expressed as a per mile cost).

So, if you replace your Passat with a used Honda Civic, where the cost to buy is low and eventual resale value is average (reducing the factor of depreciation costs), and you see FE similar to your Passat (reducing the factor of fuel costs), and you see minimal maint and repair costs and experience no unusual costs such as accidents (reducing the factor of maint and repair costs), then you may see TCO on par or better than spending the money to fix the Passat. This depends on several other issues: (1) Each individual would have to run the numbers on their particular situation to establish their TCO and TCO expressed as a cost per mile, and do so comparing both cars, and (2) As JM said, the future's uncertain and the end is always near. Which means that your TCO analysis doesn't tell you that the Honda needs sig engine work after 2,000 miles, or the new trans in the Passat blows up. You simply can't account for these.

Let's say your initial costs for the Passat were around $25,000, and the market value of the Passat is $2,000. The factor of depreciation, as expressed as a per mile cost, over 160,000 miles, is just over .14 cents per mile. This is not your TCO, nor your TCO expressed as a per mile cost, but just one factor expressed as a per mile cost. Let's say you spend $3,000 for labor and parts for a new transmission (any type), regardless of what your TCO actually is (all TCO factors considered), you will be raising your TCO, expressed as a per mile cost, by .019 cents (less than 2 cents) per mile, for only the current mileage. If you go another 160,000 miles on the new transmission (preferably a stick), you will be raising your TCO, expressed as a per mile cost, by .0094 (less than one cent) per mile.

As an aside, if the same (new) transmission gets you another 160,000 miles, and you then sell the car for $0, your depreciation, as expressed as a per mile cost, will be just over .07 cents per mile. Yes, you cut your cost per mile in half.

In order to get the best (lowest) TCO out of the Passat, you need to maximize miles while doing what you can to earn the best FE, and maintaining the vehicle in a such a way as to minimize repair costs. Depreciation can only be mitigated by lowering the items connected to initial cost to purchase and maintaining the car in such a way to maximize market value at time of resale. Cost of fuel goes up with mileage, but can be mitigated through driving style and FE choices and habits (tires, proper maint). Cost of maint and repairs also go up with mileage, but can be mitigated through DIY, guru maint, and proper upkeep. Other factors in TCO are relatively similar regardless of the Passat or its replacement (but not if the Passat is replaced by a new, more costly car). If these costs are mitigated, higher mileage will yield a lower TCO as expressed by cost per mile, regardless of TCO expressed as a total.

Now, that being said, we all know that there are numerous other considerations outside of TCO that owners consider. I will not attempt to address these, other than to say that some of them might also be included in a full financial analysis. For example, if you lose work time (income) during a period where the Passat is unavailable, we would have to include that cost into our calculations as a new factor in TCO, etc.

Let's face it, TCO analysis is not what people do in these situations. Rather, they see a "big" repair bill, forget TCO and cost per mile, and buy a new Passat, thus raising their TCO for both cars, and eliminating any chance they had of earning an outstanding TCO from the first Passat.

My TCO factors:
TCO factors include:
(1) Depreciation (initial cost minus current TMV, including financing).
(2) Fuel Cost (fuel only, additives are included in “Maint Items”).
(3) Maintenance Items (tools, oils, filters, consumable fluids, bulbs, belts, fuel additives, battery, shocks, struts, suspension items, tires, windshield, dent removal, glow plugs, fuses, sensors, clamps, sprays, various cleaners, waxes, paints, wiper refills, etcetera).
(4) Labor (Fees paid for labor connected to maintenance, installation of parts, diagnostics, shop fees).
(5) State Fees (Vehicle tags, registration, title, inspection, emission fees. Includes initial state sales tax).
(6) Insurance

Not included: Highway or bridge tolls, parking garage fees, and items purchased for fun.

Check my math, I type quickly.
blah blah blah dump it and get her a civic or an accord.
 

whizznbyu

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2006
Location
Waxhaw, NC
TDI
2015 Golf Sportwagen 6 speed manual. B5 died at 302k miles.
Look at things financially.

The current value of your car is not the factor you should be considering, nor is it "current value (resale value) vs cost of repairs." When owners balk at spending, (as an example), $2,000 on repairs for a car that has a resale value of $1,900, because they "don't want to put more into the car than it's worth," they are often justifying spending more (per mile) and in TCO on a different (newer) car. That's fine, but then finances are only one part of their factors- and not the most important part.

Resale value is only one part in your Total Cost of Ownership- a known and expected part of the most costly factor: depreciation. Depreciation is the single biggest factor of TCO, and will raise the cost of any method you use to express TCO (total cost, annual cost, cost per mile).

(My TCO Factors are pasted at the bottom. These are my version, not based on inferior models most commonly seen online, and not nearly as thorough as a professional version. I am not a professional, and YMMV).

Repairs and maintenance are also a known and expected factor of TCO (regardless of how they are expressed), and (for the vast majority of owners) almost never exceed depreciation, and rarely exceed fuel costs, when expressed as a cost per mile. There are obviously rare cases where either (a) a car is driven so little that normal maint and repair does fall on par or exceed fuel costs, or (b) a car is driven an average number of miles but the owner has had either catastrophic repairs not covered under warranty, or spends significant amounts of money to upgrade and modify their car, raising maint & repair on par with fuel costs, depending on the number of miles driven.

Despite the last 2 oddities, depreciation is the costliest factor in TCO, and owners contemplating cost of repairs vs cost of a replacement vehicle would best do the math for a solid financial analysis. There are certainly situations where replacing a car does provide a lower TCO, given the right circumstances. The vast majority of times, repairs provide a lower TCO.

Replacing a car in needed of costly repairs might provide a lower TCO if:
(1) The "repair car" is replaced by a vehicle with low initial cost, where depreciation will be mitigated as a factor, and the car will provide mileage without significant repair or fuel costs (in comparison to the repair car). The specifics of this need to be worked out by each individual. (2) The costs to the "repair car" will not lead to any significant accumulation of miles (which lowers the TCO expressed per mile, etc). In other words, the owner repairs the car, but either does not drive it, or is unable to drive it due to further catastrophic repair costs. Notice I did not say that the cost of repairs fails to mitigate the cost of depreciation by raising the value of the car- the cost of depreciation is so high, that it generally doesn't matter (for TCO purposes) if repairs raise the value of the car; What natters is how many more miles the cost of those repairs will get you (thus lowering TCO and TCO expressed as a per mile cost).

So, if you replace your Passat with a used Honda Civic, where the cost to buy is low and eventual resale value is average (reducing the factor of depreciation costs), and you see FE similar to your Passat (reducing the factor of fuel costs), and you see minimal maint and repair costs and experience no unusual costs such as accidents (reducing the factor of maint and repair costs), then you may see TCO on par or better than spending the money to fix the Passat. This depends on several other issues: (1) Each individual would have to run the numbers on their particular situation to establish their TCO and TCO expressed as a cost per mile, and do so comparing both cars, and (2) As JM said, the future's uncertain and the end is always near. Which means that your TCO analysis doesn't tell you that the Honda needs sig engine work after 2,000 miles, or the new trans in the Passat blows up. You simply can't account for these.

Let's say your initial costs for the Passat were around $25,000, and the market value of the Passat is $2,000. The factor of depreciation, as expressed as a per mile cost, over 160,000 miles, is just over .14 cents per mile. This is not your TCO, nor your TCO expressed as a per mile cost, but just one factor expressed as a per mile cost. Let's say you spend $3,000 for labor and parts for a new transmission (any type), regardless of what your TCO actually is (all TCO factors considered), you will be raising your TCO, expressed as a per mile cost, by .019 cents (less than 2 cents) per mile, for only the current mileage. If you go another 160,000 miles on the new transmission (preferably a stick), you will be raising your TCO, expressed as a per mile cost, by .0094 (less than one cent) per mile.

As an aside, if the same (new) transmission gets you another 160,000 miles, and you then sell the car for $0, your depreciation, as expressed as a per mile cost, will be just over .07 cents per mile. Yes, you cut your cost per mile in half.

In order to get the best (lowest) TCO out of the Passat, you need to maximize miles while doing what you can to earn the best FE, and maintaining the vehicle in a such a way as to minimize repair costs. Depreciation can only be mitigated by lowering the items connected to initial cost to purchase and maintaining the car in such a way to maximize market value at time of resale. Cost of fuel goes up with mileage, but can be mitigated through driving style and FE choices and habits (tires, proper maint). Cost of maint and repairs also go up with mileage, but can be mitigated through DIY, guru maint, and proper upkeep. Other factors in TCO are relatively similar regardless of the Passat or its replacement (but not if the Passat is replaced by a new, more costly car). If these costs are mitigated, higher mileage will yield a lower TCO as expressed by cost per mile, regardless of TCO expressed as a total.

Now, that being said, we all know that there are numerous other considerations outside of TCO that owners consider. I will not attempt to address these, other than to say that some of them might also be included in a full financial analysis. For example, if you lose work time (income) during a period where the Passat is unavailable, we would have to include that cost into our calculations as a new factor in TCO, etc.

Let's face it, TCO analysis is not what people do in these situations. Rather, they see a "big" repair bill, forget TCO and cost per mile, and buy a new Passat, thus raising their TCO for both cars, and eliminating any chance they had of earning an outstanding TCO from the first Passat.

My TCO factors:
TCO factors include:
(1) Depreciation (initial cost minus current TMV, including financing).
(2) Fuel Cost (fuel only, additives are included in “Maint Items”).
(3) Maintenance Items (tools, oils, filters, consumable fluids, bulbs, belts, fuel additives, battery, shocks, struts, suspension items, tires, windshield, dent removal, glow plugs, fuses, sensors, clamps, sprays, various cleaners, waxes, paints, wiper refills, etcetera).
(4) Labor (Fees paid for labor connected to maintenance, installation of parts, diagnostics, shop fees).
(5) State Fees (Vehicle tags, registration, title, inspection, emission fees. Includes initial state sales tax).
(6) Insurance

Not included: Highway or bridge tolls, parking garage fees, and items purchased for fun.

Check my math, I type quickly.
And then there's owners like me who are suckers for pain and suffering.
I like my B5. Plain and simple.
 

turtle1026

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2010
Location
Florida
TDI
2004 Passat
I guess no one can accuse hskrdu of not putting any thought into that post. I appreciate it, but it is the other factors that come into play. Ultimately, it comes down to the fact that there is a reason why people don't drive 15-20 year old cars. We get tired of them. We crave newer technology. Other parts of the car wear as we keep these cars going.

The people on this forum are unique in that we have shared ways to keep these cars going so it is difficult to part with these "projects". This one is 12 years old. To an enthusiast on this site, it is truly perfect with the exception of the current transmission problem. It has been maintained with the right oil, the BSM is upgraded, torque converter replaced, a couple of egr coolers replaced, tandem pump gaskets, and even a head gasket, etc. The cost of owning this vehicle is not simply the initial purchase price, but it is because people on this site have helped make the decision to keep this car this long an easy one.

I no longer drive this car on a daily basis, so I know I am approaching the last straw. Even if a math formula might justify keeping this car as opposed to picking up another used vehicle made within the last 5 years, it just may be finally that time. I am not giving up on messing with the valve body or a hope for some other cheap fix. The spirit of this forum is still alive. However, $3K is a tough pill to swallow at this point.
 

turtle1026

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2010
Location
Florida
TDI
2004 Passat
And, oh by the way, I picked my car up from Aamco and brought it home. No charge with an open invitation to return so that is a good thing.
 

hskrdu

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Oct 17, 2003
Location
Maryland and New England
TDI
2003 Golf GLS 4D 5M, 2015 GSW SE 6M
I guess no one can accuse hskrdu of not putting any thought into that post. I appreciate it, but it is the other factors that come into play.
Absolutely. Had you said that you tend to look at things financially, but that other considerations were swaying you, my post would have been much shorter. People make decisions about cars (and everything else) where finances are not the primary consideration. Some buyers won't even consider the points in my post (and others won't understand them). Some people will reduce their evaluation to a bunch of blahs, but thankfully, this is Fred's and many of us still post in complete sentences and paragraphs. I purchased my Golf new, which meant (at the time) a used Mk IV TDI would have been a better financial decision as far as TCO. I still made the decision to buy new b/c I wanted a late 2003 with the exact specs as mine, and I wanted to be the only owner (and maintainer). Other considerations often trump financial factors.

That being said, save your Passat.
 

turtle1026

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2010
Location
Florida
TDI
2004 Passat
I have seen rebuild kits on line that include all steels and frictions. I am thinking if I start down the road of rebuild I will be able to see if there are any gear or clutch failures. If I find issues I can then order those parts as needed. After reading many posts about this transmission, it seems this is about the right time for a failure and rebuild at 160K miles. I feel like I have to restore value to this car even if I decide to part ways with it.

I did check the TCM under the carpet. It was nice to see my 2004 contains it in a weatherproof plastic box. It is still pristine with absolutely no wear or corrosion. VW really learned from previous mistakes on that part.
 

vwztips

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2009
Location
Greenville, SC
TDI
2005 Passat GLS Wagon TDI 5 spd manual w/BSM delete 2012 Tiguan TDI/DSG 2005 Audi A4 6MQ 2011 BMW X5 35d
Two things:
1. The TCM box is not water proof. It actually holds water quite well....:eek:
2. There is a reason most of us advise against a rebuild. They typically don't last too long after a rebuild.
 

turtle1026

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2010
Location
Florida
TDI
2004 Passat
I guess my frustration is that I have not seen any details of what is meant by failure. What actually breaks? These go into limp mode, but it could be anything from a loose wire or connection to a failed clutch pack or bearing. I have seen one video of a bearing failure in one of the gears on a bmw. I would think that would be evident upon inspection and repairable. There is no metal in the pan or evidence of failure. I can't believe these transmissions are not repairable. How can that be?
 

deming

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 9, 2003
Location
Illinois
TDI
(2) 2005 TDI Passat Wagons
I own 2 (2005) Passat TDI wagons.
I really like the way they are built and put together.
No paper thin doors like my Toyota and cheap stamped steel door hinges!

When tuned and serviced properly they deliver tremendous fuel; economy and they are a fun to drive. The wagon is also useful.

I have other cars that I can drive, but this model is really one of my favorites.
 
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