We have all been there, our beloved car needs more and more maintenance and it always comes at the wrong time. We start to ask ourselves if it’s worth fixing or if it’s time to move onto something newer and more reliable. Personally facing this dilemma has made me sit down and look at things from both points of view and come to a financially responsible decision.
My 2006 A4 was purchased 9 years ago when it was only three years old with 30k on the odometer. The car was great for the first couple of years and then basic maintenance needed to be performed. In 9 years of ownership the following have been done.
- Timing Belt Service – originally performed at 50k, the cost of the kit was roughly $400.00 as configured with one of our built-to-order timing belt kits.
- Vacuum Pump Leaking – the vacuum pump was replaced due to leaking. The B7 2.0T vacuum pump cost me $174.95.
- Oil filter Housing Leak – I replaced the seals once and it started leaking again, the new housing costs $209.95 for a Genuine OEM unit.
- In-Tank Fuel Pump – the in-tank fuel pump was replaced due to a low duty cycle, cost was $179.95 for an OE Siemens VDO pump.
- Fuel Injectors – leaking fuel injectors which caused a misfire on startup were replaced. All four were replaced at a cost of roughly $100 each.
- Downpipe – the flex of the downpipe needed to be replaced, decided to replace the whole downpipe at a cost of $75.00.
- Upper Control Arms – the upper control arms were swapped out for brand new Meyle HD parts, cost was $219.75.
- Coil Packs and Spark Plugs – a misfire that was caused by a coil pack was fixed by swapping in all new coils and plugs. The cost of swapping out both coils and plugs was $149.95.
- Diverter Valve – since the car originally came with the diaphragm version it was swapped with a revision D $49.95 which can be found here.
- Brake Pads and Rotors – have been changed twice in 9 years. Our basic kit runs about $270.00.
- Miscellaneous – Oil changes, filters, fluids, cam followers, and basic miscellaneous parts are about $150 a year.
Grand Total: $3,749.50 in maintenance over 9 years equals $416.00 a year. This is just parts, not labor.
With a new found oil leak coming from the front crankshaft seal another timing belt service will be performed because it has been roughly seven years and the front end has to come apart. Cost – $400.00
Control arms are due, cost for a full Meyle HD kit is $499.95.
Transmission service is due. Cost of the B7 A4 2.0T transmission kit is $374.45.
The cost of getting the car back on the road and in tip-top shape will be $1,274.40 for parts minus labor.
There are also future issues that can arise such as a turbo going out, oil pump failure, engine failure, etc. The car only has a little over 100k on it but catastrophic failures can happen at any time. Is it worth fixing and keeping or would purchasing a new car be the smart decision?
Considering the pros and cons
Pros – the car is paid off, it’s in good shape, and a solid service will cost $1,274.40 minus labor to get the car back in good shape. Many things have already failed and been replaced however a big ticket item can always break due to age.
Cons – the car is getting older and can have a catastrophic failure which will make all the newly performed service a waste of time and money.
Fix it or trade it in?
After looking at new cars and calculating costs it makes more sense for me to fix up the A4 and hope that it can be relatively issue free for the next five years. With a wedding coming up, eventually having kids, and buying a bigger home, a monthly car note is not something that I would personally want to deal with for the next 3 – 5 years.
If you’re wondering if you should trade your car in or fix it up, I recommend sitting down and weighing the pros and cons. If you have no car payment then putting a couple of bucks into it might be the logical decision especially if the money that you would use for a car payment can be used as an investment.
One thing I do recommend is using quality parts. Shopping for the lowest price can cost you twice as much in the long run. I am lucky enough to have access to the highest quality OE and OEM parts here at Europa Parts. Buy nice or buy twice is a common saying when it comes to maintenance. If you’re unsure as to what part is best for your needs, feel free to reach out to us, we will always recommend the best product available to ensure that your vehicle stays on the road for as long as possible.
If you’re a person who takes pride in racking up the miles, we would love to hear from you. Send us an email with a picture of your vehicle and how long you plan on keeping it, we love seeing our customers maintain their vehicles with the parts we offer…