Monster MotorsportAH Fabrications
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  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2010

    Used S3 reliability and costs?

    Hi guys,

    Many moons ago I owned an A3 1.8T. It was a genuiniely fantastic car all round, classy, fun, suprisingly amazingly cheap to run, plus loved the turbo whoosh.

    Some years later I now really fancy getting an S3.

    My number one concern by far is the running costs.
    Assuming I buy a mid-market S3 for about 4k ish with circa 90k on the clocks, what costs (short term and long term) am I looking at?

    Off the top of my head, my concerns about expensive things breaking include the 4wd system, twin intercooler issues, knackered turbos, tired / leaky hoses...

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  3. #2
    s3mad_dude's Avatar
    Noggies ruuuule!

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    I'm working my way through replacing the hoses and they're not cheap! All I'd say is buy an S3 that has been loved and looked after. I think turbo problems are pretty rare. I've owned two S3s since 2005 and my biggest expenses are just general things like: tyres, brakes, ARBs, links and springs. My biggest expense was a trailing arm (that wasn't cheap!), but on the whole nothing serious. I've owned from 40k and I'm now on 130k. Oh, a water pump went and I had to call The AA out but no, both have been the most reliable cars I've ever owned, I can't fault them for their quality.

  4. #3
    camscockle20vT's Avatar
    The stigs ugly brother

    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Hi dude, any car nearing a decade is going to have some issues. These are very good cars all round, but do have premium parts on it, so its best to do all the usual checks. The stickies have lots of tips about buying a 2nd hand s3. Its the best car on the 2nd hand market in its price range and class. Only other would be a cupra r but they lack the class of an audi. Good luck with your decision.

  5. #4
    Jimgrim77's Avatar
    5th Gear

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Clevedon, Near Bristol
    By a loved one from an enthusiast. Check the classifieds on here.

    Ming Blue S3, Stage 3 Hybrid Turbo, Custom Map, Bosch 480 injectors, Custom TIP, Forge FMIC, 3" Downpipe, 200 Cell Sport CAT, Full Stainless, XS Power Mani, 6 Paddle Clutch, Red silicone hoses, LCR Brembo's, Forge 007p, KW Suspension Kit, Green filter, THS Mounts, 11mm & 16mm spacers, H&R Anti-roll bars, RS6 18" alloys, Michelin PS3's, Red Dog Bone Mount, Neuspeed quickshift, Boost Gauge, Aero wipers, LCR splitter, Forge Tie-bars, LED bulbs, Armrest, Custom TT pedals.

  6. #5
    <tuffty/>'s Avatar
    Badger 5 Edition

    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Parts cost what they cost... its a car thats up to 10 years old at the end of the day... its a buyers market so hold out for a looked after one... older S3's (see this a lot with any older VAG with a 1.8t in it) is at the age where they will change hands a lot and could be owned by two or three people in 12 months non of whom have serviced the car and you could inherit a shed (pun intended) load of problems that could have been avoided if caught in time..

    One thing for sure is its worth having a go at the basics yourself as its not as bad as it looks and this forum is full of people and information in the stickies and by searching (use googles 'site:' advanced search keyword to search the 8L section)

    Classic issues are leaky vac pipes and general oil leaks etc... the more expensive stuff can go but really depends on how well they have been serviced etc... while going for a full service history isn't a guaranty that you will end up with the car of your dreams it should come with receipts so check for timing belt, clutch, haldex oil changes etc

    Cars are inherently expensive to run... more so these days but take the time to find a good example and you will love it

    Silver 2001 AMK S3. Silver alcantara interior... now with added powarrrrrrrr, torques. VAGCOM + KII-USB. >> My build thread...

  7. #6
    jcs356's Avatar
    Brum brum

    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    As mentioned, it's a 10 year old car so anything could go wrong, even with a looked after one. I've had PAS pipes perish, the Haldex unit go pop, and a rear tie bar snap in the past couple of years alone. I've also got a noisy gearbox bearing - new gearbox reqd; and corroded suspension springs - need to be replaced before next MOT in March 2013.

    Having said all that, I can't see them depreciating much more in a hurry, so even if it costs a £1000 a year to fix, you'd loose far more than that in depreciation per annum on a newer car. I've had mine for 8 years now and won't be getting rid of it in a hurry as it does everything I need from a car at the moment.
    2001 Nogaro S3 (daily driver)

    1958 replica Porsche 356 Speedster (summer posing)
    1997 Seat Cordoba SX 16v (track day toy) replacing (t)rusty 1994 Seat Ibiza GTi RIP



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