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Really need some help restoring my faith in my S3...

AJD S3 Aug 12, 2012

  1. AJD S3

    AJD S3 2nd Gear

    Hey all,

    As a few of you will already know, I've been the owner of my 8L S3 for well over a year and a half now, and on the whole I've been a very happy owner too. I've had ups and downs with the car, but no more than you'd expect for a car that's 11 years old, and on the whole I've had a great deal of enjoyment out of owning and driving it.

    Being completely honest though, over the last few months, I've started to really to lose my interest in and inspiration for my S3. I originally bought her as a project really, a car that I could work on restoring to its former glory as well as modifying to get it onto the Euro/Dub scene - something I'm a huge fan of! Slowly, I've been working on the car making steady progress, repairing and rectifying 11 years worth of wear and tear whilst, as planned, making modifications such as upgrading the car's suspension setup (coilovers), fitting new alloys (the Rota Grid Drifts that I know some of you are big fans of!) etc. Recently however, I've found the car beginning to need a lot more maintenance to keep it going strong. More and more little issues continue to appear, and the more this happens, obviously the more expensive running the car becomes.

    In the beginning, I really had a massive love for the car, with huge plans for it, but in light of the recent problems I've had with it, I'm really starting to lose the inspiration to carry on with it as a project. I'm starting to worry about the amounts of money I'm having to spend on the car, and how much I may have to spend in future, and I'm wondering if I'll ever complete the work I set out to do. In short, I really am starting to feel like I've got a huge money pit on my hands here. I'm constantly feeling tempted to sell up whilst the car is in a really good state, and get something much newer, to overcome the wear and tear issues that come coupled with an older car. Obviously there's no guarantee that I won't experience issues with a newer car, in fact I'm probably likely to, but at least maybe not quite to the extent that I will inevitably soon start to experience with my S3.

    So really, I'm calling out to you guys to re-instill my faith in the 8L S3! Re-inspire me, with ideas, reasons I should keep her over moving to something newer. I really don't want to get to the stage where I decide to sell her for definite, so any comments or thoughts are welcome!

    Thanks in advance!
  2. Tooks

    Tooks Active Member

    As a fellow 11 year old S3 owner, I feel your pain!

    Although these cars are getting cheaper all the time to purchase, the running costs are still the same as when they were new. They will all be carrying some kind of faults by now, and my motivation for keeping mine is that I enjoy driving it, and I enjoy keeping a superb older car on the road and in top condition.

    Ive owned mine since May this year, and the list of jobs/parts are as follows;

    Alloy wheel refurb
    Both lower suspension arms
    Rear boot switch and painting of handle
    Forge 007
    Cam Belt/Tensioners (Belt was fitted a tooth out!)
    O/S headlight levelling motor
    Drop links all round
    Ball joints
    Track rod ends
    N/S driveshaft gators
    Suspension top mounts
    Starter Motor
    Vacuum lines
    Starting and charging cables renewed/earth points cleaned
    Drivers seat height adjustment micro switch
    Boot lift struts
    Brake discs and pads all round

    Does that make you feel any better?!

    I've not totalled the cost up of that little lot (£1400?), but I've managed (thanks to this site) to do all the work myself, apart from the paint. If I'd had to factor in garage labour on top of that, I can see how it might be considered uneconomical to keep on the road, and with hindsight was probably the reason it was up for sale!

    At some point, things will stop going wrong or need replacing, and then I can just enjoy the car. Although, I have to confess, I do enjoy working on it and take satisfaction from the fact it's a far better car than when I brought it.

    Adopt a Mike Brewer voice and say to yourself, 'Mate, it's an S Free!!'
  3. Pops848

    Pops848 Active Member

    Go find a civic Type R... and blitz the damn thing!! There are a few 2.0 vectras sneaking around my way with turbos fitted, looks standard enough from the rear until you hear the damn thing spool up! After which I just nailed it and sailed past.... always cheered me up :yes:

    I can't give much advice as I have just sold up and moved to an 8P diesel... But with regular 1200 mile round trips coming up it was the right move for me. But keep your heart in it, the A3 and S3 8L's are still the most dominant on the scene and look awesome when done right, subtle yet effective. Cars will always have highs and lows. Have you considered taking the car off the road for the winter? Remove the tax, set it on some stands, tuck the wheels away into a corner and then just go through it repairing all annoying wear and tear signs? Come the spring you will put the wheels back on and have loads of fun! Keep at it :thumbsup:
  4. jezzy

    jezzy Member

    The s3 is a future classic my friend.
    Park your car next to a newer model and as i did last night coming out of work notice the flared arches against todays square cars.
    It flows show much better and the aggressive front end just says lets go for a spirited drive please.
    i will hug the corners for you and pin you in your seat as the turbo says lets go for sum fun.
    If you maintain me, i will provide you with a grin from ear to ear that never gets boring.
    After a bad day i will make you smile and how much is that worth nowdays?
    Oke Phill likes this.
  5. s33nyboy12

    s33nyboy12 Well-Known Member Audi RS5 Owners Group Navarra Blue Classic

    I just sold mine for your reasons, I spent more on it than it cost, just got back from aitp and realised what I had sold was a completely mint s3! No 8l there I saw was in overall as good condition as mine was.... Gutted I sold it now. DONT SELL IT!

    Mine was black and shiny and looked mint under the bonnet, inside , out, underneath. I was so sad seeing it go down the road.

    Keep it and enjoy.

    Cheers, Sean
  6. firestorm

    firestorm Member

    Comes with the territory - the youngest one is getting on for 9 years old and the earliest will be close to 15 yo, things are bound to break with a newer car you are paying in depreciation, an older car maintenance is more of a factor. If you enjoy driving and owning the car, then no reason not to carry on, the trick is not to be flogging a dead donkey.

    I much prefer the looks of an 8L rather than an 8P, much like the difference between a mk2 and mk3 golf and I've had both.
  7. superkarl

    superkarl MAN OF STEEL

    surely maintaining the car and fixing it, doing the mechanical side of things is one of its attributes to it being a 'project'. thats how i look at things, i've learnt things about cars, expanded my knowledge of them, and know it inside out.
    no-one else but you can say whether its worth it or not.
    s33nyboy12 likes this.
  8. AJD S3

    AJD S3 2nd Gear

    Thanks for all the positive comments guys, its nice to get some other perspectives on my situation.

    I think I will end up keeping the car, as thinking about it now, condition wise, she is fantastic. I hate to think what I could be throwing away as well. After seeing the pictures of Audis in the Park, which I'm very sad to have missed, really makes me realise I should probably carry on with the car as a project.

    Superkarl - yeah, obviously the maintenance does come under the umbrella of a 'project', but as you say, its all personal preference with regard to whether or not I feel its actually worth it! I have indeed learnt most of what I know mechanics wise through this car, much of which came from yourself!

    Thanks again for all your comments!
  9. vfr800

    vfr800 Active Member Team Dolphin Grey Audi S3 quattro Audi A6

    Hi Mate,

    I've spent over £2k on my 8L S3 since getting it in February, I got the garage to do the things I didn't have the equipment/knowledge for. I'm hoping to keep the car for a decent period of time so I expect to be doing more to it in the future but I hope to do as much work as possible myself.

    If I wanted to get a car that was cheap to fix and maintain I'd have gone and got something 'cheap'. Unfortunately at 11 years old things will start to wear out.

    This forum is definitely worth it's weight in rocking horse poo poo though - I could easily have spent twice as much doing up my S3 if I'd have had to have gone to the garage for all the bits that needed doing.

    The thing I fear most is getting a gremlin in the electronics.

    Keep in mind the S3 is like a beautiful woman! You have to treat her well, shower her with money and gifts, and make sure she is regularly given a good servicing to keep her parts in working order, so that she will reward you with all the pleasure that you deserve.

  10. AJD S3

    AJD S3 2nd Gear

    Absolute Amen to this! Thanks Liam
  11. antwan

    antwan Member

    Take a wander down your local classic car show, then the local car cruise, and have a good look at the cars there, all owners will have spent far more time and money on their cars than they will ever admit to, and have all done it for the same reason, and have all reached a point where they have thought of giving up and buying something 'sensible'. Then, go and look at the car from all sorts of angles, and think yeah, it looks awesome !:anbet:
  12. jamieA3

    jamieA3 Member

    some inspiration here in this thread thats for sure
    . Due to my low income I have had feelings like the OPs recently about my a3. Thinking of all the things I feel should be done, then realise that for all that money i could have bought a mk5 gti or similar.

    the fact remains that these cars are great and you will be rewarded with a beautiful motor which is becoming rarer and rarer the more people give up and scrap them or neglect them until they give up.

    stick at it mate, and be thankful you have a lovely S3.

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