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Used S3 reliability and costs?

Discussion in 'A3/S3 Forum (8L Chassis)' started by maxp, Apr 15, 2012.

  1. maxp
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    maxp Member

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    [Apr 15, 2012]
    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. s3mad_dude
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    s3mad_dude Noggies ruuuule!

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    [Apr 15, 2012]
    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.
    #2
  4. camscockle20vT
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    camscockle20vT The stigs ugly brother

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    [Apr 15, 2012]
    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.
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  5. Jimgrim77
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    Jimgrim77 Member

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    [Apr 15, 2012]
    By a loved one from an enthusiast. Check the classifieds on here.
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  6. <tuffty/>
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    <tuffty/> Badger 5 Edition Staff Member Moderator

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    [Apr 15, 2012]
    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 :)

    <tuffty/>
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  7. jcs356
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    jcs356 Brum brum

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    [Apr 15, 2012]
    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.
    #6

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