thinking about buying 2003 vw passat manual.. is that a bad idea?? 125,000 miles
I wouldn't touch a high mile older vw with a ten foot pole. They have A LOT of electrical problems. If you really want aa good foreign car buy a Honda, Toyota or Hyundai.
2003 vw is not all that bad but at 125,000 you have to ask questions like When was the timeing belt last changed? has the car ever had any major issues like trany or engine swap? Normnaly a vw thats been taken car of will last ages but if they treated it like dirt and did not take it in for regular maintance it will most likely give you problems shortly into owning it. If your planning to buy it from the orignal owner he should be able to tell you all the service history of the vehicle. the only thing i really have to ask is it a 1.8 or a 2.8L engine ? 2.8L is a little more pricey repairs wise then the 1.8L especialy in the regular belt maintance. When doing a timeing belt in these older cars its always recomended to replace all the hardware and pulleys as well as the water pump and thermostate. so if they said yes to the timeing belt ask if they replaced thsoe as wel. if not see if they will do it. At a garage it will cost about 800-1000$ for a timeing belt service on a 2.8L and a 1.8L it is about 600-800$ to do it. if the car has not had it done before you buy it make sure it is done before you start driving it cause at 125,000 is really pushing it for these cars and if the belt snaps it ruins the heads in the 2.8L engines.
I'd also be concerned with proper specification oil being used in a 1.8T engine, otherwise oil pressure or sludging issues may become an issue.
If you're interested in a high mileage car, look for an Asian model. They age better.
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