Germans are considered pioneers of automobiles in general. Not only that, but most German brands belong to the luxury segment, with the exception of a few. Volkswagen is among such brands that produce cars for the masses.
In general public opinion, people are double-minded regarding the fact if Volkswagen expensive to fix. And would they be able to find a good mechanic for their Volkswagen overseas or not?
We will try to answer all these questions regarding Volkswagen maintenance and find out if Volkswagens are expensive to fix.
Are Volkswagens Expensive to Fix?
Volkswagen is fairly expensive to fix if you compare it to other economy sector brands. With a yearly maintenance cost of $676, it is ranked below Japanese brands like Honda, Toyota, Mazda, and Nissan. Not only that, Volkswagen is costlier to maintain than Lexus, which is a luxury segment brand.
On the other hand, Volkswagen is also the least expensive German brand to maintain. The average maintenance cost of Volkswagen is $7,800 over the period of 10 years. This also makes Volkswagen the second-cheapest European brand to maintain, after Mini. Overall, it came in at #22 out of 30 brands, which is an impressive performance in itself.
10-year cost is an excellent indicator to gauge the fixing expense of a brand. As most of the brands are reliable in starting years and tend to become problematic afterward. So, the rise in maintenance cost of cars is exponential with every year passing by. But the performance of Volkswagen has been satisfactory over its life span.
Also read: Buying a German Car: 5 Pros and 2 Cons
How Often Do Volkswagens Break Down?
Unfortunately, one of the reasons why Volkswagens are so expensive to maintain is that they break down a lot. Mostly, when you take a look at J.D. Power or any other survey, you would find Volkswagen somewhere at the bottom. There is more than 12% probability that your Volkswagen will require major maintenance during each visit to the workshop.
According to the annual consumer reports reliability survey, Volkswagen came 22nd out of 29 brands. It is because they require extensive maintenance after crossing 100,000 miles. As opposed to their Japanese counterparts that require the least maintenance even after crossing 200,000 miles. But now Volkswagen has started paying attention to it.
The reliability ratings of German brands were indeed declining in the past. But now Volkswagen has improved its reliability a great deal. It scored an above-average 3.5 out of 5. In the reliability index rankings of 2016, Volkswagen was placed at 9th spot and was the only German brand to be included in the top 10.
Most Common Problems with Volkswagens and Their Fixing Cost
Though the reliability of Volkswagen is on the move, still there are some known faults in cars of every brand and Volkswagen is no different in this regard. Following are the most common problems to occur in Volkswagen along with their average fixing costs.
- Air-Conditioning Problems
Due to the poor design of the HVAC system in Volkswagen cars, their air-con system tends to be problematic. Most complaints were received regarding a bad evaporator when AC was being used in summer. It was highly expensive maintenance that cost around $1,200.
- Engine Issues
Many engine issues were common in Volkswagen cars. But a blown gasket and worn-out timing chain would easily top this list. Multiple engine warning lights would pop up in your dashboard now and then. Like others, these problems would not go easy on your pocket and their maintenance cost was between $600 to $1,300.
Also read: What’s the Oil Type for the 2012 VW Tiguan?
- Ignition Coil Failure
One problem that was common across all models of Volkswagen was the failure of the ignition coil. Once the car crossed 70,000 miles, you would hear a strange noise from the engine. When in fact it was the sound of the ignition coil, after which it ultimately failed. The average replacement cost of an ignition coil in Volkswagen is $450.
Is Volkswagen Repair Labor Expensive?
Yes, the repair labor of Volkswagen is somewhat expensive. Considering that Volkswagen spends less than 3 hours per year in the repair shop and still its maintenance bill becomes $676 is proof that labor rates for repair are expensive. This trend is changing as sales of Volkswagen are actively growing outside Europe.
When overall maintenance of a brand is expensive, then it automatically indicates expensive repair labor. Although Volkswagen has over 700 dealerships all across the U.S, still this number doesn’t even come close to 1,500 Toyota dealerships over there. The expensive labor rates of Volkswagen is the direct result of the shortage of skilled mechanics.
How Expensive are Volkswagen Parts?
Thankfully now Volkswagen parts are easily available at normal prices outside Europe as well. Purchasing car parts for Volkswagen was a tedious and costly affair in the past. Since owners had to import their parts from Mexico or Germany. This added to the cost and a simple strut bearing that with the price of $100 in Germany would cost $200.
More than 10 million units of Volkswagen were sold in 2020 when car sales were at an all-time low around the globe. This strong growth in sales has positively impacted the parts prices and availability as well. Now, Volkswagen parts are readily available, and that too at cheaper prices.
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Is it Hard to Find Volkswagen Spare Parts?
With the ever-growing dealership network of Volkswagen all around the world, spare parts are becoming easier to find. All the parts that owners had to import in the past and had to wait months for them to arrive are available at these dealerships. You can also purchase spare parts on eBay or any online spare parts store.
Finding spare parts for imported cars is a tricky business anywhere in the world. This problem also occurred with imported Japanese cars. Where you were given a lead time of months before the part arrived. And if it was some critical part, then during this time your car would sit uselessly in the garage. Thanks to the internet, this problem is solved.
Also read: BMC vs. K&N: Which Air Filters are Better?
Is Volkswagen Maintenance Cheap?
|Brake Fluid Change||$125-150|
|Transmission Oil Change||$98-135|
|Cabin Air Filter||$64-108|
Table 1: Scheduled Maintenance Costs of Volkswagen
The maintenance of Volkswagen is not cheap by any means. Regular maintenance like an oil change can cost you between $128 and $154. Other fluids like brake & transmission oil can cost around $130. Similarly, the tire replacement cost of Volkswagen is also above average. It costs you $1,300-$1,700 to replace tires in Volkswagen.
Verdict on maintenance prices of a car is given on basis of its utility. Volkswagen is an economy sector brand. Considering that, its maintenance is very expensive. Because the average tire replacement cost is $637, and it can cost you up to $1,700 to replace your tires in a Volkswagen. The same is the case with other prices as well.
Also read: 3 Reasons Why German Cars are so Expensive
What are the Cheapest Volkswagens to Maintain?
It is hard to find any Volkswagen that is cheap to maintain but still here are some cars that have affordable maintenance:
- Volkswagen Golf
Golf is the best-selling car of Volkswagen. It has been in the news for all the right reasons. The average maintenance price of Volkswagen Golf is $370. Which is very cheap if you consider the performance and comfort of this car. It was also the top-ranked Volkswagen car on the reliability index.
- Volkswagen Passat
The 8th generation of Passat garnered an impressive reliability rating of 4 out of 5. It was admired by users for its bold looks and above-average reliability. With an average maintenance cost of $443, this car spent under 2 hours and 15 minutes in the workshop.
- Volkswagen Tiguan
More than 12 million units of Volkswagen Tiguan have been sold over 12 years. It is evidence of the confidence that people have placed in this stylish yet reliable SUV. No major issues were reported with Volkswagen Tiguan during the first 3 years. Its average maintenance cost was $528.
Also read: MK6 GTI- What Oil Type is Recommended?
What are Other Car Brands that are Cheap to Fix?
Following is the list of the top 5 five brands that are cheapest to maintain:
No one can beat Toyota at making cheap cars and on top of that, keeping the maintenance of those cars even cheaper. Toyota has topped the list of renowned brands that have the cheapest maintenance. It costs under $5,500 on average to maintain a Toyota car for 10 years. Toyota has the largest global network of dealers.
Lexus is the biggest surprise on this list. Being a Luxury segment brand, competing with economy class brands, and coming on number 2 means something. Toyota is again responsible for this magic, as Toyota and Lexus are corporate cousins manufactured under the same roof. The 10-year cost of maintenance of a Lexus is $7,000.
Another Japanese brand on this list is not some revelation. Hondas are known for their reliability and long life spans. The average maintenance cost of Honda for a 10-year period is about $7,200. For initial years this cost is shockingly low with an average of $428 per year.
Among Japanese brands, Mitsubishi doesn’t have a very good reputation. But by global standards, it is one of the cheapest brands to maintain, with an average maintenance cost of $7,400 for 10 years. During this period, there is an 18.18% chance that your Mitsubishi will require a major replacement.
Thankfully, some brands other than Japanese made their way to this list. More importantly, Mini is the only European brand that has low maintenance costs by universal standards. The average maintenance cost of a Mini is $7,500 for 10 years. Mind you that this is the brand average across all models. Otherwise, some Mini cars are very expensive to maintain.