Author Topic: 05 Malibu to 08 Audi A4, potentially a good 'upgrade'?  (Read 2717 times)

Offline theBINKYhunter

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05 Malibu to 08 Audi A4, potentially a good 'upgrade'?
« on: April 29, 2017, 09:10:54 AM »
My current daily driver is an 05 Malibu Maxx. It's got 150k on it and is well maintained. I take care of it, do preventative maintenance and other repairs that are needed. I just put new tires on it and the only service issue is a small oil leak where the gasket has a pin hole gap. To put that in perspective I've ignored it for ~3 years now as the cost to repair that is ~$800 and it hasn't worsened in that time.

My co-worker (great guy) was gifted an 08 Audi A4 from some friends who moved to China. They have no need of it and told him to sell it and use the funds for his bible fellowhsip group he leads. I casually asked him the price and he said they were thinking about asking low KBB which is 6.5k. When I said I was interested he said they go 5k for me because we get along, they don't need the money, and he's a genuine nice guy like that.

The car is in great shape with 90k miles. I think I could sell my car for 2.5k on the low end and maybe even up around 3 - 3.5k. That means I'm spending 2.5k at most (hopefully) for a car that is arguably a nicer build quality, has 60k less on the odometer, and will last me for a long time. I realize maintenance costs will be higher since parts will be more.

 I will see it in a couple days. Assuming the car is what he says it is am I missing something? I feel like this is a no brainer but wanted a realty check just in case.

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Re: 05 Malibu to 08 Audi A4, potentially a good 'upgrade'?
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2017, 09:30:58 AM »
The Audi A4 is a good car, and as with all Audi's is AWD.
German engineering is a two edged sword.
It's put together well, and they can be difficult to repair.
Before you commit, take a real hard look at it.
Since it's AWD, it's got CV boots all over the place. Get them checked out.
Because it's AWD, when it's time for a tire change you'll need to buy all four tires at the same time.
It's also very close in mileage for a timing belt change. 110k is the manufacturers recommendation for belt change, but I would err on the side of caution and get it changed before 100k.
The Tiptronic transmission has sensors that can get costly to replace.

Just my 2 cents

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: 05 Malibu to 08 Audi A4, potentially a good 'upgrade'?
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2017, 12:50:43 PM »
It's put together well, and they can be difficult to repair.
And the parts can be unbelievably expensive.  This can stack up in a hurry on older vehicles.  I had a BMW go through three fuel pumps in a row a while back, and that hurt a lot.  Be careful and get it checked out.  If you know the mechanic ask him for an overall "what do you think?" about the total deal, especially about parts and labor costs either way on an aging car.

Fine car though.  It may be worth it.

Offline FreeLancer

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Re: 05 Malibu to 08 Audi A4, potentially a good 'upgrade'?
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2017, 06:23:17 PM »
My brother bought a used A4 and it drove his already precarious financial situation off a cliff.  Within 18 months he owed $5k on a car that didn't run and required $3k in parts.  Nice car, otherwise.

Offline Carl

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Re: 05 Malibu to 08 Audi A4, potentially a good 'upgrade'?
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2017, 05:05:44 PM »
Just having the timing belts changed will cost $1000 to $2000 dollars. They are nice cars but when you do the proper maintenance at the current mileage,your $5K car will cost you 8K and this is well above insurance value. It may be better to get a warrentied dealer trade in or former LEASE vehicle to have better record of maintenance etc.

Just my thoughts as proper maintenance is the life blood of today's higher tech autos.

Offline Zef_66

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Re: 05 Malibu to 08 Audi A4, potentially a good 'upgrade'?
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2017, 11:34:10 AM »
My $.02 is to stick with the car you currently have an owe nothing on. You know the maintenance you have done to the car. You know how to fix it. You know what is likely to go wrong with it in the future.

There is a lot of unknowns when buying a new-to-you car. You know very little about the history. It could have only had the oil changed every 15k miles. It could have been driven hard and put away wet. You don't know a lot of things.

I understand the Audi is more of a luxury car. And my guess is that is why you want it. It is a good price on a nice car. But selling your well maintained and easy to work on vehicle to buy a hard to work on, expensive to fix, and little known history "luxury" car can really put you in a precarious situation. If you have the emergency fund to back up an catastrophic breakdown, go for it. But it could very well be a bad deal that could suck a lot of your hard earned money down the drain.

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: 05 Malibu to 08 Audi A4, potentially a good 'upgrade'?
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2017, 11:38:48 AM »
Appreciate the input. I thought long and hard about the 'luxury' aspect and in the end I do feel that I was basing the choice around a few years newer and a lot less miles. If it was a ford that had the same deal I'd still be interested in it.

I saw the car yesterday and it looks good. I think my car actually looks better from a paint/fade standpoint. It drove well. If I do get serious about it (by having a serious buyer for my car) I'm going to have it looked over by my buddy who's a german car guy and loves working on them. He's turned a few projects from not running to running and I trust his judgement. I'm 50/50 right now on take it or leave it so we'll see what happens.

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: 05 Malibu to 08 Audi A4, potentially a good 'upgrade'?
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2017, 05:15:05 PM »
Appreciate the input. I thought long and hard about the 'luxury' aspect and in the end I do feel that I was basing the choice around a few years newer and a lot less miles. If it was a ford that had the same deal I'd still be interested in it.

I saw the car yesterday and it looks good. I think my car actually looks better from a paint/fade standpoint. It drove well. If I do get serious about it (by having a serious buyer for my car) I'm going to have it looked over by my buddy who's a german car guy and loves working on them. He's turned a few projects from not running to running and I trust his judgement. I'm 50/50 right now on take it or leave it so we'll see what happens.

Personally I talk to mechanics when I can.  I ask what newer model cars are coming in with surprise issues.
There are pros about buying a used luxury car:

Paint usually stays nice longer
Interior holds up longer
Less road noise
Comfort

So you still retain many of the attributes of a new luxury car after 100K miles.
What turns me off with some brands are when non-consumable parts fail (and which brands is subjective and probably unscientific).
I accept that belts, hoses, fluids and gaskets need routine care.  I don't mind paying a small premium for those parts if that's the extent.
e.g. In many cases if you proactively change power steering fluid, you can mitigate the risk of the power steering pump failing.

What I don't tolerate are things like door handles or power window motors failing.

That model new is around $40K.  So you can rationalize high repair costs to some extent if you really like the car.
Personally I hate surprises with machines.  I'm a biased towards japanese cars over german when it comes to maintenance, but I admit that's a bias and could be proven wrong if someone has hard data about repair costs.