Should it stay or should it go (Audi A3)


Honestly, I don’t expect any solid feedback from this, but fuggit. Gotta keep this forum alive somehow, right?


2011 Audi A3 4 door hatch, FWD, 6MT, ~112k miles
-Will be paid off this month
-Has been problem free for some time knocks on wood but…
-plenty of issues under warranty, 2 water pumps, fuse panel issue, carbon buildup on intake cleaned at 65k, misc interior shit

I’m drinking the Koolaid guys. I drive a lot, and I need something newer/reliable and I really want to keep myself at 1 car that can do it all. Do I get out of this before it completely depreciates, or at this point just run it into the ground. I have developed quite a bond with it, and take rather good care of it by staying ahead of maintenance, but i just don’t know if the juice is worth the squeeze on it anymore.

For my next car I want AWD, 4 doors, MT, limited depreciation and max fun factor. I like some tech but the focus for me really is reliability and a fun ride. I keep eyeing new WRX’s and preowned STI’s/Gof R’s. $25-30k max on the next car.

Talk to me.


Only 112k and you’re thinking of ditching it? Pffffff… Keep that shit to 200k+ then think about ditching.

Seriously though, back of the napkin math: what is you average per year expense on the car vs. the payment you’ll no longer have? I’d guess it’s probably worth keeping another 6+ months after paying it off.


Man, you’re gonna be disappointed in the the luxury step down going from an Audi to a WRX. Even my 2012 VW CC is light years away from my buddies 2017 WRX.

I’d keep it and drive it into the ground. Payments on a new or slightly used car can buy a hell of a lot of repairs. I’m assuming that’s a 2.0 TSI in your car? If so the big potential items on the horizon are timing chain/tensioner if they haven’t been done and possibly another carbon cleaning. A good indy shop won’t charge that much for the carbon cleaning though.


I know you guys are right, it’s just that it hasn’t exactly been the most ‘confidence inspiring’ car from a reliability perspective. I have been in new WRX’s/ Japenese brands, and I think I am more OK with interior ‘luxury’ step down as I tend to be a pretty utilitarian guy. I value tossing the dog in the car and going to the beach more than I do some nice fit and finish. Not to mention resale.

IDK, i’m torn. Plan is to buy another 6 months to a year with minimal maintenance. Fingers crossed.

Speaking of which, have you done the timing chain job yet? I am a bit nervous to tackle that one.Eyeing up kits from ECS.


I’ve talked to a couple VW/Audi guys and they’ve all said don’t worry about the timing as long as I’m using the real VW filter, quality oil and doing regular oil changes. At least on the 2.0 TSI a lot of the thinking is the shit aftermarket filters are letting the oil drain out causing the system to run dry at startup.

I’m still not sure where I fall on this thinking but my CC isn’t worth that much in trade so I’ll probably just roll the dice and if she blows I’ll sell it for scrap.


I just shot @JuicedZ4 an instagram message for his opinion on it as well, lol. He’s the vw guru in my opinion.

That’s where i’m at on it too. I am using the OEM oil and filters (ECS kit) and regularly change the oil myself between 6-8k. Should I shorten that interval?


Personally Id keep it. With the exception of the Allroad Ive never had a VW or Audi for less than 200k miles.

First, Itll prob be fine if you’re taking care of it which you are. Second, I dont see how anyone could go from an Audi to a Subaru, or really any Jap car (someone will argue Lexus etc, but whatever).

Im at around 85k right now and I suppose I should look into the timing. Ive honestly done zero reading on it.

I do the standard 10k mile oil changes with the factory oil and filter (which is what Ive done on all my VW’s, even older ones where 10k wasnt the recommendation). I was doing oil analysis for a while and it was always fine so I stopped. Maybe Ill do one after this next change to see where im at.

So my vote is to keep it. At least you dont have to worry about it rotting out.




Let me know if you decide it’s a good idea for your car. I’m fairly mechanically inclined and have taken on greater projects, I just tend to suffer from severe overthinking… haha.


Hey, how many miles on yours?




7xk. Just had my first carbon cleaning done.


When the turbo went in mine at 65k or whatever, and they had to pull the head to get an exhaust stud out I asked about the carbon and there wasnt any buildup that warranted cleaning. I figured they woudl have wanted to charge me for it, but nope.

FYI - If you have a PZEV motor almost all of the emissions shit is covered to 150k miles. The turbo didnt cost me a dime.



Yep, 2011 PZEV here with the T(FSI) 2.0T. I think the only weird thing for me is the addt’l CA emissions stuff on my motor.


I will add that the carbon cleaning popping up again isnt a concern of mine, it’s the cam chain tensioner that really scares me. Interference motor means $$ if it goes.


There is a fairly simple way to check if you have the updated version or not. I dont have a link for it handy, but im sure the googles knows.



You don’t have the updated tensioner. They didn’t start using them until very late in the 2012 MY.


That’s correct, I have the old tensioner design.


Jason at Blackforest?


Justin at Swiderski Motorcar. Did it while he was doing the water pump since the intake was off and when he pulled it he sent me some pics of how bad the valves were.


word, smart. Reason for WP work? Mine was covered under warranty due to a faulty design. It was actually replaced once for leaking, and then replaced again with an updated part once they realized the design flaw.