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Re: Vr's vs Audis

>To: "Bob D'Amato" <Bob.Damato@snetel.com>
>From: Mark Shilling <shilling@txchemcouncil.com>
>Subject: Re: Vr's vs Audis
>At 11:59 AM 1/5/96 -0500, you wrote:
>>> > 
>>>  All you're comparing here is a sports car that is built by people who 
>>> have no school of engineering (VR) and assembled by people who had at 
>>> most five years of formal education roughly speaking, to a car that is 
>>> built and assembled by highly qualified German professionals that have 
>>> pride and traditions. Now, which of thses two will produce a better car?
>>I guess it depends on how you qualify 'better'. Sure the japanese make 
>>pretty darn good cars. So do the germans. But I were to put my money on 
>>which car will start EVERY morning, and never have  to open the hood 
>>except when I want to... Id place my money on the japanese car.  If I 
>>could only have one car, I doubt Id be driving an UrQ today. I know, 
>>"thats 13 years old", But I dont think my 'new' 90 is the picture of 
>>perfection either. It has enough gliches in it that will make it not 
>>start up one morning.
>>Although the wifes Accord is EXTREMELY uninspiring (And downright BORING) 
>>it has been the model car. It has three times the mileage of my 90 (180K) 
>>and her total repair (not maintenance here..) bills have been ZERO.  Cant 
>>say that about my 90!  Especially talking about air conditioning 
>>compressors that are CROSS THREADED at the damn factory (read replace 
>>BOTH hoses and compressor) a crappy Climate Control system, leaky valve 
>>cover gasket (should I go on??)

Boy do I ever hate to insert myself into this one but I've just got to throw
my 2 pennies in:
Let's see...
Former autos = 62 Chevy PU, 79 Buick Century, 80 Honda Civic, 81 4k, 82 4k,
82 Olds Cutlass, 85 Ford Mustang, 89 Lebaron Turbo

Current autos = 90 Audi 80, 94 Mits Galant

If I could only have one... hmm... Immediately throw out all the Muricans
even though the Lebaron was pretty damn fast, none were worth spit in the
frequency of repair category and none were really much fun to drive either.
The pick up doesn't really count b/c it was more like a toy for a high
school kid. That leaves three companies, Audi, Honda, Mitubishi.  Of the
three Audi's immediately throw out the 82 5+5 (sold at approx. 60k)- the
only thing I've ever seen with more repair bills is the 80 Honda, which
completely expired in 1990 with less than 100k but more than $2000 worth of
non-maintenance repairs during the last 2 years of it's life. 

Now we're down to 2 Audi's, 1 Mits.  The 81 4k had it's share of electrical
problems, and one major O2 problem, which was handle less than tactfully but
to completion by the dealership. It was the 5-speed and definitely the most
enjoyable to drive of all.  Unfortunately, it died of sudden
cross-directional automotive exposure due to operator error a just before
reaching its 95 thousandth mile.  This was my college car which did a *lot*
of traveling with never a highway incident or breakdown. After the "Crash of
'88" it was replaced by brothers Honda (described above) which left me
stranded more than once.

So, now we have the 90 80 and the 94 Mits.  The 80 has *never* been in the
shop for non-routine maintenence with the two minor exceptions of 1) replace
transmission pan gasket several weeks ago, and 2) replace leaking master
cylinder seal about 1 yr. ago.  Three items have not been fixed, to wit,
broken left turn signal lever catch (caused by driver yanking signal to far
into place), non-functioning cruise-control (not a very high prority), and
steering wheel horn cover which is obviously not engineered correctly b/c
the weight of the cover caused the horn to sound when taking a dip at higher
than recommended speed.  The car has as of today 82,121 miles.  Oh yeah, I
just put a new fuel pump on it. Is that repair or maintenance? It did not
fail - just asked nicely to be retired.

The 94 Mits has about 24k on it and has been in for warranty work three
times since wife and I have been married (4 months) and I seem to recall her
having to take it in a few other times during the engagement.  Things like
electical problems incl. power windows not going up, latches not working,
seals/gaskets needing replacement and even a shock replacement.  It's not
even fun to drive!

I'll take my Audi any day! (It's even better than sisters Mazda 626, and
brothers Accord combined) Am I lucky or what?
Mark Shilling	shilling@txchemcouncil.com
Texas Chemical Council

'81 4k4e (gone but not forgotten)
'82 4k 5+5 (gone and definitely forgotten)
'90 80 2.0 (ain't no stoppin us now)