Bought a 9-year-old VW Passat via FB marketplace: Ownership experience

After the RC transfer, I got the service history from VW, so I am good for another 29K km for DSG service.

BHPian MageshSai recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

I bought a 9-year-old Volkswagen Passat Highline AT from a FB marketplace ad. posted by a dealer, in Mar 2022. What I found during my search was, FB marketplace and OLX are the two places where we can see almost all the pre-owned vehicles that are for sale, in Bangalore. The dealers also post ad. there and so are the authorized dealer's used car outlets. For instance, Renault Select (Trident) post the cars on its own site as well as in OLX.

My buying experience:

The dealer from whom I bought the car was near Agara Lake, through their FB marketplace ad. Coming to my buying experience, overall it is fair. They allowed me to take the car to a VW dealer and get a general checkup done. With the result of a general checkup, I could negotiate and get the price lowered by 30K for what amount I had booked and paid a token advance.

Two things were disappointing:

  1. The spare key: These guys had bought the car through an online auction and hence the spare key and RC original had to come from them, which came a week or two after I took the delivery of the car. I had asked them to send the key through dunzo since I didn't want to travel 30 km (up and down) just for the key. After receiving the key, it was not working. I assumed it to be a battery issue. So bought a battery from Amazon and replaced it (had to take help from a youtube video for how to do it!! That's how complex it is) but no luck. Left it for checking with the VW dealer later. When I had gone to put A/C vents and suspension link rods later at the VW dealer, I was told that the keys cannot be repaired and the only option is to buy a new one. Passat has a smart key which would cost 15K.
  2. After a few months, found that the spare tyre had a sidewall cut and hence was not usable at all. The damage was on the bottom side of the tyre when mounted in the boot. The tyre had good treads so I did not check the tyre thoroughly. It is not fully a mistake of the dealer though they could have warned me about it. It was the mistake of VW SA and myself. The service advisor told me the spare tyre is weak (or maybe I interpreted it like that). After 9 months when I checked the report for something else, it was clearly written as damaged. Maybe since no amount was mentioned for that, it didn't catch my attention.

I didn't even do an oil service or a DSG oil replacement after buying. The MID showed the service is due only after 12,000 km or 8 months. I did service only by that schedule and had no issues until then. After the RC transfer, I got the service history from VW, so I am good for another 29K km for DSG service.

Two other things which I could have been a bit more careful about are:

  1. Headlight throw; when I had seen the car before buying and during TD, the car had some external bar lights fixed. During delivery, I asked them to remove it if it is dysfunctional. Since I did test driving only during day time, I didn't have a chance to use and see the lights. I had assumed, the previous owner had put external lights as an enhancement in poor taste. Little that I knew, the projector lenses had become too old and clouded. The visibility was not sufficient even within the city. Upgraded the lights at the cost of 35K. Everyone was saying, with new lights, the visibility is great. But I had difficulty in visibility at night when it rains. The windshield had sun protection films which were causing this issue. Removed the windshield sun films at a cost of 3K.
  2. The suspension issue: During the TD itself, I was able to feel that the suspension has some issues it needs to be fixed. VW SA did a poor job here. He said only 2 link rods need to be replaced. After the link rods were replaced, it became smoother but that was not sufficient. I was getting suspension noises and was not able to push the car comfortably beyond 90-95 KMPH. The car was floating and did not give sufficient confidence to push it further. Also, the car used to bounce after crossing the speed humps and get hit on the under-body. Even the SA from an FNG, after a test drive, felt that nothing is wrong with the suspension. Only after they removed parts and checked, found that several components needed replacement. Replaced 4 shocks, Rear link rods, Rear struct ket and Lower arm ball joints. parts, labour and wheel alignment together cost 44K.

For the purchase cost of Rs.6.5 lakhs, these expenses were okay. Only that, it took longer to get the desired condition of the vehicle due to some careless mistakes.

Images: VW general check-up report, delivery of the vehicle, pooja, old headlights, testing low beam and high beam after the upgrade, spare tyre damage, After first professional wash & interior detailing.

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