Come to the Jalop side: A friend's journey from VW to Miata

Many of my friends/co-workers and myself all started our current jobs at the same time all fresh out of college with a new found lease on life based solely on the appearance of something that is only spoken of in engineering school in hushed whispers in the dark corners of the computer labs. This mystical artifact that we had acquired is more commonly known as the philosophers stone paycheck. We were no longer broke college students! We can drink Yuengling! No more Natty light!

Anyways this job came with a nice starting bonus check and a lot of my new-found friends would use this as a down-payment on a new car. I used mine to buy a semi-obscure, overheating, rust-prone, mid-engine, Japanese sports car from the 80’s.

One friend in particular, let’s call him Jeff, wanted something fun to drive yet practical. No he didn’t buy a Miata, he bought a brand new 2013 VW GTI. He loved it, I shuddered at the idea of such a hefty car payment, but I probably came close to the same cost solely on the amount of coolant I bought while trying to fix the MR2’s FUBAR’d cooling system.


Fast forward a year and a half or so and Jeff wants more power and ends up getting an APR (I think) tune done on the ECU. This begin the chain of woes that began building Jeff’s hatred of VW.

The tune worked great and bumped the boost up a bit and the car pulled hard....until the clutch started slipping. So he had a stronger clutch installed. Then about 6 months later the ECU fried itself. VW was able to tell that it had been tinkered with so the warranty was voided. They wanted to charge him something like $1800 to fix it. So he said f that and we showed up with a tow truck and got the gti the hell outta there.

After some negotiating with the shop that did the tune, they agreed to source a used ecu for him and to replace it and with no labor costs. The first used ecu was a dud, but the second one worked and all said and done he was out about $700.

Then about a week later his thermostat or temp sensor has failed and I also noticed his rear brake rotors where wearing weirdly and were scored.


So we just dropped it off at the dealership this morning and they say if it’s the thermostat than it’ll be covered under the warranty, if its the sensor it’s not covered.

The result is that Jeff now hates the car. He’s had to spend a lot of money out of pocket on a car that he’s already paying enough for in car payments. He’s tried contacting VW directly but in his words, they pretty much told him to fuck off.


So he’s decided to sell the car as soon as it’s fixed and he wants to buy a cheap used car. He then made the mistake of sheepishly mentioning while I was within earshot that he liked Miatas........

Time to go Miata shopping!!! I’ve turned him to the Jalop side!!!

TL;DR Friend is sick of expensive GTI so he’s selling it and looking for a Miata

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