Braking Weight - 20,000 mile update

MBK

Registered User
With just over 20,000 miles on the clock of the RS3 and the car approaching 2 years old I thought this would make a good time for an update. Since the last update in May 13 my RS3 has had the APR Stage I software installed, suffered a puncture, been on the rolling road twice, achieved some 3.8 second 0-60 launches and allowed me to lap Pembrey in a personal record lap time. I’ve said plenty about the driving dynamics of the RS3 in the past so this time I’ll focus on the running costs to date and the brakes. Why the brakes? If after fitting decent grippy tyres, the RS3 has a weak point it’s the brakes, try as we might there is just no way to get around the near 1600kg weight and it’s the brakes that pay for this most.

So the running costs to date (I’m happy to share the full reality of the running costs with you all, nothing to hide as far as I’m concerned). I've added this to the forum to give people an idea of what it really costs to own and use a car like the RS3 to it's potential. Of course not all the costs are essential but for me I only want to own a car if I can also afford to use it as I want to.

Running Cost Reality - £1.29 per mile based on 21,000 miles

Purchase Price: £40,000 (I bought at 6 months old with 400 miles on the clock, invoice price new was £53,275)
Current Value: £28,045 (Glass's Guide Part Exchange Price and umm yes that is only £500 less than the May 13 px price, read into that what you will). The best actual trade offers on the car are currently £27,000, showing the dealers aim to make about £5k when selling used RS3s.

Depreciation: £13,000 - 62 pence per mile (ppm) and by far the biggest cost (reduced from 94ppm at 12,000 miles which looks a lot better.)
Fuel: £4630 (21,000 miles at 26mpg and £1.38.9 per litre average) - 22 ppm
Finance Interest @ 5.9% apr: £3095 - 15ppm
Tyres: £1660 (2 x full set of Michelin Pilot Super Sports, full second set required due to rear puncture and upgrade to 235 width all round) - 8ppm
AP Racing front discs and Pagid RS4 blue Pad Upgrade: £1550 – 7ppm
Audi front Discs and Pads: £630 – 3ppm
Insurance (£350 yr 1, £550 with APR map): £900 – 4 ppm
APR Stage I remap - £685
Tax (2 years): £550 - 2 ppm
Gap Insurance: £270 - 1 ppm
Tracking subs: £220 - 1 ppm
Servicing £0 - 2 years 'free' servicing, at least the £500 or so in servicing offsets the finance interest charges a little.

Total: £27,190 (21,000 miles = 1.29 per mile – down from 1.63pm at 12K miles)

Second Service Cost:

As a few of you have probably got your second services coming up here are the invoiced costs from my service package:
Parts: £130.25 (sump plug £1.58, Filter £10.43, Filter £13.36, Spark Plugs £66.60, Oil £38.28)
Labour £161.50
Total £350.10

Braking Weight

As you can see in that list the AP front discs and Pagid pads were an additional cost. I drove the RS3 on track and the standard discs were warped after the first outing. The AP/Pagid combination were the ideal replacement and they’ve stood up to the task of reigning in the mapped RS3 well. Along with the Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres, APR Stage I map the brake upgrade helped me achieve my personal fastest lap yet at Pembrey. The stability of the RS3 through the fast sweeping corners, total traction of the MPSS out of the slower corners and the acceleration of the S-tronic box making up more than a second over even the Megane R26.R and Evo IX 360. At this mild stage of tune the RS3 is also a good second a lap quicker than Chris Harris in the A45 AMG at tiny Llandow too.

As you might have spotted there is a ‘but’ though. Every car has a weak point when pushed to the limit of performance. For the standard RS3 it was the Conti’s which would fall apart when as the tyre walls ‘fell over’ on track. More tyre grip places the pressure elsewhere and for the RS3 that was on the standard brakes. The disc design being a cast centre and alloy disc also contributed to the problem with heat transfer from the hub to the disc. The result, one set of fried standard discs and glazed pads after 100 or so track miles. The AP discs and Pagid pads solved the on track problem, remaining mighty and warp free after 3 days and about 250 total track miles. If you are going on track the APs are as good as essential.

The problem for the AP/Pagid set up is the reverse. They don’t like the winter grime, cold and wet. The Pagid RS4 material is designed to stick to the disc and it does. The problem is you don’t often get them hot enough to clear the material away. If the car is static for a couple of weeks this leads to some ‘feedback’ in terms of a grumbling sound and a little judder where the pad material imprints are on the disc. A couple of days of running and braking from 70mph soon clears this. As you might have read in an earlier post I’d already decided to retire the RS3 from track duty. On a day out driving a few lightweight track machines its weight and the associated big running costs of the RS3 on track really struck home. With no further track time planned, as you might have noticed in the costs, a shiny new set of standard discs and pads now adorn my RS3. Yes this does mean the AP’s will soon be all cleaned of pad material and open to offers too…

Discs being a weak point is far from something unique to the RS3. My track experience suggests any car over 1200kg will cook its brakes quite quickly. Here is a quick run down of some of the other cars that have needed similar brake upgrades:

Megane R26.R – the standard discs withstood over 2000 track miles through 3 sets of pads. The first set of discs were replaced under warranty after warping but this turned out to be a manufacturing fault rather than an actual problem. The Megane weighed just under 1200 kg but could still go through a front pair of R888s in a single track outing.

Evo IX MR FQ 360 – the standard Brembo’s were like chocolate and squealed like the Deliverance pig. A £1000 upgrade to Performance Friction hub and rotor discs and pads soon sorted that problem. Superb discs on track but suffered from squeal and rattle on road (the pads were an aggressive track compound).

Honda S2000 – the standard front discs warped after one track outing but Honda still replaced them under warranty with no quibble. An upgrade to EBC grooved discs and Yellow stuff pads (c £250) was all that was required for many happy track miles. EBC yellow stuff pads smell worse than a chemical factory disaster though as people who experienced me bedding them in ‘carefully’ at Llandow will attest.

Westfield S2000/Megabird – brilliant even on the most basic Cortina brakes, a set of pads would easily last a full track day season but then so would one set of R888 tyres. Sub 600kg weight makes all the difference, just a shame the rest of the package was so unreliable. The clutch/gearbox was the weak point on those cars.

WRX STi – would set its standard pads on fire after a few track laps. A set of DBA Kangaroo Paw vented discs and Pagid pads (c £550) were all that was required for a few track outings. Still a heavy car though and expensive in terms of tyres, pads and fuel to run on track.

The real lesson here, and one I might learn one day, is that lightweight and track specific cars are much more suited to track time both in terms of pure fun and impact on the pocket.

My final update?

As you might have guessed with the standard discs on and a set of fresh rubber this could well be my final update on the RS3. I’ve found out everything I’ve wanted to with the car and had a huge amount of fun along the way. Yes it has cost a bit but it has been worth every penny. I wonder if any single car could replace the RS3?
 

stetheo

Registered User
Thoroughly enjoyed reading that. Very informative and interesting as I've been thinking of taking the S3 and tracking it but to sure about the additional costs and whether I should save my money for now so thanks!
 
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T

T-800

Guest
Brilliant write up MBK as ever:applaus: a true factual no bull insight into owning and running (enjoying) an RS3.

:hi:hats off to you for sharing.
 
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MBK

Registered User
Thoroughly enjoyed reading that. Very informative and interesting as I've been thinking of taking the S3 and tracking it but to sure about the additional costs and whether I should save my money for now so thanks!

Thank you. I'd say save your money with the S3, you could easily cost yourself a set of pads/discs/front tyres and for less than that you could have a lot of fun hiring something from BatCats or Trackclub.
 

MBK

Registered User
Brilliant write up MBK as ever:applaus: a true factual no bull insight into owning and running (enjoying) an RS3.

:hi:hats off to you for sharing.

Thank you, I thought taking the magazine 'long term test' a step further would be useful to give the real cost of running an RS3, the dealers/marketing are good at only giving the headline figures. The magazines rarely keep a car more than the first year and don't pay many of the costs like fuel, insurance etc. The 2 realities with cars remain the same as always, it's not buying it, it's running it and most of all the depreciation is the biggest cost.
 

funkyfresh69

Registered User
Excellent and honest review of long term ownership. Thanks for taking the time to write all that up
I am in the market for the disks, will pm you..
 
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KKM

Registered User
Very very useful post!!! Thanks for sharing.

Out of interest, does anyone know a rough cost for their first service? Ive done 9900 miles now, but no sign of the service light as yet.

cheers
 
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stetheo

Registered User
Thank you. I'd say save your money with the S3, you could easily cost yourself a set of pads/discs/front tyres and for less than that you could have a lot of fun hiring something from BatCats or Trackclub.

Yeah I think that's what I am going to do to be honest. Just going to have a look on the two you've suggested now.
 

monkeyboy_marcus

Registered User
Very very useful post!!! Thanks for sharing.

Out of interest, does anyone know a rough cost for their first service? Ive done 9900 miles now, but no sign of the service light as yet.

cheers
This should be an oil service only I think - got mine FOC from Audi UK for the hassle with the brake squeal but reckon it comes in under £200.00...
 

45bvtc

The Older I Get The Better I Was
Supporter
Gold Supporter
Mine was £199.79 for FIRST service at 12-months. SECOND service at 24-months was FREE thanks to brake-squeal hassle - BUT I HAD TO ASK!

Suggest you go complain to Audi UK (Kelly Hathaway, Customer Relations Manager, 0800 699 888 ext 126) and suggest you're in need of a FREE service too... :crying:
 
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