A4 or another A6?

I'm looking for some helpful advice on my next purchase please.
I currently own a UK '99 A6 1.8T, 115,000miles (70,000 miles when purchased). It was my first Audi purchase and have had the car just over 2
years. Love the way it drives, performs etc. but the running costs in my opinion have been quite excessive (3,500 including servicing over the 2 years, although one was the 80,000 mile cambelt change).
The costs have been made up of lower suspension arms, front & rear being replaced at 76,000 miles, water pump at 90,000 miles and then cam chain adjuster at 110,000 miles plus some other stuff like CV boots and brake hoses. Now have a knocking from the right hand side suspension when slowly going over bumpy surface (suspension arms again or something else??, advice on this would be helpful as well, thanks)
The question is does this sound excessive for the age/mileage? I'm keen to get another A6 (2.4 maybe or even chip another 1.8T), perhaps a lower mileage example but am hoping I was just unlucky with this one. The alternative is a A4 1.8T Sport (probably 1999 or 2000 model).
What sort of things does the A4 suffer with. Does the A4 suffer from the same suspension problems as the A6?
Would love to stick with Audi but need some re-assurance the one I have now needed more work than usual, and that it may have be the exception........ hopefully!!
Would appreciate some feedback.
Thanks
Ian.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
While the B5 based A4 and the current generation A6 (it hasn't changed since 1998) both have had their share of quirks, the problems you're mentioning are not typical, at least based on what I've seen. If you're buying from private owners, you may have inhereted vehicle problems created and then made worse by abuse and/or poor a service history. Buying a certified vehicle from a dealer will cost a little more, but you largly eliminate the chances of ending up with a car that had pre-exisiting problems. I've personally never driven an A6 with the 1.8T, they don't sell it here in the states. But I know someone who owned one while living in Europe and said that it's only saving grace is it's gas mileage, that is unless you chip it. I know that chipping an American Spec 1.8T will yield 209Hp and 249 Ft. Lbs. on crappy 91 octane California gas, more than enough I would think to adequately power the A6. That's more than what the old 2.8 was putting out! If you like the size and feel of the A6, than a chipped 1.8T sounds like a great way to go.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

FWIW, I've just spent 1500 on servicing my Wife's 96 A4 Avant 1.8 at 77K miles. Apart from 2 new tyres & a battery it had to have 2 new suspension arms, a new trackrod end, an 80,000 service (including cambelt and fitting the modified tensioner set), new front discs and pads & assorted other bits & bobs (wiper blades etc).
It had other suspension work done at about 63K miles (fortunately under dealer warranty) and before that had it had a steering rack fail at about 58K (again under warranty) - bought the car from a main dealer 3 years ago at 55K with a year's warranty.. We had all the suspension greased (as much as you can) at about 72K because it was all just creaking & groaning - lubrication cured it & we were told there was no exceissive play in the thing at the time.
The evaporators in the Aircon leak too - over 1000 to fix. Fortunately the leak is a slow one & a recharge lasts the best part of 10 months.
Overall, can't say I've been overly impressed by the amount of work that's gone into a the car given the mileage - but it drives well & does the job. That said it now sounds like its got a loose baffle in the rear silencer. We shall have to track that & see what fun that brings
Also just been told that my 98 Passat 1.8T (65K miles) will need the same modification doing on the cambelts.The people who serviced the Audi told me that they have seen Cambelts hopping off at as early as 68K miles on the VAG 1.8. Given this is such a known problem shouldn't VAG have issued a recall on this? I also know it will need 4 new disks an a full set of pads (450 worth) at the next service :-(
(Servicing agent was Wheelbase in Hersham - kindly recommended by someone in this NG - and I'd endorse the recommendation BTW)
rgds
I.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Ian, you story is almost exactly the same as mine. I bought an A4 98/R 1.9 Tdi SE from a fleet operator with 60k miles in feb 2002. I knew the car needed cam-belt change, but the Audi dealer found bent suspension arms problems etc etc and the bill came in at 1300.
The 70k service just 4 months later didn't find much wrong (200).
The 80k service another 5 months later ran to 1250 as they found the air-mass meter was faulty and in fact had been since I acquired the car. I had always been disappointed with its low end power, but after the air mass meter was fixed it drove fantastically and I fell in love with the car all over again.
The 90k service was just 70 for oil (!). At this point, I realised that I was going to keep it until it fell apart in which case I could start getting it serviced at an independent garage. I've used a small local mechanic for the last 12 years, trust him not to rip me of, but to do a thorough job. So far so good.
In conclusion, my Audi dealer reassured me that after the suspension not much more was likely to go wrong. Newer models have a different suspension set-up (he says) which is less likely to generate such huge bills. I like my car despite the early financial drain and would buy another, but this time, I'd probably buy privately and get it checked by a main dealer before buying. I've found this forum very helpful and I'm sure others (in the trade) would tell you the best models to go for.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Perhaps consider a new A4 on PCP, or if a business car on Contract Hire/Leasing?
In the past 4.5 years, with an S3 and TT, my servicing & repairs costs have been about 300. Tyres were 450 + plus another 105 yesterday for an 18" Pirelli PZero. :( -- Doug Ramage
***Watch Spam Trap***
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Combined with depreciation, it is probably outrageously high. If I was faced with your car and your repairs, I would replace it with something else.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Ive got an 1999 A6 2.8 Quattro (UK Spec) Ive had it since it was 6 months old with 4k on the clock.
Been very few problems (Fuel guage, which is common problem, new headlight bulb - Xenons 124!) its just gone 97k miles and as the car is bought and paid for, Im gona keep running it as long as I can.
Ive had the cam belt done a few months back (along with a major service) 900 ouch! but other than the servicing costs the car has been great and I would recommend it to anyone who asked about the A6.
The dealer servicing costs are excessive for this milage tho, Reading Audi dealer is 85 an hour so I'm desperate to find a good independant garage to pick up the servicing going forward. Other then that, Id say u might have got an ex fleet car which has been hard worked, hence the failures you mentioned.
Good luck!
John.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

www.wheelbase.uk.com (Hersham, nr Weybridge). 55 an hour - did the work on my wife's A4 recently & seem to know what they are doing - they've been going for over 12 years apparently. Almost all the VAG dealers are being bought out by VAG now & no doubt the prices arn't going to be coming down.
I.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
John, looking through some of the old paperwork it appears it is an ex-Fleet car, and to add to it, it was a 97 model registered new in 99. Sitting a compound since it's manufacture won't do that much harm though but like you say being an ex-Fleet car it's probably not been lovelingly looked after.
I have been using an ex-Audi technician for repairs, based in Hurst near Reading if you're interested, he charges 40/hour.
Thanks to everyone for there re-assuring comments, I'll be hanging on to mine for while until I get the urge to go for a newer one.
Regards.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.