A6 2.5 TDI 140bhp (5-cylinder)

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Indeed? I got him to actually look up the info, which was my point, in case you missed it.
Since I didn't know which model year he wanted to know about, I took a stab at it. If you or he don't like it, you are certainly both welcome to stuff it.
Hope that clears up the confusion,
Spider
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Funny then, that the only answer I got from doing a google search was of limited use (just describing what the badge would look like, which wouldn't neccessarily be conclusive), and the only really useful answer I got was from a contributor to this forum.

It wasn't neccessarily a 1996 car I had in mind - it was anything with the 140bhp five cylinder two and a half litre turbocharged direct injection diesel engine, which was used from January 1995 to August 1997. The fact that I mentioned 5-cylinder 140bhp diesel would have been enough to imply that, and if it wasn't, then you could have taken your own advice and used google.
Peter
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And how exactly is that of any help? FWIW I did have a brief try with google, but didn't have a lot of time, so thought I'd post a request here.
I am able enough to tell whether or not an engine is 4 cylinder or 6 cylinder by looking at it, but there was never a 2.5TDI engine made in 4-pot guise, and the 6-pot engines didn't come along until the newer model A6s in 1997, and this is a 95/M reg (first of the 140bhp models), so a very slim (read non-existant) chance of being a freak "new engine in old model car" situation that occasionally happens.
Also, as an aside, is the 5-pot 2.5TDI a V5 or straight-5 design?
Peter
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You posted this in July. If you look in Google, though, you'll find my reply on the subject of engine codes. It was posted after 29 July, because that was when I returned from holiday and saw your posting :-) The 140 bhp code is AEL.

It's a straight five - 2460cc
Jonathan
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Cheers Jonathan - you posted that reply on 7th August and I can see why I missed it, as around that time (or possibly a bit before) my hard disk on my desktop packed up and I switched to using the laptop, and I probably just clicked 'catch up' on the audi group and forgot to look back. Most useful info - cheers.
Out of interest what do you drive?
Peter
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You may not be too surprised to learn that I drive one of the 140 bhp A6 5-cyl diesels. Mine's a front-wheel-drive 95N Estate. The quattro model uses the same engine, IIRC, and may be worth hunting for. Mine had done 100k when I bought it just over two years ago, and it's now moved on to 185k. On a 4000-mile round trip to Italy with 5 adults it averaged 45 mpg at fast (85-95) cruising speeds and with the aircon on full tilt all the time. You'll find plenty of people out there who have done far more miles than that, and probably at better economy. They're good solid middle-aged (the cars, I mean!) buys. The fairest thing I can say is that I was thinking of getting rid of mine, but I've decided not to.
Regards
Jonathan
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I'd like the quattro, but to be honest, as it's a full-time quattro (you can't switch it from 4wd to 2wd can you?) I'd rather have the better economy of the 2wd version.

How's yours been reliability-wise? The only horror stories I've heard are of cambelt problems (brought on by a seized water pump), but from what I've read (was browsing through quite a few threads on honestjohn.co.uk last night), it was a recall (though I might not be remembering this bit right), and basically it was recommended past a certain date that a new water pump would be fitted with the cambelt, and as long as it's been done after a certain time then it should be fine. Sorry if that really makes little sense, but if it does, do you know when the improved water pump was first available?
That's basically the selfsame model I'm getting (the one I'm going to be looking at is an M reg with 135k on the clock, and full Audi service history up to the last service at 130.5k back in May
Have you done your own servicing, or taken it to a main dealer, or have you used a specialist? I'll be doing basic things myself (oil changes, filters etc.) but taking it to a main dealer for cambelts and any other specialised things. If you've done your own servicing, is there an easy way to reset the service indicator?? (I believe they have one of these) as it'd be handy to be able to use that to monitor the quality of the oil.
Anyway, sorry to bombard you with questions, but any advice you've got would be appreciated.
Cheers,
Peter
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No, like all quattros it's permanent 4WD. The economy penalty is probably about 5-10%

This is basically the same potential problem with all five-cylinder Audi engines, petrol and diesel. The cambelt drives the water pump as well as the camshaft, so if the water pump seizes, it breaks the belt. Result - pistons hit valves.

I've tended to do the odd-numbered ones (130, 150 etc) myself, as it's basically just an oil and filter change. I've usually used a main dealer for the 160 etc but I'll probably start doing it all myself now - except for the belts, which are a pain as the access is tight. The fuel and air filter changes are quite easy.

In theory you need the special tool, though I believe there are pattern ones available. I just ignore the flashing, as it only goes on for about one minute on start-up.
Generally on reliability it's been fine. I expect it will probably suffer the usual Audi problem of seized rear calipers or handbrake mechanism, though so far it has not. This is actually an update of what is basically a 1982 design, and that applies for good and ill. To be fair, some of the weaknesses of the A100 have been eliminated, but some persist - e.g. only a two-point centre rear belt. Conversely, there isn't much electronic wizardry to go wrong.
The SE, with leather trim and climate control, is probably worth finding.
HTH
Jonathan
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Well surely any engine with a cambelt driven water pump.

A friend was telling me that he thinks that there's a big undertray that needs to be taken off to do oil changes - is this true? Have you just left it off?

Is the handbrake mechanism a drum-inside-the-disc type jobbie, like the Carlton (don't know if you're familiar with them) ?

Oh yes. Leather is sadly the only thing missing from the one I'm getting, but it's got everything else - it's the SE spec, and it's got climate + aircon, and cruise control, which is basically exactly what I was after. I've phoned up about countless A6s (being after an SE 140bhp model with cruise) and they've either been sold, only had the 115bhp engine, or not had cruise. I've finally found one, and now I'm going to get it before someone else does!! Sounds mint as well. Ideally I'd like a nice cream leather interior, but that can easily be bought and bolted in at a later date (or, if I'm feeling flush, I may get the seats retrimmed).
That brings me onto a little gripe I have with Audis (and the more prestige brands in general) - there are so many options and you can never guarantee what you're getting just by the model (well you can to an extent, but I'll explain). When I was looking for a Carlton Estate to replace my old battered up one (rusty shed, that had been smacked in the side) I wanted one with all the toys - front fogs, electric everything, fuel computer, cruise, and ideally leather. Basically all I had to do was find a CDX (no guarantee of leather, but everything else as standard). Ok, so the only thing not standard with the A6 is cruise, but basically it would have been a whole lot easier if cruise was a standard part of the SE spec.
Also, out of interest, how much does oil (enough to do an oil change) and filter cost from an audi dealer (genuine parts) ?
Peter
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True, getting it back on is the worst part of the job, ideally requiring about five hands. I bet there are a lot of older A4s and A6s out there without them. I keep mine on, though.

No, it's a Girling (??) caliper and the design is similar in most (if not all) rear disc-braked VWs and Audis of that age. The handbrake cable is attached to a lever on the caliper which operates the piston manually. There's a seal where the mechanism enters the caliper, and in the end it goes and the piston seizes. This tends to be a weakness of these cars and even if the calipers are OK the discs and pads often don't last as long on the rear as on the front. Mark II Golf GTIs suffer in a similar way. Not helped by all the crud being thrown up by the front wheels straight on to the rear brakes. I know this is the same in theory for all cars but it seems especially bad on VWs and Audis.
Exchange calipers are available from independent specialists such as German Swedish and French. Ensure that you are sitting down before enquiring about the price of genuine OE calipers from a main dealer...

Not sure. Try German and Swedish - www.gsfcarparts.com - who certainly do the real thing as well as cheapos. But the parts desks at some dealers are only too happy to do a deal. They vary. In the midlands, Autohaus in Northampton always used to be excellent.
Jonathan
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