Audi questions from a perspective buyer

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Hey everyone..
I test drove an Audi 3.0 the other day and absolutely love it. I'm looking to get a used (certified) Audi soon and had some questions that
I hope can be answered. Of course, the dealers always talk up their car -- they should, that's their job. I, of course, want honest answers and want to make sure I get a decent car.
I was reading consumer reports and they didn't really speak highly of the Audi. They rated the 2002 as having a lot of engine problems, while the rest of the car did fairly well. It didn't do so well in the electrical system, either. It didn't mention anything on the 2003 or newer cars, but still rated the Audi as a "stay away". I was pretty surprised at this as I've read user reviews on several car web sites and everyone seems pretty pleased, with the exception of maybe the gas mileage.
How reliable are these cars? A few local friends who are mechanics, have told me not to expect them to fix it because they've never worked on an Audi before, and have heard that they are pretty intricate (fancy word for expensive in this case). Consumer reports is pretty reliable and I am concerned that they didn't give it a more favorable rating. Are there specific models or model years that are more prone for failure/problems?
The warranty seems pretty decent through certified dealerships -- up to 100K miles or 6(?) years. To me that seemed pretty decent, actually.
I test drove the 1.8 and didn't feel that that the car was very smooth. It felt as though it was pulling. I drove the 3.0 and loved it. I also see the 2.8 on the road, but don't understand the differences between the 2.8 and 3.0. Why the need for both?
Lastly, I do like the car, but it will be the first time I've bought a "luxury" car, so obviously I'm concerned about the expense of fixing it should something go wrong. It's my understanding that parts are pretty much OEM only which does rack up the price quite a few bucks.
I also test drove the Volvo S60 and didn't like it at all. Once I drove the Audi, I really liked it. Just looking for some feedback from fellow owners.
If you reply privately please remove the "NOSPAM" from my email address.
Thanks in advance!
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Great! Are you thinking of the A4 or A6?

Well, I've owned a 1996 A4 2.6l, 2000 A6 2.7T and 2003 RS6. My wife has a 2002 A2. The A4 had a fault which caused it to run roughly - quickly fixed by replacing a fuel injector at no cost to me. None of the other cars has had anything other than a very minor niggle. I've been veru happy with all of these cars.

I don't understand what you mean by 'pulling'. Be aware that you're comparing a four cylinder against a V6 engine - you shouldn't expect the four to be as smooth as the six.

No need for both - the 3.0 is a later replacement for the 2.8.

Don't expect repairs to be cheap, but regular maintenance shouldn't be very different ot other makes.

Same here - before I bought the A4, I test drove a BMW 3-series and wasn't impressed. My Volvo dealer couldn't even be bothered to find me a car to test! On the strength of that, and my subsequent satisfaction, I've stuck to Audis.
--
Peter Bell (Note Spamtrap - To reply, replace 'invalid' with 'bellfamily')

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Hi!
Thanks for the reply. I'm thinking of the A4. When I drove the A4 1.8 it felt as though it was dragging something which I contribute to the motor just being worked more than it did with the V6. When I test drove the Volvo S60, it felt the same. Like I had to really "HIT" the gas to get it to go, which I didn't find in the Audi A4 3.0..
I really like the car's sophistication and handling. I also liked the tiptronic system (which I never knew existed in these or other cars before I saw it in the Audi).
My only concern is the warranty. Although I'm trying to find one certified, I was surprised at the amount of Audi's with only a few years on them and 50-60K miles on them already. Obviously, I don't want an extended warranty from a non-Audi dealer as I've heard nothing but bad things about non-dealer extended warranties.
I've checked Ebay (dealer only listings) and found that they seem to be holding their value well. I'm in the North East, so I definitely want the all-wheel drive and cold weather package. Up here a loaded used Audi is still running about $26k (and I don't know how much haggling they'll do) with probably about 30k miles on it. On Ebay it's about $20-22k...
I appreciate all your help!
Regards, Marty (remove nospam in my email address to reply privately) Peter Bell wrote:

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You will get a decent car, an Audi :)

mileage.
Most Audi owners are always Audi owners, I think that says enough about the marque

Depends how you drive it, drive it with care and consideration and expect it to last as long as you keep it, 200k miles + is nothing for a 3.0

Yup, get the warranty and your laughing, Audi warrantys are very good :)

There isn't, the 3.0 came to replace the 2.8 which replaced the 2.6, the 2.8 is a 30 valver and is very smooth, the 2.6 is a 12valver but is still smooth as hell :)
Audi A4 came in 2 Formats <now 3> the first was the B5 then came the B6 in 2002, B6 audi's have the 3.0 engine B5's have the 2.8/2.6
The 1.8T is a very high revving engine, but chipped can take a 3.0, although the 3.0 is 10x smoother

No different to any other car really, if your in America there is plenty of dealers, and if you get a 100k warranty then you don't have to worry about repairs, only wear and tear.

Best car I've ever owned/driven, I had a 2.6 quattro for 4 years and it had racked up 160k miles, almost trouble free, my new Audi is the 1.8TQ which is not as smooth but still nice, of course you have to get quattro or you will regret not having it :)
Remember Silver is fastest :)

No probs
Ronny
www.1337hosts.com
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Nice car, but if reliability is important to you, I'd look elsewhere. I've had several Audis (a '01 A4 currently) and they have all had significant problems. If you do go for it, make sure you have a good warranty and a mechanic you trust.
K. Daver wrote:

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Hi Jim!
Sorry to hear that... What problems have you had with the Audi's?
Thanks again!
Marty (ps remove nospam in my email address to reply privately)
JimV wrote:

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mileage.
Statistically speaking, Consumer Reports is correct about the 2002 A4. However, the "engine problems" that they note are no longer an issue. In fact, they weren't "problems" at all. It was one "problem" -- singular -- that was quite widespread. 2002 A4's (and various other VW/Audis) had a faulty part in the ignition system (a "coil pack") that would often fail and leave people stranded on the side of the road. However, the part was recalled and all cars received a redesigned, trouble-free replacement part. Thus, while the problem will always persist within Consumer Reports' statistics, it no longer exists on the road.
Rob 2002 A4 3.0Q 2005 TT 3.2 DSG
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Rob,
That's great to hear. Although I trust the magazine, I just didn't understand why 2003 + 2004 (they didn't rate 2005 yet) still had a stay away flag, yet they listed no problems with these years. They only listed the problems with the 2002.
Either way, I'm glad that they fixed the problem with that model and it's not resurfaced in later years.
Thanks again!
Marty
+ Rob + wrote:

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I was reading consumer reports and they didn't really speak highly of the Audi. They rated the 2002 as having a lot of engine problems, while the rest of the car did fairly well. It didn't do so well in the electrical system, either. It didn't mention anything on the 2003 or newer cars, but still rated the Audi as a "stay away". I was pretty surprised at this as I've read user reviews on several car web sites and everyone seems pretty pleased, with the exception of maybe the gas mileage.
While I understand why people like consumer reports I have a problem with some of their conclusions. The A4 is rated as a "stay away" but the Ford focus, to name one, is rated as a very good buy, yet they've had about ten or so recalls on them in the last year alone, I fail to see this a reliable car or a good buy! I could go on and on about other things that they report on that I don't agree with but this is not the time or place. As far as Audi's go I've found that as long as the maintenance is done you'll very really have a problem. If however you never want to check the oil, change the air or fuel filters or other general maintenance your better off buying a different car. I've only had one major problem with an Audi. That was my 97 A6q needed a new head gasket, but then again I knew that there would be some problems with it before I bought it, hence why it was as cheap($9,000 in 2000 from and auction) The car had already had 6 owners before that. So it was treated really poorly. Now it runs and drives fine 200,000 miles on it to date.My other Audis have had no problems.
1982 4000s 100,000 miles 1983 4000s 150,000 miles 1984 4000s 256,000 miles 1985 5000s 183,000 miles 1987 5000s 236,000 miles 1997 A6q 200,000 miles
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Generally speaking, I trust Consumer Reports too. It's a good, honest publication that provides insight into a myriad of consumer products. But it has its flaws, just like anything else. And in this case it's basically a flaw of omission, in that they fail to note that the widespread major problem with the 2002 A4 has been addressed and corrected. That said, the electrical issues that they point out are something else altogether. German cars are well-known for having an abundance of "cutting edge" electronic gadgetry. And, thus, they are also somewhat notorious for developing strange "issues" with some of these electronics -- most of which are more annoyance than problem really. For instance, my 2002 A4 exhibits two strange behaviors related to the electrical system. The first is a bizarre interplay between the cruise control and the fuel gauge, in which turning on the former causes the latter to temporarily stop working correctly (basically, the fuel gauge stops going down until you turn off the cruise, at which time it drops like a rock). And the second is a kink in the system that causes one of my front turn signal bulbs to burn out about once a year (probably an electrical surge of some sort). Are these things annoying? Certainly. But, in the grand scheme of things, these issues are relatively minor. And, even though Audi has never been able to figure out a cure for either of them, they are things I can live with -- by simply keeping an eye on the odometer when I use cruise and by shelling out a few bucks for a light bulb periodically. All in all, I love both of my Audis and wouldn't trade them for anything (well....okay...maybe a Lotus...).
Rob 2002 A4 3.0Q (Black) 2005 TT 3.2 DSG (Ocean Blue)
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Well ... I just bought my third one two weeks ago. The '95 A6 Quatro wagon, purchased used, had 140K+ miles on it when I traded it for a '98 A6 Quatro Wagon, also purchased used, which had 148K miles on it when I sold it to buy the 2003 A6 Quatro Avant (Audi newspeak for wagon) two weeks ago.
Sure, I've had problems. But none left me stranded. I think that today's cars, especially the Japanese cars, have gotten so reliable that even cars which are very reliable, on an absolute scale, can still be far down the list.
I stop going to an Audi dealer for service as soon as the warranty expires. My first attempt to find a reliable local mechanic failed. (Just because they have a German name and even a German accent does not make them good Audi mechanics!) But on my second try I got lucky. The guy doesn't seem to take care of too many Audi's but he sure knows what he is doing. And when he isn't sure he tells me to go to a dealer. I've only had to do that once for a minor transmission leak.
By the way, my mechanic bought my '98, for his wife and kids. That says something about his opinion of Audis.
My most serious complaint is lack of cup holders and cubby holes!
Good Luck, Bob

mileage.
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Bob,
Appreciate the help. What types of problems have you had? For me, it'll be the most expensive car I've owned. Never been in a position to have a new(er) car before, so obviously I want to do my homework before I plunk down the money for it. Repairs, can be costly, so obviously I'm very interested in their upkeep.
The dealer told me that I must put premium gas in it. Several people at work drive them (and love them) but use regular gas. One person has a 99 and says he's put nothing but regular gas and it's never been an issue. Can there be heavy repairs associated with non-premium gas?
I'm in the states and around here premium just spiked to about $2.20 vs $1.95 for non-premium. No Audi Hybrids yet, right? :)
Thanks again! Marty (remove nospam in my email address to reply privately)
eBob.com wrote:

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Marty, You'd be well advised to use the recommended octane gas for the car - especially a turbo. Lower octane than recommended causes knock~pinging~predetonation - which will cause internal engine damage if left unaddressed. In turbo applications, it's also advisable to use synthetic oil - true synthetic like Mobil1 - which, of course, is more costly than regular oil. A look at the owner's manual will provide the info on the min. octane gas recommended. On the hybrid idea - Audi only investigated the Hybrid idea in concept. They do make diesels, but you'd be hard pressed to find one on this side of the pond. Cheers! Steve Sears 1987 Audi 5kTQ 1980 Audi 5k 1962 and '64 Auto Union DKW Junior deLuxes (SPAM Blocker NOTE: Remove SHOES to reply)

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You don't have to use premium. It's just recommended for optimal performance. All of today's computer controlled engines will essentially de-tune themselves in order to harmlessly utilize regular gasoline. However, the engine will not be quite as responsive under those circumstances and gas mileage will suffer a bit too. So, despite the front-end savings on fuel, the overall cost may not be any less.
Rob 2002 A4 3.0Q (black) 2005 TT 3.2 DSG (ocean blue)
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Robert,
Excellent! I had heard (and someone else posted here) that there would be pinging and knocking. I figured that wouldn't be a good thing! :) I do know a few people that love their Audi's and use the regular gas. Of course, one of the owners has a lease so he's not too concerned as when he trades it in, he'll be done with it.
I appreciate your help!
Marty
+ Rob + wrote:

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Marty, I am a 'new' Audi owner (bought my 2004 A4 1.8Tq in September of 2003) and am glad I did it. I compared it with the Acura TSX and the SAAB 9-3 when I was shopping. The 1.8T is great in manual transmission form, but if you test drove a Tip, I can see how you'd feel it was a little underpowered. While I have had a few minor annoyances (not problems) they have all been fixed or are in the process of being fixed under warranty. Glovebox door and rear seatbelt airbag sensor are awaiting parts, and I had a sunroof rattle that was fixed. Others have mentioned the coil pack issues which are all gone. I have about 16,500 miles on mine and have found it to be everything I was hoping it would be.
In general, the foreign cars I have owned (Volvos and VW's, mostly) have all been as reliable as anything Japanese - I think the difference is that the European cars really need to have the regular maintenance done (oil changes, timing belts, etc.) whereas most Japanese cars you can just drive them without regard to maintenance. Of course, how many Accords with 150+ miles do you see, versus Audis, that are still being driven? Not many.
I use only premium gas in my A4. I haven't tried a lower grade only because here in NJ, premium is still below $2.00 a gallon and since I work at home, I only fill up every 10 days to 2 weeks....
Good luck, I don't think you'll be disappointed with an Audi....
Dan D '04 A4 1.8Tq MT-6 Central NJ USA
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Dan,
Appreciate the help. Yes, the 1.8 did seem a bit underpowered and felt as though I was dragging something. My guess is that it was just the engine trying to keep up or something. Either way, although they are common, I didn't like it at all.
I sure wish I were in NJ -- gas here is just at about 2.00 for the regular now. I remember the days when I thought 1.30 was CRAZY for PREMIUM gas.
I'm glad you are happy with your purchase. As I've never spent so much money on a car before (or on myself!) it's hard to finally say "Ok... do it!". I'm trying to find a certified car for the warranty coverage, but several local dealers offer aftermarket warranties which apparently are good at Audi dealerships. I'd like to be able to have the piece of mind that I have 100k of warranty.
Thanks again for your help!
Marty Dano58 wrote:

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K. Daver wrote:

If only it was that cheap here... 95 unleaded is somewhere just above 80p/litre, according to the current exchange rate that's somewhere around US$1.50 per litre. Note that's per metric litre, not per gallon!
And on a 2.0 A4 you can expect to get around 30mpg...
No wonder the diesel models are so popular here. Diesel is slightly more per litre (around 85p at present) but you'll get 50-55mpg out of the 1.9 130bhp engine.
Not only that but the pulling power on a diesel has to be felt to be believed. My A4 has the 1.9 130 engine, and unlike a petrol engine which only has the rated power when the revs are high, the diesel has flat torque. Trust me, with the traction control turned off you end up smoking the tyres only too easily!
The next car will be diesel, definitely.
--
Glenn Richards Tel: (01453) 845735
Squirrel Solutions http://www.squirrelsolutions.co.uk /
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I just hit 100K miles on my 2000 1.8T A4 last week. It has by far been the most enjoyable AND dependable car I've ever owned. I've had new Hondas, Toyotas, Volvos and others. The Audi still drives as tight and fun as mile 1. There's been some issues, but none with engine or electrical, mostly brakes and wheel bearings. I'll buy another Audi in a instant.
--
- Kyle

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Kyle,
Glad to hear it! I had my heart set on a S40 until I realized how small it was. Then, I figured the S60 was the way to go until I test drove it. So, I figured on an Audi... did a little research and test drove it and am in love.
Because I've never had a new(er) car, I don't know if I'm just in love with the Audi or the new car itself! :) I'm going to test drive a few non-european cars to see if I am still in love with the Audi. I have a feeling I will be.
Thanks again!
Kyle Tucker wrote:

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