considering a4 1.8t quattro 1999

This car has LOW miles (33,000). I love almost everything about it, EXCEPT it is an automatic. I've driven manual all my life (and have a lead foot,
like jack rabbit starts, etc.). In my test drive the lack of control infuriates me when starting from a stop or excelerating FAST on the freeway (to go from 55 mph to 70 mph--say a regular ole passing situation) there is such a lag, and then the rpm goes WAY up (6) before a shift. In the old days, I used to be able to force an automatic to shift with just a let up on the gas at the right moment. (Sorry, I know very little about the mechanics of how it worked, but it seemed to work.)
Big Question:
Those of you with automatics with the Tiptronic option. Do you use Tiptronic? Does it work for you? Does it satisfy your need for the manual? Does it really work? I've borrowed the owner's manual, read up on Tiptronic, and I'm out to test it today, but I'm suspicious of the language that says that it will still "automatically shift".
This car is beautifully-kept, single owner (bless him, an anal, persnickety fellow--just the one to buy a car from).
But still, still...am I going to be sorry down the line? If it were a manual, I would have zero hesitation!
Thanks much,
Lisa
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p.s.
How does one activate the "kick down device"? The reference manual says "when the accelerator pedal is pressed down past the full throttle position". Is that how kick down is activated, or how you would trigger it once it's activated (by some other device). I'm wondering now about my test drive passing situation--if it was activated and that's what resulted in the too high rev. Just a thought....
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Lisa,
The long lag may be due to a blown turbo bypass valve. I believe the stock part was a "A" version (sorry can't find the VAG number but its a well known weak part) but the part from the TT which is a "N" version is better.
Tony Ottawa

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To me, that's a huge 'except'. Like you, I've driven stick all my life, and was considering the Tip so that my g/f could drive it (she hates manual). But after I testdrove both the stick and the Tip ('01 A4 1.8T quattro), there was no way I was going to get the Tip. The only usefulness of an automatic tranny is if you spend hours in bumper-to-bumper traffic every day. Other times, it sucks. Turbo + quattro + automatic tranny resulted in huge lag and just an overall slow car, at least for me, and in comparison to the manual version. Maybe with an ECU chip and a Tip chip it would have been more peppy, but I would still miss the clutch.

Well, it does work. You tap the shift lever, and it shifts up or down with about a 1 second delay. The Tip chip can reduce this delay somewhat. If you forget to shift by the time you approach redline, the car will shift for you. I don't own a Tip, just test-drove one, so I'm not really a good source of info. It was just not my cup of tea. I bought the manual version and have been extremely happy with it for over 2 years now. It's chipped too. ;-) G/f got her own car (auto) and she stays away from mine. ;-)
I know a few people who bought the Tip and later wished they had gotten a manual instead. I don't know anyone who bought a manual and wished he'd gotten a Tip instead.
But again, YMMV, so go out there and test-drive extensively. Go to an Audi dealer that has a smiliar used car on the lot but with manual tranny and ask to test drive it for comparison. IMO, if you really want a stick, don't settle for the Tip. You'll regret it every single time you get into the car later. Keep looking - there are quite a few of them around with manual trannies.
Good luck.
Pete
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Thanks for the advice (Pete and Tony). It's much appreciated. I don't think there's anything as desperate as a bad bypass valve on the car--the lag when shifting in high gears on automatic was there, but merely SEEMED long to me, since I wanted to rocket. In reality, I'm betting it wasn't tragically long (and therefore, not a mechanical problem). Merely a patience problem ;-) And I did notice the delay before the Tiptronic shifted as well. I'm sure the previous owner never put in the chip (he actually never used it), so a chip install might ameliorate the shifting delay during "manual" shifting a bit.
And it's funny, Pete, because the mechanic who checked out the car for me, said just the opposite--that once you get an automatic, you never go back to manual, and that he never met anyone who was sorry they purchased on automatic. But I'm thinking I'm a part of that small (and DEMANDING) percentage of folks who just cry for complete and utter control of the process. And so a manual it will be. I test drove the manual a couple years ago, and I remember feeling downright joyful about the control. Back to my search, I guess. Now if only I can find another previous owner as meticulous and fussy. That would be a real find!
Thanks again,
Lisa

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Lisa, If you want a car owned by an enthusiast, look in the Matketplace on www.audiworld.com Depending on how close you are with your local dealership(s), you may ask them to contact you immediately when a well-maintained car with the grocery list of items you want comes in on a trade. The dealership will know who is an "enthusiast" - most often you'll find them in the showroom while their car is on the hoist, sitting in the latest S-model making "vroom vrOOM!!!!" noises. Cheers! Steve Sears 1987 Audi 5kTQ - Vroom! - when it's running well..... 1980 Audi 5k - memories of vroom! 1962 and '64 Auto Union DKW Junior deLuxes - putt putt.... (SPAM Blocker NOTE: Remove SHOES to reply)

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Yeah, I wasn't sure whether to lead her on that path or not, so I purposefully didn't mention the Classifieds on AW. But maybe it's good you did. While it's true that many AW'ers are enthusiasts, many of the cars there are heavily modified. I wasn't sure if she wanted to buy one of those or if she'd prefer stock and take it from there...

That's a good idea. In addition, she may try the link someone posted here the other day that lets you search the Audi certified pre-owned dealer inventory:
http://www.audiusa.com/certified_cpo_search/0,5752,200,00.html
Cheers,
Pete
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wrote:

[other good advice cut]
Lisa, go with a stock car for your first Audi and learn for yourself what YOU like. I'm on my second (third if you include the '95 VW Passat) Audi and have decided that stock is fine for my current lifestyle and expenses. My 98.5 2.8 A4Q is a dream driver that hasn't been horribly expensive to maintain. Buying from an enthusiast is something I highly recommend. People who have bought my cars have been very pleased with them because I am anally retentive about maintenance and instant repair. But I will admit that I'm not willing or interested enough to spend the extra $$ to chip the engine or mod the suspension. That doesn't mean I'm not an enthusiast: I most certainly am in the sense that I want to keep my baby running wonderfully for many years. I anticipate this car to be the last I'll buy for the next 5-10 years, unpleasant events notwithstanding.
Also, buy the manual transmission.
Katie, 5-speed driver who loves "total" control over her driving experience
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Katie, Pete, et al, The word "enthusiast" may have been too broad a brush to paint the type of Audi owner you should look for (although the "vroom....vrOOM!!" part may not have been). Katie and Pete are right - you should avoid the heavily modified cars - the ones with owners who post the aftermarket grocery list in their signature when they post. The enthusiast I was speaking of is one who for example, religiously maintains the car, knows when the last oil change was done (and what oil was used), when the timing belt was changed or when it is due (_IMPORTANT_ - the owner's manual interval is _WRONG_). The "blingbling" factor of some "upgrades" and after market stuff doesn't necessarily translate into increasing the long-term reliability of the car - and in many cases may hurt the car in the long run. Cheers! Steve Sears 1987 Audi 5kTQ - had a K&N once (now it decorates my garage shelf) 1980 Audi 5k - um, upgrades? Like a 5kt chin spoiler? 1962 and '64 Auto Union DKW Junior deLuxes - how do you "trick out" a 36hp car? seat covers? (SPAM Blocker NOTE: Remove SHOES to reply)

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Lisa,
The early versions of the bypass valve really were bad - the diaphragm ruptures. The "N" version is the only worthwhile Bosch part.
As for automatics, I previously owned a VW Passat with Tiptronic. The automatic was good. The pseudo automatic used very rarely. I currently enjoy a 1996 S6 which in NA came as a standard only
Tony Ottawa

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