leaking water pump

Today I had the radiator replaced on my 1998.5 A4Q 2.8, and the dealer told me I need a new water pump because mine is leaking. I had that thing replaced in December 2002 (and at that time, the original one
was not leaking) along with the timing belt, etc. Is this normal? I'm just incredulous that this part would fail so soon and would appreciate insights.
The dealer also told me that both rear differential seals need replacement ($350): is this also normal for a car this age?
KLS in Rochester, NY
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snipped-for-privacy@suds.com wrote:

Sadly, yes, this is all pretty normal. The A4 and the 2.8 are nice performers, but they are not very reliable. All this has also been replaced on my '99 A4 along with a few other things (like cam oil seals) at 74K.
I know, a bunch of you probably have 1xxK miles and no problems, but lets face it, Audi/Porsche/VW is definitely NOT Toyota/Honda when it comes to quality. Of course it doesn't drive like one either.
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I've read of leaky water pumps. Too bad yours is not under warranty any more (they usually give you 12 months after installation).

What I read said something about new water pumps being a crap shoot, you won't know it's bad until it leaks. Something about weak design or manufacturing (no, I am not trolling, I am facing probably the same trouble -- mine just got replaced a couple of weeks ago).

I certainly hope not. I have exactly the same 1998 2.8Q and just got its timing belt and whistles replaced. It leaked from the engine (and that's what prompted a visit to the dealer), but I was told it probably was due to improper installation of the gaskets (by some careless technician). No other leaks.
V
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I had to change the water pump the first time at 199,500 km (not miles). The radiator and the quattro system has never caused any problem, especially no leak. I had to change the front shock absorbers at 210,000 km. Up to now, this Audi has been the most reliable car I ever had.
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Best regards.
Giovanni Tarantino
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