New A4 owner: first impressions, Bentley manual justification, extra key cost at the dealer,

Hi there,
I finally got ahold of my 2003 A4 Avant 1.8T, it took 3 month to ship it from NJ/Penn State.
First impressions:
Lots of buttons to dig through: Took me quite a while how to turn the
rear wiper off when I picked the car from customs yesterday. The car came without an owner's manual, so I resorted to buying an owner's manual/maintenance manual combo locally.
I pushed the steering wheel all the way in, but the only way to get my hands fully extended was to tilt the seat backwards. Could not find an upright position with hands fully extended where I could reach the clutch. I guess I'll have to get used to porsche-like semi reclined seating. Not such a big deal.
I'm pondering the want vs. need for Bentley manual giving that I will be only doing simple tasks covered in the manual I've bought leaving anything from oil change onward complexity wise to the service department to handle. Do advise if my Bentley manual driven edufication warrants the cost of the manual, please.
Aside from 15" steel wheels for [studded] winter tires I plan to do absolutely zero tuning on the car as I see no need and I'm not a fart-can exhaust kind of guy. The awesome sound insulation allows to rip all the way to the redline whenever situation calls for it.
Maybe I'll install a stiffer rear sway bar eventually (if I get the car to produce any body roll, so far it's been composed no matter what I threw at it). That would require way stickier rubber than ContriProContacts so that's not likely to happen any time soon.
How much did you pay for an extra key in the States, UK, Canada, etc? (My A4 came with exactly 1 key)
My apologies for removing a 5SP quattro avant from the States: they must be hard to come by. Locals share the preference of Americans for automatics while I see no merit of automatic+turbo combo, and, besides, in contrast with my previously owned subarus the lever action is crisp and the throws are short. Awesome job audi. It's a pleasure to shift.
Thanks.
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Hands fully extended? Ain't no way to drive. Adjust your seat so that your wrists rest on top of the steering wheel. You may have to adjust the steering wheel also. With your wrists resting on top of the steering wheel, your arms will have the *necessary* bend in them when your hands are at 9 and 3. Read that again - I am not suggesting that you drive your car with your wrists on top of the steering whell. It is simply a measuring technique.
I taught cops high speed pursuit driving for a number of years. The above is the proper technique for best results. With your hands at 9 and 3, you can get out of most situations. With your arms fully extended, you will not have the dexterity necessary.
Just a hint, AD.
Dave
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time that leaves 10 o'clock. I guess my hands do have a slight bend as the adjustment limits don't allow for as much extension as I'd like despite the fully recessed steering wheel.
Unrelated: the fuel pictogram lit today and I poured in about 40liters (about 11 U.S gallons). Oddly, the fuel gauge indicates about 5/8th to 11/16th of a tank. Thoughts?
ContiProContacts are slowly growing on me.
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wrote:

Concur. Had the same instructions here and it is valuable advice.
Maybe an additional tip: Also his legs should never be fully straight when depressing the clutch or any pedal. There should always be a slightly bent knee.
In the track instructions I received they told us that this gives extra control and avoids injury when hitting something as people tend to involuntarily in an emergency hit the pedals with eveything they have and end up hitting objects witht their leg(s) straight, causing severe hip and knee injury. Hope that never comes across though.
Opinions?
Regards
W.
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Right on. And that is what "dead pedals" are for.
Dave
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there is a bend in my knees and elbows. More so in the knees than in the elbows. Keep in mind that my (standard) driver's seat cushion is ratcheted up almost all the way so it's physically impossible to hyperextend the legs.
the US spec A4 does not have auto mirrors tilting backwards whenever I shift in reverse, hence I prefer to sit high up, in particular to see the curb on right hand side when parallel parking. In fact I like to have this pure experience without the sugar coating of auto adjusting mirrors or, at an extreme, automatic parallel parking: fewer electronic gizmos to break this way on an almost 9 y.o. car.
I find the left hand somewhere between 8 and 9 o'clock while cruising on highway with an occasional lazy drop to 6 on long boring straights. I suspect that would be not good at all in case front airbag would suddenly decide to deploy
the steering wheel is 3-spoke with spokes at 6,9 and 3 (15 that is in 24hr speak)
the right elbow rest is vertical as I don't like it at all on a car with a manual, I suppose automatic affictionado have some use for that contraption, that or the people who frequent drive through and buy drinks there
all in all a very nicely thought out car. aside from aftermarket steel plates for the oil pan, transmission, possibly transmission linkage in the rear (the realities of debris on the local roads and 1SA) and 15" steel rims for winter tires I stick by my original plan to do absolutely zero mods to the car
even the thick rear sway bar I most likely won't need at least until i replace contiprocontacts with a rubber that matches sport suspension (1BE) a bit better though ABS and quattro masks contiprocontact shortcomings in the traction department fairly well and they don't annoyingly squeal in turns - a pleasant surprise from an all season grand touring tire, kudos to Continental or 45 profile for that. maybe they use litigious squeal compound for taller sidewalls, i dunno as this is my first 45 profile set ever
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