Purchasing a 1998 A8 4.2

Hello All,
Im researching purchasing, (in Southern CT.), a used 1998 A8 4.2.
Prices round here are about $19,500 for a 70,000 Mile car.
My question are:
What should I be watching out for mechanically/electrical/body?
Also, Am I looking at buying a BIG headache?
Thanks in advance to all,
Paul
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Yes.
Unfortunately, the A8 has a terrible reputation so far.
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I am sorry that I have to agree. I once had a 1996 A8Q 2.8 for a brief period, but sold it mainly because it proved to be extremely expensive to own, in almost every way. I bought a 1999 A6Q 2.4 instead, and even though this car also is rather expensive to own, it seems a big bargain compared to the A8, I must say.
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I have a 1999 A8 4.2
Not sure what the major differences are..I'm aluminum, your probably not.
Things I've looked at, and those that I know are coming are as follows.
I have the winter package: heated seats, and steering wheel...I believe the locks are also heated..fortunetly, I haven't had to use them.
Heating went out in the steering wheel...not sure what the replacement cost is....have to look on the web.
Tie rod ends, both sides front...drilled, greased, and plugged. These have also been under recall. Get proof that they were done. Also get the bearing checked.
Expect the timing belt to be changed, somewhere between 75,000 and 90,000 miles. Expect to pay a good $1000.00 for that...If I were you, I'd make sure it's done before you buy the car, or get a certificate for future work. I'm hoping to get free labor from the college here, so paying parts only may be an option. I don't know how many people have looked into college automotive programs for free labor, but it's something to think about. If you talk to the instructors within the first month or so of the start of school, they'll know if they have a student that is capable of doing the job.
From what little I've read...the transmission fluid is also an area that needs thorough attention. Do a search on the net for it... One of the forums has talked at length about this. Run a search for Audi Forum..there are a number of sites listed.
Also...under the hood..I believe they are the Cabin Air Filters, one on each side...mine are square...found em on the net for 35.00 or there abouts..garage wanted 50.
I have the triptronic setup. No problems to note, but more of a reason to check the transmission fluid.
Drives great! Highway mileage is 27-28. I can't really guage city, as I drive up a 3 mile hill to work. I'm getting between 19 and 20.
Triptronic is fun....and useful! It's a shame it doesn't have the "real control" that a standard engine normallyt has. That's my only dislike.
Hope this helps.
Mike

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There is no way in Hell I would let a student mechanic so much as change the oil on this car, let alone attempt a timing belt.
snipped-for-privacy@98.com wrote:

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The A4 and A8 have virtually nothing in common other than the name plate. So someone's experiences with the A8 are about as relevant as someone with a Ford Pickup giving someone else advice on buying a Focus.
The B5/A4/Passat platform seems relatively sturdy. I'm not aware of any major gotchas. However, unless you're really married to that particular car, you might want to consider getting a 1.8 turbo instead. There's a wider variety of aftermarket performance parts for that engine and it's relatively cheap/easy to make the 1.8T put out more horsepower than the normally aspirated 2.8. Other 1.8T pluses include better weight distribution, lower overall weight, better fuel economy, and lower insurance rates.
Cheers,
C
JimR wrote:

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Ooops, nevermind. It's been a long day. I read A4 instead of A8. My apologies.
Cheers,
C
JimR wrote:

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Thanks, was questioning your sanity there for a moment.
;-)

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Come see us on the A8 forum at Audiworld.com - lots of resources/knowledgeable people.
Price sounds a little on the high side. '99s closer to 50-60k miles can be had for low 20's.
JimR

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