reliability..........much the same as any other make.
expensive to maintain.............depends a) what needs doing and b) who
get the car checked over by an Audi 'expert' before purchase and ask
demanding questions.....make sure cam belt has been replaced as this is
probably the most expensive service at that year.
1997 2.4 V6, 76k miles.
On 23 Feb 2007 17:57:24 -0800, " firstname.lastname@example.org"
I'm finding my '02 A4 to be a little more expensive to maintain than
the Renaults that I used to own, but a *lot* less expensive than my
last car, a '98 BMW 3-Series. So far, it's cost me about GBP 600 a
year for main dealer servicing. In the last two years, it's had two
routine services, a brake fluid change and a set of four (very
expensive!) tyres. That's all. (The BMW worked out at about GBP 1200
a year, and was off the road for one thing and another about three
times a year.)
On balance, the Audi is a better car to own than the BMW.
About as reliable as any other European car. Which frankly isn't saying too
Are Audi's usually expensive to
Fairly expensive but you can avoid some problems by selecting a used car
that was well-maintained. I would also suggest that a 2000 A4 typically
should already have had a timing belt service which would include tensioners
and water pump. If it hasn't, or has so many miles that it's due another,
then you're looking at $1000+ expense right off the bat. Check brake pads
and rotors. Rotors on Audis are generally replaced, not machined so
typically you replace pads and rotors. Figure about every 40-60,000 miles.
If it's the 2.8 V6, then it has an updated version of the old British
"external lubrication system" meaning its oil gaskets and seals don't work
very well and the engine is prone to leak oil starting at around 50,000
miles. If it's a 1.8 T, then there may be an issue with sludge buildup
depending on how precisely the maintenance schedule was followed. That can
be a costly fix and Audi will avoid paying for it if there's the slightest
deviation from maintenance schedule. That vintage of A4 also had control arm
problems, another expensive repair but it may already have been done on the
car you're considering. You may want to look in audiworld.com forums for
more problem areas.
I've found that well-maintained VWs and Audis are almost as reliable
as their Japanese brethren. The maintenance requirements ARE
And VAG cars blow away several other Euro makes for reliability.
Funny thing: I've got an Avant with the 2.8, and it doesn't leak at
all. After 205k miles, it's been about trouble free as it can be
expected to be. Stuff that goes bad with age has gone bad - rubber
boots and vacuum lines - but that's to be expected. Oddly, every Audi
I've owned has been mostly trouble-free. You don't get "lucky" time
after time if a car maker churns out crap.
I do understand that most cars of the "bad control arm era" don't have
bad arms. If the design is bad, wouldn't they *all* fail?
That's the problem with generalization - it just doesn't fit every
I think the biggest problem with Audis is that there are owners out
there who don't take care of them, then blame it on Audi "design".
While not faultless, they're not as wretched as you imply.
No, not at all. Unless the design problem was so egregious they failed as
soon as they were driven off the assembly line. Most design defects are more
subtle and may not show up for thousands of miles or only show up under
certain driving conditions that would still be considered part of "normal"
driving. That doesn't alter the fact that design was to blame for the
I did not imply they were "wretched" by any stretch of the imagination. And
your claim that the individual owner is "the biggest problem" is just a tad
defensive, I'd say. Look, the original O.P. asked about reliability and
maintenance issues with a 2000 vintage A4. I own a similar vintage A4 and so
I advised him on some of the issues encountered by myself as well as others
on this newsgroup and in other places like Audiworld.com. If you wish to
claim that the information I provided is false, then I invite you to produce
the evidence backing your position.
The fact that the failures are small in number does not automatically
point to a design flaw.
Not really. People complain a lot about wear items and regular
maintenance, and then blame "design" when their deferred maintenance
comes back to bite them.
You mentioned "external oiling", and yet, the 2.8L motors I've had
have never seeped oil.
Requesting proof of a negative? How quaint.
Your *opinion* of what is or is not a design flaw is no more provable
than disprovable. The replaceable items like brakes and timing belt?
Not only VAG vehicles require these things, so the suggestion that
somehow European autos are unique in this regard is disingenuous.
A Camry of the same vintage needs the same sorts of things.
How fortunate for you.
If it wasn't a design flaw, then why has Audi changed the design? See
http://tinyurl.com/3b2c39 for example.
I think Tom and Ray get it about right in http://tinyurl.com/38lqom .
The replaceable items like brakes and timing belt?
I never suggested any such thing. The O.P. asked about maintenance items
too. I told him about brakes. Many Americans are accustomed to having rotors
machined instead of replaced. I passed no judgement on that. Actually,
replacement rotors are not terribly expensive and the job is not difficult
for a DIYer. However, I did not get the impression that the O.P. was much of
a DIYer. Same for the TB - it's a maintenance item and my point in bringing
it up was that it would be in the O.P.'s best financial interest to
determine if the used car he was about to buy had had it done recently or
was due for it.
Maybe I should have mentioned other crappy components like the temperature
sender that's been replaced twice in 80,000 miles or the defective throwout
bearing that was replaced under warranty or the climate control system fan
that was replaced under warranty or the radiator that failed at 60,000 miles
or the CD changer that failed at 65,000 miles.
AFAIK, Tom and Ray have never met a German car that they have liked.
They blast German cars at every opportunity, and since there are
plenty of those early A4s out there with no control arm replacements,
I'd say that it's just more hyperbole.
By rolling it in with your disparagement of all European cars, you
made an implication, whether you wish to admit it or not.
The simple fact is this - *all* cars need these things, and it's not
just Audi that requires them. In fact, if you want to know about
expensive timing belt changes, look at Lexus or Acura. Audi is pretty
cheap in comparison.
And, truth be told, ANY car of the vintage that the O.P. is looking at
has to have timing belt as part of the equation. And brakes,
probably. Tires might be on the list as well. Add it all up, even at
independent shops, and these standard replacement items will run in
the $1500 - $2500 range, easily. For pretty much any car of the same
year and original price range.
So, saying "pretty much the same as any Euro car, which isn't saying
much" (paraphrase) is making the implication that somehow the items
you listed *aren't* on the list for non-Euro cars.
How strange that I have three Audis, for a total of well over 500k
miles, none less than 110k, that have needed none of those things.
Buying Japanese doesn't preclude getting a lemon, BTW.
I don't know, my 2001 A4 (2.8L V6) timing belt was in excess of $850
with water pump, thermostat, belts, labor, etc .... our 1999 ES300
(V6) was just over $450 for all of the parts and labor. Both were at
independents that specialized in their respective makes.
On Feb 27, 4:34 pm, " email@example.com" <Curtis Newton>
The last 2.8L car I had the timing belt done on (within the last
couple of years) had all that stuff done for just under $500,
including crank seal.
But I have found that some independents charge book time no matter
what. My place charges actual time, which makes a big difference.
I happen to have an Audi of exactly the same vintage Tom and Ray
discuss in that column, and it so happens that at 106,000 miles,
*ONLY* my front passenger control arms have had to be replaced. The
other three corners are still entirely factory and going strong, so
the Magliozzis' sweeping generalization that I should have planned and
still be planning to replace my control arms every 30,000 miles is
And Ed is right: the older a car becomes and the more miles it
accumulates, it naturally will need parts replaced. DUH!
well I would not trade my '83 Audi 4000s 4cyl 5 speed for any other
make/model in the same year and I prefer driving it over my '91 Passat 16V
automatic. I don't even see too many vehicles that old with that many miles
on it and definitely not running as well. <g>
It has around 240K miles on it but I did install a VW GTi engine in it at
85K miles when I bought it and drove it home.
It has basically been troublefree and very cheap to operate/repair but I
have over the period of 16 years of ownership replaced headgasket, exhaust
post-cat, radiator, timing belt, waterpump & hoses and various little things
like the front seats and A/C components. Currently it needs a new clutch
(slipping a little), new boots for the steering rack and of course the rust
is starting to rear it's ugly head here in Chicago. After 24 years here
that is considered excellent!
I am currently looking for an Audi A4 (or Passat) maybe 7-8 years old with
the 1.8t engine to "fall into my lap" lol
I feel that it will be more expensive to maintain but I believe that they
are well built vehicles and just need regular maintenance. Catch the little
stuff early before they grow into big problems. ;-)
If I find a Quattro that would even be better!
So find a very nice well maintained Audi that you like and I think you will
be happy. Of course please plan to budget for repairs and maintenance! All
vehicles need attention so find one that makes you happy when you drive it!
(One out of many daves)
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