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Audi A4 2004 and earlier



  • Karen-- I'll be waiting with you for people to post suggestions. I haven't really noticed that much of a blind spot yet but I haven't driven the car that much. *laughs* But I'm a steadfast mirror user and never use the "over-the-shoulder" technique (even though I did teach driver education when I was a high school teacher years ago and we stressed always looking over the shoulder) because of my history of driving trucks and buses. On a few other cars I've owned, I have used those convex "stick-on" spot mirrors on the right side ...I don't know if they detract that much from the looks --hmmm, well, maybe a bit! *lol* But jeez, if they do the trick, why not?

    Oh, so has anyone else have that dreaded MIL (check engine warning lamp) light up? ...I just noticed that mine's on now *waaaah* Probably because I've let the car sit for a few weeks without starting it. Hopefully it will go off after a few more starting cycles.

    And Billy, do you know anywhere in the U.S. where we can buy those Elvis dolls? Probably not for it appears that they're pretty scarce in Germany right now according to that article. But I'd sure like to get one. *lol*

  • audibonaudibon Posts: 100
    No MIL light yet :) but in addition to that silly snowflake thing my wife said that the radio diplay turns on and off and sometimes it flickers?!?! We have the standard symphony radio. I had a CD playing once a while ago and it was on track 6 or so and it just stopped for no reason and went back to track one. And it was a brand new CD!?!?! I am beginning to wonder if I have electrical gremlins from Germany hiding in my trunk. Any problems like this for you or anyone else?
    Thanks for the help with the display on my earlier post. Found my lower speaker cover on driver side door which is plastic is cracked and broken, oh well cold weather and some pressure can do that.
  • Brian-- No, I haven't had the radio display flicker but didn't Billy have something like that happen? I think his went out completely and he took out the fuse and reinserted it upside down (or something like that *lol* ...sorry, Billy, I can't remember now exactly what you said and I'm too lazy to go scroll back and find that post) and it subsequently worked without problems? So maybe you should check to see if the fuse is in securely. But yeah, "VAG" products have been notorious for their electrical problems. They've improved in recent years but probably still aren't up to the standards of other manufacturers. I remember having a lot of electrical and wiring gremlins with my Scirocco.

    And yeah, the cold weather is making me notice more creaking in the interior. I have the right side back door panel creaking happening again :( --and I'm noticing a rattle coming from the driver's door when going over bumps. hmmmmmm, no, I better not say anything.

    Karen-- When I drove the car last night, I concentrated on how much of a blind spot was created when using the right mirror. Ya know, I really didn't find that the mirror wasn't showing the entire right lane. It seemed that I could view an upcoming vehicle overtaking me in the right lane right up until I could see it in my peripheral vision as I was viewing the mirror straight on. But I adjust the right mirror so I'm not seeing the side of the car unless I tilt my head slightly to the right and slightly rearward. In-other-words, if I'm sitting at the wheel completely straight in an upright position and looking forward, I'm not seeing the side of my car in the right mirror when I glance at the mirror from that postion. This could throw some people off because if one can't see the side of the car, then there's no point of reference and the view in the mirror might become disorienting. I've adjusted mirrors this way for so long that I'm used to tilting my head just slightly to the right/back to get a quick glimpse of the side of my car to avoid becoming disoriented when viewing the mirror. Using this adjustment gives a wider overall field of vision when viewing the mirror because it is adjusted more "outward" than probably where you have yours positioned ...maybe not much, but maybe just enough to eliminate that blind spot you're finding. I also adjust it "lower" than the normal person. I don't necessarily want to view a lot of sky in the mirror ...I just want to barely view the horizon --again, this will tend to cover more of that blind spot. So, if you were to sit in my driver's seat right now, you probably would be tempted to adjust the mirror more inward and upward from what you are used to. It might take a little getting used to but you might want to try adjust your mirror slightly "outward" and "downward" from where you have it now. But I don't know, you've already said that you've tried many adjustments so maybe you'll just have to relent and get one of those Kmart specials. *lol*

    Tires: Yokohama AVS dB vs Dunlop SP Sport 5000 (Asymetrical): I too am considering 16" wheel/tire for all-season use ...specifically, 205/55-16. Both the Yokohamas and the Dunlops are classified as "ultra high performance all-season" and are about the same price. From what I've read on both Tirerack's site and other survey sites, I've concluded that the Dunlops are probably the way to go primarily because they are rated better in snow. The Yokohamas are rated better overall but not by much. If I were in a climate where snow wasn't a consideration then it would appear the Yokohamas would definitely be a better choice. Or, if I were going with a 15" OEM sized replacement, I might be tempted to go with the Yokohamas as the "symetrical" Dunlops (60 series profile) are not as highly rated in snow as the "asymetrical" Dunlops that come in the 55 series profile. So to summarize, I'm leaning toward getting the 205/55-16 Dunlop SP Sport 5000 Asymetrical to use both in the summer and winter. Anyone have any arguments to change my mind?

  • Rocco, thanks. I'll try adjusting the mirror yet again. This really became a problem in rush-hour traffic when I was driving in the left of three lanes and wanted to change lanes; there was so much traffic that I coldn't quickly tell whether the lane next to me was clear -- so I stayed put rather than risk causing a wreck. But that was frustrating (and potentially dangerous too, if I'd needed to move out of that lane quickly). I'm about ready to swap you my sport seats for those nice side-view mirrors on the Forester! :) Can't believe that Audi would actually make the side-view mirrors smaller in the '02 model (at least that's what some people have said; I haven't verified it). What ever happened to the concept of form following function?
  • Karen-- When you mentioned mirror size, it brought to my mind another theory: specifically speaking about the right mirror, the size actually doesn't really matter; what matters is the "convexity" of the glass that comprises the mirror. Maybe, by chance, your right mirror glass is flat? ...or maybe not as convex as it should be (a defect)? Obviously, the more convex the glass is, the more viewing area one actually sees. So does your A4's right mirror seem less convex than other cars you've owned/driven?? Just a thought. And yeah, I'll gladly trade ya my Forester mirrors for your sport seats!!! :)) ...although the Forester mirrors on your Audi would definitely attract a lot of stares. *lol* ---well, maybe not as much as putting those California type mirrors that the truckers used to use, on your right door. :-p

  • I purchased 255 x 40 x 17's -- and I should mention, these are the factory original size that came with my 2001 A6 4.2 w/sport -- sorry for not clarifying. The AVS db's -- like all tires I presume -- do not come in every possible size. I know they don't come in 225 x 45 x 17's which are the size of tire that came with my wife's 2001 225hp TT coupe.

    The positive (from users) write ups about the AVS db's would seem to me to be encouragement for Yokohama to make more sizes available.

    Time will tell.
  • I was told that the snowflake goes away at temps below 23F and above 41F not because we humans would be shrewd enough to know that at 20F (for example) it is cold, but because the 23F - 41F range (where the light comes on) is the most likely range for their to be a CHANGE in the coefficient of friction.

    Since I don't really know where the sensor is for the temp readout, I can therefore only assume that it is less likely for the road surface to change as the temperature drops from, for example, 20F to 9F (like it did here in Cincinnati last night). By the same token, once the temperature has risen to above 41, no change is likely to happen that would lower traction.
  • Mark-- Now that makes perfect sense ...I had to figure there had to be a logical reason. From what I've heard, the sensor is located near the air intake on the passenger side.

  • lauk0dglauk0dg Posts: 563
    About the parking brake hitting the center armrest in the 02 A4's, yes after I put the center armrest to my comfy position, I started driving and when I was done, I put it on the parking brake and duh, it hits the armrest. No idea why that my 2001.5 it doesn't have that problem.

    Audibon, yeah I agree with all the other guys and my own observation is, the snowflake did disappear below 23F. I got some funny comments from my passengers asking me if the car can predict when it's going to snow.....hehe. My opinion is, under 23F, the roads are usually colder than freezing. Let's say the outside temp is 30F. The snow flake symbol, to me, is telling me the roads might be still above freezing (32F) and at that stage, once the snow hits the ground, it's going to melt. The problem is, once the 30F wind blows over it, it starts to freeze and that's when the slick road situation shows up. Now let's say the outside temp is 10F (like last nite). If it does snow, since the road surface is long under 32F, the snow won't be melted by the roads surface but instead just pile up or just being blown away. Of course you can argue that let's say right before a stoplight the heat generated by the tires contacting the road might melt the snow. True, at least not as bad as the roads when the outside temp is 30F. Just my $0.02.

    Karen, to solve the my left side blindspot problem, I bought a cheapo blindspot spotter from Target and it got a suction cup below the convex mirror. I stuck that just to the left of the rear view mirror. It gave me a full 180 view from about the middle of the rear window and the whole left side of the car. I think you can use the same thing and make the mirror "looks" at the right side of the car. I can try that when i go to the car later today and let you know how it works out. And yes, those 2002 side mirrors are smaller than our 2001.5's. And I don't remember 100% but i think those side mirrors are not that much convex on the 02's than the 01.5's, but of course if they are really convex, given the physics of a convex mirror, the distance between you and the actual car on your right lane is going to be shortened by a lot, so drivers need to relearn that.....any 02 owners wanna verify if they got really convex side mirrors?

    Scirocco, I think your MIL is on cuz you didn't drive your car enough and it's complaining :> Is it just flashing or it's solid? You better have it checked out if it's on solid. I'm still doing research on where to buy those Elvis dolls here.....and actually there are some Germans who are selling them and are willing to ship them here.....

    Audibon, about that symphony radio, yes just like Rocco said I did experience a total "outage" about 2 months after I bought the car. Tried all the buttons and it's "dead". I thought it's the fuse but it's not blown.....however, the amp figure showing on the fuse is upside down on the fuse panel. Now that shouldn't matter, but heck, maybe it's dirty on the connections so I took it out and wipe it clean, turned it back to the right position, and plugged it back in. Wah-la, it worked. Try it.....and hopefully that does the trick. About skipping tracks.....I haven't got that problem yet and I play my CD's regularly. Maybe you can try to clean your CD head with those CD head cleaner..... And crossing my fingers, I haven't had anything cracked or not working yet.....and it's now 13,450 miles after it celebrated its 10 month b-day yesterday. Oh wait, actually the right side passenger vent's linkage was broken (can't change the vent direction from left to right) and it's replaced by the dealer, of course free. No big deal.

    Mark, yeah I realized you must be buying those tires for your 4.2.....sweet ride I must add with those flared wheel walls.....they look so aggressive. Thanks for your AVS db tire review though. However, I think I'm doing the 205/50/16's with Dunlop SP5000 Asym too, Rocco, just like you saw cuz they're rated better in the snow. So Mark, you run 255's AVS db's in the snow in Cincinnatti? Wow is it still alright with the wide ultra high perf all seasons in the snow?

  • Billy, thanks! I'm gonna reposition the mirror the way Rocco suggested, but I'm also gonna make a trip to Target too, to be on the safe side. The mirror does appear to be convex, so apparently I can't blame this problem on a manufacturer's defect.

    BTW, guys, you'll love this: sad proof that part of this country is still in the Dark Ages. Over the holidays I was in a rough, blue-collar part of New Jersey, in a room full of people where the subject of cars came up. Somebody asked what kind of car I'd ended up buying; I still remember his response: "Audi...Audi...Ain't dat one a dem Goiman cahs?"
  • Here in southern Ohio, snow is hardly rare, but heavy snow is. The last time I remember what I would call "heavy" snow was 1994 and we had one-day only where the citizens were asked to get their cars off of the street and limit driving to essential driving -- 24 hours and then we were, road wise, pretty light or moderate. So, a few times per winter season we MAY have some snow of any consequence. Ice, although very very temporary, seems to be more of a condition that we have to contend with here in Cincinnati. This condition, too, thankfully, is "moderate" and may happen (usually at rush hour it seems) a couple of times per winter season.

    I have had no problems with the gigunda AVS db's thus far. Wednesday last we had our first ICE STORM of the season -- I passed all cars, many SUV's and most of the trucks on the highways (assuming I could get around them). The cool thing was going up a slight hill where everybody was stuck -- I passed four or five cars who were literally immobile. The ESP light flickered and stopping took a very long distance, but I had NO problems with the quattro on those big tires.

    So, living in this climate, the AVS db's make a lot of sense -- the Dunlops probably are superior in "snow" -- but now you know, we just don't have enough here (most of the time) to go for the maximum snow capable tires (at least when you've got quattro and ABS and ESP on your side).
  • Mark, I have many ill memories of that 1994 snow, which of course right at rush hour. It took me 4 hours to get from Clifton to Westwood (normally less than 20 minutes), all that after I had worked about 32 hours straight. My at the time 89 Nissan Sentra was hardly a snow driver in any sense of the word.

    I have never had dedicated snows on a car here in Cincy, and I'm curious if others in more northern climates always use them.

    Also, does anyone know what tires are being used for the optional 16" wheels? If there are multiple makes used, is it possible to influence this in the ordering process?
  • "Also, does anyone know what tires are being used for the optional 16" wheels? If there are multiple makes used, is it possible to influence this in the ordering process?"

    Rick-- Just out of curiosity, I'd be interested to the answers to your questions too. I believe I've read where the 3.0 16s come with either Michelin MXM4 or Pirelli P6 but I don't think I remember reading if those are also the ones used on the optional 16s for the 1.8T. And I too would be curious whether one can specify the desired tire during the ordering process.

    In our metropolitan area, we rarely get enough snow to justify a dedicated snow tire combo. I've had dedicated snows on several cars in the past, however, because we have skiing areas less than an hour away. Also, the climate varies drastically between one side of the state and the other which are separated by the Cascade mountain range. Seattle is located in a wet moderate climate and the snow we get is mostly the wet heavy slushy stuff. I went to college on the other side of the state where the climate is colder and drier in the winter which gets more frequent snow that often stays on the ground all winter long. Since I don't go skiing as often as I used to, spending money on dedicated snow tires really isn't justified anymore unless I were to move to an outter suburb or travelled frequently to the mountains or the other side of the state. With that said, I still debate whether to spend the money every time it does snow in the city for it would sure be nice to have 'em. *heh*

    Billy-- *lol* yeah, I think you're right ...the car's just begging me to drive it more by giving me the MIL. The light is on solid ...but I think it's just the opposite of what you said. If the light is blinking, then is when you've got serious problems that should be checked out immediately. Thanx.

  • Anyone thinking of new tires should consider dunlop sport A2's. According to tire racks customer survey they out perform dunlop 5000's in every catagory including price.I replaced my stock eagle LS tires with the A2's the improvment was amazing.
  • cr8ncr8n Posts: 8
    Thanks for the comments on "getting use to" the ergonomics of the centre stack controls. I guess I was just missing the steering wheel controls on the other cars I have been testing, and the knee bolster rests on a particularly boney part of my right knee.

    For those who find blind spots: try adjusting your mirrors according to the "defensive driving courses".

    To adjust the right mirror, put your head in the middle of the car (over the console), and angle the mirror out so you just see the side of your car on the left edge of the right mirror.

    To adjust the left mirror put your head against the drivers window and adjust the mirror so you just see the side of the car against the right edge of the left mirror.

    You end up with a panorama view: all view to the rear is from the inside mirror out the back window. As a car approaches you from the left lane, by the time it leaves your vision out the rear window, you see it in the left outside mirror, and by the time it leaves the outside mirror, it is in your peripheral vision. The same applies someone on your right. THis has the added advantage that cars on your tail do not shine headlights in your eyes via the outside mirrors.

    Try it, it works.
  • lauk0dglauk0dg Posts: 563
    Yup I saw Pirelli P6 (man those are BIG words on that funny lookin tire) on a non sport 02 A4 1.8T with the opt 16" pkg in the showroom. OK I got all the tire sizes from the 02 brochures:

    Std on A4 1.8T: 15" 7-spoke alloy wheels with 205/65 all season tires (higher profile than pre 02's)

    Std on A4 3.0: 16" 5-spoke grooved alloy wheels with 215/55 all season tires

    Optional on A4 1.8T: 16" 5 spoke alloy wheels with 215/55 all season tires (the P6 tires)

    Optional sports pkg on both A4 1.8T and 3.0: 17" 5 spoke alloy wheels with 235/45 performance tires (wider tread than pre 02)

    Karen, yes I adjusted that blind spot mirror sitting just to the left of the rear view mirror and yup I can see the whole right side of the car plus 3/4 of the stuff behind the back of the car. I think the size of it is about 3" by 1.5" with a big sucker cup on the back, and the mirror is adjustable.

    Mark, looks like those AVS db's do pretty well in moderate snow.....maybe I should do some research and ask fellow Audi'ers in Chicagoland too, although most of them recommend dedicated snow tires and summer tires.

    Rocco, oh really about that MIL light? So did the service guys say the same? Still haven't seen it in mine yet.....crossing fingers.

    Myers12, so those Dunlop A2's are also ultra high perf all season tires? Yeah maybe I should check that out too......

    Cr8n, wow that sounds like something I should do.....let me do that tomorrow to the outside mirrors and see how it feels like. I agree Audi should put audio controls on the steering wheel like the BMW's do. I think the A6 got them, still not the A4's....which actually brought out a point.....if you think the A4's are too cramped or you want steering wheel with audio controls, try the A6 3.0 if you are looking at the A4 3.0. It doesn't cost that much over the A4 3.0.

  • Billy, Actually I might have misdirected you a little about the dunlop A2 tires.They are considerd all season high performance tires not ultra high performance tires.I would have preferd an ultra high but I live in the mountains west of Denver and needed a good compromise between performance and snow traction. I'll take an Audi with Quattro in a snow storm any day over some bulky, tippy sport ute.I've driven past far too many trucks upside down in the ditch to believe otherwise! thanks
  • My optional 16" package on the 1.8 came with all-season Michelin MXM4 Pilot HX's. Have also seen the Pirelli's on the 1.8 16" package. Don't know if you have a choice when ordering.
    Question: Anybody with the 16" option have the "U" shaped tool shown in the manual for removing the plastic caps over the wheel bolts. It was not in my tool box. Was I supposed to get it or is that tool only for the sport wheels?
  • I spoke with the Audi executives in Ingolstadt in January 2001 about the tires they put on the cars that are US bound. My purpose in discussing the tires was to ask them why they, in my opinion and the opinion of the US Auto press (Car & Driver, Road & Track, etc.) "under-tired" their cars. My questions were due to what I perceive is the frustration of US owners in the fact that Audi's have very capable chassis and suspensions with just OK tires. My point was that most Audi's come to the US with "all-season" tires -- which generally don't live up to the capabilities of the rest of the car (unless one checks off "sport package.")

    I was pleasantly surprised by the response: in Europe [especially areas that have "winter"] it is quite common for drivers to have summer and winter tires. It is "natural" to change tires just as it is natural to change clothes. Americans apparently do not like to do this, in fact Audi's sensitivity to this can be seen on their web site and in their literature which generally discusses the "summer" tires that NOW come with US Audi's when the box "sport package" or tire/wheel upgrade is checked.

    What must have happened to Audis with summer tires has got to be some very vocal complaints, as you can see from their disclaimer:

    "For models and option packages including high-performance tires. These tires are designed for
    optimum performance and handling in warm climates. They are not suitable for cold, snowy, or icy weather conditions. If you drive under those circumstances, you should equip your vehicle with all-season or winter tires, which offer better traction under those conditions. We suggest you use the recommended winter or all season tire specified for your car or its equivalent. These high-performance tires also have a lower aspect ratio that aids performance and handling; however, in order to avoid tire, rim, or vehicle damage, it is important that the inflation pressure is regularly checked and maintained at recommended levels. Please also remember in making your selection that, while these tires deliver responsive handling, they may ride less comfortably and make more noise than other choices. Finally, these tires may wear more quickly than other choices. For further information on all these topics, please consult the owner's manual, your local dealer or call 1-800-FOR-AUDI."

    Anyway, the German Audi exec expressed some frustration or confusion pertaining to US driver's love for all-season tires. He claimed they [all season tires] are not the best of both but the worst of both, providing neither the superior capabilites that Audis were built to deliver, nor the traction in snow that is required in many areas.

    And, even though the AVS db's qualify as Ultra High Performance tires, I can tell they are not as high performers as the dedicated "summer" performance tires (which, by the way, I did not like because they WERE VERY NOISY) -- the P6000's.

    If I lived much further north, I think I would go the dedicated summer/winter tire route.

    My final comment on this subject in this post: with the great and wonderful computer systems that can track every facet of a car through the build process on the assembly line, why not just allow the buyer to select the tire he/she wants from a list of perhaps half a dozen choices (of course providing a paragraph or two on each one, to allow the buyer to make an informed choice). I really liked the Dunlop Sp9000's for example, and really disliked the Pirelli P6000's -- I would click the Dunlop box, given the chance, that is.

    Mass customization -- ho!
  • Hi,
    I've got 250 miles on my new A4 so far. I was wondering what sort of break-in procedures you guys have followed with your cars. I know the manual stresses no heavy acceleration for the first 600 miles. The dealer just told me to keep it below 4k RPM for the first 500 miles, which I have done, although it has been difficult. I want to really open up this engine but not before its ready. thanks, josh
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