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Audi A6



  • mpyles1mpyles1 Posts: 90
    Has anyone had any experience with an ECU chip upgrade in a 2002 A6 4.2? I know this engine is slightly detuned (by 10 hp) compared to the A8, and seriously detuned compared to the S6 Avant and S8, with some of that detuning residing in the stock engine control chip.

    A local Audi enthusiast told me that chip upgrades really do little more than raise the tuning to European levels and consequently do not reduce the reliability of the engine or drive train (assuming either the rev limiting stays intact or one is careful not to over-rev the engine). Is this true? Thanks in advance for any insights.
  • In the GS forum, post #1991, can I say BADASS! WOW! A cross between the Altima and Lexus ES! A real STUNNER! Warning all in this class that something wicked this way comes....
  • timcartimcar Posts: 363
    Mike, I'm not an expert but have read a bit on the subject from people who know more than me. I think your conjecture concerning the 4.2 output is somewhat accurate. I think I also remember reading that the exhaust in the A8 is less restrictive. Rather than being detuned in the A6, I'd rather say the 4.2 in the S8 has numerous enhancements. The 4.2 output in the A6 is what the original output was in the A8 when it was introduced in that auto.

    What I've read is that the increases available from the 4.2 via chipping are very minimal. Since there is no boost to manipulate, I doubt that chipping would approximate the output from either of the more powerful versions. Without a new exhaust, etc, my understanding is you won't get much at all. There's also a Tip chip, that has been used to improve performance via remapping the Tip. I don't know how these compare to the new sport setting. Could be redundant.

    Because to the negligible power increases available via chipping on the 4.2, (As contrasted to the 2.7T.) I doubt it would put any unacceptable stress on the drivetrain, or any other system. I think I remember reading that the 4.2 uses a different and more robust tranny than other A6's. Word is that too much torque can fry them. I don't the limits on the 4.2's tranny, but supposedly slightly more than 300 lb.-ft is the safe limit for those in 2.7T's and 3.0's.

    About the biggest major improvement in performance would be getting rid of the 130mph limiter via a new ECU. Want to drive your 4.2 at about 150+? You probably could. (Make sure you've got tires appropriately speed rated first!)

    Don't know if you visit AW. There are some very knowledgeable folks who could give you more and more certain information. Try this:

  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    As always you bring a different perspective to things. I really enjoy reading your post. Now when you say Audi and VW have "Speer" influenced design, do you mean Albert Speer? If so I'd be curious to know how you came to that conclusion. Good, interesting, thought provoking reading, you posts are, always.

    In fact the last few posts have really been extra interesting, due to the fact the A6 is my favorite car in it's class right now..

  • kirby2010kirby2010 Posts: 136
    My curiosity got the best of me - so I followed the trail to the site from the previous post (#2504) and took a look at the new Lexus. What an ugly automobile! Confirmation that Asian designers and European designers are drifting apart. A sure fire winner of the next Hyundai look alike contest. I'm sure it's reliable, though.
  • mpyles1mpyles1 Posts: 90
    Thanks, Timcar, for the helpful input on performance chips. Actually, I'm not looking for more top-end speed but for a bit more low-end grunt. Between the car's weight and its tall gearing, it's a bit slower off the mark than my last two cars, and I really enjoy throwing myself back into the seat a bit.

    Wetterauer makes a chip that they say increases horsepower from 300 to 318 (i. e., minimally) and torque from 295 to 345 (i. e., significantly) . . . exactly the way I'd like a little added oomph delivered. And your comments cut right to the chase -- will this added torque hurt any driveline components? I cannot find any sources of information that comment on the long-term reliability of chipped cars, other than one comment in MSN Carpoint that warns people off from buying used cars that have been chipped. (They were not clear whether this risk comes from removing rev-limiters or general assumptions about how hard people who chip cars are likely to drive them.) I do know that chipping is common in Europe but, again, I can find no credible data on reliability.
  • hoos1hoos1 Posts: 13
    Ran my A6 thru a "touchless" car wash after a heavy rain down here in Atlanta. I picked the NO wax option, however, got the wax. Now my windshield is all smudged and streaks when I use the wipers. Any suggestions on how to get this off my windshield??? I've been told to use vinegar as this will remove the wax??? Please help. Thanks
  • timcartimcar Posts: 363
    Mike, I again urge you to check out Audi World. There are a lot of engineers and speed freaks who live and breath chips.

    What I think I know is this: I seriously doubt you could that much of a torque increase on the 4.2 from a chip. In Europe, the auto manufacturers often work with the chip manufactures. If AoA learns that you have chip, they will void the warranty for any system they can claim was affected.

    If you could get that much increase, I suspect it would be unlikely to assure damage to any system. However, whenever you increase power, or go outside the design parameters, risk does increase. I.e., if your risk of damaging a particular component in the ordinary system is 1 in 50,000, increasing it could make it 1 in 10,000.

    If you want to look further into chipping, I'd also suggest a distributor named PES. They've behaved quite responsibly in the past. I think they may have both a 4.2 chip and a Tip chip. The 4.2 has long-legged gearing. That's a large part of the lack of low down grunt. If your 4.2 is prior to '02, just going to a Tip chip may give you more than new ECU mapping.
  • timcartimcar Posts: 363
    I'd start with washing it down with Dawn and water. I'd follow with a windshield cleaning lotion with a mild abrasive like Zaino's. Then finish with Windex.
  • jscatenajscatena Posts: 61
    I've also used the liquid abrasive cleaner that my wife uses on our sink at home. Come on, you know the name of that stuff.
  • jscatenajscatena Posts: 61
    OK, my QX4 lease expires in 60 days. I've driven them all, the BMW, the Q45, the Lexus, and I really prefer the A6. Now the struggle is 2.7t or 4.2. I like everything about the 4.2 but I'm concerned about the comments on here about the seats and I'm a little concerned about the "stiff" sport suspension. Any comments?
  • mpyles1mpyles1 Posts: 90
    Thanks again, Timcar, for the input. I will check Audiworld. My car is a 2002 model with Sport and Premium packages, to be delivered in June. (I ordered it a couple of weeks ago, holding off until the Telematics Phone System became available so I could have a voice-activated phone integrated into the car's audio system.)

    A good friend's wife has a 2000 4.2 with Sport Package, and I've driven it a few times. It does not, however, have the sport programming for the Tiptronic that is on the 2002. (He drives a BMW 540i with sport package, which includes a higher-ratio rear axle for more punch off the line. I wish Audi had taken a page out of that book. Otherwise, though, I like the Audi better than his BMW.)

    I'll probably give up on a chip. I finally got a phone call through to Wetterauer, and it turns out there is an error on their website. Instead of boosting torque from 295 to 345, their chip only boosts torque to 313 . . . hardly worth the $795 and all the other hassles of having a non-factory-spec car. And a couple of other chip suppliers finally answered my e-mails, all saying the same thing -- minimal power increases from chipping a normally-aspirate engine.

    I was at the Audi dealer today and asked about the new RS6. The Geneva Auto Show website said the car was not coming to the U.S. But this dealer said it is coming in mid- to late-2003, at a list of about $70,000. He says they have already taken 4 orders. (This may be true. They are in Greenwich, CT and claim to be the largest Audi dealer in the U.S. That may be true, too. I have lived all over the U.S. and have never seen so many Audis on the road as I see in the NYC suburbs of southwestern Connecticut.)
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,411
    You're talking about new country Audi. not only are they the largest Audi dealer in the US, but they are the largest Audi dealer in the world.

    2001 Honda Prelude Type SH/ 2011 BMW 328xi / 2011 Honda Pilot EX-L w/ Navigation

  • timcartimcar Posts: 363
    Mike, I'd probably make the same choice regarding chipping and the 4.2. If the car you drove is a 2000, your '02 will have the new sport mode, and should offer a bit better acceleration in many conditions. Audi's tend to improve as they age if they're properly broken in and maintained. Knock-on-wood, my '01 2.7T is still getting better at 18.5K than when new. Audi engines don't seem to reach their full potential until somewhere after 20K. My point is, if you break-in the 4.2 properly, it'll get faster as you drive it. I'm convinced after driving several 2.7T's at the dealer, that demo cars don't always give you the best appreciation of a models potential performance.

    Auto Week reported on the RS6 in this issue. Said it's coming, with the first production scheduled for 5/03. Which means it's probably make it here in late summer '03 as an '04 model. (This also suggests next generation A6 may not come until '05 model year.) Says around $80K. If there's enough interest, you can be sure some dealers are gonna mark it up. I've read some people already have deposits down. Since only 850 are supposed to come, you'll probably need to make a deposit soon.

    If I had Jim's dilemma, I'd probably pick a 4.2, if cost weren’t a consideration. Based on looks alone, the 4.2 has a presence that the 2.7T & 3.0 can't match. The seats are wonderful. The sport seats are great too, IF you're not really wide. I am, hence no sport package for me. Everyone I've heard from who's gotten the sport package has loved it. However, it appears from a 3.0 loaner I got that Audi firmed up both the standard and sport suspensions for '02. I'd urge you to try to get a test drive in each variant. Seat-of-the-pants is the only real test. Even the non-sport suspension is a very competent and will out handle any of the cars you've looked at accept the BMW. So, if you like the non-sport ride, and maximum handling capability isn't a major priority, get it!
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,069
    A fellow member of the quattro club of America told me that there are a few ways to get the non-Turbo Audis to have more "grunt" -- they all involve "breathing."

    Tim is correct, the gains from chipping are minor -- spend the money on a new cat back exhaust system, a "cone" air filter, and if all that doesn't float your boat, put a supercharger on the thing.

    The one that will give you the biggest bang and not require too much underhood work is, of course, the new exhaust and air filter. My friend says perhaps 15HP, but surely 10HP, and EVERY little lb ft of torque will be noticable, so if you could add 5 lb ft, you would feel it.

    I've often wondered why Audi doesn't offer a "high performance" sport package, like BMW. My friend bought a 2001 7 series and it came with sport suspension, sport final drive ratio, sport seats, 18" wheels and tires and beefier brakes ($67,000). This was above and beyond the regular sport package.

    Audi's improve the suspension and tires and seats, but there is no lowering of the final drive or oversizing of the wheel/tires with Audi -- I wonder why? Gas milage concerns?
  • aggie76aggie76 Posts: 265
    Well, after looking at all the different near-luxury models over the last 3-4 months (3.2TL-S, I35, G35, CTS, 300M, Passat, 9-5 Arc & Aero, C240, C320, ES300, IS300, GS300(current ride), X-type, 325i, 525i, Avalon, V60AWD) I am back at Audi A6 due to space, ride, and style.

    Now have to decide between the CVT FWD versus the quattro and could use some advice from both sides of the fence on the board. I know very well the value of the quattro system but I am more of the luxury driver than the enthusiast driver these days, well beyond my youth to say it nicely.

    Anyone gone between the two and missed or didn't miss the other??? I live in Austin, TX for now so winter driving isn't priority yet although company does move us around and Chicago isn't out of the question. Salesman said that unless I am in heavy rain/snow or blizzard conditions or really push it on curves, etc. I wouldn't really need the quattro system unless I just wanted to have it. CVT seemed quicker and quieter but maybe just think I am feeling the press clippings on it.

    I'm going to take both the CVT and quattro for long term test drives next so any ideas on what to really focus on between the two would be great.

    Any and all comments are welcome.
  • timcartimcar Posts: 363
    Welcome back, Bob! Near luxury!?!? Don't tell that to my 2.7T, it thinks it's a luxury car. CR thinks it's both, since they classified it as each in different parts of the same publication.

    Seriously though, I think you've got the right idea concerning a long-term test in each. I used to think that quattro was mainly about snow, but having driven with it for about 14 months, I know it improves traction and handling in many different conditions. But in fairness, I'd lived with FWD and RWD for 30+ years, without great problems. A case of not knowing what you're missing until you've had it.

    A more significant issue might be the ride in the FWD A6. The A4 FWD converted to IRS in '02, but I think this generation of the FWD A6 is keeping the solid rear axle. Some people have complained about its ride. You'll have a chance to see for yourself. And just so you know, production on the '02 models has ceased, and the '03's should be in the showrooms in 3 or 4 months.

    Whatever you do, DON'T test drive a 2.7T or 4.2! When the 2.7T was introduced, I stopped at a local dealer just to look at it. The sneaky saleswoman said, "How'd you like a test drive?" Now wasn't that an awful thing to do? I sweated out the remaining 10 months on my previous lease until I could get my hands on one. And I expect we're of similar vintages.
  • aggie76aggie76 Posts: 265
    Luckily, or unluckily, my company car allowance is stretched to get a 3.0 with the options I want since I end up with some $$$ out of my pocket as it is. Great advice, I will check the axle issue for sure.
  • aggie76aggie76 Posts: 265
    Just glanced at A6 specs and it says it has four wheel independent suspension for 2002. Well, the test drive will tell. Appreciate the thoughts on all driving conditions the quattro being useful. Time & driving will tell next week. If its the quattro maybe I can collect some cans & bottles or break into the kid's piggy banks for the extra $1,800 it'll cost. My son, only 11, loves the new VW Bug Turbo S so maybe will loan my some for it's cousin the A6.
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