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Audi A4 Maintenance and Repair

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Comments

  • giggsgiggs Posts: 41
    So, I put these tires on - remember I was in the ice and snow with performance tires and couldn't afford to wait to get the tires I wanted. I was able to get some tires from cooper. The tires are labelled "Sport IV rotation" Z rated 94W. While I can't really complain about how they handle the road conditions, I am less than pleased with the ride. Recall, I picked up this car in the bad weather. We've now had three days of dry road and I believe my fillings are about to fall out of my head! Every little bump in the road goes right through me. Could the tires contribute to this less than quality ride or is this just the way the car drives? I love driving the car for how it handles and how it's appointed but I'm running low on tylenol. I have had a headache for three days and I think I now know why. Let me know what you think - ditch the tires or get use to the car?
  • I really don't get it when people need everything summer tires can give you. Personally I've never driven over 120mph on public roads -- and all-seasons served me well.

    changine tires or buying 2nd set of wheels for a car I am turning in in 3 year -- no way.

    All season performance package is what I got.
    And I am thrilled. Btw, one of the (many) reasons didn't get the S4
  • giggsgiggs Posts: 41
    I did not anticipate such pontification. It's not about all season tires in general. They were fantastic on my I30t and everything before it. Two observations can be gleaned from my initial inquiry. 1. This car has a small wheel base - certainly smaller than I am accustomed to, but I expected a better quality ride from a car like this; and 2. I just want to know if spending a little less on the tires could have had a detrimental effect on the quality of the ride. I can return the tires but I don't want to spend more money if it's not going to improve the ride. The performance or handling does not appear to be an issue. The car responds and corners quire well. Its the BANG BANG BANG I feel over every little crack in the road that is getting to be a bit much for me. I'd appreciate your thoughts on this one LaMar
  • Did you check the tire pressure? There's a sticker on the front passenger door frame that gives you the recommended air pressure for 15" through 17" tires. It's usually lower than the max PSI rating on the tires, but it's a pressure rating Audi has determined that gives the best ride for the A4. My guess is that the air pressure currently in your all-seasons is probably too high.

    Also in winter driving, it's better to lower the air pressure to give you more grip in icy/snowy conditions.
  • llwysellwyse Posts: 56
    Greg, this was one of my two concerns with the Z rated tires (the other being more rapid tread wear). I think I forgot to mention the ride specifically, although I am a little suprised it's worse than your summer performance tires. My apologies. The rigid side walls give great handling, but there is a trade-off. That's why I recommended T rated or, ideally, V rated. I think V rated provides the best combination of ride, traction and performance. You may pay less, not more, for T or V rated (compared to Z rated). They are both well above the speed range you will need. Of course, do check air pressure in your current tires, as cyberpmg suggests. If that doesn't solve your ride problem, and if he'll take back the Z rated Coopers, consider a V rated Dunlop Sport. I think it will take care of your ride problem and provide better traction and wear. LaMar
  • giggsgiggs Posts: 41
    Thank you cyberpmg and llwyse for your constructive comments. I must confess the ride was more tolerable today. I may have over reacted. Alternatively, I'm either getting use to the ride or the warmer weather is more forgiving. It was darn cold out when I was less than satisfied. I will check the pressure tomorrow and give consideration to the V rated tires over the weekend. I have already put my tire guy on notice of my concern. It appears you are both saying the design of ride for the car is fine. Therefor, it is either me or the tires. Again, I am grateful for your input.
  • tcasboytcasboy Posts: 214
    I just replaced the original Dunlop tires on my 2001 A4 at 28K miles. The Dunlops were ok, they handled very well but the ride was noisey and they had worn down just about to the wear bars. I had a nail in the back right that was causing a slow leak so I went to tirerack for the 5th time to buy some new tires. Tirerack is a great place to buy tires. Anyway, I decided to try some Goodyear Eagle GT-HRs and so far I am very happy with the choice. They are not as stiff as the Dunlops and the ride is much quieter and smoother. Of course, they are brand new so you would expect them to be pretty smooth. I hope that they wear a little better than the OEMs and keep the quiet ride, as I am willing to give up a little in the handling department for the better ride. I was comparing the Michelin Harmony, Goodyear Aquatread 3, and Dunlop Sport A2s I think. I would recommend the Goodyears if you aren't hung up on having performance sport tires on your A4.
  • llwysellwyse Posts: 56
    tcasboy, I am sure the H-rated Goodyear Eagles will remain quieter and "cushier" than the Dunlop Sports (and wear better). That would be too much of a compromise in handling for my taste and driving style, and probably for giggs from the background he gave when he was considering the change. T-rated is probably the most I would compromise and V is the right balance for me. Isn't that the wonderful thing about diversity? Something for everyone -- and all on an Audi that will be outstanding no matter what "shoes" it wears.

    Yes, Greg, certainly the cold weather could be another factor, as you indicated. It may well be that reducing the inflation and a little warmer weather will make the ride tolerable. You're right, while the Audi (especially the performace spec car you have) will always have a firm ride, what you described is not a characteristic of the car.

    Second topic -- does anyone have trouble with your driver's side outside mirror not holding its setting? Mine gradually, but consistently, moves "outward" with the constant door shutting. Have to hit the memory button to "rein it in" every few days. Mentioned this to the dealer with the usual, "Well, we've never had any other complaints -- must be something you're doing." How can I argue? That's what they told me about the drive-by-wire/Tiptronic lag, too, and I found out quite differently. So I can't argue (for now), but I can ask......How about the moving mirror problem? Do I have company?
  • giggsgiggs Posts: 41
    Checked the tire pressure. It was fine. The ride is better though. I really think the extreme cold had a bit to do with it - the Z rated tires and psychology too. I thought I cheeped out on the tires and was paying the price. Thanks for the input tcasboy but I should be fine. I wish I had the V rated LaMar but I'll tough it out for a while. I love the way the car maneuvers. The size of the car, the way it handles and responds to every move in and out of traffic and on the ramps is enjoyable. As for that mirror - mine is not bewitched. In fact, my entire memory system is somewhat uneventful. Buttons 2 and 4 were programmed by some tall guy and I can't clear or reset them. And yes, I did read the manual. I'm going to see the dealer on this one when I can find half a day to travel out of town. Wish I could help you with the enchanted mirror. Question: Do all the A4's have the headlight washers or was this also an option?
  • llwysellwyse Posts: 56
    I can't speak to models prior to 2002 without research, but headlight washers are standard from 2002 on.
  • tcasboytcasboy Posts: 214
    llwyse: I have been very happy with the handling of the Goodyears so far. H tires actually fall directly inbetween T and V, as they are rated at speeds up to 130 MPH, T rated are only up to 118 MPH. V are up to 149 MPH. Not that much of a compromise. I don't know why H got added in to the mix like that, not very intuitive. Anyway, if you are running your car above 130 MPH I guess you would want tires that are rated for it. And of course, your right, you can hardly go wrong with whatever shoes you put on such a fine automobile. Anyway, for those of you looking for new tires with (hopefully) a little longer tread life and a much smoother ride, without too much loss in the handling department, I would recommend the Eagle GTs.
  • llwysellwyse Posts: 56
    Tcasboy, you're right, of course, about H coming between T and V. My error. And you're right, it's not intuitive. I knew this before, but had a brain fart, I guess. I don't drive over 130 mph very often (<lol>), but I still like V rated for the more rigid side wall. And we both agree it's hard to go wrong on an A4 -- it's all relative and up to personal taste. Happy motoring!
  • tcasboytcasboy Posts: 214
    I just didn't want anybody to think I was trying to turn my A4 (with the sport package, 5 speed and sport seats) into a cream puff-riding 1985 Caddy or something by putting sissy tires on it!
  • I have a 98 A4 and today we just got an estimate for $3,000. We are told that the air bag, breaks and various electrical problems need to be fixed. It has about 100,000 miles on it. Should I fix it or sell it? Has anyone else been spending money on a 100,000 mile A4?
  • giggsgiggs Posts: 41
    I understood the sport package consisted of a sport suspension and 17" wheels. What do you mean by sport seats?
  • giggsgiggs Posts: 41
    I keep reading about genuine wood trim in the interior around the instrument panel, the dash and doors. The audi spec sheet on the web site verifies this and well... I just can't believe this is genuine wood. It looks like plastic in my car. Even when I tap it with my finger I hear that plastic sound. Don't get me wrong, it looks great but I'd be embarrassed to tell someone driving in the car with me that the trim is wood. I think they would feel they should humor me. Was this new for '04 or does my '02 also have genuine wood that looks, sounds and feels like plastic.
  • giggsgiggs Posts: 41
    I'm back again. A little while ago I inquired of llwyse and others about drive by wire and driving in D, S or Tip as often I would like. LaMar said go ahead and switch gears as I saw fit. I followed through and you should know that I have been finding my own style and sweet pattern to enjoy this car arising from that sound advise. This car is a hoot, a blast and down right fun to drive. Yes, I know I complained a bit about the firm ride after I bought my all seasons but I have got to tell you - I love this car. I routinely run in S until I get cruising then I go into D. That S gear is awesome. I also have enjoyed the Tip. A buddy of mine has Tip in a chrysler and said it was junk. He drove mine and was quite surprised with this one. Anyway, this is my token contribution to the complaints page indicating to all who voice complaints, and I count myself among the many, that this truly is a great car to drive. If you drive city with interspersed highway/expressway routinely, this car is rewarding and fun!
  • llwysellwyse Posts: 56
    Yes, Greg, it's real wood (veneer). I have walnut (as I'm guessing you do) and agree that it looks, sounds and feels especially fake. It's not! I personally prefer a less high gloss finish, but it still beats plastic!

    Glad you're enjoying the gears. Since our little discussion, I've been even more conscious of changing modes, much as you do. I'm still not a fan of Tip (shifts aren't crisp enough), but use Sport mode until maintaining cruising speed. The little loss in gas mileage is worth the big gain in fun quotient on SE Ohio roads. I am looking forward to the Audi Club Driving School at Mid-Ohio Race Course in June. I want to learn even more about the car and safely drive it closer to its limits.
  • giggsgiggs Posts: 41
    I saw your reference to the Audi Club Driving School and tried to find something to read on it. I was brought to a site called Audi World Forum. Saw a picture of cyberpmg's car and read about it on another page. Impressed. He talked about forms being available in January for the Audi Club Driving School. Also, while reading through the various Audi sites, I've seen some reference to a B5 platform and a B6 platform. Nothing with an explanation. can you help me out here on what this driving school is all about and what this B5/B6 platform is all about?
  • Anyone had their steering wheel inadvertently lock, causing the ignition also to lock into position "1"? I couldn't get it to release and was 400 miles from home. Audi Roadside Assistance offerred ONLY one choice: to have it towed 55 miles to nearest Audi service. (Yikes!)

    Any tips on getting it to unlock yourself? Thanking you all, boswell2
  • llwysellwyse Posts: 56
    boswell2, sorry I can't help you, but I can empathize.

    giggs, the Audi Club of North America is www.audiclubna.org. You can see all events there. For the Mid-Ohio Driving School application, click on the Chapter tab, choose Ohio Valley, then choose Events, then choose the Mid-Ohio Driving School. You can open in MS Word or Adobe. There is an excellent article about the Driving School experience in the current Audi Club journal (quattro quarterly). That was what convinced me to go for it.

    B5 and B6 refer to the factory designation for a particular Audi chassis/platform. The B5 platform was for the A4 from 1998 (I think) through 2001. It is also the platform for the current Passat. The B6 platform is for the A4 from 2002 to current.
  • giggsgiggs Posts: 41
    Glad to hear about the platform. It will give me more ammo to fight off a buddy who keeps calling my car a Passat.
  • Ahhh... I see that you found my car! =) Like llyse said, these are events that are held through the Audi Car Club of North America. That very same article in the club's magazine also convinced me to attend. Not only was it a lot of fun taking it out on a track, but I've also learned some very valuable driving skills that can be applied in everyday traffic and not just on the track.

    You might want to sign up to become a member of the club. You might be able to find a local chapter with activities going on close to you. The magazine is a good read.
  • giggsgiggs Posts: 41
    I went to the Audi Car Club Site of NA and the Canadian Chapter appears to be based in Alberta with an east coast contingent. Michigan is by far closer to me - Heck just about half of the United States are closer to me. So, I emailed a note to the contact person in Michigan asking if they would accept a non resident but frequent visitor.
  • llwysellwyse Posts: 56
    giggs, I'm not aware of separate chapter dues for ACNA. To my knowledge, any ACNA member can participate in ACNA or chapter sponsored activities.

    There is a driving school at Waterford Hills, MI. Consider driving a bit further for the Mid-Ohio school. It's a great race course. I've done 10 or so parade laps in my E-Type and TR6 during the Vintage Car Races. Speed is pretty well controlled during those laps, though.
  • giggsgiggs Posts: 41
    All right I'm getting keen on this. I signed up with the ACNA on line. Pretty soon I'll be understanding some of what all you guys are talking about. The Michigan chapter rep. said I'm welcome to come on down. Waterford Hills is no more than an hour drive for me. I might check that out. They are hosting a driving school August 5th and 6th. I considered the Mid-Ohio school but its more than a three hour drive for me. The Mich. chapter rep. said there is a Tech Session in March, again only an hour drive away. Know anything about the Tech Sessions?
  • llwysellwyse Posts: 56
    No, I don't know specifics about ACNA Tech Sessions. Anyone else out there to answer giggs' question?
  • tcasboytcasboy Posts: 214
    giggs: The sport seats in 2001.5 were a stand alone option for the front seats. I wanted cloth seats, you couldn't get leather in the 1.8T and I just couldn't stand the thought of vinyl (ok, leatherette) seats in my nice A4. I wasn't particularly looking for the sport seats, but the only 5 speed I could find with cloth seats happened to have the sport seat option. The sport seats have additional side bolstering and an adjustable lumbar support for the driver's side. They are very comfortable seats and the cloth has held up very well. I had to search far and wide just to find a 5 speed without quattro (or with quatrro for that matter) so paying the 500 extra for the sport seat option was worth it.
  • giggsgiggs Posts: 41
    Puzzled on what to do. Yes, it should be clear by now - I really am enjoying my car. But, ever the type A personality, I'm always striving to better whatever presents itself to me (my wife has learned to ignore me). My good friend llwyse enlightened me sometime ago on Drive-By-Wire. A new concept to me, it explained why I was faced with this peculiar gear shifting that made no sense. Yes, I have learned to drive in S but eh, there is a D! So, shouldn't D receive the normal utilization of any other D in any other car? I've tried resetting the memory like LaMar suggested and well, lets just say it gave me hope but I'm less than satisfied. I've done this twice now and it just isn't going to cut it. I read an article by Karl Brauer dated 11-29-00 about Drive-By-Wire. He said this replacement of the controlled throttle system by sensor reading pedal positioning was superior to cable operation because of greater accuracy which would serve to improve responsiveness. IMPROVE RESPONSIVENESS - I thought, the opposite is true when I am in D. It just doesn't respond well at all -other than in the first two or three gears when it wants to go like hell and then quickly fall off like it's starving for attention. Anyway, we all know that. If I've read about it once I've read about it a dozen times. However, what was interesting to me in the article was Brauer's comments that the Drive-By-Wire system is only as good as the programmers who manufacture and design it. In short, there is something wrong with the design and/or manufacture of this system and isn't it really just a matter of getting Audi to do something about this? Those of you in the know can no doubt point me toward something on this - like a petition or somewhere I could add my name to the list with the hope something will be done? Let me know what I can do to add my voice on this.
  • Drive by wire, at this point, refers to throttle control. It seems to me the problems you're experiencing are a result of the transmission software/programming, not the throttle.
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