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Audi A8



  • I am suggesting you buy an Audi Assured car because you are concerned about cost of maintaining the car. The A8 is a fine car but if something big breaks out of warranty, it's going to be costly to fix. The Audi Assured program covers road side assistance and the cars major systems for an additional two years and up to 75,000 miles at a cost of $50 per visit, not per repair. So if you go in with a few things to fix you still pay $50. And you can probably get the dealership to pay for the Assured Program as part of the deal. If you can find a car from a private owner that is still under the original warranty, I would urge you to use some of that money you are saving to buy a warranty plan, they cost pennies on the dollar when something goes wrong and they are usually very comprehensive.
  • mpyles1mpyles1 Posts: 91
    Has anyone seen or driven the new S8 (the juiced up A8 with 360hp)? Any impressions? Thanks.
  • mpyles1mpyles1 Posts: 91
    Looks like someone has started a separate S8 topic. I'll look there for your comments. Thanks.
  • I have never owned an Audi (Volvo and BMW) but am considering a 1998 A8 4.2 w/ 18,500 miles for $40,000. I have liked this car for some time, but I do not know much about them. Could someone give me insight as to dependability, is it fun to drive, what you like best about the car, what you like least, and anticipated cost of major tune, etc. Any info would be appreciated. Thanks

  • Well to help with an idea of cost of ownership, I just had my 30K service performed. I am no longer under the original warranty so I took the car to a shop that specializes in European cars and is a sponsor of our local chapter of the quattro club. The service ran $368 dollars which included plugs, change of oil & filter (I provided the oil), change of air filter, change of cabin dust and pollen filter and a list of about 20 "check this" items. The shop that did the work installed bosch platinum spark plug which they indicated would save me from having to change them at the next 30K service. Considering the plugs run $50 for the set and R & R is probably $35 (1/2 hr labor) the next 30K service (60K)should be under $300 provided nothing major needs to be done. The 90K service on the other hand, requires a timing belt change. Some how I don't think that's going to be cheap.
  • I too am a new owner and lover of my 97 A8. But three days after picking up the car I caught the front bumper on a curb and had to have it completely replaced. I believe there is a true design flaw here and I am attempting to find out how commom this is. I intend to look for the article listed in that was mentioned in an earlier post. If anyone knows how to gather additional statistics, please let me know as I do not believe this should be reason for the insurance industry to place additional surcharges.
  • Make sure to check the A6 forum on People have reported this problem on plenty of cars other than Audi's. It's just a fact of life nowadays with cars with noses that hang over like that.
  • OK, understood; get the Audi assured plan - but is this on top of the standard warranty? Is there any reason to buy this before the standard warranty runs out?
    Also, can you change the oil in the A8 at places like Jiffy Lube? It's not cost I really care about with maintenence, it's convienence. I would rather get it done in a half hour than drop it off at some out of the way place that require an appointment. I'm the type that wouldn't want to pull into the Audi service site unless something major breaks or I hit 90k miles.
  • Assured program is when buying a car used, I don't know that you can add it to a car that you bought new.
  • vwguildvwguild Posts: 1,620
    For those posts concerning this subject...The W12
    is a marriage of two VR6 VW engines...They are
    displaced at 15 degrees...Hold up your index finger and middle finger and overlap your two
    index fingers and you will discover the origin of the W.
    Same engine as the VW *D-1* coming to the Detroit Show a year from January 2001.

  • Audi Assured is for pre owned cars. It kicks in when the factory warranty expires. It's not really something you add on later after you buy the (preowned) car and really the only reason you wouldn't get it is if you bought the car some where other than a dealer. I am sure you could get them to include it as part of the deal no cost. If you don't buy the car from a dealer, I'd get a warranty plan for one of the independent warranty companies. I asked my service advisor about them i.e. are they worth while. He didn't skip beat when he said "yep. if your, quattro system breaks, it will cost you $13,000 dollars to replace it. Usually those warranties pay for them selves if you have one major problem out side of the warranty period."
    As far as "Jiffy Lube" goes, my opinion would be find a shop that specialises in Audi or European/German cars and stay away from fast food oil places. All the better if you can find one near your place of work so you can drop off the car and pick up the car later after work but most shops will accomodate a while you wait oil change if an appointment is made. Just make sure where ever you go that they have the ability to reset you service indicator. Your A8 holds 8 quarts of oil so oil changes only need to be done about every 5,000-7,500 miles depending on your driving habits.
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,703
    Appreciate your thoughts on extended warranties, as I have always bought them for cars...too many expensive things can break, easily costing in excess of the cost of the warranty.

    But, just out of curiosity, how often does the quattro break? $13,000 is probably the most expensive component repair I have ever seen, not counting vehicular damage from a collision. Makes me wonder if anyone would ever keep an audi over 100K miles (the usual limit on most extended warranties). Too many quattro breaks, and it would not bode well for buying an audi/vw-4-motion.
  • vwguildvwguild Posts: 1,620
    The VW 10/100 covers your powertrain including
    the 4MO cars..."any lubricated part that moves the car"....
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,703
    thanks for the info, but as one who drives 28K miles per year, even with the extended warr, I am out of warr in 3.5 years. Looking forward to a 13K repair is not my cup of tea, hence, my question re: just how often does quattro/4Motion break?
  • vwguildvwguild Posts: 1,620
    Will make a call for you tomorrow...I have a VW
    meeting near San Francisco in the AM...but will get back to you on this late tomorrow or Tues.
  • I think the point the service advisor was trying to make the point you made in your response. I.E. it's kind of a no brainer. I think he just cited the most expensive repair he could think off the top of his head and @$13K I suspect they would be replacing everything, not just the broken part(s). As far as VW's go yeah the warranty on the power train is better of the bat. There have been a few post on the local quattro club mailing list about a timing belt tensioner that failed after the warranty that would have been covered if they owned a VW. Same basic engine, but because of the VW warranty is was covered on the VW but not the Audi. Anyway, it's a trade off. I suspect the soup to nuts coverage bing twice as long on the Audi makes up for some of the thing you would other wise pay for on the VW.
  • Its not like its made of eggshells or something! With more moving parts than FWD though, I can't really see it being more reliable than FWD.

    I don't expect you'll have any problems with the Quattro in the first 100K miles.

    Why do you believe that Quattro is somehow some single unit that can't be fixed in parts? I've heard the tranny/center diff/forward diff unit costs $8K. That's a bundle. If any other part goes, you can probably get it replaced piecemeal.

    You don't get a new engine every time your water pump breaks.
  • Here's something that might shock you ...

    A new engine (rebuilt) for a Lexus LS400 is $18,600 plus labor and anything else needed to be replaced.

    The timing belts on the Lexus V8s are no joke. It breaks and the engine is toast.

    BTW, I never found the S8 forum on Edmunds. Does one exist?
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,703
    quattro could not be fixed with parts. Another poster stated that a service rep stated that if quattro must be replaced, it is $13K. I am only following up on that statement. I have no idea if a $50 part could fix it, or if it is only sold as a complete unit. I am just asking a logical question as a consequence of an apparent comment from an Audi service rep. Frankly, I never would have thought of quattro replacement, but it seems someone at Audi is well aware of it (assuming the statement from the previous poster is true....hearsay, you know).
  • Bob and/or Marsha- what makes you think bollingers comment was directed at you? Look folks I was just repeating what the service rep said and as I stated in my post at that price it sounds like you would be getting a completely new unit (and then some). I'll ask him what that figure is based on but in reality his response to my question about buying an extended warranty was, in a nut shell, it is a good idea on a car like the A8. The example he cited was to dramatize that point using a worst case scenario. It was not meant to be a statement about the durability or reliability of the quattro system or a basis for cost of repairing any problem that may arise with the quattro drivetrain.
    As far as CharlieMikes comment about timing belts, they are no joke on any car. No matter what engine they are on, if they break, the engine is toast and the engine is usually the single most expensive part on a vehicle to replace.
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,703
    to be directed at me, so I responded. No offense taken or given. The comment seemed to respond to my post, so I qualified what I thought was a question/comment to me, that's all.

  • vwguildvwguild Posts: 1,620
    Just got off the phone with my Audi counterpart
    down the road...I asked him to describe is experience with Quattro over the past 7 years...
    "bulletproof" was the response.
  • I own a 2000 A8. My previous car was a 1986 Audi 5000 Quattro of which I was the third owner and which our babysitter now owns. I believe this quattro system is very similar to the A8's although it had manual locking differentials instead of automatic. The independent service shop owner here repairs many Audis dating back 15 years and had never had an instance of quattro breakage.
  • I don't want to have to worry about any problems with my A8. Bulletproof sounds good to me. I expect I'll never have any problems with my quattro system. As I said it was an extreme example. I am sure quattro failure is very rare. And I am sure that figures into what the warranty insurance companies charge as far as premiums go. The point is it's a very complex car and if something big breaks out of warranty, if you have the coverage, it will most likely pay for it self and then some. The first new car I bought was an '86 Ford Taurus and I purchased the Ford ESP which extended my factory warranty for another 2 years/24,000 miles. The head gasket blew during the extended warranty period. So instead of the repair costing me over $600, it only cost me the cost of the ESP plan ($300) plus a $25 deductible. I know I'm talking Ford vs. Audi but my Audi has been in the shop on a few occasions for more than just maintenance since I have owned it. A more equal comparison ... You can buy coverage out to 7 yrs. and 100,000 miles. I had an '87 BMW 7 series that I bought from my father in law. He had purchased an extended warranty that covered the replacement of the rear axle and a few other big ticket items. Unfortunately for me he didn't get the coverage that went out to 100K because the tranny developed a major problem (would only engage in reverse) at around 92,000 miles. That ended up costing me $1,800 + towing. These maybe more typical examples of why you would want an extended warranty.

  • vwguildvwguild Posts: 1,620
    I have exchanged posts with M7 on several occasions concerning a VW Passat GLX equipped with
    4Motion/Quattro. That car carries a 10year/100,000
    mile powertrain warranty that includes the all-wheel drive 4 Motion System...that is not an extended warranty, but simply a part of the basic
    VW Protection Plus program that comes with the base price of the car
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,703
    thank you for taking the time to check and respond. It was kind of you to put forth the effort.

  • maza8maza8 Posts: 1
    I have a '99 4.2, and have a couple of specific issues that Audi tells me are normal.

    First, with the car in "D" and if the a/c compressor is not running (either because of the heat being on or "econ" being selected), the car idles at 600 rpm (indicated). The issue is that the low idle causes a vibration in the seat, steering wheel, door panel, etc., (you can both hear and feel it). Take it out of gear and the r's jump about 50-100 and the idle is as smooth and quiet as you could want. I have a $68,200 car and it idles like a truck.

    Audi's factory rep drove the car and advised me that this is "normal". Additionally, the idle has NO adjustment as the onboard computer ultimately selects the final idle sped. On my side, I always run the proper octane, beyond that I don't have too much control of the mixture that the computer selects. Does this sound right? Do these cars have an audible low idle problem normally? It just needs 50-75 rpm or so and the problem would be solved, but I'm told that's not available. When I have people in the car I find myself giving the car a little gas when at idle so as to avoid this situation in my expensive euro luxury cruiser....

    Next, under normal traffic situations, the car shifts from gear to gear at way too low an rpm, leaving it very "flatfooted" and in frequent need of a downshift (usually two gears). If I get into the throttle at all off of the line I avoid this programming, but in my neighborhhod (25-30 mph) or in traffic on the highway (stop and go, 20-35 mph max), it's the "gear hunter". It shifts into every gear by 2,000 rpm, and into 4th at 32 mph, turning about 1200 rpm or so. Isn't there a non-EPA blessed EPROM from Audi (they tell me absolutely NO)? I don't care about my economy (loosing 1-3 mpg), I probably loose mpg's everytime it downshifts from 4th to 2nd and the r's go from 1200-3000. This car makes torque at 4,000; it's not a cast iron, push-rod V8. What are they thinking making it shift as if it has 475 lbs.ft. of torque at low rpm's? It makes no sense to me. My (94) 540i had similar final gearing with a 5spd auto too, and it was always in the right gear.

    Thanks in advance.
  • vwguildvwguild Posts: 1,620
    Get a second opinion or two...
  • I've taken my car('97 A8 4.2Q) in for the same (vibration at low RPMs) issue. The dealership in Portland, OR said that the vibration was normal, and the Audi V8 isn't like the Lexus/BMW V8 - I guess these V8s don't vibrate at low RPMs. For the transmission lag issue, you could try an aftermarket e-chip.
  • No serious vibrations on my car but it does run smoother in N rather than D when stationary. I noticed the early shifting on the test drive but it did not bother me, as it makes it a sedate car to drive in town. This is fine for me but perhaps not for everyone. It still goes when pushed...

    Has anyone ever encountered a problem with the Radio/TV/Telephone remote buttons on the steering wheel continually failing? I am sure it's covered by the warranty, but is this an easy fix, would hate to be without it for too long.
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