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Audi A4 2004 and earlier



  • Yes,w/AC on, a big difference in take- off. Even at idle it seems to work harder than w/ system in OFF. Climate control does seem to engage the compressor, heat or AC, and hence slow the vehicle down to some degree.

    Engaging the compressor seems to rob the engine of noticeable "get up and go", and of course increased gasoline usage.

    I don't notice this as much w/ my naturally-aspirated v-6 Toy camry. Maybe this has something to do with the turbo's?
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 18,660
    There was no spoiler lip on the rear but there was a "1.8T" badge. Perhaps Laser Red is back in the A4 spectrum? I sure hope so.

    Sorry I can't be more helpful on this 2.7T motor failure business. I saw some posts about here on TH or at (their forum format leaves a lot to be desired IMO).

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • I have read plenty of raves about the 2.7T -- I wish that there had been a 2.9T, apparently the 1.8T and the 4.2T and the 2.5TDI will be enough engine (for the US anyway) choices.

    Actually, I plan on a mild chip in my new 2.7T allroad.

    The new S4 looks great, in fact I say too bad it is NOT a turbo -- I think a turbo 2.9 would have been great, then a turbo 4.2 is the RS4 would have been fantastic.

    But, then again, as my friend says: there's no replacement for displacement.
  • Been negotiating to purchase this for a week now, with the South Florida dealers the Collection, Braman, Prestige, and Champion.

    Invoice is $27,048, MSRP is $29,661. Have them down to $28,150. I think it's a decent deal, but wanted some input from the fine folks here before I seal the deal.

    Also, the "Premier Purchase" plan is intriguing. Does anyone have any experience with it as a way of lowering monthly payments/tax implications, etc..

  • Quick follow-up to the xenon discussion. Yup, the bulbs themselves should last a long time (barring any defects), but the high voltage converter ($200+) required to run these babies is an extra part that can go bad. Mine new A4 lost one the day after I brought it home; of course, it was quickly replaced; but if it were just a bulb, I could've done it myself.
  • tmcktmck Posts: 28
    It finally happened. After 12,600 miles my check engine light came on as I was backing out of the garage. It was also blinking. I drove a few miles and returned to home. Monday morning I called Audi service which is in a town about 85 miles away. They told me not to drive it so I called Audi roadside assistance and a after a few hours and lot of communication, the flatbed truck took my Audi away. About 3 hours later the service mgr called and said they had it fixed. It was a bad ignition coil. When I called initially and told him about the check engine light blinking and the car running rough he suggested it might be the coil as if it has happened to others before me.
    I picked up the car last night and in the process looked at some new A4s on the lot. I had not wanted Denim Blue as a color initially but now I think it is Audi's best color for the A4. On the way home I averaged about 32 mpg with the 1.8 and Tip. Not a bad experience at all. Still love my Audi.
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 18,660
    about coil failures at Apparently you're one of many. I'm not sure if it's peculiar to the 1.8Ts or if they're having
    coil troubles with the v6 motors as well.

    Good luck with your new A4, I'm sure you'll continue to love it.

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • Does anyone know if the 03 A4 3.0 CVT has the radio controls on the steering wheel?
  • Does anyone know if Audi will ever offer CVT
    with their Quattro models?
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,328
    They're working on it. Supposedly it is another 2-4 years away.

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2011 Pilot EX-L 4WD, 2015 Infiniti G37x Q40 AWD

  • lauk0dglauk0dg Posts: 563
    I don't think so. It's a feature lacking in A4's, unfortunately.

    (even the new 03 Accords have them)

  • As I mentioned in an earlier post a few months ago, a coil pack on my 2001 1.8T failed, leaving me without one cylinder (really rough engine, check engine light on). The closest dealer I could get to fortunately was only 4 miles away, and they later told me all four coil packs were replaced plus all four spark plugs, per Audi's direction (all under warranty). I wasn't pleased with the one failure (had the car less than a year, a few thousand miles), but the repair was done in a day and I'm happy all four cylinders are now taken care of (supposedly). Looking down the road I'd like to hang on to my Audi after the original warranty expires, but I'm nervous about a potential whopper of a repair bill that I read about every now and then. Anyone know what's the best extended warranty out there? If Audi made cars as reliable as my 1985 Supra (still going strong), I wouldn't worry about an extended warranty, but I'm nowhere near convinced that that is the case.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,328
    Don't worry, this is not another "which one of these should I get," but just a comparison of a friend of mine. He has a 2002 A4 3.0Q w/ 6 speed and his sister recently purchased a 2002 BMW 325Ci w/ Steptronic. Both cars are equipped with Sport Packages. He drove his sister's car last night and I just wanted to pass his observations & comparisons on to the board.

    He was suprised at how strong the smaller 2.5L I6 was as compared to the 3.0 V6 in his A4. He said with some miles on it and a stick that it could probably run with his 3.0 with no problem. He said the 330i must be like a road rocket and can't imagine how fast an M3 is.

    He likes the interior of his A4 MUCH better. He said the monotonous orange lightling in the BMW is somewhat distracting and discomforting to the eyes. The A4's interior lighting is spectacular. The BMW is a snug fit for him. Now granted he's 5'7" and weighs somewhere around 240lbs, but he's much more comfortable in the A4.

    He said the steering in the BMW was much heavier and more precise than in his Audi (he still thinks the Audi's steering is great though).

    As far as ride quality goes, he said his A4 actually rides rougher. That may have something to do with the fact that his tires have 20K on them and the BMWs tires are obviously brand new.

    So I asked him the obvious question: If you were shopping today, which car would you pick? Hands down he would take his A4 3.0Q 6 speed. He loves the unique look of his Amulet Red, SP equipped A4 as opposed to the ubiquitious 3 series which are all over the place in Connecticut. He says if he was shopping a 325i vs an A4 1.8T, he might have to reconsider. He said if the 1.8T were available with leather and the wood trimmed interior it would be closer, but as of 2002, he'd take the 325i.

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2011 Pilot EX-L 4WD, 2015 Infiniti G37x Q40 AWD

  • I have driven the A4 with the 1.8T. I really didn't like it. Even though the car was equipped w/ Tiptronic I felt that while the low end torque was decent, the car really ran out of steam at highway speeds.
    Granted, the car was a loaner and I was comparing it to my A6 2.7T (I don't want to be unfair since the two Audis are obviously at differing price points), the 6cylinder in the 2.5 BMW is nicer. Advantage to Audi, however, in offering a true sport suspension for Quattro whereas BMW doesn't (or at least didn't in 2001) offer a sport suspension for their iX line.
    IMO, NO OTHER car company comes close to Audi interiors. Whether it's lighting, materials, design, or thoughtful touches, they are masters.
  • The A4 interior was a major factor in my decision to buy an A4. It certainly isn't perfect. Where do you store your sunglasses? I use that spot underneath the armrest, but it isn't ideal. What about cupholders? The A4 cupholders are terrible. Now, I don't allow eating or drinking in my car, but I would like to be able to bring a quick meal back to the office without spilling soda all over my radio. And what if I need to bring back two sodas? Put the second in the armrest and hit it with my elbow every time I shift or turn the wheel?

    My last car was a Focus, and it had acceptable cupholders. I didn't get the smoker's package, so instead of an ashtray my car had a felt-lined tray that fit a pair of sunglasses perfectly.

    If you want to see the direction Ford is heading with its interiors, check out the concept for the C-Max (the first vehicle to be made off of the next-generation Focus platform). VW/Audi is going to be getting some competition!

  • From my monikor I'm obviously a BMW guy but I've liked the A4 since it came out. I've driven a few and almost bought a couple. The thing that has kept me in BMWs regard the out of warranty experience with Bimmers. First off, I generally like to buy clean low mileage used cars from the original owner. I've often taken BMWs from a year or so of the factory warranty out to over 150K miles. They are fairly easy to work on, don't break very often and membership in the BMWCCA gets anyone 25% off factory parts. Also, BMW's straight six motors have been amazing.
    Our problem is that we live in snow country and my wife really wants an 5 spd A4 Avant. Aside from my normal purchasing habits I like the look of the old body better on the A4s. Around here it seems like all the used A4s being sold are out of warranty. Many of them right out of warranty. Is Audi ownership that bad? I'd like to know how fequently these cars need work. How is longevity on the motors? Of the 4 and 6 cyl. which will last longer? Is there a Audi club that compares to BMWCCA? Would you own an A4 with no warranty?
  • To be honest with you, and this is just my humble opinion. The only car on the current market that I would keep way past warranty are the corolla and civic. Anything else, I don't feel so comfortable. With Audi, the biggest concern you will have after warranty is the turbo, if you get the 1.8T or the 2.7T, and then the transmission and drive train. Those will concern me the most. Not because they are not well designed, but just the nature of the beast itself. Hopefully others could comment further.
  • Our '98.5 2.8Q is out of warranty, at about 53,000 miles. It's held up really well, and except for one tiny scratch on the side (which I haven't gotten around to having repaired yet) it still looks brand new, inside and out. The only major repair (about $600) was when the front suspension (control arms or bushings (?), I forget) had to be replaced, which I guess is not unusual on these cars. I understand this is because Audi does not make them serviceable (cannot be greased) and eventually they just start to squeak.

    I agree with dtwleungnyc about the transmission and drive train being the main worries, but this would be true on all cars, it's just that the more expensive European brands cost you more when something does break. But based on our ownership experience so far, I feel pretty comfortable owning this car past warranty, as I know that it's been extremely well maintained, and still has a real solid feel all around. Most longer-term cars that I've owned previously have felt a lot more "broken in" than the A4 does at this stage. It's still very tight with no rattles. My experience aside, I have to admit that I wouldn't feel very comfortable owning any Audi, BMW, Mercedes, etc past warranty if I were broke and living from paycheck to paycheck...these cars are not for everybody and without a warranty in effect you obviously need to have some money put aside in case the unexpected happens. I disagree with some here about this, but I still think that assuming proper maintenance it's cheaper owning cars over a longer period of time than buying/leasing every three or so years and making sure your car is always under warranty. This is considering all expenses, including interest, depreciation, taxes and insurance. If you can set aside the equivalent of six or so new car lease payments, you should have enough cash to take care of most problems that might come up. My own philosophy has been to buy my cars with cash, which I've done with our last five vehicles, starting with a '90 SHO, a '91 Eclipse GSX, a '94 Grand Cherokee, the '98 A4, and our '01 allroad. All of the first three were driven well past warranty, and I've never incurred a repair that cost more than six payments worth (a little lucky, maybe). It's a little ironic, but my most expensive repair ever (in today's dollars) involved my very first car, a '67 BMW 1600 (precursor to the 2002) which at about 110,000 miles needed a valve job - cost more than what I PAID for the car when I bought it at 70,000 miles!

    P.S. I also agree with you about the older A4's styling - it's a very classic look. I don't dislike the new styling, but it didn't get me excited like the original did.
  • Gene-- Yes, buying clean low milege used cars from the original owners is definitely the "smart" way to go when it comes to making the most financial sense. I also agree with Joel in that keeping and meticulously maintaining a car over a long period of time as opposed to leasing or trading a car in every three years, is IMHO definitely going to cost less in the long run. But some just want the luxury of having a new car every three years and this is fine too if one can financially afford it. When I was younger, my goal was to keep a car at least 100k miles but hardly ever reached that goal in any car I owned seemed that I just got itchy for a new car when I put on somewhere around 60k miles on it. Now that I'm older and more financially able to justify the extravagance, I'll probably start to turn cars over at even a more rapid pace.

    I don't know if I would totally agree with David's comment that the only two cars worth taking a chance on keeping past the warranty period would be a Civic or a Corolla. I think many Japanese cars would be worth taking a chance on keeping over a long period of time ...including Nissans and Subarus. I know many --and I mean many-- people who have kept Nissans and Subarus as well as Toyotas and Hondas for well over 150k miles and/or ten or more years with none or very little maintenance expenses incurred other than routine scheduled services. I have a close friend who bought a new Datsun 200sx and rarely had it serviced. She didn't pay any attention to even changing oil regularly but kept that car for over 15 years putting over 250,000 miles on it with virtually no major repairs. I still shake my head over that! I don't want to turn this into another Japanese reliability debate so I'll drop the subject for now. *chuckles*

    As far as Audi owners having a club similar to the BMW CCA, I believe the former Quattro Club of America which now is called Audi Car Club of North America, is the equivalent to Audi owners as the BMW CCA is to BMW owners. They do offer member discounts on parts, etc. but I'm not familiar as to the details. I think Mark is a member. Maybe he can respond. In the meantime, you can peruse their web site:

    And yes!, there are many of us who prefer the old B5 platform A4 over the new B6. For me, the original A4 Avant is one of the cleanest and most beautifully designed wagons ever made! Although I must admit, I am considering trading in my Subaru Forester for a new '03 A4 Avant ...or an allroad if I can talk myself into it. :P


  • The reason I mentioned the corolla and civic only is due to this. These two cars has fewer gadgets that could go wrong when compared to other cars on the market. I am sure there are other cars on the market that could go 10+years or 100K+ miles without too much major problems, but if I have to put my own money down, for a long term car with the least likely problems, it will probably be the corolla and civic. FWIW, my mother in law is still driving her 88 dodge aries K, other than the AC not working, the car is still running fine. Go figure.
  • David-- ah yes, I understand what you are saying. "KISS" obviously comes to mind when talking about the longevity of anything mechanical ...or even some electronic components.

    I like the fact that more manufacturers are starting to use LED brake (and tail lights) for example. Longevity of LEDs will far surpass that of the traditional filament bulb not to mention the added performance of the lights illuminating faster.

    But how many of us want a car with few "gadgets" in this day and age? ...after all, gadgets are what makes a car desireable to most of us. Sure, we can do without, say, a heated steering wheel but I'm sure it really makes it nice on those cold days. I'm sure cars will continue to have more gadgets either as standard equipment or options as time goes on. Remember when A/C was considered a luxury item? (ooops, now I'm admitting how old I am). Now it's standard on most cars.

    Speaking of A/C, the only vehicle I've owned that didn't need major A/C repairs or total replacement was my Toyota 4Runner. It's A/C was still blowing strong 16 years after purchasing it new. It never even needed a recharge during that time and I even used it extensively during the winter.

    So anyway, I didn't mean to imply that only Japanese cars could go years and many miles past their warranty periods without major repairs. I'm sure that many domestic and European car owners could attest to the same results. It's just my opinion that a larger percentage of Japanese car owners will give glowing testaments pertaining to reliability than those who own domestic or European cars. No flames please. *smiles*

  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 18,660
    My extended coverage ran out @ 75k and the only expense has been replacing an electric fan motor
    (appx $230). I have confidence in this car ('98
    Avant Quattro 2.8 w Tip) and plan on keeping it past 100k.

    I am concerned about the possibility of expensive repairs if something should fail on the trans or drivetrain but I think if I keep on top of maintainence I'll get my money's worth out of this great car (bought used CPO).

    The newer styling didn't grab me off the bat like the old did (I still remember the first A4 I saw) but I'm anxious to try the new one, the styling is growing on me. Audis make everything else on the road look old fashioned.

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • shehzadshehzad Posts: 52
    I just went to an vw dealership today and saw a 2002 A4 for sale that was offered at an excellent price. It looked fantastic but it had one problem--that the dealer also disclosed. He mentioned that it had been "bought back" from the original owner by Audi due to an ignition problem and then fixed and was now being resold through the vw dealership b/c they bought it from an audi/vw/porsche auction. Any thoughts on how much I should pay for it. IT's a 1.8t ming blue, cold weather package, sunroof, homelink, tiptronic, 16inch alloys--he's very firm at his asking price of 26700, and it has 9000 or so miles on it. It was one of the first manufactured 2002's--made in september 2001---and it's still covered by audi's warranty--it's just that, as much as i like the car, I can't help but wonder if I'm buying a problem car. Any thoughts? Thanks-Shehzad
  • JBaumgartJBaumgart Posts: 890
    I'd be cautious - it would make me wonder why Audi didn't keep it and sell it as an "Audi Assured" car. Maybe there were other problems that have not been disclosed, and the problems couldn't be fixed by a simple ignition replacement? For Audi to agree to buy it back I would think that there were some serious issues that could not be easily resolved to the original owner's satisfaction. I don't think the price is attractive enough to justify taking the risk. On the other hand maybe there's a good explanation and the problem(s) are gone, but before I took the plunge I would want some assurances, like maybe a good reference from the Audi dealer which decided to dump it at auction.
  • New cars which are billed as pristine can be enough of a headache. One which is ostensibly a lemon already smells like nothing but trouble. Look elsewhere.
  • lauk0dglauk0dg Posts: 563
    With at least one known (kinda major cuz if it happens again, you are going absolutely nowhere) problem, and that the price is not THAT much cheaper than a problem-free used car with 9k miles, I would NOT buy it.

    My $0.02.

  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 18,660
    it might be worth a chance but @ $26.7 it's way too pricey. You could get a similar CPO for very little more, if any.

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • I agree with most of what's been said so far. I have to wonder why the original Audi dealer didn't keep the car for resale. Unless there is a stipulation from the manufacturer or some stragegy on the part of the dealer not to keep a refurbished "lemon" or a buyback to be sold on the orginating dealer's lot, I'd have to believe that this car would be an excellent choice to be resold at the same dealership.

    An "ignition problem" could mean many things. I'd want a full idsclosure on just what the recurring problem was and how it was resolved. For the original owner to demand that the car be bought back and Audi agreeing to do so, there had to be some major problem. I'd want some documentation as to how this problem was resolved ...if it was resolved at all for if it was, the original owner probably would have been satsified and in all likelihood, would have kept the car.

    Here's where I might disagree with the comments of the previous posters: The price itself doesn't really sound all that bad. Using the Edmunds configurator, the MSRP new was $31,220 (assuming it's quattro and you listed all the options correctly). The KBB "Blue Book Private Party Report" configured with the options you gave came to a whopping $30,310! The KBB wholesale came to $26,905. So yes, if it were an absolutely "clean" CPO, then the price you were quoted would appear to be excellent. I'm impressed at how much value is retained on a year old A4! *applauds* I doubt you could find a similar car with that mileage for that price. IMO only.

  • mikosmikos Posts: 6
    I'm shopping VWs and Audi A4. With respects to the A4, anyone have some solid info on just how little over invoice the average dealership will go. I'm interested in 1.8T 5SPD with Sport Suspension and Gray Ext. Invoice is at $24,500.00. I heard that I'll have to go as high as $26,000 to do the deal.. $1500 over just sounds like a lot.

    Secondly, for kicks and grins and if you haven't already.. go drive the VW VR6 6SPD either in the GLI Jetta or the GTI.. Oh my gosh... scary fast! 200HP, 195 Torque! I'm actually considering a fully loaded GTI with climate, leather, heated seats, 6SP, VR6.. pretty much has every bell an whistle. I'm just drawn to the serious heart race the car generates.

    My sensible side says get the A4 for many reasons.. now for the commentary part. In response to A4 3.0Q vs. BMW 325i and the part where the 1.8T is concerned. There are several high-end tuners out there, Wetterauer comes to mind who offer an ECU upgrade for the new 1.8T. HP increases to 205 and Torque to 250! Mind you, you're advised to swap your air filter for a K&N or RAM AIR, and not to full throttle for hours on end... but you'll smoke most of what's out there. The primary complaint that's addressed is the low end torque. If you take care of your wheels.. it's a $500 investment that shouldn't be overlooked.

    Any info on the invoice inquiry is greatly appreciated!
  • jaydolljaydoll Posts: 120
    The 1.8 is a great engine but, the 3.0 is better in every which way except the price tag. The 3.0 with the 6 speed will pull from from very low rpm in 1st to well above 4k rpm. Also, with the 6 speed, at a cruising speed of 60mph, yopu are doing a bit over 3k rpm with the 3.0/6 speed. In the 1.8T/5 speed you are reving at 4kpm. Now with regard to the above comments concerning the bmw 2.5/5 speed combo being very close in performance to the Audi/3.0/6 speed, I compared both the 2.5 and 3.0 bmw real wheel drive both with sport package and 5 speeds to the Audi 3.0 /6 speed. I felt that the Audi and bmw 3.0 models were close but keep in mind that the bmw didn't give you all wheel drive, which added weight to the Audi. The 2.5 is a dog engine that felt very slugish and it ran out of steam very quickly. I think that the 1,8T vs. the 2.5 is a much more fair comparison.
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