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Audi A4 2004 and earlier



  • Thanks for your help. I'll go for the 2.8 then.
    Does the 4yrs/50K miles maintenance cover everthing (oil change, oil filter, wear and tear, etc...)? Should I also get an extended warranty? How does it work? Do I buy it when I buy a new car or wait for my 4yrs/50K miles to almost expire and then buy the extended warranty? Appoximately, how much does the extended warranty cost?

  • that the normal wear and tear is the owner's problem. Not sure what the warranty includes on the A4. Better go over it in detail with the dealer. Only take the extended warranty if you KNOW you intend to keep the car for many years, it's comparable to the initial warranty and you can get it for less than $1,200. It is unlikely that it would transer to a new owner if you were to sell the vehicle at a later date. In that case, you'd be out the money. I don't know if you can even tack on an extended warranty after the sale. Anyone know for sure?
  • drc4drc4 Posts: 56
    I know...long time, no post. I just got tired of beating the same poor dead horse in these forums.

    Hopefully, your 2.8 is still going strong. As you know, for the first few thousand miles my A4 was perfect. Unfortunately, now with only 7,000 miles it's beginning to remind me why I swore I'd never buy another Audi after all the problems I've had with them in the past. But I thought Audi had improved their quality, which is why I decided to give them another try.

    First, I've always had the problem with strong exhaust fumes entering the cabin on acceleration. My dealer tested everything and could find no cause (naturally). I contacted APR and they knew exactly what's going on from their own experience. It seems to be a 1.8T problem with the turbo. There's an internal weld that fails in many (but not all) turbos at the flange where the cat converter connects to the turbo. It's a tight fit and while at idle, under light acceleration or cruising at a constant speed, the weld is still making contact with the seam and not allowing any exhaust/emissions through. But because of the torque on moderate-to-hard acceleration, the turbo physically moves upward, stressing the seam and causing a gap where the weld has failed, allowing exhaust/emissions to enter the engine compartment and the cabin. This annoying, potentially health-affecting situation occurs even with the windows/sunroof closed but is naturally worse with the sunroof open. The weld can't be seen via visual inspection and can only be checked by removing the turbo. I told my service rep about APR's experience with this problem and he contacted the Audi rep. Naturally, Audi won't cover the removal of the turbo for inspection under warranty...even though APR has experienced this problem on several 1.8Ts. The same problem has been documented on the AudiWorld forum by many other 1.8T owners. This will most likely get legal due to the health issue involved.

    I also noticed a big loss of coolant in the reservoir so took it in and will have to get the water pump replaced. Wonderful. They said some "weepage" is normal but my reservoir was 1/4" below the minimum mark! That's a LOT of "weepage." And when I removed the plastic front uncarriage cover, there were pink streams all over it, as well as on the underside of the water pump and several other places. I was planning a trip home to Ft. Lauderdale but there's no way I'd trust this car now. Dealer said they couldn't guarantee a new water pump wouldn't do the same thing. Water pump replacement at low mileage has also been documented many times on the AudiWorld forum with some owners requiring replacement more than once.

    Another oddity I'm experiencing that I've seen mentioned on the A4 forum is continuous air loss from all 4 tires. Within 2-3 weeks all tires will lose as much as 4 lbs. I had to buy a small portable pump to keep up with it. It seems to be in the type of rims used with the sport package and several other A4 owners have complained about it.

    My front doors rattle from bass response in the speakers; the plastic around the front of the sliding sunroof cover edge creaks over bumps and the only way to fix it is replacement of the cover which requires the removal of the whole roof liner; my cruise control went out on a recent short trip, etc, etc.

    On a positive note, I switched to synthetic oil and my mileage has noticeably increased.

    Hope you and hubby are doing well.
  • Beachboy:

    I think Seattleshiela summed it up pretty good. The 4 yr/50,000 warranty and maintenance program covers just about every, including wiper blades, except for tires and items you damaged on your own, like I scratched the chrome around the shifter badly and tried to get Audi to replace it. Wouldn't do.

    Also, Audi doesn't have their own extended warranty. You are better off going with your own third party company like If I were keeping this car past the warranty period, I would definitely get an extended warranty before then on any car. I wouldn't drive a car without an extended warranty. The money is worth the peace of mind, but there is no need to get one right now. Also, having an extended warranty is great for resale value. People would obviously much rather buy a car with a warranty that without one.


    Haven't seen you on the boards for a while, and I guess I can surmise why now.

    I can't believe your car is having so many problems. Luckily you are leasing, and have the warranty through the lease period, although that doesn't help the inconvenience having a car with problems can cause. I agree about the health considerations involved with your first problem. BTW, why did you call APR? Did you get a chip through them? If you did, to be honest with you, that's why I didn't get the 1.8, because of the turbo and possible chipping problems.

    Anyway, I hope everything turns out OK. My car is still great (keeping fingers crossed). My husband and I are doing fine. Hope your publication is working out.
  • I'm looking to buy my first Audi - and am trying to decide whether to get a 2001 or 2002 model. I read the article on on the new A4 for next year.

    Question: anyone know if the new engines will have 100,000 tuneup interval that now seems to be standard across the industry? Sure would be nice to move that existing, expensive 60k tuneup out to 100k.

    If the new engines don't have an extended tuneup interval, how in the world is Audi going to compete? thanks,
  • Funny, I was pumping up the tires on my IS300 last night and wondering why and how they could get so low in just a couple of weeks. Guess the Audi has the same trouble. (The owner's manual DOES say to check them every two weeks.) Like you, I have a portable pump, (runs of the ligher socket) so was able to fix it in a jiffy. Will just have to keep and eye on that.
  • bollingerbollinger Posts: 207
    Hmm. I also wonder. You say under heavy acceleration the turbo actually moves away because the engine torques so much? You say APR told you this?

    Any chance you chipped your car? If you chipped your car, and upped the torque, then the engine will twist more in its mounts under heavy acceleration, and you may brake more than just a few welds. There's no way Audi should be held responsible for problems which don't happen when you leave the car as you bought it.

    I have no air leaking problems. If you are having such problems, it could be porous rims, it could be bad beads on the tires, or it could be just that you are driving the tires hard enough to pull the beads back and allow leakage. If the last is the case, adding a few (2-3 more pounds of air might help). Or it might not.
  • drc4drc4 Posts: 56

    Since my dealership or Audi could give me no answers about the exhaust problem, I contacted APR because they deal with more A4s in a month than my dealership will in a year and if anyone would know about this problem, they would...and they knew exactly what I was talking about. No, I decided not to chip BECAUSE of possible problems. My car is completely stock. If Audi can't or won't resolve the exhaust issue to my satisfaction, I'll legally get out of the lease based on the exhaust-induced health issues and go elsewhere. No more turbos for me and most likely no more Audis. As you know, this is my 4th Audi with major problems and enough is enough.

    The magazine is out and the quality surpassed our expectations. We're now in the process of selling ads and working on the next issue.

    Take care and I hope you're one of the fortunate Audi owners who don't experience these major inconveniences.


    Strange, isn't it?! I always check air pressure each week out of habit on all my cars but have never had a car lose air pressure to this extent. What tires/rims are on your IS300? Mine are Dunlop SP8000 E 205/55 ZR16 on 16" painted factory rims. I just spoke to a couple tire stores and they said it's most likely the fit of the tire lip in the rim...basically the rim/tire combination being incompatible requiring a sealer. They have similar problems with chrome rims in particular.

    My pump also plugs into the lighter socket and works great. I also ditched my cheap "tube" type gauges and got a good quality needle gauge that seems to be extremely accurate.

    How do you like your IS300?
  • drc4drc4 Posts: 56
    My car is completely chip. I had considered it and spoke to APR a few times but decided against it. And yes, when I recently spoke to APR about the exhaust problem, that was the explanation I got. BTW, your post was entered before my post #447, which addresses most of your questions and comments.

    What tires/rims are you running? I'd be curious to see if you have the same combination. I run the SP8000s at 36lbs and don't drive particularly hard.
  • Heck, all I know is that they are 17" Bridgestone "low profile" things. Can get the exact number for you on Monday.
    Love my IS300. Goes like a bomb and is a great personal car. Best of all, it's a blast to drive.
  • mgreene1mgreene1 Posts: 116
    Haven't read all the threads but had a thought:
    Has the car been tested for emissions? If not then do ASAP and hope it fails. If it fails, AoA must remedy without fail or government will be a strong ally to force repair. Great leverage and more cost effective than attorney.

    re: IS300 (for seattlesheila)

    Almost got one but 6-speed S4 got in the way. ;)
    A nice car, but it had really suspect 17" tires.
    The IS300 has the same RE040 17" tires as the S4.
    There are many reported problems in the audiworld S4 forum. Search on RE040 or bubble and see what I mean. They might be okay for the much lighter IS300 but keep an eye on them. TT owners also got bubbles too but not like the S4 people.
  • bollingerbollinger Posts: 207
    No jokes please. I know they aren't any good. I run them at 42lbs, 2 under the maximum. This is because I am cheap and want to save on gas.

    My tires do lose air over time, but nothing like that you talk about. It is very very unusual to lose air equally in all 4 tires. That usually means it is something you do (like drive hard, which you don't). Or more commonly it means they were mounted incorrectly. Perhaps inflating them to 5 over the max then letting them back down to seat the beads would help. Seems more like the rims weren't prepped at the bead seat when the tires were mounted.
  • I'm really sorry to hear that the "love affair" you had with the A4 in the beginning has turned into such a debacle. I would defintely go the route you are taking. Exhaust fumes in the car are a definite health risk, and if Audi cannot fix this problem, you have every recourse to get out of your lease.

    I hope everything turns out O.K. I'm sure it will.

    You know, you might want to look at the new S60 if this doesn't work out. The base model is naturally aspirated and it looks like a mid-sized S80 (inbetween the S40 and S80). It is really nice, and would be on the top of my list should I be looking for a car under $30,000. It will be in the showrooms November 1. It is replacing the S70 and is supposed to be the "sporty" Volvo.

    Good luck and keep us posted on what happens with Audi.
  • Thanks for the "heads up" on the tires. I do watch ALL tires carefully as I am a bit paranoid about air pressure, bumps, one looking a tiny bit different than the other, etc.
  • drc4drc4 Posts: 56

    Yes, everything was tested including emissions but APR said the problem doesn't always show up in a diagnostic test. Audi needs to set up a portable test to measure the amount of emissions in the cabin while driving and maybe (hopefully) it will be higher than what the EPA considers normal. I've requested a meeting/test drive with our regional Audi rep the next time he's here and will suggest it.


    Thanks for the suggestion and I'll give it a try. You've presented a lot of good ideas and suggestions on this forum.


    I don't hate my car...just disappointed but still enjoy driving it. I've learned to take a deep breath before accelerating and slowly breathe out during accelerating. I'm hoping for a positive meeting with our regional rep and hope he gets "fumed out" during the test drive and will be able to get something done.

    The water pump seems to have fixed itself. The reservoir was topped off at the dealer and has remained full ever since with no leaks after a short trip and several hundred mi around town. So rather than having the front of my engine torn apart and taking a chance on having something else screwed up, I'm going to keep an eye on it and see what happens. Might not be a bad idea to carry a gallon jug of H2O around for a while.

    The cruise control is obviously gremlin-controlled, as it's once again working. I read a lot of posts on the VW forum about the same problem but not too many on the A4 forum.

    As far as Volvos...(and I certainly don't mean to be rude)...but no thanks!!! To me that would be going from the fire into the frying pan.

    Take care all and thanks for the input.
  • I am considering the Audi A4 1.8 w/ quattro. I would like to hear from those in snow country how it handles in snow. Thank you.
  • r34r34 Posts: 178
    What made you decide to buy an A4, not a Passat ?
    If it is quattro, will you buy the 4motion Passat instead of the A4 quattro ?
  • The A4 is smaller and more tossable. It just gives a more sporty ride. I have an A4 and my brother has a Passat. These are the conclusions we have come to after driving each other's cars. The Passat is a really nice alternative to the A4 if you need more room (especially backseat room).
  • Hi

    Im' considering buying a 2nd hand A4 1.8tquattro, manual. It has 60kmiles on it after 2 years of use.
    It's a helluva lotta miles, but I think it's justifiable if the owner lived an hour's drive from the city where he worked. When it went for it's last servicing @ Audi, it had 45kmiles in january '00. The current owner bought it @ 50kmiles in may '00.

    What kind of repairs or maintenance should I expect @ the 60k mark?
    The owner is willing to reduce the price since it's due for a timing belt.
    He lowered the vehicle by changing the springs to Neuspeed sports, 1" lower in May '00. And has changed the air filter to a KN cone (mostly for the sound).
    Should I redo the suspension too? He only did springs, not the struts.

    asking price is 18k Canadian. Similar cars are going for ~24-28k from dealers.

    thanks for your opinions all.

    feel free to email me too,
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,703
    big and little brothers? Kind of like the Honda Accord and Civic? They both have quattro, both have 2.8 engines. Or are they two truly different vehicles that just look similar? In terms of size, interior and exterior, which Japanese vehicle models would correspond with the A4 and A6? Just trying to get some perspective on this. Thanks for your time.
  • A4 and A6 are much more like big and little brothers than the Civic and Accord. The Civic and Accord don't use the same basic frame, A4 and A6 do. Its more like the similarity between the Civic and the Integra.

    The A6 about the size of a Camry, inside and out. I can't think of a comparable Japanese car to the A4 in size. Inside its bigger than a Integra, but much smaller than an Accord. Outside, there is no real comparable car, except the Lexus IS300 I guess. It's not that the car is super funky, it's just that Japanese cars tend to get lower (roofline) as they get shorter, and the A4 isn't like that. It is about the height of an Accord, but in a length more like the Integra.
  • ivan_99ivan_99 Posts: 1,681
    The driving dynamics are also different when comparing the A4 to the A6. The A4 steering feels more responsive, and it has less body roll into corners. The A6 provides more steering assist too, so parking lot maneuvers could be done with 1 finger. The acceleration on the A4 is also more responsive (A6 is heavier).

    To me the A4 feels more on the sport side and the A6 more on the luxury side. I prefer the A4 over the A6, but my wife likes the A6 better (we got the A6).
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,703
    Since you have the A6, what do you think of it? Which engine, did you get quattro, which interior, acceleration, mpg, etc. Are you happy with it. Dealer OK? Would you get another one? All the usual questions that posters usually ask.
  • I recently bought a 2001 A4 1.8T Quattro. I really love this car. I have had one strange issue. Whenever I run the windshield washers (as happens quite a bit this time of year), the noxious smell of wiper fluid comes into the cabin through the vents. I now have to set the HVAC to recirculate before I run the washers. I then wait several minutes before I can remove the recirculate, or the smell will come right on in.

    Has anyone else had this problem?
  • This is very normal. Audi puts in a special windshield wiper fluid that is very toxic smelling initially. It goes away with time. If you go to you will see how often this subject has come up in the archives. Don't worry, though, there is nothing wrong with this odor.
  • The smell, in my car, was more like that of
    alcohol than anything else. Just make sure
    you don't wash your windshield if you are
    about to be stopped by an officer! :)
    And, yes, the smell, which never really bothered
    me, is now gone after about a year.
  • r34r34 Posts: 178
    Did you buy a 5-speed or a tip ? Is the 1.8t quattro tip combination very slow ? I test drove one and found if it is in "D", it's liked not willing to move (turbo lag ??). If I put it into tiptronic mode and shift the gear myself, it seems to be much better (although no surprise).

    P.S. I am afraid of breaking the manual height
    adjustment tag.
  • I'm trying to find out if the A4 quattro is good in the snow. I've heard that on wet roads it is great, but only so-so in snow. Any help?
  • I have a 1998 A4 1.8T Quattro that is on lease until April 2001. However, the warranty is up in January (3 years). I am thinking of buying the car at the end of the lease, but I am hesitant because the warranty will be up, although I can get an extended one, and I hear that these Audi's are very expensive to fix. I'd like to hear all of your comments for the long term ownership prospects of this car.

    Alternatively, I'd like to lease another A4, but the 2002's won't hit the dealerships until the end of the summer, so I'd have to come up with a car for about 5-6 months to tide me over. Does it make sense to buy my car and then try to sell it 6 months later? My buyback is $18,300 but I have no idea what it might be worth. It's in phenomenal condition, having spent most of the three years in a garage or on the highway, and has about 34k miles. I am told that Kelly Blue Book and Edmunds prices are very unrealistic.
  • r34r34 Posts: 178
    My friend has a 2.8 A4 quattro and he told me the car is good on snow but he suggested me to get the ESP too. ESP can help on icy surface. He told me he never got stuck in snow.
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