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Audi A4 2004 and earlier



  • Here in southern Ohio, snow is hardly rare, but heavy snow is. The last time I remember what I would call "heavy" snow was 1994 and we had one-day only where the citizens were asked to get their cars off of the street and limit driving to essential driving -- 24 hours and then we were, road wise, pretty light or moderate. So, a few times per winter season we MAY have some snow of any consequence. Ice, although very very temporary, seems to be more of a condition that we have to contend with here in Cincinnati. This condition, too, thankfully, is "moderate" and may happen (usually at rush hour it seems) a couple of times per winter season.

    I have had no problems with the gigunda AVS db's thus far. Wednesday last we had our first ICE STORM of the season -- I passed all cars, many SUV's and most of the trucks on the highways (assuming I could get around them). The cool thing was going up a slight hill where everybody was stuck -- I passed four or five cars who were literally immobile. The ESP light flickered and stopping took a very long distance, but I had NO problems with the quattro on those big tires.

    So, living in this climate, the AVS db's make a lot of sense -- the Dunlops probably are superior in "snow" -- but now you know, we just don't have enough here (most of the time) to go for the maximum snow capable tires (at least when you've got quattro and ABS and ESP on your side).
  • Mark, I have many ill memories of that 1994 snow, which of course right at rush hour. It took me 4 hours to get from Clifton to Westwood (normally less than 20 minutes), all that after I had worked about 32 hours straight. My at the time 89 Nissan Sentra was hardly a snow driver in any sense of the word.

    I have never had dedicated snows on a car here in Cincy, and I'm curious if others in more northern climates always use them.

    Also, does anyone know what tires are being used for the optional 16" wheels? If there are multiple makes used, is it possible to influence this in the ordering process?
  • "Also, does anyone know what tires are being used for the optional 16" wheels? If there are multiple makes used, is it possible to influence this in the ordering process?"

    Rick-- Just out of curiosity, I'd be interested to the answers to your questions too. I believe I've read where the 3.0 16s come with either Michelin MXM4 or Pirelli P6 but I don't think I remember reading if those are also the ones used on the optional 16s for the 1.8T. And I too would be curious whether one can specify the desired tire during the ordering process.

    In our metropolitan area, we rarely get enough snow to justify a dedicated snow tire combo. I've had dedicated snows on several cars in the past, however, because we have skiing areas less than an hour away. Also, the climate varies drastically between one side of the state and the other which are separated by the Cascade mountain range. Seattle is located in a wet moderate climate and the snow we get is mostly the wet heavy slushy stuff. I went to college on the other side of the state where the climate is colder and drier in the winter which gets more frequent snow that often stays on the ground all winter long. Since I don't go skiing as often as I used to, spending money on dedicated snow tires really isn't justified anymore unless I were to move to an outter suburb or travelled frequently to the mountains or the other side of the state. With that said, I still debate whether to spend the money every time it does snow in the city for it would sure be nice to have 'em. *heh*

    Billy-- *lol* yeah, I think you're right ...the car's just begging me to drive it more by giving me the MIL. The light is on solid ...but I think it's just the opposite of what you said. If the light is blinking, then is when you've got serious problems that should be checked out immediately. Thanx.

  • Anyone thinking of new tires should consider dunlop sport A2's. According to tire racks customer survey they out perform dunlop 5000's in every catagory including price.I replaced my stock eagle LS tires with the A2's the improvment was amazing.
  • cr8ncr8n Posts: 8
    Thanks for the comments on "getting use to" the ergonomics of the centre stack controls. I guess I was just missing the steering wheel controls on the other cars I have been testing, and the knee bolster rests on a particularly boney part of my right knee.

    For those who find blind spots: try adjusting your mirrors according to the "defensive driving courses".

    To adjust the right mirror, put your head in the middle of the car (over the console), and angle the mirror out so you just see the side of your car on the left edge of the right mirror.

    To adjust the left mirror put your head against the drivers window and adjust the mirror so you just see the side of the car against the right edge of the left mirror.

    You end up with a panorama view: all view to the rear is from the inside mirror out the back window. As a car approaches you from the left lane, by the time it leaves your vision out the rear window, you see it in the left outside mirror, and by the time it leaves the outside mirror, it is in your peripheral vision. The same applies someone on your right. THis has the added advantage that cars on your tail do not shine headlights in your eyes via the outside mirrors.

    Try it, it works.
  • lauk0dglauk0dg Posts: 563
    Yup I saw Pirelli P6 (man those are BIG words on that funny lookin tire) on a non sport 02 A4 1.8T with the opt 16" pkg in the showroom. OK I got all the tire sizes from the 02 brochures:

    Std on A4 1.8T: 15" 7-spoke alloy wheels with 205/65 all season tires (higher profile than pre 02's)

    Std on A4 3.0: 16" 5-spoke grooved alloy wheels with 215/55 all season tires

    Optional on A4 1.8T: 16" 5 spoke alloy wheels with 215/55 all season tires (the P6 tires)

    Optional sports pkg on both A4 1.8T and 3.0: 17" 5 spoke alloy wheels with 235/45 performance tires (wider tread than pre 02)

    Karen, yes I adjusted that blind spot mirror sitting just to the left of the rear view mirror and yup I can see the whole right side of the car plus 3/4 of the stuff behind the back of the car. I think the size of it is about 3" by 1.5" with a big sucker cup on the back, and the mirror is adjustable.

    Mark, looks like those AVS db's do pretty well in moderate snow.....maybe I should do some research and ask fellow Audi'ers in Chicagoland too, although most of them recommend dedicated snow tires and summer tires.

    Rocco, oh really about that MIL light? So did the service guys say the same? Still haven't seen it in mine yet.....crossing fingers.

    Myers12, so those Dunlop A2's are also ultra high perf all season tires? Yeah maybe I should check that out too......

    Cr8n, wow that sounds like something I should do.....let me do that tomorrow to the outside mirrors and see how it feels like. I agree Audi should put audio controls on the steering wheel like the BMW's do. I think the A6 got them, still not the A4's....which actually brought out a point.....if you think the A4's are too cramped or you want steering wheel with audio controls, try the A6 3.0 if you are looking at the A4 3.0. It doesn't cost that much over the A4 3.0.

  • Billy, Actually I might have misdirected you a little about the dunlop A2 tires.They are considerd all season high performance tires not ultra high performance tires.I would have preferd an ultra high but I live in the mountains west of Denver and needed a good compromise between performance and snow traction. I'll take an Audi with Quattro in a snow storm any day over some bulky, tippy sport ute.I've driven past far too many trucks upside down in the ditch to believe otherwise! thanks
  • My optional 16" package on the 1.8 came with all-season Michelin MXM4 Pilot HX's. Have also seen the Pirelli's on the 1.8 16" package. Don't know if you have a choice when ordering.
    Question: Anybody with the 16" option have the "U" shaped tool shown in the manual for removing the plastic caps over the wheel bolts. It was not in my tool box. Was I supposed to get it or is that tool only for the sport wheels?
  • I spoke with the Audi executives in Ingolstadt in January 2001 about the tires they put on the cars that are US bound. My purpose in discussing the tires was to ask them why they, in my opinion and the opinion of the US Auto press (Car & Driver, Road & Track, etc.) "under-tired" their cars. My questions were due to what I perceive is the frustration of US owners in the fact that Audi's have very capable chassis and suspensions with just OK tires. My point was that most Audi's come to the US with "all-season" tires -- which generally don't live up to the capabilities of the rest of the car (unless one checks off "sport package.")

    I was pleasantly surprised by the response: in Europe [especially areas that have "winter"] it is quite common for drivers to have summer and winter tires. It is "natural" to change tires just as it is natural to change clothes. Americans apparently do not like to do this, in fact Audi's sensitivity to this can be seen on their web site and in their literature which generally discusses the "summer" tires that NOW come with US Audi's when the box "sport package" or tire/wheel upgrade is checked.

    What must have happened to Audis with summer tires has got to be some very vocal complaints, as you can see from their disclaimer:

    "For models and option packages including high-performance tires. These tires are designed for
    optimum performance and handling in warm climates. They are not suitable for cold, snowy, or icy weather conditions. If you drive under those circumstances, you should equip your vehicle with all-season or winter tires, which offer better traction under those conditions. We suggest you use the recommended winter or all season tire specified for your car or its equivalent. These high-performance tires also have a lower aspect ratio that aids performance and handling; however, in order to avoid tire, rim, or vehicle damage, it is important that the inflation pressure is regularly checked and maintained at recommended levels. Please also remember in making your selection that, while these tires deliver responsive handling, they may ride less comfortably and make more noise than other choices. Finally, these tires may wear more quickly than other choices. For further information on all these topics, please consult the owner's manual, your local dealer or call 1-800-FOR-AUDI."

    Anyway, the German Audi exec expressed some frustration or confusion pertaining to US driver's love for all-season tires. He claimed they [all season tires] are not the best of both but the worst of both, providing neither the superior capabilites that Audis were built to deliver, nor the traction in snow that is required in many areas.

    And, even though the AVS db's qualify as Ultra High Performance tires, I can tell they are not as high performers as the dedicated "summer" performance tires (which, by the way, I did not like because they WERE VERY NOISY) -- the P6000's.

    If I lived much further north, I think I would go the dedicated summer/winter tire route.

    My final comment on this subject in this post: with the great and wonderful computer systems that can track every facet of a car through the build process on the assembly line, why not just allow the buyer to select the tire he/she wants from a list of perhaps half a dozen choices (of course providing a paragraph or two on each one, to allow the buyer to make an informed choice). I really liked the Dunlop Sp9000's for example, and really disliked the Pirelli P6000's -- I would click the Dunlop box, given the chance, that is.

    Mass customization -- ho!
  • Hi,
    I've got 250 miles on my new A4 so far. I was wondering what sort of break-in procedures you guys have followed with your cars. I know the manual stresses no heavy acceleration for the first 600 miles. The dealer just told me to keep it below 4k RPM for the first 500 miles, which I have done, although it has been difficult. I want to really open up this engine but not before its ready. thanks, josh
  • dsackmandsackman Posts: 145 and search there. There were quite a few discusion there on running in a new motor. Also remember that your tires and brakes must also be run in. Have a look at for some suggestions on running in your tires. Brakes must be run in to bed the surfaces in properly and to reduce the possibility of too high heat build-up during the bedding in period.

    Your tires, brakes and motor will not perform optimally during the initial period until all surfaces are bedded in.

    Generally keeping it easy initially and then progressively increasing revs, speed, braking after 500-1,000 miles will increase the probability of a long life car.

    Normal disclaimer: I am no gearhead.

  • Robert and Billy, thanks for the new info; I'll give it a try.

    Everybody, happy new year -- and watch out for the idiots on the road tonight!
  • Here is the link for the post in the A4 forum on audiworld.

  • nobeenobee Posts: 194
    I'm a true advocate of correct tires for the correct enviornment! What surprised me the most is his comment about all-wx tires. "The worst of the two..." I tend to agree with him.
  • Does anyone have any comments on the Navigation system. I'm not sure that it is worth it. Does it make similar mistakes in directions that you can find on Mapquest? Is it easy to use/read?
  • Have had my A4 about a month now. Just curious....should I have been called yet by Audi regarding the customer satisfaction survey?
  • lauk0dglauk0dg Posts: 563
    Audibuyer1, the Audi Nav system might be the worst system ever to be offered by Audi in the car. It doesn't provide a graphical map like you get on mapquest. Instead once you key in your destination (using only a dial to dial in the letters back and forth), it will only tell you, with a computerized voice, turn left or right with a little arrow display in between the speedo and the odo, where the info display sits. YOu can't get the "big picture" just like other systems like Lexus's will give you. I tried to mess with it on an S4 that I test drove and I gave up after 10 minutes. With the money you can spend on it (somewhere around $1500???), spend it on other options instead. Just my opinion.

    02A4Curt, speaking of that survey, about a month after I bought the car, AoA called me at work about the survey but I was in the middle of an important call so I told them to call me back in about an hour. Fine they said, and they never called me back. I called the dealership where I bought the car and they said they can't call AoA about it cuz it's supposed to be an independent and unbiased survey. Oops. Other guys can reflect on this??

  • I love the system even though I agree that it should be like the BMW system or Audi's own Nav Plus.

    All systems make mistakes, they seem to get better with every new map disk, however.

    Audis system is as easy to use as the Mecedes system, but there is no moving map.

    I have used the system many times to help me get from a to b -- when I want to go to a new restaurant in my own city or even one that is hundreds of miles away, it always seems to know what to do.

    For the life of me, I can't figure out why the Nav Plus isn't here in the US.

    But the software, data and verbal commands seem to me to be identical to the Mercedes system (I bet they're both Bosch based). The arrows and the hourglass function are logical and easy to understand -- but true true -- no big picture. The ETA function is great too.

    Finding gas stations and other point of interest has been a pleasure to use from time to time.

    My test of the Mercedes system makes me feel that the degree of difficulty of telling the system where you want to go "C O L U M B U S" and the street "M A I N" and the intersection "W A T E R" function are about the same -- the Bimmer seems easier than the Audi and Mercedes.

    The Nav System is almost uncanny and frequently impressive.

    I just wish it had the full screen -- like is available in Europe.

    Another corner heard from.
  • It was about one month before AoA spoke to me, the main user. They spoke with my wife several times during the day before they called in the evening.
  • Any idea when the advertised ON*STAR option will become available?
  • lauk0dglauk0dg Posts: 563
    Yup I agree the Nav system should do well pointing out directions.....ever use the Hertz NeverLost System? It's the easiest to use I've seen, and pretty accurate as well. I think we should get the 3D Nav ones like what the Japanese get in Japan. Man, they actually show approx what important landmarks/buildings look like in the map and you will know where to make turns even before you get there. Smart system.

    No idea about OnStar.....but sounds like you are going to get it on your next Audi..... :->
  • It is unbelievable that most of the German cars do not have a DVD based Navigation system like Acura, Lexus, etc. We have an Acura TL, and feel the navigation system is extremely easy to use, has the map system, and uses one disk for the entire US. It has also been invaluable.

    I am hesitant about getting the 2002 A4, although I love my A4, because I would not get a car without a navigation system this time around, and feel that the Audi system is inadequate. I have a few friends who have it and have had other cars with the DVD based system, and say that the Audi system is not only inconvenient (only for the driver-passengers would like to be able to use it as well), but that where I live in NJ, if I go about 5 miles, I would have to get out of the car and go into the trunk to change CD's. How stupid is that? Not to have a CD to cover the entire state of NJ? At least in the Mercedes, you can change disks in the dash.

    What is wrong with Audi? Also, why did they not put stereo controls on the steering wheel on the new A4. Every other premium car has this feature.

    Just venting. If they would make these 2 corrections, there would be a new one in my driveway.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,260
    My friend who has a 6 speed 3.0Q '02 A4 says it is possibly the only drawback to his car is the fact that the steering wheel does not have audio controls.

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

  • nobeenobee Posts: 194
    The Acura TL nav is definitely the BEST navigation system I've ever used! Very intuitive and always a step ahead of you! Kudos for Acura. Now if they only got rid of the fake interior wood trim!
  • lauk0dglauk0dg Posts: 563
    Maybe it's AoA's nasty tactics to move buyers to the A6 3.0 or above.....

    Salesman, "Here is the 02 A4....."
    Buyer, "Can I opt for the steering wheel stereo/phone controls?"
    Salesman, "Well here we have an A6....."

    Just like what they do to the A4 1.8T that you can't have power seats or leather. If you want them, move up to the A4 3.0/2.8.

    Speaking of cars.....I got the 3rd gear grinding yesterday and today.....anybody got that? Oh do I have bad hand-and-foot coordination these days after eating too much at the parties?

    By the way, Happy New Year to y'all.

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,260
    That may be...and my friend was actually willing to move up to the A6 3.0Q because he found it had more room than the A4, but then he found out that the A6 3.0 is only available with Multitronic (FWD Models) or Tiptronic (Quattro Equipped Models). he needed a manual! The A6 2.7T was way out of his range!

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

  • I do not know if the Acura Nav is the best, but the BMW 7 series (in a 2001) was very impressive, as was the Mercedes (which as I mentioned seemed identical to the Audi system, same voice prompts, but it had a full active map screen -- in color).

    And, I agree -- the new 2002 Audi's come with ALL the disks, but sheeesh -- one DVD would be so nice (even with the Nav lite, that I have in my 2001 Audi). I have read that Audi is gun-shy, that is they are waiting for the lawsuit to happen (in the US). Reportedly, Audi believes that one of those Acura owners will be watching his three-D color, moving (all dancing, all singing) maps, have an accident and sue Acura for putting a disctraction in the driver's line of sight.

    Now, while I personally think this is a bunch of crapola (the logic that suggests the lawsuit in the first place, that is), well Audi was sued for someone pressing the accelerator pedal instead of the brake pedal -- so maybe they are just a little overly sensitive to issues that we -- on this board -- would call driver error.

    My wish, Audi's Nav be DVD based and full-screen color capable.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,260
    you were impressed with the Nav system in the Mercedes? I have a friend who has an '00 S430, '01 S500, & an '01 Lexus SC430. He says the Nav system in the Lexus is light years ahead (in terms of ease of use) of the Nav systems in either of his Mercedes'. I have another friend who just got a Range Rover and loves the nav system.

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

  • lauk0dglauk0dg Posts: 563
    Yup.....looks like the A6 3.0 is going to have the same drive train for the FWD's as the A4 3.0's.....pretty sad for us who like to shift for ourselves. I bet the A6 2.7T 6-spd is going to fade out with the S4 soon if its 6-spd sales is a lot less than its Tip sibling, just like the case with the Allroad. AoA, are you trying to rob us of our stick shifts??

    Wow your friend got a S500, S430 and an SC430?? Nice.....just saw a yellow Ferrari Modena 360 on the road during lunch.....what a sweet car it is.

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,260
    happens to be my friend's father who I consider a friend...he's about 50.

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

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