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Audi A6



  • rayainswrayainsw Posts: 3,017
    Well, Mark, as usual, you raise some interesting issues.

    Wheels / tires – Tires: the fact that you can buy a specific tire (or tire type, I like that idea, Mark) that suits your requirements at TireRack does not necessarily mean that Audi can buy them for OEM fitment in Germany. If they tried, would it jeopardize their OEM relationship with Continental, for example? And would it be reasonable for Audi to buy and stock and make available every possible wheel / tire that would fit an Allroad? And every other A6 model, every A4/S4, TT, A8/S8?

    Now one solution I could conceive of (without spending a lot of time thinking this through on my lunch break) is something like this:

    Every Audi bound for the US has exactly the same wheel (steel) and tire (really cheap) and part of the port(s?) preparation of cars for shipment to dealers includes fitting either the exact wheel / tire combination the customer ordered, or the dealer has requested, if ordered for stock. The issues then would probably be confined (?) to the cost of developing relationships with multiple wheel and tire suppliers (or perhaps bringing on TireRack as a partner / supplier?), developing JIT procedures at the port facility so very limited stockpiling is necessary, hiring people to do this work, developing and distributing new ordering instruction for all Audi dealers, etc., etc., etc. (Point being – not trivial, and not something that could happen overnight, but it would be do-able.)

    Then the actual OEM wheel / tires (perhaps the equivalent of 4 little limited use spare tires?) would be shipped back on the next boat to Germany for re-use. Now all this would cost money. And the question (one question, at least) becomes: would (enough) customers be willing to pay for the fitment of exact wheel / tire combinations to order. And (related) could Audi sell this option at a reasonable profit.

    I think that the answer here would probably be ‘yes’. The primary considerations would seem to be whether an arrangement like this would be perceived as more cost and time effective for a customer than ordering the wheels / tires from TireRack (or wherever), arranging for the installation / swap, dealing with the OEM wheels / tires, etc.

    Now there is no question in my mind that Audi could initiate a scheme something like what I have described above, and thus allow a virtually unlimited set of combinations of wheels / tires for their customers. Likely? I think not.

    And I would see such a scheme as a way to truly differentiate Audi in the performance car marketplace. I expect that the problem here is that Audi perceives there to be too small a percentage of their potential (and real) customers that would care. I would care IF and only if I could order my vehicle with exactly the wheels and tires that I want at a cost that is significantly lower than taking delivery of the same car with some other combination, ordering the combination I really want, having it drop shipped to my dealer, having them pull off (and then what?) the OEM wheels / tires and install the new. And Audi could do it for less money and hassle than handling it all myself.

    And dealing with those OEM wheels / tires really seems like a significant issue here. Mark – do you receive some sort of consideration or allowance from your dealer for these OEMs? What exactly happens to the OEM wheels / tires? Is there actually any market for them? I suppose I could see the dealer re-selling the OEM tires at some discount as ‘near new’, but how long would he need to stock them? And the wheels? Except for someone that happened to crumple an identical wheel – say in an accident, into a pot hole or against a curb – when would the dealer actually see a market for them? And would he want to simply store them for an extended period? Even if this issue is resolved satisfactorily for you (and I presume that it has been, for you), I doubt this could scale well – meaning if 15% or more of the dealer’s customers wanted to do this, it seems likely that there would quickly be a large pile of OEM wheels and tires languishing on the dealer’s back lot . . .

    And the Port of Entry wheel swap scenario described above still does not address the situation where I happen to see exactly the car I want on the dealer’s lot – color, equipment – everything as I want it, EXCEPT for the wheels / tires. Now what? Back to arrange it yourself . . .

    Now if I ran a car company (!) – AND did not have to answer to a board or stockholders – then I just might try doing something like this. But hell may well freeze over first . . .

    Regarding the ‘full paint’ issue. I find it very interesting that Porsche has long offered, and still offers, according to their web site, the option of exterior “Non-Metallic Paint to sample”. For something in the $3K to $4,500 price range, depending on model. Not too bad a price, I suppose, if you consider that some of Porsche’s ‘standard’ metallic paint colors command a $2K+ premium on the 911 Turbo – and you absolutely have to have a Porsche that precisely matches the color of your wife’s (current) hair color! Though I wonder what they’d do if presented with a Revlon ad as the sample . . .

    Just my $.02.

    - Ray
    Who wonders what happens when the wife’s hair starts to turn gray – or she decides to highlight it . . . ?
    2016 BMW 340i
  • First of all, there are several wheel options that ARE available on Audis -- take a look at the A6 and A4 brochure. There are several wheels available for the TT, too. My wife wanted the 18" wheel -- she did not want an unlimted choice of wheels -- the tire rack or some other aftermarket can always do THAT better -- but lets just say that the company limits your choice to 4 (I actually think there are MORE) wheels and two tires (summer and all season). Audi uses many tire brands -- but certainly not as many as the tire rack sells. But I have had Audis with Goodyear, Bridgestone, Pirelli, Michelin, Continental, Fulda and Dunlop. I have been through the factory watching how the cars are made. Incrementally the company (Audi in this case) adds options for wheels and this year -- TIRES! But they stopped at a point for no reason I can fathom.

    I can only assume that they must think that if you want an 18" wheel you must exclusively want a summer only Ultra High Performance tire -- which was what they used to think about you if you ordered 17" wheels. OK the cry from the wilderness -- we, in the USA, often are willing to accept some "at the limit" handling compromises IF we also want some light snow and "all season" capability.

    The cost to Audi of offering the 18" wheel -- which they charge extra for would, NOT change (or the change would be diminimus) if they offered summer OR all season tires.

    I do like the idea of putting the wheels on in the US after the arrival in port -- but if they don't do it now, I see no economy in changing this -- the main reason might be to provide greater choice for the customer, but I seriously doubt that it would be needed.

    On the issue of the OEM tires -- our 2 2003 Audis came in, I ordered 8 tires from the tire rack and called the service manager who will receive the tires in a few days and dismount the factory tires and put them in "body bags" and deliver them to my house. The new tires will go on the factory supplied wheels and life will go on. As we near the end of our leases, we will have the brand new "old" tires put back on the cars and the next owner will have fundamentally new tires on a 30 - 36 month old car.

    What is annoying is that we have to go through this -- I'd PAY to not have to go through the hassle -- it is obvious I am paying TO GO THROUGH the hassle.

    Read the forums -- many customers apparently would buy direct from Audi if given the chance, they (we) sure do spend it in the aftermarket.

    The rise of the Audi boutique (there are optional wheels there, for example) is more evidence that car companies need to get into the 90's (at least) and allow their customers more latitude with the options (especially no brainers like tire characteristics) which would put more to their top lines and bottom lines -- and I'll bet have the unitended consequences of making their customers both happier and more loyal.

    Audi lost about $3000 in revenue that I would have been happy to pay them -- this week alone from my wife and me. "This just ain't right. . ." ("Bobby if you weren't my son, I'd hug you" -- Hank Hill, King of the Hill).

    What are they thinking?
  • Having never been to Greenwhich, CT until this past Sunday (on a side trip from NYC) I would of been unable to comment on nyccarguy's statement of Audi of Greenwhich being the largest Audi dealer in the u.s. However, after seeing the sheer # of cars on the road that are Audi's - I'd 2nd that opinion whole-heartedly. I've never seen so many Audi's in my life. I was in Heaven.

    Now I am finally home and ready to go in and give my $ to Audi to get my Quattro. I'm in need of the finance vs. lease debate as I've never done either - alwasy paid cash - but am entering a new price realm and would love some educated opinions.
  • My first professional boss told me the following:

    Buy what appreciates (like real estate), rent (or lease) what depreciates, like cars.

    I purchased via financing a 1978 Audi 5000. I have leased every car since then except a 1987 Audi 5000 CS turbo quattro which I paid cash for.

    Unless this is your "last car" or unless you drive more than 18,000 miles per year, I can think of no sane reason to buy (in cash) other than 0% financing -- and even then depending on how long you expect to keep the car, well I would at least run it by my CPA or Tax Lawyer.

    Today technology changes rapidly -- a 4 year old European car will be very very very expensive to maintain. Rent the thing or buy it, put it up on blocks and worship it.
  • You make a great deal of sense with respect to buying what appreciates and leasing what depreciates. I am not in a financial position to buy a new Audi, yet I want want the benefits (safety, performance, etc.) that this level of car offers? I'm looking to replace my wifes car and I'm considering a 2-3 year old A6 Avant. From reading your posts your perspective is slanted to buying only new, but what would you recommend to those of us who can't take that avenue yet? Please understand that I'm not intending to be mean spirited, just inquisitive. I don't own a business, don't use my wifes car for work and drive about 15k a year. BTW, thanks for all of the information that you have posted here. They have been a joy to read and your passion shines through. Thanks in advance.

    Grand High Poobah
    The Fraternal Order of Procrastinators
  • Audi of America has a program -- only through dealers -- called Audi Assured. This means that you will have an AUDI warranty for up to 100,000 total miles on the car -- or 24 months from your date of acquisition. I'd look at a 2001 Audi (because I would want ESP and in 01 it was either available or standard on any Audi) with the Audi Assured program on it.

    The Audi Assured program is a combination of "check up and fix up" and an insurance policy -- the dealer pay $1000 for the program and "certification" -- Audi Assured.

    You CAN lease a 2001 Audi and it will still cost less than buying it used (finance or cash).

    If you can swing it -- lease for NO MORE than 36 months.

    Good luck.

    You can lease my 2001 A6 4.2 if you want (37000) miles -- if you can do the deal within 10 days or so.
  • rmlinnrmlinn Posts: 21
    It seems that the rims on the A6 protrude a bit more than on my last car - I put quite a few scratches it the left front rim parking my one month old A6. This exposed a white undercaot beneath the silver on the base 3.0 rims. Any suggestions on how to minimize the damage?
  • i love your analysis, thank you so much for the insight! in the past i've been a "drive it for 10 years" kind of owner but i really like the idea of always being under audi's great warranty.

    do you suggest a the 36 month lease on the new cars, too? and at the end of the lease if i decide i'm still the "drive it for 10 years" kind of owner who doesn't like car payments - how do you feel about buying out a lease?

    thanks in advance!
  • If I really like the 36 month old car and it was in good shape of course I would consider buying it.

    I would also look at what technology had done in that 36 month period -- sometimes newer means better, safer, more fun. Also I do belive that a perment lease payment, while it may be argued is more than buying the car outright and keeping it for a long time, is not more expensive when you factor in the benefits of the new car and subtract the cost of repairs and maintenance.

    Listen, I am 51-- I will probably keep my pattern going for at least another 15 years -- and then, based on my circumstances, I'll "retire" and become an Audi salesperson :) -- although that looks pretty difficult. The sales reps at my dealer don't quit, don't get fired, don't die and don't leave -- EVER. Looks like something that might be fun and rewarding, though.

    If I have any hair, perhaps it will turn grey, then I'll fit in with the rest of th Audi reps!
  • I'd buy from you now if I could. After all this time on Edmunds, you probably do a better job of selling Audi's for the dealers than they can do themselves. Thanks again for all your help. I'll be back to let you know what little beauty I end up with.

    Have a great weekend!
  • I am trying to decide which of two cars to buy. Both are 2000 A6's with about 25k miles. One has the 2.7T and the other has the 4.2 Both are in great shape. The 2.7 has sport suspension, which I like. I have not driven the 4.2 yet but I am sure it is impressive. I can get the 2.7 for $28K or the 4.2 for $32K. (Both seem like great bargains. It seems to be a buyers market now.)

    Does the 4.2 cost much more to maintain than the 2.7? From what I've read here, it seems like the 4.2 has more brake problems. Is that the consensus? Are parts like starters and alternators much more expensive for the 4.2? I think the 4.2 is the better value but it is $4000 more and if repairs after warranty are too expensive maybe I should get the cheaper car.

    Thank you in advance for any advice.
  • Here is another question. Do Audi's have relatively weak AC or is it me? I have driven four of them and with the AC set at "Low", on all four, the fan blows up a storm but the output is barely even cool.

    Might I be setting it wrong? I searched this forum and read that some people have had AC problems and others think the AC is fine. It seems weird to me that the AC seemed weak on four out the four Audi's I have driven. All four were 2000 to 2002 models.

  • mbnut1mbnut1 Posts: 403
    It seems to me that your higher repair risk could be with the 2.7t due to the twin turbos. One guy on this board had a timing belt fail and the cost was close to $20k. Bear in mind had the belt failed on the 4.2 is would be expense as well but the bottom line is the more claptrap (twin turbos)that you have the higher your maintainance risk.
  • timcartimcar Posts: 363
    The AC integrated in the climate control of my '01 2.7T is very effective. There is an "Econ" mode. If that is what you mean by low, the AC is turned off when in this mode.

    The 2000 model year (It's first) of the 2.7T had a disproportionate number of problems. The 2000 4.2 seemingly less so. Both cars have the same brakes. I'd tend toward the 4.2 for this reason, and because it just looks better. I'd check the sale prices against the pricing here in Edmunds and elsewhere.
  • morphiemorphie Posts: 95
    We have had A6's of model years 1998-2002; I have found the a/c to be satisfactory in all cases. The only "problem", other than fan noise, was my error in keeping the shade of the sun roof open on warm, sunny, days. Obviously, this should be closed, under those conditions.

    I am a little confused about your "low" reference. If it is to temperature, you have a problem. While it is ok to set in that fashion, you should not have to. We leave our cars set to "70", or a bit higher, on "auto". Consequently, we have experienced no difficulties, even on the warmest days. If set properly, you should notice very cool air emanating from the vents.
  • Thanks for the info.

    By "Low" setting of the AC, I mean I keep turning down the digital setting until it says, "Low". The last number it reads before Low is 64 degrees and then is maxes out at "Low". When I have tested the AC on various Audi's the outside temp was around 65 degrees. Maybe the Climate control does not go to max cooling if its goal is 63 degrees. I will ask a dealer and they should be able to show me if I am doing something wrong. Since you are getting good AC I must be doing something wrong.

    Thanks again for the help.
  • timcartimcar Posts: 363
    I think I may now understand what you're getting at Doug. Since my last three cars have had Climate Control, rather than conventional AC & heat, I think I may have lost track of the differences. Climate Control tends to be more subtle. I don't know if even turning it to the low setting is going to give the "icicle effect" of a conventional GM or Ford air conditioner on full blast. I can say that my A6's climate control has had no problem dealing with 95-100 degree temperatures here in NJ this past summer. However, my wife sometime complains when she's cold that there isn't a blast furnace blowing on her left foot, so I guess it's a matter of preference. After 3 cars with climate control, I find the lack of it a hardship, and the A6's has been very satisfactory, though as mentioned, the fans can be a little noisy
  • I set my climate control to 67, press auto and go.

    In summer the air, if you lean into the vent is so cold you can see your breath.

    The sunroof does tend to screw things up a bit if you leave the sunshade open.

    The system is not only using temperature as its guide -- it uses sunlight too. This seems to make it "know" that after dark the cooling doesn't have to be so intense.

    Our problem here in so Ohio is humidity and the A/C seems to do a nice job at dehumidifying too.

    But I agree, the old days of the A/C systems that blast "unlimited" cold air are gone.
  • Thank you for the information about Audi's Climate control. I think Audi's must do a good job of cooling properly and the cars know how best to accomplish that. Now I am confident I will like the Audi climate control.

    I have had several other cars with climate control including Toyota's, a Ford, a Mitsubishi, and a Nissan. If I set them to their lowest setting, they would blast out cold air. Now that it is Fall and cool outside, maybe the Audi system realizes no one would really want max cold, when it is only 65F degrees outside. That is my theory for now anyway.

    Now to find a car. The 4.2 I mentioned already sold for $35,000 and it only had 25k miles. Rats!
  • Although my 03 allroad was mostly in pieces -- the rear bumper and the fender flares had not yet been remounted -- the full paint effect on the allroad makes it look remarkably like my 2001 A6 4.2. I can't wait.

    Over the past year to year and a half some on this forum have remarked that they would be interested in knowing when I was getting rid of my car (off lease) since I lease for short terms and am particular about maintenance etc. Well here is what I know. . .

    I am not selling my car. The dealer will be taking my car and "Audi Assuring" it for 100,000 miles (extending the warranty). It currently has 37,000 miles on it. As you know, it has all options on it. It is in Nemo Blue with Ecru interior.

    I will gladly tell anyone who wants to know how to contact the dealer here in Cincinnati and who "the key person" at the dealership is. The dealer is Northland Audi. It is my salesperson FYI -- I'll give you his name if you want.

    Since I don't know all the particulars and am not personally selling this car, if you want to contact the dealer or e-mail the salesperson directly, please let me know.

    I am not the seller. I know everything about the car and am happy to provide info. You would be acquiring my car from an authorized Audi dealer who would make it "Audi assured."

    I hope I have stayed within the boundries of the "non solicitation" for sale, since I am not the seller of this vehicle. I do know, however, what you will be able to get the car for if this is of any interest to you. Drop me an e-mail and I will give you the info so that you can make the contact.

    Or not.
  • morphiemorphie Posts: 95
    I have always utilized four (4) dedicated snow tires on our A6's, and other vehicles. By the way, we live in New England.

    Some essentials to keep in mind:

    -First, I concur with the references to "TireRack"; they are knowledgeable and have outstanding customer service. I have purchased all tires through them for over ten (10) years.

    -The reference to maintaining the 215/55-16 size for winter tires is excellent advice. Unlike "summer" performance tires, winter rubber performs best with a narrower tread; physics still has applicability, in this situation.

    -I have used Blizzaks, Michelins and Pirelli's; they all performed well. However, some versions are skewed to winter conditions, to the extent that dry performance is slightly compromised. To address this situation, manufacturers have produced performance, speed rated winter tires; e.g. Michelin Pilot Alpins and various Blizzaks. These are still superior winter performers (they display the "snowflake"), but provide better dry road performance. You must decided which is the best compromise.

    For the past five (5) seasons we have used Michelin Arctic-Alpins; they are virtually as good as the pure winter Blizzak, but they do not have sacrificial tread. I have purchased them from TireRack, on steel rims with hub caps (which look surprisingly realistic), in 215/55-16, for about $600.00. I have been completely satisfied. You give up a bit of dry road performance, in exchange for excellent ice and snow abilities.

    The proper Michelin or Bridgestone, purchased in consultation with TireRack, should serve your purposes nicely.
  • Yes, I said bought. After all of Mark's great leasing advice I went the way of a the 10-year-per-car owner. When we looked at the lease and finance options it just made most sense for us to fork over a gigantic check and get all the pain over with at once. I pick up my beautiful new car tomorrow at 10am.

    A6 Station Wagon
    Ming blue with gray interior
    Leather & Sunroof
    Heated Seats
    Ski Sack
    Wineglass Wheels
    Would of liked the package with auto-diming mirrors - but it wasn't a deal breaker.

    We paid $500 under invoice.

    And the only bad part of the whole deal was that they couldn't offer a good price on my 1992 Nissan Sentra with only 50,000 miles.

    Thanks again for all the advice. I look forward to popping back in when I've got a few miles under the hood.

  • According to my "advisor" the only way to "beat the reaper" (leasing) is to get 0% financing or pay for the car all at once.

    You win!

    Good luck and congrats.
  • Does anyone have an estimate of the difference in payments for a lease on a 10K/yr lease vs. a 12K/yr lease. I typically only drive 10-11 per year, so I leased at 10K, but now I am wondering about where the breakeven is on the 0.25/mile if I go over on my 39 month lease.
  • If you go to the "Lease Questions - Ask Here" under the Finance, Warranty and and Information section there is a guy named Carman who will answer all of your specific lease questions. He can give you very specific answers if you give him the questions.

    Grand High Poobah
    The Fraternal Order of Procrastinators
  • When I did my lease about 6 months ago. The monthly difference between the 10, 12 and 15k miles is not very big. Roughly less than $60/month. Depending on the money factor, length of the lease and residual value during the negotiation and whether you plan to buy the car out at the end of the lease. 12K miles/year is probably the best of both world.
  • Can anybody point me in the direction of a PDF of the 2000 A6 owners manual?
  • I have 15k miles in the stock Continentals in my 2001 A6 2.7T. They have been balanced 4 times by the Audi dealer and they still shimmy at 65-72mph, which is very irritating and significantly detracts from an otherwise excellent ride. I will put about 25k miles more into the car before my lease is up. Either I find a place with A 9700 Hunted to balance the tires under load or just get a new set of tires. The tires I am considering are the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S, Bridgestone RE950, and Dunlop Sport SP40 A2. Should I expect these tires to have the same balancing problem the Continentals have had 10k miles down the line? I don't want to have to buy new tires before turning the car in. Will the tires I am considering last the estimated 25k miles I expect to drive before my lease is up? Are the Bridgestones noisier than the Continentals? Are the Michelins worth the extra $? Do the tires I am considering perform considerably better than the Continentals? Please, I need input to help me decide.
  • I read your audiworld forum post regarding the A/C fan noise. Is the problem still present? How did you solve it? I started having the same noise a few weeks ago but have not heard it now for a week. Very strange.
  • Everyone who's bought them really like the A/S's - expensive but apparently worth the money. Whatever you end up with, when you get them mounted & balanced it is recommended that you get a 4 wheel alignment at the same time.
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