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Audi A4 Maintenance and Repair



  • embeedueceembeeduece Posts: 260
    Used car. Bought in Jan. 50K miles. Had some work done, all covered under extended warranty. Blew out my clutch this wknd. Dealership svc is quoting me $2700.00. Parts, labor, etc. I have no choice, really, but have read the clutch history in this discussion. Is this amount reasonable in the Audi world?

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,513
    Seems high to me, but I don't know exactly what they are replacing. The clutch disc and pressure plate are about $500 retail, and labor is roughly 9.5 hours. So even by California labor rates, I would think $2000 bucks would more than cover this.

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  • embeedueceembeeduece Posts: 260
    Thanks! I'll see what the final cost shakes out to later today and report back. I know they said the flywheel needed to be replaced too.

  • vwdawgvwdawg Posts: 162
    Hi Mike: I am by no means an Audi expert, but I have a mint '97 A4 as well as a Passat and Jetta (which is why I REALLY appreciate and am TOTALLY amazed by the expert commentary from the experienced and knowledgeable Audi and VW owners out there...without the Edmunds forums I don't believe I would dare buy a used German vehicle!). In any case, common sense tells me, as with medical diagnoses, that it never hurts to get a second opinion. It seems that there are some good dealership departments and some really bad ones that generate a lot of hate mail on the forums. Have you tried to find a local Audi/VW specialist where you can actually get to know and TRUST the person who does the work on your car? I have no idea how the dealership can say "flywheel needs to be replaced" without doing the teardown. Maybe other commentators could confirm it that's possible, but that statement alone would make me a bit nervouus. In any case, if I were you, I would get that second opinion. Good luck! audiphile1
  • embeedueceembeeduece Posts: 260
    Yeah, the flywheel tacked on an addtl $800. I did get to use an Audi loyalty coupon for 10% off. Woo Hoo! ;) I'm open to the notion that I just got hosed; but I also didn't want to take the time to go get the 2nd opinion, get towed, etc. And so far, this guy has been a straight shooter w/ me; helped me navigate the extended warranty people; etc. He also told me to not even think about getting tires thru him because of the expense; he told me to go to discount tire vendors. At any rate, I'm up and running again. Thanks for the input! :shades:
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,513
    Yep that flywheel retails for $980 bucks plus another .2 of a hour to replace it.

    So all in all I think the guy was straight with you. Yes you could have skipped the flywheel perhaps, and put in a cheaper aftermarket clutch kit, and maybe the job would be 1800 bucks, but you know, this is not the kind of task you want to do twice.

    And it should last the car's normal lifespan from this point on.

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  • embeedueceembeeduece Posts: 260
    Thanks! I appreciate the validation / confirmation. I figured the same; I could save *some* money, but I'd rather have it all done correctly and thoroughly by Audi techs. The clutch etc. are kinda important.

    Thanks again!

    Mike :)
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,513
    It's too bad the flywheel was bad but if it was rough or had cracks it could cause clutch chatter.

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  • vwdawgvwdawg Posts: 162
    embeeduece: After hearing the additional info and getting input from Mr. Shiftright, sounds like this is an OK deal. I think I'm spoiled...I had the good fortune of finding a local foreign car specialist who does top-notch work, stands behind it, and charges a fair rate (not CHEEP-CHEEP, which is what we DON'T need). I still think it's a good idea to keep your ears open for feedback from other Audi owners regarding which shop does the best work. The advantage is that you're probably going to have the same tech work on your rig every time, and you can develop that long-term trust relationship. audiphile1
  • jmichaelfjmichaelf Posts: 1
    I have just bought a this car a couple days ago, and my car is kind of jumpy when I slow down. Is this normal?
  • a4ipoha4ipoh Posts: 2
    I'm driving a 1997 B5 1.8. My problem is very annoying. The mechanic couldn't reproduce the problem, even after keeping the car for a week of testing. What happens is that after a temporary stop (pulling up to an automatic gate, for example), when I apply pressure to the accellerator, the car doesn't move. Revs stay up, but there is absolutely no drive to the wheels. I have tried changing to S, to Park, back to drive, to reverse, and nothing. I even tried turning the ignition off, and then re-starting. Still no go. After about a minute or two, it seems to correct itself, especially if I rev it heavily for some seconds. Even then, the power comes back slowly, and not all at one go. This problem is also intermittent - and it happens about once every 2 weeks. And always within a few minutes of a cold start (temperature higher than 20 degrees celsius) , and on all occasions on a slight incline. (Not sure what difference that makes!). Can anyone out there please help, as the local dealers have no clue how to fix either of the problems.
  • ghstudioghstudio Posts: 970
    If you really want to shake up the service manager, ask to see the parts they took out of your car....for example, show me the flywheel you replaced. You might ask him before they do the work so he can't say...oh, we can't find it we threw it out. It's likely that that flywheel was not replaced....or that the old flywheel was just fine.
  • I have a 98 a4 quattro 2.8 v6 and since the last oil change, at which point i had the engine flushed to get rid of all the sludge and deposits, there is an oil drip/leak somewhere on the back side of the drivers side of the motor, it appears to be leaking from/onto the flange that connects the manifold to the exhaust downpipe/intermediate pipe. It only does it when the motor is running at or above 2k rpms or has been driving, even if it's a short distance. The timing belt and valve cover gaskets have been replaced within the last 2k miles. Any help or insight would be greatly appreciated seeing as i cannot afford to have a dealer spend hours tracing a leak.
  • my 98 a4 quattro 2.8 5-speed recently developed an oil leak/burn after it's last oil change and i noticed that the oil fill cap has a warning stating that you could damage the catalytic converter by overfilling the crankcase, how is this possible? and could that be related to the oil burning off of my exhaust flange behind the driver's side of the motor?
  • vwdawgvwdawg Posts: 162
    Hi qs2: It would seem to me that having too much oil in the crankcase would not be related to the oil leak. My '97 A4 2.8 recently developed a very small oil leak, and it looks like it's due to a deteriorated valve cover gasket. This would not be unusual for a 10-12 year old vehicle, so I would suggest that as an initial inspection point, and although I haven't replaced my gasket yet, I would think it would not be a difficult DIY repair. As far as the "overfilling" issue is concerned, YES, it is possible to damage your converter, and they AIN'T cheap to replace ($700-900 unless you do it yourself). Did you check your oil level? If it is higher than the "full" level, you should drain the necessary amount from the pan immediately.
    Good luck. audiphile1
  • I have a 2003 A4 3.0 Q with 98K miles. I went and put fuel in the car today and then about an hour later I was coming back home stopped at a light, all of a sudden the car started shaking and the check engine light started flashing. Got the car back to the house, popped the hood and noticed that the engine is shaking more that usual. Drove the car around the area, acceleration is now a little sluggish. Kinda putters a bit before feeling normal again. The tach still rests at normal idle position. Do I have a serious problem or could it be just bad gas?
  • rowlandjrowlandj Posts: 254
    Sounds like classic coil pack failure. If you can pull the codes it will tell you which one's are shot. At this point you may do well just to replace them all should one or more turn up bad on the codes.
  • What is the coil pack? Where is it located? How much would it cost to replace?
  • rowlandjrowlandj Posts: 254
    They are on top of the spark plugs. Not sure about cost but figure about $30 to $40 each....
  • I just got back from Auto Zone and had them pull the codes from the computer. I got code P0441 VAP system incorrect purge flow, blocked vapor canister. Probable Causes Faulty vent solenoid, Faulty purge solenoid, Faulty fuel tank pressure sensor. P0421 Warm up catalyst efficiency below threshold- bank 1, Air leak before cat converter. Probable causes, Rich Air/Fuel ratio, Faulty Cat Converter.

    I looked in the Audi manual as well and it says that if the check engine light comes on and starts blinking the way it is now that it's a faulty cat converter. Also the person that checked the computer said that cylinders 2 and 5 are misfiring.
  • rowlandjrowlandj Posts: 254
    Based on what you have indicated there are two issues. One is the vapor canister system and the other is running rich and catalytic converter related issues.

    Engine mis-fires and bad spark plugs/coil packs will basically send raw gasoline into the exhaust and ultimately damage the converter. I believe that if you fix the mis-fire issues that should help in that regard. A good run at full operating temperatures will also help once you fix that issue. You should not drive the vehicle until this is resolved that is why the engine light is blinking and not just remaining on.

    If you fix the mis-fire issues the blinking light should go off but you may still have a solid check engine light due to the evaporator issue. That fix may be made after the fact but if you want to save expensive repairs to the catalytic converter you should fix that mis-fire matter immediately.
  • audib5audib5 Posts: 1
    You are an idiot ur supposed to change ur timing belts every 60,000 miles you cant
    sue that ur own fault thats the problem with this country everbody wants to sue when its there own fault.Audi's are great cars and will last forever as long as u take care of them and do all the scheduled maintenace so good luck trying to sue its right in the handbook about the timing lol !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • tgai69tgai69 Posts: 7
    hi them B5 have the stance of oil cooler gasket (located between the oil filter and crankcase) wearing out after 10yrs(in 08-09); It found a DIY post at the VW passat forums easy fix depending how good you are at tools since a replacement gasket only cost $9.99. good luck and hopefully that's your only source of headache....damn B5s! :lemon:
  • vwdawgvwdawg Posts: 162
    Hello audib5: While you do make some valid observations in your rant on daget1, I have to point out that at least in prior years, the Audi manuals that I am familiar with DID spec the timing belt change for 90k (although I can't comment on later models). I was planning to change the belt on my first Audi, a '97 A4 2.8 at 90k until I noted on the forums that many knowledgeable owners opt for 65k or 70k, and IMMEDIATELY had it changed (85k) when I discovered this. I was also surprised to find out that VW changed the 1.8T oil spec from conventional to synthetic AFTER the 2002 model year, and I had already done two oil changes with conventional on my used Passat (prior owner never provided the manual's addendum page, or maybe never received it). I would like to make two points here: 1) There are MANY Audi owners who don't have the level of experience that you and others have, and they should not be faulted or chastized for following what they see in their manual; and 2) automotive forums are, in my opinion, created as a means of sharing extremely valuable information between owners. Yes, I know sometimes commentators are prone to dump on the manufacturer if they have a bad experience, but for the most part, people just want to ask guestions and get answers from those in the know. Therefore, I think you do a disservice by blasting someone who believes they are justified in seeking redress. For all I know, daget1 is a professor of quantum physics at Harvard, but just doesn't know a lot about Audis. It is highly unlikely that he is an idiot, and it only discourages participation when people make comments and get blasted. Thanks! audiphile1
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Hi there,

    You may not have noticed that you were replying to a post that is almost four years old. I imagine the situation has been resolved one way or another by now.

    Let's ease up on the name-calling, okay? You can certainly discuss the fact that changing timing belts and performing other scheduled maintenance are requirements to keep the vehicle running properly, but let's be civil about it.

  • First of all, I'm a 51 year old female psychiatric RN who does not know much about cars. Psych meds yes/automobiles, no.
    My cars are purchased brand new, I hang on to them for a long time, get regular maintenance, oil changes, and parts replaced when the record books say they need to be or if needed, and are driven well. I've always driven manual transmitions and feel I drive very well. This car does not even have a ding on it!

    I purchased my Audi A4 1.8 T (5 speed manual) AWD, brand new in 2003 and except for the high cost of maintanence, I've been really happy with my Audi. It beats the heck out of my last car; a Suburu Outback (although I still think the subaru drove better in the snow). It's got great tires on it (almost new) and this car has been fun to own and drive. It's a commuter car, has high miles as I live in the country and commute to the city. About 135,000 miles. Mostly freeway miles.

    That said, after my last tire purchase (same nice Michelon tires that I had on it before, which I remember being really quiet) about 4 months ago the car developed a low "growling" sound. It is pretty loud and the faster the car goes, the louder it gets. My friend who had not ridden in my car since this started yesterday commented "what's wrong with your Audi? I've never heard it sound like this? The engine sounds so loud!" You don't notice it much driving around town slow, but get this baby on the highway and you have to turn the radio up really loud to hear it or talk above normal to be heard.
    This sounds ljust ike when you are shifting to a higher gear and ran up the RPM's a bit too high (not that I'VE ever done that). The sound is EXACTLY the same if I'm in 5th gear going up hill, down hill OR COASTING downhill in neutral. It's pretty loud and the faster the car is going, the louder it gets,
    The temperature gauze has not changed. Stays right in the middle between cold and hot. Never moves after the car is going.

    The check engine light has never come on.

    It's annoying and although the car appears to drive just fine, I'm wondering if:
    A: it COULD be the new tires?
    B. Is something seriously wrong and I'm doing damage by continuing to commute in this car without getting it checked?
    C. If it is the engine, why hasn't the check engine light come on, and what it could be?
    Where should I start? Tires? Engine? Start looking at new cars again?
    Thanks in advance to anyone that might be able to help me with this.
  • rowlandjrowlandj Posts: 254
    A speed sensitive 'growl' as you describe likely has to do with axle bearings or wheel bearings. If you have them checked out you may find that they are in need of replacement. With this vehicle I would expect that the fronts are the issue.

    You will likely need replacement of the offending part but I would not drive it too much before you have it checked out as a bad bearing can wither seize or let go and leave you stranded and with more damage to the vehicle.
  • Thank you. I'll get it checked out ASAP.
  • rowlandjrowlandj Posts: 254
    Good luck with that and please report back to the boards as to what the diagnosis turns out to be.
  • Does anyone have any experience with windshield leakage from an a4. Dang thing is very noisy at highway speeds and leaks whenever there is heavy rain. Water goes down the windshield posts and has caused problems with the airbags.

    I have had the sunroof drain cleared but that has not solved the problem.
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