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Audi A4 Maintenance and Repair

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    llwysellwyse Member Posts: 56
    Good to hear from you again, giggs. I have also concluded that the greater culprit is the Tip rather than DBW, but I think it is a combination that leads to the erratic acceleration. What to do? My car goes in Friday for its scheduled 20,000 mi maintenance. I again complained about this problem when scheduling just to go on record. I know it's nothing the dealer can resolve. What I'm going to push for is the proper route for attention at a higher level. If enough of us keep bugging Audi corporate about this, they will surely have to respond. I have read enough to know that it's common (in spite of my dealer's comments) and that it's something Audi will have to address with an upgrade, chip, or something. (Again, read Ask John in the most recent quattro quarterly -- the ACNA rag.) As I said earlier, it is my only source of dissatisfaction with this wonderful automobile. It's bugging me less, but I think it's because I'm getting used to it, not because it's getting better. That's why I decided to re-energize my efforts and try to get a response from Audi. I'll let you know how it goes, Greg, et al.
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    llwysellwyse Member Posts: 56
    I went through my owner's book materials and found the addresses, etc I need. I intend to write a letter on the DBW/Tip issue and invite others with the same problem to join me. Have others out there written to Audi about unresolved problems? What kind of response have you experienced?
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    giggsgiggs Member Posts: 41
    LaMar, I assume from your note at 307 that your scheduled maintenance with the dealer failed to yield any results or leads on this issue?
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    llwysellwyse Member Posts: 56
    My scheduled maintenance is this Friday. I thought the service manager would tell me to do what the book says (or try to talk me out of it). Decided to not waste any more time and just go ahead and then tell him I did it. The dealer has told me three times now that it's not a problem he can solve. I believe him (on this issue!).
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    ramza39ramza39 Member Posts: 23
    I remember I read a post saying that the free schedule maintenance will not include the synthetic engine oil and you either have to bring one from outside or you have to pay the dealer to put in syn. oil. Is that true in Canada and is A4 3.0 require syn. oil? My first schedule maintenance is coming up and I would like to know whether I need to pay extra for the syn. oil. Also, I have noticed the maintenance does not include tire rotation because it is not listed in the handbook, so do I have to pay extra for them to rotate the tires? Thanks!
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    giggsgiggs Member Posts: 41
    There is some discussion on bentlypublishers.com on this point indicating firstly, not to forget to change your oil between scheduled maintenance. Audi is not saying implicitly by its silence to only change the oil when scheduled for maintenance. Secondly, it would appear the dealer will not supply synth oil. I guess I should change my oil because I'm a few thousand K away from a scheduled maintenance. Anyone else on this? Should we be running synthetic in the A4 - and, what is the life of this synthetic oil. Is it the same or does it last longer; or, is half and half the way to go?
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    llwysellwyse Member Posts: 56
    I can answer the tire rotation question definitively -- it is not included in the scheduled maintenance. I have it done at a local tire place for a fraction of Audi's cost.

    I'm not the expert on synthetic oil, but if you want to go 10,000 between changes, synthetic is a must, IMO. The 3.0 does not require synthetic, however. I use a high quality natural oil and change every 5000 miles.
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    llwysellwyse Member Posts: 56
    I should add that the dealer will put synthetic oil in for an additional charge. I don't know if they charge anything to put your own synthetic in. Probably not. The no charge maintenance is natural oil.
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    a4annoyeda4annoyed Member Posts: 1
    I own a 2002 Audi A4 1.8T that will be 2 years old in April 2004, with 31,800 miles. At approx 29K miles, the ESP warning light started going on while driving on dry ground. Sometimes when I am at a complete stop or braking, the ESP warning light and then the battery light would go on and the car would stall. I have sent my car to 3 Audi dealerships/shops and no one can figure out what the problem is. They even contacted Audi USA and they too are stumped. Has this happened to anyone? Any suggestions?
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    ramza39ramza39 Member Posts: 23
    I found out today there are some scratches on the two front wheels (stock 17") on my A4 3.0 and the scratches are about 1-1.5" long and 0.5" wide. Any suggestions on how to remove the scratches or is there any touch-up paint to cover them up? Thanks!
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    giggsgiggs Member Posts: 41
    Had to go out of town where the dealer is located so I made an appointment to change the oil and complain about the gear changes. I was close enough to six months so they suggested I have the maintenance done. Anyway, the service guy - who was very professional - drove my car with me and said nothing was out of sorts. While he readily conceded that the change in gears was exactly as I described, his response was simply "that is how it works - you can't compare it to a regular transmission". I said a regular transmission works a lot better and I shouldn't have to compare it to a regular transmission. When I told him I was of the opinion that my complaint has been echoed by many he said this was the first he heard of this problem but undertook to call a friend of his in LA to discuss it. He did appear generally interested after I told him I have read about many other owners with similar complaints. This is a very small dealership so maybe they have not yet been blessed with having to address this problem. In the fullness of time they will no doubt wish I didn't find them. I have to go back in ten days to get some minor warranty work (seat memory)taken care of. I'll complain a bit more then about the gear shifting in "D" and see what the friend in LA had to say about it. During our discussion, I told the service rep. about new computer chips I had read about. I've seen reference to them on-line. He told me the chips only exist for the engine and are designed to get more power out of your motor but at the expense of other components. He didn't know anything about chips for the transmission. I really don't know what all this means but I thought I'd throw this out as fodder for further discussion. Otherwise, the car is running great.
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    llwysellwyse Member Posts: 56
    giggs, this sounds like "deja vu all over again" with my dealer. When I was there last Friday I gave the service manager a copy of the letter I wrote to Audi USA about the problem. He seemed mildly intrigued. BTW, there is at least one tranny performance chip out there, but I really don't know how well they work.

    While at the dealer and drooling around the showroom and lot on Friday, I fell in love with the new A8L. Had a nice opportunity to spend some time in it and we sketched out what a deal would look like. Hmmmm, pretty doable. Then after church on Sunday, an individual approached me out of the blue and asked if I would consider selling my Audi to her. I thought the Lord was speaking to me for sure! Decided I'd better do the deal quick before a lightning bolt came out of the sky!! <lol>

    While driving the A8, I thought it was much smoother (it hadn't learned my habits yet, I guess) and the dealer said that it was an "all new 6-speed tranny" so shouldn't exhibit the characteristic I had complained of. Back home doing more research over the weekend and looking for a discussion group like this, ran across a guy who had his A8 for three months and couldn't wait for the three year lease to end to get rid of the car. Sole complaint? Yup, you guessed it!! The exact same description that you and I have had about our A4s. Spooked me!! It's still a Tiptronic!! For $75K, I don't want to deal with the same problem. I don't understand why Audi/Porsche tout this transmission so highly. I'd be embarrassed.

    Will let you know what response I get from Audi to my letter. Acknowledgement of the characteristic but denial that it's a problem seems to be the script so far.
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    giggsgiggs Member Posts: 41
    I too was in awe over the A8L yesterday. I didn't dare get into the pricing etc with the rep. The tag hanging on the mirror was enough to say stay away. Looked at the TT also. Gotta like it. I've got to tell you I'm shocked about the A8 for 04 having the same problem - that's outrageous. I had thought it was just we poor A4 folk who were saddled with this problem. If you don't mind, email me a copy of your letter. gcampbell3@cogeco.ca I'd like to send my own letter and I suspect your description of the problem may be more apt than what I might be able to put together. Where is the site for the tranny chip?
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    newtoaudinewtoaudi Member Posts: 2
    There is a concerning problem (or maybe not) that I encountered with my new A4 1.8T, and hopefully someone here can shed some lights on the situation.

    Has anyone encountered rust coating in the component (I'm not sure what this is called) between the Trans. box and the drive axle? Please help.
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    matthewshaymatthewshay Member Posts: 1
    I've had my 2001 A4 in multiple times for air bag problems. Twice it has had to have air bags replaced. Audi doesn't seem to think that this is a problem. Have had nothing but trouble in dealings with Audi of America. Anyone else have problems with airbags or Audi of America?
    Thanks
    Matthew
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    tcasboytcasboy Member Posts: 214
    I had a recurring airbag light in my 01 A4 about a year and a half ago. It seemed to happen more when it was colder outside. After start up, the light would stay on steady and after a few miles it would start blinking and eventually it would go out. I mentioned this during one of the services and they ran the diagonstic on it, and of course said there was nothing wrong and no codes to track. It went away for a while and then about 4 months ago it started up again (cold weather again). Finally they light just stayed on all the time and I simply ignored it until about a month ago when I took the car in for the ignition coil recall. I must have been skipped in the first couple of waves because I didn't get a notice until about Nov 03. During that visit it was determined that the airbag controller computer was defective and needed replacement. After a week waiting for the part (from Canada evidently, should have used FedEx)and driving around in a nasty, smokey Passat loaner, the part finally came in and since then the light has remained off. Yea. Don't know if your problems were similar, but eventually they seemed to get it together.

    This has been my unfortunate experience with Audi on several minor mechanical issues, and really concerns me. I am leaning towards selling the car as soon as it goes off the warranty because I don't think I can afford to keep it in parts and diagnostics for this type of stuff after the warranty is over. Too bad, because it is a SWEET ride and when its good its the bomb. But the little things keep adding up and the cost of parts and labor for these is quite high. Oh well, I hope yours gets its act together soon.
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    hydrocarbonhydrocarbon Member Posts: 16
    I have a 1999 A4 with a recurring airbag probem too. (Audi must have changed the way the airbag module handles alarms between 1999 and 2001, because my airbag light will stay on after the fault has disappeared. On the '99, you need the communicator to clear the fault code.)
    Anyway, this has happened several times in the last 8 months, and it's always a "high resistance" value on the passenger's side side airbag. The shop has reset it three times, twice for no charge, and say that it's difficult to say if it's the airbag or the module. Either way, I don't want to spend $500 for a bag or control module and not get the problem fixed. Luckily, I found a very good shop, because the Audi dealership would probably have put me in the poor house by replacing everything. Any comments?
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    gordonwdgordonwd Member Posts: 337
    I'm getting my '98 1.8T ready for sale, and the one annoying cosmetic defect is that it looks like moisture has gotten between the glass and the reflective surface of the driver side o/s mirror so that there is a rusty-looking stain along the bottom 1/4 of the mirror, behind the glass.

    Does anyone know if it's possible to replace just the mirror part of the o/s mirror assembly? I'm sure the cost of a replacement assembly is not worth my doing it, but to just replace the glass might be worthwhile.
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    demons93demons93 Member Posts: 2
    Hi All -

    My wife just purchased a 1997 A-4 looks great and no obvious issues to report. However, there is no owners manual and the Coolant Level indicator light just came on. I checked the reservoir and I can't see any liquid at all, so I was hoping one of you folks would be able to give me some advice. I assume I need to add coolant in the reservoir, but what type, how much?

    Thanks, in advance.
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    rmotwanirmotwani Member Posts: 7
    I have a 2001 Audi A4 quattro with 36,000 miles.

    Recently, when I drive a higher speeds (above 45mph) I hear a lot of noise, sounds like it is coming from the rear of the car. It is so loud that you can't have a conversation if sitting in the back. It does not appear at lower speeds. The dealer checked the muffler and the engine but found nothing wrong. They told me to replace my rear tires, but that did not solve the noise problem.
    Anyone experience something similar?
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    tcasboytcasboy Member Posts: 214
    If you mean similar as in an Audi dealer not being able to dignose or fix a problem, yes. As for the loud noise from the back at speed, no I haven't had that one (yet). Good luck!
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    leadenhamleadenham Member Posts: 3
    I've somehow managed to hit a pothole rather hard and bent my rim. I've already had the alignment done and am using the full-size spare. That leaves me without a functional spare. Does anyone have any suggestions on where to get a new rim (without paying the $450 plus at a dealer)? Or does anyone have any experience or opinions on OEM/re-manufactured wheels? I've noticed much more affordable prices on some of these websites that offer re-manufactured wheels but don't know much about them. I have the standard 16" aluminum wheels on an '01 A4 2.8 Quattro (so the compact spare is not an option).

    Suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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    djoyce25djoyce25 Member Posts: 2
    when i'm driving my audi A4 1.8t it's the smoothest quietest ride i've had. When i'm at a light and the car is in drive it vibrates the whole driver seat and interior. once i start to drive again it goes away? does anyone have any idea what could be causing this? i took it to the dealer and they changed the fuel vaulve and said it was fine. when it's in park it doesn't shake at all only in drive? any help would be nice.
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    st4s03st4s03 Member Posts: 9
    I had a 99 Passat 1.8T that had a slight vibration when stopped in drive. I think it is the result of the engine engaging the transmission and natural engine vibrations going directly to the drive train. 4 cyl engines have a natural higher vibration at very low rpms. I would push the trans to neutral at a stop light and the vibration would disappear. I drove an 03 1.8T Passat and an 04 A4 1.8T and didn't notice this vibration.
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    djoyce25djoyce25 Member Posts: 2
    thanks, that's what i thought? i don't know why some cars don't do this while this one is? i've driven many types of less expensive 4 cylinders and never had this problem? anyway it's in the shop to see if they can fix it? if they say nothings wrong i guess i live with it???
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    jotabsjotabs Member Posts: 1
    I have an 03 A41.8 with manual tran. and 25000 miles. Yesterday while i was in slow traffic it just died and wouldnt start and I have it towed to the dealer Has any one have similar problem?
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    ras5ras5 Member Posts: 8
    When i start up my A4 3.0 Quattro, the valves clatter for a few seconds.I am aware the old inline 5 cylinder models did this, but is this common with the V6?. The car has about 1,000 miles on it.
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    srao1999srao1999 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 Audi A4 1.8T Quattro w/ Tiptronic. I bought it new. 5 times in the past 4 years, I have taken my car to the dealership for the following problem:

    The gear indicator on the dashboard goes solid red and I can not drive in anything but 2nd or 4th gear. The manual calls this emergency failover mode. This tends to happen when the weather gets cold (I live in SF so I mean below 45 degrees). It has happened far more often than 5 times by the way.

    The dealership could not figure out what the issue was.

    Today, I put my car in reverse and applied the gas and the car didn't go anywhere. The car goes forward but I can't reverse the car.

    Anyone have any idea what is going on here? I am not sure if the 1st problem is related to the second or not but they are both transmission related so...

    ANY help would be much appreciated
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    giggsgiggs Member Posts: 41
    Misplaced my gas cap after a filling. Didn't notice until I was driving down I-96 and saw a picture of a small gas pump flashing in the control centre. Went to the VW (non Audi) dealer the next day and bought what was described as the same cap for half the price Audi would charge. It looks the same (except no audi white print on it), fits fine and locks down properly but I still have that little flashing gas pump. Thought I'd wait to refill and then it would go away - didn't happen. Anyone know how to clear this?
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    wia4wia4 Member Posts: 10
    Had a similar problem on a Toyota I owned. It took a day or so for the computer to reset, I suspect yours will too.

    By the way, is it just me or does my 2004 A4, lack a tether for the gas cap, and what's with that?
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    giggsgiggs Member Posts: 41
    No tether on '02 A4 either for some reason. Just the cute little notches in the rim of the cap that allow you to hang the cap over the edge of the filler door. I have always used the door to hang the cap on and did so the day I lost the cap. You can't beat the tether. It's been 4.5 days now and one fill up later I still have the notification light flashing at me. I'll wait a few more days and on more fill up to see if the problem resolves itself.
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    brooke25brooke25 Member Posts: 2
    I own a 99 Audi A4 2.8Quatrro with 70K miles. In January I started to experience this knocking sound coming from the drivers side of the engine. My warranty expired Jan. 31 2004 so I brought it in for routine service/ oil-change and final warranty service before expiration and complained of this knocking sound. I told them I wanted a thorough check of the engine for any problems. They told me they couldn't find anything seriously wrong with the engine and that the sound could be coming from the Drivers lower control arm but it was not in bad enough condition to fix and warranty wouldn't cover it???? which made no sense to me. I was pissed but left it alone that time...... They did tell me that eventually it would have to be serviced when it becomes worse. It is now April, only 3K miles later, and the knocking persisted so I took it to another Audi dealership for a second opinion on Monday...
    The problem diagnosed is: Lower Control Arms, stabilizer links, trailing control arms - Lower bushings Worn, leading control stabilizer links - Bushings Worn and will need Alignment Afterward!! they also told me that this should have been taken care of in Jan. and there is no way in 3K miles it could have gotten to this state, that it was this bad in January..bad enough to be fixed UNDER WARRANTY!! they told me that I need to deal with my main service dealership since apparently I've been dupped. so I am going back to my dealership monday to discuss further with the Service Manager and GM if necessary because there is no way I am paying for this work (around $1700-2000)when it should have been done in Janaury for free. This has been quite a frustrating ordeal to say the least!!!
    Thoughts?? Anyone with simialr experience or advice? Thanks.
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    rckvrckv Member Posts: 1
    I need to replace front brake rotors on my car. The dealer's price is around 350 per pair. However, the internet parts websites have them for much cheaper price.. Did any one bought them off of internet and got them installed? Any info on what brand to buy, regular or drilled sports disc type, any merchant info is appreciated.
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    rnon2nrnon2n Member Posts: 4
    2004 Audi A4 3.0 Quattro...less than 500 miles and I have no desire to drive it any more than I need to. I have always owned high-end vehicles and have never experienced the rough/lurch/lag of a car's changing gears like this one. I find that I need to be very precise and conscientious of how much I press or depress the throttle when driving in the city. If I press too hard I get whip lash and when I ease off, the car actually feels like it is going to stop dead. Sometimes I just drive it without regard to anything and it is a horrible ride. I don't dare take anyone with me in the car because I am so embarassed as to it's lack of "smoothness" when changing gears. What is this? My dealer says the car will eventually "learn" my driving habits & needs. I can't see this car doing anything less in the future than it is doing now. Maybe I just need to get used to it but I don't drive it enough(don't want to) to do that. I really love everything else about the car and researched thoroughly prior to buying. Actually drove a '04 1.8T for about a week waiting for my car to come in; didn't notice anything like I do with the 3.0.
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    giggsgiggs Member Posts: 41
    Welcome to our world rnon2n. See messages in the Audi A4 discussion group 5651-5652 and 5659 to 5661. In this discussion group see messages 268-271, 292-293, 304-06 and 316-18. Wish I had more to offer you other than miseries company.
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    dougdoug Member Posts: 7
    I own a 1999 Audi A4 Quattro with 80,000 kms and it also has developed a humming sound coming from the rear RHS. AT first I though it might have been a rear brake problem but after having the rear pads and rotors replaced the noise still persisted. I also suspected the bearings but they seem ok. My only guess is the problem lies in the rear differential gear train. Anyone else having this problem?
    Cheers.
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    hydrocarbonhydrocarbon Member Posts: 16
    I have a '99 A4 2.8 with 62K miles. The A4's before the 2002 redesign are notorious for having front suspension components that wear out quickly. Good luck with the dealership. I guess if we wanted a reliable car we'd have bought a V6 Accord.
    Are the suspension repairs covered by the Audi Assured warranty?

    By the way, have you had any problems with your airbag light coming on? Also, are the reflective surfaces of your side mirrors slowly rusting?
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    rnon2nrnon2n Member Posts: 4
    Thank you for replying, however, I am new to Town Hall and do not know how to locate the discussion boards you suggested I read...please advise.
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    giggsgiggs Member Posts: 41
    Scroll to the top of this page under the heading "messages" and click on pages 15 for messages 268 to 293 and then go to page 16 for message numbers 304 to 318. For the A4 discussion group, go to the very top of this page and click on A4 owners. That will take you back to the index of Audi discussion groups. Go to category Audi A4 and scroll through the pages to find the posted message numbers 5651 to 5661. Greg
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    Karen_SKaren_S Member Posts: 5,092
    You can also go to those specific posts within a discussion by entering the number in the "Go to Msg#" box.
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    brooke25brooke25 Member Posts: 2
    Hi and thanks for your response.
    My car is actually getting serviced today for the suspension problem. I had to get the GM of the dealership involved. Talk about drama! But he was very cooperative. Yes the car had the Audi Assured Warranty and it looks like they will do an after-warranty adjustment. The repairs should have been done in Janaury when the warranty was still effective. I do know I am not paying a dime...except for maybe the $50 service fee. I will know more today. You are right about the Accord.. life would be much simpler and cheaper... but we all know we love to drive our Audi's... that is when they are working/driving/performing properly. :-) Such high-maintenance cars!
    No I have not had any problems with the Airbag light.... yet. I did have a problem with my side mirror cracking due to an electrical problem...about a year ago.. steam started to come from it and a couple minutes later a crack formed down the middle. I had to get it replaced...under the warranty. No rust appearing......yet.
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    vinu_neurovinu_neuro Member Posts: 22
    I am considering purchasing a 1996-1998 A4 2.8. I am wondering how reliable they are when they start approching 100k mi. What are common problems and when is the timing belt service due.
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    wia4wia4 Member Posts: 10
    Maybe it is just me, but I find the sport mode or the "shifting" mode to be just fine. Run that for a bit and the Tip forgets what it learned. I know I've had a tough day, but whaaaa!!! It ain't all that bad folks.
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    giggsgiggs Member Posts: 41
    I couldn't agree more insofar as "S" and Tip is concerned. They are great fun. But when you just what to drive or cruise in the car that "D" gear is annoying-annoying-annoying!
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    abfischabfisch Member Posts: 591
    Rotors:

    I have an Avalon but have had a similar problems with OEM rotors. I have had two experiences with Powerslot Rotors, both favorable, but any of the aftermarket premium rotors, regardless of brand, and less expesive and better quality. Slotted rotors you will feel a rumbling in the steering wheel when the pad hits the slot, but the fade is much less and in wet weather it is far superior with much shorter stops. They surface and hats are usually coated too, so if you have rims that show the rotors they rust much less readily.

    good luck.

    abfisch
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    rnon2nrnon2n Member Posts: 4
    You were right; "misery loves company" and there are a lot of us out there! Thank you for your suggestions to see what other's have to say about this problem. I have a confession to make...I am understanding some of the "lingo" but some is over my head. What exactly is a "drive-by-wire" and how does it actually work with the fuzzy logic? Also, I originally wanted manual but was told that 3.0 AWD did not come in maual transmission just the 1.8T so I opted for the more powerful engine...was I zoomed? BTW where is this so-called petition to Audi regarding this problem? I wouldn't mind signing it. I didn't expect to have to look into "chips" or "dbw's" or stop, turn off key, press gas, wait, turn key back on, etc. just to get a smooth gear change...I guess I'll try "S" for awhile and see if that doesn't improve things. I really just would like to get in my car and not have to think...just drive and be treated to the drive I have always been accustomed...this is way too much like work! Again thanks for the advice.
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    giggsgiggs Member Posts: 41
    Wish I could properly explain all that fancy terminology for you. Llwyse and others tried to educate me on these things. I can't really offer more than you have already read. Just try and enjoy the car. Aside from this flaw, it is a pretty special car. Bonne chance!
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    rnon2nrnon2n Member Posts: 4
    Thank you again for all your help...I will do just that and "enjoy" my car, after all, 4 years will pass quickly! Thanks again...
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    ashynashyn Member Posts: 1
    I just took my 99 A4 1.8T into a mechanic and he told me that my check engine sign went on b/c one of the cylinders was failing of four. Then he said it was because the internal computer that controls the spark plugs to that cylinder was faulty. He said that I would have to replace the ENTIRE computer because of this fault. I'm not under warranty and he said that a refurbished computer would be about $850 and labor would be up to four hours (!?!?) to reset all the computer settings. Am I being paranoid or is this guy trying to rip me off?
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    st4s03st4s03 Member Posts: 9
    Just thought I'd give my .02 ...
    I have about 3,300 mi on an 04 3.0 Avant tip. I have not experienced the gear change hesitation and jerkiness some have mentioned. I find the trans to be very smooth in drive and "s" positions. nothing out of the ordinary. By the way, I like this car more every day. Now that it has some miles on it the engine, trans, brakes work in unison, just the way it was designed. even the seats are more comfortable.
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