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Audi A6 Maintenance and Repair



  • That cover is part of the Audi design of the vehicle and should be in place. Most likely, it came off because the screws weren't tightened after your last oil change.
  • denlaidenlai Posts: 5
    I'm a newbie in this forum and will need the valuable ownership experience from fellow A6 owners to help me make a purchase decision on a 2001 A6 2.8 vehicle.


    Mileage on the car is about 32K, mechanical condition is good, and no detectable electrical problems with radio or other power accessories. Asking price is $19,988, which is reasonable. The car is from a reputable local Lexus dealer here in Florida, so it's trustworthy to a certain degree. But I will be taking it to an independent certified mechanic for a thorough inspection should I choose to proceed with the purchase based on your feedback.


    What I would love to find out from those in this forum who owns a 2001 A6 2.8:


    1) Is the rumor that the A6 is a mechanical maintenance nightmare true, and is it really a headache to maintain?


    2) What are some of the typical major mechanical problems that would be expected with the '01 A6 2.8 (For example, the 2.7 Turbo had issues with the turbo charger needing to be replaced at higher mileage. Any known major engine, transmission, or suspension problems)?


    3) Any major electrical problems? (For example, I know some A4s needed to have their ABS computer modules replaced which costed thousands)


    And finally, the A6 is really an attractive car. I would love to own it, but I'm just a little concerned about its long-term reliability, especially since I am not buying a new one. So if you have any beef with the car or know of any major known issues that would have me think otherwise, I would like to hear about it before it's too late!


  • The 2.8 engines have a tendency to start leaking oil from the camshaft chain tensioner gaskets in your not-too-distant future. As near as I can tell, the gaskets age, become more brittle, and don't make a perfect seal anymore, leading to a barely perceptible leak.


    An Audi dealer will tell you to have it fixed at a cost of about $1K. Thing is, you likely won't see or smell any evidence of the leak, and you're not likely to get an idiot light either. If you do smell it, it's likely only to be when the car is oriented a certain way (e.g., at a particular pitch or roll allowing the very slow leak to drip onto a hot engine).


    An independent mechanic would likely tell you not to worry about it--as long as you're careful about checking and changing your oil, and take care of it if you DO see/smell some (major) evidence or an idiot light, it won't ever be a problem. When I pushed my dealer, they told me the same thing (they alert me to the leak every time I bring the car in, and they always say "but you also know it's not a big deal right now"). If you choose, you can fix it when you've got something else going on in the front end of the car (e.g., belts).


    Other than that, my 2.8 engine has been perfectly reliable and a real pleasure to drive. I can't speak to the rest of the A6, as I have it in an A4, so I'll leave that to the rest.
  • denlaidenlai Posts: 5
    Thanks for your valuable feedback, safelder.


    If there is anyone else in this forum who can give advice to this soon-to-be 2001 A6 2.8 owner, then please refer to message #221 and answer some of my questions!


    Thanks again everyone!
  • 1.) Yes, I have had some issues come up in the last 71,000 miles on my 2.7T including:


           .new lower tie rods

           .new front rotors, pads, tires (all around)

           .driver's window track replaced

           .heater fan blower motor

           .climate control assembly

           .electrical module for turn signals

           .secondary cooling fan motor

           .driver's door lock assembly

           .maint. items like wiper blades, air, oil

            filters,spark plugs,brake fluid changes

            alignment, wheel balancing


     2.) No engine, transmission, or suspension problems besides a small valve cover oil "seep" leak that shouldn't be an issue for quite a while.

         No problems with turbos, but do use mobil 1 0w-40 synthetic oil every 5,000 miles.


    3.) Most all of these problems were repaired (except maint./wear items) under the factory warranty or extended service plan (after 50,000 miles) w/ $100 deductible. $2300 for 3 years/50000 extra miles.


    The bottom line is that the 2.7T is much more car than the 2.8 and you can purchase for about the same price on the used market but wouldn't buy either model preowned w/o verified pampered service history and reliable extended warranty w/o many exclusions plus an inspection from an independent mechanic.


    Unless you are buying from an enthusiast private party with all books, service records,synthetic oil changes,etc, and given a complete briefing of every aspect of the vehicle, you need to avoid yourself grief by doing all of the above before purchasing!
  • denlaidenlai Posts: 5
    Thanks for your insightful suggestions and information, marleybarr.


    It sounds to me like you've had quite a few non-maintenance/wear problems with the vehicle, is that considered the norm for an A6? Things like lower tie rods, fans, door lock assemblies, and climate control assemblies shouldn't fail and need to be replaced (i.e. most Japanese cars I've owned in the past rarely have these components failing). Even with a good warranty that pays for these repairs, they are still headaches in terms of diagnostic time and frequent shop visits...


    So my next question is, if the '01 A6 is kept up with its regular maintenance and be driven with care, would I still expect the list of problems you have outlined to creep up when it gets to higher mileages, say 71000 miles in your example?


    I love the A6 and would really want to buy it, and hearing about these problems are a real shame since it really is a nicely engineered car. If someone else has any other feedback, please help me out!


    Thanks again!
  • jodarjodar Posts: 51
    You can read my posts about the issues I have had with my car. To be honest, I believe that that my experiences with post-warranty issues and subsequent repairs were the result of dealer negligence at the very last (50k) service. As of this writing, it can't be definitively proven, but needless to say, I'm not returning to my Audi dealer for future service. Its just too coincidental that the alternator and then starter would fail, within 1500 miles of the last service. Fortunately, my extended warranty picked up most of it, outside of the deductible and non-covered costs (shop tools, etc).


    Other than that, the car is a pleasure to drive and the Quattro set up is perfect now driving through the snow and ice we're having here in the Washington DC area. The car just goes in whatever direction you want, without hesitation. You can't even feel some of the technologies at work. I can attest to the difference by driving my other FWD Dodge and Chrysler. There's no comparison. If you can feel assured of its history and buy a good extended warranty and the price is right, go for it.


    I'd bargain hard for it though, use Edmunds' wholesale value, be relentless and brutal to find any flaws with the car and subtract them from your offer. Stick to your guns and if your timing is right and your salesman/dealer needs to make a sales quota, they'll deal. Don't settle for sticker. I've used Edmunds to sucessfully purchase cars, for myself, family and friends for much less than sticker. You can too.
  • The other thing I'd add is that I agree with the poster who said the 2.7T is much more car than the 2.8...and its definitely worth it IMO. While I've got an A4, my Mom and Dad have 2.8 and 2.7T (pre-S-line) A6s, respectively. My car is plenty quick. My mom's car is a bit sluggish--the 2.8 doesn't seem quite big enough for that heavy a car. Dad's is great, but my new A6 3.2 puts even the 2.7T to shame. They both like their cars (Mom is sort of indifferent, but Dad is an enthusiast that also drives a 911 C4), and if you can get a reliable mechanic, they'll go forever if you're willing to put the money in them.


    In other words, I didn't step up from the 3.2 to the 4.2 in my new car. But I'd step up from the 2.8 to the 2.7T any day.
  • denlaidenlai Posts: 5
    Thanks again guys, great to hear ownership experiences from everyone.


    It sounds to me this car almost has to have extended warranty in order to be maintained affordably.


    1) Any owners out there that have experienced hefty repair bills post warranty?


    2) What kind of mechanic would I look for if Audi dealers were not used? Currently I take my Mazda to a reliable mechanic from a Midas joint, but I assume that would not be appropriate for an A6...
  • Let me explain it this way: I have a 1998 Toyota camry with the same 71,000 miles as the '00 Audi a6 2.7T. Repairs during this period besides wear items like tires,oil, brakes, wiper blades, etc.: Almost none. The remote sending unit to open the doors w/ the key fob has gone out, and that is it.


    The Audi is a much more "complicated" vehicle, and tons more fun to drive! The TOY is something to get from point A to point B, reliable, but dull to drive.


     Would never buy a 2.8 after driving the 2.7T, especially since the used price is very close. Wouldn't buy a used 2.7T UNLESS it was enthusiast owned and documented from day 1, (like mine), or going through the steps mentioned in my previous post.
  • denlaidenlai Posts: 5
    I agree that the 2.7T is probably a better performance vehicle, but the turbo system can be another possible maintenance liability. The 2.8 may be a little more mundane, but a six cylinder luxury sedan is all that I'm after at this point.


    So if I get this right, what you're saying is that the A6 is a great car for driving fun (which I am very eager to enjoy should I really buy it), but "complicated" repairs will be expected and is a cost for the non-dull driving... In a way, it's too bad that reliability is sacrificed for advanced engineering and performance. If only the A6 is as trouble-free as your Camry.
  • We currently own a 2001 A6 2.8 which we bought new and are very pleased with it. It's my wife's car and all she ever says is "luv it, luv it".

    We've always had Audis-- going back to before the "sudden acceleration" bad rap. (None have been turbos since mechanics say the turbo can be a problem, plus I don't like turbo lag.)

    We owned a 2000 A6 but traded it for the 2001 which had more power. Most of our Audis were sold before the warranty expired so the bumper to bumper warranty covered various minor problems.

    All have been dealer maintained.

     The only serious problem was with a '98 or '99 that we bought used from the dealer since it a "Factory Rep" car. One year used but had about 20,000 miles

    Just after the warranty expired (then 30,000 miles I think)the serpentine belt broke while my wife was driving. Like most modern cars there's only one belt now and it runs everything. When that breaks the car stops dead. Fortunately she wasn't in the middle of an intersection or doing 60 on the hiway.

      Pieces of the belt flew into the timing belt which then flew apart resulting in major engine damage --to the tune of $2000. Since we were only about 500 miles out of warranty Audi covered it without a fight -- which was appreciated.

      The service manager said even though a serpentine belt may not have visible wear, they should probably be replaced at 30,000 miles even though Audi recommends 50,000.

      Summary: I'd try to get the dealer to replace the belt as part of deal. An extended warranty might be a good idea since German cars in general are expensive to repair. I think Audi also has a record of all repairs made to car through dealers so you should be able to get a copy of that if it was dealer maintained.

      PS. We're considering the new A6 for this year, even though I hate the grill, but my wife says it OK and she'll be the one driving it so . . .
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,821
    It sounds like repair costs and problems are of great concern to you. If this is the case, there are MUCH metter choices than an Audi.


    Some are better than others but they are very much problem prone. Nice cars to drive though!
  • tkc1tkc1 Posts: 1
    My 2004 A6 3.0 quattro has about 16000 km and is now giving different kinds of noise. The most disturbing one is the continuous rattle in the dash, sometimes the noise could be so rapid and strong that I thought the windshield was going to crack.


    Then there is the loud whistling noise from the dash during the first few minutes of driving every time after the car was parked outside under winter weather (I live in Toronto). I took the car to the dealership but they said they could not find anything wrong.


    Just wondered if any other owners experience similar problems?
  • Hi there. Just wondering if any 2005 A6 drivers have had an issue with the battery indicator readings and as a result some Advanced Key functions? Have had the car since mid-December - has about 600 miles on it. Last weekend I was noticing that after locking the car using the button under the door handle, I would return to the car and it wasn't unlocking for me without using the unlock button on the actual remote. I also noticed that the security light was no longer on, which is why I checked the battery level on the MMI to discover that it was only at 10%. A bit concerned by this only a month after purchase, I took it into the dealer to discover that the battery was actually at 80%; the system was getting a faulty read, and as a result was shutting down auxiliary functions (why the Advanced Key wasn't working to unlock the door)...


    Car has just spent its second day at the dealership and they apparently have been dealing with Audi International to fix it...Tried resetting the battery indicator, which was not successful, so tomorrow we are on to replacing the "brain", which I take to be more than just the battery indicator programming...


    Anyone heard of this? Any insight would be great. We have always hesitated to buy a car in its first model year, and now I am wondering....
  • jpvwaudijpvwaudi Posts: 139
    At the dealership. We've sold about 70 A6's, probably 20 w/ advanced key. No complaints. Only complaints we've gotten have been about the nav dvd, which is produced by Navteq. 2 or 3 people have had to order new discs because they were clouding up.
  • I’m an owner of a 2001 Audi A6 2.7T. I used to tell people that it was the best car I ever owned; that was until I was hit with two very expensive repairs at 87K miles.


    The first was the replacement of the CAM adjuster seals. This cost $1,350. I was told that this repair is very common to A6’s. (It might be common to other Audi models, but I did not specifically ask about that).


    Because I was nearing 90K miles, I also had them replace the timing belt. This service cost $1,280. In all of the cars that I have owner, the timing belt never cost this much.


    Both were flat rate service charges. I verified the service cost with two non-affiliated Audi dealers prior to starting the work. I was told the CAM seals were 7 hours of labor and the timing belt 5 hours of service. At $92.50/hour labor, that’s a total of $1,100 and parts were $900 so they gauged me for an additional $630 beyond time and materials.


    The point I want to make here is that if you own or purchase an A6, you are going to be hit with these rather large service bills after the warranty period has expired. Make sure you are ready for it.
  • I would not buy the 2.8, if the price of the 2.7T would be the same. The acceleration and the braking are just so much more! I haven't had any problems with the turbos, however the oil is chcked weekly and changed regularly.I believe that you need an extended warranty on these cars, wouldn't drive one without.For the right price, with extended warranty, well-maintained from the start, this could be a good car for you.
  • I don't know about clouding up, but my DVD is very outdated. My home town (present for over 20 years) isn't very well detailed and no streets are on it. I had thought it was an unabridged map of the US, but it appears it's just a "cliff notes" version. Kind of disappointing.
  • I've been looking at the new '05 A6 for a few weeks now, and have experienced this same problem when test driving. First dealer told me it was a result of the drive by wire throttle instead of the mechanical linkage I currently have and said that I would "get used to it". I assumed he was feeding me a line and it was just that vehicle, but a second test drive at a different dealer showed the same issue. That dealer also explained it away as the drive by wire, but said the throttle was adaptive and the sensation would "go away after a few weeks of driving". Neither answer is very encouraging... and right now that concern is what's keeping me from buying the car. The BMW 530i is drive by wire as well, but it doesn't have the same hesitation.
  • The below listed recall is tied to the same problem. I bought off on the same line about it getting fixed, still had never happened. For more information see my notes at the A8 forum

    Audi Hit with Recall
    The Audi division of Volkswagen is recalling nearly 173,000 vehicles sold in the United States because of potential fires in the driver's-side instrument panel, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said Tuesday. The recall comes a week after the NHTSA said it was investigating complaints that A6 sedans are prone to 'sudden acceleration" in cold, sub-freezing temperatures. An advisory on the Web site of the agency said the problem, caused by an electrical short, stemmed from a component that was interfering with the headlight switch wiring harness. The Audi A6, S6 and allroad quattros from 1998 to 2004 will be recalled for a fix. -Jim Burt
  • Totally agree with other posters that you should consider a 2.7T. (Wish they still made it as will be in the market later this year for a new car.) If you are seeking more performance and fun, than go for it.
    However, buy it from a dealer that will certify it as "audi assured". It is well worth the additional money to gain the extended warranty.
    Bought a used (off lease) 2.7T from the local dealer (my 3rd mid sized audi) and it has paid itself back many times. It is an expensive car to maintain and except for an oil change, nothing is inexpensive. Have had everything from seat motors - window motors - turbos - drive shaft - and other components replaced with only a $50 charge. Yes, there have been failures, but it is the cost of running a powerful and finely tuned machine.
  • fernfern Posts: 1
    Thoughts? I'm thinking if you find a good, sharky lawyer, let me know!!!!!

    I have had my 2000 A6 2.7T in the shop, um, like a jillion times in the YEAR that I've owned it. I know, it's (was) 4 yrs old, yadda yadda. But after reading the innumerable posts here about what a sham the Audi product / service is, I'm BENT. I've been back and forth and back and forth and (repeat) to the dealer(S) - plural!!! for the EPC light from hell. I've had the "frozen condensation" problem fixed (to the tune of like $400 bucks. I've had the O2 sensor(s) replaced (to the tune of $600 bucks). I've had the blasted ECM module replaced not once, not twice, but THREE TIMES (in FOUR MONTHS) and STILL the EPC light will not stay off.

    If you and anyone else want to get together and light a fire under someone's butt via the legal system I will be the first to sign up, and I'll do whatever I can to facilitate this process because frankly, unless you WORK at a dealership, no matter how cheap or how expensive your automobile is, NO ONE should be spending THIS much time in a dealership. At this point, I think AOM might owe me some kind of pain and suffering bonus, or a few days' pay for the time I've spent in their dealerships. HORRENDUS!!!!!!!! Run, don't walk, to either another manufacturer, or to a store where you can buy VAG-COM, certification as an Audi mechanic and a slew of mechanic friends, becuase if you have an Audi, you're gonnna NEED THEM.

    reach me at

    I'm SO not kidding. This car is breaking my heart and worse, my wallet...... :(
  • Hi

    I am new to this site. I took delivery of 3.0TDi Quattro last week. As I was leaving the dealership I noted the airbag warning was illuminated. It was agreed I could take car for weekend. What a machine - I just love it.

    Unfortunately the following day the ESP warning sounded. I checked manual and followed the reset which did nothing. I had noticed a faint unusual smell shortly after the ESP went. On the second day all the other warnings went off indicating problems with ABS, Parking Brake, Oil Pressure etc.

    Car went into work shop on Monday and it took three days to find problem. It seems a steering sensor was either a dud or badly fitted and it shorted out. It seems Audi in Germany who got involved in finding the problem (they did a patch of some sort over a modem) have some new diagnostic equipment on the way to Irish and UK dealers which would have identified the problem in minutes. I gather this is a first for an Irish dealer.

    So by way of heads up to anyone who suffers a complete overload of warnings (audio and visual), keep my experience in mind. All is now well I am pleased to report. Very frustrating though - but the dealership have been fantastic in dealing with the issue - not that one should expect any less of them.
  • Have you had any further problems with your CVT box? I have had similar symptoms since one year old. Went to dealer several times but they could not find a problem - so they say and I am not convinced! now it has packed up outside warranty and they can find a problem!
  • I have a 2000 A6 2.8Q. I really liked it until it starts to show up some expensive problems. The first seemed to be minor: weak radio reception on certain radio stations. But it costs me $1400 because the two diversity boxes and harness needs to replaced. This can only be done at the dealer because the dealer does not sell the parts to other repair shops. The other issue is that power seat is not functional and a motor and frame needs to be replaced, costs another $1400. I regret that I did not listen to friends who advised me not to buy Audi ... I think BMW and Acura are better choices.
  • Go100mile,

    Sorry you've had some problems. I have to chuckle when I see you listing Acura and BMW in the same sentence in regards to reliability. I certainly wouldn't consider BMW any different to Audi's in terms of reliability or service to customers. I think both treat the customer better than the Acura dealerships, though one cannot argue that Acura's won't be in the dealerships nearly as often...
  • I have been having ongoing problems with my box (3 years old and 30,000 on clock)which my Audi garage could not identify on their diagnostics system under warranty. Car jerky from cold start and violent jerks (intermittently) when coming to a hault or moving away or when shifting from reverse to forward. I have heard that Audi recently (Oct 2004?) released further tests which garages should carry out when investigating these problems. Can anyone shed any light on this for me?
  • Yeah, today I talked to a friend who has a BMW 3 and he told me he just paid $1200 to repair power steering liquid pump. I also took a test drive of Acura RL today (also AWD), unfortunately I felt it was a burden driving it rather than having fun like my A6. I guess the best solution might be to always buy extended warranty when buying a new Audi.
  • We've had our 2005 Audi A6 3.2 for just over two weeks now and the engine has stalled three times and the seat memory does not always work.

    The car was shuddering a bit and on the verge of stalling on the day I got it. Since then the actual stalls have occurred just after starting the car. Does anyone else see a problem with stalling?

    The seats are supposed to go into the correct position depending on which key is used to unlock the car. My wife and I both use the car and most of the time this feature works but about 4 times out of 5 the seat goes into the wrong position. Has anyone else seen a problem with the seat memory?

    On the second day I got a warning light saying the Xenon lights were malfunctioning. The light went out after a day and a half.

    I am waiting to see what my dealer Barrier Audi in Bellevue Washington (I am working with Amanda Wood) can do about these problems. The car has been back to them but they can't reproduce any of the problems. Can anyone advise me about what I can expect in this situation? It does not seem reasonable to spend > $50,000 on a new car and have so many faults.

    Thank you.
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