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Audi A4 2004 and earlier



  • I have been following your posts for several months. On one of them I had the feeling you lived in the Ithaca area from something you said about a
    test drive, but later realized that you are in the
    chicago area.
    You must have been passing through my area or on
    In any case thanks for the welcome.
  • I had the same issue running through my head before I bought the SP5000- 16" tires, I wanted to get a set nice 17" wheels with SP's and then use my factory 16" alloys with snow treads. I thought about it almost too long, the original tires got worn out. Well I ended up going the cheaper route, plus the Quattro handle the snow pretty well last year with marginal tread. The biggest reason for not using winter tires is that I have an old toyota 4x4 (Weekend hauler)I use on the really bad days. I guess thats cheating, but I wouldn't want someone else sliding into my car that didn't have all-wheel-drive or winter tires...
  • lauk0dglauk0dg Posts: 563
    Yup i was in northern PA on business and stopped by Ithaca NY to see a friend. He was in the market to shop for a car (he's driving an Integra Type-R) so we test drove some 02 A4's and 02 TT' you are in the Ithaca area?

  • dej0dej0 Posts: 36
    Hi Gang,
    I have been on vacation and not checking in. I want to thank all of you who weighed in on the various options issue I raised in mid December. I really liked Cincinnati Mark's response to xenons. He is right, they are a safety item. I had not thought of it like that, and I immediately bumped them to the top of my list.
    My wife and I drove several cars in a range of prices. We drove a 325 as well as the 3.0 A4, a Suburu Impreza WRX, a Jetta with the 1.8T and a Toyota Prius. The Prius is the 4 door hybrid. We new we wanted to replace our Miata and maybe the '97 A4 as well. To be able to do both might mean trying to save a couple hundred bucks where we could on the more expensive car, hard to say. Here are my opinions.
    The Prius is better and worse than I thought. It is not as ugly when you see it in real life as the pictures make it look. It is nice on the inside, not luxurious mind you. The display on the dash is mesmerizing. I'm sure you would get used to it, but I found it distracting. It shows which engine the power is coming from, constantly. It is not a road noise quiet car, though more than I expected. It was a dog for performance, much worse than I expected. It is a very responsible commuter vehicle.
    The Suburu was lots of fun, but it was loud. I could easily hear the turbo spinning up and down, something I never here on our A4. It was fast also, but it felt a little cramped (as did the Prius). Still, a fun car.
    The Jetta was the biggest surprise. It was a tight package, very quick. It was quieter than the Prius or the Suburu. For 20K you really got a very good car. It did feel small compared to the other two German cars, but it would be just fine as a sporty daily commuter, and would really surprise someone who did not know about the 180 HP engine in it. I have not driven a front wheel drive car in a while, and I definately noticed the torque steer.
    The BMW was a great car to drive. The 325 is very responsive. I honestly believe if you know what you are doing, the real wheel drive config is the way to go. Please remember that I have a Miata, plus the caveat, if you KNOW what you are doing. I admit, I do not, which is one reason I prefer the new A4. I felt the average driver (me) could get more out of the A4 than the BMW. Plus, the BMW trunk is too small to make it practical for two adults and a toddler to travel long distances on vacation.
    So what am I going to do? Like any good, over consuming American, I am going to try to get both the BMW and the A4. I really had to work my wife on this one, but she agreed. She prefers the BMW (she drives the Miata more than me and really likes real wheel drive), and it will be her car. I get the new A4 and it will be our main trip car. That is, if I can get my local Audi guy to call me back. We have already ordered a BMW.

    Sorry this is so long, have a good day.

  • Hello! Am seriously considering buying a used 1996 Audi A4 2.8 (no Quattro), automatic transmission, with many options loaded. The car has about 95,000 miles on it. Reason im considering it is because its being sold for a little less than $10k. I figure Id rather get a german car rather than a generic Japanese (ex: Accord) one.

    Can anybody give me advice, etc. on what to look for, any trouble spots, and any parts, etc. that need to be replaced on an Audi this old and with that much mileage? Is it even worth buying at all?

    Thanks in advance for any replies. :)
  • Personally, I would avoid this car. If you can pay this much for a car that has this many years and miles on it (cash I presume?) -- why not look into a much much newer or new perhaps Jetta or other VW and consider (if new or late model) a lease? A 36 month lease on a new VW product at $300/month is $10,800 (which may get you a brand new VW product at a Cap Cost of around $21 - 22,000). You would have some maint costs covered and a warranty.

    Just a thought.

    Oh and the reason I mention the VW family is based on my assumption that since you were OK with the front wheel drive Audi, that you you would be OK with a FWD VW.

    Finally, one good repair bill on this car and you will know what I am talking about -- and I am an Audi and VW fan (but the warranty is your friend).
  • The lease on my Y2K A4 1.8T Q is about to expire in a couple of months. It has about 30K on the odo and the buyout is about 20K. I am debating whether to keep it or not. How reliable are A4s for the long haul(it has given me zero problems till date)? Will it be very expensive to keep? Will it be dependable as the miles pile up? Thoughts?
  • Yes, I am just North of Ithaca. I leased my new
    A4 from the Ithaca dealer. I also have a leased
    2001 LL Bean Subaru outback through them. So I have the all wheel drive program covered at this time.
    My wife is getting first choice on driving the A4.
    So I drive the subie most of the time.
    Let me know when you are in the area again and we can grab lunch and compare notes.
  • Thanks for the advice, markcincinnati. I have considered the Jetta, but found that the style of older Jettas doesnt appeal to me. I do agree though, that i could probably find a newer year VW (or other brand) for the amount of money that im willing to spend (and am currently looking for a 1999 and newer Jetta now... tough luck to me finding one at my price range though). Btw, the A4 im looking at is priced at $9000... with a little room for negotiation, i think (just to give you a better idea of my budget).

    Hmmm... at first, i thought the price was a good deal for an Audi (KBB and Edmunds both price the car at at least $10,000), but if you say that its not worth it... maybe i will look for other options. So... is it not worth it because of the age and mileage, or because i can get a newer model car (of the same or better quality, with fewer mileage) for the same price? Because if its the price... Id still rather get an Audi than a VW, Volvo, or any other Euro Brand (unless i can find a reasonably priced BMW). On the other hand... if its because the Audi cant take high mileage and wear (and if repair costs are as high as everyone says)... then im better off looking for a newer car.

    Sorry for this rather long post... am really eager to get more opinions on this, so that i can reach the best decision. :)
  • I would avoid it just due to the automatic transmission. 100-110K are about all you can expect out of most automatics. I have heard the repair bills for the auto rebuild are pretty steep $4-5K... A 5spd might get a different answer.
  • kyonekyone Posts: 4
    How is the A4 ride and comfort on an all day trip at freeway speeds?
  • Hi dmmatix! Regarding your opinion on automatics, does that apply to Audis only, or to all cars with automatic transmissions? Coz the car i currently drive is a 1991 Toyota Camry automatic with over 200,000 miles on it, and to my knowledge, no transmission rebuild has been done on it.

    Btw, thanks for the advice, dmmatix. So far, 2 neg responses. Looks like i should look for a different car. But still hoping for more opinions.
  • lauk0dglauk0dg Posts: 563
    Kyone, I haven't done ultra long trips in my A4 yet (did a drive from Chicago to Seattle on my ex-Accord and it's not bad)......only had a 5 hr drive to upper wisconsin in the A4 and it was an awesome most german cars it rides very solid and passengers didn't even notice when i took it all the way to 85mph for a while. It requires little attention and the only thing that's "troubling" was that, I always wanted to bring it to a faster speed than 75 (speed limit is 65 and i cruised at 75) :>

    Joyridea4, good thing I test drove the 02 1.8T over at that Ithaca dealership that time and not a 6-spd 3.0Q.....i wanted to test drive that one but it wasn't prepped yours dolphin grey?? Yeah if I stop by Ithaca again we will definitely grab lunch and compare notes :>

    Vince, I also don't think it's a good idea to get the 96 A4. It's the first A4 model year in US, although I think it was a 95 model in Europe before coming to US. I heard the 1.8T engine wasn't the most refined yet at that time too. Go to and ask the guys if 96 A4's are alright to buy or not.

  • Hey guys, I recently bought a 2001 A4 2.8 Q and I love the car so far. However, I have been noticing just a couple of little things that are bothering me. One thing that I found was that when I have the radio on, or a cd in the player, the two Bose speakers located in the rear dash rattle. I like having the bass up because of the quality of the sound, but hate the rattling. I have an acura and a lexus that has the bass all the way up without any rattling. Does anyone else experience this same problem with their A4s? What should I do? Thanks.
  • uhclem6uhclem6 Posts: 10
    Well after 6 months of obsessing, I decided to ditch my '92 Mazda MX6 for a 2001 A4 1.8TQ 5 sp.(Premium, cold weather, xenons and Bose). It had 14,000 miles on it, and was an Audi company car in its previous life.

    I'm enjoying the hell out of it right now, but have two questions:

    1) It's been fairly cold the past few days (well cold for Atlanta--20s in the am). I've found a couple of times that it's been hard to shift from 1 to 2. Anyone else experience this?

    2) Love the xenons. However, I notice that the lighting distance cast by the right and left headlights seems just a bit off. The right side seems to give a few more inches of illumination than the left. Is this an aiming problem or by design?

    Thanks for the feedback!

  • otis123otis123 Posts: 438
    I got 161K miles on my 92Camry's auto transmission and my friend has continued it to 175K to date. Still rides like new, and I didn't change the fluid from 110K to 161K!

    Now I am looking at purchasing a new car (bought a 6 cyl. LLBean Outback for my wife last year to replace the Camry). I scan the Passat and A4 rooms (along with Volvo and Outback H6 sedan) and still feel uneasy making the move back to VW (I owned a Beetle, 76Rabbit and 90Wolfsburg Jetta). European cars seem to have lots of problems. Miss the German handling, but I'm scared of the reliability. Then you say an auto trans. shouldn't get much more than 100K miles? Yikes!
  • gymshoegymshoe Posts: 80
    they're by design...
    the left light is angled a few degrees lower so it doesn't blind oncoming traffic, the right one is angled higher to help illuminate side road signs or what not better.

    it could be that the right one is at a standard level and just the left one is angled lower.
    but's by design.
  • uhclem6uhclem6 Posts: 10
    Thanks for the info. I'm still getting used to a lot of the features of this car. I really like the xenons, but the abruptness in the way the field illumination cuts off takes some getting used to.
  • Otis123, I just traded in a 1999 2.8 tip. Passat for a A4. I did not have any problems with the Passat. It is a very nice car. Consumer Reports rates best family sedan. Since there is only my wife and myself we decided to step up to the A4, but we did consider another Passat. My second vehicle is also the 2001 LL bean Outback so our taste seem to be running about the same. I had three Maximas before the Passat. I also enjoyed the Max but opted for the VW.

    Uhclem6, my Xenons are also as you and Gymshoe describe. In my area they are great for spotting Deer along the roadway getting ready to cross.
  • I ordered my A4 3.0 back in Oct. before the pricing and 3.0 6sp were available. My dealer told me that I could always change my mind when the prices and a test drive were available.
    I did finally get to drive a dolphin grey auto before mine came in in Nov. which was earlier than I wanted since my Passat lease did not run out until Jan 15. I never did get to drive the 6 sp until mine arrived. Mine is crystal blue with Ebony interior. I really was going back and forth on the one I ordered and getting a 1.8 turbo. I was impressed with the Turbo.
    My Son builds Dune Buggies in Calif. and puts Turbos on VW engines and ups the HP to around 250.
    He is always down in the Southern Calif desert playing. He swears by Turbos.
  • lauk0dglauk0dg Posts: 563
    Yup you got the 1st to 2nd gear grind. It happens to me too especially when it's cold. After I ground gears for 2 times I started to take extreme care, i.e. take it easy when switching from 1st to 2nd. Actually if you followed what I posted I started to get 2nd to 3rd gear grinds but now I found out it's my own fault for letting the clutch off too soon. The height the clutch engages is way high and at first I didn't get used to it but now I like it cuz I can shift gears in lightning speed BUT not when the engine and tranny is still cold. Just take some time to get used to it. Guys at audiworld also complained about it.


    Joyridea4, yeah that might be the same dolphin grey I saw in that dealership. They were offering to take off a whopping $5k on a 225TT my friend test drove.

  • I meant for you to lease a brand new 2002 Jetta -- I priced one (on a lease) and you are well within the ballpark if consider the maintenance on the A4 and almost certain "normal" repair costs on the A4 -- assuming nothing huge goes wrong with the used Audi. I would be wary of the used Audi -- and I say this not because I think the Audi would be certainly for sure for sure more likely to break. It may or may not break, it is just that if it does you will have to pay for it, with the new Jetta you will not.

    On the other hand, there are those on this forum who would possibly suggest that an Audi of this age might actually be more likely to have extraordinary repairs.

    Look at it this way -- a 2002 Jetta is a good car. It is at full list price MSRP of under $18K or you could go up to a GLS and it would be around $21K before any dealer cap cost reduction. Then the lease price, at current mostly attractive rates plus the reliability and warranty factor make it a high value proposition (and a fairly low lease per month in the overall scheme of things).

    The Audi, and I love 'em, may be asking for trouble$.
  • gymshoegymshoe Posts: 80
    I was shopping for a used A4 and someone on this board kept on insisting i test drive the 02 1.8T...and that it was close to my price I went and test drove. So...whoever's advice it was...the bugger cost me about 8000 bucks more than I had planned on spending... Grrr....

    however...I'm damn glad I did cause the 02 1.8T is a sweeet car and worth every penny that I I actually gotta say that I'm glad someone pushed me to test drive the 02's! :)
  • Gymshoe, glad you jumped in, the water is fine.
    Besides as far as I know you only go around once. Might as well make the most of it while there is time!! Note: I am not the one who gave you the test drive advice just for the record :).

    Laukodg, about a year ago my original plan was to get a audi tt roadster. I really loved the look and so did my wife which is half the battle won.
    I kept wondering how practical the TT would be?
    Not much truck space. I never did get to test drive one.
    How do they drive?
    I test drove the BMW 330XI and 330I. They were very nice, but felt I was getting more content with the A4 for less money.
  • Check out the latest CD magazine, tests of many contenders -- A4 came in second, but barely to the 330i.

    The value prop was that the Bimmer was about $1K more than the A4 3.0 quattro sport which had several options.

    The apparent reason for being number two instead of top ranked was the weight factor, the Bimmer weighed less and therefore performed better in a couple of the statistical shoot outs.

    The rankings were the Bimmer scored a 97 the Audi a 95 -- considering the price difference and content, boy oh boy was it close. Adding an option or two (to level the option playing field) would have added $$$ to the Bimmer. Which makes the A4 the value winner for certain -- throw in any "weather" at all, and, well most of us know the quattro would have handed the Bimmer its lunch.

    Again, as the report said -- two of the best sedans in the world are produced in Ingolstadt and Munich Germany and they are the 330 and the A4 3.0 quattro.

    For the money -- the Audi is the overall champ. For 0-60 times and the weight penalty, the BMW champions. Quattro is both a safety and performance factor -- I sometimes wonder what would happen if they (whoever they are) would change the gear ratios a little bit. The Audi appears to have longer legs and two overdrive gears -- the BMW is a bit more of a sprinter.

    Makes one want to have one of each -- especially for the Summer months.
  • Thanks again for the advice, Mark. Well, i looked at the Audi again, and guess, what, they raised the price by $1,000 to put the final price of the car at $10,000. Reason is that they had to change the tires, as well as the timing belt and v-belt. Doesnt look like im getting it anymore. Once again, thanks for the advice. :)

    Will look at the price of a Jetta lease. Since we are on the topic of getting cars, maybe you could help me out. Im a first time buyer (22 yrs old)... so, interest rates are going to be sky high for me. I dont think i would want to buy or lease a brand new car at this time. So, what other brands and models (doesnt matter what) do you suggest?
  • lauk0dglauk0dg Posts: 563
    Joyridea4, I test drove the 225TTQ at the Quattro Challenge for a short while and the driving dynamics is totally different from the A4. The TT is more of a screamer and handling is wonderful although I didn't get a chance to do the test drive at higher speeds. Should be fun and addicting, right Mark??

    Vince217, if they charge only $1000 for changing the tires and the timing belt, it's not too bad of a deal although I understand the total might be out of your price range. How about Civics if you don't want to buy or lease a brand new car? True it's more expensive than comparably equipped Sentras or Proteges but Civics are fun cars! My girlfriend got a Civic coupe and even now when I drive her car I am still having fun.

  • Probably apples and oranges. Most things on Japanese cars last longer without failure and I can believe your Camry still rides like new. It's just in my opinion a new Camry still rides/handles poorly. A new Audi or BMW will handle and ride much better than a comparable Japanese car. I have an 2000 I30 and a 1997 A4 so I have direct experience. The I30 is just over a year old and rides worse than the A4 and it never did handle as well as the A4 does today...

    The failure rates for German automatic transmissions I was using came from BMW and Audi forum postings from some fairly in-the-know folk. My A4 only has 67K on it so I have no personal experience and sinc I am expecting to trade it for a new A4 sometime in the next 3 months I hope not to have the experience.

  • nobeenobee Posts: 194
    Off the wall question: A couple of nights ago I sat down and watched "The Fast and the Furious". One of the main characters talk about double-clutching vice old grandma shifting...what is double-clutch?
    thanks in advance,
  • To match engine revs to the transmission when down shifting. This site explains it quite well.

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