Advice for an A4

Messages
536
Location
Rochester NY
So im considering selling my 98 I30 that has 84k on it and buying an A4 (probally 98 as well) with the 2.8 (i think ill stay away from the 1.8t) quattro, 5speed, leather, everything, but one with 125-135k miles, just looking for advice on these cars, what to look for when buying, and is an audi with this many miles going to be reliable? I know a little about them, i know the front suspension can be crap, and to look for sludge, but what else can you guys reccomend? thanks
 
Messages
239
Location
Cleveland
Just bought a 99 passat. Check tie rod ends, all 4 upper control arms. See if you can find out when the last time the timing belt pulleys and waterpump was changed. Check all the power options(power seats and heaters,windows and locks.) IMO when replacing any parts I ALWAYS USE, GERMAN OEM PARTS.These cars last a long time. So choose one you like. Plus find a good VW/AUDI mechanic. Also the 2.8L don't sludge up like the 1.8t, and love GC green or gold.
 
Messages
239
Location
Cleveland
Just bought a 99 passat. Check tie rod ends, all 4 upper control arms. See if you can find out when the last time the timing belt pulleys and waterpump was changed. Check all the power options(power seats and heaters,windows and locks.) IMO when replacing any parts I ALWAYS USE, GERMAN OEM PARTS.These cars last a long time. So choose one you like. Plus find a good VW/AUDI mechanic. Also the 2.8L don't sludge up like the 1.8t, and love GC green or gold.
 
Messages
23,591
I have '96 A4 quattro 2.8 12v engine, A '98 has probably the 30v engine. '98 was the year the 30v came out in the US, I believe. Between the two, the 12v is whole lot simpler and more reliable with less to break (12 valves versus 30 valves, DOHC with chains and tensioners!), but less powerful. I had no issues with the suspension, others have had a nightmare with control arms all around, and I think the A4 has 16 of them. Wheel bearings are a problems for many A4 owners. I think one of mine may be going now. The MT has a fragile first gear. Be gentle with the first gear. If the tranny is noisy in first gear, stay away from that car. The dealer won't be able to fix it properly (went through it twice!). Your A4 will require timing belt (water pump, thermostat, tensioner, serp and timing belt) service every 4 years or about every 70k miles. That figure can be debated, but with an interference motor, it's best no to gamble. At the mileage at that you are looking, you will probably need new valve stem guides/seals eventually. Find out if oil consumption on the vehicle is high. Some niggling problems will occur, but with preventive maintenance they are generally not much of an issue. Don't get me wrong, and older A4 is a high-maintenance vehicle, but it does respond very much to how it's being treated. A well-maintained A4 will be a pleasure, a neglected one will be an expensive nightmare. In short, I recommend a medium mileage (125-150k mi) A4 only if you are a hands-on guy and don't mind doing a fair amount of preventive maintenance, or if you don't mind spending a lot on labor. In nine years, and over 144k miles, my A4 has not once broken down or become undriveable.
 
Messages
11,247
Location
PA
I have 115k on my V6 98 Tip A4 Avant. My total costs from 30k-115k are under $.04c a mile, probally due to self-diagnosis, Mail-Order parts and DIY brakes and tune-ups. I honestly have no interest in a newer car, but I don't recommend the used Audis to people with no experience or skills. Do you have a good mechanic? All in all, when I have to do work on my car, I don't mind because the car itself has unique abilities (quattro) and excellent road manners. I get 23.5 mpg. I suggest driving a good one for a while to see how you like it. Check in on AudiWorld.com B5-Forum, for more info and tips. Great car for the money.  -
 

kcryan

Thread starter
Messages
536
Location
Rochester NY
i dont mind doing maitnance at all, im not too worried about the suspension because i can fix that, i would probally not touch the valve seals or 1st gear though
 
Messages
40,636
Location
Great Lakes
quote:
Am i gonna regret it if i get the 12v onei instead of the 30v??
That is probably best answered by test driving both. You have to decide for yourself if there is noticeable performance difference between the two and if that difference is enough to compensate for added complexity and reliability issues, as per mori's post. Also, what are your reasons for changing from the I30 to A4? Reliability-wise, it'll probably be a step-down, so what are you expecting to get in return?
 

Mud

Messages
701
Location
Texas
From Audi Junkie: "I don't recommend the used Audis to people with no experience or skills." Agree 100% - our daughter's 2002 A4 1.8T is a pain in the a$$ to work on. It's obvious that the mfg intent is to take it to the dealer but with some research and know-how you can do most items yourself. Timing belt replacement is a hot topic on most forums and should not be overlooked. Moribundman hit the nail on the head with the info on replacement parts needed and the interval. We have been fortunate to have avoided sludge issues at 71K miles so far. Also agree on using as a minimum level of quality German OEM parts whenever possible. The Audi is a nice car and all that, but IMO I will take my 123K mile 95 crown vic any day. That is after several years of comparative experience with both. Personally I think that you can do better than that 98 A4.
 
Messages
350
Location
Indianapolis, IN
Not all German parts are quality and not all A4 replacement parts have a maker in Germany. Many A4 parts are sourced from around the (sometimes 3rd) world. A good example is radiators. Audi used to use German made Behr & AKG. Now Veleo and Nissens units are slipping into production. Another example is the ATF and oil coolers. Both used to be made in Germany. Now they are made somewhere else in Eastern Europe...and failing like lie detector tests on Jerry Springer. A lot of electrical parts come out of Hungary, Belgium and Asia. Then there are the OEM German water pumps with plastic impellers. This design is clearly not the best design out there. In this case, you would want an aftermarket, all metal unit, over the OEM composite piece of junk. OEM ATE brake pads are a dusty mess. Anything (almost) is better than these parts! 100% German parts is a concept that fell with The Wall. Just know what you are buying and look for the best parts available.
 
Messages
40,636
Location
Great Lakes
The OEM ATE pads may be dusty, but at least they seem to perform well (while they last - see second paragraph). I've read some comments from people switching to Mintex Red, being happy about no dust, but complaining about braking performance. Personally, I've had good luck with EBC Green, but some people don't like those either. Unfortunately, one of my ATE pads has separated from the backing plate (literally came apart) while still having plenty of pad material left. Not sure where these things are made, but it's certainly not a quality part. It's true about most OEM stuff no longer being made in Germany - I guess they had to reduce the cost of labor. All the OEM filters I bought from an Audi service dept. in Poland came from some Eastern European countries. I know there's an oil filter factory (Filtron) in Poland that produces a lot of OEM filters for VAG as well. Not sure where the stuff sold in the US is produced.
 
Messages
489
Location
Metro Atlanta GA
www.blauparts.com claims, as I recall, to source only german made parts. Don't know if that's completely true but at least all the parts I've ordered from them have been labeled made in germany. Of course that just could be labeling and they're made elsewhere.
 

kcryan

Thread starter
Messages
536
Location
Rochester NY
Hmm, not that im ruling the audi out, but what else in the $5-7k range with less than 150k on it would you guys reccomend, FWD, RWD, AWD doesnt matter to me i just need something manual, which my I30 isnt......
 
Messages
11,247
Location
PA
Get the V6, get the 30v, get the quattro. Save $100/mo for repairs & maintenance. Look for an indy mechanic, BOSCH Service Centers are excellent. MY2000 and up are best. Look for about 120k or less. Log onto AudiWorld for great info and support. PS I had a 2002 A4. I did not like it and I think quality is better on the older cars.
 
Messages
239
Location
Cleveland
I agree 100% with everything in all the posts above. I bought my 99 100K passat 2.8l v6 for 7k otd. Have since put about 2 grand into it!!!(front suspension,complete timing belt job,tire and the little stuff.)My corolla and altima not a dime in repairs. But I have always love Vdubs. So it worth it to me. And what I meant by saying "100% GERMAN OEM PARTS" was don't try to go cheap on repairs. A Maxima would fit the bill. Same as I30, rock solid reliable!
 
Messages
180
Location
New England
It's all about priorities. Also, I'd say, it's about your desire to do maintenance and repair yourself. My current car, an '01.5 S4, is stupendous, I feel privileged every time I get in it. I think the A4 is a great car too. Though I revere the German car driving experience, I would choose an 84k I30 over a 125k Audi. The I30 is a really nice car which will go a long time, and an Audi with high miles will need something expensive soon, dunno what, but something. You can bet on it. I bought my car with 48k miles on it. It was off a lease a friend of mine had, a very conservative driver and, no exaggeration, the most meticulous owner I've ever known. It was perfect. Even with all that, I wouldn't have bought it if I hadn't been able to get the Audi extended warranty. The best thing you can do is to spend some quality time on the Audiworld site reading the boards, there's a huge amount of info there. I've always liked the I30. Personally, I'd keep it.
 
Messages
11,247
Location
PA
My ride in a fully modded AWE S4 was absolutely frightening. It had everything short of K-04 turbos. GIAC X-Chip, full custom exhaust, driveline stabilizers etc. Probally 400hp.
 
Top