New Shocks and Control Arms?

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The Audi is getting to the age that the shocks are starting to go. Add to that the well-known short lifespan of VAG control arm bushings of that vintage and the whole car is starting to handle like a Lincoln Town Car. Here is my conundrum. Although it is low mileage, the car is almost 15 years old and is only worth about $5-6k. If I replace the shocks, I am looking at $400 for a cheap set of Monroe Spectrums or $550 for Bilsteins with all the installation hardware. I'm leaning toward the Bilstein for just $150 more ($38 more per shock). I found a control arm kit made by Uro that includes upper and lower, front and back, for $230. So with shocks, control arms, installation and alignment by my local indy mechanic, I'm probably looking at close to a grand. My question is; is it worth it given the age and value of the car? What do you guys think?
 

Astro14

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Originally Posted By: Olas
how long do you plan to keep the car? also, ask yourself if you can buy a better car for the grand you would spend on repairs.
I'm with Olas - fix it up. The car has no rust, looks nice and no other problems. The suspension rebuild will bring back the handling and you'll enjoy driving it again. So, you spend a grand...sure beats payments or fixing up another $5K used car.
 
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Go with the Bilsteins but stay well clear of anything branded Uro! This is the cheapest most miserable rubbish on the market bar none.
 
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Originally Posted By: JC1
Your car is low mileage and is in good shape. I would do the repair and keep driving it.
Agreed. I have a 2001 Honda with 97k miles. It runs great and has been relatively problem free. I'd put $1k in repairs into it without batting an eye. In fact, I'll probably be spending around $600 in the next two weeks to have the timing belt and water pump replaced on it.
 
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Originally Posted By: SF0059
So with shocks, control arms, installation and alignment by my local indy mechanic, I'm probably looking at close to a grand. My question is; is it worth it given the age and value of the car? What do you guys think?
I never consider vehicle value when doing repairs like this. If you like the car and otherwise have no plans to sell it, make the repairs and keep going. You could probably buy something else instead, but there's risk to that that would be difficult to quantify. You could easily spend a grand or more on various issues when buying something else, especially if you include things like changing all fluids, maybe a new set of tires, etc. I say, upgrade your car and continue to enjoy it.
 
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Originally Posted By: strat81
Originally Posted By: JC1
Your car is low mileage and is in good shape. I would do the repair and keep driving it.
Agreed. I have a 2001 Honda with 97k miles. It runs great and has been relatively problem free. I'd put $1k in repairs into it without batting an eye. In fact, I'll probably be spending around $600 in the next two weeks to have the timing belt and water pump replaced on it.
Yeah, but that's a Honda... This is an Audi we're talking about.
 
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Have you replaced the timing belt? If not, that's another expense that you need to take care of. Audi's belts do not age well... Also, take a close look at the crank case ventilation hoses and valves. They tend to become brittle and crack with age. Some components expensive to replace.
 
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If you're going to do that job, check to see if you need to replace the tie rods and upper strut mounts as well. You'd need an alignment afterwards with just the control arm replacement.
 
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After owning several euro cars over the years, if you plan to keep one for a while, realize that it's not nearly as cheap to keep running as a NA car. For repairs like this, there are other suspension related parts that will wear out shortly thereafter, and you will pay dearly as they require replacement (as was already mentioned). Personally I'd dump it, unless it held some sentimental value or was a car I REALLY enjoyed, and get a car that has cheaper and easier to find parts. Sure others will say "it's just shocks/struts" but you obviously see that it's just the start of more repairs to come.
 
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Originally Posted By: Astro14
Originally Posted By: Olas
how long do you plan to keep the car? also, ask yourself if you can buy a better car for the grand you would spend on repairs.
I'm with Olas - fix it up. The car has no rust, looks nice and no other problems. The suspension rebuild will bring back the handling and you'll enjoy driving it again. So, you spend a grand...sure beats payments or fixing up another $5K used car.
x2 on all the above.
 
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http://www.blauparts.com/proddetail.asp?prod=MGR2013%2DC pre-assembled with new springs.... so....spending a little more up front can potentially save you more in labor. No experience with Blauparts though.
 

SF0059

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Originally Posted By: Trav
Go with the Bilsteins but stay well clear of anything branded Uro! This is the cheapest most miserable rubbish on the market bar none.
Thanks for the tip, I'll look into another set!
Originally Posted By: Olas
how long do you plan to keep the car?
I was looking at new cars a little while back. However, it looks like my wife and I may have the expense of Invitro here soon, so I am probably going to end up driving this car for another 2-3 years.
Originally Posted By: knerml
Have you replaced the timing belt? If not, that's another expense that you need to take care of. Audi's belts do not age well... Also, take a close look at the crank case ventilation hoses and valves. They tend to become brittle and crack with age. Some components expensive to replace.
Yes, I did the timing belt, crankcase seal, water pump and full breather assembly a little under a year ago. Everything else about the car is mechanically sound.
Originally Posted By: Lolvoguy
After owning several euro cars over the years, if you plan to keep one for a while, realize that it's not nearly as cheap to keep running as a NA car. For repairs like this, there are other suspension related parts that will wear out shortly thereafter, and you will pay dearly as they require replacement (as was already mentioned).
This is what I am afraid of. Although, I can't think of anything off hand that would be a prohibitive repair other than a transmission. If that was to go I would certainly walk away from it. Part of my reasoning behind looking at new cars is I am saving almost a car payment every month for unforeseen maintenance on the Audi. The car payment wouldn't really be much more out of pocket and I wouldn't have the downtime I am anticipating with this car. Seems like we have mixed opinions... all that to say, I am still on the fence!
 
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Replace the control arms first and see if that solves the bouncy ride. I replaced my front shocks at around 125k miles because I thought they were toast and it made no difference. It's usually the bushing in the front lower arm where the shock attaches that makes for the bounce. And a big +1 on staying away from any URO control arms. I'd also say avoid Mevotech, too. I currently have Mevotech front lowers and Dorman for the other 6 arms, and I've had to warranty the Mevotech once already and am at the point where they need to be warrantied again all in the last 18 months. The middle bushing is just too soft to hold up to the forces from the spring and shock. If you could do the work yourself, that wouldn't be so bad but since you're paying a shop it could become expensive. Go with the Dormans (Rock Auto calls them Lateral Links) for all but the lower straight arms, and then find the best price on either Lemforder or TRW as they are the OE brand arms. You may not even need to replace the other 6 arms, as the lower straight arms take much of the abuse. You'll save yourself time and money over the 3 years you keep the car. You may not even have to replace the shocks. This is probably the best price on the OE front lowers. They also have great videos on how to replace the arms, and if you only do the two lower straight arms you'd probably be good without an alignment. The lowers are far easier to replace than the uppers. http://www.fcpeuro.com/products/audi-vw-control-arm-front-lower-front-oem-4d0407151pt
 
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Uro parts are cheap garbage made in China. If Deeza makes control arms for your car, get those instead. They are much better quality and made in Turkey. Bilstein shocks are great, but nothing wrong with Monroe or KYB.
 
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Blauparts sells packages which contain major parts in a combo. They cost less than buying all parts seperately. They make the equivalent of Quick-struts. I love those guys because I got an awesome deal on dual clutch fluid.
 
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No problem, with the amount of cash I've spent "learning" the maintenance on a C5 A6 I feel better about it if I can help anyone else's wallet avoid the learning curve. If you do decide to replace the shocks, I went with the Monroe OE Spectrums and they are identical in performance to the OE sport ones they replaced. I'm assuming that your A6 has the comfort suspension as it has the 2.8, so the Monroes may be a bit more harsh than what you're used to. I have no idea if they would play nice with the comfort springs, so in the grand scheme you might be better off going with something like the Blau kit and get matching springs for the shock's rebound rate.
 
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