Last post on Sep 20, 2011 at 3:33 PM
You are in the Audi A4
What is this discussion about?
Audi A4, Sedan
#3421 of 6042 Audi's have had a bad reputation for first year reliability
Mar 17, 2002 (2:53 pm)
CR has given a positive rating to Altima and Camry based on the proven ability of their manufacturer to produce a reliable car at their first try.
Audi had a bad experience with the A6 and the TT when they came out, and the original 1996 A4 had problems too. I think they want to wait for a year or so on the new A4.
You can follow the reliability stories of the A4 at www.audiworld.com. So far, it seems to be limited to minor things like gas guages and windshield washers, and at least one failed CVT (transmission). They are prone to squeeks and rattles as well as less than satisfactory shifting when cold.
#3422 of 6042 CR had unusual problems with their 2002 A4
Mar 18, 2002 (7:07 am)
I seem to recall that CR had electrical problems with their 2002 A4. Those problems have not been reported in any of the various A4 discussion boards. I believe that their experience with the problems is why they don't recommend it. Next year when they have the statistical information, they might change their mind.
Mar 18, 2002 (8:15 am)
I got a stupid Camry driver almost T-boned me the 3rd day I bought the A4. Thanks to Quattro and God (really), I swerved around and she still managed to put some nice black bumper marks, scrape marks, a little dent, and scratches on my right rear bumper and right rear wheel. I wanted a new bumper but both ins companies (mine and hers) said no way I'm going to get it. I called up my dealership and they referred me to a body shop that they send their clients to. I also told them about the situation and they also said ins company is not going to give you a new bumper unless it's cracked. Mine wasn't cracked so nope. Then I went to the body shop and they looked at it and even they said it's totally fixable and assured me it'll look like new. Since it's only 3 days old, and it's not me who's paying, I told them to spend whatever it takes to make it look like new. They said no problem and when I got it back, I was pretty amazed to see they made it look like new WITHOUT repainting the whole bumper. I was trying to look for a "transition" from the old paint to the new paint and can't really find it.
So my suggestion is, get a quote from BOTH your and the other party's insurance companies (trust me, they'll quote different things), and go to the body shop your dealership suggests and get THEIR quote. Instead of waiting for my insurance company to go after the other party's insurance company (plus they'll only pay whatever it is after your deductible, until they get the total amount back from the other guy's ins company, then you get your deductible), I went after the other guy's insurance company myself. That way I can get one check (amount with deductible) to the body shop, although later on the body shop said they need more to fix the damages.....but they call the other guy's ins company themselves and get the cost difference.
#3424 of 6042 ports of entry and what's chintzy
Mar 18, 2002 (8:55 am)
Thanks for the update, Finklejag. I'm thinking of you! KHl and Lucas7--thanks too for giving me something to compare my wait to--I'd also be interested to know where in the country you are and if you know where the various ports of entry are. I'm in the Northwest--wherever mine is lifted off the boat it will be another long ride (on rails?)to here. I haven't thought about importation details lately--do they still use the Panama Canal to bring freight by ship to the west coast????
The dealer told me he placed my order on the day I agreed to a price by email. That was February 25. I did the whole transaction via email, thanks to someone's advice who hasn't been around lately --Scirocco-- It has been a very pleasant experience so far. Anyone who is beginning to think about pricing and dealing--I can't recommend enough the importance of doing your research. Also--go back a year to a comparable month or quarter and see what people had to say about their experiences at that time. There was quite a frenzy on this site this time last year--all the way through the summer.
Quill--I noticed the same positive red check in the reliability chart at the back of Consumer Reports for Audi A4 with a 1.8T engine. I've been assuming that the redesign for 2002 has mainly to do with the 3.0 model or the CVT transmission. I didn't think about a redesigned body causing squeaks. I'm trying to keep my nervousness at bay.
Also I dug up my brochure for the 2001 A4 because I was also looking to buy last summer but was unable to locate a 1.8T Avant with a manual transmission anywhere on the west coast, so decided to wait. Can those of you with 2001s, explain what you like so much more about your interior--the missing oil temp. gauge, I understand--what else seems "chintzy" about the 2002 interior? Thanks!
#3425 of 6042 Climatronic/Trip Computer questions
Mar 18, 2002 (10:15 am)
I just purchased a 2002 A4 3.0 Quattro. I'm unhappy with the dual-zone Climatronic climate controls, because they don't seem to really pay attention to the actual temperature in the cabin. For instance, I set the controls on 64 degrees, because I like it cool. Well, I've carried a thermometer in the cabin with me, and the temperature never gets anywhere near 64. Maybe it might get down to 68 if you drive for 45 minutes. I'm contrasting this with my C70 Volvo I recently lost, whose climate controls worked awesome -- when you set it to 64, it cranked like crazy for a few minutes to drop the temperature fast, then backed off as it appoached the target temperature. In the A4, it never cranks the A/C, and I mean NEVER, unless I override the climate controls completely, which makes them pretty much useless. I've taken to just leaving the thing on "LO" and manually adjusting the fan.
The question is, has anyone else experienced this problem with the 2002 A4 3.0? Was it fixable? Should I take it back to the dealer, and if I do, can they calibrate it or something? Any suggestions?
My other complaint involves the trip computer. It's very nice in that it has two separate trip computers -- one for the most recent trip that resets to zeroes automatically after two hours, and one cumulative that has to be reset manually. Great. Problem is, it's missing the "trip odometer" feature. It's got the usual avg.mpg, avg.speed, time.traveled, miles.to.zero, etc., but no "miles.traveled". Instead, to get miles traveled, one has to use the separate, hokey, old-fashioned "trip odometer" that's next to the main odometer. Just one trip odometer -- it's not tied into the trip computer(s) in any way.
This seems to me to be exceptionally stupid, since number of miles traveled should be one of the main functions of a trip computer! And it's easily calculatable using the time.traveled and average.mph values, but what, they expect me to whip out my calculator?!?!?
My question is, is this "fixable"? If I had designed the A4, I would have made the trip computer either upgradable or "fixable" -- either by dropping in a new chip, or a software update done by the dealer. Anybody know if this can be "fixed" to include miles.traveled in both trip computers?
Mar 18, 2002 (11:08 am)
I live the the midwest. My dealer told me that all audis hit port at Houston. I guess he ment "all audis destined for midwest dealers" because finklejag reports that his will port in Wilmington DE. However, he/she also states that the car will get on a train from there to get to the west coast. That does not make sense to me from a cost standpoint if some cars get as far as Texas by ship.
Anyways, me dealer told me that it takes two weeks from leaving the factory in Germany to get to Houston. After that, the car gets on a truck after about a day or two in Houston and gets to my dealer after another day or two.
Hope that this helps.
#3427 of 6042 window tinting
Mar 18, 2002 (11:32 am)
tint is illegal on the front windows in NJ (I live in NJ). But you can always take your car to a gas station and slip the guy there a few bucks to not see it.
#3428 of 6042 Recent Purchase: '02 A4 1.8T Q
Mar 18, 2002 (12:10 pm)
Just wanted to pass along my recent purchasing experience. I was looking to replace a 1995 Saab convertible over the last year. My wife was interested in a TT roadster while I was leaning toward a sedan like the 9-3, 325i, A4 or C240 (we already own a MB ML320). December / January came and with the mild winter here in CT, I decided to check-out the TT as I had looked at all the sedans. I drove the TT 225 and coming off of a non-turbo 900S convert, I was completely blown away. (the salesperson was great because she encouraged me to drive it like it could be and not with a cautious round the mall parking lot attitude) The power and Quattro were an unbelievable combination and I came away sold on the TT. First problem: the cost. I had not made a car payment in 2 years and the idea of a $500 lease payment or $650 loan payment was uncomfortable so I had little faith in finding a car I could mentally afford. I knew the exact car I wanted and the cost of the options etc.
Between NJ, NY, CT and MA I tried about 12 dealers and came away with 7 quotes that I felt were close enough to be fair and accurate but 1 was about $20 less a month and $500 less on the down payment. This perked my curiosity about national programs, margin tolerances, incentives etc. (I settled on leasing because my wife gets bored easily with cars - I will get to the A4 tie in soon)
3 things came-up that changed our model direction. 1) as expected, no dealer wanted my car at anything close to what resembled a sane price. ($4500 - $6500) Yes I understand that what they may get at the auction but knowing they would sell the car with a $2K or more premium just killed me. So I was onto selling it privately which prevented me from purchasing a new car. (wife's ultimatum, must sell before you can buy) 2) we're trying to save for a new house so we came-up with an under $400 target and minimal cash outlay and 3) we have decided to speed-up our family expansion plans so a 2 door was out of the question.
I hemmed and hawed for weeks about what car to get and re-examined the options, cost and availability. The C240 and 325i were far to expensive to lease once we added in our sunroof and heated seats requirement so that left the 9-3 and A4 1.8. As a current Saab owner and with the $4K coming from GM to the dealers, you can lease a loaded 9-3 for a RIDICULOUSLY cheap monthly payment. I mean in New England with the glut of dealers and if you do your bargaining right, you can pay under $300 a month (including tax and 12K miles per year) with only $2000 total out of pocket. That's a lot, I say A LOT of car for that low a price. The 205 hp in the auto is fun and you get leather, sunroof, heated seats, Harmon Kardon stereo - the works. So I settle on the 9-3 when I see the spy-photos of the 2003 model which is completely re-designed and actually has a trunk!! Now I'm reluctant to get into a car that in 4 months will be the old body style so remembering the awesome performance of the TT, I head for the A4.
I do my usual local road testing and model / option review and settle on the car for us: 1.8T (on our budget $5K is a lot just to get leather and a few more ponies when a $500 chip can get you the same off the line juice) Quattro, sunroof, 16" rims and heated seats in black on black. Then I do my usual tri-state / NE phone calls and canvas the same 12 or so dealers and come back with 5 that are relatively close and then 1 (same as before on the TT) who is just glaringly less per month:
$2063 total out of pocket $378 per month including CT sales tax and 12K per year miles for 39 months on the exact car except its grey inside - and he says maybe there is a little more room.
One problem, I still own my car and its late January and nobody wants to give me what I want for it. So a few weeks pass trying to sell my car in the local paper and finally I put it on the internet and it sells to someone in NYC for what I want / need. Now it the middle of February and I am ready for my new A4. Problem is the dealership who gave me the great price no longer has the car I want, could trade for one but that would raise the cost. Now I have this great price in my mind and will not settle for a higher amount so I begin to take the price around and everyone turns the other way or doubts my numbers. I even go to the "world's largest Audi dealer" in Greenwich and the salesman says, "listen I think I can help you out. Here's a demo A4 1.8T q with 5K miles, sunroof, heated seats and 16" in black (beige interior which looks terrible with aluminum trim) for $416 a month and $2075 total out of pocket. Good deal huh? What do you say? Should we sign the papers?" I almost fell out of my chair. Its Presidents day so I'm off and I spend the rest of the day on the phone trying to negotiate back to my comfortable price.
I'm driving home with about 20 miles to go and I make 1 last call to a dealership that turns out to be almost in my back-yard but that I had completely discounted because they never advertise and are fairly low-volume and I hit the home-run: '02 A4 1.8T Quattro, sunroof, heated seats and 16" in black on black. "Don't lock the doors! I'll be there in 15 minutes and bring it around front." Just what we wanted but I feared the price. Would I just settle out of desperation?
It took me about 30 minutes and 3 rounds of negotiating but I finally got to mu number:
$2000 TOTAL out of pocket $375.16 per month including CT sales and 12K per month miles for 39 months.
Now that's a number I felt I could live with so I signed the paperwork and picked the car-up a few days later and its been 3 weeks of great fun. The turbo spools up with just enough oomph for me and the Quattro is a blast around traffic circles. We drop the seats, slide our snowboards thru and head to VT for the weekends and feel the same sure-footedness around the mountains as our ML 320. Yes you can spend allot less on a car but the build quality, stylish design, new appearance and performance are hard to beat if you can afford it. I will praise my decision to stick with the A4 for a long time to come. We're even thinking the A6 Avant will be the replacement for out ML when its lease is up! Thanks for hanging in there with my novel here but I hope it helped you kill a few minutes.
Mar 18, 2002 (12:32 pm)
Congrats on your car. Did you get the 5 speed or Tiptronic? Enjoy your car!
#3430 of 6042 window tinting in NJ
Mar 18, 2002 (1:26 pm)
But, I still have a question.
So, you mean I have to give a tip to gas station workers everytime? They gonna call the police or something?
I heard that NJ is not garden state. "Police state". So if that's true, I think I better take off my tint before I go there.