Last post on Dec 26, 2012 at 7:05 AM
You are in the Audi A6
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Audi A6, Sedan
#3573 of 6920 1996 A6 Headlights/Parking Lights
Feb 02, 2003 (2:19 pm)
I recently purchased a 1996 A6 wagon. It drives and rides beautifully, but numerous (expensive) electrical problems have popped up...most have been solved but I seem to find that electrical parts on this car are extraordinarily finnicky. Perhaps readers can help me solve one nuisance. On my former Subaru I drove with the lights on, and when I turned off the key the lights all went off. With this Audi, when I turn off the key the headlights go off...but the parking lights and tail lights remain on. This defeats the entire purpose of the headlights going off, since I then STILL have to turn off the headlight switch manually. Any help?
One additional area is of great interest to me. Since I may look for another used Audi (it could be an A4, A6, or V8) do you readers have any advice on models or years that are more "trouble free"? I am aware that motors changed in certain years. And in reading about problems with the 2000-2003 years, it appears that plenty of problems still exist even though the cars are newer. I have read a number of Audi sites and it very dificult to decipher enough good comparable information. Any help here? Thanks.
Feb 02, 2003 (9:45 pm)
I do not know anyone rich enough to afford a used Audi -- new ones cost less by far.
Although my statement above is not entirely accurate, it is -- in spirit -- dead on. Audis (and they are not alone) are very expense to acquire and maintain "used" -- even if you lease one yourself and then in effect, buy it for yourself.
Audi maintenance costs can be breathtaking and repair costs are some times bankrupting. An extended or aftermarket warranty is something that should be considered.
It is so much "cheaper" to consider a brand new Audi than almost any used one -- if you have that much money, please make a donation to one of my favorite charities and lease a new one. You'll spend the same amount either way.
And, I say this as a big fan of -- not basher of -- Audis.
Feb 03, 2003 (11:35 am)
For specific questions on C4 platform (Pre-'98) A6's I suggest you visit the appropriate AW forum -
I generally agree with Mark's comments regarding the cost of a new lease vs. out-of-warranty ownership costs, though I've never done an exhaustive study. Certainly, dealer maintenance on an out-of-warranty Audi can be prohibitive. I haven't investigated independent mechanics and non-OEM parts, and whether this route could significantly reduce on-going maintenance cost. I have read posts on AW from people who work on their cars themselves with some success. Perhaps Gene has this level of interest and skill, if so, it could be a very different situation.
As to models and years, in the A6 family, typically newer is better. Post '01 cars seem to have comparatively few problems. 2000 was an earlier model year where average reliability improved, except for the then new 2.7T. Don't know a lot about A4's. A8's are supposed to be very reliable, and depreciate a great deal. If this is a consideration, you might explore the cost of one used.
Feb 03, 2003 (1:13 pm)
"If you can't afford to buy one new and/or pick up an extended warranty. . .go elsewhere."
This board refers to where you'll most likely end up as the land of "soul-less" vehicles. Others have different names for them.
Anyway, you heard it first from those who know best.
Feb 03, 2003 (4:06 pm)
I have purchased -- yes purchased -- a used Audi. Also purchased a used BMW.
In 1988 purchased an 87 5000 CS turbo quattro -- it had 20K miles and it came with "brand new" tires, rotors, brake pads and was "perfect." It had 30K of original factory warranty left. I kept it until, 49,999. I loved this car -- it had lots of stuff get replaced under the warranty. Except for the power seats, I think every power do dad on the thing needed replacement. I never had any engine or trans problems.
We bought a used BMW 325ix in 1988 -- it was a 1988 model with 11K miles on it. The owner didn't like the BMW AWD interpretation apparently. This was the single most expensive car to maintain I have ever had -- $100 oil changes and no "Audi advantage" or whatever to cover the "normal" maint costs. When the battery died -- we sold the car -- this was at 36k miles -- we took a $5k bath we were so frieghtened of the costs of maint on the thing.
Soul-less NOPE, none of them have been. Fun to drive, YEP, all of them. Reliability -- well that's all over the board. Having a couple of dozen of Audis, I can tell you they are fantastic cars -- and for many (even with free maint) they require too much TLC.
A used A8 -- young in milage with Audi Advantage left on it -- would probably be a major bargain, as they plummet in value. To be "fair" so do 7 series Bimmers.
Now some on this board, and accurately so, needle the rest of us about our willingness to put up with German (or better said European car) reliability.
To each his own.
I love the drive -- I certainly would prefer the joy of fill it with gas, and forget it (don't think I think otherwise) -- and that (the love) is why I keep coming back.
Blasphemy this weekend -- my wife says to me "VW's keep getting better, maybe we should consider one of them next time -- if the dealer experience would be as good as the Audi dealer experience."
Then this issue too will certainly raise the ire of some who decry Audi and VW dealerships (they claim they are very poor, almost American car bad, according to some).
ALL CARS, no matter from whence they come -- are expensive (in every sense of the word). They can be appliances or they can be entertainment -- most of us want the reliability of a "Maytag" and the fun factor perhaps in equal doses.
One school of thought says buy an Accord and love its reliability for a couple hundred thousand miles and then throw it away.
That isn't my school of thought.
Heck, the economy may make me go back to school -- if things don't improve soon. Maybe then, I'll be over on the Honda or Toyota board touting reliability and functionality. In the mean time, I'll wish for those traits while I enjoy the fun part of Audis.
Here's hoping for the best of both worlds, soon!
Feb 04, 2003 (8:45 am)
I just purchased an off lease '99 A6 automatic that was meticulously cared for. It has 50000 miles on it. Prior to my purchase it had a valve gasket job done. My problem is this....when the car is started after a long layover...first thing in the morning or after it sits at my office all day....when put in drive it revs to 4000-5000 on the tach. before dropping into 2nd gear. After this initial start it is fine. If left for only minutes to a few hours it starts fine. Any thoughts????
#3579 of 6920 Used Audis for sale....
Feb 04, 2003 (8:54 am)
I saw a '97 Audi A8 w/ 73,000 miles "on sale" in a dealer's lot the other day for $19,995! I'm sure that even in '97 that Audi must have stickered for around $60,000+!
Feb 04, 2003 (10:13 am)
In 97 An A8 -- like the one I had was just shy of $70K, the price dropped in subsequent years.
Get an extended warranty and/or maint package if possible. This thing is really pricey to maintain.
Feb 04, 2003 (10:37 am)
Now I see why you lease instead of buy Audis every 3 years! $40~$50,000 of depreciation over a little more than 5 years is simply amazing!