Last post on Dec 26, 2012 at 7:05 AM
You are in the Audi A6
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Audi A6, Sedan
#988 of 6920 1998 A6 Reliability Issues (long)
Mar 28, 2001 (8:24 am)
I say the following as a loyal Audi owner and almost promoter: Get an extended warranty on your A6 before 50,000 miles (the limit of the original factory warranty). There MAY be a 25,000 add-on warranty avail from Audi of America (I think it is between $500 - $1,000) which would be the cost of one (1) relatively minor repair after the 50K mark.
Yes it may turn out ot be expensive insurance -- but as great as we all seem to agree these cars are, they are expensive to maintain and BREATHTAKINGLY expensive to repair.
PS I have had a 1995 S6 (hot rod A6) 1999, 2000 and 2001 A6's -- these are terrific cars from virtually every angle and especially from behind the wheel.
#989 of 6920 A Friend's Experiences with his Audi Dealer -- a full report
Mar 28, 2001 (9:44 am)
As you can tell by my "name," I live in Cincinnati. My company has employees in other cities and several of them have Audis -- due in part to my attestation and persuasive abilities.
This fellow, from Dallas, had had not very positive experiences at his dealership -- when I asked him how his OOODI was doing with respect to some service and warranty repair work, he replied:
It was great. That dealer STILL has a little bit of stuffiness about it, but I am
now included in their circle of stuffiness.
Their welcome area for service is large and beautiful. I pulled in and they
opened my door for me. They constantly called me sir and everyone said
'hi' to me. The advisor came out and went over everything with me.
The rental (loaner) only took about 2 mins and I was on my way. I had a Mazda
626, but it was nearly new and smelled good. I don't know if it was a coincidence or
not, but they had it running, heater on, red carpet out, and the radio was on the same
station that I was listening to in my car. Wow!
When I got back, the car (a 99 A4 2.8 quattro/sport) had had its new tie rods installed (recall), from what I can tell, a very good alignment, and the emission system troubles where cleared.
The car was inside and clean as can be (looked like it was detailed). I went to
pay for my state inspection that I requested and when I came back to the indoor
service area, my car was running and heater was on, ready to go.
About the only thing they could have done to make it better was to fill my car up
with gas and/or loan me the S4 (that I WILL have someday).
I am impressed!
They said that its normal to get loaners for warranty and recall service and that
the former service manager was let go because of that and other customer service
I finally feel like I bought a luxury car. Now I know how you
feel when you take your's in. I used to loath going over
there, but look forward to it now.
On another note, a saleman there told me that they are
hearing that the S4 will take a 1 year break and then
start again in 2003. But he also confessed that he has
other rumors on the internet such as Audiworld.
Now this is the kind of service I have bragged about in Cincinnati for some time now (from Northland Audi). It is encouraging to find that it is "catching on."
End of full report.
#990 of 6920 gooddesign/relaibilty
Mar 28, 2001 (2:08 pm)
Brake Light: Check brake fluid level. My '00 A8 did the same thing under heavy acceleration and braking, fluid level was low, and pads needed to be replaced.
Relaibility: my '98 A6 has been a wonderful car (39,000miles)with only a few minor problems (rear window lockout switch replaced three times, check engine light came on twice, brake vibration required new rotors, both front window regulators broke, key fob stopped working) and has been serviced by a great dealer (Champion Motors in FL). My only complaint with the three cars I've bought there is that no loaners are availble and i am traveling 30 miles each way to and from dealer and my office. The A6 and A8 have been among the best handeling cars I've owned. Albeit the A6 2.8 was very slow, it has been so good that my stepfather is buying it at the end of the lease to keep down here as a winter car.
As far as comments about the A8 and having few choices with regard to body work, first of all it's hard to find ANY deecent body shop that knows how to work on a car, I'm glad that there are only a few, because they NEED to know how to paint and repair a car properly. As far as having to either wait a while, or send the car off, a perfect repair job (one that looks like it never took place) is worth some of the inconvenience and trust me, the insurance premiums are high enough on this car to justify a rental car and the cost of transporting an A8 to the right shop on your carrier's nickle!
#991 of 6920 Are You Joking?
Mar 28, 2001 (3:05 pm)
Are you joking about your A6 being reliable with those problems? That's not my definition of reliability and it's not Consumer Reports definition either. A lot of people don't have time to waste running back and forth to the dealer for "minor problems". Plus, peel the onion further and the problems are not always so minor. You don't even get a loaner? They should pay you for your time. I like the A6 for a variety of reasons, but I no longer believe it's reliable. For the money, I expect more and Audi should invest in improving their quality and the overall dealership support. They have a good thing going with the updated A4/A6/A8 designs, but they stand a good chance of blowing it as more people have bad experiences. Why can't a car be fun to drive and reliable?
#992 of 6920 1998 A6 Reliability - Mark/Bert
Mar 28, 2001 (3:09 pm)
Mark, while I'm not completely sold on the idea of extended warranties (I told you that I read CR, right?) I will keep an eye on everything. Thanks for the car model updates. I wasn't surprised by any of the comments.
Bertram, the brake fluid/pads idea sounds legit. I will focus on that and see if the problem goes away. The dealer gets his first look at it on Monday. I'm crossing my fingers that I'm not buying someone else's problem.
Again, if anyone else had problems with their floor mat anchors detaching, let me know. I'd like to see if there is a silent recall on something as tiny as this.
One last thing. I will need new tires soon. I have the 16" 9-hole "wine glass" wheels (205/55). Are any of you tire experts? Is Michelin the status quo or should I flock to Dunlop?
Thanks again for any help...
#993 of 6920 Dealer Service & Reliability
Mar 28, 2001 (4:10 pm)
It seems that service being provided by Audi dealers varies all over the lot. I agree that Audi of America needs to do more to bring it to a consistently high level. And of course all car manufacturers produce cars with defects, and as of yet you do not see Audi in the very top echelon (with Lexus, etc.) as far as reliability is concerned.
Fortunately, each of the dealers where I've purchased my Audis, an A4 and more recently an allroad, employ a group of older folks who will pick up and then deliver your car back to you (either at work or home) when servicing is completed. The only exception is that they ask that you not use this service for just routine oil changes - on these they want you to wait for your car which with a set appointment normally takes an hour or so, including a thorough wash and vacuum. Or for more extended work they will give you loaners, which they ask that you reserve in advance. Also fortunately for me I haven't yet had to take advantage of either the pickup/delivery or the free loaner service, because I've never had anything but routine service required on the A4, after about 33,000 miles, and the allroad has just 900 (trouble-free) miles on it so far. Hopefully my experience on the allroad will match or at least come close to that of the A4.
All that said, I personally wouldn't mind putting up with a few minor problems because in all other respects I do enjoy the Audi ownership experience so much. If you really appreciate and have fun just driving the cars on an everyday basis, then the occasional minor problem is not a huge deal for me. This is especially true if the dealer makes it as convenient for you as possible, which of course both of the above services are designed to do. An occasional minor defect in an otherwise really fun car to own and drive is far superior to owning and driving a "boring transportation appliance" - even one that's completely trouble-free. I agree that ideally you would have the best of both worlds! I would also point out that if you look at the long-term trends for just about all car manufacturers, the problem areas (per J.D. Power) have almost universally improved by a good margin over what they were just a few years ago. According to the statistics that I've seen, the reliability ratings (defects per 100 cars) for all major makes (European and American alike) are as good or better than even the best of the Japanese just 10 years ago. even as cars continue to get more and more complicated.
One other aspect that shouldn't be overlooked is how the cars will DRIVE and RETAIN THEIR APPEARANCE after many years. Here I think the best European cars - like Audi - have a real edge over their American and even Japanese competitors. Even if a car is "reliable" over a period of say 10 years, what fun is it if the handling deteriorates, the body develops rust spots, the car squeaks and rattles over bumps and the leather and carpet wear out to look like crap? When car shopping look closely at the quality of the materials used and how the car is finished in the hidden areas - here Audi does not take a back seat to anyone, including Lexus.
Mar 28, 2001 (10:49 pm)
I have owned a 2001 A6 w2.7T & Quattro (w/16")since last Dec. (3400 miles) I can relate with your dilemma 2.7T or 4.2? I too went through almost 4 - 5 months of research in agonizing details on many cars - MB C320-E320, BMWs 330-525-530, Volvos S60-S80, etc. but I kept coming back to the A6. I tried out the 2.8 at first and would have bought it but for the Dealer not willing to lower his price (good thing). When I tried the 2.7T with Sports Suspension it became a no brainer.....except for the reliability issue which I am concerned about because of the BiTurbos. The 4.2 was just a bit more than my already strrrrretched budget would accommodate. I bought the 2.7T knowing that each year the factory is working out the bugs and this model should have fewer if none over the previous years. I WILL buy the extended insurance. I cannot tell you how awesome this car is. I feel like I'm 20 again. I'm doing speeds (hit 105 and may go for max very soon) that I never considered in my previous cars and the cornering and passing capabilities of this vehicle are awesome!!! Again I'm pushing my envelope in turn speeds and get a heck of a kick when I want to pass some one. This car is going to get me into trouble!!! BUT I feel absolutely safe in this car at any speed so far. If you want excitment and pure fun buy the 2.7T with Quattro.
Have I had any problems - you betcha. Dealer delivered car with P/S hose loose (maybe there is no predelivery insp required by Audi). Leaked oil. Had it fixed. The front passenger seat heater switch was locked on "1" setting. Had it replaced. I have had one oil/filter change at my expense ($35/-) but otherwise its been a BLAST. My advice is to go with how you feel about the car. To me the Audi wreaks of HiTech and I just love it.
Good luck in your quest if you haven't already got your new car....hope its an A6 2.7T!!!
mirani from SAN DIEGO, Ca.
#995 of 6920 snowed in / gooddesign
Mar 29, 2001 (9:38 am)
Although I have had some problems, and choose to deal with a dealer that is a little far away (i have two other dealers within two miles of my house or office), the level of service has been exceptional, and EVERY problem has been resolved. To date my out of pocket expenses have been for gas, insurance and the lease itself. The car has never broken down, left me stranded, or required ANY cash out of my pocket for service over the last three years. All of my problems occurred within the first nine months. Since that time all i've had to do is service the car when the light comes on.
On the other hand, my wifes $36k 1998 Explorer (same thing i paid for my A6) had some "minor" problems that Ford laughed at. Rattles, squeeks, groans, window leaks, suspension problems, poor fit and finish, stalling, were all seen by Ford as acceptable problems for a truck (not the attitude I now get from Mercedes). At the end of three years, the paint was peeling off the hood and Ford actually came to me and said that I may be responsible!! HAHAHAHAHA... this truck was cleaner at the end of the lease than the day i picked it up, even the wheel wells and undercarriage were clean enough to eat off of (yes, I have a slight problem!).
At least Audi is willing to stand behind their product and will make it right, and while i could get shuttled to and from work by the "local dealers" I have a wonderful relationship with the owner and management of Champion Motors and choose to deal with them. When i really need a loaner, they are happy to get me one as a favor, but having three cars from them, i try and arrange all my services in the same time frame so that something's there to drive home, or someone's picking something up.
Gooddesign: I had a set of SP9000's on 18"s and loved them for the traction and handling, but HATED the road noise after 13k miles. I normally trust JD at the Tire Rack for his honest evaluation of tires, and depending on where you live, how you drive, and the conditions you expect, he will probably help get you the most bang for your buck. My A6 came with Continentals which are still in decent shape on the original 16" rims (23k on them). No complaints, they are very quiet, offer decent wet/dry handling (no snow in SO FLA) and good treadwear, I just couldn't resist a nice set of 18" wheels that were sitting in the dealership! My stepfather will be swapping back to the stock wheels as soon as he's down here next due to the road noise!
Mar 29, 2001 (10:05 am)
Yeah. I'm still listening. And still fussing on reliability things. But real interested, as I've been since '98 ... Does anyone here have opinions on Wagner Audi (nearest me), or Bernardi? Thanks.
#997 of 6920 #987 - Dealers
Mar 29, 2001 (5:29 pm)
jwilson1 - Wagner Audi is a bit of a drive so I didn't make it there. I can tell you that I am very pleased with the folks at Park Audi in Lawrence. The three dealers I surveyed didn't have what I was looking for. (I did my homework and made a solitary but comprehensive walk through their lots). Harry Robinson at Park Audi did the leg work and rounded up my A6 2.7T. I waited a couple weeks after my first visit. Probably the best car buying experience I've ever had - and a great car, too. Absolutley flawless delivery. Only expenses to date are gas and TOUCHLESS car washes.