Last post on May 16, 2013 at 7:34 AM
You are in the Audi A4
What is this discussion about?
Audi A4, Convertible, Sedan, Wagon
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#683 of 2367 Re: Strange knocking noise on Audi A4 [mike59]
Apr 26, 2005 (1:31 am)
You are suffering, almost without doubt, from worn ball joints on your front control arms. There are eight of these, four each side, which locate your front wheels and provide the correct camber angles etc. Although a fairly novel idea when the car was introduced, they have proven to be a weak point on the car. The ball joint cannot be separated from the arm therefore the complete assembly has to be replaced at significant cost. You may be able to identifly which joint is worn by elevating the car on a ramp and levering each joint in turn; they are quite accessible. Your local Audi franchise will do this for you, or use a good independant garage.
In my experience, it would be sensible to replace all eight of these arms at the same time as you will always have one or more joints on the verge of unacceptable wear on a car of the age of yours.
The good news is that these arms are available as a kit from Audi at a cost in Britain of approximately £400 - about $750. Sounds a lot? - consider that each individual arm will cost up to $200 dependant on which arm you require and it starts to sound more sensible. Alternatively, it is feasible to inject a good quality lithium based grease through the ball joint gaiter (there are no grease nipples) using a syringe. These will prolong the life of the existing joints considerably. You do, of course, reduce the integrity of your gaiter and water may find its way into the joint.
Finally, the premature wear of these joints is commonly the subject of a safety recall; I'm reasonably sure this is the case in the US - approach your Audi franchise and ask, I'm sure the least they will do is check them for you. If you have a full service history with Audi then you qualify for free defective arm replacement in a significant number of countries. If continuously ignored it is not unknown for the joints to snap - not good for your ability to steer.
I am aware of most of this due to owning a 1996 A4 1.8 Avant myself. I would best describe the car as rather fragile. The engine is a credible performer and is fairly long lasting as is the interior. The perceived 'quality' is used as a focus to elevate forecourt and list prices way above the level they should be - not a trend restricted to Audi of course. What is atrocious however are the labour rates and parts pricing, which have escalated as new car profit margins decrease. Avoid Audi franchises at all costs and use a good independant garage.
My final words of wisdom? Buy a sensibly priced, reliable car. Don't be sufficiently vain to succumb to 'badge engineering' and pricing. Most japanese cars fit the bill but are of course perceived as being a tad dull. I can certainly vouch for Subaru - my Legacy has covered over 200,000 miles and has been subject to awful treatment in an attempt to break it as justification to buy a new one! The problem is it just keeps going.
#684 of 2367 60K mile service for my 1999 A4 2.8 quattro - PLEASE ADVISE!
Apr 26, 2005 (5:10 pm)
My 1999 A4 2.8 quattro is due for its 60,000 mile service. I live in Chicago, IL and the two dealers I contacted in the area quoted $775 and $600 for the service which would include replacing spark plugs, replacing air and pollen filters, checking brakes, coolant, etc., and a so-called 50-point inspection.
The amount struck me as very high and I'm sure I can get it done for a much lower cost if I were to take it elsewhere. What concerns me is what the risks are of doing so. Can anyone advise me on the advantages/disadvantages of getting my car serviced by an Audi dealer compared to some place like Pepboys or Firestone? I'd be interested in knowing about the following areas:
- Quality of the job undertaken
- Looking out for other things that might need to be fixed so they don't result in greater losses down the road
- Not messing around with the rest of the car (like switching parts, etc.)
This is my first car and I've had it for only a year, so I'm pretty confused. If a non-Audi dealer would be acceptable, could anyone also recommend a service chain or a specific store in the Chicago area? Any input is greatly appreciated.
Thank you all.
#685 of 2367 Re: 60K mile service for my 1999 A4 2.8 quattro - PLEASE ADVISE! [watzizneh
Apr 27, 2005 (2:21 am)
Find a good independent shop in your area that specializes in Audi (and possibly other German makes). Then have them do the items that are called for in the manual for that service only, they can also give the car a 'look over' for potential problems. Depending on where you live there should be several shops like this. There are also Audi tuner shops throughout the country that all do regular maintenance work as well.
The independents can do a fine job if you find the right one and they don't load you up with a pretty high-priced series of inspections and check-this-and-that's. Your car likely only needs fluid changes, a few filters and a look at the brakes and suspension. It should not be as much as what that dealer quoted.
#686 of 2367 Bacteria build up in my 03' A4
Apr 27, 2005 (7:26 am)
I have a 2003 A4 1.8T sport/Quattro with 25k on it. The car is always parked in a large shared parking garage. When I start the car with the AC or ventilation on, there is a bad smell that comes from the vents. After about 3-5 minutes the smell is mostly gone. I have taken it to the dealer twice. They reported "bacteria" build up in the AC system and sanitized it. The smell returned in a couple of days.
At the second dealer "repair" I suggested they check to make sure the drain for AC condensation was clear, as I have never seen any water dripping from my car after using the AC. The dealer reported all drains were clear and basically said to "run my heater on high" periodically to prevent the smell. The smell continues and I am wondering if anyone else has had this problem? The dealer mentioned they have encountered this before, but they don't really have a fix for it..
#687 of 2367 Re: 60K mile service for my 1999 A4 2.8 quattro - PLEASE ADVISE! [watziznehm]
Apr 27, 2005 (7:52 am)
I take my A4 to Hessen Auto and I highly recommend them. They're out by O'hare airport. Just Google them. They are not the cheapest place you will find, but they are exceptionally professional and do not do any unnecessary work. Oil changes run around $30. The air and pollen filters are pretty easy to replace and I would suggest doing it yourself by getting the filters at Wal-mart( A lot cheaper than the Audi filters)
A copule of examples: I knew that my brake rotors and pads were getting low, so I took them to Hessen instead of the stealership. From past experience, the stealership would have recommended complete pad and rotor replacement, and sugested a few thousand dollars worth of other things. These guys let me know I had 20% wear left, and suggested I come back in 6 months. Also, they always gave me the straight dope, and if they were wary about fixing something(airbag), they let me know. They gave me accurate quotes. They don't have a big fancy showroom with donuts and coffee, but i don't care about that. Also, they are not in a convenient area for shopping.
By the way, I don't work for them, nor do I have any financial interest in them. I do want to make sure they stick around, because good, honest mechanics are hard to find.
#688 of 2367 Re: ESP light [rjorge3]
Apr 27, 2005 (12:24 pm)
Did you ever get your ESP light problem fixed? If so, what did they do? The ESP light on my 2004 cabriolet has been coming on sporadically. Stays on until I shut the car off. Happens about once a week, no pattern. I'm taking it in to the dealer later this week, but am guessing it will choose not to act up that day and they won't be able to diagnose.
#689 of 2367 My 1998 Audi A4 Temperature Gauge Fluctuates
Apr 27, 2005 (1:44 pm)
1998 Audi A4 1.8T Quattro, 102,000 miles
My temperature gauge has recently been fluctuating between C and the middle point of C and H. It has never gone over the middle point but sometimes when itís slightly below the middle it will drop down to C within a minute and slowly creep back up. Sometimes it will stay steady between C and the middle point with minor fluctuations. There are no leaks and the radiator and reservoir are full. Has anyone experienced any issues with the temperature gauge?
#690 of 2367 Re: Bacteria build up in my 03' A4 [stinkya4]
Apr 28, 2005 (6:19 am)
Make sure that before you turn off your car that the HVAC settings are set to allow fresh air in and not left in recirculation mode. If in recirculation mode, the vents remain closed and will trap condensation inside (which would lead to the musty smell). Leaving the car in fresh air mode will leave the vents open to the outside and allow any condensation to properly drain.
#691 of 2367 Re: Alarm Problems [marleybarr]
Apr 28, 2005 (1:19 pm)
marleybarr- what warranty plan did you have? If you check the other forums on extended warranties, they advise you not to purchase them! They all seem to have terrible reputations. Though, I have heard Audi has something called the Pure Protection Plan.
#692 of 2367 Re: Alarm Problems [jgp]
Apr 29, 2005 (10:45 am)
I went through Western National 1.800.722.4758. $2300 for 3 years or 50,000 miles w/$100 deductible. They are legitimate and covered the alarm repair and rental car. The only thing they won't cover is the "airbag" light on the dash. A module needs replacing to the tune of $880.00 and they don't cover that item. I have used up about $1500 worth of Audi repairs and have about a year /or 25000 miles left on the plan. I'm going to get the valve cover/cam gaskets replaced soon (regular cost$1200) so it was well worth going with this.