Last post on Feb 21, 2013 at 1:49 AM
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Audi A4, Auto Repair, Sedan
#1 of 148 2000 A4 1.8T breaks down a lot
Jan 14, 2007 (2:41 pm)
Just wanted to share my frustrations with the quality and reliability of Audi A4 1.5T Quattro which I bought in 2000. The car is 60000 miles and I am ready it call it quits. Here is why.
From the driving perspective I love the car, it has tremedous pick up and very nice handling. Unfortunately, the maintenace cost and time wasted at the dealer is killing me
When I bought my 1.8T AWD, dealer insisted it would last over 100k with no problem. As soon as mine went off the warranty it several major failures: headlight switch (common in all Audi's), tensioner gasket (huge oil leak demanding entire engine disassembly), instrument panel (dead horizontal lines), and 2 secondary air pump failures. Not to mention the quarterly visits to the dealer while the car was still before 30k to fix Check Engine light (leaking hoses). A few times, the light came back on as soon as I left dealer's premises.... Driving this A4 was lots of fun but I can't deal with thousands of dollars in repairs and repeat visits to the $120-an-hour labor dealer who is always ready and very eager to rip you off.
The dealer (Jack Daniels Audi) had replaced the SAP once already - two years ago. Now it failed again but this time the combi valve also needs changing. Dealer will not assume responsibility because it is past 12 months repair warranty. Of course they will not exercise a possibility they the misdiagnosed the original problem from the getgo ... unqualified technicians on dealer premises - who could have conceived such an outrageous idea??
I tried escalating the failures and asking for some help and undestanding but Audi USA seems not willing to stand by their product. Actually, they would rather stand by the dealer who tried cheating me out of $650 by attempting to charge a separate labor for SAP and combi valve.
If anyone is thinking about buying one, do it at your own risk knowing the car is most likely not going to last beyond the warranty expiration.
My sister owned a 2003 Jetta 1.8T (same engine as my A4's) which turned out to be a lemon. Personally, this is my last German car - or at least the last bearing VW touch on it! Once I get rid of mine, I will be a happy camper again
Jan 16, 2007 (7:43 am)
I feel your pain however posts like this are a waste of time (e.g. "my uncle bought a Honda and it was a lemon; therefore, all Hondas are lemons). For every disgruntled owner of ANY car there are plenty of satisfied customers. You got a bad car. Sell or trade the car and move on.
#5 of 148 Re: *Yawn* [rascal99]
Feb 18, 2007 (7:17 am)
Hi Rascal - great advise - this Audi is history as of last week.
True, the Audi car handles great, has tremendous pick up and is generally fun to drive but they fall apart and are crap after an average of 40k miles. So if you are one of those "plenty of satisfied customers - read "3 year 12k miles per year lessee's" then yes you may be plenty happy because you have not reach the tipping point yet.
I dare you to purchase the car when it comes off your lease and deal with it without a supplemental warranty from then on. Let's have a chat on the same topic when your Audi reaches 70-80k miles and check if you still maintain the same position on Audi's quality and reliability...I am willing to bet that you will be as disgruntled as I had been until my 2004 Audi got traded in a week ago..
#6 of 148 german = warranty
Feb 19, 2007 (10:39 am)
I personally wouldn't own anything German without some kind of warranty whether it is a factory one or a good extended one.
#7 of 148 Re: *Yawn* [fkuciapa]
Aug 02, 2007 (7:59 pm)
Our 2003 Audi A4 Quattro has over 50,000 miles and has had NO problems; not a rattle or other noise, not something that needed adjustment, not a feature that failed to work perfectly. We have changed tires, oil, and and windshield wipers; that's it. Very comfortable, well handling, and stylish. It's our first German car since a 67 Beetle, and we are very pleased.
#8 of 148 Re: *Yawn* [waygrabow]
Aug 05, 2007 (6:03 am)
Great thread. At 50k miles you are the cut off where some feel Audi A4 begin to show problems.
If anyone has had their Audi A4 for 60K+ miles, please post your experiences. Is it still smooth sailing, or have you had to take out loans to keep the car rolling?
#9 of 148 Re: *Yawn* [pistol_pete1]
Aug 05, 2007 (2:19 pm)
My 98 A4 Avant has been great. I have had one air sensor go, and the check engine light comes on periodically. Apart from that everything else has been routine.
I get it thoroughly checked every 10,000 miles and stay on top of the maintenance. I am thinking of a newer vehicle, perhaps an A6 2003/4, because we have a growing family.
#10 of 148 Re: 2000 A4 1.8T breaks down a lot [fkuciapa]
Aug 16, 2007 (2:02 pm)
I thought I'd share my own experience having owned a '98 A4 2.8 for just shy of 10 years and 140K miles.
I completely agree with fkuciapa's perspective on driving the car. The ride and interior comfort please me to this day. The engine is 100% reliable, smooth and fuel efficient, and the AT is simply the smoothest and most intelligent shifting of any car I've owned. Automatic climate control, other than not allowing recirculation when outside temp is near freezing, is near perfect.
Now, the total ownership experience. Within the warranty period, no problems except a front-end suspension repair that was a common defect in the model year and the defective part was replaced without any hassle. Just after warranty, while checking the vehicle, noticed the coolant in the reservoir had turned to a brown sludge. Seems that someone had mixed incompatible coolant types, and of course, since I had the car maintained at Audi dealerships across the country, no one would take responsibility. In the end, Audi USA covered a new coolant reservoir ($120) and that was it. I paid for the chemical flush, new coolant, and sure enough, within about 10K miles I needed to replace a leaking water pump, and in another 10K I had to replace the radiator. I should note, that during this I needed to purchase some extra coolant, and another Audi dealership maintenance department sold me the wrong type!
Around the same time as the radiator leak, the cruise control started going intermittently, and within 15k was completely inop. Around 90K the gas gauge lost its accuracy, reaching empty at 1/2 tank (now rely on trip odometer and fuel light). Add to this more expected repairs: engine light due to leaking fuel tank vent tube, tie-rod replacement, a couple of post-warranty brake jobs at approx. $900 (aggressive brakes are nice, but these typically eat rotors and generate a lot of dust), and a couple of front axle replacements (one under warranty) because of cracked CV grease boots, and finally I should mention I had the timing belt replaced during the water pump replacement.
Anyways, that's the full story. Total ownership experience seemed to match something out of 1970's - early '80s Detroit. But in all fairness, the strong points of the car are strong enough to make me somewhat consider buying another, but I definitely have to plan on replacing it at the end of the warranty period. Difficult to do if you like taking care of a machine and owning it for a long time.