Opinions and advice about the 2003 Audi A4 1.8T Quattro.
First and foremost, I would like to share the website link for the car;
Now, I am looking to purchase this as my first car and am here seeking advice on what good questions to ask the dealership and your personal opinions about the car. (Without being biased to the Audi brand.) Basically, doing my homework before pulling the trigger.
I am also curious as to what major faults this specific model has (if any) or common issues that become problematic in the long-run with owning an Audi. (I don't want to hear the common "New tires, new brakes, new timing belts" the car dealer feeds you as it is normal maintenance for any car. I am looking to hear more of; "The radiator, rear trailing arm bushings, rear shock towers are an issue for this car because..." type of thing.)
Lastly, any other tips you may have for me prior to purchasing this Audi would tremendously be appreciated and noted.
Thank you all for your time and am looking forward to your responses!
Besides the timing belt there really is nothing specific to look for. Don't just ask. You need proof. Once the car hits 60,000 miles it's kindof a shot in the dark. Audi recommends 100k but ANY audi mechanic will tell you horror stories of snapped tbs on the highway. The B5 A4s had problems with their front control arms but I haven't experienced any or heard of nearly as many in the B6. It shouldn't really make any noise. The 1.8T is a pretty quiet motor so if you hear anything other than the normal clicking of a 4cyl then check into it. When test driving, the turbo should really put you in your seat at around 2500-3000rpms so watch for that. If you don't feel much power the turbo could be bad. Any other information: Well, it's a Volkswagen so hope for the best but expect the worst. If you can't afford a random $500 repair at any given moment I wouldn't buy it. Your check engine light will probably be on almost as much as it is off but no worries... it's just a check engine light, usually means nothing. It is the greatest car you will ever own and you're going to be hooked.
I own one with the exact specs you list. Bought it certified used with 34K miles on it. Have had it for 3 years now. Within the first month I had to get the front driver seat heater replaced. It was under warranty so it didn't cost me anything but would have been a $1000 repair. Lots of electrical problems over the first and second years I had it. Chips malfunctioning and needing replaced (as they would light up my dash and prevent me from being able to go over 30-40mph when it happened) head lamps and rear lamps going out several times a year. Engine coils had to be replaced 2X. After the first time I replaced them a few weeks later I got something in the mail from Audi recalling them. Two months later they went again. Recently the CD player went and the dealership wanted $300 to replace the radio so I didn't get it done as I just had it serviced for its 60k service and that cost me $450. Three days after the service the check engine light came on and stayed on. Wasn't sure if it meant anything or not and the dealership is over an hour away. I took it to my local mechanic and he said the code came up as a manufacturer's code (they didn't have the software to read it). They cleared it and said if it comes on again to take it back to the dealership. It hasn't yet, thankfully. It's a fun little car to drive but the electrical issues can be frustrating. I have the automatic transmission and it lags for a second or so when you go from a stopped position and hit the gas (to merge on a highway etc). Can be scary if you are not used to it (as my husband has told me many times when he has driven my car). Since I had the full 60k maintenance recently done this lag is not as noticeable. Have just over 60K on it right now. Not sure if I would get another Audi after this. I love the way it drives but all these little problems to have on a luxury car between 34k-60k miles just doesn't seem right. My last car I never had one problem with until it had 75K on it and the starter went, which was an easy fix and it wasn't a luxury car it was a Corolla. For a luxury car that's a lot of problems to have (I guess more features=more problems) so I'm torn as to whether to get another Audi or not in future. I'll have to research and see if the newer ones are made better.
Hello fellow car enthusiast, There is a reason certain unnamed foreign companies offer "free" required maintenance service for the first four (4) years/whatever mileage. These complex cars are insanely expensive to maintain and a pain in the rear for the constant trips to repair shops after the warranty period. One MUST investigate the costs of the services listed in the owners manual in today's dollars for the length of time you intend to own the the car. The design and performance of BMW inline six cylinder and the VW/Audi 1.8T and 2.0T are widely acknowledged as some of the finest engines money can buy, and have chain-driven cams so not to worry about that issue. From experience however, electrical demons, cooling/heating and turbo-charging systems, suspension wear items including the aforementioned shock tower weakness and control arm/strut bushings issues are true and extremely costly to repair or replace. Discuss and verify these issues with an a local independent mechanic certified to work on an Audi. One may also talk to their collision repair specialists as to the costs of certain items susceptible to damage from minor accidents. One look under the hood of an Audi A-4 will reveal the amount of sophisticated (read expensive) items packed into a relatively small compartment. Even fairly inexpensive items may require extensive removal and re-assembly time at premium labor rates. I have owned and driven three (3) BMW including my current 3-series and two (2) Audi-A4 1.8T automobiles and will admit they are among the most satisfying drivers in my life, having jumped "up" from very good VW experiences since 1980. I hope to purchase a new car in the near future that I plan on keeping for at least ten (10) years. The only models under consideration are a Ford Mustang 5.0, Hyundai Genesis, and certain Buick models as I am no longer willing to "afford" the driving experiences provided by these fine cars German automobiles, or put another way, the "love affair" is over. Unless you are relatively wealthy and have spare time and available alternative transportation I personally would not recommend these cars unless they include a comprehensive manufacturer's warranty. On the other hand, the joy of d-r-i-v-i-n-g them on a daily basis is unsurpassed. Best regards, Russ Croy
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