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I looked at two cars recently that I'm considering buying.

a) 01 audi a4 v6 5spd. when I drove it there was a noticeable clunk sound when i depressed the clutch in normal shifting (not when I let it out). owner claimed all quattros made that noise, based on another response here at vwvortex it might be motor mounts or rear diff mount--does that still hold true? 100K

b) 03 passat v6 5spd. the engine idled very smoothly, but when i drove it I noticed a vibration almost like bad gas or a vacuum leak would make. it was there while maintaining speed but very noticeable on acceleration, gone completely at idle. 80k Any thoughts?

My 03 passat (like above) was totaled in an accident and the other drivers' insurance co is pressing me to return the rental so i need to find an acceptable car soon. That is another story, but I'd like your opinion on these cars.
 

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a) It's common for the mounts to be sloppy at that age/mileage, but I wouldn't call it "normal". Also, I would usually describe bad mounts as more of a "thump" than a "clunk", that you feel as much, or more, as hear. A "clunk" or "clack" is probably something else causing play or backlash in the driveline. Either way, I'd want it fixed, so my advice would be to have it inspected by a competent mechanic before putting down any deposit.

b) A vacuum leak would usually make it idle like crap, but drive OK, so I suspect it's probably something else. The current owner probably either i) doesn't know what it is and doesn't care, or ii) knows but doesn't want to tell you. Either way, alarm bells should be ringing, but you never know, it could be something simple, so again, my advice is to have it looked at by a competent mechanic you trust before parting with any cash.
 
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