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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking at getting one, anything specific that I should be looking for regarding any problems that may routinely occur?
I'm not sure what years they came out, but I'd think of getting a 96-98.
1.8t or not -- Doesn't really hold much weight. It would be a daily driver (to work or school & back home -- which is 4 miles each way).
I posted here, rather than the Audi section, because I'd like to try and get unbiased opinions.
 

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I own one but I am not biased... so here goes.
You'll have to look into it, but I believe each year gave you an additional option regarding body/engine. I believe all 96s are 2.8 sedans, 97s came in a wagon form, 98s introduced the 1.8t but only in sedan form and then 99s gave you the option of a 1.8t wagon. Also, I think only 96 or maybe 96 and 97 sedans had the slightly different trunk with the long license plate indent and no crease on the bottom.
As far as maintenance stuff, the only 4 main things I would considering looking into either when they were done last or starting to be concerned about when shopping around are the front control arms being replaced with an updated/upgraded version; water pump + associated hardware; coolant temperature sensor being replaced with the updated version, and finally, the possibility of sludge because the in-pan oil pump pickup tube screen gets clogged. Each of these issues is only on some cars. Others go just fine without. I have had mine for the past 20k miles (85k-105k) and so far.... no need to replace control arms, water pump was done by previous owner, coolant temp sensor I did myself (like not even $10 at the dealer, easy to put in) and sludge... well, hasn't and will not happen. Other cars don't make it to their 30k mile mark before they sludge over. What can I say? No 2 cars are the same.
 

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Re: What can YOU tell me about the A4 B5... (backburner)

I just got a 2001 2.8L V6 in January and I love it, minus a few little things.
-Suspension (base) is rather soft... makes for a damn smooth ride, but in corners it leans a little much. Never feels floaty tho.
-I have an automatic... now as this is my daily driver, it's not a big deal, but I need a project car at some point, for fun.
-The throttle tip-in I find is rather abrupt, I need to go easy for a smooth launch, I find it similar to a lot of older GM vehicles (touchy first 1/2 inch of gas pedal travel).
-I find the seats to be kind-of uncomfortable... The lumbar support is too low on my back, compared to my parents' Volvo.
-Acceleration is terrific (I'm coming from a Golf TDI)... feels more then the 190hp it is rated at.
-I get around 11L per 100kms fuel economy (premium) mixed city/highway.
-My engine does not burn or leak any oil
some people say it is common for this to happen... I have my doubts.
-I've heard ball joints on the front suspension will go around 150-200K Kms or so.
-You need to do the idler, rollers, tensioner, waterpump etc with the timing belt at 120K Kms
-Rear wheel bearings suck... I replaced one a month after I got the car. (only cost me $114 installed with tax tho).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Re: What can YOU tell me about the A4 B5... (Live-Wire)

Couple of other things:
As far as insurance goes, how is it? Costly?

And what what about lighting? Good/Bad? Upgradeable? HID option?
With the Autos, are the transmissions good? Or is manual the only way to go?
 

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Re: What can YOU tell me about the A4 B5... (backburner)

Quote, originally posted by backburner »
As far as insurance goes, how is it? Costly?

Quote, originally posted by backburner »
And what what about lighting? Good/Bad? Upgradeable? HID option?

Several companies offer upgrades; simple upgraded bulbs or my personal favorite, are the one-piece (meaning headlamp and turn signal casings are one unit) which come out of newer models (99-01 maybe?). Some companies, like LLtek offer their own unique design of lights. I believe they are often referred to as eCode because they are "euro spec" where the turn signals are clear instead of amber/orange that we have in the states. Prices range from $20 each for the good upgraded bulbs (Sylvania Silverstar) all the way to something like $700 each for the custom lights some companies offer.

Quote, originally posted by backburner »

With the Autos, are the transmissions good? Or is manual the only way to go?

I have the 5spd manual model with upgraded clutch and I personally haven't had any issues with it. There are various writeups online about short shifters, making the shifts firmer, etc. I don't race my car and it feels just fine to me. I've heard from several people who do race their 5spd cars and they say the transmissions stand up to the beatings just fine.
One other thing I forgot to mention... be sure you can really afford this car. Parts are really NOT cheap. Just to give you an idea: Steering rack for my Acura cost me $210 + core charge... the Audi's is something like $800; The instrument cluster is a little bit off on the speedometer and fuel gauge reading, have to replace the entire thing cause it's impossible to fix one component for the average person... thing costs like $700. Even more basic than that, these things want 93 premium gas... be sure you're comfortable with $40-$45 fillups (and that's just today, you know how gas prices are). I at one point used to be able to fill it up for juuuust under $60 back around when the prices peaked over $4 a gallon.
 

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Re: (Assle)

Quote, originally posted by Assle »
You'll have to look into it, but I believe each year gave you an additional option regarding body/engine. I believe all 96s are 2.8 sedans, 97s came in a wagon form, 98s introduced the 1.8t but only in sedan form and then 99s gave you the option of a 1.8t wagon. Also, I think only 96 or maybe 96 and 97 sedans had the slightly different trunk with the long license plate indent and no crease on the bottom.

Actually the 1.8T was first available for 1997. Wagon didn't arrive until 1998 or 1999 (not sure which exactly).
Keep in mind that the '96-'97 2.8 had 12 valves, and they switched to 30 valves for 1998.
I drove a 1998 2.8 sedan last year and it was quite nice. One problem I noticed with it was a clunk in the differential on high RPM upshifts. Other than that it was very nice.
 

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Re: ([email protected])

The B5 chassis A4's have a number of potential known issues, some of which are covered in this thread.
As stated, control arms and ball joints will fail--not a question of if, but when. Look for records of replacement; otherwise, on cars with over 80k, factor it into your budget.
The dual-mass flywheels are known to fail, leading to a 'clunk' sound/feeling when you transition off throttle at freeway speed in particular. This becomes more evident if you install an uprated snub mount.
The oil sludging problem is not a small issue for the 1.8T's, and can potentially affect any of the older cars. Check to see if the car has been run with synthetic oil; if not, have it thoroughly inspected by a mechanic that is thoroughly versed in the sludging problem and knows how to spot problem areas.
Older 1.8T's should be upgraded to the newer timing belt and tensioner, as the older design units can fail. You do NOT want to rebuild a 20v head.
Avoid older cars with ko3 turbos if they have been chipped. Most chips will overspin the very small ko3, leading to increased backpressure and big temperature spikes. This may lead to premature turbo failure. Even certain unchipped cars work the ko3 very hard (Passat wagon AT, heavily loaded), so it's worth considering that turbo replacement may be in your future.
If so equipped, the dot matrix displays in the IP have pixel failure issues much like Saabs do. An annoyance, primarily, but is not especially cheap to fix.
Ignition control modules and coil packs can fail; I kept a spare of each in my A4 1.8T and had to install the new ICM on the roadside at one point. Simple replacement.
I enjoyed driving my A4, and I think they are a beautiful looking car--perhaps one of Audi's best designs ever. It was simply too troublesome for me.
 

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Re: (Numbersix)

A friend of mine has a '97 i believe. Its a 12v 2.8. If you are into mods then go for the 30v 2.8, or 1.8t, there is a serious lack in mods for the 12v. With that said. His has just over 100k, he got his for 5500$. Interiors are very nice. He has done some small mods. He did trans mounts, short shifter, some suspension. He did a cupkit, race, H and R w/ bilstein. He got it for 650$, and has probably put 1500$ total into it. He has done the control arms and gotten s4 wheels for it. Looks great.
Disregarding mods, I love his car. I have a glx jetta and the audi is just so much nicer. Thick doors and body panels, great interior, climate contorl etc. Seats and sport steering wheel are great. Comfy and roomy. I would recomend this car to anyone, I have repeatedly offered him my car for his (I dont know why he wont do it
) It is pretty damn good on gas, and has a great sound to it. Just dont get the duct tape colored interior. Its gross. Go with silver oustide and black interior.
Bottom line, get one, but don't spend 10-12 on one, get one with a little higher mileage and do the timing components and save money. Great cars http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif
 

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Re: (gregfromnh)

If you can afford to factor in an extra $100-150 a month in maintenance possibilites, then consider it. But also consider what an extra $150 in car payment could do for your next potential vehicle instead. I had considered A4s in the past but all the little nickle/dime things that can come up scared me away.
 
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