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  1. #1
    Established Member Two Rings zookie's Avatar
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    Am I just being influenced by fear mongering on buying a B6/B7?

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    I want a S4. I test drove many cars this week and none of them were as perfect for me as the S4.

    The 2005/2006 seem priced best but this causes the car to have higher miles (60k+). I put about 20,000-25,000 on my car per year and the S4 will be my DD.

    My concern is mostly with the engine failures I keep reading about. From $5k engine pulls for plastic tensioners, to adjusters, ring issues, and cylinder scoring requiring engine replacement. These are not small repairs and the thought of buying a $20k car and dropping $5k-10k+ on some of this stuff is a little disheartening. I really like this car a lot and I'm OK with some repairs that all cars are going to have but it's really these two threads that have me concerned.

    http://www.audizine.com/forum/showth...update-3-03-11

    http://www.audizine.com/forum/showth...ormation-count.

    r8dream from page 2 on the second post brings up an interesting thought of the potential graveyard of these engines that could possibly occur as everyone's S4 ages and these engine issues surface.

    But therein lies the question...Are most people really having this issue or is it just a small percentage and it is inducing fear? It's not like everyone who does not have issues is on here posting how great their car is running. Most people seem to post when they have issues, not when they don't. Part of that is what makes this forum so great in that a community of people can help with issues but from the prospective buyer perspective, we are reading more about problems people have than the people who aren't having problems.

    I can always get a S4 from a dealer and get CPO coverage to 100k miles but the price from the dealer, understanding that CPO has a cost, around here always seems to be higher than it should be. I have a guy who will get a S4 from dealer auction for me which should produce a substantial savings but I don't know how much background I'll get on the car from just the VIN. I will run carfax and check with Audi for service and history. I won't be able to run a VAG scan on an auction car. The guy also has a shop so he checks out the prospective car but he's not going to borescope it or anything to see the cylinder walls nor can we tell oil consumption rates until I'm driving the car.

    As most S4 owners are probably getting into higher miles for those model years I am curious to see if you would still recommend getting into one of these cars or if the threat of these issues should make me look for alternatives.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Four Rings SquiddyB6S4's Avatar
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    It seems to me that the answer is pretty simple: There's no guarantee that it will happen to the car your buy. But it's a very complicated, low-production volume German car - in all likelihood, it's going to have its share of issues, regardless of how the engine fairs.

    If you're a smart buyer, and have done your homework, and are scared to have it happen to you, you will need an extended warranty. No more being afraid. And if you have the money, get a younger one, as the previous owner won't have had as much time to neglect or mistreat it if it's simply not as old. And get one with a good maintenance history - that is paramount for any used car purchase.

    I personally put only a few thousand miles a year on mine, so I have no warranty because 100k is years and years away for me, and I have a second car to my name anyway. It's a great car to drive, but in the end, you'll have to decide how important reliability is to you. I have to say, if you want a car with stupendous reliability, high comfort level, and nearly zero operating/maintenance costs, a Lexus is probably a good buy If you want something with a lot more soul and you can handle a lot more operating costs associated, the S4 is a king's car.
    -Jason
    2004 B6S4 6MT - Apikol Snub Mount, Piggie Pipes, Magnaflow Cat-Back, JHM Tune with Launch Assist, Squid Rear LSD #01 20lb wheels + Michelin PSS
    2013 Veloster Turbo 6MT - Bone stock, DD Duty; annoying at times, but cheap and quick with extended warranty
    LifeWithSquid

  3. #3
    Established Member Two Rings zookie's Avatar
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    I agree that there are no guarantees but I'm hoping to hear from some people who have higher mile B6/B7 cars and if they would buy one of these when it has 60k+ on it knowing what they know now. I can go CPO, but that only takes the warranty to 100k and with my annual mileage, that's two years. Still better than nothing but only two years nonetheless. I'm trying to make an educated guess as to the odds of having the problem. Basically, is this car essentially guaranteed to have this problem at some point or is it really just a small number of the total production that have the issue.

    Any Audi mechanics on here seeing an increase number of this issue as these cars are getting older?

    Going for a younger car is good advice and I'll be on the lookout for one of these. I did a test drive of the Lexus GS350 and while the car is pretty amazing from a luxury, safety, and feature perspective, what I want is a drivers car and the S4 was just so much fun to drive that I'd really like to have one. My Acura TL is also very reliable but, again, it's not a S4. For the amount of time I'm in a car (20-25k annual), having a car that I really enjoy driving is highly desirable and the S4 fits the bill. It's just this major service issue that holds me back or I would already own one. Higher operating costs are one thing, knowing that you have to spend $5-10k because of what seems to be a bit of a defect possibly leading to engine failure is another. Maybe I should just take the plunge but I'm trying to calculate my risk a little too.

    Thanks for the advice!

  4. #4
    Active Member Two Rings
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    let me start by saying all cars have problems some very minor some major. i have been a ase certified master tech for years now and have seen many problems that i can not understand how recalls are not issued. ive read lots of things on this site about 4.2l s4 platform one, is if you want the right performance parts for this platform you call jhm, second some timing chain problems that start around 100k. other things you read about are all normal wear and tear, motormounts and snub mount, leaking valvecovers, serp belt and ten. i know this is a 50,000 dollar german sports car but it is still just a car and things do happen. with this car things are just a little more expensive. so dont be affriad its a awesome car and so much fun to drive. and my ride 2005.5 b7 s4 6 speed with 96,000 miles and still feels great

  5. #5
    Senior Member Two Rings
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    I have 106,000 miles on my 2004 B6 and it runs perfectly. Im the second owner, ive had it for almost 10k miles. Doesnt burn any noticeable amount of oil between 5,000 mile changes. Maybe 1/2 qt if that??? In my opinion, how you drive the engine when its cold has a big impact on long term durability/longevity. We have almost 10 qts of oil to warm up, and with the "finicky" block/piston design/metal composition, it is NOT very tolerant to abuse when the oil and engine are cold.

    I dont run the car over 3,000 rpm until 5-10 minutes AFTER the coolant temp gauge has reached "up to temp" (the half way mark on the gauge). I figure 5 minutes after the coolant is up to temp, the oil should be up to temp as well.

    Just for grins I googled the previous owner of my car who bought it new and put 97k miles on it...turns out hes a 67 year old lawyer of all things...so I think its safe to say Im probably one of the only people in the world to buy an S4 second-hand that hasnt been beat on and had the wheels driven off it by some young punk original-owner.

    He also saved literally every receipt (I happened to find the whole folder in the glove box 2 weeks after I purchased the car, didnt even know about it when I bought it) of every service since new. He had the oil changed every 4,000 miles, and when he replaced all of the brakes, serp belt, windshield, etc it said on all the repair orders, "customer specifies factory OEM parts".

    So if you can get a full detailed service history of the car, I dont see any problem with buying one with high-er miles...

    JMO.

    Ben

    '05.5 B7 S4 6spd - 'new' car...JHM parts coming soon
    '04 B6 S4 6spd - JHM - GONE but not forgotten
    '05 duramax - really fast
    '68 vw beetle - way slower than both, but it has 4 wheel drive and a chevy 5.3 LSx V8 in the back

  6. #6
    Active Member One Ring
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    Like it's been said, low production gas guzzling German hot rod. It's a commitment you need to stay a step ahead of upkeep. I anticipated putting low miles on mine but things change and I've put 26k on mine in the last year. Flywheel separated extended warranty covered 60% of cost, besides that no major issues. You get what you pay for w/ an S4 but you have to pay for it...
    Sweet! I'm gettin an Audit! The "t" is silent...

  7. #7
    Senior Member Three Rings GameBreaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmaxben View Post
    I have 106,000 miles on my 2004 B6 and it runs perfectly. Im the second owner, ive had it for almost 10k miles. Doesnt burn any noticeable amount of oil between 5,000 mile changes. Maybe 1/2 qt if that??? In my opinion, how you drive the engine when its cold has a big impact on long term durability/longevity. We have almost 10 qts of oil to warm up, and with the "finicky" block/piston design/metal composition, it is NOT very tolerant to abuse when the oil and engine are cold.

    I dont run the car over 3,000 rpm until 5-10 minutes AFTER the coolant temp gauge has reached "up to temp" (the half way mark on the gauge). I figure 5 minutes after the coolant is up to temp, the oil should be up to temp as well.

    Just for grins I googled the previous owner of my car who bought it new and put 97k miles on it...turns out hes a 67 year old lawyer of all things...so I think its safe to say Im probably one of the only people in the world to buy an S4 second-hand that hasnt been beat on and had the wheels driven off it by some young punk original-owner.

    He also saved literally every receipt (I happened to find the whole folder in the glove box 2 weeks after I purchased the car, didnt even know about it when I bought it) of every service since new. He had the oil changed every 4,000 miles, and when he replaced all of the brakes, serp belt, windshield, etc it said on all the repair orders, "customer specifies factory OEM parts".

    So if you can get a full detailed service history of the car, I dont see any problem with buying one with high-er miles...

    JMO.

    Ben
    This is the way to go. I'm the second owner of my car, and the previous owner was an investment banker who only drove the car on weekends. That and the fact that he was a little OCD on the maintenance records and schedule made it a pretty easy choice. I bought my car at 34k a couple years ago, and the biggest issue I have had was the window regulator which was covered under the CPO. Like any car, you have to look at everything carefully, otherwise you get what you pay for.

  8. #8
    Veteran Member Four Rings dparm's Avatar
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    Look at the percentage of cars that are "trash" versus those that aren't. It's extremely low. You just have a very vocal group of disgruntled owners.

    If you think other performance cars like the M3, IS-F, S2000, STI, etc. do not have problems...you'd be wrong.

  9. #9
    Established Member Two Rings zookie's Avatar
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    Thanks for the responses! Definitely making me feel better. I stopped at our local Porsche dealer today because they have a 05 B6 S4 but it was in the service garage so I couldn't take it out. Could see it had the typical glove box issue but also had 85k miles so I backed off from it. Maybe that was a mistake since dmaxben has had pretty good luck (low oil consumption) and bought it at 96k. I also called one of the local Audi dealers and asked about buying a private party S4 and then getting the CPO. They said I could not do this on a 2005 because of the age so they will only do CPO on a 2006. They will buy from the private party, CPO the car (couple grand or whatever of course), and sell to me.

    If this is true, it makes two things a reality. One, the car will cost more. Two, the car will likely have lower miles.

    Can anyone confirm that Audi will not CPO a 2005 S4?

    dparm, a very active member, I agree with what you are saying and I'm trying to keep that in mind. The people with problems are, of course, vocal and the happy people tend to just be, well...happy. But happy people don't post so it's hard to gauge. I'm really glad that I know about the issues that potentially exist with this car. It makes budgeting for them much easier and surprises less likely.

    I've pretty much made up my mind to get a 05 or 06 but I do need to figure out that CPO thing because that will make me feel better for the couple thousand it costs. I could save the couple grand for a potential major problem but I'm guessing there will be plenty of more minor issues that CPO will help out with along the way. At least that's the gamble.

    I'm going to see if my dealer licensed friend can get a stellar deal on one (if the service history exists and looks good) and then the Audi dealership will buy it from me and I'll have to buy it from them. Even with having to pay taxes twice this way, I should come out with a great deal.

    That, or I'll just keep searching. I found one with 65k miles that I really like but its a 2005 so unless someone confirms differently, I have to assume that I cannot get CPO on the car so I won't move on that one.

  10. #10
    Veteran Member Four Rings dparm's Avatar
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    CPO cars must be <50k and <4 years old. You cannot 'get' CPO on a car. The dealer either certifies it before offering it for sale or they don't. Your alternative is a third-party warranty, which is similar to CPO.

    Look, it's as simple as this: if you are having reservations or concerns, this might not be the car for you. I've never had to "talk myself into" a car. Again, we're talking about a small sedan with an enormous motor jammed in, along with 4WD and tons of other gadgets. Lots of things to go wrong, but lots to enjoy, too.....

  11. #11
    Established Member Two Rings zookie's Avatar
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    Ah, they didn't mention the 50k part and I believe the sales guy said less than six years old but they did offer what I described above where the Audi dealer will buy the car from the private party (or me if I had already purchased the car) and do their inspection and certification (which also includes bringing things up to CPO spec such as tire tread, brakes, etc on my dime of course) and in the end I would be buying the car from the Audi dealer and it would have the Audi CPO warranty.

    I do have reservations but that's only because of this forum and the major engine issues that some owners have reported. It's not that I have to "talk myself" into the car because the car sells itself to any enthusiast, but I'd be pretty silly not to investigate and ask questions about a $5-10k problem on a $20-30k purchase. I could buy the car in cash but that doesn't mean that I should ignore substantial (relative to purchase price), albeit only potential, costs like engine failure.

    My opinion is changing at this point because I think I will keep my Acura TL as a secondary car and I will just anticipate the potential cost that might come along with the S4. I drove the car for only 20 minutes and its the most fun sedan I've even taken out. I would really like to drive it every day and my mind is pretty much made up. I should be joining this forum as an owner soon enough...after I find a good car and a decent deal.

  12. #12
    Veteran Member Four Rings JimmyBones's Avatar
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    For an Audi dealership to CPO a car now, it has to be under 5 years old, under 60K miles, pass the requirements or be repaired to pass the CPO inspection, no accident history/pass carfax, and be a one owner vehicle. Plus the dealership has to pay the cost to CPO a car. For example we have CPOed a few R8s and not only does it cost the dealership $10K to CPO it but every R8 has needed all the brakes and tires replaced to pass the CPO inspection.

    It is also not uncommon for a dealership to sell a car and offer to CPO it for the difference in price if the customer wants it with the CPO warranty. I have sold a lot of front brake repairs on B8s that way because they have to be above half spec (7mm for pads and usually 29.00mm for rotors) to pass CPO and those cars eat front brakes every 15K to 20K miles.

    OP, if you want a S4 and are worried either pay the extra cost for a CPO car or get an extended warranty and roll the dice.
    Ex-Audi Tech

    Current cars:
    2004 S4 6MT - JBones's Silver Bullet B6 S4
    2000 A6 2.7T 6MT - DD
    1991 BMW 850i 6MT - V12 project

  13. #13
    Veteran Member Four Rings dparm's Avatar
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    Sounds like they tweaked CPO requirements. Good info.

    Zookie, German cars will be vastly different from your Acura. I owned two Hondas prior and miss the ease of working on them, the no-fuss maintenance, and their overall simplicity. (Integra GS-R and S2000, if you're curious)

  14. #14
    Established Member Two Rings billyp7718's Avatar
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    Audi will not cpo an 05. Not supposed to go over 4 model years. CPo will give you 100k total miles and 6 years from new. I purchased an 06 CPo last year. I get a 2 year from date of purchase since it was out of factory warr or 52k miles Whatever comes first. (purchased w/ 48k)

  15. #15
    Established Member Two Rings ringsroc's Avatar
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    I picked up My used 06 B7 S4 with 70K about two months ago. I had a deal offered to me that I could not refuse, so I moved rather quickly. I was allowed to take the car home for two days before I committed, but I did not have a chance to have it thoroughly checked out(Borascope ect...) But I did read about the timing chain tensioner issue, and listened carefully for any signs of it but I heard no noise on start up. So far, I have not seen any loss of oil after my first 4K of driving. I just performed my first oil change.

    I was able to get the car on a lift, and check out everything I could visually. I only found a few things that were needed. Control arm bushings are starting to crack, the upper ones are the worst. The serpentine belt is a bit old looking. Otherwise, it was in great shape. When I took it to the dealer for the oil change, I was given a printout of the service history that was performed there at the dealer. Based on that, I believe the previous owner was very good to the car, and took good care of it.

    My plan was to use this as my fun car. Only driving it a little every week. However, now I find I cant wait to get home and take it out for a drive, so I am putting more miles on it than I expected. Keep that in mind...lol

    I must say I was a bit scared at first after I read the bad threads on the motor. However in the end, I think I got a good one, and hopefully I wont see any issues for some time.

    I'd say try to get the newest model and lowest mileage you can, to improve your odds, and ease your mind.

    I am just delighted with this car, and I don't think I could/would give it back if they paid me more than I payed for it.
    2007 VW Jetta 2.5- SOLD
    2006 Audi S4 Brilliant Red, Platinum interior.

  16. #16
    Established Member Two Rings viridia's Avatar
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    I'll chime in since I seem to be the highest mileage so far. At 140,000, my B6 Avant still purrs like a kitten and has minimal oil consumption. Since purchasing last year, I replaced the alternator, serpentine belt components, had the valve covers powder coated, and replaced the clutch and flywheel with updated B7 components. I change the oil at 5k and perform the Seafoam decarbonization procedure before changing spark plugs. The timing chain components looked normal when the engine was out, so no problems there yet either!

    My exhaust is rusty, so I'm planning for the next maintenance/upgrade to be downpipes, a catback, and a JHM tune.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Two Rings 05 B6 S4's Avatar
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    After I bought my car I joined the forums a couple of years after I had the car. Once I started reading all about the oil consumption and issues with a $5000 dollar engine pull, I nearly shit my pants. I was wondering if I should sell and get involved with another platform. The S4 kept me in love and now I want to pull the engine to do the chain guides and add headers. With all of the strides JHM are making for our platform I don't care anymore. Terrible oil consumption issue means fully built turbo or maxed out S/C on her. I have always owned vag cars and am well aware of their god damn money costing way's. Window regulator, trim piece this $500 that they are not for the faint of heart that is for sure.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Two Rings rxbike's Avatar
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    I bought mine with 62K 2.5 years ago and now have 112xxx on her. I would have to say for a "higher" mileage vehicle, this is one of the lowest maintenance vehicle out there. If you think about other cars in this year range- 2004 and up, maintenance and wear and tear should be more but aside from maintenance of oil changes, brakes at 60K and belt at 75K, I've only had a power steering line go bad and a small leaking coolant line. Other parts that I replaced were O2 sensors and MAF sensor which are in between maintenance and JHM mod since they all occurred about the same time, I would consider our vehicles pretty well built from the factory overall.
    I say buy it and enjoy it !
    2004 B6 S4 black on black. VMR RS4 reps wheels, APR down pipe and exhaust, JHM tune,JHM intake manifold and throttle body, JHM lightweight pulley, Snub Mount; Eclipse AVN 726E nav/dvd unit. AR slot/slot/dimple rotors
    2003 Porsche 996 TT EPL stage 1 tune, AR Design 3" xflo street exhaust, Clutch Master 3600lbs clamp force/LWFW
    2000 Porsche Carrera C2 Schnell Header/Exhaust , Schnell Cold Air, 19" SSR GT-3
    2007 Toyota Tundra 5.7L doublecab TRD intake
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  19. #19
    Established Member Two Rings zookie's Avatar
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    It's definitely reassuring reading that people have had great experiences with their higher mile S4 and others who have had some of the same concerns that I've had. I'm sold! Thanks for sharing! I just hope I can find one that was taken care of.

  20. #20
    Veteran Member Four Rings dparm's Avatar
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    Only buy one with a full maintenance history, and especially one that seems to have not needed much in the way of repairs. Mine was a good find...no real problems except a seized wiper arm (common on this car) and a headlamp that fogged (common on this car). Nothing else.

  21. #21
    Veteran Member Four Rings crabpot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dparm View Post
    Only buy one with a full maintenance history.
    I don't know if I would go that far, you'd be really limiting your options only looking at cars with full documentation. If there isn't a full maintenance history, certainly have a PPI completed though.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Three Rings SpeedETC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by viridia View Post
    I'll chime in since I seem to be the highest mileage so far. At 140,000, my B6 Avant still purrs like a kitten and has minimal oil consumption.
    You beat me... lol. I am at 129k.

    OP, I am the original owner of my car and it has been great. I basically went almost 100k miles with only minor issues (passenger mirror adjustment, light switch illumination failed). Just before 100k the car began consuming oil at the rate of a bit more than 1qt per 1000 miles. To note, I do track my car occasionally so it gets driven pretty hard (autocross, 1/4 mile, etc). I went through the battery of tests and the issue appeared to be related to the head. I replaced all the valve stem seals and the oil consumption has dropped off significantly since. I also changed all the timing gear since the motor was out of the car. The only other major issue that I ran into was a power steering failure due to a burst hose. My car is modded (JHM tune, lw fywheel, stage 3 clutch, piggies, intake manifold, lw crank pulley, Magnaflow exhaust).

    Having owned German cars for 17+ years my view is the cars are great when they are well maintained, but when issues do occur (and they will) expect to spend some time and money fixing them.

  23. #23
    Veteran Member Four Rings dparm's Avatar
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    Right, you're limiting your options to cars that were cared for and that had owners who actually invested time and money...unlike half of the cars on the road that have worn-out tires, missed oil changes, and random CELs that never get fixed.

    Believe me, there are plenty of beat-up and neglected S4s.

  24. #24
    Veteran Member Four Rings crabpot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dparm View Post
    Right, you're limiting your options to cars that were cared for and that had owners who actually invested time and money...unlike half of the cars on the road that have worn-out tires, missed oil changes, and random CELs that never get fixed.

    Believe me, there are plenty of beat-up and neglected S4s.
    I agree, and you can tell that by simply seeing a car in person and having a PPI completed.
    Trust me, I would have bought a car with a full maintenance history if I could have ... took me long enough to find the right B7, regardless.

  25. #25
    Established Member Two Rings
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    s4
    Last edited by yohimbe2; 08-03-2011 at 07:41 PM.



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