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View Full Version : Major repairs around 74K ... please help.



A4Gasm
06-01-2008, 02:30 PM
I have a 98 A4 1.8T Quattro Tiptronic that needs some serious maintenance. Instead of using the search function to find everything specifically and get individual repair costs, I want to consolidate everything in to one lump sum in one post. In addition to crucial repairs and maintenance, I want to do a couple performance/visual upgrades. Any help you could provide would be greatly appreciated. I’m really naïve when it comes to this stuff.

Current Mileage: 74,000

Problems
Check engine light flashing – Car sputters and has minimal power
ABS light on/Brake light flashing
AIRBAG light on
Clunky sounds coming from front end (just did control arm and a tire rod for $830 … so could it be the suspension now?)
Rapid Clicking noise coming from turbo area when RPMs are on the way down
Timing Belt probably needs to be done soon


Upgrades
Body kit
Boost gauge
Clear Corner Blinkers
Better Turbo
RIMS (I have some stock 17” S4 rims laying around that my buddy gave me for cheap – Will they fit??)
Sport Suspension

Clearly I have a lot on my plate. I have approximately $4,000 to play with. I want to make this car run smooth and fast again. I need to get a few more years out of it.

Would anyone be willing to give me some ideas of what brands of parts I should buy for these repairs and upgrades as well as the cost for doing such?

Is there anything you can think of that I should consider doing while I have this thing taken apart as preventative maintenance?

Poopie
06-01-2008, 02:46 PM
i assume you have a laptop? If ya do, grab a vag-com cable off ebay. PM me if you need help setting it up. Its $20. Then when you get it, you can diagnose your issues. I would assume your first issue with the sputter and lights flashing is a bad ignition control module. With the vag-com you can check your codes and see why your airbag light is on. Most likely a bad connector. same with the abs light. Clunk is still the control arms. possibly loose bolt, or improperly torqued leading to premature failure. Does the clicking by the turbo happen when you are turning?

body kit....not too many good looking options out there. S4 bumper and sides is the cleanest looking I think. Many good boost gauges out there. AWE has a very nice set up if you don't want to cut up your existing vent. Better turbo...with all your mechanical issues not fixed, i would not even consider this yet. The s4 wheels will fit just fine and look pretty good. Skip the sport suspension and get coilovers.

A4Gasm
06-01-2008, 03:02 PM
no laptop but I can prob borrow my gf's. I heard the CEL and sputtering could be the ICM, but I've been getting way more feedback supporting Spark Plug/Coil packs.

If you're telling me the clunk is still the arms I'm going to f*****g murder the mechanic that did the job (kidding obviously) get this....The guy charged me $800 to fix the upper right control arm and left tire rod. When I rolled out of the dealer ship my wheel was cocked to the left!!!!! In order to move straight, the wheel had to be turned 15-20 degrees to the left. When I went back, he made a big stink about tuning it and stated,"I don't know what you're gonnna get besides your wheel being straight; your alignment is probably off" Am I justified in being outraged???? He eventually agreed to go in and wrench it in so that my wheel was straight but made it sound like I was busting his balls.

Tubro clicking happens when decellerating, it can be heard clearly if I am near a wall or jersey barrier. As I get off the gas and the RPMs fall, a really rapid clicking happens.

I'll do some searching for S4 bumpers and sides, I'd like to get some fog lights too, are those a difficult installation???

Stampy
06-01-2008, 03:17 PM
Honestly man. With your laundry list of problems. Buying Vag or atleast the using the freebie will save you money in the longrun. Timing Belt should be at the top of the list. Its an easy job if you aren't afraid to wrench on a saturday. Clicking could be the ICM since its on top of the Airbox. You could just be hearing that. A lot of people Swap everything when they do the suspension because of clunking. You can buy a whole kit that replaces all the components for like $500. Really though, it sounds to me that you need to get your hands dirty. You need to locate someone that has some real knowledge of Audi's and working on them. Don't get S4 stuff. EVERYBODY gets that. Be different, many options are out there.

Poopie
06-01-2008, 03:22 PM
EEK i would murder him too. If you were local I could definitely help you out. Timing belt and control arms are big money if you can't do them yourself. Thats just about half you $4000 budget for those two things. Post in the regional forum and see if anyone is willing to help you out on the cheap.

A4Gasm
06-01-2008, 03:40 PM
Thanks poopie, I'll look into regional help.

Nebone
06-01-2008, 03:49 PM
Where in MA are you? I'm close to Attleboro and Bellingham and could help you out some.

A4Gasm
06-01-2008, 05:01 PM
Lowell. Definately a hike.

Poopie
06-01-2008, 05:56 PM
if it will save you some coin, its worth the drive, even at these prices. . I had people all over the east coast drive to my house for some work done to save them money.

A4Gasm
06-01-2008, 06:30 PM
Well, it's not that easy since it's misfiring now- I can't drive to anyone. First and foremost (once I can drive again), I want to drive down to that mechanic and let him know what's going on, but not before having someone inspect his work first [kind of guilty of going off topic here] do you think an audi dealership mechanic would give my front end a look see? I feel like that's the only way I'd be able to walk into...I'm not one to drop names or anything but ... uh ... FOREIGN CARS OF READING, and give him a piece of my mind.

Seerlah
06-01-2008, 06:58 PM
When it comes to mechanics, it does not really matter if it is the dealership or an independant mechanic. When it boils down to it, it still depends upon whom is the individual diagnosing your vehicle. He is either good at what he does, mediocre, or simply terrible. Does not matter where he works at.

Personal experience. I had my car diagnosed at a dealership because I knew someone whom has a brother whom works there. He diagnosed leaks at my head gaskets and rear axle drivetrain. He said he would give me the hook up and do the job for about $700+ for replacements. Dealer would have charged me $1200+. Got a second opinion and there was no leak at my rear axle and the leak on the engine bay was at the exhaust valve stems. I would have gotten raped by him, but instead I paid like $250 for the job done correctly.

You might want to ask in the North East Regional Forum (http://www.audizine.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=21) if there are any reputable shops that they can vouch for in your area. Then take your vehicle there, if you are unsure about your current shop you plan on taking your vehicle to. $4000 should be more than enough to have your car running correctly, but not if you go to the stealership. Maybe.

And no, mechanics only do free diagnosis unless they are either nice, in good mood, or have to not look under the hood. In your case, they would have to look under the hood. But maybe the individual could be in a good mood and let the fee slide (guy whom gave me second opinion gave me free diagnosis).

As stated above, you should vag com your car and then go to ross-tech and look up the codes. They list possible solutions and can save you a couple hundred bucks easily. If there is an Autozone located near you, they will permit you to take the vag com to your residence for use given you leave collateral such as a credit card, drivers lisence, etc. Then decide next step from there.

HIERLEVELZ
06-01-2008, 07:10 PM
If youd DIY the TB then buy the kit from ECS tuning ~$250
Chatter from the turbo is a loose wastegate. I would replace it with a K04 ~$700 you could also find one used for less in the FS section.
Check engine light flashing and sputtering could be the ICM on top of the airbox. Vag the car and see what codes you get. Flashing ABS light is the ABS module. It can be refurbished for $100-150. There are 2 companies that i know of that can perform this service and they provide warranties.


I have a 98 A4 1.8T Quattro Tiptronic that needs some serious maintenance. Instead of using the search function to find everything specifically and get individual repair costs, I want to consolidate everything in to one lump sum in one post. In addition to crucial repairs and maintenance, I want to do a couple performance/visual upgrades. Any help you could provide would be greatly appreciated. I’m really naïve when it comes to this stuff.

Current Mileage: 74,000

Problems
Check engine light flashing – Car sputters and has minimal power
ABS light on/Brake light flashing
AIRBAG light on
Clunky sounds coming from front end (just did control arm and a tire rod for $830 … so could it be the suspension now?)
Rapid Clicking noise coming from turbo area when RPMs are on the way down
Timing Belt probably needs to be done soon


Upgrades
Body kit
Boost gauge
Clear Corner Blinkers
Better Turbo
RIMS (I have some stock 17” S4 rims laying around that my buddy gave me for cheap – Will they fit??)
Sport Suspension

Clearly I have a lot on my plate. I have approximately $4,000 to play with. I want to make this car run smooth and fast again. I need to get a few more years out of it.

Would anyone be willing to give me some ideas of what brands of parts I should buy for these repairs and upgrades as well as the cost for doing such?

Is there anything you can think of that I should consider doing while I have this thing taken apart as preventative maintenance?

Stampy
06-01-2008, 09:40 PM
If there is an Autozone located near you, they will permit you to take the vag com to your residence for use given you leave collateral such as a credit card, drivers lisence, etc. Then decide next step from there.

AutoZone OBDII tester is not VAG. Just wanted to post that so the young buck doesn't get confused. Generic OBDII codes could definitely help get this pointed in the right direction though.

bass_lover1
06-01-2008, 10:18 PM
Chatter from the turbo is a loose wastegate. I would replace it with a K04 ~$700 you could also find one used for less in the FS section.


I wouldn't be so quick to judge this.

I have a similar sound as well, and when I asked the same question most pointed to the wastegate as well. If the turbo is still making full boost, the OP should install that boost gauge, then it isn't your wastegate. My guess is the cam chain tensioner is shot, generally from low oil pressure. I strongly recommend cleaning out the motor with Auto-Rx (www.auto-rx.com), the motor is prone to sludge anyway, so it would be a good idea to do this.

However, before anyone can give a definitive answer, a boost gauge is going to help out quite a bit here.

HIERLEVELZ
06-02-2008, 02:15 AM
I wouldn't be so quick to judge this.

I have a similar sound as well, and when I asked the same question most pointed to the wastegate as well. If the turbo is still making full boost, the OP should install that boost gauge, then it isn't your wastegate. My guess is the cam chain tensioner is shot, generally from low oil pressure. I strongly recommend cleaning out the motor with Auto-Rx (www.auto-rx.com), the motor is prone to sludge anyway, so it would be a good idea to do this.

However, before anyone can give a definitive answer, a boost gauge is going to help out quite a bit here.

He said "rapid clicking from turbo area." on decel. That is what i experienced with my
K03 before i swapped it out.

jm121189
06-02-2008, 07:21 AM
With your list of problems I wouldn't count on doing many mods on your budget. You could probably do boost gauge and get some s4 or rs4 body parts but not a turbo and probably not suspension. Probably would be worth your time to get a VAG-COM cable off ebay and download the software, that should answer a few of the questions. You have to do an alignment after control arms and or tie rod ends so that is clearly his fault and he shouldn't have been giving you trouble about it.

I would highly recommend Autobahn Performance in Peabody as a shop if you need any work done in the future.

This is another good shop.
MARC'S FOREIGN CAR
627 Main St. Wakefield, MA 781-246-0042

A4Gasm
06-02-2008, 07:37 AM
So I'm guessing my best course of action would be the following.

Read my codes and get the CEL to stop flashing by fixing the misfire whether it be sparks plugs, coil packs or ignition control mondule

Install Boost Gauge > Compare my boost to whatever the nominal reading is > based on that reading decide whether to rebuild the turbo or buy new

Have someone else RE-fix my friggan front end

Throw on the hand-me-down S4 tires

Send out my ABS modules to module masters and have it rebuilt (if applicable ...apparently sometimes they're unsalvageable)

Step back, reassess problems and available funds > see if its still in the budget to get body kit and springs



Am I on the right track?


With your list of problems I wouldn't count on doing many mods on your budget. You could probably do boost gauge and get some s4 or rs4 body parts but not a turbo and probably not suspension. Probably would be worth your time to get a VAG-COM cable off ebay and download the software, that should answer a few of the questions. You have to do an alignment after control arms and or tie rod ends so that is clearly his fault and he shouldn't have been giving you trouble about it.

I would highly recommend Autobahn Performance in Peabody as a shop if you need any work done in the future.

This is another good shop.
MARC'S FOREIGN CAR
627 Main St. Wakefield, MA 781-246-0042

jm121189
06-02-2008, 07:45 AM
Sounds like a good start and order. Are the new suspension parts installed and you just need an alignment? If he can't figure out how to do an alignment you might want to make sure he installed everything correctly.

njm23
06-02-2008, 08:00 AM
So I'm guessing my best course of action would be the following.

Read my codes and get the CEL to stop flashing by fixing the misfire whether it be sparks plugs, coil packs or ignition control mondule

Install Boost Gauge > Compare my boost to whatever the nominal reading is > based on that reading decide whether to rebuild the turbo or buy new

Have someone else RE-fix my friggan front end

Throw on the hand-me-down S4 tires

Send out my ABS modules to module masters and have it rebuilt (if applicable ...apparently sometimes they're unsalvageable)

Step back, reassess problems and available funds > see if its still in the budget to get body kit and springs



Am I on the right track?

Throw a timing belt in there DEFINITELY. And ko3, dont rebuild it, you can find used ones on here all the time for cheap.

A4Gasm
06-02-2008, 12:51 PM
Sounds like a good start and order. Are the new suspension parts installed and you just need an alignment? If he can't figure out how to do an alignment you might want to make sure he installed everything correctly.

No, I have not yet ordered suspension...or anything for that matter. He simply installed a left tire rod and upper control arm then let me drive out of the garage with a out of whack steering wheel.

bass_lover1
06-02-2008, 02:37 PM
He said "rapid clicking from turbo area." on decel. That is what i experienced with my
K03 before i swapped it out.

It could be either, really, hard to tell w/o a boost gauge at this point. Again, i have a similar symptom, but it isn't my wastegate its the cam chain tensioner, because my turbo still spools to 11psi no problem.

A4Gasm
06-02-2008, 03:53 PM
If youd DIY the TB then buy the kit from ECS tuning ~$250
Chatter from the turbo is a loose wastegate. I would replace it with a K04 ~$700 you could also find one used for less in the FS section.
Check engine light flashing and sputtering could be the ICM on top of the airbox. Vag the car and see what codes you get. Flashing ABS light is the ABS module. It can be refurbished for $100-150. There are 2 companies that i know of that can perform this service and they provide warranties.

http://www.ecstuning.com/stage/edpd/pagebuild_v2.cgi/?html=learnmore.html&productID=1540

Is that what I need? Not sure if my car has a "longitudinal" motor...

A4Gasm
06-02-2008, 05:48 PM
http://blauparts.com/products.asp?cat=2322

found this timing belt kit too....a little more pricey and has the option to buy a kit? any suggestions?

Nebone
06-02-2008, 08:55 PM
You are probably close to True Wheels shop. Check them out.

http://www.tru-wheels.com/auto.html

Might not be a bad hike but there is an Audi certified dude there and he can do good work. I took my car there specially for an alignment and drove the long miles for it.

Give them a call.

bass_lover1
06-02-2008, 09:35 PM
http://blauparts.com/products.asp?cat=2322

found this timing belt kit too....a little more pricey and has the option to buy a kit? any suggestions?

That kit is a bit more because it also includes new seals that aren't really required to replace, unless they are leaking.

http://www.ecstuning.com/stage/edpd/pagebuild_v2.cgi/?html=learnmore.html&productID=5633

Is the kit you want, it includes everything even more coolant for when you change the water pump.

A4Gasm
06-02-2008, 09:48 PM
That kit is a bit more because it also includes new seals that aren't really required to replace, unless they are leaking.

http://www.ecstuning.com/stage/edpd/pagebuild_v2.cgi/?html=learnmore.html&productID=5633

Is the kit you want, it includes everything even more coolant for when you change the water pump.

purchased!

ordering my boost gauge from AWE tomorrow morning too. Still debating whether to go with pillar or vent...[rolleyes]

bass_lover1
06-03-2008, 02:50 PM
purchased!

ordering my boost gauge from AWE tomorrow morning too. Still debating whether to go with pillar or vent...[rolleyes]

Depends on your tastes really. You get used to something being mounted on the a-pillar quickly. I have tweeter pods on my a-pillars and it was annoying at first but you adjust pretty quickly.

BTW, my boost gauge is mounted on my steering column, I personally prefer this location, because it's not in an awkward position that requires me to take my eyes off the road, a quick glance down then back up and it's not a problem. Also it looks more factory than an a-pillar gauge would look.

A4Gasm
06-03-2008, 05:12 PM
Depends on your tastes really. You get used to something being mounted on the a-pillar quickly. I have tweeter pods on my a-pillars and it was annoying at first but you adjust pretty quickly.

BTW, my boost gauge is mounted on my steering column, I personally prefer this location, because it's not in an awkward position that requires me to take my eyes off the road, a quick glance down then back up and it's not a problem. Also it looks more factory than an a-pillar gauge would look.

APillar and Vent gauges are backorder at AWE.... not sure what to do. I guess I may have to go with the steering column one- I feel like that would obstruct the instrument cluster though.

Turns out my misfiring/sputting is the Ignition control module (one problem down - dozens to go). ECS already sent out my timing belt this morning so now I have to pay for shipping AGAIN when I buy the new ICM! (which brings me to my next question)

Question: Bosch or Huco for the ICM ... the bosch is like double the price??? Am I really getting anything out of paying more or will the cheapo one do the trick??

bass_lover1
06-03-2008, 11:03 PM
APillar and Vent gauges are backorder at AWE.... not sure what to do. I guess I may have to go with the steering column one- I feel like that would obstruct the instrument cluster though.

Turns out my misfiring/sputting is the Ignition control module (one problem down - dozens to go). ECS already sent out my timing belt this morning so now I have to pay for shipping AGAIN when I buy the new ICM! (which brings me to my next question)

Question: Bosch or Huco for the ICM ... the bosch is like double the price??? Am I really getting anything out of paying more or will the cheapo one do the trick??


stopshopanddrive.com is your friend. Free shipping on orders 50.00 and up. I'm lucky because thereis a warehouse like 200 miles away from me so I usually get stuff in a day. As to Bosch or Huco, my ICM failed 3 years ago, and I replaced it with a Huco. Like you said 250ish for the Bosch, compared to 114 IIRC for the Huco, and it works just fine. Only difference is the orientation of the Huco, you'll see what I mean when you get it.

A4Gasm
07-31-2008, 08:42 PM
UPDATE:

FORWARD PROGRESS

ICM installed - Running Smooth
ABS Module rebuilt and shipping out tomorrow
AWE K04 Boost Upgrade ordered - Back ordered until 2012 (Buddy refused to install my Borla Exhaust and timing belt till Borge Warner friggan ships the K04 to AWE...apparently it'll be too much work to take the car appart twice[>_>])
AWE Vent Boost Gauge Installed - Barely Pushing 5 PSI (is that low???) AND the lens is all fogged up... kind of disappointing...
OEM S4 Rims are being painted a mid gloss black
Debadged my rear end, looks clean and sexy



NEW PROBLEMS

Leaking Washer Fluid
Newly replaced control arm is now squeaking instead of clunking
I had Diarrhea today ... and apparently so did my coolant reservoir...THINK BROWN SLUDGE, tried to manually flush it. Also the cover is all rotted so I had to order another one
Oil or something is leaking from the upper left side of my engine. I've been told I need a new gasket(?)


BOOST GAUGE PICS
http://img149.imageshack.us/img149/3203/img195yn2.jpg

http://img149.imageshack.us/img149/1861/img194px6.jpg


SLUDGE. How does this happen????
http://img521.imageshack.us/img521/2458/img187nb2.jpg

http://img521.imageshack.us/img521/3632/img189mo4.jpg

I can't wait till this is all over and I can just enjoy the car

audiness
07-31-2008, 09:05 PM
You have a bad oil cooler. its the part that your oil filter connects to. I think its about$75.

A4Gasm
07-31-2008, 09:17 PM
You have a bad oil cooler. its the part that your oil filter connects to. I think its about$75.


So that's what is turning my coolant to sludge?? How do the two interact with each other? Is oil backing up into the coolant reservoir?

ps. Thanks for the prompt feedback

Stampy
07-31-2008, 09:55 PM
Could it be G12 mixed with some other kind of coolant? Doesn't that make G12 sludge? I have heard the oil cooler thing before though that audiness mentioned. I could very well be that.

A4Gasm
10-03-2008, 08:33 AM
So, for those of you that followed this thread briefly, my car was in shambles. Turbo dying, no ABS, up near the "CHANGE THE F****G TIMING BELT" mileage, winshield washer pump broke, constant misfiring etc, and generally just stock slow

Well here's everything I had done/price for anyone who's currious


Timing Belt Kit (http://www.ecstuning.com/stage/edpd/pagebuild_v2.cgi/?html=learnmore.html&productID=5953) $288

Timing Belt
OE Updated Tensioner
OE Tensioner Roller
OE Idler Roller
Hepu OE Water Pump With gasket
OE Thermostat with O-ring
A/C Belt
P/S Belt
Alternator Belt
ECS Lightweight Crank Pulley

Oil Change $30
Fuel Filter $30
Headlight Washer Pump- Dealer $76 should have got it here (http://www.ecstuning.com/stage/edpd/pagebuild_v2.cgi/?html=learnmore.html&productID=3380)
ABS Module (http://modulemaster.com/en/Audi/A4_info.php) $245
K04 Hybrid (http://www.gpopshop.com/kkkturbos.html) $850
Upper Right Control Arm (http://www.autopartintl.com/products.htm) $160
Engine Valve Cover Gasket- AutoPartsIntl (http://www.blauparts.com/audi/audi_valve_cover_gasket/audi_valve_cover_gasket_kit.shtml) $32
3" Maganaflow- Flex back (http://uniquecustomexhaust.com/services.htm) $460
AWE Vent Boost Gauage (http://awe-tuning.com/pages/shared/part_detail.cfm?PMaI=1&PMoI=1&PEI=2&PP=a4_18t_interior.cfm&PPT=Interior&IL=CenterGaugePod) $160
Baily Diverter Valve (http://awe-tuning.com/pages/shared/part_detail.cfm?PMaI=1&PMoI=1&PEI=2&PP=a4_18t_drivetrain.cfm&PPT=Drivetrain&IL=BaileyValve) $165
K&N Air Filter (http://www.directtuning.com/store/pc-28472-215-KN.aspx) $50
GIAC Pump Flash (http://www.eastcoasteuropean.com/) $375
Radiator and Oil Filler Caps $12
17" Stock S4 Rims: Had them painted gloss black $550
Full Alighment (unlimited one year)- NTB - $150


That puts it around $3700 in parts alone. Was it all worth it. Yes and No. Yes because the car runs better than ever and I'll definately get another (at 76k) 40K out of it with prob just the occasional control arm, coil pack, vaccum leak etc. No, because I'm ADDICTING TO BUYING STUFF FOR THE FRIGGIN THING[wrench] That being said, can anyone suggest some good shock and spring kits? After that, I think I'm all set aside from the occasional cheap exterior mods ie. some valeo e-codes, smoked tails, better brakes and rotors

Can anyone guess what labor costed?