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View Full Version : How Reliable is the A4 1.8T after 90,000 Miles?



BlazinB5
11-12-2010, 11:06 PM
I currently have an 01 GTI VR6 and now want an Audi A4 with the 1.8T and 5-speed manual. So I was wondering, how reliable is the B5 A4 1.8T after 90,000 miles? What have you guys had to get replaced after 90,000 miles? How much did it cost to get done? I've got two mechanics that own their own shops, so I don't have to worry about getting ripped off at the stealership.

I love the looks of the A4 and the potential of the 1.8T, so I really want one. But I would also rather not get a car that's going to be in the shop every other month.

Edit: And I was also curious; does the 1.8T REALLY require synthetic oil changes every 3,000 instead of every 5,000?

Outlawjones
11-12-2010, 11:38 PM
Lets see where do I start! Lol. I've had my A4 since 134,000 miles and now has 152,000 I've replace the turbo, injectors, coils, plugs, suspension, all new control arms, rotors, pads, break lines, pcv, N75, filters, sway bars, motor mounts, abs module, airbag module, turbo back exhaust, DV, wheel bearings, rear differential + allot more misc stuff. Also the clutch and motor were replaced about 5,000 miles prior to me getting it. I still need new mirrors, console and so on. So yeah pretty reliable and only in the shop every other day. Hahaha

CalAvant
11-12-2010, 11:39 PM
Audi B5 Wiki: "common issues"
http://www.audizine.com/wiki/index.php?title=B5_A4#Common_Issues:

B5 A4 New Member Guide/FAQ! Answers to the most commonly asked questions!
http://www.audizine.com/forum/showthread.php/113728-B5-A4-New-Member-Guide-FAQ!-Answers-to-the-most-commonly-asked-questions!

I have a stock 01' 1.8t with about 85k. I replaced the timing belt @70k, and the outer tie rods shortly after. It runs perfect and is very reliable so far, but I got lucky and bought a near perfect low mileage car from an original owner that always used synthetic and never missed a service. I change the oil between 3-5k (synthetic)

Previous ownership and maintenance history go a long way with these cars! mods or stock, 1 owner or 5 owners.

Seerlah
11-13-2010, 01:51 AM
Purchased the vehicle at 107k with brand new clutch and tb done before pick up (used reputable dealership lot). I am at 132k now and have done quite a few things to my vehicle (I don't drive that much, so placed on like 25k in 3-4 years). But it def runs better now than when I first picked it up. Fix things yourself and maintenace does not become that costly.

Things replaced:
-alternator
-2 wheel bearings (very common isue on these vehicles)
-ignition coils (save the trouble and get Hitachi E before you get your first misfire. tried the revision R ones first and blew 2 of them in a matter of months)
-2 outer cv boots (first time was from ripping donuts in the snow. not sure about the second time. common issue due to the material of the boot)
-valve cover gasket
-ripped 3 way hose from valve cover breather port (replaced with 034 silicone one)
-wastegate (freak of nature. a bolt happended to have come loose from the bracket. this was causing me boost issues for a while, till I took out the turbo and found out the reason. the missing bolt made the wastegate shaft get a nice bend over time, not allowing the flapper to open properly. I would overboost and the ECU would cut throttle to protect the engine. replaced with Forge Motorsports one, and everything is fine now)
-replaced all 4 rotors and pads (only rears needed tending to, but MJM had a package deal for $250 that was too good to pass up)
-full coolant flush
-tranny fluid flush (replaced with Amsoil/Redline)
-rear diff fluid flush (replaced with Amsoil)
-A/C compressor replaced
-both 02 sensors (1.8t)
-MAF
-I am sure I am missing a few things

Things that will need attention:
-tie rods (road noise and little side to side play on front wheels lifted. going to do full CA swap in spring. I think it's about that time)

Any turbo charged vehicle should run full synthetic. And I change my oil every 5k max. But since I don't drive that much, I just change it once before spring/summer and once before winter (just changed mine last week). My car is fairlly modded and I like to drive her hard at times. Currently peicing together my full frame T3 GT2860RS kit. Just need turbo, intercooler, and clutch (and motor/tranny mounts to complete my drivetrain setup). I have everything else and have an ECU flash from Eurodyne for my k03s. So, upgrade to 630cc file is $250 for me. Basically, I spent way more on mods than I did maintenance. But I do work myself and leave what I can't do myself to the professionals. And I always look for the best deals on replacement parts (OEM).

These cars do have their issues, but most times don't need tending to after it's fixed. Preventative maintenance is key with these vehicles. Treat her well, and hopefully she will do the same for you. But of course, it doesn't always work out that way. Or some cars just need more attention that others.

adr3naline fix
11-13-2010, 07:24 AM
From my excell spreadsheet (since 97k, now at 115k)


Rear Right Brake light (right)
New Boost Gauge
Fuel Pump
Dipstick
Clutch
Tie Rods (right upper, left upper)
Fuel Filter
Plugs
CoilPack #3,#2, #4
Injector Check
Injector 0-ring replacement (#1,#2, top and bottom)
Replaced Air Filter
Replaced all rotors & pads
Replaced driver's door speaker
Replaced Coolant Temperature Sensor (per VAG-COM code)
Replaced both license plate bulbs
Replaced all lower door moldings
All front control arms (12-pieces, Tie rods & all)
Steering Rack
Replaced Right Rear Wheel speed sensor (ABS)
Fixed hoot release mechanism
Rebuilt ABS module
Replaced Transmission (68k trans swap)
Transmission oil (Redline)
Replace clutch bearing (034)

guy022077
11-13-2010, 07:51 AM
my excel says.
the trick is to know what is going to fail and DO THE MAINTENANCE BEFORE it fails.
most people complain about these cars but these parts fail, we know they fail, but most people wait till they do fail to replace them.
last 2 years.
timing belt kit 75k miles
alternator 106k miles (yesterday)
injector seats
intake manifold gasktet
starter
oil pan
front rear springs
front rear shocks struts
upper control arms
removed pcv system, even with pressure test i never could find all the leaks.

BlazinB5
11-13-2010, 11:16 PM
AWESOME responses. Thanks for the good info guys.

I think I'm going to have to put off getting an A4 for a while though. I get the feeling this car will add up to $2000 in repairs every year. Usually this wouldn't be a problem, but I'm actually a college student and my GTI VR6 is overdue for a new clutch AND timing belt (possibly the two most expensive services it'll ever need? LOL). This will definitely be my next car (or an S4 if i'm lucky).

coolgraymemo
11-13-2010, 11:44 PM
Bought last year:

TB, WP and a few Pulleys 112k
Tie Rod ends 115k
Transmission oil change 119k
Crankcase breather hose 125k ** yesterday

stack
11-14-2010, 12:43 AM
i have got 160k
all i did was turbo, some axels.
and suspension
that is it

i love this car more then i love my self.

walky_talky20
11-14-2010, 09:59 AM
Yes, it really requires synthetic every 3,000, especially if you are chipped. If you drive like a grandma and never get into the boost, you could probably do 5,000 on a good quality synthetic. The problem is that little turbo is very needed to make a 1.8 move a heavy car like this. So the turbo sees a lot of action even in daily driving and it *destroys* your oil. It bakes and cokes that oil like no other. So change early and often to avoid a sludged 1.8T. We've got a 1.8T in the shop right now, actually. 85k miles and it has a completely clogged pickup screen. No doubt from using dino oil on a 5-10k interval.

DRock3d
11-14-2010, 10:19 AM
My oil pan looked like asshole and still the oil pickup was perfectly clean, probably since I know for a fact it has ran full synthetic since May. http://i165.photobucket.com/albums/u71/XGamer15/148185304_photobucket_8823_.jpg

bronz
11-14-2010, 10:20 AM
very reliable.

ian52
11-14-2010, 01:36 PM
Mine is on 194k miles still going good. Had a couple of oil pumps on its way to that mileage mind you.

BlazinB5
11-15-2010, 10:28 AM
From my excell spreadsheet (since 97k, now at 115k)


Rear Right Brake light (right)
New Boost Gauge
Fuel Pump
Dipstick
Clutch
Tie Rods (right upper, left upper)
Fuel Filter
Plugs
CoilPack #3,#2, #4
Injector Check
Injector 0-ring replacement (#1,#2, top and bottom)
Replaced Air Filter
Replaced all rotors & pads
Replaced driver's door speaker
Replaced Coolant Temperature Sensor (per VAG-COM code)
Replaced both license plate bulbs
Replaced all lower door moldings
All front control arms (12-pieces, Tie rods & all)
Steering Rack
Replaced Right Rear Wheel speed sensor (ABS)
Fixed hoot release mechanism
Rebuilt ABS module
Replaced Transmission (68k trans swap)
Transmission oil (Redline)
Replace clutch bearing (034)

it seems like some of you have been having good luck with reliability, but this is the one that scares me (quoted). that is a BIG list of fixes for 15,000. just the steering rack and abs module almost bring his repairs up to $1000. what's everyone else's take on this guys luck? is that out of the normal to have that much problems?

CrtchRktRcr
11-15-2010, 10:38 AM
bought the car over 2 years ago.. put about 17k on it. I changed the oil and cleaned the pick up screen.. changed some tail lights... Now I just need a CTS and some coolant. No issues. I'm close to 170k on her.

99 1.8t aeb, qms.

-:vw:-
11-15-2010, 11:13 AM
Depends on the car.

adr3naline fix
11-15-2010, 11:19 AM
it seems like some of you have been having good luck with reliability, but this is the one that scares me (quoted). that is a BIG list of fixes for 15,000. just the steering rack and abs module almost bring his repairs up to $1000. what's everyone else's take on this guys luck? is that out of the normal to have that much problems?

The ABS rebuild is $75 and the steering rack can be had for $220 to 270 used. If you do all of your work yourself, it's not bad to own. I have just had bad luck.

Lazer Viking
11-15-2010, 11:35 AM
ive put 60k on my car over the last 4.5 years (@180k now) and aside from a few oh shit moments havent had any major failures only had to replace the coil packs icm control arms axles and wheel bearings.. willing to bet most of those are due to modifications i had done.. have been big turbo for about 5k now and no other issues

justinp95
11-15-2010, 11:52 AM
This car is by far the most unreliable car ive ever had. Its been something new every week since I got it. It was running good for one week when I got it before it took a dump and hasnt been right yet. Its a ok car if its running correctly, but now im in so deep i have to fix it. I was also told by a few people that this was a very well kept car.

Kyle H
11-15-2010, 12:42 PM
170k on my car... it's been terrible reliability-wise.

BlackLock_A4
11-15-2010, 01:41 PM
i have got 160k
all i did was turbo, some axels.
and suspension
that is it

i love this car more then i love my self.

You serious? lol that's awesome!
I need new bushings for suspension, I guess I should be looking to get an alternator soon, new turbo soon, new rotors soon... I have 125k on mine.

bkquattro
11-15-2010, 01:46 PM
Mine had 230,000 miles on it and it was running SOLID until it met it's end by way of a guard rail. Even then, it just started right up, no cel's and I drove it home. These cars will last you just as long as many other cars as long as you take care of them. Of course dealing with the little things that break are a headache, but shit breaks in any car. It just happens more frequently in ours.

EErie B6
11-15-2010, 01:50 PM
99.5/aeb/quattro/manual

Bought @ 90k.

did timing belt service soon as we got it.
spark plugs
fuel filter
air filter

just basic maintenance things.
of the 3 audis we have, its the oldest, highest mileage, and probably the most reliable IMO.

BlackLock_A4
11-15-2010, 02:01 PM
EErie- Love your sig!!! lol

mkturbo3
11-15-2010, 02:38 PM
01 awm 5spd quattro
bought @ 86K currently @ 137k
replaced so far
alternator
full contorl arm kit inner + outer tierods
both front axles
valve cover gasket
CTS
TONS of vaccum hoses
all 4 rotors + pads
both front + 1 rear wheel bearings
catalyic converter was clogged
gear oil, coolant flush
front driver side regulator
clutch kit
And at 137K turbo just went needs full control arm kit again, needs all 4struts , and both front axle boot ripped.
reliable after 90k ? heck no
worth it all for a healty 1.8 yes

BlazinB5
11-15-2010, 02:55 PM
170k on my car... it's been terrible reliability-wise.
terrible huh? what's gone wrong with it?


01 awm 5spd quattro
bought @ 86K currently @ 137k
replaced so far
alternator
full contorl arm kit inner + outer tierods
both front axles
valve cover gasket
CTS
TONS of vaccum hoses
all 4 rotors + pads
both front + 1 rear wheel bearings
catalyic converter was clogged
gear oil, coolant flush
front driver side regulator
clutch kit
And at 137K turbo just went needs full control arm kit again, needs all 4struts , and both front axle boot ripped.
reliable after 90k ? heck no
worth it all for a healty 1.8 yes

yea, you've definitely got me convinced i should hold off on getting an a4, haha. that's kind of odd to need a full control arm kit again. have you tried using the meyle control arm kit from mjm?
http://www.mjmautohaus.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=6169_6170_6186_6188_6822_72 55&info=Meyle_8E0498500MY_Control_Arm_Kit_10-PC_Heavy_Duty&products_id=956

http://img44.imageshack.us/img44/1369/546080d.jpg

audi49
11-15-2010, 02:57 PM
Interesting responses, and I feel relatively lucky at 97k so far. I had a rash of replacements at around 90k, but i feel right now the car is real solid for a long while (knock on wood). Near 90k i did the following (cheap since i did the work myself): radiator, oil cooler, coolant flange, crankcase ventilation tube, water pump. Earlier in it's life, the following were done: timing belt, both half shafts, a couple of control arms, tie rod ends. That's about it after 13 years and 97k.
As a side note, i recently got a '06 S4. Now i'm not comparing the S4 to this A4, but when i drive the A4 i still love it - more comfortable ride than the S4, lighter, and still fun (minus the brute force power and luxury of the S4). I think the B5 A4 was a brilliant design for its time.

99blueb5
11-15-2010, 03:31 PM
i got mine at 130k now im at 170k, nothing out of the ordinary just regular maintenance. ive beaten on it all its life and its still running strong, also around 20k on my stage 3 setup, they shuold last over 250k if maintained right, oil changes every 3000max, i personally change mine every 2500 because i get reduced price oil through work and my oil temps run higher that a stock motor, most reliable car ive owned yet, the ones that arnt reliable have not been tacken car on there whole life or treated bad

black99.5a4
11-15-2010, 03:37 PM
i bought mine at 163k, i have all receipts, it got 2 timing belt jobs and a turbo around 125k.. when i got it, i picked it up off of a service writer who had all of the common issues fixed (they werent issues he was just doing it preventively.. i.e. throttle body, brakes, alt, snub mount, thermostat, a few wheel bearings, etc)

It has 209k on it when I pulled the motor.. all i ever did was coil packs and a breather valve.. drove her EVERYWHERE.

Revzillia
11-15-2010, 07:00 PM
I'm around 185 ,000 . replaced stuff like brakes , wheel bearings acouple sensors , valve cover gasket . put a clutch @ 150,000 Still orginal k03 and front end . Drives like a champ . My daily driver and track rat

c0rrup
11-15-2010, 07:28 PM
174k

put a used turbo in
some new suspension components
regular matinence

runs like brand new

adr3naline fix
11-15-2010, 07:32 PM
Let me post again - the 1.8T is a solid motor. The rest of the car is a bit of a hassle some times.

BlazinB5
11-15-2010, 08:27 PM
so what would you guys say you spend each year on maintenance (excluding the people who go to dealership/stealership)? i plan on making use of a lot of the DIY guides, but i definitely won't even try doing suspension/timing belt myself, but i definitely think a lot of the repairs should be doable with the right tools and DIY guides.

i also plan on picking up one with at least 110,000 miles, since these cars really do go forever.

Amorphic
11-15-2010, 08:57 PM
Rear drivers side caliper
Timing belt full kit
Coolant flush
Cam Chain tensioner
Rear drivers side wheel bearing

Probably alternator soon and control arms in the spring

01 with 167,000 kms

flynnr
11-15-2010, 09:26 PM
i have had 2 a4's and have not touched a single thing on either besides normal wear and tear items, and preventative maintenance...

Timing belt
oil changes
Gas
gas pedal

thats it. the only thing on there that actually went wrong was my gas pedal breaking... it was a fluke though haha.

im BT now and still havent had any troubles.

i must be a lucky one. (i have money stowed away for when something goes though!)

I think the biggest thing is to go to a local forum, and get to know the guys, and buy a car that is locally owned by an enthusiest, so you know that things are up to date, and know what things will need to be changed out soon.

adr3naline fix
11-16-2010, 07:18 AM
so what would you guys say you spend each year on maintenance (excluding the people who go to dealership/stealership)? i plan on making use of a lot of the DIY guides, but i definitely won't even try doing suspension/timing belt myself, but i definitely think a lot of the repairs should be doable with the right tools and DIY guides.

i also plan on picking up one with at least 110,000 miles, since these cars really do go forever.

In my budget, I have a $120 /mo "oh shit" fund for my 1.8T. But i have the worst luck.

a4b5Quattro
11-16-2010, 11:23 AM
The ABS rebuild is $75 and the steering rack can be had for $220 to 270 used. If you do all of your work yourself, it's not bad to own. I have just had bad luck.

Where did you get your ABS rebuild for 75$???

BlazinB5
08-01-2011, 09:36 PM
one last bump...

are a lot of the repairs pretty doable on your own? if i did get an a4, i would probably buy the bentley dvd before anything. the bentley dvd actually looks pretty damn good. as an example, this one shows how to do control arms on an A6:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrYAAtlsjnY

also, i'd probably be putting 10,000 a year on the car - so i wouldn't be putting too much on.

Seerlah
08-01-2011, 10:17 PM
Bentley Manual and Vag Com was maybe the first 2 things I bought for my car. it is a def must for a B4 A4 owner, but there are a lot of links floating around on the internet for you to have free acesss on PDF files. I spent money on the book. But if you want the dvd, just find the link.

Mister2
08-01-2011, 10:39 PM
I bought mine at 74k with a complete one owner service history (even have the original window sticker from the dealer)
Currently at 118,XXX miles

Replaced clutch 2 months after purchase
Replaced fuel sending unit twice
Replaced rims because of a pothole (apparently Audi rims are prone to damage on the inner edge, no support from spokes)
Replaced all check valves because they were literally crumbling
Replaced hood latch because the end snapped off
Replaced rear wheel bearing
Replaced heater hose that busted and dumped my coolant over 3 miles of 264


Needs to be replaced:
timing belt (being done next ASAP)
roof/sunroof cover liners
tie-rods
paint
e-brake cable (passenger side snapped)


I love the hell out of this car, it's just in that stage of its life that every car reaches when things start to go wrong. But its very reliable. The only time I have had a problem where it couldn't be driven was when the clutch went.

BlazinB5
08-01-2011, 11:16 PM
Bentley Manual and Vag Com was maybe the first 2 things I bought for my car. it is a def must for a B4 A4 owner, but there are a lot of links floating around on the internet for you to have free acesss on PDF files. I spent money on the book. But if you want the dvd, just find the link.
word..

I bought mine at 74k with a complete one owner service history (even have the original window sticker from the dealer)
Currently at 118,XXX miles

Replaced clutch 2 months after purchase
Replaced fuel sending unit twice
Replaced rims because of a pothole (apparently Audi rims are prone to damage on the inner edge, no support from spokes)
Replaced all check valves because they were literally crumbling
Replaced hood latch because the end snapped off
Replaced rear wheel bearing
Replaced heater hose that busted and dumped my coolant over 3 miles of 264


Needs to be replaced:
timing belt (being done next ASAP)
roof/sunroof cover liners
tie-rods
paint
e-brake cable (passenger side snapped)


I love the hell out of this car, it's just in that stage of its life that every car reaches when things start to go wrong. But its very reliable. The only time I have had a problem where it couldn't be driven was when the clutch went.
awesome, thanks for sharing. that doesn't sound bad at ALL.

audienthusiest
08-02-2011, 03:55 PM
im just up past 111000, got the car at 88000. All ive done are
coils
plugs
intake
exhaust(aftermarket duh)
tires
brakes
timing belt
and pulled out the bose system cuz it sux

honestly the thing has never left me stranded (knock on wood) and hardly needed a shop

Diggity_Dave
08-02-2011, 04:36 PM
Damn OP! You are really taking your time easing into this decision eh? Not exactly an impulse buyer huh? ;-) Sometimes I wish I possessed more of that quality myslef. HA!

Just do it! Shit does break on these cars, but rarely do things break to the point of not still being able to get you from point A to point B (for repairs) I have a 99 1.8TQ with 165K maybe even on a bad year only throw $2,000 or so at it to keep it running close to perfect.. The rest of the money I dump in it is purely by choice and not really necessary. Great car, amazing to drive, and the B5 body style is timeless.

Amorphic
08-02-2011, 09:03 PM
Rear drivers side caliper
Timing belt full kit
Coolant flush
Cam Chain tensioner
Rear drivers side wheel bearing

Probably alternator soon and control arms in the spring

01 with 167,000 kms

since my last post in this thread:

new rear rotors and pads
new leather and foam for drivers seat
injector O-rings
TO DO:

full control arm kit and struts
replace mirror glass.
front rotors and pads

I've still yet to even mod my car (other than rs4 grille and clear corners), still working on keeping it immaculate. Sitting at 175,000kms.

Saskwatch
08-03-2011, 06:34 AM
1997 a4 1.8tq 5 speed
new parts in the past two years-
control arm kit+tie rods
evap purge solenoid
k03 sport, orig k03 shit the bed at 160k
maf
o2 sensor
wheel bearings
all drive belts and tensioner
timing belt @ 140k
Thermostat
radiator
Ign control module
second new set of tires
chipped apr for a year until the ecu shit the bed
fmic, hyperboost d/v
6 puck clutch with 14lb fw, no more dual mass
Spark plugs
coolant temp sensor (replaced twice in a year)
I have always flushed the crankcase with bg 109 flush and moa treatments
both front brakelines failed this past winter in the mtns of leadville...

the only thing saving me is the fact that I am a mechanic and do my own work. I suggest staying away from audi's unless you enjoy throwing money out the window.. Or you are a CAPABLE mechanic/mechanically inclined.. All cars require maint, its a pick your poison kinda thing.. :P

Have had mine since 140k, now has 215k miles

ECS Tuning-Audi
08-03-2011, 08:14 AM
We have the entire North American Parts Catalog LIVE & Search able on our site if you ever need to obtain OEM parts pricing!

We also have the ability to source all available European OEM parts as well!

At the top right hand corner there's a search box where you can type in part numbers or look up the part by name.

Check it out HERE! (http://www.ecstuning.com/Audi-B5_A4-Quattro-1.8T/OEM_Parts_Index/North_American/?salesrep=JMarusic&utm_source=fourtitude&utm_medium=forum&utm_content=JMarusic&utm_campaign=postreply)
http://www.ecstuning.com/groupheaders/img/vagPart1.jpghttp://www.ecstuning.com/groupheaders/img/vagPart2.jpghttp://www.ecstuning.com/groupheaders/img/vagPart3.jpg (http://www.ecstuning.com/Audi-B5_A4-Quattro-1.8T/OEM_Parts_Index/North_American/?salesrep=JMarusic&utm_source=fourtitude&utm_medium=forum&utm_content=JMarusic&utm_campaign=postreply)

Let me know if you have any questions.

Jason