View Full Version : Trying to buy my first Audi... what should I be checking for?

06-24-2013, 05:18 PM
Hello, folks. I'm a middle-aged dude who's owned a BUNCH of cars. I have extensive experience with four and two-wheel vehicles, and have rebuilt engines, modified suspensions, added turbos, etc. I've owned 2 BMW 3-Series cars, and used to think they were pretty hot $4!7, until...

I test-drove an A6 2.7 S-Line car about 6 years back. That car was amazing - I saw it in a lot, my wife was looking for a car, so I thought I would take it for a spin. I had just bought a Toyota FJ Cruiser a couple of days before, and I seriously contemplated swapping it out for the Audi, because I liked it so much.

The time has come to sell the Cruiser and get back to a small and fuel-efficient vehicle, for which I'm paying cash. I'm looking in the "under $10k 1.8 T Quattro 5-speed manual A4" market. So in other words, I'm looking for a 100k miler.

When I go under the hood, what kind of mechanical issues should I be looking for? I know there's a timing belt that needs replacement at some interval (90k?). Where would I find a sticker to indicate that this has been done? Is there an inspection cover that can be removed? What are the typical failure points?

Thanks, in advance, for all your assistance.

06-24-2013, 05:28 PM
I'll trade you my car for your FJ straight up

06-24-2013, 11:53 PM
You can find a B5 A4 for far less with around 100,000 miles.

1. The recommended timing belt change intervals is between 60-80k miles. Ask for documented proof of a timing belt replacement. (i.e. receipt)
2. Luckily you are already looking for a manual, automatics are more problematic. No fun either. As with all manual cars, a "toasted" clutch.
3. The K03 turbo has its issues. Rebuilding or replacing may be needed, not always, but it something to look forward to.
4. Coil packs, valve cover gaskets, and control arms are pretty common items that need replacement overtime.
5. To avoid being annoyed to hell, you may need to replace the LCD screen if it is blown. Blown pixels suck.

If you're good under the hood of cars and feel comfortable doing sh*t yourself (you seem confident), you don't have too much to worry about.

Ready. Set. Go!


06-25-2013, 05:39 AM
+2. Numbers 1 and 4 are a must do!! Otherwise, it leads to bigger problems over time.

06-25-2013, 06:06 AM
If 10k is your budget, why not go B6? Just curious.

06-25-2013, 09:03 AM
If 10k is your budget, why not go B6? Just curious.

I'm just beginning my search, and it didn't seem like a viable car like that was within budget. Looking around some more tells me that some can be had for that price; you gotta SHOP for a bit to get one that isn't messed up. I've now looked at like 10 of these cars.

The most impressive one I saw was a 3L 2002 6m, but the fuel economy on that thing is almost as bad as my Cruiser!

I'm also looking at Legacys, but every car in my price range has 150k miles on them. Yeesh!

06-25-2013, 09:13 AM
If I were you...

I would take the 10k, take 6 of it and find a good deal on the site below, and use the rest to do the:

T belt
Valve cover(s) and other seals
Control arms and Cv boots
Coil pack, plugs and wires
And some misc stuff

take left overs and have fun, wheels, mby some low and a nice exhaust note. Mby a chip? Above all have fun!


06-25-2013, 09:24 AM
If this is a manual, it might be a good buy. http://denver.craigslist.org/ctd/3887636661.html I would not get it if it was an automatic. Only get a manual.

I personally suggest getting a wagon/avant. You are use to the convenience of the cargo capacity of the FJ. An avant can haul a ton of stuff and still drives like sports car. Its the Colorado car to have.

06-25-2013, 09:39 AM
Also if you are wanting a B5, only get a 2001 or 2001.5. While the others are not bad, the 2001.5 is the best when it comes around to tuning possibilities or other smaller details. Stepping up the a B6 will give you the tuning advantages of the 2001.5 too.

good things you want.

2001.5 (wide band 02 sensors are good things)
avant (because why get a sedan?)

You live in Colorado so be patient, the needle in a haystack will present itself in no time. This is Audi's number 1 market. There are tons of Audis out here.

Another option is to call some of the shops in the area and tell them what you are looking for. They know people who might be selling.


06-25-2013, 09:51 AM
And make friends with 3zero3 motorsports in Denver if you are in CO. I like those guys.

06-25-2013, 09:59 AM
avant (because why get a sedan?)

Stop! You're giving me second thoughts.

06-25-2013, 03:03 PM
Stop! You're giving me second thoughts.

Wagons rock - there is just no way around it. I fell in love with wagons when I was living in Germany and an RS2 blew by me. I chased it down and was floored. I swore to get a sport wagon after that. I was driving an 85 Golf II VR6 that I built at the time too. I wanted that performance, that handling, that cargo room. Sedans - will never own one willingly. It would have to be a money making deal.

06-27-2013, 11:40 PM
I'm gonna say that Ca is Audi's number one market....maybe I am wrong.