View Full Version : Buying an A4, what to check for

09-27-2006, 07:42 PM
Hi All,
I'm set to buy a 1999 Audi A4 (2.8 Quattro, 57k miles) for $8,800 this weekend. I've done a lot of research on the car and I'm very excited about it.

Before I head off to make the final purchase, though, I wanted to check in to see if there is anything you all could think of for which I should keep an eye out.

As I understand the 2.8 does not encounter many of the same difficulties as the 1.8t, but are there any broader systemic problems that plague the 1999 A4? Certain sounds I should listen for or behavior to watch for that would signal a deal breaker?

Many thanks!

09-27-2006, 07:48 PM
that seem's a bit steep for a car of that vintage despite the relatively low miles. FWIW, unless you're set on buying an Audi for enthusiast reasons, I would not buy one. I don't know much about the 2.8's but hopefully someone else can point you in the right direction.

09-27-2006, 08:08 PM
what is your intention with this car?
daily driver?
second car?
weekend car?
Does it come with records?
Was a the scheduled maintenance done?
Timing belt?
condition of aux belts?
wear and tear of the seats, does it look high traffic?

more information needed.
I would not buy a 2.8 for $8,800 but that's just me though.

Go for a test drive listen for clunks in the front wheel well. (Control arms are a known villian)

a lil feedback...

09-27-2006, 08:12 PM
8800 sound a bit too steep. Is it a 99 or 99.5? (search for differences if you don't know already). I would say the car is worth more around 8000 tops being flawless,meaning all the maintenace no major cometic or mecanical issues. T-belt?
If it is a 99.5 maybe 8300 but I wouldn't pay that much for it. Look around the forums and you should be able to find a better deal. If you wan to mod it you're looking in a totaly different direction at least performance wise. I would definatley go with the 20v. Hope this helps.

09-27-2006, 08:15 PM
I'm planning on using it as a daily driver. It doesn't have maintenance records, but it does appear to be in good condition (no evidence of misuse, wear and tear, etc).

The dealership paired it with a 3 month power train warranty, so I figure that gives me some time to make sure it's not a lemon.

$8,800 with tax, tag, title seems high to you? I'm still negotiating prices and feel like I can probably get them down a little further. What do you think is reasonable given the car's specifications?

Thanks (and by the way, thanks for the fast replies),


09-27-2006, 08:30 PM
if you plan on trying to make horsepower......wrong engine. Its going to be about time for a timing belt and maintanence around 60k as well, thats over a grand on your car if im not mistaken. i would not pay 8800 for a 99 2.8.

09-27-2006, 08:35 PM
The price seems a lil low, for that low of miles. But good luck with it!

09-27-2006, 08:46 PM
search the car classified on this forum and the others you can find a deal in a month
and what's going to go wrong with the powertrain?
it's the control arms, electronic gremlins and squirrels you gatta watch out for!!! [eek]

09-28-2006, 06:49 AM
Check the reflectors on the side of the car... between the front wheel and the front door. If this is yellow its a 99, clear and its a 99.5. The 99.5's have an updated interior so are worth slightly more for that alone.

-You can check the control arms by pressing down on each corner of the car, listen for any squeaks. Also listen if the car makes any noise when you make sharp turns at low speeds.
-The timing belt will have to be replaced, count on spending around 1K for this and use it to negotiate the price down.
-Look for leaks around the engine seal. The gasket seals go on the A4's. If you are ambitious you could get some brake cleaner spray and spray down the block. Then take it for a hard test drive on the highway and recheck it.
-Look for any missing pixels on the cluster (dash), they are not easily fixed.
-I'd also have an independent mechanic put it on a light and check it out. That is money well spent.

As others said I think the price is high. Dealers build a lot of wiggle room into their prices so be a fierce negotiator. I've read the 2.8's are a lot of more reliable than the 1.8T, but I don't really understand how that is true. Most of what I have had to replace has not been engine related... so personally I would suggest holding out for a 99.5+ 1.8T.

09-28-2006, 07:33 AM
Yes, I'm definitely planning on having a mechanic check it out before I make the purchase, and leveraging the built in cost of the timing belt replacement to bring the cost down.

That is really helpful advice about what to check for when I look at it for myself. I'll definitely keep an eye out for everything you mentioned.