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  1. #1
    Established Member Three Rings ralphie_43's Avatar
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    Fillmore, CA

    Advice on buying a used S4

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    I'm looking for a b5 s4 I have a b5 a4 but looking at the s4. What things should I look for when going to check the car out and what are things you recommend i should replace after purchase?

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Audizine mobile app

  2. #2
    Active Member Two Rings
    Join Date
    Jul 30 2018
    AZ Member #
    423345
    Location
    Lafayette la

    Do the timing belt if it hasn't been done and just find one that's been well maintained.


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  3. #3
    Veteran Member Three Rings VR6Bomber's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 13 2009
    AZ Member #
    42466
    Location
    NJ

    keep a spare around $1-20k in the bank at all times in case of the following;
    -turbo assplosion
    -timing belt snap-ola
    -the burning desire to k04,build the motor, and/or other irrational expenditures.
    -divorce lawyer
    -purchase of another backup vehicle so that you have reliable transportation
    I think that covers it.

    But for serious;
    Timing belt, an absolute must do, this cant be stressed enough, dont ask me how I know. (yea twice)
    Look for signs that the car has been beat on,
    Coolant and or oil leaks from either side of the motor
    Grinding 2nd gear/shift collar issue, an updated shift collar would be a plus
    dead dash pixels
    any sort of tomfoolery with the electric or engine harness
    dentist drill/white smoke
    cracked up seat bolsters
    rotted out stock rear speaker foam surrounds

  4. #4
    Veteran Member Four Rings
    Join Date
    May 09 2012
    AZ Member #
    93306
    My Garage
    08 A4 Avant, 05 Silver S4 2.7t swap
    Location
    Virginia

    To add to the above. These cars are 16-18 years old. Any moving parts. Plastic shit that is brittle. Extra coolant and oil because it will leak.


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  5. #5
    Senior Member Three Rings slowSfaux's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 26 2015
    AZ Member #
    329604
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ

    Quote Originally Posted by VR6Bomber View Post
    keep a spare around $1-20k in the bank at all times in case of the following;
    -turbo assplosion
    -timing belt snap-ola
    -the burning desire to k04,build the motor, and/or other irrational expenditures.
    -divorce lawyer
    -purchase of another backup vehicle so that you have reliable transportation
    I think that covers it.

    But for serious;
    Timing belt, an absolute must do, this cant be stressed enough, dont ask me how I know. (yea twice)
    Look for signs that the car has been beat on,
    Coolant and or oil leaks from either side of the motor
    Grinding 2nd gear/shift collar issue, an updated shift collar would be a plus
    dead dash pixels
    any sort of tomfoolery with the electric or engine harness
    dentist drill/white smoke
    cracked up seat bolsters
    rotted out stock rear speaker foam surrounds
    All of this.

  6. #6
    Veteran Member Three Rings VR6Bomber's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 13 2009
    AZ Member #
    42466
    Location
    NJ

    One more,
    That annoying-ass seat slide rattle thing.
    The plastic seat slides get worn out and the front seats will jiggle in the slides. Usually the driver's seat first obvious reasons.
    Its friggen annoying.

  7. #7
    Veteran Member Three Rings
    Join Date
    Sep 09 2014
    AZ Member #
    281468
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Michigan

    Run screaming and dont.

  8. #8
    Active Member Two Rings S4AvantGuy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 26 2018
    AZ Member #
    417727
    Location
    Appleton, WI

    Quote Originally Posted by VR6Bomber View Post
    One more,
    That annoying-ass seat slide rattle thing.
    The plastic seat slides get worn out and the front seats will jiggle in the slides. Usually the driver's seat first obvious reasons.
    Its friggen annoying.
    +1 on this. Shifts one way when accelerating, clunks back when braking.


    2011 S4 / Stage I EPL + TCU / CAI / B&O / Sport Diff
    2011 S4 | B&O | Sport Diff | IE CAI | EPL Stage I | TCU Tune

  9. #9
    Established Member Three Rings ralphie_43's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 18 2017
    AZ Member #
    405253
    Location
    Fillmore, CA

    Quote Originally Posted by VR6Bomber View Post
    keep a spare around $1-20k in the bank at all times in case of the following;
    -turbo assplosion
    -timing belt snap-ola
    -the burning desire to k04,build the motor, and/or other irrational expenditures.
    -divorce lawyer
    -purchase of another backup vehicle so that you have reliable transportation
    I think that covers it.

    But for serious;
    Timing belt, an absolute must do, this cant be stressed enough, dont ask me how I know. (yea twice)
    Look for signs that the car has been beat on,
    Coolant and or oil leaks from either side of the motor
    Grinding 2nd gear/shift collar issue, an updated shift collar would be a plus
    dead dash pixels
    any sort of tomfoolery with the electric or engine harness
    dentist drill/white smoke
    cracked up seat bolsters
    rotted out stock rear speaker foam surrounds
    Thanks for the information will definitely consider

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Audizine mobile app

  10. #10
    Established Member Two Rings Lanorg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 22 2013
    AZ Member #
    113795
    My Garage
    1997 1.9 TDI Jeep TJ
    Location
    Toronto

    Make sure you have an area/tools to work on it and can park your other cars without issue. These are getting old yes, but they have a lot of tech crammed into a small space and generally would do well with a thorough going over - worst case scenario, engine/tranny pull plus upgrades/parts. If you're getting into b5s for the first time, expect to be your own pit crew and the car will perform as it should.
    B5

  11. #11
    Active Member Two Rings Gandalf81's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 06 2015
    AZ Member #
    313797
    Location
    Locarno Switzerland

    Like you i hit forums, fb groups for info on what to look for when buying an s4 b5. so i finally found one, 99 avant in imola yellow, dropped on kw1, k04, rs4 dp, upgrated brakes and all the goodies including regular service and all the mods beeing documented street legal (they are verry stict here in switzerland), i drive 3 hours to go see her and she was amazing!!! Love at first sight!! So the guy guy asked me if i want to test drive it so we all get in, drive on street then drive on fwy and it was all gravy, car felt amazing in every way! So i cought up the xx amount and hop in and drive home... 15 min later I got my first radar, 71 in a 50 zone, 2 years probation and a 600bucks fine... So before i go farther i had 2 golf 2 gti then 3 a4 b5 before getting the s4, so for me when I floored it it was heaven, one of the things that flew over my radar because never owing or drove a turbo car i never knew how and when turbo kicked in, also on the test drive since it was my first car having that kind of power i didn't really gun it as i had the owner in it and like i said the car i drove before was an old a4b5 and this s4 was supposed to be around 320-340hp. So to cut short i didn't realize that boost didn't always kick in the same (didn't have a boost gauge) and only after some research I found out most likely one of my egt sensors was done for, ordered them from the famous polish guys that sells the replacement boards (80buck for 2) and did the work my self (couple of hours as i had trouble opening them) after that I also got a boost gauge and saw what the cars true capabilities where... So this wasn't a major set back but it was still a pain in the ass... So for the big set back here it goes... remember how i said i drove it but didn't pull on her hard, I did once in gear but never did any hard shifts as you know every cars clutch is a bit different and I also didn't want to grind it with the owner in it so I did pretty much granny shifts, biggest mistake I ever did!!! Lets go back to the radar I got, well i stopped and did a 1-2 pull till I saw the light flash, well i grinded while shifting but i told my self, new car different clutch got to get used to it... nope... nothing to do, every time i pulled 1st gear i would grind, I also found that if i down shift from 3rd to 2nd it would always grind but by this time it was too late, maybe a week has gone by, i contacted seller and told him about the issue and he denied ever having any grinding in any gear and said he doesn't know anything... So i was/am stuck with a super nice s4 with sychros on their way out, i bought the car in the beginning of november last year and for different reasons I havent been able to get it the job done (mostly cus here in Switzerland they will charge me at least 3k for a synchro replacement with stock synchros) and im not down for that, after research i found a guy in germany that doesn oe1 trannies and been talking to him to get the job done some time this fall/winter, its going to be a bit more but at least he will throw in an rs4 clutch and carbon synchros... As for the car I use her almost daily, I dotn pull hard in 1st and if I do I just throw it in 3rd to avoid grinding, i dont down shift from 3rd to 2nd, all i can do is go hard from 2nd gear up and I can drive agressivly in turns as I cant down shift :/ so im enjoying it but with some restrictions and with about 4k more of work to be done to it :/ Luckily the wife likes the car and she hasent pulled the sell that bucket card (and we have 2 kids with one on the way, its a miracle) So dont be like me, if you test drive it, dont granny it, not saying to hit rev limiter but try changing at 4-5k, I know if I would have know that small info I could have avoided this big headache! good luck on finding a nice one
    I want more boost

  12. #12
    Veteran Member Four Rings GrapeBandit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 13 2010
    AZ Member #
    68228
    Location
    FL

    ^paragraphs, and an occasional period would help A LOT
    CASABLANCA B5 1.8t
    BRILLIANT YELLOW B5 30V

    PCV? Just dump it on the ground!
    click-> Buy My Wheels!<-click

  13. #13
    Veteran Member Four Rings CELison's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 23 2010
    AZ Member #
    55053
    Location
    Lehigh Valley

    Quote Originally Posted by GrapeBandit View Post
    ^paragraphs, and an occasional period would help A LOT
    Agreed. Iím not reading that shit without some formatting.

  14. #14
    Established Member Two Rings TwoSnelz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 09 2016
    AZ Member #
    380498
    My Garage
    2001.5 Audi S4
    Location
    Northeast PA

    I read it and my life will never be the same.

    Sent from my XT1254 using Audizine mobile app
    2001.5 Cactus Green S4 - Rebuilt Motor, Frankenturbo F21s/Inlets, Gates Timing Belt, 034 Spider Hose/Rear Subframe Reinforcement/Rear Swaybar/Track Density Motor Mounts, XSPower Y-Pipe, 85mm MAF Housing, Stratosphere DVs, SSA Turboback Exhaust, JHM FMIC, Samco TBB, 550cc EV14 Injectors, Motoza 93 Tune, ST Coilovers, Rebuilt 01E, Southbend Single Mass Steel Flywheel, USP Slave Cylinder w/ Steel Braided Line, Clutchmaster FX400 6Puck Clutch

  15. #15
    Veteran Member Three Rings VR6Bomber's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 13 2009
    AZ Member #
    42466
    Location
    NJ

    Quote Originally Posted by Gandalf81 View Post
    Like you i hit forums, fb groups for info on what to look for when buying an s4 b5. so i finally found one, 99 avant in imola yellow, dropped on kw1, k04, rs4 dp, upgrated brakes and all the goodies including regular service and all the mods beeing documented street legal (they are verry stict here in switzerland), i drive 3 hours to go see her and she was amazing!!! Love at first sight!! So the guy guy asked me if i want to test drive it so we all get in, drive on street then drive on fwy and it was all gravy, car felt amazing in every way! So i cought up the xx amount and hop in and drive home... 15 min later I got my first radar, 71 in a 50 zone, 2 years probation and a 600bucks fine... So before i go farther i had 2 golf 2 gti then 3 a4 b5 before getting the s4, so for me when I floored it it was heaven, one of the things that flew over my radar because never owing or drove a turbo car i never knew how and when turbo kicked in, also on the test drive since it was my first car having that kind of power i didn't really gun it as i had the owner in it and like i said the car i drove before was an old a4b5 and this s4 was supposed to be around 320-340hp. So to cut short i didn't realize that boost didn't always kick in the same (didn't have a boost gauge) and only after some research I found out most likely one of my egt sensors was done for, ordered them from the famous polish guys that sells the replacement boards (80buck for 2) and did the work my self (couple of hours as i had trouble opening them) after that I also got a boost gauge and saw what the cars true capabilities where... So this wasn't a major set back but it was still a pain in the ass... So for the big set back here it goes... remember how i said i drove it but didn't pull on her hard, I did once in gear but never did any hard shifts as you know every cars clutch is a bit different and I also didn't want to grind it with the owner in it so I did pretty much granny shifts, biggest mistake I ever did!!! Lets go back to the radar I got, well i stopped and did a 1-2 pull till I saw the light flash, well i grinded while shifting but i told my self, new car different clutch got to get used to it... nope... nothing to do, every time i pulled 1st gear i would grind, I also found that if i down shift from 3rd to 2nd it would always grind but by this time it was too late, maybe a week has gone by, i contacted seller and told him about the issue and he denied ever having any grinding in any gear and said he doesn't know anything... So i was/am stuck with a super nice s4 with sychros on their way out, i bought the car in the beginning of november last year and for different reasons I havent been able to get it the job done (mostly cus here in Switzerland they will charge me at least 3k for a synchro replacement with stock synchros) and im not down for that, after research i found a guy in germany that doesn oe1 trannies and been talking to him to get the job done some time this fall/winter, its going to be a bit more but at least he will throw in an rs4 clutch and carbon synchros... As for the car I use her almost daily, I dotn pull hard in 1st and if I do I just throw it in 3rd to avoid grinding, i dont down shift from 3rd to 2nd, all i can do is go hard from 2nd gear up and I can drive agressivly in turns as I cant down shift :/ so im enjoying it but with some restrictions and with about 4k more of work to be done to it :/ Luckily the wife likes the car and she hasent pulled the sell that bucket card (and we have 2 kids with one on the way, its a miracle) So dont be like me, if you test drive it, dont granny it, not saying to hit rev limiter but try changing at 4-5k, I know if I would have know that small info I could have avoided this big headache! good luck on finding a nice one


    Now compatible with all languages, give it a try today!

  16. #16
    Veteran Member Three Rings m_haiser's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 24 2011
    AZ Member #
    74529
    My Garage
    Highland Green Allroad
    Location
    Oregon Coast

    ugh, you guys make me want to get rid of my allroad and find an S4 (preferably avant) alas I am broke and allroads aren't worth much.....

  17. #17
    Active Member Two Rings cakAvant's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 01 2018
    AZ Member #
    423427
    My Garage
    B5 S4 Avant, E46 M3, Porsche 997.1tt
    Location
    West Greenwich/RI

    Quote Originally Posted by Gandalf81 View Post
    Like you i hit forums, fb groups for info on what to look for when buying an b5 s4. so i finally found one... a '99 avant in imola yellow, dropped on kw1, k04, rs4 dp, upgrated brakes and all the goodies including regular service and all the mods being documented street legal (they are verry stict here in switzerland), i drive 3 hours to go see her and she was amazing!!! Love at first sight!!

    So the guy guy asked me if i want to test drive it so we all get in, drive on street then drive on fwy and it was all gravy, car felt amazing in every way! So i coughed up the xx amount and hop in and drive home... 15 min later I got my first radar, 71 in a 50 zone, 2 years probation and a 600bucks fine...

    So before i go farther i had 2 golfs, 2 gti's then 3 b5 a4's before getting the s4... so for me when I floored it, it was heaven.

    One of the things that flew over my radar (because never owing or drove a turbo car before), i never knew how and when the turbos kicked in... also on the test drive since it was my first car having that kind of power and i didn't really gun it as i had the owner in it and like i said, the car i drove before was an old b5 a4 and this s4 was supposed to be around 320-340hp.

    So to cut short i didn't realize that boost didn't always kick in the same (didn't have a boost gauge) and only after some research I found out most likely one of my egt sensors was done for so i ordered them from the famous polish guys that sells the replacement boards (80buck for 2) and did the work myself (couple of hours as i had trouble opening them). after that I also got a boost gauge and saw what the cars true capabilities where... So this wasn't a major set back but it was still a pain in the ass...

    So for the big set back here it goes... remember how i said i drove it but didn't pull on her hard? I did once in gear but never did any hard shifts as you know every cars clutch is a bit different and I also didn't want to grind it with the owner in it so I did pretty much granny shifts, biggest mistake I ever did!!!

    Lets go back to the radar I got, well i stopped and did a 1-2 pull till I saw the light flash, well i grinded while shifting but i told my self, new car different clutch got to get used to it... nope... nothing to do, every time i pulled 1st gear i would grind, I also found that if i down shift from 3rd to 2nd it would always grind but by this time it was too late, maybe a week has gone by, i contacted seller and told him about the issue and he denied ever having any grinding in any gear and said he doesn't know anything... So i was/am stuck with a super nice s4 with sychros on their way out.

    i bought the car in the beginning of november last year and for different reasons I haven't been able to get the job done (mostly cus here in Switzerland they will charge me at least 3k for a synchro replacement with stock synchros) and im not down for that, after research i found a guy in germany that does know e1 trannies and been talking to him to get the job done some time this fall/winter, its going to be a bit more but at least he will throw in an rs4 clutch and carbon synchros...

    As for the car I use her almost daily, I don't pull hard in 1st and if I do I just throw it in 3rd to avoid grinding, i don't down shift from 3rd to 2nd, all i can do is go hard from 2nd gear up and I can drive agressivly in turns as I cant down shift :/ so im enjoying it but with some restrictions and with about 4k more of work to be done to it :/ Luckily the wife likes the car and she hasent pulled the "sell that bucket card" (and we have 2 kids with one on the way, its a miracle) So don't be like me, if you test drive it, don't granny shift it, not saying to hit rev limiter but try changing at 4-5k, I know if I would have known that small info I could have avoided this big headache! good luck on finding a nice one
    there... it's more readable now...

  18. #18
    Veteran Member Three Rings VR6Bomber's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 13 2009
    AZ Member #
    42466
    Location
    NJ

    Quote Originally Posted by m_haiser View Post
    ugh, you guys make me want to get rid of my allroad and find an S4 (preferably avant) alas I am broke and allroads aren't worth much.....
    Nah, stage 3 allroad, 6sp swap, air ride delete, 20"s, paint the bumpers and flares and you is ballin'.

  19. #19
    Veteran Member Four Rings GrapeBandit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 13 2010
    AZ Member #
    68228
    Location
    FL

    Quote Originally Posted by VR6Bomber View Post
    Nah, stage 3 allroad, 6sp swap, air ride delete, 20"s, paint the bumpers and flares and you is ballin'.
    This, AR's look way hotter than b5 s4 station wagons
    CASABLANCA B5 1.8t
    BRILLIANT YELLOW B5 30V

    PCV? Just dump it on the ground!
    click-> Buy My Wheels!<-click

  20. #20
    Veteran Member Three Rings m_haiser's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 24 2011
    AZ Member #
    74529
    My Garage
    Highland Green Allroad
    Location
    Oregon Coast

    id rather keep the air ride, and 19s are as big as id go. I agree with the rest though!

  21. #21
    Active Member Two Rings Gandalf81's Avatar
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    Feb 06 2015
    AZ Member #
    313797
    Location
    Locarno Switzerland

    Quote Originally Posted by cakAvant View Post
    there... it's more readable now...
    ahahaha thanks... Im new to these forums and i write as I would talk... didnt think it would be such a problem for people to read it but I guess it was... anyway thnaks for the heads up, will try to do better next time
    I want more boost



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