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10000 mile report: Audi V8. (PART 1)

The following was prompted by Autoweek's Autofile on the V8, where I was
briefly quoted.  I thought that I should present a broader version of
what I think of this car.

I'll start off in the style of long term reports by first by listing all
the things that have gone wrong and then proceed to the opinions and such.

Defects found at delivery:

- trim loose around handbrake
- transmission indicator light inoperative

These were not serious, and I continued driving the car for a couple of
weeks until the parts arrived.  The mechanics replaced the entire instrument
cluster to fix the second problem because they could not find the fault.
I found out later on that the repair manual itself was wrong.  My new
odometer read 999,968 when I picked the car up.  Made me wonder how many
new cars actually have odometers that were fitted with negative mileage.

Defects found shortly after delivery:

- Left Front ABS sensor misaligned
- Front suspension subframe loose
- A few Rear defroster elements damaged
- Interior Rear pillar trim came loose
- Hood release lever came loose

The first was quite serious because not only would the ABS kick in on
the left front wheel all the time, but since this car uses ABS sensor
input to lock the center differential, I was getting into situations
where the center differential would lock when I was making tight turns.
This was a nuisance and fortunately the fix was simple and fast.

The second problem was not even detected until I took the car in to have
the steering centered properly.  They found the front suspension
subframe to be loose, causing the steering wheel to go off center.
The fix was also quick and simple.

The rear defroster was in contrast a nightmare.  I've related this
experience once and won't go into gory details again, but it involved
a long red-tape process of getting the fix approved, then waiting
for parts, then having the paint scratched etc etc.  This was 
uncharacteristically bad.  All my other warranty claims were otherwise
pretty good. 

I should also mention that when I first bought the car, Audi had
a program where V8 owners would get to drive a 100 while their
car was in the shop.  Later on, Audi dropped the program and the
dealer simply supplied various Subarus.

Non-warrantee items:

- cracked windscreen
- cracked foglight lens

The windscreen got hit by a rock and needed replacement.  Thankfully
the car shares the same windscreen as an Audi 100, so the part was
easy to find.  It cost $700+ but the insurance company picked up most
of the tab.  The rear windscreen is also the same part as a 100 quattro.

The front foglight lens also got hit and this time, the part cost
$55 and had to be ordered.

Unresolved problems to date:

- Passenger seat heater goes "click click click" when hot
- Automatic transmission reluctant to shift to third if car
  is started and driven off immediately.

The first one is minor and is not bothersome enough for me to pursue
it.  The mechanics tell me it's "normal" meaning that it's too minor
an item to fix.

The second one is a little bit more serious, but not all that bad.  It
only happens for the first 2-3 shift, and only if I drive off
immediately on a light throttle.  The slush will hang on to second
even if I lift my foot off the gas.  The simple workaround is to use a
heavier foot or to flick the transmission selector to "M" to induce
the change.  Once it finds 3rd, everything is normal from then on.  I
suspect that this might be a design weakness as opposed to a defect
because the mechanic whipped out his Audi V8 portable computer, ripped
out the front passenger footwell carpet to expose electrodes, plugged
the thing in, punch in a bunch of stuff and the printout indicated
that all electronic systems are a-ok.  I must say that I was quite
impressed by how they diagnose problems using computers now.  The
mechanic was certainly no grease monkey.  Does anyone know the
relationship between ATF temperature and automatic shifts?

And that's about all the things that I've had to deal with ever since
I had the car.  As I expected, there will be a few items needing
correction at delivery time and shortly after.  After that it's
smooth sailing for a long time.  This has turned out to be true
so far, and as one can see, the problem list is hardly long.

I'll continue with part 2, living with the V8..