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Re: S4 vs. V8

On Sun, 20 Nov 1994, NED BENNETT wrote:

> My dearest Eliot....:-)
> Can I get you a cup of coffee?

anytime.. :)

> I just think that the service experience over time will be much more
> expensive for the V8.  Briefly, some of my specific concerns are the alloy
> block,

there is absolutely no statistical nor anectodal evidence that the
engine block in an audi v8 will not outlast the rest of the car.  this
engine in a much higher state of tune has won 2 german touring car

> three cats instead of one, 

the v8 has *two* cats, no more than the s4 or 200 20v.

> two distributors instead of DIS,

how much does a distributor cost?

> two
> heads w/ 4 cams & 32 valves instead of 1, 2, & 20 if a timing belt goes,

i will grant you that the timing belt replacement is somewhat
expensive, around the $500-600 range.  but since there is no evidence
of premature belt breakage it is irrelevant what the potential damage
is if the timing belt is changed according to the factory recommended
intervals.  i don't worry about bending valves in the same way i don't
worry about a 747 crashing through my roof.

> and a transmission that isn't allowed internal warranty repairs at the
> dealership level. 

that is true.  they also don't allow the dealers to do firmware
upgrades to various computerised components.

> Come to think of it, the V8 w/ 160k came to us after the
> dealership charged $1600 to service the transmission...routine service.
> Now I know this dealership well, used to work for them, still hang with the
> techs some, and they aren't inexpensive...but they aren't crooked either.

the only listed maintenence item for the slushbox is to replace the
fluid every 30K.. cost maybe $60 or so.  so i am curious as to what
this $1600 job is.  i spoke to my v8 mechanic friday night.  he
says that the transmission filter takes 4-5 hours to replace but
this is not a maintenence item.  even at the dealer rate of $58/hr,
we're talking about several hundred bucks.  he also says that the
transmission, given regular fluid changes will last 300K along with
the engine.  the early ones were buggy, but many were simply replaced
completely under warranty.

> Granted, these cars work wonderfully for the most part but eventually
> service will become a factor. And that's probably part of the reason for
> trading the 200 I would think.

i think that anybody who buys an audi can reasonably expect to pay
more for service than your average ford/chevy.  i don't agree with the
suggestion that the v8 is going to be a nightmare car.  it will be
expensive, but not unexpectedly so compared to other audis.  i help my
v8 mechanic mess around with his windoze pc, so he spills the dirt on
these cars.  there is no dirt to be spilled as far as he's concerned,
especially stuff like premature engine block failure or premature belt
breakage.  believe me, if there is dirt to be spilled, i would be
the first to tell everybody here.

the only dirt i can dig up on the car are the now abandoned internal
caliper brake discs which cost $500 (?) a pop.  mine and a couple of
other v8s have had the discs converted to regular 200q discs, so one
could tell potential buyers to look out for this.  

the v8 takes the same shocks (about $70) as the 200q.  plugs cost
around $10 a piece, oil filter $18, takes 8.5 quarts in the sump.
costs more, but not that much more.  how much does timing belt
replacement on the 20valve head cost?  cost me around $500-$600 on the
v8.  actually the dealer got extended warranty to cover part of that
cost for me because a water pump replacement had overlapping labor.