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I just purchased a used Audi 5000 CS Turbo, so have been doing some
research into parts and service. Although I cannot speak about asking
prices, I can address reliability and cost of parts issues.
Concensus in this group is that the Audi's need regular scheduled
maintenance to give a long service life...about the same as any car,
except Audis tend to be driven a little harder than your average
family sedan and component failures tend to be expensive. Plan to keep
it maintained and pay the price; my Audi tune up goes for $150.00 at
the local dealer, where my Pontiac 6000 ran $75.00 - $80.00. I have a
Turbo, whose oil filter (in addition to the regular oil filter) runs
$25.00 each, and there are no suitable after market filters available.
This filter gets changed every 3,000 miles, along with the oil.
Several owners on this group have reported near or over 200,000 miles
on their vehicles. (I have 218,000 on my Toyota, and 168,000 on my
Ford van, so don't consider the 200K mark particularly hard to achieve
with regular maintenance. Both vehicles have original engines,
transmissions, and have had no rebuilds to heads or other major
components. I am original owner on the Toy, 2nd owner on the Ford.
Knock on wood!)
Other items of expense:
Mineral based hydraulic oil required, usually $14 - $18 per liter, vs
about $2 for petroleum based oil.
Steering rack, $700 for Audi, was about $175 for my Pontiac.
High pressure hydraulic hose for steering and brakes. a known weak
point on 5000s, prices ranged from $84 to $119. Conventional hydraulic
hoses go for $20 - $25. Audi unit has pressure regulator built in, and
is a dealer part only.
Shop manuals, set of 2 for my 5000, $84 to $125. These are the factory
manuals published by Bentley. Both my Toyota and Pontiac manuals were
in the $50 - $55 range, and the Pontiac is also a 2 volume set.
My other cars run fine on regular unleaded gas and NGK $1.50 each
spark plugs. Audi's like premium gas and $4.00 Bosch tri-electrode
plugs. (Particularly on turbo charged engines.)
Exhaust system parts...you don't want to know! Audi uses stainless
steel in some applications, very expensive to replace if you want to
stay with factory parts.
5000s with automatics had some problems with the seal between the
transmission and differential. Check to make sure the ATF looks good.
I don't know if this is a problem in later models...Comments?
By now, you probably get the idea...expect to pay for the chance to
own an Audi. As the American dollar slips lower against world
currency, this will only get worse for us, at least. Shop around for
best prices...I found a significant difference in quoted prices of new
parts. Used parts are also available, and can often be the best way to
go. Aftermarket parts are also available, expanding choices for
exhaust systems, shocks/struts, brake pads, and other items.
The electronics are complicated, making troubleshooting more
*interesting* and the system is not as reliable as some others.
Components are expensive. If you are going to do your own work, the
manuals are a must have item. Electrical items are usually not
returnable; if the part you buy doesn't fix the problem, well, at leat
you have new parts in your system!
On the positive side, an Audi automobile is safe, comfortable, fun to
drive, and is built from high quality materials. I think my '87 5000
CS Turbo still looks contemporary in styling, is a terrific road car
for comfort and handling, and has more options/features/and do-dads
than I will ever use. (Like the lighted vanity mirror on the driver's
side visor. My wife likes it, though.)
If you have the budget for the maintenance and operating costs, like
to do at least some of your own maintenance and trouble shooting, and
are looking for a higher than normal level of handling and
performance, the Audi would be an excellent choice.