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$950 on Red, engine computer roulet...

So while searching the NHTSA site, I came across a service bulletin for the
'90 Audi that says there is updated software for the engine management computer
that fixes a problem where it occasionally goes into "limp home mode".  I
took the copy of the bulletin in to my shop, and asked them to diagnose it to
see if it could be what's causing the lack of power at 3300RPM, followed by
a huge surge at 3700RPM.

Their diagnosis was that there wasn't anything else wrong, but that it was
probably a 50/50 chance that the computer was causing the problem and that
the new computer would fix it.  Cost for new computer?  $870 + $50 labor.
Since it's electronic, they won't put a replacement in and try it to see
if it fixes it.  If they put it in my car, I have to buy it.  <sigh>

This is the thing I'm most unhappy with about the car.  It's the reason
I'm looking at getting a new Audi, and it's also the reason I'm looking
at NOT getting a new Audi (I'd kick myself if the new Audi did something
like this after 3 years and I spent several thousand on mechanics telling
me they don't know what it is).

The service guy said the 20 valve's all do it -- they're fine for a
couple of years, then they get this hesitation.  They can't seem to
find anything wrong.  Am I crazy to expect them to be able to figure
out why my car has such bad drivability?

Any suggestions?  According to the dealer, the entire computer has to
be upgraded for the service bulletin, not just a ROM.  However, aren't
there aftermarket ROMs you can get to tweek it?  I'd certainly be
more willing to do a 50% gamble on $150 or $200 than $1000.  Perhaps
I can find a better price on the computer than $875...  Even at $500
I could deal with it...

Thanks for listening,
"We just wanted to give the band a little more thrust than most other bands."
        - Donald Fagen's reply to why they chose the band name 'Steely Dan'
Sean Reifschneider, Inimitably Superfluous <jafo@tummy.com>
URL: <http://www.tummy.com/xvscan>  HP-UX/Linux/FreeBSD X11 scanning software.