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Re: Considering 1990 Quattro wagon...?

At 05:23 PM 12/3/97 -0500, you wrote:
>I apologise if this is not a good place to ask questions like this.  I
>do'nt know where else to ask (my news service went awry some time ago
>and hasn't come back online yet).
>I have the chance to get a '90 200 quattro wagon.  I know it's a rare
>car and all, and it's in good condition.  Seems it's been quite well
>maintained, actually, and has not had many mechanical problems.  The
>car has over 100000 miles on it, though, and the seller (a private
>party) wants well over the Kelley Blue Book dealer-sale value for it.
>Ther are a few minor problems, such as LEDs that don't work, and a
>couple of switches that work only intermittently.  The car seems to
>run well.
>My question is: how much can I expect to spend maintaining such a car
>as this?  It'd be just wonderful to buy it before ski season gets
>really underway, but in the long term how reliable is the car?  What
>kinds of things are likely to go wrong?  Will it leave me stranded
>somewhere without any means of getting home?  If an Audi has a pretty
>good history for breakdowns, is there a time in its life at which
>they're likely to start happening markedly more frequently?  Or do the
>cars experience a ggentle decline?
>I know that these questions are very hard to answer without knowing
>much about the car, but I'm just generally asking, I guess, for
>blessings or caveats from other owners.  This would be my first Audi.
>I don't care that it's a classic, although I'd take very good care of
>it: I just want a car that will serve me well functionally.  Pat me on
>the back or tell me I'm insane!
These cars cost the most in the 100k to 140k miles range.  As you might
suspect from this, most non-drivetrain failures occur at about 120k miles.
The power steering and braking system components are expensive and fail
about this point.  As do the cooling system hoses, radiatior, heater cores, etc.

What you want to buy is a car that has had most of the major components
fixed and is maintained well.  The engine and drivetrain should last well
over 200k miles without problems.

I look at owning a tq as a $100 (avg.) month hobby.  At the end of the year
I feel lucky if I only spent $1000 in parts/repairs that year.  Realize,
however, that there is great fun potential in these cars as well, so you'll
WANT to spend more money than you have to to keep it in top shape.

Good luck.  BTW, check the archives for a thorough list of common repairs.

John Karasaki