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Ramblings of a madman.
As I stated in my last post, about the CISE-III problem, my 1985 Q has been
the absolute worst Audi I've owned thus far. Okay, it's a 13 y/old car. My
first 5K Avant, another 1984, gave me many years of pleasure filled work-
related driving. After 250K with the same engine and second trans, I decided
to put her out to pasture. My first Audi was a 1986 4000S 5-spd. It was a
prince, that car. I sold it to a good friend with over 280K on the original
motor, and he still drives it. I Replaced very few items. It had a couple of
major repairs, but to be expected considering the beating I gave it.
Well, the Q had always been something I wanted, and I figured, based on
my past experience, that the Quattro would make a nice, cheap daily/fun/fixup
car that I could get into very cheaply, and modify it to be alot more fun that
the boring old 4000S. I purchased the car from a small dealership in upstate
New York, who hadn't the foggiest clue what the car was or what it was worth.
After checking out the car's history, and calling a repair shop's number I
found in the door jamb, I decided it had a good life. When I picked it up, it
had just over 100K on the (Still functional!) odo. I drove it home to Long
Island and I was happy. All was good. Well, on the ride home, the brake
warning light flashed on. I pulled off at the next exit and found the brake
fluid was low. I purchased a small bottle for some absurd roadside price and
filled the resevoir. Light extinguished, I carried on my journey. The light
came on again, after idling in traffic for an hour. When I pulled off this
time, I looked all about the underside of the car to see if there were any
leaks. I found none near the brakes, so I took a peak up under the dash. Dry.
Then I refilled the resevoir, and pumped the brakes a couple times. I heard a
little squish sound whenever I hit the pedal. I looked under the hood and
discovered the prop. valve leaking. I knew all about this little item, so I
was comforted in knowing I could pick one up for about $60.00. Wholesale (Audi
list.. $250 ish?) The balance of the journey went as planned, except for
having to stop to refill the brake fluid two more times.
I should have known at this point it would never stop. What's that old
addage about cars made on Mondays/Fridays?
I got the car home, and did my usual defunking. All stickers. emblems,
etc removed, all off brand tune up parts and filters changed. I found all
original equipment filters under and over, so I was happy. The oil came out
fairly clean, and only the valve cover gasket seemed to be leaking.
Two weeks later, it wouldn't start. Cranked and cranked, dead. I took the
5K to work. When I came home, it started right up.
Drove for another three weeks, and it died while I was making a turn. I
walked three miles to a phone (The cell batt. was dead, and the car cord home)
to call for help. Help arrived, and I get back to the car. Starts right up.
I went full tilt, changed fuel pump relay, cleaned every contact and
ground connection, wiggled this and that.
Two months later, It's dead in the driveway. Cranks, no start. I pull
one of the wires, no spark. I took another ignition distributor off the shelf,
and hooked it up. I spun it, and had spark.
New Ignition distributor in place, I am confident the worst is behind
Coming home from the north shore, it's losing power. Slowly, but surely,
losing what little extra energy it has. I attempt to pull from a stop light,
it sputters and stalls. Cranking is labored and unsteady. Hmm. Timing belt
looked new. I push it to the side, and walk. Again.
I flatbed it to my shop, and I pull the timing cover off. Belt looks
okay, but it's not moving. After a complete disassemlby, I find the crank
sprocket broken. Hmm. Allright. We'll chaulk this one up to improper
tightening procedure, as the Coupe did the same, but was caught in time.
Well, it's been almost 2 years with this junker. After investing over
$2000 in (wholesale) parts, (Both preventitive maint. and repairs) It's
tempermental and unreliable. A look at the wiring diagrams for 1985 vs 1986/7
reveals many differences. It's dynamically the best Audi I've owned, and it
looks great. Always ready for a romp in the snow or rain, but I won't take it
on a long trip. Battery goes dead from time to time. It's posessed. Things
stop working, then work again. Fuses blow. Who nows? I keep it in top
mechanical shape. I fix things before they break. I know I should just bite
the bullet and buy a new warrantied car, but why? I can afford four for the
price of one.
I would like to hear some other views. I just wonder if 1985 was not
a good year, being the first year for this updated bodystyle. Then again, I've
seen flawless early 5Ks with no usual maladies, while other later ones are
My car had a resonable (verifyable) service history prior to my
ownership. It wasn't abused or driven in the city.
Well, thanks for letting me vent.