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re: memories

You're right when you say that "Audi doesn't give a rat's ass that we exist".  I just got a folder full of every service invoice for my '84 5KS from the original owners (parents :)).  It's well over an inch thick and the vast majority of invoices are not regular maintenance invoices.  The car started developing problems with the sunroof and other items less than a year after it was purchased in December '83.  While some things were covered under warranty, most weren't, and every dealer we visited followed the warranty to the letter.  Audi of Canada (VW-Audi, actually, I think) was no better.  I think they refunded 1/2 the cost of the second new sunroof mechanism we had installed.  After that, every other thing (and there were many) was paid for by my parents.  (I plan to add up all the service invoices and figure out exactly how much this car has actually cost my parents over the years.  When I told my father, he looked pained and said "please don't tell me")

Sorry for the ramble, but, the point I'm trying to make is that while Audis are wonderful cars to drive and in many respects very well engineered, in others they're horrible.  That would be bad enough if they were some econobox, but they're not.  The resale value may be terrible, but most of the Audis sold here in North America were/are luxury cars that were expensive to purchase.  The worst part is that at the first sign of trouble, Audi bolted.  There was no effort to keep existing customers by being somewhat flexible on warranty issues, or replacing obviously inferior parts with better ones for a nominal fee or even at cost.  No, it seems to me that the attitude of Audi (at least towards the type 44 cars) has always been "you bought it, you're stuck with it.  If it's too expensive, tough."  The worst part is that this strategy punishes customers and ends up hurting the company.  Almost everyone who finds out what I drive invariably makes a comment like "not for long", or "yeah, but how much is it costing you?".  Granted, any of them who have ever been out for a drive with me in the car no longer make comments like that, but most people think Audis were/are overpriced lemons.  This perception is shared by a lot of Audi owners/former owners, including my father.  The car was his baby and was treated as such, but he says he'll never buy another European car because of all the problems he's had (although I'm trying to change his mind).

As for me, I plan on keeping my 5K because I love driving it.  It's a slug even with a 5 speed, but on the highway, it's great.  And with all the 5K's in the wreckers, parts are (finally) relatively cheap.  I'm a novice when it comes to cars, but with this list as a resource, I should be able to do a lot of the maintenance myself.  I also wanted to say how helpful (and quick) people have been about answering any questions I posted.  It's nice to know that most of the people on the list actually want to help fellow Audi owners.

I apologize if most (or all) of my points have already been made by someone else, but I wanted to get that off my chest.

Jeff Mruss