Brought the car home - was: super cheap Avant on eBay (Long)

Dean Bredenbeck djb at
Wed Apr 23 19:51:53 EDT 2003

Dash light problem is exactly what I had when a solder connection failed
on the dash circuit board. For a while, hitting the top of the dash
would fix the problem (at least until the next big bump). Eventually the
problem became permanent and required re-soldering. Check archives for
picture of exact spot to re-solder. Unfortunately in my case, I debugged
this about a month before discovering the "list"....

Eric_R_Kissell at wrote:

>I went out to Baltimore and retrieved the eBay surprise 1991 200q 20v
>Avant on Good Friday.
>Southwest Airlines had a direct flight from Louisville for cheap, and I
>booked that only 16 hours before takeoff.  I have to admit that it is
>truly out of character for me to buy a car sight unseen on eBay and then
>less than two days later find myself on a one-way flight to a destination
>700 miles away with the plan of driving the mystery car 700 miles home.
>I checked my toolbox as luggage.  That was fun getting through the
>required security baggage check.  Picture yourself directing another
>person how to rearrange 35 lbs. of tools so they fit in your
>filled-to-capacity toolbox after the security check because you are not
>allowed to touch anything during or after the security check.  However, I
>definitely wanted my toolbox with me, because we all know that the
>likelihood of a breakdown is inversely proportional to your state of
>preparedness for the breakdown.
>In Baltimore the owner of the Avant met me at BWI airport and took me to
>get the car at his home.  After business and pleasantries, including a
>crabcake lunch at a local restaurant, I began my drive from Maryland back
>to Indiana.
>The UFO brakes had some vibration, but I heat cycled that out of them by
>the West Virginia line.  They are pretty smooth now.
>After 800 miles of driving I am happy to report that I am pleased with the
>car.  It will be a worthwhile project.
>Make no mistake - this is not a $12k car that I stole for $4k, but I would
>say that it easily has $6k to $8k potential with some repairs and TLC.
>Sadly, some of the "normal dings" are really better described as small
>dents, but they look like candidates for paintless dent removal.
>I have what looks like all maintenance receipts and records since new, so
>I need to look through those to understand what items were replaced and
>The sunroof was molested by some incompetent mechanic, but I already found
>the parts required to repair the sunroof in my local u-pull-it.  That is
>actually amazing here in Evansville, Indiana where Audis are pretty
>sparse.  With the new used parts I should have the sunroof fixed tonight.
>The strangest thing I found is that when I turn on the headlights both
>turn signal indicators on the dash illuminate continuously and the high
>beam indicator lights up with the low beams and goes away for the high
>beams.  Only when the headlights are turned on.  I suspect the combo
>switch might be crossing some circuits. Or, is it the instrument cluster?
>Can anyone help me solve this?  The controls actually work fine as far as
>making turn signals and lights work as intended, but the dash lights are
>affected incorrectly.
>The speedometer started fluctuating several times and returned to normal
>when I hit the dash above the instrument cluster.  I need to search the
>archives on that one.
>The engine hums along nicely.  It will make 1.8 Bar, but not as easily or
>in as many gear/rpm ranges as I would expect.  How easy should it be to
>make 1.8 Bar?  I keep running out of enough road to open her up because
>the car accelerates too quickly.  Good problem to have.  The fastest
>continuous speed I tried so far was a brief stint at 110 mph with a red
>Viper leading the way.
>My trip of 703 miles required 27.64 gallons of gasoline for an average
>fuel mileage of 25.4 mpg.  Not too bad.  All segments had similar mileage.
>This was mostly highway cruising at 75mph, but there was some town driving
>while visiting family.
>Both front interior door handles have lost the ability to open the door
>latch.  I can look into that tonight as well.  It is a bit odd having to
>roll the window down to open the door from the outside handle.  I guess I
>could weld the door shut and jump in and out Dukes of Hazard style.
>I need to check all belts and hoses and replace most of them.  I will do
>the timing belt and water pump job soon after I get situated in Ohio after
>our move in mid May.  I will begin migrating the systems to Amsoil
>synthetic oils soon, starting with the engine.  The transmission and
>hydraulic will have to wait until summer.
>The coolant is green, so a flush and fill is in order.  Maybe a new
>radiator as preventive maintenance.
>The "ABS Off" light is on.  I suspect a bad wheel sensor or two.  Maybe
>the teeth on a driveshaft are dirty.  Will that cause a continuous "ABS
>Off" light?  If not, what is most likely?  I did test the ABS with several
>hard stops and confirmed that it is off.
>The interior is dirty but in decent shape without serious rips or tears.
>Some scuffs and worn spots can be found, but nothing I cannot stand.  I am
>curious how well it will clean up.
>Can I easily remove aftermarket window tint with a heat gun or what?
>The owner told me the car needs a new power steering pump, but it seems
>OK.  I will have to check for leaks, but it makes plenty of hydraulic
>pressure without complaining.  I have seen no leaks or drips.
>The car came with a new set of Bentley manuals which I do not need because
>I already purchased them for my 1989.  I will offer those for sale soon.
>Maybe the guy that bungled the sunroof should have broken the seal on
>Volume 2 before he started.
>Anyway, my next project has begun.  I already contacted Mihnea...
>Eric Kissell
>1991 200q 20v Avant - eBay surprise
>1989 200q Avant, 1.8 Bar (qlcc)
>1986 5000cstq, 1.8 Bar (SJM), Bilsteins
>200q20v mailing list
>200q20v at


-------------    Dean Bredenbeck    216-251-6835    ---------------

More information about the 200q20v mailing list