A4's...limited 200 content

Taka Mizutani t44tqtro at gmail.com
Thu Jun 15 20:40:35 EDT 2006

No longer, but we did have a '99.5 A4 Avant 1.8T quattro in our household
for about
five years, purchased new, sold with about 65k miles.

Ask me more specific questions and I'll try to address them more directly.

As for as issues:
radio replaced early on due to dead pixels in display in cold weather, no
problems since (Concert)
coolant temp sender replaced under warranty due to it dying (around 50k
rear diff seals replaced due to leaking under warranty (around 50k miles)
driver's side control arms replaced due to them being worn out (around 55k
That's it- it was a pretty good car except the issue I describe below.

No issues with coil packs (that was '01-02 cars, IIRC). The big issue with
the ignition system
was an electrode failure under load that resulted in damage to the cylinder
head which required
a top-end rebuild at 55k at a cost of about $3k. That was really depressing
considering I just
had the timing belt, tensioner, water pump and front seals done at 54k to
avoid that issue (timing
belt tensioner failure causing catastrophic damage to the head and valves).

As for performance stuff, H&R coilovers made a world of difference in the
overall dynamics of the car,
esp. with just slightly lower than stock ride height rather than "slammed."
The Borla 2.5" exhaust
made a difference in terms of spool-up and throttle response, even with the
tiny K03 turbo. The brakes
need upgrading (I could fade the stock brakes on the street once I had H&R
coilovers and a chip).

The A4 is a much more solid chassis than the type 44, gets better gas
mileage and has better controls
(sunroof, auto up/down windows, remote keyless entry with window and sunroof
control, etc.). It's also
a much smaller car- not as good on the highway because of the shorter
wheelbase. The engine really
lacks top end (kind of runs out of steam at about 70mph, really goes flat
around 90). The 200q20v chipped
pulls hard past 100, goes quite well to about 130-140.

I only ran Mobil 1 0W40 "European Formula" with the black cap once out of
the break-in period. No issues
with the oil, the head looked very free of carbon when it was off the car.

Aftermarket bypass valve is necessary- the 1.8Ts seem to run through them
much faster than the 200 ever did.

If you like the strengths of the 200 (big, comfortable car, great highway
cruiser, great top end performance),
you would probably be better served looking for an A6 2.7T 6-speed. That's
much more along the lines of the 200,
but with similar performance in a much more modern package. That's about the
only semi-current Audi that I'd
really want (the B5/6/7 S4s are nice but too small and I already have a car
that outperforms them). If they made
the A6 4.2 available with manual transmission, I'd actually take that over
the 2.7T, though.


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