All Road?

Roger Woodbury rmwoodbury at
Sun Nov 29 13:41:58 PST 2009

Like you I thought long and hard about an All Road.  Very nice car with that
trick suspension.  I used to have a really good relationship with an Audi
dealer that I had done business with both as customer and insurance agent
over the years. The shop manager had been there for a long time, and I had
gotten to know him very well.

About six or seven years ago, I was in for a service and got to talking with
the manager.  Of particular interest to me was whether Audi had managed to
figure out how early All Roads had such a terrible tendency to eat tires.
In the first couple of year, they would eat front tires and sometimes all
their tires in ten to fifteen thousand miles.  What John told me was

He said that they had changed some specifications about alignment and
balance that had helped some. But the cars did wear tires pretty quickly.
He said that the All Road was a very nice car to buy or lease new, but when
it was out of warranty, it was an excellent car for someone else to have to
worry about.

In 2001 I bought a '94 100CS Avant Quattro.  My wife was new here and to me,
and since she had never driven in a Maine winter, nor in New England at all
for a long time, I wanted to get a vehicle for her that would be as reliable
and as serviceable as possible here in rural Maine in our challenging and
changeable winters.  The particular car that I bought was from a dealer in
Kansas City, and they had a perfect service history on the car.  It had
39,000 miles on it the day that I picked it up and drove it back to Maine.

Today that car has 147,000 miles on it, and is as near to new as any used
car can be.  Our intent is to keep the car in service indefinitely and we
have maintained it to insure that.  The only real weakness in the car is the
air conditioning compressor which I know is going to go one of these days.
Otherwise the car is near to perfect.

All of the work we have had done on the car has been done by a professional
mechanic with whom I have maintained a relationship.  His shop does all the
work on all three of our vehicles, including my V8 Quattro.

The 100CS cost around $15,000 in 2001, and we have put just under $14,000
into it in maintenance over the past 8 1/2 years.  

My advice is to stay clear of an All Road with its entertaining adjustable
suspension, but by all means look for a really good A6 Avant that has less
than 50,000 miles, perfect service history, and NO northern New England
winters.  Then plan on keeping the car indefinitely, and do the necessary
maintenance to keep the car from deterrioriating.  It will last for as long
as you need to keep it in service.

The next step for the 100CS will be to the body shop for a complete exterior
restoration which I would like to do in the next year.  Northern New England
winters are  hard on cars cosmetically, but the Audi will not rust and only
things like brake lines, rear emergency brakes and cables, and the obnoxious
combination switch for the backup lights and tilt down right side mirror
that lives on the transmission tunnel are areas that will need winter
related restoration at around 35,000 miles of northern New England driving.

We do not use winter tires, but rely on decent all season tires and replace
them before the tread gets so low that traction is lost.  

Don't worry about which A6 to buy...which year:  buy the best example with
the lowest miles AND the best batch of service records that you can find.  A
'97 or '98 with less than 80,000 miles will be perfect.  The later 5 valve
cars are just that much more expensive to maintain, the basic car will do
whatever the newest ones will do.

Best of luck. It will take a detailed search to find the right car, but if
you are patient, you will find the perfect example and enjoy a rugged,
reliable high performance and comfortable car for years and years.


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