[A4] 1999 A4 2.8 quattro buyer's tips...

Jeffrey Goggin jeffrey.goggin at cox.net
Sat Jan 17 22:36:47 EST 2004

Last week, I took a friend by the Arizona Dealertrades.com store in
Scottsdale, AZ (it's just two miles from my office) to check out some trucks
they're selling on eBay.  While I was there, I spotted a 1999 A4 2.8q that
was for auction on eBay and although I've recently bought a 2003 Nissan Spec
V to serve as a daily driver, I decided to submit a bid on this car, if only
just for the hell of it...

Well, as it turns out, my bid of $11,555.55 was good enough to win the
auction!  Although several have sold for less on eBay, according to Edmunds,
CarDirect.com, and www.kbb.com, this appears to be a fair price for the car.
That said, my main concern isn't price, but condition, and since this dealer
offers a 5-day/200-mile trial period during which I can return it for a full
refund, I intend to check the car out _very_ thoroughly.  Obviously, the
timing belt, water pump, and radiator hoses will need replacing in a few
months, but what else should I plan on having to do over the next 40k or so?
Also, if anyone can offer me a guide to this car's typical problem areas so
that I can inspect them carefully, I'd appreciate it.

is a link to the auction listing.  The wheels and steering wheel suggest it
has the sport suspension package, and the carfax checked out okay, too.  I'm
not too sure how I feel about the tiptronic transmission, but my friend
raves about the tip in his Cayenn turbo and since at least half of my daily
commute is spent in bumper-to-bumper traffic, the ability to just leave it
in auto and creep along does have its appeal.  So, the bottom line here is:
Are there any reasons why I shouldn't buy this car and dump the Nissan?
(Fortunately, I bought it inexpensively enough that I shouldn't lose much,
if any money; in fact, with a bit of luck, I could even make a small profit
on it!  Try that with a used Audi!)

Jeffrey Goggin
Chandler, AZ

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