[A4] Repair or walk away - advice for an Oil Sludge victim?

Kent McLean kentmclean at mindspring.com
Wed Jun 21 07:04:48 EDT 2006

CoasterJames at aol.com wrote:
> I have a '97 A4 1.8T (Not Quattro) needing repairs and I need 
> to decide if  I should fix it or walk away. The car's oil light 
> started to come on intermittently.  We minimized  use of the 
> car and on our last drive the Check Engine light came on.  
> I had it towed in.  The service tech at the dealership advises 
> me that  at  minimum I need to replace the oil pump and related
> components to the tune of about $2500.  

I would get a 2nd opinion.  Find a(nother) independent mechanic
and have them look at it, but don't tell them what the dealer
found.  Let them make an independent assessment. It may be
something else, like being low on oil, or a bad sensor, or
bad wiring.

If the problem really is due to sludge, and you have followed
Audi's maintenance schedule with appropriate oil and filters,
and can document it, then I'd contact my local consumer group
(attorney general or other).  You may find a remedy there.

If you still want to keep the car, I'm sure you can find an
inexpensive used engine to swap into your car.  Try these
http://www.karquattro.com/ - Audi specialists in MN
http://www.force5auto.com/ - Audi used parts, for an engine

As for the mechanics interested in buying your car, of course
they are.  I can hear their story now. "It's a ten year old
car worth $6000 if it were running. It needs $7000 of work.
I'll give you $1000 for it, which is more than you'll get
trading it in."  They spend $500 on a used engine, spend a 
day swapping it in, and sell your car for $7500.  Profit!  
Run away from these guys.

Good luck.

Kent McLean
'94 100 S Avant, "Moody"
'89 200 TQ, "Bad Puppy" up in smoke

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