[A4] Just Joined -- Future Buying Questions

Dan DiBiase d_dibiase at yahoo.com
Mon Mar 20 09:56:27 EST 2006

Nathan Widmyer <lighthousej at gmail.com> wrote:  I just joined the list because I'm thinking I might upgrade to a newer
Audi.  I have a well-used 1994 90 and the car is showing it's age.  There
are big worn areas in the clearcoat, the engine isn't hearty like it used to
be (or maybe I'm just too used to the power and need more).  Soon it'll be
time to move on and I think an A4 is the right direction.  I'm interested in
the 2002-2004 body styles and I'd like to get a 3.0L NA instead of the turbo
1.8L, with a 6-speed and quattro, of course.

What should I look for as far as problems in these newer A4's?  Also, are
there any arguments for the turbo 1.8L over the 3.0L NA as far as
reliability?  I saw reports that the turbo 1.8L has problems in this time

Nathan,  I have a 2004 1.8T and have been extremely satisfied with it so far.  There were colipack issues with the '02 cars (primarily) but I would  think that any '02 would have had those replaced by this point. The  recurring issues I have had are -
  1) Glovebox door latch - I am on my third glovebox door. The latches are pretty
      crappy, allowing the door to flop open. For me, it mainly happened in very
      cold temps.
  2) Rear seatbelt airbag sensor - have had the seatbelt unit replaced. The airbag
      light still lights up occasionally when someone sits in the passenger's side
      rear seat.
  3) Switch gear delamination - there is some sort of clear coat covering on some
      of the switchgear - push buttons and the flip-up cigar lighter - that peels off.
      I have only had this on the cigar lighter and once it all peeled off, if was fine.
      No change in the appearance, really.
  Not anything major, just 'pita' kind of stuff for me. 
  On the 1.8T vs 3.0 - depends on what you're going to do. If you want to  mod the car, get the 1.8T - there are a lot of enhancements available  for it, to dramatically increase the hp and torque while still having  the better handling of the lighter engine in the front. Stock, it's a  little weak but since 90% of my driving is around-town, that's no  biggie for me. The one cautionwioth this engine is that you need to buy  an example that has had regular oil changes in the 3k - 5k mile range  and/or has used synthetic oil it's entire life. There has been a sludge  issue with these engines, primarily due to 1) Audi's 10k recommended  intervals for oil changes using dino oil, 2) a small oil filter which  has now been replaced by a larger filter and/or 3) owner neglect (pick  a reason!).
  Good luck!
  Dan D
  '04 A4 1.8Tq MT-6
  Central NJ USA

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