[A8] A8 buyer advice

Mike Miller mikemilr at blackfoot.net
Sat Oct 6 16:26:43 PDT 2007

Thanks, Marty and all the others that replied on and off list.

It appears this 99 I saw in Helena has been sold  - I'm certainly not going to lose any sleep over it. I did see some nice ones on eBay but I am not seriously looking right now. It is good to know what to look for and I recognize Paul W's name from the 200 list. Seems to be some very good info on his site.

When I bought my 1st 91 200q in 1996, I figured my upgrade path would be to a 95.5 S6 and then to an A8. I may just skip the S6 when this 200q is no longer either driveable or worth fixing (but at 200k miles, it's barely broken in ). When all it takes is to hit a deer at 60mph to total a 200, I may be in the market sooner than expected. 

What's the expected hwy fuel economy when cruising at 5 over the limit in light traffic?

91 200q 200k+ dead
91 200q 208k - dead - took out a deer
91 200q 199k, Bilstein/HR, chipped and running strong

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Martin Karo 
To: a8 at audifans.com 
Sent: Saturday, October 06, 2007 4:50 PM
Subject: Re: [A8] A8 buyer advice

Mike, the big bugbear with '97 - '99 A8's is the transmission.**  A large number of them start "hunting" for gear when driven at moderate speeds, and the on-off power can drive you nuts in short order.  As far as I know nobody has come up with a good cheap fix for this behavior; a new improved throttle body or a new transmission seem to be the only sure cures.  Prices for the fix run from $500 for a DIY throttle body replacement (see Audipages for the procedure) to upwards of five grand for a rebuilt tranny replacement.  If the A8 you are looking at has not had the trans replaced, consider the cost in whatever you bid.  [Or, resign yourself to shifting the Tiptronic all the time by hand.]  Also, the timing belt MUST be replaced by 90k miles; if that has not been done, it is at least a $1500 job (do the water pump, thermostat and radiator hoses at the same time).  Paul has a pretty good buyer's checklist here:  http://www.audipages.com/usedA8.html

However, few things come close to the solid feel of an A8 hustling down the highway at speed, or clamboring up icy roads as if it were a dry summer day.  And the Audi seats are unmatched.  I would buy another A8 in a heartbeat.  I can't say that about my A8's predecessor, a 740i.

'98 A8Q 90k

** Before you blame Audi for a screwed-up trans, know that they bought this one from Porsche.  

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