[BiturboS4] 2001 S4 Mechanical Issues

Erik J. Engstrom engstrom at rawbw.com
Thu Nov 14 13:02:25 EST 2002

H folks,

I'm brand new to the Audi list here and I haven't been a participant on a
list in several years. I have a 01 S4 Sedan (nav, 6-speed, loaded) all stock
except for the Pole Positions and the short shift. I have 36,000 miles on
the car and drove it off the lot in March of 2001.

In that time I have had the following work done on the car under warranty. I
have the fluids replaced and all service with red line and love the

7,000 miles - windshield wiper pump stopped working after it developed a
leak, took three refills to notice. Haven't had a problem since.

11,000 miles - Remote entry/alarm stopped responding to remote signals,
replaced the receiver and some other bits, still causes problems.

18,000 miles - developed shimmy and squeak on braking, replaced the front 8
brake pads as two were crumbling along the edges.

31,125 miles - replaced all brake pads, rotors after discovering 11
different visible (with wheels on the car, in dim light) cracks in the
rotors for all four wheels. The car had just come back from a major
inspection the day before.

36,000 - Ignition column is having to be replaced due to a short that drains
the battery over the course of two days or so. This had been causing
problems with starting, I assumed it was just cold as the temperature
dropped. I'm also having to replace the cam shaft position sensor, which has
been the culprit for rough idling and vibration in the shaft during
deceleration scenarios. Been a real pain in the butt to diagnose - until the
check engine light finally came on.

All in all, I'm very unhappy with the maintenance requirements for the car.
I drive it hard, but... I think it should have been built with better parts,
or with higher tolerances. I don't really know very much about the parts,
but I base this on my 10 years of BMW ownership and that my 2001 330i has
needed nothing but basic service in 30,000 miles and is driven just as hard.

I'd like to hear some open minded opinions, other people's input and
experiences with the late model S4's. My plan is to ride it through warranty
and then begin modifying the car with top quality parts. No plans on racing
yet, just in improving performance and learning.

Thanks very much for your input and hello to the community.


Erik Engstrom
Point Richmond, CA, USA

ps. I have a New England nav system CD I'd love to trade for a California

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