[BiturboS4] RE: Headlight Dimming & My Service Woes

Erik J. Engstrom engstrom at rawbw.com
Fri Jan 31 09:45:05 EST 2003

I get a kick out of watching my headlights dim when I pull up on both front
window controls simultaneously. You can make the headlight flicker quite a
bit when both windows are already up all the way. I haven't noticed the
dimming with the ABS engaged.

I've never had a problem with any of my bimmers, but had huge problems with
my first American and Japanese cars. Spent over $3500 in trying to solve my
91 CRX's problems in the early nineties. Never did. Ever. Ghost in the
electrical systems. Replaced the wiring, alternator, battery multiple
times... What a POS that was for me.

My S4 has been in the shop for two weeks. Originally the cam position sensor
failed while I was on a road trip. I was advised it was safe to drive. I
drove it. Returned and finally got the car in after the Christmas break. The
sensor was replaced, they replaced the tensioner and did the 40k service and
some other work I wanted done. I went in to pick up the car on Monday, drove
down the driveway and entered traffic on the street. My engine shuddered,
tach began seeking between 500rpm and 1500rpm violently without any pressure
on the throttle. It settled down and I shifted into second and eased on the
gas. Warning light came on halfway down the block and I returned the car.

It threw a fault code that the computers didn't pick up. They couldn't
reproduce it in the shop just by running the car and they contacted Audi's
techline. They called and asked: "We need the original chip you had in the
car, the stock chip." This pissed me off beyond words. The stock chip WAS IN
THE CAR and had never been touched despite my eagerness to do so out of
warranty. Couldn't they look before calling and asking a stupid and slightly
pissy question? No. They called later and asked if the shop foreman could
drive the car home in hopes of triggering the fault and I agreed. He
triggered the same fault not far from the driveway, as I had. Audi Techline
still didn't know what the fault was... Uh what?

Next they tested the linkage in the wire harness between the gizmo and the
ECM, ruling that out. They then blamed a possible short in the soldering of
the ECM and ordered a new one. That should be installed today and we'll be
on to the next stage of the problem solving. I had never had any engine
problems with the car, but suddenly after the service and the cam shaft
work, the car is displaying serious engine problems. I'm getting a little
angry and I want my damn S4 back. Any advice, other than calming down and
being patient?

Have a good weekend.


03.2001 S4 stock 6spd blk/blk loaded
06.1987 325IS stage 3 5spd brnz/tan loaded

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