[Biturbos4] Buying a 2000 S4

adam Schwartz adamdschwartz at comcast.net
Tue Mar 7 23:47:55 EST 2006

Welcome tot he club Brent!

A good place to get used parts for 'cheap' would be:


They have most parts, I am sure they could get you a cluster

good luck,


On Mar 7, 2006, at 11:10 PM, Brent Henry wrote:

> Hi Folks,
> Well, consider me a full-fledged member now!  The mechanics check  
> was good
> and we purchased the car!
> Here's an overview of the mechanical review:
> - There was no record from either dealer that the previous owner  
> (one-owner)
> ever did the timing belt.  However, the Rick (master mechanic at  
> Agincourt)
> used a very cool tool (a long magnifying glass tube with a light  
> inside) to
> look at the condition of the timing belt, which looked in good  
> condition.
> Although, it is not about to rip apart, it is time to do the belt.   
> I will
> be setting something up with my local wrench to get that job done
> (apparently quite a big procedure).
> - Using that same magnifying glass tube (apparently worth $5K), we  
> peered
> into the V of the engine and could clearly see no coolant leaks.
> - Battery tested out good.
> - Rick tested the diverter valve... all good.  However, he  
> explained that
> this valve is used for a slightly different purpose then what Keman
> described (although similar).  He said that it is used to reduce  
> turbo lag.
> In the condition when you let off on the gas-pedal suddenly, an  
> increased
> amount of boost pressure is built-up between the turbo and the intake
> manifold.  This diverter valve takes that extra pressure and  
> "diverts" it
> back into the turbo's.  This will keep their speed up and thus when  
> called
> upon (when you hit the gas again), they will be spinning ready to go!
> - No oil leaks.
> - Spark plugs looked good.
> - Seems like synthetic oil has been used primarily, no brown  
> colouration
> inside the oil fill cap.
> - Center Dash dot matrix display is toast... looking for a  
> replacement...
> does anyone have one... cheap?
> - Speakers are all good, put ear up against each one, no rattles...  
> my wife
> had her own way to test them... Bon Jovi at 100 decibels!!!
> - Stereo, all functions working including CD Changer.
> - Rear diff showed no signs of being wet.
> - Wheel bearings do not have any noise, but I forgot to ask if they  
> were
> originals or not :-(
> - O2 sensors had intermittent failures in the VAG code dump.   
> Cleared codes,
> will monitor on my VAG-COM.
> - Temp gauge starts at left and warms up to the center position.
> - Suspension feels smooth, no clunks over bumps.  All rubber bits  
> look good.
> - Rick's thoughts on turbo's were that these early  models had some  
> turbo's
> that had manufacturing flaws, and would come apart prematurely even  
> if they
> were not driven hard (although driving them hard would shorten that
> duration).  He said that the turbo's appeared to be original and in  
> good
> operating condition, probably good for another 100K.  We tested the  
> turbo
> boost with a portable VAG 1552 and saw it around 1650 mBar.  He  
> also said
> that if the car was chipped, it would go above 1800.
> - No valet key.
> It did not require anything at all for the Safety Certification and  
> the
> Emissions test was done by the used-car dealer that I bought it  
> from (they
> are good for a year).  So it's certified and already on the  
> road!!!  And
> what a blast to drive!  Love it already, my wife is overwhelmed  
> with joy!!!
> I think we did good :-).
> Thanks again to everyone that helped,
> Brent.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Keman" <keman at interwolf.net>
> To: "Brent Henry" <thehenrys at sympatico.ca>;  
> <biturbos4 at www.audifans.com>
> Sent: Sunday, March 05, 2006 10:26 AM
> Subject: Re: [Biturbos4] Buying a 2000 S4
>> Hi there Henry. Welcome to the biturbo s4 mailing list.
>> i'm one of the lists resident (but somewhat dorment) ex audi  
>> techs, and I
>> used to have an '01 S4 Avant. I would recommend you check the  
>> following:
>> 100k issues or points of notice:
>> timing belt (and water pump) .. if it's not done now, do it. While  
>> I've
> seen
>> them go 130k, I would do them every 60-80k miles. If it does slip or
> break,
>> you'll experience the pain of replacing a lot of intake valves on  
>> top of
>> pulling the engine and turbos, as that's the only way to get the  
>> heads
> off.
>> If noone can tell you if it's been done or not, peer at the belt  
>> by prying
>> back the timing belt cover a few mm and look at the belt with a
> flashlight.
>> If it looks fresh and new and black, it's new. If it looks worn  
>> and old,
>> well.. it's not.
>> coolant: Right now it should be fresh and bright pink, not  
>> brownish or
>> orangish. Don't base it off the coolant overflow bottle, as it  
>> will be
>> somewhat discolored by now. But, those are only $28 at the dealer  
>> and I
>> recommend replacing them as they come with a new cap, if/when you  
>> do the
>> coolant flush. It's long life coolant, but 100k miles is a long  
>> time and
>> that's when it should be flushed. The only drain is the block drain,
> located
>> between the trans and engine directly underneith looking straight up
> through
>> the bellhousing. It's an 8mm green hex key bolt, it will be very  
>> tight and
>> need an 8mm hex driver and breaker bar, and needs a new O-ring  
>> (available
> at
>> the dealer) once removed. You need a vacuum coolant filler to put  
>> coolant
>> into these engines properly, so either borrow one or pay the  
>> dealer to do
>> this job for you.
>> Coolant leaks: Inspect for any pink crustys. Particulary look into  
>> the V
> of
>> the engine from above once the middle engine dress cover is removed,
> peering
>> in at a 45 degree angle through the small gap below the throttle  
>> body. If
>> you see any pink in there, your afterrun pump or coolant hardline is
>> leaking. Also look in back of the engine on the passenger side.  
>> Any pink
>> crustys = leak.
>> Battery: If it looks old and original, the cells probably need  
>> topping off
>> with distilled water. It's a maintanence item but few actually  
>> know that
>> it's supposed to be topped off regularly. Just twist each cell  
>> cover off
> and
>> there's a little MIN/MAX bar on each one.
>> Diverter valves: While looking for coolant leaks, start the engine  
>> up and
>> reach normal operating temperature. Put your hand on the two black
> roundish
>> looking valves, roughly 3" in diameter that point towards the  
>> throttle
> body.
>> There will be small vacuum lines running to each. If you feel either
>> "vibrating" or making fluttering or honking noises at idle, it  
>> might be
>> shot. To look further, if you pinch off one of the vacuum lines  
>> with a
> pair
>> of pliars and it goes away, that valve is shot. They die often,
> aftermarkets
>> that don't break (they use a piston instead of a diaphram) are  
>> available
> for
>> a couple hundred bucks. Highly recommended as I ate through about  
>> 4 sets
> of
>> the updated TT ones by 96k miles. They decrease strain on the  
>> turbos when
>> you lift off the throttle, so.. when they're dead, well... there's  
>> more
>> strain = wear and tear.
>> Oil leaks: Check the rear passenger and front drivers side of the  
>> V of the
>> engine. Any wetness would be the legendary timing chain tensioner  
>> gaskets.
>> They'll almost never leak so bad as to create a steady drip of  
>> oil, but
> they
>> will start to leak and get wetter and wetter, making some mess as  
>> mileage
>> goes up. These can be spendy to have replaced, with dealers charging
> around
>> 8 hours of labor for both sides. If you've not done it before, I  
>> wouldn't
>> try it yourself as you can drop tiny bits into the engine. I used  
>> to use a
>> small magnet to catch them. Valve covers- these start getting wet  
>> at 100k
>> miles. Loosening all the 10mm nuts that hold them on and then re- 
>> torquing
> to
>> 115 INCH/lbs working from the center nut outwards in a clockwise  
>> pattern,
>> slowly but surely, they may stop leaking forever. Or you can just  
>> change
>> them.
>> Spark plugs: Even though they're double platinum the engine still  
>> eats
> them
>> like candy. Misfire codes are a telltail sign. I'd swap them every  
>> 25k
> miles
>> if you like to get on it.
>> Oil: 5W-40 synthetic is a good idea. 0W-40 German Castrol is nice  
>> too,
> 0W-30
>> works alright. Basically, anything synthetic is great for this  
>> engine, and
>> non synthetic is bad. You can tell what it's had all it's life by  
>> looking
> at
>> the oil fill cap. Take it off and look inside. If it's shiny  
>> metal, it's
> had
>> synthetic all it's life. If it's crusty and caked and brown, it's  
>> not. The
>> more gelatinous cake under the cap, the less synthetic oil it's  
>> seen in
> it's
>> life.
>> Interior: The dot matrix display is a common failure. New gauge  
>> clusters
>> have bugfixed designs that don't drop dots or lines (usually) but  
>> fetch a
>> high price, $750 or so (remanufactured, which is good cuz it's  
>> bugfixed).
>> I'm a big fan of Stabilant 22 and CAIG's DeOxit D5, but I've not  
>> read of a
>> success using it on this problem. It does resemble a connection  
>> type of
>> problem between the display and the driver board, as mine used to  
>> drop a
>> line but only when it was really cold out. The gauge cluster comes  
>> out
>> without touching the rest of the dashboard, it's held in with a  
>> couple of
>> torx screws accessable by popping the top steering wheel trim off.  
>> You'll
>> have to reach in behind once the cluster is out a few inches and  
>> pop the
>> spring-cam-lock connectors (all three) on the back kind of blind  
>> to get it
>> all the way out.
>> Speakers: If they rattle with bass, they're probably in need of
> replacement.
>> The Bose Symphony audi system doesn't take kindly to aftermarket
>> replacements (it ends up sounding like crap) and the factory  
>> replacements
>> are around $90 each. In a sedan, the rear speakers are accessed from
> above,
>> not below. Kind of a pain. The door panels are much easier to remove.
>> Stereo: If it changes channels on you, it's posessed. They do that
>> sometimes. If it stops working, it'll need replacement. They've  
>> gotten
>> cheaper last I checked. < $200 at the dealer now for a reman if you
> provide
>> your old one as the core.
>> Rear diff: Sometimes the seals on the output shafts get a little wet.
>> Wheel bearings: They'll be either freshly replaced, or needing it  
>> soon.
> They
>> like to abandon ship at 100k miles. But they do so rather gracefully,
> giving
>> you 10-15k miles of warning with a steady increase in rattling noise.
>> O2 sensors: These don't like to live forever. There are 4. The  
>> rear 2 are
>> easy. The front 2 ... well. Only easy if you've done them before.
>> Coolant temp sensor: These get flakey. They're easy, check out  
>> audiworld
> for
>> instructions. If the temp display is anything but in the middle at  
>> normal
>> operating temps, the sensor is toast.
>> Suspension arms: If it clunks over bumps, it'll need them. I  
>> recommend the
>> VW Passat suspension arm kit from the dealer, it's 4 arms for the  
>> price of
> 1
>> audi one, and it's the identical part in every way shape and form,
> including
>> the part #. These can be installed without an alignment of any sort.
>> If well taken care of, 5k synthetic oil changes religiously,  
>> allowed to
> warm
>> up (one notch up on the oil temp gauge) before you get into the boost
> [which
>> can take an agonizingly long time], and cooled down (go slow the last
> couple
>> of miles) when hot, the turbos will last 200k miles. If oil  
>> changes get
>> skipped, you like to get into the boost while backing out of your  
>> driveway
>> on wintery mornings, and you drive around in 100 degree heat like  
>> a madman
>> and arrive at your destination and flick the key off and walk away
>> immediately, the turbos won't make it to that point.
>> There are failures unfortunately, and when they do fail it's  
>> talked about
>> very vocally because the price is extreme: $4-5k to have them  
>> replaced.
> They
>> must be done by the pair. If you chip it, it's going to add  
>> another factor
>> to this equation (heat) and make it more likely to fail (but not
> necessarily
>> so with much care and dilligence).
>> I liked to clean my climate control buttons if they got sticky  
>> with 70%
>> isopropyl alcohol. I'd just spray it on and wipe it off with a cotton
> cloth
>> a minute later, padding gently to soak it up. Repeat until the button
> frees
>> itself. Someone else mentioned just water, which works too but  
>> sometimes
>> takes a bit too long to dry and also might not attack the dried out
>> Coca-Cola sufficiently well.
>> That about sums it up for my sunday morning. Hehehe. They're great  
>> cars, I
>> miss mine still and I've got an '05 S4 Avant. I had mine for 96k  
>> miles
>> before FOOLISHLY selling it in prestine condition.
>> Oh and just for reference: The car should come with two  
>> transmitter key
>> fobs, a valet key (it won't unlock the trunk), and a plastic thin  
>> wallet
>> key. (4 keys total). The radio manual should have the security code
> sticker
>> in it. Don't let the dealer try to tell you that they can't do  
>> anything
>> about those being missing- they can cut/make/reprogram them all with
> blanks
>> on hand and I wouldn't sign for the car unless they hand you all  
>> four.
>> Remember: Be picky. It's an Audi. The engineers were picky,  
>> there's no
>> reason why the customers can't be. :)
>> Keman
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: "Brent Henry" <thehenrys at sympatico.ca>
>> To: <biturbos4 at www.audifans.com>
>> Sent: Saturday, March 04, 2006 7:35 PM
>> Subject: [Biturbos4] Buying a 2000 S4
>>> I have put a down payment on a 2000 S4 today.  It has 170,000kms  
>>> (or just
>>> over 100,000 miles), but appears to be in excellent condition...  
>>> I gave
> it
>>> an extremely thorough review inside and out with a lengthy test  
>>> drive.  I
>>> have also scheduled an appointment at the local Audi dealer to run a
>>> complete 300 point check on the car before I make my final decision.
>>> I would like to hear some feedback on what to look out for in these
> cars,
>>> with regard to electrical or mechanical weakness for cars with  
>>> this much
>>> mileage.
>>> The only things that I noticed wrong with the car, was that the
>>> trip-computer display was a little scrambled (intermittent)...  I
> believe
>>> that this could be cured with an application of Stabilant-22 contact
>>> enhancer -- on all of the dash connections?  How easy is it to  
>>> remove
> the
>>> dash?  Is there any procedures listed on the web somewhere?  The  
>>> other
>>> thing was that some of the Climate Control button movements were a
> little
>>> sticky... I suspect spilled coffee from a poorly placed in-dash cup
>>> holder?
>>> Thanks for any feedback that you can provide.
>>> Brent Henry.
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