[Biturbos4] Center dash display replacement?

Grant Lenahan glenahan at vfemail.net
Wed Mar 8 20:06:07 EST 2006

It probably will happen again. I dont know of any improvement. Maybe 
others have ....
On Mar 8, 2006, at 9:34 AM, Brent Henry wrote:

> If I were to find a used replacement dash, how could I tell that the 
> same
> problem is not going to happen again?  Is there a version number
> upgrade/fix?
> And what can you do about the digital odometer?  Is there a way to set 
> the
> odo with VAG-COM back to the original mileage (not likely... probably 
> only
> can reset to zero).
> Thanks,
> Brent.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "adam Schwartz" <adamdschwartz at comcast.net>
> To: "Brent Henry" <thehenrys at sympatico.ca>
> Cc: <biturbos4 at www.audifans.com>
> Sent: Tuesday, March 07, 2006 11:47 PM
> Subject: Re: [Biturbos4] Buying a 2000 S4
>> Welcome tot he club Brent!
>> A good place to get used parts for 'cheap' would be:
>> http://dadsauto.com/
>> They have most parts, I am sure they could get you a cluster
>> good luck,
>> Adam
>> 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
>>> MUCH
>>>> 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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>>> Biturbos4 at www.audifans.com
>>> http://www.audifans.com/mailman/listinfo/biturbos4
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