Maintenance, spares, and owners

Mark R speedracer.mark at
Sun Feb 3 16:41:04 PST 2008

I agree with what others have said.  I'd add a few things:
Your 928 is much older.  A more reasonable comparison is DIY habits of 996
owners and newer.  You'll find the weak links in most of the newer cars is
the electronics and control modules.  The systems are very complex and
without specialized scan tools and electrical systems knowledge.... it's
just beyond the average DIY'er.

Also, the demographics of a used Porsche owner are usually different than a
used Audi owner.  The used Audi owner is driving his or her primary
vehicle.  VERY rarely is a Porsche a primary vehicle.  Also, a Porsche owner
will tend to have more discretionary income, and therefore might have
"spares" on hand.

Mark Rosenkrantz

On Feb 3, 2008 11:01 AM, Bill Shaw < at> wrote:

> I've had ample time in the past month or so to ponder the current state
> of contemporary Audi parts availability, maintenance requirements,  and
> owner demographics,  and I've come up with a few observations.  I'd be
> interested in hearing what others have to say on the subject who have
> more than my limited exposure to the marque.  I'm specifically talking
> about the the one I have,  the A6QA 30V,  and it's close relatives.  I
> can't help but draw comparisons to the Porsche world,  even though my
> experience there is mostly with the older models. Please don't take any
> of this as a slur against Audi or Audi owners,  I'm just looking for
> some insight and trying to provoke some discussion on the subject.
> First,  parts:
> I would expect with the vast numbers of these cars produced that there
> would be a huge pool of used parts to pick & choose from when needed,
> but that is not at all what I've found.  The pickings have been slim and
> the offerings of poor quality.  If I asked on Rennlist for pistons for
> my 928 I'd come up with 1/2 dozen offerings.  When I needed pistons for
> an early 4.5L Euro engine I even found a brand new set at a very
> reasonable price.  Not so here in the Audi world.  I did have one very
> generous offer (thank you Craig) but not the outflowing of support I've
> experienced on the p-car list. That leads me into owners & maintenance.
> I think (again just mho) there is not the same level of DIY here as in
> the p-car world.  At least not with the newer cars, there seems to be a
> lot more diy in the older Audis.  Note that even though this A6QA is
> almost 10 years old I'm still calling it 'newer'.   Is this due to the
> type of people that buy Audis vs p-cars?  Is it due to the overly
> complex maintenance retirements?  Maybe it's partly due to a
> self-feeding thing where fewer people are doing the heavy mechanical
> work so there's less technical support when needed, so fewer people dare
> to take on the maintenance?  It seems that a much higher percentage of
> the Audi population takes their cars to a mechanic to change a
> thermostat than actually does the work themselves,  which again feeds
> into the general lack of availability of used parts (talking trends
> here,  not just t-stats).  The spares & service seems for the most part
> to be staying in the dealer/professional network and little is trickling
> down to the diy world.  Or am I completely wrong here?
> One other observation & theory I'd like to present is the current state
> of my a6qa engine.  At 130k miles it is pretty much used up,  pistons
> beat, cylinders scored,  bearings shot.  I'm told that these engines are
> pretty much bullet proof,  which I would expect after seeing the stout
> manner that the main bearings are fixed in the block.  But there's
> mine,  dead at 130k.  My theory is that this car spent the vast majority
> of its life idling,  never really getting revved,   and that has lead to
> its coking & carboning,  which directly contributed to it's early
> demise.  It was owned by a family of 4,  the mama driving the babies
> around never pushed it,  the dad commuting 50 miles on the highway each
> way to work doing 65 mph not revving past 2k for an hour each way every
> day.  This is another one that until I got it was dealer maintained with
> synthetic oil.   Could this long term gentle use have killed the engine
> well before it's time?  Any other theories?
> I'm looking forward to your comments,
> Bill
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