98 A6?

Kent McLean kentmclean at comcast.net
Tue Feb 12 16:09:38 PST 2008

Matt Ammann wrote:
> I'm considering purchase of a low mileage 98 A6 avant.
> Any particular things I should look for?  Reliable ways to verify mileage?  Does this car have the 30valve engine or the 12 valve engine? Which is better?
> How about 4 speed vs 5 speed transmission?

Who boy. Loaded questions.

First, it's an Audi, so look for electrical problems: switches, windows, 
sunroof, gauges, climate control, etc. My '99 A4's display has the dreaded black 
lines, a common problem with the newer instrument clusters (and the Type 44s, too).

Mileage?  Look at wear items - gas and brake pedal rubber, seat bolsters. Does 
it look like a 30K mile car, or a 130K mile car? Carfax may give you some info, 
but it only shows you mileage when the title transfered. An unscrupulous person 
could buy a car at 30K miles, run it to 130K, put in an instrument cluster from 
a 50K car, and you might never know.

30V v 12V. Better? Define better. The 30V is newer, gives more power, revs to 
the moon. But if you need a valve job, there's 30 valves, not 12, and they're at 
odd angles. Yamaha, who introduced 5 valves to the motorcycle world, went back 
to 4 valves for real world utility (manufacturing costs, mid-range power, valve 
adjustments, etc.)

4-speed v. 5-speed. I'll assume it's an automatic. My '94 Avant has the 4-speed. 
My '99 A4 has the 5-speed with Tiptronic. You can feel the 5-speed shifting 
more, but that's not a bad thing. And I hardly ever use the manual-shift part of 
the Tiptronic.  You'll get what's in the car, and it will shift as needed. 
That's what automatics do.  I don't know enough about the reliability of the 
newer automatics. My mechanic says they are sealed for life; don't open it up, 
even to just flush the system, as fluid will become contaminated and will 
eventually kill the transmission. That said, my '94 has 130K+, the '99 has 115K+ 
miles, and they both work fine.

It seems your looking at a last-year model. As someone said, the '98 sedans have 
the newer body/engine, while the same year avants carried on with the old. That 
said, the C4 bodied cars are some of the most reliable Audi made. You could do 
worse (wanna buy a '91 20V Avant? :).

Kent McLean
'99 A4 Avant, w/ quattro, V6, Tiptronic. "Yeah, Baby!"
'94 100 S Avant, "Moody"
'91 200 TQA #1, undecided
'91 200 TQA #2, up in smoke 2
'89 200 TQ, "Bad Puppy", up in smoke

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