[s-cars] Handholding for an S8 purchase

Gísli Óttarsson gislio at gmail.com
Thu Mar 29 16:02:42 EDT 2007

Hi Paul, et al.:

Yes, this one dropped in my lap:


I made a ruthless offer which involved trading in the UrS4 Avant (valued at
the same amount that I had paid for it 3 years ago) and they accepted my
offer.  The counterparty is a bank which had repossessed the S8.  Isn't this
the color of the S6 Avant I contemplated --- Ming Blau?

Radio issue is solved.  The radio has a TP button, which I believe is
somehow related to traffic reports in Germany.  Its light was lit and I
didn't think it should be but pushing it caused a prompt for a preset
channel.  On a lark I tried pressing and holding it and that did the trick.

The engine service light I referred to is a yellow light inside the speedo
in the shape of an engine.  I didn't get the codes, but the diagnosis which
the mechanic read back to me mentioned a misfire.  I spoke with him today
and he guessed that it had something to do with the air-injection into the
exhaust system.  Anyway, I asked the bank if it would go halves with me on
any amount north of $1000, which will soften any major blows if they agree.

Whatever ailed the automatic was bad enough that the bank deemed the car
unsellable and ordered a full rebuild.  Allegedly, it was the reason that
the owner, who had recently imported the car from das Vaterland, defaulted
on the loan.  Unfortunately I don't know the details about the failures or
its cause, but now the transmission sounds and feels right.  I get a 1 year
warranty on the work.  Rest of the car seems very solid and nothing
indicates neglect.

Fingers crossed.


On 3/29/07, pkrasusky at ups.com <pkrasusky at ups.com> wrote:
> Gisli Iceland'ed:
> <<<Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2007 09:16:24 +0000
> From: " G?sli ?ttarsson " <gislio at gmail.com>
> Subject: [s-cars] Handholding for an S8 purchase
> I've made a tentative offer for a European spec 2001 S8.  The car has a
> couple of problems which I thought I?d run by the list:
> The engine service-light is illuminated (as it has been on all 4 S8 of
> this
> vintage which I have test-driven in the past year).  A friendly mechanic
> hooked it up to a computer and the codes indicated that there had been an
> engine misfire.  As the car had sat on the used-car lot for a while, I
> didn't think too much of it and the mechanic reset the light.  Exactly 24
> hours later, the light returned.  Any experience on the list about what
> this
> might mean?  Any suggestions about the *worst* thing it could mean.
> The radio has a funny problem.  When first turned on, it will play for
> 10-15
> seconds (good fidelity, strong signal) but then go into a channel scan
> mode,
> followed a perpetual periodic beep (approx. once per second).  It also
> switches to this beep mode when playing a CD, except the CD will play
> first
> for about 30 seconds).  What might this be about?  Could it have something
> to do with it having recently arrived in this country (Iceland) and the
> radio somehow needing to be localized?
> Apart from these quirks it is a nice car with 60k miles on the clock.
> There
> is no record of a timing belt replacement, but the aforementioned mechanic
> and I looked at the belt and it looked very fresh with none of the
> lettering
> rubbed off.
> Its transmission was recently rebuilt by a reputable mechanic (allegedly
> the
> bill for this was $10000!).  But what is the story with these S8
> transmissions?  All the 4 S8s I have driven had suspicious sounding
> transmissions (mileage range from 60k to 120k).  Are S8 transmissions very
> fragile or very high maintenance?   Is the transmission flaw an indication
> of very poor maintenance (there are no records) or is it just the luck of
> the draw.
> Any general suggestions or warnings?
>   Gisli>>>
> Hey Gisli-
> Finally found one out your way huh?  Good for you, hope it pans out.
> By service light you mean the CEL or the service indicator?  Big
> difference.  If CEL, report back with what codes it's throwing.  Mine's on
> due to some stupid EVAP issue, I ignore it, it comes and goes at will.
> Someday I'll make Bob trace through the ETKA Evap screens I have printed and
> fix it for me, sure.
> Radio, never heard of any issue.  Sounds like maybe the "scan" button is
> "stuck" or defective?
> Tbelt, no concern, interval is like 105k.  However, these are known to
> mulch tstats and WP's within 50-60k, some do some don't.  Mine was addressed
> by PO and tbelt done then, assuming due to tstat failure.  WP, the impeller
> sheers off.  Nice.  Something to think about.
> Trans, hmmmm.  These are NOT like the pre-facelift A8's where trans
> hunting / thumping is GUARANTEED.  I've heard of ONE case on an '00 (Euro)
> where the last seal in the box let go and car would not grab reverse,
> causing need for entire teardown.  $10k???  <<<shudder>>>  Hello extended
> warranty.  Great piece of mind IMO!  Otherwise I've not heard of any
> reported issues on these boxes.  Yet.  Knock woodrow.  I'd be leary of "why"
> it was done, personally.  I don't think the trans' are suspicious sounding
> or fragile, personally.  Dunno what you might be experiencing.
> Best bet on the radio Q is to query the AW D2 folk, they're extremely
> knowledgable.  Worst case is I hear Rossato always wanted to / plans on
> visiting Iceland.  Have Rossato / will travel.
> HTH, and again good luck.  Find a buyer for your C4 4.2 Avant?
> -Paul

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