[V8] The faster rats.

Roger Woodbury rmwoodbury at roadrunner.com
Thu Jul 3 06:27:07 PDT 2008

We made a decision to put some serious money in The Green Horney last year.
My wife truly loves her 100CS Avant, and at 135,000 miles we have enjoyed it
for the past seven years and nearly 100,000 miles.  It was time to do the
serious suspension work...replacing shock, shock mounts, control arms and
assorted bushings underneath, and the list got pretty long.  The result was
more than $3,000 spent and a nearly new riding and handling car.  

The car runs perfectly.  It suits my wife's driving style and our needs for
a general purpose vehicle that has true, all weather capability.  It is
cheap to insure and register here.  

Last week as I was driving it, I noticed that the airbag warning light was
on.  This made me exceptionally cranky because here in Maine, if it is on
the car it must work in order for the car to pass inspection.  The Green
Horney will need inspection in the late fall.  Hence the airbag will need to
be fixed, and that could get pricey.  

At the same time, I noticed that the back up lights had stopped working. We
had also had a fair amount of trouble with the rear hatch not opening well,
as well as occasional stiffness in the ignition switch.

So, since it was time for an oil change, in the car went to John's shop.
And he immediately discovered that the faster rats had trotted into the car,
replacing the fast rats that we had replaced last winter.

The air bag is apparently either the cable of the bag unit itself.  We will
trouble shoot further later on as we need the car in service right now.

The rear hatch latch is kind of messed up, but has been lubricated and it
works better.  The ultimate fix is a $270 Audi part.  

The back up lights have failed because the switch on the transmission is
failing.  That lovely piece is an Audi only part that costs $447.00, and it
will take two hours of frigging around to replace it.  Hence I am shopping
for a new, used switch, and I will try that first.  

We do NOT want to try to replace the car and once our current period of
turmoil ends, we expect to be driving a lot less in this one, and the V8 as
well.  But it does make me wonder at what point do I try to pull the trigger
and buy something newer, perhaps with fewer problems.  Thus the age old
quandary to people needing to use cars in some form or at some time:  when
does nickel and dime-ing make sense and not make sense?  

Last spring a dealer in West Virginia had a 1996 A6 Avant for sale that they
had taken in trade.  They had sold the car when new, and had every service
record from day one.  The car has less than 50,000 miles...and I think it
might have been just over 40,000, which is what we had on The Green Horney
when we bought it.  We thought about buying that car since we were going to
be driving right by the door on our way to North Carolina later than month.

The firm price from the dealer was over ten grand.  I passed.  

I guess it is better to keep the old girl going than to do anything else.
And in truth, the car needs very little to keep it happy.  

But I had wanted to do the body and restore that next, not do more
mechanical work.  

Makes me wonder.


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