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Re: Newcomer's questions

Zafer Mehmood writes:
>1. Is Bentley the best shop manual for the Audi or should I supplement it
>with any other?

The Bentley manual is the best source of tech information on your Audi,
bar none.  The only thing better is someone who knows the car hands-on.

>2. I plan to change the oil and filter every 3000 miles and use Mobil 1
>synthetic oil 15W-50.

If you use Mobil-1 then you shouldn't have to change the oil so
frequently.  It's not a bad idea to replace the filters every 3K to
5K miles, but you can just top up the Mobil-1 and completely replace
the oil every other filter change.

>I live in New Jersey and the viscosity seems right
>for the weather here (I consulted the Audi owner's manual). Is it necessary
>to use the Audi oil filter?

The Audi turbo engine has a different main oil filter than the non-turbo
versions.  I would strongly recommend using the factory filter here.
The turbo engine also has a separate oil filter for the turbocharger
oiling system (located next to the main oil filter).  This filter should
also be replaced when you replace the main filter.  The bad news is that
the turbo oil filter is quite expensive (around $25 from the dealer).
The OEM of the Audi turbo filters is Purolator, but I have not seen the
exact replacement from aftermarket sources.  Although Fram lists the
same model for both turbo and non-turbo Audis, I would not use a Fram
filter on an Audi turbo engine.

Non-turbo Audis use the same oil filter as the water-cooled VWs,
which are made by Mann.  You can get the Mann version from aftermarket
outlets for around $4 a piece, compared to the $7 that Audi dealers
charge for the factory version.  Either way, the quality is much,
much superior to the other brands (such as Fram).

In my opinion, the difference in quality between the factory (or OEM)
oil filters and the aftermarket ones is great enough to be worth the
few extra bucks, especially so since the oiling system is vital
to the well-being of the engine.

>3. In a similar vein, for which replacement components should I stick to
>genuine Audi OEM parts versus substituting with good aftermarket ones?

Air filter:
	Aftermarket units (like Fram) are just fine.  If you are
	fanatic about air filters, then you can go with the K&N ones
	that have a clean-able element.  The K&N is supposed to allow
	more air flow but I doubt the different is noticeable (or
	even measurable).
PCV valve:
	I'm not sure if your car even has one of these.  Even if it
	does, I doubt that it's going to require replacement in the
	near future.
Brake pads:
	The factory pads are notorious for squealing and leaving
	a lot of grime on your wheels.  When it's time to replace
	the brake pads go with a set of Repco MetalMasters.  The
	Repcos brake better, has less fade when hot, don't squeal,
	and keeps your wheels much cleaner.
Wiper blades:
	Use genuine Bosch replacement inserts.  They last longer
	than the other stuff.  You can get them for a decent price
	from non-dealer sources.
Spark plug wires, distributor cap, rotor:
	Definitely go with genuine Bosch parts here.  There is no
	reasonable substitute!  Again, make sure you get the exact
	replacements!  Non-Audi dealer Bosch sources are best for
	lower price.

>4. Is it necessary to change the oil drain plug gasket each time, as the
>owner's manual recommends? 

Yes if you don't want to have to over-tighten the drain plug and
you don't want a leak.

>5. One thing I find unusual about my Audi (compared to other cars) is the
>noise level in the car while its being driven. There is a rumbling noise
>that comes at all speeds.

The dealer diagnosis is probably right: worn wheel bearings.  The
quattro drive system should not emit any discernable additional noise.
I guess tire noise is also a possibility.

>6. A hissing noise can be heard coming from under the car when it idles.
>The dealer said its from the fuel pump and is normal. Do you agree?

Yes.  It's just your faithful Bosch electric fuel pump whirring away.

Enjoy a fine car...  Happy motoring.

   ///  Ti Kan    vorsprung durch technik
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