[A4] An A4 quattro road trip! (long)

Quincy Chiang b5quattro at shaw.ca
Wed Apr 14 05:10:07 EDT 2004

Haha, sounds like a nice trip!  I'll be driving from Calgary to SanFrancisco in 2 weeks, should be fun, wish me luck!  Oh and I'll be bring my floor jack just in case ;-)

Btw, elevation does make a huge difference.  When I visited Boston last year, I couldn't believe how pepply my cousin's 2.2L Camry was with 5 passengers on board!  Our slightly older Camry would be labouring with just 2 people in it at our elevation.

'01.5 S4
'90 CoupeQ 

----- Original Message -----
From: Single Malt <s_malt at yahoo.com>
Date: Tuesday, April 13, 2004 9:46 pm
Subject: [A4] An A4 quattro road trip! (long)

> We just returned from a 2900 mile 5-day road trip in my wife's '03 
> 3.0 tip A4
> ... man what a nice ride!  We drove two days out one day layover 
> and two days
> back.  
> I enjoyed the cruise control while she liked the variety of the 
> manuallycontrolled throttle.  We had straight and long stretches 
> of road to work with. 
> The V1 was *extremely* helpful, however using ones eyes is also 
> *extremely*important!  We got lucky one time when an oncoming semi-
> plain car (no light bar
> and low-key graphics) trooper fired his instant-on over his 
> shoulder at us
> while we were quite obviously driving *very* briskly.  A truck had 
> just merged
> over to the fast lane between us and the radar (maybe saving our 
> skins) ... he
> still whipped a u-turn and opened up his throttle to catch up with 
> us.  He
> pulled up along side and peered in at us pointedly.  I eventually 
> waved to him
> out of anxiety and he sped off (only to later return down the 
> oncoming lanes
> again).  My wife asked if I had really waved at him ... what else 
> could I do? 
> Most of the rest of the threats were detected *well* in advance.
> The power of the 3.0 NA V6 was a pure pleasure.  As we descended 
> in elevation
> the power curve increase was noticeable.  My wife began using the tip
> spiritedly at that point.  She loved the growl of the exhaust note 
> as she
> downshifted and punched the throttle to the floor.  Her words: 
> "Ooooo ...
> o-ho-ho!"  In Denver, the power is exhilarating, but the 
> lowlanders really have
> it made in this department.  This car is nothing like my biturbo, 
> but at speed
> its acceleration is fun and dominates the majority of other 
> vehicles we
> encountered.  My wife's term for the power is "decision made" as 
> she floors it
> and puts distance between her and the car that has been annoyingly 
> pacing us as
> we passed ... or ... even more irritating, the fast-lane blockers 
> ... they
> require a jink to the right followed by a well-timed jink to the 
> left coupled
> smoothly with a downshift (or two, as the situation dictates) and 
> wide open
> throttle.  Nicely done.
> The tracking of the steering was effortless and allowed us to have 
> extendedshifts at the wheel with little fatigue (bladders 
> allowing).  We swapped
> driving every tankful or so ... about every four hours.  We were 
> getting an
> average of 22.1 MPG at an impressive average speed.
> We were running our Dunlop Winter Sport M3's as winter is still 
> upon us in the
> mountains.  We unfortunately lost one!  We picked up a nail and 
> lost air
> pressure while sitting in stop-and-go traffic in Missouri (sooooo 
> glad it did
> not happen at cruising speed!  Can you retrofit a tire pressure 
> monitoringsystem in an A4?).  We didn't notice it until the 
> traffic started picking up
> again ... "Hmmmmmmm, that's an odd vibration.  Is it the road 
> surface?  Ahhhhh
> crap ... we've got a flat!"  It was night and the highway had 
> little shoulder
> at that point.  We sacrificed the tire and fortunately did not 
> lose the wheel
> as we drove it a mile or so to an exit.  Thank goodness for full-
> sized spares! 
> Though the tread did not match (stock Pirelli P6), we drove the 
> spare the rest
> of the way to our destination and back to Denver!  Finding a 
> replacement Winter
> Sport in the south was fruitless.  My brother-in-law was actually 
> laughed at as
> he called around for a replacement (even Tire Rack is out of 
> stock).  A call to
> our dealer's service department relieved us of the worry of buying 
> four new
> tires and trying to haul our three remaining snows back inside the 
> car.  We
> bought another tire of the same size (couldn't match the P6 on 
> short notice
> either) as a spare for the return trip.  There was some extra 
> vibration and a
> different road noise, but all in all it handled well (until we got 
> back to our
> steep driveway covered in 8 inches of new snow!).
> The emergency jack is certainly an iffy thing!  For such a heavy 
> car, I guess I
> would have expected more.  I use a small floorjack at home, but 
> never thought
> to bring it along.  The jack did it's job and stows neatly away, 
> so I guess I
> shouldn't complain ... but I still jostled the car slightly to see 
> if the jack
> would hold before I finished removing the lugs and the wheel.  My 
> wife was
> totally impressed that I handled the whole "flat tire" thing so 
> well ... no
> cussing and throwing things!  And after sitting for so long in 
> stop-and-go
> traffic to boot!  Never thought I had it in me.  Guess I was too 
> tired ...
> I scanned for codes with my VAG-COM halfway through the trip ... 
> no faults
> found.  There was no reason to scan, but I had lugged my laptop 
> along, so what
> the heck!
> I did have one inconvenience ... when using my knee to hold the 
> steering wheel
> for any reason during the trip, the cruise stalked was easily 
> nudged.  It
> nudged upwards, causing the car to accelerate.  Hmmmm ... note to 
> self, be
> careful about that.
> =====
> --
> Single Malt
> '01.5 S4
> Garaged at 9200ft
> just outside Denver, CO
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