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Any previous Audi S4 owners present?

Joined
14 May 2007
Messages
11,224
Location
Beaumont, Texas
I'm looking at an 01 S4 V6/biturbo model. This is a exshow car now DD with RS4 widebody conversion with beautiful Nogaro blue paint. It has an APR tune and exhaust otherwise stock and is auotmatic. I have no pics but the car is just wonderful looking in every aspect with only 50,000 miles. I'm looking for horror stories you'd care to share. Any reason I should avoid these? Thank you in advance.
 
That should be a B5 platform. Weight distribution is the issue, but it's fine for a DD. The timing belt replacement is from anywhere $1200 to $2200 (include whole tensioner). You might need to find an Audi friendly shop eventually, because little things might break down sooner or later. The best way is to get a Diagnostic Trouble Code Reader and index of trouble code, when engine check light on, you can narrow down the root cause quickly and save money on repair.

My DD and my lady's DD are B6 and B7, engine check light on and off pretty often :redface: but I like the Bauhaus style.
 
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Is the 50k mark still the kiss of death for a turbo. I remember back in the day that turbos always started leaking oil around the 50k mark.

I just got rid of a 07 S4. I didn't like the car very much. It was really cramped and for a car that is suppose to fast it felt like a dog to me.
 
I own an 2000 S4 automatice in Imola Yellow with 147k mi on it. It is competely stock. No mods. Only tint. I love my car however there are a few things that can be problematic if you don't keep up with them. I used to be an Audi tech from 2002-2005. Here are a few things that I have come across in the past.

The oil cooler lines to the turbos a designed a little to small so if you don't keep up with your oil changes, the lines can clog and give your turbo(s) a heartattack. Kinda like cholesterol. The previous owner of my car spent 6k on parts and labor for the turbo replacement then traded in the car 3 months later. I found the repair order for it in the glove box when I bought my S4 from the dealership I was working at at the time.

The cam adjuster seals may leak so take a look at the front of the driver's side and rear of the passenger side head/valve cover area. A leak will be fairly noticable. Some seepage is nothing to be too concerned about. You'll see oil on the back side of the passenger head and in the front near the timing belt of the drivers side. This is common on the 2.7Turbo and 5-valve 2.8L motors. Any good Audi tech knows the trick to making time on this job. Make a friend who knows how to do this and it will save you time and money. The repair procedure says you have to remove the cam shafts but you don't so don't let anyone tell you otherwise. I've done probably a hunderd of these repairs when I was a tech.

All Audis from around 1998 to 2004 have issues with the drivers information display on the insterment cluster. Given heat from sitting in the sun and time, fading is most common but I have seen a dead pixel every so often. The insterment cluster would need to be replaced in this case.

Outer tie-rod ball joints are also common from that era as well as the inner bushings for the upper control arm links in near all of Audi's 4link front suspension. Most models with the 4link have servicable bushings that can be pressed out rather than replacing the entire arm (much cheeper; $130 per arm vs. $35 per bushing). If the ball joint on the arm is bad (not too common but I have seen it in the past) the entire arm would need replacement.

That is the big stuff I remember but don't let it scare you off. Some of these problems were on my car. I need to do the arm bushings on my S4 and my fiances A6 4.2L. Take a good look at everything you can. Hope for the best prepare for the worst. If it was an ex-show car w/ 50k, the original owner probably took good care of it. The best thing I can suggest is see if you are able to get a service contract for it. It might be worth it in the long run.

Let me know if you have any other questions. I'm always happy to help.
 
I own an 2000 S4 automatice in Imola Yellow with 147k mi on it. It is competely stock. No mods. Only tint. I love my car however there are a few things that can be problematic if you don't keep up with them. I used to be an Audi tech from 2002-2005. Here are a few things that I have come across in the past.

The oil cooler lines to the turbos a designed a little to small so if you don't keep up with your oil changes, the lines can clog and give your turbo(s) a heartattack. Kinda like cholesterol. The previous owner of my car spent 6k on parts and labor for the turbo replacement then traded in the car 3 months later. I found the repair order for it in the glove box when I bought my S4 from the dealership I was working at at the time.

The cam adjuster seals may leak so take a look at the front of the driver's side and rear of the passenger side head/valve cover area. A leak will be fairly noticable. Some seepage is nothing to be too concerned about. You'll see oil on the back side of the passenger head and in the front near the timing belt of the drivers side. This is common on the 2.7Turbo and 5-valve 2.8L motors. Any good Audi tech knows the trick to making time on this job. Make a friend who knows how to do this and it will save you time and money. The repair procedure says you have to remove the cam shafts but you don't so don't let anyone tell you otherwise. I've done probably a hunderd of these repairs when I was a tech.

All Audis from around 1998 to 2004 have issues with the drivers information display on the insterment cluster. Given heat from sitting in the sun and time, fading is most common but I have seen a dead pixel every so often. The insterment cluster would need to be replaced in this case.

Outer tie-rod ball joints are also common from that era as well as the inner bushings for the upper control arm links in near all of Audi's 4link front suspension. Most models with the 4link have servicable bushings that can be pressed out rather than replacing the entire arm (much cheeper; $130 per arm vs. $35 per bushing). If the ball joint on the arm is bad (not too common but I have seen it in the past) the entire arm would need replacement.

That is the big stuff I remember but don't let it scare you off. Some of these problems were on my car. I need to do the arm bushings on my S4 and my fiances A6 4.2L. Take a good look at everything you can. Hope for the best prepare for the worst. If it was an ex-show car w/ 50k, the original owner probably took good care of it. The best thing I can suggest is see if you are able to get a service contract for it. It might be worth it in the long run.

Let me know if you have any other questions. I'm always happy to help.

Very accurate from my experience with the 2.7t. Also keep in mind the resale value is a lot lower for an auto then the standard also harder to sell. Most all people willing to pay the ridiculous over inflated resale for the Bi-turbo S4s are buying the car for its tuner value (Think Supra)and want the standard. Standards have a week 1st and 2nd any grinding in these stay away because the car was beat.

Torque converters have a tendency to stick on the autos (quick fix is some LUCAS TRANSMISSION FIX) worked on my pops DD for 250k miles:wink:

I have been trying to find a clean 2.7T for a daily driver for a while. But Im not willing to spend $10k for a 01 with 200k miles. I can buy 04 05 S4 for less, with less miles. But you cant add a chip to an 04 and get 50-90 hp. But if you want a cheep 500+hp car that you can drive daily they are the way to go.
 
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Were these cars know to be gas guzzlers?

Not to bad but the APR tune will hurt it if your foot is in it. You must run high test. APR has an option to turn the chip off from the cruse control stalk but you payed extra for that. They also have a tip shift chip that makes the Auto shift amazingly fast. If I ever settle for an auto its a must!
 
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Were these cars know to be gas guzzlers?

I have a B6/04 S4 and it is quite different than the B5 obviously. It's a V8 instead of the turbo. So far, it's been pretty good. Most of the upkeep cost has been tires, brakes, oil changes. The only big repair I recall was having the windshield wiper motor blow and having that system changed. That being said, i I have a small vibration sound that just started a couple days ago but I'm hoping it's not going to be a big deal.

For the most part, it's been a trouble-free winter car and have put about 40K miles on it in 4.5 years. The shifter is great. I get slightly over 18MPG.
 
I have an '01 S4 5 spd.
Around 100K on it.
Check all the suspension bushings and ball joints.
The dash display was mentioned already.
Seems like I had trouble with some pressure relief valves, they replaced them with upgraded ones from the TT.

I don't remember anything big going wrong, just little stuff and normal maintenance.

However, there is nothing you will go to fix that you don't have to dismantle half the car. You've heard people say "they put the bolt in and then built the car around it", that's true of everything I've ever fixed on this car.

Sulley
 
I have an '01 S4 5 spd.
Around 100K on it.
Check all the suspension bushings and ball joints.
The dash display was mentioned already.
Seems like I had trouble with some pressure relief valves, they replaced them with upgraded ones from the TT.

I don't remember anything big going wrong, just little stuff and normal maintenance.

However, there is nothing you will go to fix that you don't have to dismantle half the car. You've heard people say "they put the bolt in and then built the car around it", that's true of everything I've ever fixed on this car.

Sulley

My Brother In Laws 01 S4 is a 6-speed.

The autos are 5-speed

Is yours an auto, or is that a typo?
 
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I also DD an 01.5 S4, as well as being an Audi enthusiast I have a decent amount of experience with most cars in their lineup.

A lot of the common issues have already been mentioned. I am at 110k on original turbos with no symptoms of failure.

Things to watch out for:

Symptoms of turbo failure
Suspension bushings
transmission grinding
timing belt maintenance
wheel bearings
frozen rear calipers
Dead center displays between dials
Bose speaker failures(similar to NSX, although not as spendy to fix)

Buy one as close to OEM as possible, as aftermarket mods like tunes will decrease turbo/clutch life, obviously. Unless you get a well sorted one. Some people prefer to buy ones with upgraded turbos as they are more reliable than stock turbos once the boost is increased.

The cars are very solid, make great DDs, especially in snowy states. The TB, like an NSX, is crucial.

I average about 23 MPG mixed driving.

Some things I dislike about the car:
The interior is small. While there is plenty of room for front occupants, people in the rear will be cramped

The weight distribution is front-heavy. I don't track mine really, so its not really an issue.

The drive by wire system is super laggy. At first I thought my turbos were failing because the spooling took so long, and then I learned that its the throttle lag. Its terriffic for DD duty because it makes everything smooth, but for fun driving it suffers. My APR tune sharpened up the throttle a good deal, though.

The suspension is very soft when OEM. This is a trade off, but I would prefer something a little stiffer with less body roll.

Some things I like:
The interior is very classy and well made. Nice materials for an entry level luxury car. The seats are great and the leather is nice.

The AWD system is the bees knees. Very easy to control and fun in slippery conditions(if thats your thing). It is also a very reliable system as its 100% mechanical.

The car is very smooth and solid, especially as the speeds increase, a common trait for German cars.

The engine is great. Throttle input aside, it pulls strong, hard, and quietly. It is faster than it feels.

Also the looks. IDK what it is but I think its a very handsome car with its subtle styling.
 
Yes, mine is a 6 sp manual. I have too many cars and my daughter has been driving it the last few years, so I made a mistake.

Sulley
 
I get about 21-22mpg out of mine. I could probably see more if I kept my foot out of it.

AWE and 2bennett has redesigned re-circ valves should the stock Bosch ones decide to go south on you. I'm thinking about picking these up a pair just as a preventative measure and to add a little more turbo response.

If you ever need to get to the water pump/t-belt area, Audi has what they refer to as "Service Mode". This will add a 8-10" space between the radiator and the front of the motor allowing pleanty of working space for whatever you need to get to. The design engineers definatly had the technician in mind when they put the car together. It has been my favorite car to work on back when I was a tech.

As Sumeronthechain stated, the interior is a little cramped. I wear my hear in a messy spike and sometimes my hear will touch the headliner. It bugs me just enough to remind me that I could probably use a hair-cut.

With everything taken into account, I believe you will enjoy owning a B5 S4, even if it's an automatic. Having a 6MT is the only thing I would change as it would better suit my driving style. All I can say is have some extra money set aside for maintenance and keep up with it. If you have the small issues addressed early, as with any vehicle, you can prevent them from becoming large expensive issues and that would lessen the shock on your wallet in the long run.
 
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