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Is Audi a good car to own long-term when it goes out of warranty?

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Old 10-15-2009, 09:12 PM   #1
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Default Is Audi a good car to own long-term when it goes out of warranty?

Does it cost much to maintain a new Audi like the B8 when it goes out of warranty if it's been well cared for during the first few years? Or hold onto your wallet if something breaks? I'm still undecided if I should finance or lease my next car. I've been leasing all my life so I have no idea how much it costs to maintain these German cars without warranty.

Last edited by tubi; 10-15-2009 at 09:23 PM.
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Old 10-16-2009, 02:41 AM   #2
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Default after warranty

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Does it cost much to maintain a new Audi like the B8 when it goes out of warranty if it's been well cared for during the first few years? Or hold onto your wallet if something breaks? I'm still undecided if I should finance or lease my next car. I've been leasing all my life so I have no idea how much it costs to maintain these German cars without warranty.
i have owned six audis and the drivetrains on all the cars have been fairly dependable. however, small items have needed fixing in several of the cars and would have been very expensive to fix. one example is the window regulator. around $600 plus labor to fix and a very common problem. i really enjoy my current audis, but i will consider purchasing warranty extensions when the time comes. the"cpo" program is a great way to purchase a used audi.
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Old 10-16-2009, 05:07 AM   #3
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I kept my 1998 A4 1.8T 11 years.

Here is the maintenance that it required.

Price in CAN $, work done at an independant shop.

The B5 had a problem with control arm and bearing that were too small for the weight of the car. Clutch failed prematurely because of seal failure that made oil leaked in...

Total about $13,000 CAN in maintenance for about 11 years. Car had only 160,000 km when replaced (100,000 miles)

2003-06-03 Front brakes
2003-06-11 Water pump 59,835 km
2003-12-01 Bearing rear left
2005-05-24 Complete inspection + oil change $436.99
2005-09-28 timing belt $679.03
2006-01-05 coil spring + bearing rear left + rear brakes $1 019.67
2006-01-20 control arm $547.16
2006-03-01 rear right bearing $270.51
2006-03-24 clutch $1 515.95
2006-06-05 front right bearing $240.11
2006-06-13 temperature sensor + oil change $206.63
2006-07-25 Link arm $33.05
2006-09-14 control arm $419.83
2006-09-28 ABS computer + Light switch $1 331.63
2007-01-10 oil change $75.78
2007-06-12 Summer tune up $160.04
2007-11-19 Dip stick coude muffler $773.84
2008-02-28 catalytic converter repair $503.72
2008-04-17 vaccum lines (preventive), Right Rear CV joint, Front Left bearing $1 101.97
2008-10-09 Wipers linkage + rear brakes $888.27
2009-02-17 Summer oil change and tune up $124.16
2009-06-17 Valve cover gasket $449.67
2009-07-17 rear right bearing + AC refill $450.67
2009-07-18 rear left CV joint $347.93
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Old 10-16-2009, 05:23 AM   #4
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Default What model Audi and Compared to what?

Audi A4s have come a long way in long term reliability since the B5 days. That's no knock on the B5 A4. There are many B5 A4s that are running around strong over 150,000 miles.

The design service life of any modern car is 150,000 miles.

If you go by only averages (weeding out the lemons and the uncannily reliable flukes) all modern cars are, fundamentally, reliable through 150,000 miles with proper routine maintenance performed.

Audi A4s are no exception.

Owning any model car past about 12 years and 150,000 miles is a pure crap shoot.

Will things break along the way to 150,000 miles? Probably.

With most A4s, those things that break are usually irritants like switch gear, window regulators, electrical gremlins....etc...and not usually strand you on the side of the road items.

Fixing those items that do break generally costs more on any German car than they do on a Ford or Toyota.
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Old 10-16-2009, 05:23 AM   #5
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1 of the things i like about the tfsi, is that theres no timming belt, its got a chain!
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Old 10-16-2009, 06:21 AM   #6
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I drove my 1997 A4 for 12+ years and 155,000 miles. I considered it to be very reliable. I don't have the numbers handy, but I don't think the maintenance costs were prohibitive, I know for a fact it was much cheaper to pay for scheduled maintenance and repairs than to make a car payment.

Being the analytical type that I am I frequently ran the numbers to see whether it was getting to be time for a new car, but from a financial standpoint I was always doing much better to keep my car than to get a new one. Paying $1,200 for some repairs and maintenance would seem high, until I realized that it had been 8 months since I had spent any money on the car at all.

Generally having an older paid-for car will be more cost-effective, it's just that the cash outlays come in chunks instead of even monthly payments.
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Old 10-16-2009, 06:33 AM   #7
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1 of the things i like about the tfsi, is that theres no timming belt, its got a chain!
Is that true for the 2.0T ???
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Old 10-16-2009, 07:10 AM   #8
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Is that true for the 2.0T ???
Yes, for the new engine design.
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Old 10-16-2009, 07:38 AM   #9
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1 of the things i like about the tfsi, is that theres no timming belt, its got a chain!
It still has a water pump that has to be changed though. Although timing belts and water pumps can last a long time. My mechanic spent 6 hours a 1/3 of a tank of acetylene extracting the 22 year old factory original (!) water pump, timing belt, and idler pulley off of the 87 Audi I own. (I generally do my own repairs on that car, good thing I gave this job to a pro!) It only has about 106k on it, but its amazing nothing broke, leaked, or seized.

One thing that German cars are known for are expensive parts. Generally the cars run great as long as they are properly maintained. Stupid stuff also tends to break or wear out prematurely (B5 A4s were infamous for control arm and tie rod end problems). Major engine issues are rare, as are drivetrain issues. Transmissions are a crap shoot, but generally the manual gearboxes are bulletproof. Audi's "lifetime" automatic transmission fluid is kinda a silly concept though. Plenty of people have had their "lifetime" fluid changed at 100k and noticed much smoother shifting. Perhaps its planned obsolesce.

Also, Turbo Freak, where did you take your car to be repaired? Even taking into account the CAN$ exchange rate, those prices seem awfully high, even for a dealer.
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Old 10-16-2009, 08:16 AM   #10
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Also, Turbo Freak, where did you take your car to be repaired? Even taking into account the CAN$ exchange rate, those prices seem awfully high, even for a dealer.
Those prices includes labor and 15% tax, also some of those prices do not list all of what was done (often includes oil and filter change with Motul syntetic oil), but the main parts replaced during those service. Labour at $59/hour compared to the dealer who was $82 in 2002. I am scared to ask how much it is now !
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Old 10-16-2009, 08:18 AM   #11
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122K on my 2001 Avant 1.8TQMS; 121K on my 2000 TTQC:

I'd say yes.
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Old 10-16-2009, 08:47 AM   #12
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Audis (like virtually any European cars) are breathtakingly expensive to repair (less so to maintain, but still high in that regard, too) out of their factory protection from new.

But, my Lexus owning friend had power window issues, fuel injector issues and several other out of warranty issues and they, too, were breathtakingly expensive. Hell the power window lift issues were, each, about a car payment.

Your question, however, probably has more to do with how LIKELY are Audis to require breathtakingly expensive repairs out of warranty.

History from "public bitch-blogs" would indicate Audis break -- but I believe, and can't prove, that while the complaints are legit that they are also more indicative of a previous generation of Audis, not the ones, so much, from 2005 forward.

Audi offers a plan that you can buy that, like the OE warranty, can help with the "grab your chest" expenses, up to 100,000 miles. I believe, too, you can buy continuing prepaid maintenance programs too, up to 100,000 miles which gives you a slight discount on the required maint in exchange for your lump sum prepayment.

CPO'ing your own car, in effect, is also possible, and it too will come at a price that is probably pretty close to the cost of ONE major failure and is a use it or lose it proposition -- as it expires at 100,000 miles.

Take brakes as an example of a repair item: price Audi rotors, price Audi brake pads, hold onto your wallets if you need 4 rotors and all new pads.

If you have ADS, I'll bet that won't be an inexpensive fix when it breaks, and on and on and on.

On the other hand, I would assume with routine and regular maintenance and perhaps over changing the fluids and wear and tear items, it should be very likely that 150,000 miles can come and go without drastic financial injections (brakes, excluded, as you WILL need these and they will be expensive.)

If you want durable and very reliable and fun to drive and safe and, and, and, probably no European car should be on your list would be my quick smart-*** answer. Get a Lexus.

On the other hand, after 29 Audis (but only one that I kept longer than 60,000 miles), I can tell you, I wouldn't have any other car (with the possible exception of a Passat CC -- if they ever add a sport package option, that is.)

If I were to want to keep one of these past 50,000K or so, I would certainly hedge my bets with an extended Audi warranty, even though my gut tells me I probably still would pay for tires and batteries and bulbs and fluids and other stuff, through the nose.
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Old 10-16-2009, 08:48 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbo Freak View Post
Those prices includes labor and 15% tax, also some of those prices do not list all of what was done (often includes oil and filter change with Motul syntetic oil), but the main parts replaced during those service. Labour at $59/hour compared to the dealer who was $82 in 2002. I am scared to ask how much it is now !
Dealer labor rates are likely around or above $100US/hr. I am debating if I should go for the Audi Care package or not. The prices I was quoted at the local dealer for an oil change were just plan silly. An oil change should not cost close to $100 for a 2.0T, for comparison the local VW dealer charges $70+tax. I might just stick to changing the oil myself, its only $50 or so in parts. Heck the local Audi dealer quoted $200 for the 15k service, most of the checklist is inspection items, many of which won't get checked anyway (and are easy for the average car owner to perform themselves)
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Old 10-16-2009, 09:10 AM   #14
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1 of the things i like about the tfsi, is that theres no timming belt, its got a chain!
But it has a turbo that requires some maintenance down the road.

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Old 10-16-2009, 09:14 AM   #15
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I am debating if I should go for the Audi Care package or not.
I dealed it in the price of the car. Peace of mind downd the road...
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Old 10-16-2009, 09:22 AM   #16
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Audis (like virtually any European cars) are breathtakingly expensive to repair (less so to maintain, but still high in that regard, too) out of their factory protection from new.
And I'm afraid it's true for many non_Euro marques.


My co-worker was just quoted $436 to replace the rear pads on his Infiniti G35x. That's rear pads only. I'd call that breathtaking
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Old 10-16-2009, 09:51 AM   #17
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Audi A4s have come a long way in long term reliability since the B5 days. That's no knock on the B5 A4. There are many B5 A4s that are running around strong over 150,000 miles.
While not exactly an Audi, I have a B5.5 2002 Passat, which is basically a stretched A4 B5 but with a cheaper interior and cheaper wheels (and perhaps softer springs). I have 173Kmiles on it and the engine itself is strong as ever and it doesn't burn oil. Around 100K, I did of course the timing belt and related jobs, new shocks, CV boots, change of all fluids (partial for some things like power steering by emptying reservoir only). Last year, it started giving me some trouble: I had to change engine speed and temperature sensors, and the secondary air pump relay. This year, an ignition coil died, so I had all four changed ($150).

The key is to avoid dealers like the plague, because they charge 50% to 100% more than good indies (even more for routine service). If you do that, the math to compare lease versus buy changes from simple to extremely simple. There was another thread where I a back of the envelope calculation to find out how horrible leasing is. If the OP owns the car for just 6 years, he wouldn't even be close to 100Kmiles and he would save many thousands over leasing.

I can't remember how much I spent for the 100K overhaul, but it was probably a little less than $2K, which is less than the sales tax you would have to pay on a new car in CA.
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Old 10-16-2009, 09:59 AM   #18
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And I'm afraid it's true for many non_Euro marques.


My co-worker was just quoted $436 to replace the rear pads on his Infiniti G35x. That's rear pads only. I'd call that breathtaking
Parts for Asian brands are as expensive nowadays and most Honda/Toyota dealers screw you just as hard as German brand dealerships do. My indy changed all four of my ignition coils for $150. An Infiniti I30 owner had to have all his changed. The dealer asked $1700 dollar, my indy was willing to do it for a little less than $1000. The parts alone cost over $800. Just go ask a Toyota/Honda dealer for a quote to change brakes, radiators, alternators, etc. Your eyes will bulge out

I used to think that Asian brands were cheaper to maintain. That used to be true, but not so anymore, at least not enough to "settle" for a car you don't really want.

As for servicing, German brands seem to use "lifetime" fluids exclusively now, which are typically good for at least 60K and often good for up to 100K. I don't think the practice is as widespread among Asian brands yet.
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Old 10-16-2009, 10:11 AM   #19
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Take brakes as an example of a repair item: price Audi rotors, price Audi brake pads, hold onto your wallets if you need 4 rotors and all new pads.

If you have ADS, I'll bet that won't be an inexpensive fix when it breaks, and on and on and on.

On the other hand, I would assume with routine and regular maintenance and perhaps over changing the fluids and wear and tear items, it should be very likely that 150,000 miles can come and go without drastic financial injections (brakes, excluded, as you WILL need these and they will be expensive.)
The nice thing is, you don't have to buy Audi brake parts. Brake parts from the OE supplier (ATE, etc.) are much cheaper and usually the same exact part minus the pretty box with 4 rings. As for the labor cost, any indie mechanic can do brakes (assuming they have VCDS to retract the rear brake calipers) for a fraction of the cost. Even a shade tree mechanic can do the brakes with little trouble.
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Old 10-16-2009, 12:31 PM   #20
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I believe the paid Audi care from new is NOT a bargain, but it is also NOT a rip off. Overall, it is a small savings, lost only due to prepayment. I bought it, I like it, I'd buy it again. I hate the hassle and I am not taking it whilst it is in warranty to an indie, no matter how good or how cheap.

But that's just me.
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Old 10-16-2009, 12:31 PM
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