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A6 / S6 (C5 Platform) Discussion Discussion forum for the C5 Audi A6 and S6 produced from 1998-2004

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Old 03-26-2014, 07:47 AM   #1
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Default Test Driving a 1998 A6 TOMORROW...Help!

Found a nice clean low mileage 1998 2.8 quattro at a dealer. I have purchased used cars before so I have a big checklist of things to go over and then a test drive after which I will check for any leaks after its been for a decent drive and gotten up to temp.

Besides making sure everything works (AC, lights, etc), checking service records, and making sure the engine and trans run smooth and dont overheat would would you recommend I do for this specific model?

Error code reset? I heard some dealers do something to hide error codes?

Should I ensure that the tie rods have been replace as I believe they were recalled on this model?

Timing belt service even if its super low miles for a 98?

Carfax shows the last 12 yrs of dealer services so at least there is that.
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Old 03-26-2014, 08:06 AM   #2
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It's all about the price. Figure about $1500.
Super low miles? Most likely the instrument cluster has been replaced.
TB service? Mileage irrelevant for a 16 y/o car.
Tie rods irrelevant on low price used car…chances are you'll end up rebuilding the front end anyway, including shocks.
Dealers/owners can reset/cancel all codes easily….they'll reset in the case of random misfires, etc., after a test drive where you run the car to redline in Drive. It should shift smoothly, not clunk. You should be able to feel it drop out of torque converter lockup in Drive when you give it light throttle at say 40-50mph…tachometer should go up 500 or so rpm without a thud and drop back 500 or so without a thud when you're cruising at 40-50 mph and it has gone through the gears.
You can get a code readout with your own vag-com (highly recommended if you plan on doing your own service on this elderly lady) or try a separate inspection that can cost you $100 or so at an independent.

What is your idea of super low mileage?
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Old 03-26-2014, 08:12 AM   #3
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Just to be clear I have done all the research on the forums regarding common problems but I am wondering what I can do at the dealership to give me the most insight.
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Old 03-26-2014, 08:18 AM   #4
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check cargurus.com for pricing.
I'm always leery of dealer cars with extremely low mileage.
If the dealer sold the car and has all the service records you're generally in good shape (after you review the records!).
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Old 03-26-2014, 08:21 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SloopJohnB@mac.com View Post
It's all about the price. Figure about $1500.
Super low miles? Most likely the instrument cluster has been replaced.
TB service? Mileage irrelevant for a 16 y/o car.
Tie rods irrelevant on low price used car…chances are you'll end up rebuilding the front end anyway, including shocks.
Dealers/owners can reset/cancel all codes easily….they'll reset in the case of random misfires, etc., after a test drive where you run the car to redline in Drive. It should shift smoothly, not clunk. You should be able to feel it drop out of torque converter lockup in Drive when you give it light throttle at say 40-50mph…tachometer should go up 500 or so rpm without a thud and drop back 500 or so without a thud when you're cruising at 40-50 mph and it has gone through the gears.
You can get a code readout with your own vag-com (highly recommended if you plan on doing your own service on this elderly lady) or try a separate inspection that can cost you $100 or so at an independent.

What is your idea of super low mileage?
Its mid 30k mileage. This would be my weekend getaway car as I dont drive to work. For me this is a car vs bus and rentals play. At most I put 6-7k a year in mileage so if I can get 30k out of this car without the need for major serive I am basically making money. That said 16yr old gaskets are 16yr old gaskets its more of trying to get my moneys worth out of the engine and tranny without major work.

Ive owned 60s classic cars and the parts are stupid cheaper and the work is easy but it always needs something.

I had an 80s BMW for a while and it ran till I killed it. Then I parted it/

The rest of my experience is in Jeeps.

I do most of my own work but this is a platform I am not use to.

I make a good living so I can afford repairs and service but no point in dumping thousands into something with a kbb/nada value of 5500.
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Old 03-26-2014, 09:14 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SloopJohnB@mac.com View Post
It's all about the price. Figure about $1500.
Super low miles? Most likely the instrument cluster has been replaced.
TB service? Mileage irrelevant for a 16 y/o car.
Tie rods irrelevant on low price used car…chances are you'll end up rebuilding the front end anyway, including shocks.
Dealers/owners can reset/cancel all codes easily….they'll reset in the case of random misfires, etc., after a test drive where you run the car to redline in Drive. It should shift smoothly, not clunk. You should be able to feel it drop out of torque converter lockup in Drive when you give it light throttle at say 40-50mph…tachometer should go up 500 or so rpm without a thud and drop back 500 or so without a thud when you're cruising at 40-50 mph and it has gone through the gears.
You can get a code readout with your own vag-com (highly recommended if you plan on doing your own service on this elderly lady) or try a separate inspection that can cost you $100 or so at an independent.

What is your idea of super low mileage?
1500 for what?
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Old 03-26-2014, 09:14 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by SloopJohnB@mac.com View Post
check cargurus.com for pricing.
I'm always leery of dealer cars with extremely low mileage.
If the dealer sold the car and has all the service records you're generally in good shape (after you review the records!).
I checked and they didnt have pricing but thanks anyway
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Old 03-26-2014, 09:58 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCaudi007 View Post
Its mid 30k mileage.
There's no mileage inconsistancies in the car history? Carfax, auto check, or equivalent? 30k is highly suspect on a car that old.

edit: Just noticed you have the carfax. That's some crazy low mileage, I'm shocked.

Last edited by BeOhBe; 03-26-2014 at 10:06 AM.
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Old 03-26-2014, 10:54 AM   #9
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There's no mileage inconsistancies in the car history? Carfax, auto check, or equivalent? 30k is highly suspect on a car that old.

edit: Just noticed you have the carfax. That's some crazy low mileage, I'm shocked.
I know

The car fax has dealer service records going back more than a decade. First owner had it 3 years. 2nd had it the rest and was dealer serviced.

Could be an old couple with two cars and one didnt get used much.
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Old 03-26-2014, 11:58 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by NYCaudi007 View Post
I know

The car fax has dealer service records going back more than a decade. First owner had it 3 years. 2nd had it the rest and was dealer serviced.

Could be an old couple with two cars and one didnt get used much.
Contact them and find out, if possible. After I bought my A6 in Feb., I called the place listed by Carfax that had serviced my car for seven years. When I told them the make and model, they instantly knew the owner's name and said "oh, Mrs. Suchandsuch*? Yeah we know that car. What info do you need?". Gave me her name, full info on services, etc.
I contacted her via email (she's a local real estate agent, had a website with email link), asked her a few friendly questions, and all was good.

Too bad I'll never know what the person who owned it for a year between me and her did to it. I've found a couple shoddy DIY repairs. There's diy-right and diy-wrong, and they were for sure the latter.

*no, that's not her actual name

I'd try to find a Vag-com or OBD2 scanner and pull codes after the test drive. Research how to force readiness codes during a drive cycle, and try to do that during the test drive.

How much are they asking for it?

Last edited by BeOhBe; 03-26-2014 at 12:11 PM. Reason: changed reset to force
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Old 03-26-2014, 11:58 AM
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