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A8 D2 vs A8 D3?

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Old 08-29-2011, 07:08 AM   #1
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Default A8 D2 vs A8 D3?

Given a choice, D2 vs D3, obviously D3 costing a bit more, is there enough worth in buying a D3 vs a D2? What does a D3 bring to the table that a D2 doesn't have or can't have? 6 speed auto and the fresh body style, but I do like the looks of the D2.

I have been looking at the D2's lately, but wonder if I was to spend a little more, there are some D3's that warrant some consideration.

My concerns are of course, reliability, I will drive it daily around 90 miles round trip. I spend a lot of time in the car and want to enjoy my drive as well as enjoy the snow I deal with yearly. I don't get any interstates to commute on now, just secondary backroads. So an A8 fits the bill well for me.

Thanks!
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Old 08-29-2011, 07:25 AM   #2
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Sorry that your new, but scan the forums on this subject there is quite a few. Besides a drastically different exterior and interior as well as a MMI and actual display screen the differences are immense. Add on a transmission that isn't guaranteed to break and I don't know why you would still go with a D2. The money you would put into a D2 to get it in good working condition will not be nearly enough to outweigh the pleasure you will get with a D3.
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Old 08-29-2011, 08:51 AM   #3
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I had a D2 just a few months ago that was troublesome. However it was very high-mileage and I bought it for a song ($7k) just to try out in the interim. In a sense I'm glad, because I wouldn't be in the D3 now.

I am somewhat obsessed with this D3 as much as my '00 S4. If I were to go back to a D2, I would most likely get an '03 S8, albeit they are rare. I've found the D2 forum on Quattroworld is 'busier' than here, and the D3 forum on Audiworld is better.

If you are looking for a D2 S8, Bruce M can find one for you. He's well-known on the forums as an auto-broker or sorts who gets a lot of Audi auction vehicles likes allroads and S8s. He can find any car, but he can really help with the rarer vehicles.
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Old 08-29-2011, 09:44 AM   #4
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Thanks much, I will dig around, most search engines won't search 2 letter terms like D2 and D3, so I got no where, I did try searching first. Is there a better way to search?

So the 6 speed is a pretty reliable trans? I found a nice 04 D3 for $12500, and not too far. I was pondering ext warranty with a D2, but that is over $100 a month for that alone (5yr/100k over what is on the clock now). Probably worth it, trans will probably go in that amount of time. But I would rather have one that is far more reliable to start with.

That is MMI?
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Old 08-29-2011, 10:20 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EyesofThunder View Post
Thanks much, I will dig around, most search engines won't search 2 letter terms like D2 and D3, so I got no where, I did try searching first. Is there a better way to search?
Search directly in AudiWorld and Quattroworld. You can search just the D2 and D3 forums that way rather than using Google or similar.

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So the 6 speed is a pretty reliable trans?
I had no issues with D2 transmission. My D2 had a bad valve causing compression loss in cylinder 6. Somewhat rare for the 4.2L, but again, I bought it VERY used with 175kmi on the odometer. Read through the D2 forums and you'll find the transmission threads. Here's a great website for D2 stuff including a Used D2 A8 Buyer's Checklist.
http://www.audipages.com/

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I found a nice 04 D3 for $12500, and not too far. I was pondering ext warranty with a D2, but that is over $100 a month for that alone (5yr/100k over what is on the clock now). Probably worth it, trans will probably go in that amount of time. But I would rather have one that is far more reliable to start with.
Sounds like a scary low price. Mileage? Features? Carfax? Else?
2004 was the first model year for the D3. That makes some folks wary of 1st year bugs. 2004 will have the unusable Onstar instead of Bluetooth. Late 2005 models (like mine) have Bluetooth. *Edited addition: 2006-2010 have the facelift front end with the 'fishmouth grille'. 2007-2010 and later have the 4.2L FSI engine with timing chain. 2011 is the D4.)

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What is MMI?
Click the image to open in full size.
MMI is the "Multi-Media Interface". It allows you to access not only all the Radio, CD, Telephone, and Nav functions, but also vehicle settings like suspension height/dynamics, parktronic, interior/exterior lighting, TPMS, battery level, etc etc.

Plus you get a nice 7" color screen for display of all those functions:
Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 08-29-2011, 10:22 AM   #6
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How do I find Bruce M? I can't PM him or seem to find him in the member search.
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Old 08-29-2011, 10:24 AM   #7
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I found him, he got banned somehow.

http://search.audiworld.com/member.php?u=50722
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Old 08-29-2011, 10:26 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EyesofThunder View Post
I found him, he got banned somehow.

http://search.audiworld.com/member.php?u=50722
Look on quattroworld for User: Bruce M.
He goes to the big Mannheim car auctions up in PA, but can find vehicles anywhere.

TozoM8 and PaulW on the D2 forum are a wealth of info on maintenence and such.
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Old 08-29-2011, 11:34 AM   #9
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Hi there!
In addition what you read already you should know following. Audi A8 starting from 2007 has 4.2 FSI engine (still D3 body). 4.2 FSI does not have timing belt and instead a chain. Apparently the chain supposes to be good for the lifetime of the engine. In practice it should run good for 300,000 km or about 186,000 miles. If you compare with NOT FSI engine you will have to replace timing belt much more often and it is expensive procedure. You should consider that.
From another hand FSI is relatively new technology and some people saying it does not bring much benefits but additional problems.
So fare my A8 is running well, but I do not have a high mileage on it. I hope it helps! Good luck!

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Old 08-29-2011, 11:58 AM   #10
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The FSI engines for sure are out of my price range. Would love it, but can't do that yet.... Soon I hope!

The chains will stretch over time, but rarely ever break. But cam timing will change over time. Proper placement of timing chain tensioners will minimize it, but it still happens. Belts are dead on accurate all along till they break, and when that happens, owch.... Trade offs for sure, I would gladly take a chain.... Oh, chains can be noisier, but with modern engineering practices if they can make a diesel quiet, a timing chain noise is nothing...

Trying to figure out what is best $ to put into a D2, or to put into a D3, if I go D3, would have to be a lower cost one, and as said, that could be someone elses problems or not taken care of. Where a D2 I can probably find a nice one, but all the ones I am finding are from hole in the wall used car dealers, so their history is an auction and dubious what it could be....

I am just unsure which way to go on it.
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Old 08-29-2011, 12:42 PM   #11
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I had a -98 and now have a 06. I sold the D2 just before the first timing belt replacement and although I didnīt have any serious problems with it there were a few annoying things every now and then like leaking sealings, control arms and electrical glitches. That was back in 2004. I assume if you buy a late D2 it should be somewhat more reliable. Comfortwise it was awesome, I esp liked the Recaro seats and the Bose system is great for an old car.

The D3 have been awesome so far. Bought it at 70k and now have 95 on it. Lately I had issues though so I hope itīs not a trend starting. Had the engine pan coming loose and needed to recharge the AC so itīs no biggie, like 100 bucks during a year, but anyway. I drove it 150 miles to work roundtrip, less now with new job but I never felt tired from the ride. Now I even drive back home to Sweden 14hours every once in a while and itīs not that bad in one stretch.

Comparing the 2 the D3 is just more of everything so if youīre satisfied with a cheap and super comfortable car and can live with the older design and somewhat less gadgets I think youīll enjoy the D2.

As Iīm sure someone else already replied, these cars can be a financial nightmare so a well speced D2 with solid history is probably a much better bet than a cheap n dirty D3 so do your homework and donīt get tempted by a too good of a deal.
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Old 08-29-2011, 02:28 PM   #12
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Quote:
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...... Where a D2 I can probably find a nice one, but all the ones I am finding are from hole in the wall used car dealers, so their history is an auction and dubious what it could be....

I am just unsure which way to go on it.
Most of the used cars like A8s on dealer lots are coming from auction except you are avoiding the middle man in a sense. It's not like a foreclosure. There are full inspections before and after with money-back guarantees, full disclosure of condition, and all the little fix-it stuff can be fixed before delivery (wheel reconditioning, paintless dent repair, etc all the stuff the dealers do).
It seems daunting at first, but you might put a couple of hours into it to learn about it.
It can save a bit of money, but more importantly, it will get you the better car.
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Old 08-30-2011, 04:17 AM   #13
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I am just unsure how to buy an A8. Does Audi keep history on the cars? GM used to, but since the restructure the info is harder to get and find, much is either gone or not accessible anymore.

I found a D2 that has 88k miles on it and they are willing to deal some on it, but it has 4 previous owners. Makes me concerned so many owners. only the 2nd owner kept it very long. First was a corp owner who kept it a year or so, then the 2nd kept it around 4 years, then another who brought it from Florida to Chicagoland, and then they kept for a year or 2 and the next owner a year or so, now a used car lot has it from an auction.
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Old 08-30-2011, 04:24 AM   #14
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This is one I also want to look at, a D3 with 142k miles on it. It is more of a stretch to spring for it.

But I almost would rather a private party sale over an auction car sale at a rinky dink dealership.

I emailed Bruce M, but with the hurricane, I am wondering if they are out of power still.
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Old 08-30-2011, 06:11 AM   #15
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Just be aware that any problem with this cars can easily cost couple of thousands, even if you can deal with it yourself. They are not problem free either. For the contrary. Older they get it is more likely to have a bunch of expensive ones. Additional thing is that with most of problems car becomes undriveable so you can't just live with it.
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Old 08-30-2011, 06:33 AM   #16
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Hard to say with any of those just from that info from the two cars.

I don't want to push you into an auction vehicle. Here's my experience:
I worked with Bruce searching for my wife's A4. However, finding an A4 convertible out of warranty, late in season (spring), up in PA, and with her exact options proved tough to find. After an exhaustive search, I found one in Texas myself; I'm in Atlanta. Bruce contacted the dealer (Grubbs Infinity), and got a couple grand knocked off their price and helped me arrange transport. He offered to refund all my money, but I voluntarily did a partial refund. His contract was to find a vehicle, do all the inspections, retain it, clean it up, etc etc. I felt that was very fair.
We were going on vacation that upcoming weekend and wanted the car quickly. We got all the purchase paperwork completed on Tuesday and for $400, the car arrived Wednesday early evening (after we expected Thursday). It felt a little "back-alley". The 18-wheeler was just pulled of the side of the road in a turn lane to a strip mall. He had the car backed off the truck. We showed up. I did a quick walk around, gave him the $400 cash. He gave me the 2 keys and I drove off to meet back up with my wife after dropping me off. That transaction took maybe 2-3 minutes.

Here's how the car broker process went:
Bruce and I talked on the phone for an hour or so and he explained the whole auction process including car quality ratings (very interesting actually), inspections, etc.
I emailed him a signed contract and sent his fee via PayPal. Unless it's changed since this Spring, the fee is the greater of $1000 or 5% of the purchase price. The auction prices tend to be a few thousand below what you'd see at the dealer so it can save you some money.
Then I emailed him a list of desired colors, options, min quality, and maybe more importantly, a list of "MUST NOT have" colors and options.

The main Mannheim auctions up there in PA are every other Thursday as I recall. So we would talk on that prior Tuesday or Wednesday and try to pair down the list to a few potentials. He can search other auctions too throughout the U.S., but he won't as 'hands on'. The Mannheim PA ones are apparently one of the largest and they get cars from all over.
You set a maximum budget for the vehicle. He goes to the auction, inspects the vehicles, bids, and if won, gets a more detailed inspection on a lift. If the car is not as 'advertised', he can get fully refunded if desired.
Generally the cars you see on the dealer lots have already been 'prepped': PDR, wheel refinishing, new tires, etc. This hasn't been done to the cars going through auction. They are mostly lease returns and such for newer vehicles. He can arrange getting any of that prep work done for you before delivery.
In my case the selection of options was too slim. (Mainly, there were few white ones of any decent quality, so after 6 weeks and finding the 'perfect' one in TX, I gave up).
For your case, the options may also be slim. However you are looking at a more rare car (especially if you chose a D2 S8). Are you willing to wait 2 months for the 'right' car to come along? Both the cars you pointed out were black, so that alone will be a popular color which helps.

So that's my story, albeit long.
I hope that helps. It's at least another avenue.
Finding the right used A8 is different from finding a used Civic. The supply of A8s is so low in comparison, you have to expand your search radius. This means risking buying a car sight unseen from an unknown dealer or private seller.
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Old 08-30-2011, 07:27 AM   #17
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I just don't understand how the clear advantages of the D3 don't outweigh the D2 and it's disadvantages!? Both great cars but it is like night and day.
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Old 08-30-2011, 07:32 AM   #18
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I have been talking to a guy up north, I like the car, but real skiddish over lack of being able to drive it. Transmssion is my concern. It has had most of the issue stuff taken care of (timing belt, leaks/seals, water pump, etc), just unknown on the trans, he said it was rebuilt before he got it several years ago. It is a 98.

I like the price better, as it would allow me to save some $ into other things like warranty if I decide to or to ferret away in the bank for a rainy day on the car.

I haven't dealt with an auction car before, with so many in the small dealers, ones I want to consider, I just don't know.

If there is some method to the madness in a small time dealer that would give me some comfort in buying I am ok with it.

I am not really after rare, would prefer an A8L more than anything with the HID lights and not the monoblock wheels (too mundane/bland looking for a D2 if you ask me, just my thoughts seeing them in pictures)
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Old 08-30-2011, 07:40 AM   #19
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What sort of disadvantages? The trans is the biggie. But other than that, what real advantages of the D3 over D2?

Sorry, I haven't got digging on the D3 yet, been pouring over D2 info now....

Is the cost of the D3 worth that you get over a D2? I am seeing averages in the $8k range for D2's (varies, but that is probably median price) to D3's median in the $20k-$24k. That is a big spread. I am thinking longer term with the car, being alum body, I it should last much longer than my others, which the body rusting is what has frustrated me a lot, where I could have driven one FAR longer than what I did (250k miles and the body is looking pretty bad, but the drivetrain has an easy 250k more in it, but the body isn't allowing for it). It is an 94 Fleetwood with the LT1. Pretty bulletproof driveline. And cheap to replace/repair if needed.

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I just don't understand how the clear advantages of the D3 don't outweigh the D2 and it's disadvantages!? Both great cars but it is like night and day.
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Old 08-30-2011, 08:20 AM   #20
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I have owned both a 98 D2 and 04 D3. I like both cars, but the A8L is quite a bit larger inside, especially for anyone in the back seat. The D2 has a slightly larger trunk and gets slightly better mpg. A 98 D2 should sell for $4-6K depending on repair history. The D3 and D2 are very different cars, the D3 is more modern with a lot more features. Also you can search for D2 or D3's by year on Jaxed and pick up all the Craigslist and Ebay listings.
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