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A8 / S8 (D3 Platform) Discussion Discussion forum for the D3 Audi A8 produced from 2003-2010 and Audi S8 produced from 2006-2010

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Old 08-19-2014, 05:02 PM   #1
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Default S8 - Amazing Experience + Questions for Forum Members

Hi everyone,

I am the proud new owner of a 2007 S8. This is my first Audi -- the S8 is like a drug. All I can say is WOW.

I bought her with 49,850 miles on the odometer in Night Blue Pearl Effect. She was a lease return that was picked up at an auction by a Lexus Dealership in California. It appears (at least on the surface) that the car was pampered.

From the maintenance records I've read, the car appears to have been aggressively serviced at Santa Monica Audi. The owner did all maintenance on-time and some big wear/tear items were addressed in the last 5k miles - all brake pads and rotors were replaced @ 45k miles last year, all tires were replaced. A few other minor repairs were also in the list (trim issue, window replacement, etc).

A few days after I purchased the car, I took her to my independent Audi mechanic to get her in tip-top shape. (P.s. Found the mechanic through the AudiWorld forums -- hope he turns out to be honest, capable and reasonable)

I asked to have a detailed inspection ASAP. The issues I asked the mechanic to focus on were the ones I found after I took possession:

(1) After driving the car 60 miles, a false positive oil level warning light ("check oil min level" - yellow light) turned on. Oil level looks good from dipstick reading and oil/filter was last changed by Lexus dealership in May. (After I check the dipstick and close the hood, the warning light goes off and then turns back on in 60 miles.) mechanic tells me it is a bad sensor and he can change it out after he drains the oil.

(2) The other issue is a that the Navigation seems to be flaking out intermittently with a check DVD message. (The DVD looks like a burned copy, which might be the problem. I am also told that the DVD units fail frequently on the S8). No Aux-In or iPod connector -- no big deal, but was surprised that this as an option and not standard for a 2007.

(3) I heard a rubbing/low whine coming from the passenger side wheel well when I turn right. I only heard this noise two times in a few days of driving and for only about 2 seconds. It only seems to happen when I'm turning into my driveway, so it may just be the way the ingress/egress are affecting the suspension. Unable to reproduce noise with the mechanic during test drive, and visual inspection on the rack does not show any issues or rubbing. M
My mechanic tells me that it looks like the upper control arms were replaced in early 2013.

I asked my mechanic about preventive maintenance on the carbon-buildup issues that plagues the FSI engines. He advised that this issue is nature of the beast with FSI engines, and told me he has successfully used solvents as a preventive measure. Not sure what to believe on this issue.

In any case, I approved a 55k mile/6 year service with the carbon-buildup solvent treatment and a comprehensive inspection. A full report on the way.

QUESTIONS FOR BOARD MEMBERS

I've been lurking for a while, as I have always been fascinated by this car, and appreciate all of the expertise from the board-members. I do have a few questions for members, where my forum searching skills have failed me.

1. How many D3 S8's were produced? I read somewhere that only ~250 were imported into the United States every year. Is that true?

2. I do not have a warranty on this car. I've budgeted $15k-$20k for maintenance/repairs over the next 3 years, and intend to drive her as a weekend car w/ intention to put ~7,500 a year in mileage.Does this seem like reasonable maintenance budget assuming that car has been well cared for? --- My mechanic stated that catastrophic failures on the 5.2L V10 on the lambo (thrown rods) were known to happen -- while noting the difference between the 5.2L in the Lambo and the 5.2L in the S8. He thought catastrophic engine failures might also be a random issue with the D3 S8. But when I pressed him on this point, he admittted that he doesn't know a lot about S8 statistics (with so few of them around) and couldn't definitively advise re: the odds of a major tranny or engine failure on the car?

Is catastrophic failure of the engine/drive-train a meaningful risk with the S8? My other weekend car is an 2000 Acura NSX. The V6 there is bullet-proof -- I'm told that Acura has never had to replace a engine 3.0L or 3.2L NSX engine under warranty. Any opinions on S8 reliability and risk of catastrophic engine or tranny failure would be appreciated?

3. In light of #2 above -- does it make sense to purchase an after-market warranty? Lots of conflicting opinions on this board and others. Has anyone successfully used an after-market warranty to cover S8 tranny or engine issues? Am I better off banking the money and paying the piper if issues manifest themselves? I'm not mechanically inclined so the idea of buying a Bentley manual and becoming handy on the car beyond simple tasks is probably overzealous. ("We each play with the gifts God gives us")

Thanks in advance and cheers.
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Old 08-19-2014, 05:31 PM   #2
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Sounds like a terrific car, hope your mechanic fixes the issues and finds the car in solid shape.

I may be in the minority on this forum, but I believe in buying a used car at a good price and spending on the best aftermarket warranty I can find. Especially on cars of this caliber when routine ware and tear gets rather pricey. I have a Fidelity extended warranty on my A8L and it has paid for itself already and I still have 16 months and 15K miles to go. I have owned warranties on BMW, Mercedes and a Cadillac and they have all done me well, absorbing well above 3 to 4 times the cost of the warranty in each case.

Personally, I wouldn't own an expensive to fix German flagship without an extended warranty.

Other's will disagree, but the facts in my case demonstrate they have been solid investments. And, I like it when I can take it to a dealer for an issue. Once out of warranty its another story. I will do as much myself as I am confident in doing so. The rest will be via a trusted independent and dealer on an as needed basis.

No warranty that i know of will cover certain "sure to fail" items given time; like the air suspension struts our cars; but yes on the compressor. Timing belt is considered maintenance and not an issue on the post 2006 models so you're good there. So the likely things to fail will be covered, suspension bushings, water pumps, a/c compressors, electronics, trunk motor, sun roof wind deflector motor, alternator, etc. will be covered. If you have the means and by your own note of budgeting $15-$20K over 3 years, it sounds like you do. I would seek the most comprehensive coverage with the lowest deductible you can find. Estimate it will cost ~$4K (maybe less).

Then drive the hell out of that amazing car....

Just my opinion!
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2006 A8L Sport Oyster Grey on Amaretto

Mods: Lowered approx 10mm all around (Sport is already ~20mm lower that non-sport), Auto open and close windows and sunroof via remote, Seat belt chime delete, Cross-drilled front rotors, Painted Brake Calipers, Rear H&R spacers, Fogs as DRL (yellow), Trunk Close via Remote (Thanks Louis), Parking Brake (ROW) auto release upon pressing accelerator (thanks Mishar) and Illuminated Door Sills. Future mods as I get inspired...
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Old 08-19-2014, 05:58 PM   #3
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Thank you for the prompt and helpful insight. I'm really excited and grateful to have an S8 -- part of me wants to just start using the car as a daily driver because it is an absolute joy on the road. (I drive a 2008 Cadillac STS V8 as my daily -- it's comfortable but very bland)

Glad to hear that your warranty has paid for itself many times over. I will take your experience into consideration. With the S8 I purchased being out of warranty, I don't think I will be able to find/qualify for a solid exclusionary warranty plan (which is what I suspect you have).

I know the prices for these warranties can range widely, do you mind if I ask you how much you spent on yours and how/when you purchased it?

Looking forward to hearing the experience of others.
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Old 08-19-2014, 07:29 PM   #4
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I was under the impression there were some 1300 s8s imported, bulk of them in 2007
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Old 08-19-2014, 08:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by halik View Post
I was under the impression there were some 1300 s8s imported, bulk of them in 2007
Thanks. I assume you are referring to D3 S8 -- Between 2006 - 2010...that is an average of 325 a year. Pretty low #'s.
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Old 08-20-2014, 05:03 AM   #6
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Save your money for a manifold off mechanical action carbon cleaning, solvents by themselves do very little if any.

USA S8 (1749);
2007 - 1144 imported
2008 - 396 imported
2009 - 209 imported
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Last edited by EHLO; 08-20-2014 at 05:06 AM.
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Old 08-20-2014, 08:07 AM   #7
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Correct, I have always purchased a minimal exclusionary plan while the used car was still under factory warranty. The price difference is significantly lower when purchased this way. IIRC, paid around $3,500 to $3,800 in 2010; with zero deductible. Shop around as dealers compete on price to sell an extended warranty. Ironically, I purchased my Fidelity warranty through my local Toyota dealer as the finance manager there simply saw it as a way to mark up a service without carrying any inventory.
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2006 A8L Sport Oyster Grey on Amaretto

Mods: Lowered approx 10mm all around (Sport is already ~20mm lower that non-sport), Auto open and close windows and sunroof via remote, Seat belt chime delete, Cross-drilled front rotors, Painted Brake Calipers, Rear H&R spacers, Fogs as DRL (yellow), Trunk Close via Remote (Thanks Louis), Parking Brake (ROW) auto release upon pressing accelerator (thanks Mishar) and Illuminated Door Sills. Future mods as I get inspired...
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Old 08-20-2014, 06:38 PM   #8
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Not familiar with catastrophic engine failures on these cars. The V10 is derived from the 4.2 V8 and more served as the basis of the later Gallardo and R8 V10's (with the 5.2l) as opposed to being derived from the early Gallardo engine (5.0l), as I understand.
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Old 08-20-2014, 06:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EHLO View Post
Save your money for a manifold off mechanical action carbon cleaning, solvents by themselves do very little if any.

USA S8 (1749);
2007 - 1144 imported
2008 - 396 imported
2009 - 209 imported
What is a realistic figure to budget for this? Figure I will do it at some point.
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Old 08-20-2014, 08:14 PM   #10
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Your worrying to much. Get the car up to snuff maintenance wise and just do the prevent maint. Any issues that come along the way just fix/handle them. You'll spend hours upon days thinking/planning. Sometimes you can run into a big issue (more prone to W12's), the S8 is a solid car don't worry as much, and no I'd pass on the warranty. Search through the threads as their are SOOOOOO many that cover warranties. It's a to each their own kind of topic. Me personally, use the money to fix the car whenever anything happens, and just do the maintenance on the car on time and watch it.
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Old 08-20-2014, 08:14 PM
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