Author Topic: S4 Long Term Reliability?  (Read 2450 times)

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kutarkvalidus

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S4 Long Term Reliability?
« on: March 18, 2005, 05:10:56 AM »
Hey guys, I am seriously considering purchasing an 01/02 S4.  There are 2 im looking at, one has 57k miles, the other 40, and is certified pre owned.  The dealership is asking way too much for the one with 40k, so i doubt i would get it, so essentially it leaves the 57k.

I am concerned about long term reliability as i plan to own the car probably past 100k miles.

I have heard a few horror stories about the A4's with the turbo having issues after ~60k miles.

Anyone that has any input please help me out.  I don't intend to mod it, and if i do worst case would be probably an APR tune.  I'm just looking for an all around good car, awd, fairly quick, nothing special.

Colorado_Baja

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S4 Long Term Reliability?
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2005, 06:21:30 AM »
You really have to take it for what it is, if your planing on keeping it past 100k it could be a nightmare. It is after all an old audi at that point, stuff will break and it probly wont be cheep to fix.
Also turbo A4's are a diffrent beast, If any thing I would think that the 2.7T would be more finiky than its smaller A4 sibling. But than again im a 1.8T lover.

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S4 Long Term Reliability?
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2005, 06:21:30 AM »

jayryan

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S4 Long Term Reliability?
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2005, 10:28:54 AM »
Yeah, but I think to a point that a car's reliability goes as far as the work put into it. I plan on keeping my 1.8T past 200K. There's alot of preventative maintanence that I have to do to keep it reliable.

VW/Audi's have issues, but so does every car...it sounds like you know what you want. If you plan on taking good care of it and not abusing it, I wouldn't worry too much. However, from experience of another member, don't chip until your warranty's out. Replacing both turbo's can get a little expensive.

I think the reason that the 2.7T is more finiky than the 1.8T is that it has an extra turbo. Historically, I feel turbo cars have always been finiky....kinda like a really good horse. Growing up, my dad's Porsches always seemed to be very tempremental.

Granted, my 1.8T hasn't been too tempremental, but when it is, it's usually something I'll deal with to have the quickness and enjoyability. Those qualifications rate alot higher on my list than not having to work on my car every 8mo. to a year or so. Most of it I might add, is 'cause I'm doing something new and the car didn't like it :wink:
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92UrS4

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S4 Long Term Reliability?
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2005, 01:34:07 PM »
With the 2.7T S4 getting around 57K here are some things to consider.  Has teh timing belt, water pump, t-stat, rollers and tensioner been replaced?  Probably not at those miles.  It is a $1200 job at an indy shop or about $2K at the dealer.

Does it come wiht a warranty? You have no idea who owned the car before you, how they drove it or anything like that.

The car, it's engine and everything else can last a long long time if it is taken care of. You could easily get another 100K out of that car if it has been, and continues to be properly maintained and taken care of.

If you get the car and start doing performance mods it's going to put more wear and tear on those components which will lead to an earlier demise of that part.  That doesn't mean if you chip it the turbos will be blown in 5K miles, but they could.

Anyway, drive a few different ones, hop on the B5 forums on AudiWorld and do some searches about maintenance and so forth.  It is an expensive car to maintain. So while they have become quite affordable in the model year 2000 - 2001 range, it doesn't mean their costs of ownership haven't decreased.

Back to the note abou timing belts and warrantys.  If they have a CPO or one with a extended warranty make sure it covers things like the timing belt and the turbos.  The timing belt is scheduled for replacement around 100K.  However there are a lot of failures around the 60 - 70K range.  These failures are not typically the belot, but another component such as the tensioner or a roller.  As for the turbos, to replace both turbos costs about $2500 - $4000.  When one goes, the other follows almost instantly in most cases.

One last thing to mention, if you are intending to buy this car because of how it comes as is, I think based on what I explained above you could have 100K miles of happy ownership with regular maintenance.  If you are planning on buying the car to modify it you will definitley need to spend the $$$ to modify it right and understand it's weaknesses as well as understand by doing so no warranty will cover failures and you will be 100% liable for fixing things that bomb.

FYI, I am a former A6 2.7T owner.  It is an awesome engine and loads of fun!  Good luck on the search and I hope you find the perfect S!

s4josh

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Re: S4 Long Term Reliability?
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2005, 03:03:55 PM »
Quote from: "kutarkvalidus"
I'm just looking for an all around good car, awd, fairly quick, nothing special.


Well buy a Subaru because I know you just didn't talk that way about an S4!!! pshush "fairly quick" pshush "nothing special" !!!

2001.5 - S4 Maintenance Costs (in my experenance):

Every 5k            $80
Every 10k          $250
Every 40k          $600
Every 40k - 60k  $700 - $1000 brakes
Every 60k          $1200 - $1600 timing belt & water pump +

I am just now at 60k, so I dont know whats ahead :)  

Here are the problems I have had with the car.  The Heater/AC blower fan went out, coolant tank developed a common leak, and one of the windshield washer nozzels went bad.  Otherwise I haven't had any problems.  

I do have a problem with the center temp/info display in the insturment cluster randomly losing horizontal lines in the display, so I assume a connector is coming lose in the dash, but that doesn't really bother me much.  I will get it fixed or lookup how to fix it, unless you guys know :)

AGain don't buy an S4 if your just looking for something "not special" because I'll come find you and take your S4 from you and give it to someone who will appreciate it!!!
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kutarkvalidus

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S4 Long Term Reliability?
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2005, 03:05:23 PM »
Welp, mainly im looking for a car for transportation, road trips, etc.  And the ability to kick it up when i want to.

I just checked and the company is stating that the 57k car is one prev owner with all books and records.  We'll see about that when i go down there.  Otherwise i will likely try to pick up the CPO one.

I am prepared for cost of maintenance, its things like bad turbos/engine/tranny that i am more concerned about.

Otherwise i did find a 2k1 with 8k miles, though im wondering as to the reality of that.  Nevertheless, thanks for all your input.

kutarkvalidus

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S4 Long Term Reliability?
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2005, 03:07:45 PM »
Also, do you guys think paying 25-26k for a 2k2 with 40k and audi CPO to 6yrs/100k miles is too much for that car?

Cus honestly, if i could get them down on the CPO one in denver, i may try to do it instead of the one with 57k thats asking quite a bit less.  I just have no desire to screw with big repairs etc.

kutarkvalidus

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S4 Long Term Reliability?
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2005, 03:34:26 PM »
"Well buy a Subaru because I know you just didn't talk that way about an S4!!! pshush "fairly quick" pshush "nothing special" !!!
"

That was my initial choice.  I had an STi lined up, rdy to be ordered.  There was a dealership in Ohio that was going to give me one for invoice because of the company i work for (i work in insurance).  Then, about a week before i put my order in, just about every insurance company has a lovely rate revision and an STi with no speeding tickets, perfect credit and proof of prior increased from abouit 1400 for 6 months to 1900 for 6 months, that is with no speeding violation, nothing.

The regular rex went from about 1200 to 1500 with no tickets, and about 1900 with one.

Frankly its not worth it.  It makes me very angry though.  Because i know more about subaru's than most people that own them, and i dont have one lol.

I looked at several cars after that 330Ci, Xi, S4, G35 Sedan. 2g eclipse.

Essentially i ran into wanting more of a unique car, that was still quick, had all the cool stuff (HID, Moonroof, etc) and had the special feel to it.

(by the way, when i said nothing special i meant i wasn't looking for like a car with a cadillac ride, that ran 12 second QTs' and could pull 1g on the skidpad ;-) )

s4josh

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S4 Long Term Reliability?
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2005, 04:14:18 PM »
Quote from: "kutarkvalidus"
by the way, when i said nothing special i meant i wasn't looking for like a car with a cadillac ride, that ran 12 second QTs' and could pull 1g on the skidpad ;-) )


Audi > Subaru

Well a Subaru WRX STi wouldn't fall into your definition of special either than would it and then your still in a econo car with a $32k dollar price tag, with an engine thats being pushed out towards the max of its reliability.  Performance between the STi and S4 are not that far apart you know and all you have to do to beat an STi is chip > rear sway > springs > struts/shocks.  Which is basicly all the STi is over the WRX and they had to put a stronger engine block to handle higher cylinder pressure and a stronger AWD pieces with an additional center diff control.  Another benefit to the S4 over the STi is it doesn't scream "Hey I am 18 look at my huge wing and please pull me over officier!" and Subaru's will always be marketed as cheap cars for the masses targeted at teens and young adults with an occasional special car released in the US to generate some PR, and its still not the real STi the rest of the world gets!  Hey you could buy a Saab 9-2x, that is a WRX reskinned and also new interior and it looks like it has class, but the masses won't know :wink:

I am a hard core Audi/VW fan.  I meant it as a joke when I said go buy a Subaru...

I will shutup now sorry....
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hotani

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S4 Long Term Reliability?
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2005, 04:34:13 PM »
Sounds like the CPO option is a good bet for you - especially since they'll cover it to 100k miles or so. Make them do the timing belt crap so you don't have to deal with or pay for it. Most people are afraid of turbo failure, but those people are also the ones chipping and/or modifying the car in other ways. Without a chip the failure rate is not that bad - after chip however, the statistics are NOT in your favor.

As for the subarus... have you considered a Legacy GT? I'm sure the insurance on a "family car" would not be anything close to that of the STi. Ask Jon (03indigo) about his new outback.
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kutarkvalidus

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S4 Long Term Reliability?
« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2005, 10:33:52 PM »
yeah, the legacy GT's really arent what im lookin for, .78 on the skidpad is enough in itself to make me not buy one.  That and they really aren't that quick.

I did find a red 2k1 s4 with 39k CPO etc asking 28k, i'm thinkin very heavily on trying to talk them down to 25 or 26k on it.

Cole

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S4 Long Term Reliability?
« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2005, 02:29:36 AM »
I think some of the horror stories are a little exagerated. If you look at some of the cars on Audiworld there are more than a couple of guys in the 125,000 to 160,000 mile range with their S4s. Some still on stock turbos and chips.

There are a couple of common problems but interestingly enough some of the problems are actually cured by adding upgraded performance parts. Which is always better than just replacing a bad part with the same bad part.


The engine block, trans, axles seem to all be solid. Most of the failures seem to be turbo related. But they are also totally cured when you replace many of these parts with performance upgrades. What a deal, more power and better reliability.  :D

Guess it just boils down to how you personally view what is reliable and what is not.

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Noob_Shum

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S4 Long Term Reliability?
« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2005, 05:17:11 AM »
Quote from: "kutarkvalidus"
yeah, the legacy GT's really arent what im lookin for, .78 on the skidpad is enough in itself to make me not buy one.  That and they really aren't that quick.

I did find a red 2k1 s4 with 39k CPO etc asking 28k, i'm thinkin very heavily on trying to talk them down to 25 or 26k on it.


I believe the GTs do 0 to 60 in under 6 seconds, they aren't really that slow..

s4josh

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S4 Long Term Reliability?
« Reply #13 on: March 21, 2005, 03:10:18 PM »
0-60 in under 6 seconds = quicker than 99% of all cars everymade.  

What do you really need for a daily driver?  Well I would like 0-60 in 3.5 seconds and i am working on that.  Your not going to buy that in a stock daily driver that wont cost you an insane cash and need lots of maintenance.
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kutarkvalidus

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S4 Long Term Reliability?
« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2005, 03:18:45 AM »
Well, all the research i've done says 6.1 to 60mph with the exception of autos.msn.com which states 5.6/

Either way, its unimportant.  As i said, the .78 does it for me.  That and it really isnt too pretty of a car ;-(.