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  1. Potential A8 Owner 
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    Good afternoon,

    I've been looking at a replacement for my Merc S320 for a while and an Audi A8 has been recommended as a good possible replacement.

    Going to see a 55 plate A8L 4.0 Quattro Se on friday but wanted some advice on what to look out for.

    Car has done about 34000 with services at 11k and 24k so I guessing it needs a service now as one point. Any other items I should check on?

    Thanks for your help.
     
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  2. Re: Potential A8 Owner 
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    There are probably other things to look for, but the one obvious things that stares me in the face after buying a car on "Long Life Servicing" is its not good for car IMO and other industry guys/general consensus on net... I am a low mileage driver but still change oil once a year on car regardless of miles its done...

    So IMO 2 services in 7 years... is two low... have further info on the services/regime it was on...
     
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  3. Re: Potential A8 Owner 
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    Hi,

    Agree with Gupsterg above that longlife is nobody's friend. Having said that, the limited number of miles it has done shouldn't be a deal breaker, but definitely get off it as soon as possible.

    Anyway, a few thoughts for you (specific to 4.0 tdi), some of which I have posted in response to differing questions so apologies for repetition.

    Look closely for any warning lights. Any warning light needs proper investigation as many of them cover a multitude of sins. Flashing glow plug lights especially can be cheap or seriously expensive.

    Check tyre wear - should be broadly even across the tyres. Any funny wear means alignment needs fixing - which is fine unless they then find anything ceased which can get expensive quite quickly (see control arms below).

    Front brakes are expensive - 500 for discs and pads so check the life in them. Rears about 350 and must be done by a dealer or specialist as you need a computer to retract the electronic handbrake.

    Front suspension joints (any creaks, squeeks, knocks). Beware, some of these can be expensive - track rod ends for example get very pricey (like 800) because you might as well do all 4 of them because of the cost of alignment and bump adjustment. Individual arms aren't too bad at circa 200 though.

    Air compressor relay (wears out then leaves the air compressor running until it burns out). Quick preventative maintenance fix and worth doing for 100 as a new compressor is over 1000. Watch out for any illuminated suspension lights.

    Listen very carefully to cold startup - any clattering or anything that sounds like a hammer on metal walk away. Quite a few cases of worn timing chain tensioners which is an engine out job to fix in the 4.0 (wrong side of 4k).

    Turbos can be seriously expensive as well - if I recall correctly at least one of them requires dropping the engine to gain access. Not uncommon for them to stick causing flashing glow plug lights. This is sometimes just the linkage ceasing up and can be solved with lubrication (minimal cost) - or it can be new turbo time...

    Check ALL the electrics work and don't do anything peculiar (for example switching randomly into German, or draining the battery). Rare but can be very time consuming to diagnose and hence expensive to fix.

    Check the MMI screen opens and closes properly - about 300 if not.

    A few posts on here about rear LED lights failing necessitating new units (about 140 each) so worth a check.

    Dead batteries are a nuisance as, in theory at least, new ones need coding into the ECU that manages power distribution so you're into 300 odd.

    Any oil leaks from the transmission or engine are worth investigating as well - can range from irrelevant to seriously unfunny (rear main oil seal is 1600 as gearbox out for example).

    Take the covering top off the engine (just pull to remove) in order to see the intake manifolds (big black plastic things stretching along the top of each bank of cylinders). Check that the control rods that run down the side are attached properly and that there aren't any oil leaks coming from any of the seals. Check this carefully as the assemblies are about 1k each side and you can't get individual parts.

    Anyway, that should hopefully give you something to go on - good luck!
     
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  4. Re: Potential A8 Owner 
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    Thanks for the information. Seems to be good common sense but some of the repair costs are of a scary amount, Is the 4.2 worth going for over the 4.0 or does the 4.2 have the same sort of issues?
     
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  5. Re: Potential A8 Owner 
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    Pleasure. Prices are very approximate main dealer so are probably worst case.

    4.2s have the same sorts of issues except:

    - the timing chain tensioners were updated around 2005 (so your proposed 4.0 may have the updated ones)
    - The intake manifolds were also updated later on - don't panic about these though, issues are fairly rare.

    But, looking at it the other way round, some of the earlier 4.2s have had injector issues which are worth watching out for (dodgy idle, smoking at idle, oil levels increasing) which don't seem so common on 4.0s.

    Most people would probably advise you to go for a 4.2 as it is a newer design of engine and weighs a bit less than the 4.0. Torque figures are the same although the 4.2 spreads it a bit wider across the rev range and has about 50bhp extra which knocks about .5 of the 0-60 time. I suspect a 4.2 would also be a bit more refined but I have never driven one. Economy is also a couple of mpg better.

    However, I don't think you'd feel short changed with a 4.0 - I've run one for 65k. It's averaged about 33mpg, cracks 40mpg when cruising at 70mph and once managed a GPS verified 169mph on a German autobahn coming back from Koln. Really I suspect it comes down to purchase price difference between them - if there were no price difference then get the 4.2 but if there's useful saving then get the 4.0.

    Better still - drive them both back to back and let me know what you think as I'd be very interested to hear your thoughts!
     
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  6. Re: Potential A8 Owner 
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    Just an update for you,

    I'm picking up an 56 plate A8L 4.2 FSI tomorrow. After trying a few dealer over the last few weekends and finding cars either unavailable (as the 4.0 tdi was) or with error lights on, I decided to travel slightly further afield and ending up in Birmingham. Car has done 60k, just passed its mot and has been serviced. it drove lovely and due to my driving, the mpg difference shouldn't hurt me too much (hopefully )

    Need to look at when/if the cambelt was changed - anyone know the timing intervals for this?

    Apart from that, should be a good drive back home tomorrow.
     
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  7. Re: Potential A8 Owner 
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    It could well be a timing chain but check first.
     
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  8. Re: Potential A8 Owner 
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    Well, I'm no longer a potential A8 owner, I'm now an A8 owner. Looks like the engine is belt driven, according to the service schedule in the car. 80k (or 8 years I guess) interval.

    Car doesn't have the ami interface which is a tad annoying as there is no option for mp3 so need to look at retrofitting that at some point but other than that, a very happy man.
     
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  9. Re: Potential A8 Owner 
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1stRaven View Post
    Well, I'm no longer a potential A8 owner, I'm now an A8 owner. Looks like the engine is belt driven, according to the service schedule in the car. 80k (or 8 years I guess) interval.

    Car doesn't have the ami interface which is a tad annoying as there is no option for mp3 so need to look at retrofitting that at some point but other than that, a very happy man.
    Straight swap for the CD changer or it can be fitted in situ with it.

    Simple swap takes 5 mins.

    Any pictures?
     
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  10. Re: Potential A8 Owner 
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    Congratulations and welcome to the club!

    MMI retrofit is perfectly doable and well worth it - you can even do it yourself (loads of posts about how to do it) if you fancy the challenge.
     
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