2002 Audi A4 Pros and Cons at TrueDelta: Typical high ownership costs for a German car especially if you don't have a set of metric tools. by Ranson
The B6 Chassis is quite old now and will require maintenance and repairs on a regular basis. There are many websites dedicated to these cars and the amount of information out there is almost endless. I would not recommend this car if you aren't able to do some of your own work on it. The mechanic hourly rates applied to this vehicle will kill the joy of ownership.
Reliability & durability
I bought this car new and it now has well over 250,000 miles. The car is completely stock and I believe that has helped to keep the engine running well as it seems the stock ECU is throttled way back so it is a bit under powered. It has begun to use a small amount (about one quart) of oil between 10,000 mile synthetic oil changes. No signs of turbo problems, yet. All repais and maintenance have been done in my own garage. There is a large list of repairs I've had to deal with. After 14 years, I can recall 3 times the car left me stranded. The first fuel pump failed before 100k miles, the second fuel pump failed at approx 210K miles. The left front axle shaft fell off (my own stupidity) once after I failed to properly torque the axle shaft bolts to the transmission flange. The clutch was replaced at 220K miles. Numerous sensors, check valves, and the entire crankcase breather system has been replaced. 2 left front wheel bearings, new radiator and 2 valve cover gaskets. Too many other mundane items to list. It seems there is always some part failing and throwing another Check Engine code. Overall, I really enjoy driving it and find the driving dynamics excellent. It still has the all the original suspension parts including shock/struts. I am very suprised at how the well the drive train/suspension has help up. The interior has held up well too. The exterior paint seems to have withstood all these years and it cleans up nicely. Many friends/coworkers can't believe it's 14 years old.
Brand reputation & image
This car was taken to the dealership during the initial free maint period of 50,000 miles. I always provided my own synthetic oil as the dealership wouldn't use synthetic if they provided the oil. After 50K, I did attempt to use the dealership on a couple of occasions only to be shocked at the high dollar quotes for the most simple of repairs. They wanted $900 to replace the cam shaft seals. $1800 for timing belt kit install. The dealer attitude is that owner repairs are only done by fools at their own peril. My experience with this car has led me to understand that Audi vehicles do require more maintenance and attention than your average Japanese brands. It is a German car and there are engineering qualities that I admire. But it ain't a spaceship requiring a highly skilled scientist to work on it. Given this snooty attitude I experienced at the dealeship, I wish Audi (Service Reps) would be less about making a buck and more about pleasing the customer. Audi cars are fine vehicles. However, if you want to own one, try to do some of your own maint and repairs. I see too many negative comments in other review forums related to the high cost of ownership due to repairs at dealerships. I understand that some folks can't or won't work on their own vehicles. If this is your situation, I would not recommend an Audi.
I believe this car should get better fuel mileage than it does. I average about 25 miles per gallon. The on board display that calculates fuel mileage is off by about 2-3 miles per gallon. It displays 27 to 28. 1.8 liters could get 35 MPG and I can coax it to 30 MPG that but I have to drive like Grandpa to do it. That's no fun! Also, the minimum octane is 91. There is only 87, 89, and 93 octane in the southers areas of the U.S. So fuel is quite expensive if using 93.
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