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  1. #1
    lil_coz's Avatar
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    Buying an S3. What to look out for?

    Well after the problems that I've got with my car at the moment (separate thread here), I've decided that after I get it fixed, I'm going to sell it and get an S3. The problems aren't exactly major, but it's an excuse for me to upgrade!

    I'm going to be getting it new (I've been told delivery times of August/Sept at the moment), which I'm ok with. It's going to be the hatchback and S tronic. I'm taking one for a test drive on Monday (hopefully, waiting for the guy to come back to me), and I just wanted to ask if there are any common faults with them? Not having it mapped, leaving it standard.

    Also, realistically, how much can I get knocked off the asking price?

    Cheers,
    Coss

    S3 S-tronic: Panther Black, lots of extras, MTM remap


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  3. #2
    S3RYE's Avatar
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    i got 10% off & mapping is all good!! theres a few running stage 2+ on S-Tronic cars...
    Gone but not forgotten......
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    3 - Phantom Black - Black Optics - Most Extras

    Mods: Revo Stage 2+ - 18" BBS ch/Michelin PS2 - Recaro OEM Buckets - Milltek TBE NonRes/Sports Cat - Evoms Intake - APR hpfp - H&R Springs/ARBS F&R - Sachs Clutch/Luk DMF - AP Racing 6 Pot BBK - 10mm Spacers - Black Rings
    Mods To Do: Full Retrim - MY11 RNSe - Coilovers- Plenty Carbon




  4. #3
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    I wouldn't worry about common faults. Even if there are any, you're buying new so you'll be covered under warranty for 3 years (first two years unlimited mileage, 3rd year up to 60k miles).

  5. #4
    S3Alex's Avatar
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    As aythree has said,with a new car,you don't need to worry.

    The things that do give trouble are the plugs and coilpacks,and HonestJohn is always worth a look as well....A3 2008 | Audi | Car Reviews | Honest John

  6. #5
    lil_coz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by S3RYE View Post
    i got 10% off & mapping is all good!! theres a few running stage 2+ on S-Tronic cars...
    10% is decent enough... At least I've got a ballpark figure to aim for now.

    My arm can be easily twisted when it comes to remaps, but I've read a few people having clutch issues and it's put me off it a bit.

    Quote Originally Posted by aythreee View Post
    I wouldn't worry about common faults. Even if there are any, you're buying new so you'll be covered under warranty for 3 years (first two years unlimited mileage, 3rd year up to 60k miles).
    I read that bit in the bumph. Does the 'unlimited mileage in first two years' cover a car if it'll do 65k miles? That's the first question that came to my mind. Not that I'll ever do that kind of mileage. My car at the moment has just done 20k miles and it's 3 and a half years old!

    The thing is, once the warranty has run out, it'll be shipped out to Cyprus. Go out there quite a bit so I'll have it out there. It's just to have in mind of possible things that go wrong, if they do.
    Coss

    S3 S-tronic: Panther Black, lots of extras, MTM remap


  7. #6
    S3RYE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lil_coz View Post
    10% is decent enough... At least I've got a ballpark figure to aim for now.

    My arm can be easily twisted when it comes to remaps, but I've read a few people having clutch issues and it's put me off it a bit.
    clutch issues are with manuals mostly... DSG has a higher tolerance for Torque/bhp afaik

    there a member over on VAGOC who has a 60 plate S3 S-Tronic runnning stage 2+
    Gone but not forgotten......
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    3 - Phantom Black - Black Optics - Most Extras

    Mods: Revo Stage 2+ - 18" BBS ch/Michelin PS2 - Recaro OEM Buckets - Milltek TBE NonRes/Sports Cat - Evoms Intake - APR hpfp - H&R Springs/ARBS F&R - Sachs Clutch/Luk DMF - AP Racing 6 Pot BBK - 10mm Spacers - Black Rings
    Mods To Do: Full Retrim - MY11 RNSe - Coilovers- Plenty Carbon




  8. #7
    beanoir's Avatar
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    They're dull and pretty boring to drive, they start to rattle like a 10 year old Ford Mondeo after about 10k miles, The Bridgestone tyres they fit (if they still do) from factory are rubbish in the wet and not much better in the dry, they are twitchy and pretty unstable under hard braking for a car of it's ilk, the clutches are made of butter, the engines sound like a bag of nails on idle, I could go on but needless to say, not the best way to spend 30k IMO.
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  9. #8
    beanoir's Avatar
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    Oh and the paintjob on mine was shocking from the factory too, make sure you check it over with a fine tooth comb when you pick it up. Mine cannot be corrcted without a respray.
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  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by lil_coz View Post
    Does the 'unlimited mileage in first two years' cover a car if it'll do 65k miles? That's the first question that came to my mind. Not that I'll ever do that kind of mileage. My car at the moment has just done 20k miles and it's 3 and a half years old!
    My understanding is that for two years you will be covered, no matter how many miles you do. But if at the beginning of the 3rd year you have done more then 60k then the cover is over.
    If you've done say 55k at the beginning of the 3rd year then you will have another year or 5k miles (which ever one comes first) of cover left.

    Quote Originally Posted by beanoir View Post
    They're dull and pretty boring to drive, they start to rattle like a 10 year old Ford Mondeo after about 10k miles, The Bridgestone tyres they fit (if they still do) from factory are rubbish in the wet and not much better in the dry, they are twitchy and pretty unstable under hard braking for a car of it's ilk, the clutches are made of butter, the engines sound like a bag of nails on idle, I could go on but needless to say, not the best way to spend 30k IMO.
    Another satisfied customer I see.

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by S3RYE View Post
    clutch issues are with manuals mostly... DSG has a higher tolerance for Torque/bhp afaik

    there a member over on VAGOC who has a 60 plate S3 S-Tronic runnning stage 2+
    The DSG issues with respect to torque come with heavily tuned engines,which can in theory if not practice,exceed the torque limits of the clutch packs.

    Revo do offer gearbox software remaps which should lift the limit to over 400lbs,and sort that one out,but without that,the torque limit is about 360lbs,which equates to Stg2+ remap power/torque.

    There are a few Cyprus based owners over on VAGOC,who would be worth a chat with,if and when you take the car over.

  12. #11
    S3Alex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beanoir View Post
    They're dull and pretty boring to drive, they start to rattle like a 10 year old Ford Mondeo after about 10k miles, The Bridgestone tyres they fit (if they still do) from factory are rubbish in the wet and not much better in the dry, they are twitchy and pretty unstable under hard braking for a car of it's ilk, the clutches are made of butter, the engines sound like a bag of nails on idle, I could go on but needless to say, not the best way to spend 30k IMO.
    Agreed,the Bridgestones are rubbish,and grip about as well as soap on wet glass,but boring and rattly and with crappy paint?.....yours must have been a lemon.

    A standard one might be a bit bland,but a properly modified one is anything but boring,and after 34 000 miles,mine neither rattles,nor has crappy paint.

  13. #12
    S3RYE's Avatar
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    Beanoir i love you... dont post too much but when you do it blows me away!! & tbh i have to agree with you on the paint, rattle thing... maybe a facelift thing...
    Gone but not forgotten......
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    3 - Phantom Black - Black Optics - Most Extras

    Mods: Revo Stage 2+ - 18" BBS ch/Michelin PS2 - Recaro OEM Buckets - Milltek TBE NonRes/Sports Cat - Evoms Intake - APR hpfp - H&R Springs/ARBS F&R - Sachs Clutch/Luk DMF - AP Racing 6 Pot BBK - 10mm Spacers - Black Rings
    Mods To Do: Full Retrim - MY11 RNSe - Coilovers- Plenty Carbon




  14. #13
    beanoir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by S3Alex View Post
    A standard one might be a bit bland,but a properly modified one is anything but boring.
    Matter of opinion I suppose, but I feel seriously let down with it in all honesty. I guess it depends what you've got used to in the past.
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  15. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by beanoir View Post
    They're dull and pretty boring to drive, they start to rattle like a 10 year old Ford Mondeo after about 10k miles, The Bridgestone tyres they fit (if they still do) from factory are rubbish in the wet and not much better in the dry, they are twitchy and pretty unstable under hard braking for a car of it's ilk, the clutches are made of butter, the engines sound like a bag of nails on idle, I could go on but needless to say, not the best way to spend 30k IMO.
    Sat at my desk in the office chuckling to myself at this post. Comedy!
    07' S3 8P2 Phantom Black Pearl

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  16. #15
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    Sounds like it's luck of the draw on what you get given. I've got to say that I'm more than happy with my A3 at the moment (apart from the DPF or sensor). No rattles, paint is perfect, engine is fine, doesn't lose a drop of oil... so if the S3 will be built like mine at the moment then I'll be happy.

    I'll just check the paint before it leaves the forecourt and ask for some Pirellis or Michelins!
    Coss

    S3 S-tronic: Panther Black, lots of extras, MTM remap


  17. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by beanoir View Post
    Matter of opinion I suppose, but I feel seriously let down with it in all honesty. I guess it depends what you've got used to in the past.
    I can appreciate how you feel about the problems you've had with yours,and I expect I would be pretty annoyed also,but most of my Audi owning mates have had no such problems either.

    Moving on...OK...to put it in perspective,from stock,the S3 is brisk,but not fast,and has problems with understeer,and the brakes are prone to fade,plus fitting those Bridgestones was a disaster,and we all agree the stock clutch is barely OK for 260lbs let alone more.

    However,even with a Stg2 remap,the car is transformed,and a good bit of the understeer is already dialled out,but with the brakes,suspension and power sorted out,it does become a very quick car,and mine will comfortably outrun a good few modded TT-RS's but at less cost,even when the work and parts are added in.

    As to what I'm comparing it to....my Escort was quicker,but this isn't bad at all,and it is easier on the ears...! 300bhp/tonne is quite quick overall...

    Ideally,Audi would have thought of all of these issues and dealt with them,but then it would have been quicker than the TT-RS,and they wouldn't have had an RS3 to sell I guess.

  18. #17
    beanoir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by S3RYE View Post
    Beanoir i love you... dont post too much but when you do it blows me away!! & tbh i have to agree with you on the paint, rattle thing... maybe a facelift thing...
    Love you too buddy! I don't post on ASN so much since I joined Match.com.
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  19. #18
    beanoir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by S3Alex View Post
    I can appreciate how you feel about the problems you've had with yours,and I expect I would be pretty annoyed also,but most of my Audi owning mates have had no such problems either.

    Moving on...OK...to put it in perspective,from stock,the S3 is brisk,but not fast,and has problems with understeer,and the brakes are prone to fade,plus fitting those Bridgestones was a disaster,and we all agree the stock clutch is barely OK for 260lbs let alone more.

    However,even with a Stg2 remap,the car is transformed,and a good bit of the understeer is already dialled out,but with the brakes,suspension and power sorted out,it does become a very quick car,and mine will comfortably outrun a good few modded TT-RS's but at less cost,even when the work and parts are added in.

    As to what I'm comparing it to....my Escort was quicker,but this isn't bad at all,and it is easier on the ears...! 300bhp/tonne is quite quick overall...

    Ideally,Audi would have thought of all of these issues and dealt with them,but then it would have been quicker than the TT-RS,and they wouldn't have had an RS3 to sell I guess.
    You're absolutley right, and I wasn't meaning to sound belittling or anything (I just realised it may have seemed that way)

    I totally agree with some mods it can be improved greatly, but it's not much my scene with a brand new car - I save that for the old fiesta.

    BUT, if Audi advertises to me that it's an "S" model then I expect it to drive like an "S" model straight from the factory, if other car manufacturers can get it right then so should Audi, I don't want to spend another 5k to sort out what Audi failed to achieve.
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  20. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by beanoir View Post
    You're absolutley right, and I wasn't meaning to sound belittling or anything (I just realised it may have seemed that way)

    I totally agree with some mods it can be improved greatly, but it's not much my scene with a brand new car - I save that for the old fiesta.

    BUT, if Audi advertises to me that it's an "S" model then I expect it to drive like an "S" model straight from the factory, if other car manufacturers can get it right then so should Audi, I don't want to spend another 5k to sort out what Audi failed to achieve.
    I do agree with most of that,and some of the things like brakes would have been so easy to correct,along with understeer,but it does give the inveterate modders amongst us something to tinker with!

    It seems strange at times that they get some cars so right(like the TT-RS and R8 for instance),and then drop the ball with others.

  21. #20
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    I agree beanoir - not really into the modifying scene anymore and don't really feel like I should have to be either on a car that is sold to me as having 'breathtaking performance'.

    I don't see why I should have to uprate (As near as makes no difference) every component part in order for it to perform and meet my expectations. It is what it is.
    07' S3 8P2 Phantom Black Pearl

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveyB View Post
    I agree beanoir - not really into the modifying scene anymore and don't really feel like I should have to be either on a car that is sold to me as having 'breathtaking performance'.

    I don't see why I should have to uprate (As near as makes no difference) every component part in order for it to perform and meet my expectations. It is what it is.
    I don't know who said it would be "breathtaking",as 260bhp in a 1500kg car is never going to be more than brisk,and it sounds as if the dealer was selling it a bit strongly!

    I think that Audi,and many other manufacturers default to playing it safe with some of their models,and this is an example of that,as they know it will sell well to those who don't want to extract the maximum,and they do turn a blind eye to the modified ones.

    Ford made them think a bit with the Focus RS(yes it's garish and bit crude,but it is quite quick)and finally they rolled out the RS3,but that's a LOT of cash for a 5 door hatch...

  23. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by S3Alex View Post
    I don't know who said it would be "breathtaking",as 260bhp in a 1500kg car is never going to be more than brisk,and it sounds as if the dealer was selling it a bit strongly!

    I think that Audi,and many other manufacturers default to playing it safe with some of their models,and this is an example of that,as they know it will sell well to those who don't want to extract the maximum,and they do turn a blind eye to the modified ones.

    Ford made them think a bit with the Focus RS(yes it's garish and bit crude,but it is quite quick)and finally they rolled out the RS3,but that's a LOT of cash for a 5 door hatch...
    I was quoting the blurb of the official Audi website ' With its athletic styling and 265PS of power the S3 is simply breathtaking'

    Your right about the Ford RS, was looking at one yesterday. If only they weren't so garish I would be seriously considering it..
    07' S3 8P2 Phantom Black Pearl

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  24. #23
    beanoir's Avatar
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    I think the line is "breathtaking 265PS of power that awaits you". It's actually in the advertising literature and brochure for the S3, not that I would buy a car on the strength of flowery words though!
    Last edited by beanoir; 18th March 2011 at 16:49.
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  25. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveyB View Post
    I was quoting the blurb of the official Audi website ' With its athletic styling and 265PS of power the S3 is simply breathtaking'

    Your right about the Ford RS, was looking at one yesterday. If only they weren't so garish I would be seriously considering it..
    Quote Originally Posted by beanoir View Post
    I think the line is "breathtaking 265PS of power that awaits you". It's actually in the advertising literature and brochure for the S3, not that I would buy a car on the strength of flowery words though!
    Eeeek.....I'm glad I missed that bit out of my trip to the dealer!

    Much as I do like my car,in stock form there's no way it's breathtaking....it's not bad now though...

  26. #25
    Farhan's Avatar
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    lol i wanted an S3 next this doesnt sound great
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  27. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by farhanali View Post
    lol i wanted an S3 next this doesnt sound great
    Well it's not on topic, as the OP asked for things to watch out for, but I can offer some benefits the car has:

    It's subtle and doesn't shout "look at me", it's surprisingly comfortable on a long drive to the Alps and back, it can be made to go very fast (if thats your bag) with very little investment, it does have an element of class that other comparable hot hatches lack, it's good in the bad weather, not very common so it does turn heads occasionally.
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  28. #27
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    :lol: at this thread.

    I quite like mine. There is nothing else out there ticks all the boxes for me.

    It's quick enough, mine is screwed together well (with no squeaks or rattles yet at 19k)
    The handling is not that bad - ok it's not perfect but still not atrocious.
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    S3's now sold - roll on the Golf MK1 Project

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    Having had mine for about 6 weeks I find myself in agreement. If you are buying a car expecting out of the box performance then you are likely to be disappointed. If you're coming from any number of capable hot hatches on the market expecting increased fun factor you may find yourself a little wanting.

    That said I love the interior and exterior styling, I think build quality is good and I actually find the paintwork excellent. A very good overall ownership experience so long as you have a little bit of tech to play with but not a car that delivers even close to the pub stats quoted. If you're happy to throw a few 's at it then it will go quicker but so will any forced induction car.

    If a remap doesn't make it significantly more awesome it may find it's way back onto the market within a year.

  30. #29
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    Been going around getting some quotes today. Quite interesting to say the least!

    The spec I'm getting is as follows:

    S3 Hatch S Tronic
    Phantom Black
    Black styling pack
    5 segment spoke wheels
    2 tone leather (Black+Silver)
    Folding/dimming mirrors
    Light + rain sensor
    Interior light pack
    Cruise control
    Acoustic parking (front + rear)
    BOSE

    Best quote I got so far is 8% off. Bedford could only push 4% and Milton Keynes offered a hefty 2% off. Needless to say I laughed in his face before I left...

    Got my local dealer to try on Monday along with another. Looking for that magic 10%. Either way, on Monday I'll be signing on the dotted line. Looking at build week 30 now! Gives me something to look forward to!
    Coss

    S3 S-tronic: Panther Black, lots of extras, MTM remap


  31. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by lil_coz View Post
    Been going around getting some quotes today. Quite interesting to say the least!

    The spec I'm getting is as follows:

    S3 Hatch S Tronic
    Phantom Black
    Black styling pack
    5 segment spoke wheels
    2 tone leather (Black+Silver)
    Folding/dimming mirrors
    Light + rain sensor
    Interior light pack
    Cruise control
    Acoustic parking (front + rear)
    BOSE

    Best quote I got so far is 8% off. Bedford could only push 4% and Milton Keynes offered a hefty 2% off. Needless to say I laughed in his face before I left...

    Got my local dealer to try on Monday along with another. Looking for that magic 10%. Either way, on Monday I'll be signing on the dotted line. Looking at build week 30 now! Gives me something to look forward to!
    I have been dealing with a guy called Simon at Stoke Audi worth a call mate too see if he can beat your offers so far.. not in untill Monday though

    If you do speak to him tell him Kev reccomended you
    Past cars.....

    52 Leon cupra r
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    S3 sportback Ibis white pan roof..
    nice to be back after diesel power

  32. #31
    beanoir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lil_coz View Post
    Been going around getting some quotes today. Quite interesting to say the least!

    The spec I'm getting is as follows:

    S3 Hatch S Tronic
    Phantom Black
    Black styling pack
    5 segment spoke wheels
    2 tone leather (Black+Silver)
    Folding/dimming mirrors
    Light + rain sensor
    Interior light pack
    Cruise control
    Acoustic parking (front + rear)
    BOSE

    Best quote I got so far is 8% off. Bedford could only push 4% and Milton Keynes offered a hefty 2% off. Needless to say I laughed in his face before I left...

    Got my local dealer to try on Monday along with another. Looking for that magic 10%. Either way, on Monday I'll be signing on the dotted line. Looking at build week 30 now! Gives me something to look forward to!
    I got 11% on mine at Wimbledon.
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  33. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by mojo555 View Post
    I have been dealing with a guy called Simon at Stoke Audi worth a call mate too see if he can beat your offers so far.. not in untill Monday though

    If you do speak to him tell him Kev reccomended you
    Brilliant! Cheers for that. I'll give him a bell on Monday.

    Quote Originally Posted by beanoir View Post
    I got 11% on mine at Wimbledon.
    I'll give them a try as well. Cheers.
    Coss

    S3 S-tronic: Panther Black, lots of extras, MTM remap


  34. #33
    paddy's Avatar
    Audi=No fault code, no idea

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    I have to agree about the paint especially Blacks. I have half heartedly looked at a couple of new ones and i would walk away before i excepted the paint finish. My next door neigbour has a new black S5 and every time i walk past it the paint defects just leap out at me. !!
    Compared to my old A3 its just awful but as someone who works in the paint industry i can say that the ever changing Euro legislation on paints and in particular the switch to water based paints is to blame not Audi. Bring back Cellulose thinners

  35. #34
    DaveyB's Avatar
    No misfires.

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    My black paint drives me mad - I spend a serious amount of time detailing it trying to keep it looking at its best but it is so difficult to work with. It chips far too easily as the paint is rock hard which is a problem on a daily driver and only amplified by the state of our roads.

    I recently cancelled a professional paint correction booking by one of the UK's best on the basis that a respray on the bonnet and front spoiler would work out better value for money in the long run, especially if its to see another winter like the last one.

    Having said that it's putting most cars to shame in the office car park today so must be doing something right !!
    Last edited by DaveyB; 21st March 2011 at 17:19.
    07' S3 8P2 Phantom Black Pearl

    91' Mercedes 300SL R129 Pearl Grey

  36. #35
    lil_coz's Avatar
    6th Gear

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    ORDERED

    Ordered a shiny new S3 today!

    Was a bit of a long day, speaking to a load of people and sorting my car out, but in the end I'm getting it from Amersham Audi. I very nearly got it from Wimbledon, but on the way there I got a call from Amersham and gave me a better deal, so turned round at Heathrow and came back! Got just over 10% off in the end. Quite happy with that!

    Thanks to beanoir for telling me about Wimbledon and Kev for Stoke. I rang Simon but he said that the 9.7% that I had at the time was a 'stonking' deal and I should take it. Now the long wait begins!
    Coss

    S3 S-tronic: Panther Black, lots of extras, MTM remap


 

 

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