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  1. #1
    bengal's Avatar
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    Help for information on Audi S4

    Hi all, first of all sorry for the vague title I couldn't think of what else to put .

    I'm looking into having another car in a few months, the current car is a 1998 A3 1.8T but me and the girlfriend are expecting our 2nd child at the end of the year.
    I do like my A3 and I would like to keep it but it isn't practical for 2 kids as we only just manage with the one.
    There's no way that I'm going to get a family box on wheels, I'd rather hand my driving license back to the DVLA before I do that .

    Iv'e been looking at S4's like this one.



    This one is going for Ł3995 which is more than affordable for me and the insurance is surprisingly low, only Ł80 a year more than the current car .
    I just need to know a little more about them, obviously they are heavier on fuel which doesn't bother me, I'm guessing the road tax will be a lot more but there is a lot more room though.

    Are they all 2.7 twin turbo or are there different sized engines/different turbo's?
    What are the different engine codes if any and are some stronger than others?

    Sorry for the life story and the daft questions, I haven't paid much attention to them before as I assumed the insurance would be ridiculous, any help is appreciated .

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  3. #2
    dest's Avatar
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    Hi, main thing is finding a decent one.
    Turbos can go if its had a boost leak left unrepaired as it over works the turbos. That is an engine out job to sort.
    Generally, the lower the mileage the better. Personally I wouldnt look at anything over 100k, the turbos are sort of on borrowed time after about 130!
    Vagcom or ideally a health check including leak test at a specialist garage such as MRC or Unit 20 is your best bet.
    All of the B5 models (as pictured) are the biturbo 2.7 V6, which is the one to get if you want to tune it in the future.
    3995 looks good for that one, depending on mileage of course. It is also a facelift which is preferable.
    Mine is a 2000 model and tax is 120 or so for 6 months, something like that.
    Best thing is to really do your homework and learn about them. I got one 4 years ago and loved it, then went to an S2, and now to my dream car, a K04 converted one running 482bhp which is just awesome!
    Id recommend joining audisrs.com as its a very busy forum with a lot of B5 drivers

  4. #3
    Blue_Thunder's Avatar
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    You might be sorely disappointed with the legroom in the rear. Depends on how old your kids are I suppose.

    The boot on the other hand is huge. Plenty of room for buggies, toys and all that jazz. Would be with looking for a car with Isofix installed.
    Mo power, mo problems

  5. #4
    dest's Avatar
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    Agreed on rear legroom. Weve got a 7 and 9 year old in the family and they are ok with it though

  6. #5
    "Stick a V8 in it!"

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    Buy an avant More practical for kiddies, and look better to boot.

    Road tax will be the same.

    They're all 2.7 Twin turbo, and most will be AGB code engine.

    2000 A4 1.8T Sport Quattro Avant, Berry Pearl
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  7. #6
    Ross_S4

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    Alright mate I am in same boat with a toddler and baby. I just went from an 8L S3 (love of my life) to a B5 S4 Avant.
    mine is on 150k and is absolutely great mechanically. there were a couple of minor minor niggles like the interior fan had packed up, there is one ball joint away on a suspension arm at the front, broken headlight levelling linkage etc.

    I would have to say to you mate I agree about the legroom in the rear. It just isnt as big as I was hoping for and it is fairly noticable when the baby seat is going in. Behind me I either have a toddler with not quite enough legrom or I drive with my legs folded up and I am a short arse!! The baby seat won;t even get a look in in that seat.
    We will be seriously struggling when the next one arrives (not for a coupkle of years anyway!) as I am sure there is no way there will be room for 3 seats in when that time comes.
    Honestly if I was buying again for the same situation I would probably go for a slightly newer version maybe the B6 as I have been in one and the rear seemed to have more room. Maybe even think about going for an A6 as that will be definitely roomy enough. Still affordable too - check out here....

  8. #7
    "Stick a V8 in it!"

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    The B5 platform is certainly cramped in the rear, that said my parents had one while growing up, and it was mostly fine, even into our teens.

    Sure we'd "take turns" as to who got the short straw and had to sit behind the driver, but it wasnt that bad.

    An A6 will certainly give more room, and also comes with the same (albeit slightly detuned) 2.7TT motor as well as a V8 option, however most of the larger engined C5's seem to have slush boxes, which really put me off.

    2000 A4 1.8T Sport Quattro Avant, Berry Pearl
    2000 A4 1.8T Sport Quattro Saloon, Black-ish
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  9. #8
    rasA4's Avatar
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    agreed as above b5 rear legroom worse with baby seats as they sit forward then you got to allow for the babys legs which will be around midway of the rear seat.
    also depends how tall you are if your 6ft like me your gonna struggle, i always put the baby seat behind the passenger seat

    good luck in your car choice

    Bee Five | A4 2.4 V6 30V Tip SE | OEM S4 Alloys | S4 Bumper | S4 Leathers | HIDs| Billy's & Bachs | I Aint new to this | Hit the THANKS Button if my post is any use |Thanks!

  10. #9
    bengal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dest View Post
    Hi, main thing is finding a decent one.
    Turbos can go if its had a boost leak left unrepaired as it over works the turbos. That is an engine out job to sort.
    Generally, the lower the mileage the better. Personally I wouldnt look at anything over 100k, the turbos are sort of on borrowed time after about 130!
    Vagcom or ideally a health check including leak test at a specialist garage such as MRC or Unit 20 is your best bet.
    All of the B5 models (as pictured) are the biturbo 2.7 V6, which is the one to get if you want to tune it in the future.
    3995 looks good for that one, depending on mileage of course. It is also a facelift which is preferable.
    Mine is a 2000 model and tax is 120 or so for 6 months, something like that.
    Best thing is to really do your homework and learn about them. I got one 4 years ago and loved it, then went to an S2, and now to my dream car, a K04 converted one running 482bhp which is just awesome!
    Id recommend joining audisrs.com as its a very busy forum with a lot of B5 drivers
    Iv'e got a good few months to look around so I will make sure everything is spot on with the car I end up buying, I will try to get as low miles as possible but tbh cars with really low miles tend to be overpriced imo due to this, I'd rather spend a bit less on a car with a few more miles as long as the service history and the car mechanically is good of course. I know all about boost leaks as the A3 as had a leak in every place possible it seems . Again the tax has surprised me that's only about Ł10 more than the A3 for 6 months, I'm starting to wish I looked at these sooner.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blue_Thunder View Post
    You might be sorely disappointed with the legroom in the rear. Depends on how old your kids are I suppose.

    The boot on the other hand is huge. Plenty of room for buggies, toys and all that jazz. Would be with looking for a car with Isofix installed.
    Tbh I'm not expecting maybach room but surely there must be more than an 8L A3, the main issue with the A3 though is the 2 doors with 4 I won't have to lean in so much, actually I have to get in the back of the car to put my son in his seat.

    Quote Originally Posted by aragorn View Post
    Buy an avant More practical for kiddies, and look better to boot.

    Road tax will be the same.

    They're all 2.7 Twin turbo, and most will be AGB code engine.
    I'm considering an Avant as I have a dog so it will come in useful for that, I thought they would all be the same size engine I just wanted to make sure so I don't end up buying the slower version by accident .

    Quote Originally Posted by rossbrownlee View Post
    Alright mate I am in same boat with a toddler and baby. I just went from an 8L S3 (love of my life) to a B5 S4 Avant.
    mine is on 150k and is absolutely great mechanically. there were a couple of minor minor niggles like the interior fan had packed up, there is one ball joint away on a suspension arm at the front, broken headlight levelling linkage etc.

    I would have to say to you mate I agree about the legroom in the rear. It just isnt as big as I was hoping for and it is fairly noticable when the baby seat is going in. Behind me I either have a toddler with not quite enough legrom or I drive with my legs folded up and I am a short arse!! The baby seat won;t even get a look in in that seat.
    We will be seriously struggling when the next one arrives (not for a coupkle of years anyway!) as I am sure there is no way there will be room for 3 seats in when that time comes.
    Honestly if I was buying again for the same situation I would probably go for a slightly newer version maybe the B6 as I have been in one and the rear seemed to have more room. Maybe even think about going for an A6 as that will be definitely roomy enough. Still affordable too - check out here....
    Tbh I didn't think reliability would be an issue, it is german after all . But you never know they can't be perfect all of the time, as Iv'e said above it's more for the 4 doors than room unless for some reason they have less room than an 8L .

    I'll have a look at the B6's but tbh though they might cost more than I'm willing to pay at the moment and I'm not much for the A6, not the shape in the link anyway as the back end doesn't look good imo.

    Quote Originally Posted by rasA4 View Post
    agreed as above b5 rear legroom worse with baby seats as they sit forward then you got to allow for the babys legs which will be around midway of the rear seat.
    also depends how tall you are if your 6ft like me your gonna struggle, i always put the baby seat behind the passenger seat

    good luck in your car choice
    No I'm not 6ft, I'm 5ft 11 . I will have to look for myself to see about the room, I like my seat to be reclined but I don't mind moving it to free up a bit more room.

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    dest's Avatar
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    To give you a rough idea, I am 5'11" and have mine like this:


  12. #11
    "Stick a V8 in it!"

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    The tax is identical. All cars before 2001 pay a flat fee based on engine size.

    Engines upto 1549cc pay Ł125 a year and engines above that pay Ł205

    2000 A4 1.8T Sport Quattro Avant, Berry Pearl
    2000 A4 1.8T Sport Quattro Saloon, Black-ish
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  13. #12
    bengal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aragorn View Post
    The tax is identical. All cars before 2001 pay a flat fee based on engine size.

    Engines upto 1549cc pay Ł125 a year and engines above that pay Ł205
    I see, so it's the same as before the prices went up it just costs more obviously.

    @dest, thanks for the pic it looks like there is slightly more room than the A3 and it should be enough for me to manage. I did think there would be more though, it doesn't matter though.

  14. #13
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    Hi, i wouldnt worry about mileage, they go on and on! seen them with 300+k... try going for a Facelift, they started mid 1999, we call em a 99.5 lol. usually from V reg onward, they have better oil feed pipes to turbos, better steering,suspension tweeks, better one piece headlights, ESP, and better dash layout! oh and the Avant is just as fast and in my opinion handles better! i have had both.. the main thing is quiet turbo's (you should just hear them about 2k ish spooling up!) decent history, and that it drives nice and tight, no knocks ect!
    Good luck pal and get over to Audi SRS.com
    Lee

  15. #14
    dest's Avatar
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    My first S4 was 100% standard, hads never been modified and was on approx 135k when I sold it.
    2 months later the turbos let go on the new owner

  16. #15
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    B5 S4's cannot be described as reliable. Ok, they may have bombproof engines, but most sensors, hoses or pipes are just waiting to fail on you. They cost a fortune to keep running sweet.
    Mo power, mo problems

  17. #16
    dest's Avatar
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    Just like any other performance car does

  18. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by dest View Post
    Just like any other performance car does
    I'd say the 2.7T is more needy than most!

    In my 4 years of ownership I've needed to replace MAF's, DV's, N75, fuel lines (melted), one-way valves,EGT sensors, Lambda sensors, silicon hoses, engine mounts, wheel bearings, pretty much every suspension arm, etc.

    None of the above are really classed as serviceable items. Fair enough, the car is 12 years old and on 110k now, but I have mate's with older and higher mileage BMW's, Integrales, Mercs, Maseratis, Alpinas, etc who have not had to replace nearly as much on their performance cars to keep them running well.

    And don't even get me started on K03 failure rates...
    Mo power, mo problems

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    bengal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dest View Post
    My first S4 was 100% standard, hads never been modified and was on approx 135k when I sold it.
    2 months later the turbos let go on the new owner
    This could just be bad luck, the new owner could have starved it of oil or someone who owned it before you could have let the oil run low making it only a matter of time, just my 2 pence. The ko3 on my A3 is supposedly unreliable according to the internet , I bought the car at 140000 miles and it now has 160000 miles on it and it's still going strong, it's taken a beating from me tbh but I do maintain it well.

    Quote Originally Posted by AudiiduA View Post
    Hi, i wouldnt worry about mileage, they go on and on! seen them with 300+k... try going for a Facelift, they started mid 1999, we call em a 99.5 lol. usually from V reg onward, they have better oil feed pipes to turbos, better steering,suspension tweeks, better one piece headlights, ESP, and better dash layout! oh and the Avant is just as fast and in my opinion handles better! i have had both.. the main thing is quiet turbo's (you should just hear them about 2k ish spooling up!) decent history, and that it drives nice and tight, no knocks ect!
    Good luck pal and get over to Audi SRS.com
    Lee
    Great info, thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blue_Thunder View Post
    I'd say the 2.7T is more needy than most!

    In my 4 years of ownership I've needed to replace MAF's, DV's, N75, fuel lines (melted), one-way valves,EGT sensors, Lambda sensors, silicon hoses, engine mounts, wheel bearings, pretty much every suspension arm, etc.

    None of the above are really classed as serviceable items. Fair enough, the car is 12 years old and on 110k now, but I have mate's with older and higher mileage BMW's, Integrales, Mercs, Maseratis, Alpinas, etc who have not had to replace nearly as much on their performance cars to keep them running well.

    And don't even get me started on K03 failure rates...
    Actually most of those are classed as wear and tear items as are shocks, springs etc. I have replaced all of what you have said on my A3 bar a couple that it doesn't have on it. Every worn part was original so at the mileage I have stated above is pretty good in a way, just unlucky that they were not replaced before I had it, It does not make it unreliable imho.

    The only thing I can say about your friends cars is either things were replaced before they owned them, they drive the cars more carefully or luck, I'm a former employee of the motor trade and the amount of people I have come across who'd moan about having to have work on their cars was ridiculous, especially when I'd seen them taking roundabouts at 70 mph etc . As said above, I like a spirited drive now and again when it's safe to do so of course, due to this I expect things to wear out quicker as the parts are under more stress. All this is just my opinion, I'm not trying to tell you how to suck eggs .

    Just out of interest how much was the maf for the S4? My A3's is dead for the second time and it costs Ł130 for a bosch recon, I'm willing to bet that the S4's doesn't beat that.

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    Fair enough, an exchange MAF if only about Ł100, just thought I'd warn you. This month I'm having to fork out Ł300 for a pair of EGT sensors. Lambdas cost about the same again I think, it's been at least a couple of years since they needed doing. Cambelt and all the bits with it would set you back Ł800+ if you are paying for someone to do it. Clutch is 4 figures to get done.

    Not cheap cars to maintain.
    Last edited by Blue_Thunder; 2nd March 2011 at 22:20.
    Mo power, mo problems

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    bengal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue_Thunder View Post
    Fair enough, an exchange MAF if only about Ł100, just thought I'd warn you. This month I'm having to fork out Ł300 for a pair of EGT sensors. Lambdas cost about the same again I think, it's been at least a couple of years since they needed doing. Cambelt and all the bits with it would set you back Ł800+ if you are paying for someone to do it. Clutch is 4 figures to get done.

    Not cheap cars to maintain.
    Thanks for the warning the cost of maintenance is something I look into before buying anyway, I only got the idea for an S4 recently so I haven't weighed everything up as of yet and I won't be getting one for at least 3 months so I have plenty of time for research of my own, the clutch is a bit shocking isn't it? I do most work myself and clutches aren't included in my most list as usually it's not worth the hassle to save a few quid, looks like it will be a different story here.

  22. #21
    phoenixv6quattro's Avatar
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    You been toying with any alternatives?
    !!BINGO BONGO!!

  23. #22
    dest's Avatar
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    How often do you need a clutch anyway?
    As foe alternatives, unless you want something jap you will struggle to find anything!

    My requirements for a new car were:

    Saloon or estate
    4x4
    Turbo charged
    400+bhp (or the scope to get it without huge cost or loss of everyday driveability/reliability)
    Manual box
    Strictly nothing jap!

    I dont understand why people constantly talk about the negative points of an S4, when there are so many good ones you can talk about instead!
    Yes, they can be expensive to run and crap on fuel, but if those are not something you can live with without moaning about them, then its not the right car for you.
    Maintain it correctly (which you should do with any car anyway!) and it is hugely rewarding
    Avus B5 RS4
    Gutted downpipes, non-res Milltek, custom MRC remap, H&R ARB's, B7 RS4 brakes, oil cooler, Tanoga short shift

  24. #23
    bengal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phoenixv6quattro View Post
    You been toying with any alternatives?
    I haven't yet, I was thinking of BMW again as I have had an E30 325i and an E36 325i but the 3 series doesn't look good in a 4 door and the E46 is the last of the good looking 3 series imo, the only option there is the M3 but lack of space and ridiculous insurance puts me off and the 5 series is a pig of a car if you ask me. Only German cars for me .



    Quote Originally Posted by dest View Post
    How often do you need a clutch anyway?
    As foe alternatives, unless you want something jap you will struggle to find anything!

    My requirements for a new car were:

    Saloon or estate
    4x4
    Turbo charged
    400+bhp (or the scope to get it without huge cost or loss of everyday driveability/reliability)
    Manual box
    Strictly nothing jap!

    I dont understand why people constantly talk about the negative points of an S4, when there are so many good ones you can talk about instead!
    Yes, they can be expensive to run and crap on fuel, but if those are not something you can live with without moaning about them, then its not the right car for you.
    Maintain it correctly (which you should do with any car anyway!) and it is hugely rewarding
    I agree the pros far outweigh the cons not that there are many cons anyway, jap cars are a big no for me they are reliable enough but the interiors are questionable and I'm not a fan of the build quality, German cars have got it all and have for many years now I can't see them being beaten tbh. As for the clutch you are right, it's not something that needs to be done very often and I'm sure by looking around money can be saved on it and still be decent parts.

 

 

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