Well I had to see what all the fuss was about (and needed something more practical than my trackday car for day to day stuff) so stepped away from my usual brand of car and got myself an A4 Avant Quattro 2.8.
So seems OK so far apart from having what seems like all the usual problems.
Got a few specific questions if anyone has the will to reply.
Central dash display.. yes the usual issues. I'm going to try the re-solder of the ribbon cable approach first and see how that goes. Will let you know.
Lower door trim is falling off.
Occasionally has a fit as it goes into gear/kicks down. clunks as it engages. (auto/tiptronic transmission).
Has what looks like an amber 'car' warning light (in the tacho) sometimes when you first turn on the ignition. When this shows it is hard to start. Once started there is no problem.
But have no idea what most of the symbols are as have no manual.
I have no idea of it's service history at all so will probably give it a full service soon. Once I've found a service schedule or the like. Might drag out Autodata for that one. It's done 121k miles.
and now on to the more pressing/serious problem.
As speed increases you get a vibration through the steering wheel, what is most like a wheel balance problem. But as speed increases it gets worse, this may still be wheel imbalance as I'm not used to the 4wd system etc.. but it's not what I've experienced in dozens of other cars.
When trying to remove the lockign wheel bolts (without the key) I noticed the front upper control arm is not as it should be.
Now the question...
Is this ball joint a possible cause for the vibration/wheel shake I'm getting.
I'm replacing it tomorrow once I locate a new pinch bolt for it (yes I've already discovered that it is siezed solid).
Also is there a quick/easy method for changing the upper control arm or does the suspension have to come out?
Cheers for now.