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A4 quattro avant 1.9 tdi - which one to buy? what are it's quirks???

Discussion in 'A4/S4 forum(B5 Chassis)' started by infectus-guy, Jul 5, 2012.

  1. infectus-guy
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    infectus-guy New Member

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    [Jul 5, 2012]
    Hi everyone,
    I need a little advice as i've decided i want the above to get me to work and back without costing me a fortune (like my volvo is!) and to occasionally tow my lancia deltas around. If i was doing a lot of towing id got for the 2.5 for the extra grunt, but i can live with the lack of grunt but better mpg. So i've got 2 in mind, there's this one-

    PistonHeads.com

    The ad has expired but its got 118k with FSH which is good, but a shady history having had a cat D to the front end in 2010 - bumper, headlight and radiator fan apparently, so i'm guessing the fans blow on these then? He was asking £2200 at the start and hasn't been able to sell, probably because he's said nothing about the cat D in the adverts, and people have just done hpi checks. Was down to £1700 last time it was up. Its got the Red i engine which i think means has got more power correct? I would want it for a lot less than £1700 though as its resale value will be pitiful.

    The other choice is this one-

    R reg AUDI A4 1.9 TDI QUATTRO ESTATE - DIESEL - LEATHER SEATS -LONG MOT in Heathrow, London | Used Audi for sale | Gumtree.com

    Which is the older engine, but is cheap and the mileage doesn't really bother me. Saw it sell a week ago in birmingham probably for £750 as the ad was for £800. Its now up for £995 with the new owner, who i'm guessing is out to make a quick buck rather than flog on a dodgy motor.

    So what are the B5 a4 quattro 1.9 tdi's quirks then? Every car has got them (my Deltas have more than enough!) so what do i need to be looking out for if I take a look at these two?
    Thanks for any advice,
    Guy
    #1
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  3. Nessy
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    Nessy VW + Audi mad

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    [Jul 5, 2012]
    Personally, I wouldn't touch either.
    The PH one is a Cat D, 'nuff said IMHO.
    The Gumtree one has sport leather seats obviously put into a car originally fitted with non-sport leather seats as the colour of the door panels/dash doesn't match the colour of the seats.....
    I suppose if you can live with that it might be worth viewing, but what sort of history does it have?
    As long as it has been well maintained then OK, these cars are bullet-proof as long as they are looked after.
    My own car has always been maintained with no expense spared and recently thought it wasn't handling as well as it should, so am in the process of fitting all new Bilstein shocks (mine has done 215k), of the 3 done so far all have been found to be the factory fitted Boge items and all were totally shot!
    At 213k, unless the Gumtree one has evidence of suspension bills etc or you want to do the job, I'd find one with lower mileage, these cars do last a long time but bits do wear out and unless you have a load of history to support its condition /maintenance then it could be a money-pit, possibly why it is for sale so soon after previously being sold?
    #2
  4. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Jul 5, 2012]
    IMHO trying to find a low mileage one is pointless.

    These cars are mile munchers, and the chances of a "low mileage" example actually being genuine is hugely slim. Do you honestly believe someone will have bought a TDI in 1997 to drive to the shops once a week? Unlikely. These cars were bought by execs and reps piling up and down the motorway day in day out. They've all been to the moon.

    Budget front control arms on ANY B5, regardless of the mileage, unless theres history. Even a "low mileage" one will have knackered arms. The missus avant just needed a full set, and its on 125k.

    All 1.9TDI quattros had the same engine, and i believe they will all have had the sport pack as standard too. Why is the fact that someones swapped leather seats in a huge issue?

    I'd much rather buy a cheap 200+k car, knowing its going to need some maintenance but once sorted will go on for years, rather than spending a premium on a low mileage car that turns out to have been clocked by 100k and still needs all the same work.
    #3
  5. Nessy
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    Nessy VW + Audi mad

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    [Jul 5, 2012]
    The car with mis-matched seats looks a dogs dinner IMHO.
    Buying a car with 200k+ on the clock without a very comprehensive history is a recipe to pour money into it constantly.
    My car has gone from 116k to 215k in my ownership and it has had (off the top of my head);
    cv joints
    suspension arms
    pads and discs (front and rear) twice
    heater fan
    wiper motor
    gearbox
    clutch & dual mass flywheel
    rear beam bushes
    brake calipers front and rear
    in the process of renewing all 4 shocks and front springs

    I've replaced so much over the years its effectively a 'new' car and will see me right for years more if I choose.......
    These cars do last a long time but only if well maintained (again IMHO) , buy a dog though and it will be a money pit.
    To suggest though that the 'average' 200k example would be a good buy is not sound sense to me , it could be made a good car, but at a high cost.
    Better start off with a lower mileage car, and they do exist.
    #4
  6. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Jul 5, 2012]
    I bought a 150k 1.8T FWD and replaced almost everything on your list over 50k miles, including the entire engine.

    I then bought a 90k 1.8T quattro, and have also replaced almost everything on your list over 35k miles...

    Brakes are consumables, they need changed frequently anyway. Most of the suspesnion is knackered by 100k but it'll continue working and passing MOT's for quite a while after that. The rest of the bits are just bad luck.

    But it shows that mileage basically means nothing. The 1.8T quattro's service history shows it had a new clutch at 56k, that replacement has failed again, and i'm changing it today, at 125k. The 1.8T FWD's original clutch lasted until 190.
    #5
  7. adamss24
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    adamss24 Well-Known Member

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    [Jul 5, 2012]
    I buy and sell vag cars, the only low mileage genuine 1.9 Tdi quattro i found was 142k with one owner from new from leicester. I sold that to a friend and it needed some work but not massive amounts: cv joints, a few wishbones and a engine rebuild as the cambelt was broken when i bought it.
    The highest mileage a4 quattro i bought was 240k and i also sold it to my friend. When i bought it with a worn rear bearing and needing a Mot then he swapped the springs to eibach (cheap ebay special), then we changed the cambelt- had service history but he wanted to be on the safe side- and lately we changed the clutch and flywheel (he bought them new off ebay for the grand sum of 60 quid !) as he was going abroad for the Easter holiday's !
    That car is the tidiest b5 quattro i've been into and now boasts a few more power mods (pd turbo, transporter injectors, chipped ECU, pd130 intake + boost hoses, Allard EGR delete kit,etc.) and it's better than many modern cars ! Still returns 50-60 Mpg average and since the new nozzles went in the fuel consumption is better !
    I am still looking for a tidy quattro so i could swap my built engine in, i would pay 2k for the right car...
    #6
  8. murran
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    murran Active Member

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    [Jul 5, 2012]
    to be honest id be looking for one around 140-160k on it.

    the reason being that the stuff that does wear out on these will most likely have already been done.

    not a diesel but its the same car.... my 97 1.6se needs an upper arm on the n/s/f and is getting ready for a clutch now,
    ive fitted new rear shocks + a cv boot since getting it a few months ago for £620.
    thats on just under 90k, so low milage is no protection from needing things replacing!
    #7
  9. infectus-guy
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    infectus-guy New Member

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    [Jul 5, 2012]
    Thanks for ideas guys, any work that would need doing i'd do myself, 2nd nature when you play with lancia deltas! So i'm not put off by the odd job here or there, but don't want a time-pit on my hands. I might have a look at the purple one and see how it looks on the impact corner. I'm only really after one as a half-tidy workhorse, wanted leather as its easy to clean rather than looks fancy, miss matching interiors wouldn't bother me. So saying this purple one is half decent underneath (i can live with an uneven bumper gap), whats it really worth? £1200 maybe less? I'm looking to keep for as long as possible so the low resale value of a cat d car doesn't bother me, though i obviously don't want him to know that! I like it more than the blue one, it has FSH but i wouldn't buy without getting underneath for a damn good look with a torch. Not sure what to do.............
    Guy
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  10. jcb
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    jcb Active Member VCDS Map User

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    [Jul 5, 2012]
    the only 1.9d I would buy is the 2.5l version!

    it will save you money in the long run
    #9
  11. Nessy
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    Nessy VW + Audi mad

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    [Jul 6, 2012]
    To open up a whole new can of worms.......
    The 2.5 CAN be good IF you get a good 'un
    Sadly most of them are noisy, unreliable oil-leakers that dominate Ebay/Autotrader etc and look like bargains on paper.
    My step-father ran an A6 2.5TDI Avant (with FSH) for a year or so , it was the worst car (solely in terms of engine hassle) he has ever owned.
    #10
  12. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Jul 6, 2012]
    With possible cam wear and time bomb diesel pumps, both of which can land you a bill greater than what you bought the car for, i really cant see the appeal of these 2.5tdi motors. Certainly not as a cheap runner.

    They're also much more thirsty than the 1.9!

    Sure, as a performance option they might have more going for them, but i dont think thats what the OP is after!
    #11
  13. Tom_B
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    Tom_B Member

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    [Jul 7, 2012]
    Isn't this what bangernomics is all about - averaging out the costs of purchase and maintenance ? As the proud owner of a thirsty 2.5 q auto I perhaps wouldn't go for the same engine/4wd/gearbox combination again for all the reasons above - buuuut she is such a lovely smooth drive even at 12.years old and now I am driving more miles to work I do appreciate and enjoy how she wooshes me home like a magic carpet after a long demanding day at work.... And we do have some fun on the road from Stockton to Malton... I do have nightmares about fuel pumps and cams though....
    #12
  14. infectus-guy
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    infectus-guy New Member

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    [Jul 7, 2012]
    Yeah the V6 engine sounds like potential trouble to me and i'm betting engine bay access is a nightmare, one of the other reasons i want to go for the more common 4 pot. You get the odd £2.5k B6 quattro which i'd possibly be willing to spend a bit more on getting, anyone know how the early B6s compare to the late B5's? What are parts prices like, are they easier to work on and how do they wear?
    Guy
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  15. spartacus 68
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    spartacus 68 Active Member

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    [Jul 7, 2012]
    I've got the same car (aka Amtrak locomotive). I had the same worries about possible cam wear and fuel pump woes, but at 139k (did the suspension last year) she's running sweet as a nut. I'm averaging 43mpg and that's driving like Miss Daisy on A-class roads. I avoid taking it into town, it has the turning circle of a oil tanker, crabs with the 4-wheel drive, and drinks like Oliver Reed (bless him).

    Regards the OP. The 1.9 quattro is a great car and would have been my original choice. However they're all high milers (even late models (2004), so expect to see 100k mileage at least, and they're pretty rare as you'll already know.

    Timing belt and ancillary belts should be done every 60k. Check the suspension at this mileage - as any clonks (going over speed bumps) signals worn suspension components and anti-roll bar bushes. The rear diff could use a gear oil change if you plan keeping it, and check the front CV boots as they can wear prematurely. I fitted GKN driveline boots, great quality. Other than that there's the occasional electrical fault (I'm dealing with a pad sensor fault right now), slow wiper (although it can be fixed), and faded LCD info panel in the dash.

    If you could up your budget, then a B6 example would be worth a punt. Audi A4 1.9 TDI 130 QUATTRO SPORT FSH 1 PREV OWNR PRISTINE 5dr 2002
    #14
  16. adamss24
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    adamss24 Well-Known Member

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    [Jul 7, 2012]
    The b6 is a little better drive but the b5 is better built. My advice will be to get a b6 just for the drive but i would lie to you to say the b6 is a better car ! If you're looking for a b6 i might have a nice b6 avant v6 tdi quattro, full top end rebuild: new lifters/rockers and trust washers, rebuilt pump from dieselbob (1 year warranty), lowered eibach suspension, full leather, etc. High mileage but sound mechanical order... Up-rated brakes, dark blue, rear tailgate spoiler, 6 speed 'box and nuch more...
    #15
  17. Tom_B
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    Tom_B Member

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    [Jul 7, 2012]
    In my view the B5 is a better looking car - a timeless classic
    #16
  18. adamss24
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    adamss24 Well-Known Member

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    [Jul 7, 2012]
    That's a bog standard 1.9 Tdi FWD not quattro ! It has 167g of CO2 acording to DVLA website + there's no badge on the dash and the boot one is in the wrong place... Quattro's have over 200g of CO2 per km so unless the DVLA site is wrong then it should not be that little ...
    #17
  19. S4_dan
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    S4_dan Fire up the Quattro!

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    [Jul 7, 2012]
    I've done 3 different vehicle checks online and they all state its a 130 Quattro.

    Unless DVLA has the vehicle incorrectly registered. My sister recently purchased a 130 Passat TDI but it always came back as 4motion model when it wasn't.

    Dan
    #18
  20. Tom_B
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    Tom_B Member

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    [Jul 7, 2012]
    Four grand - that alot of money for a car that's going to need discs and pads and a clutch etc etc etc.....
    #19
  21. spartacus 68
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    spartacus 68 Active Member

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    [Jul 8, 2012]
    Well spotted. Possibly the car was debadged at earlier point and dealer has made a pig's ear of tailgate with new badges, or it's a new tailgate? Quick check under the car for a rear diff will reveal all. I know the B5 V6 has 211g CO2, but thought the B6 4 cylinder Quattro was 177g?
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2012
    #20
  22. murran
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    murran Active Member

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    [Jul 8, 2012]
    id want a picture of under the back of the car before traveling to see it.

    we once, many years ago now, had an old 80 coupe in at work. the guy had very recently bought it..... it was supposed to be a 2.8 quattro..... guy had booked it in cus he thought the transmission was broken as it kept wheel spinning at junctions and stuff.
    despite it being badged up as a 2.8 quattro and stating the correct 2771cc and quattro on the log book. it was infact just an "abc" 2.6 engined fwd!!
    similar with an "s8" more recently, booked in for an inspection, had to tell him it was just a v8 a8. engine code was for the 300bhp v8 rather than the 360bhp unit found in the s8.

    becareful when looking at "quattros" they carry a premium and people get greedy. £7 for a badge and they add "quattro" to the v5. gaining a few hundered on the sale price.
    just like adding an m-tec steering wheel to an e30 325i 2 door bmw with leather.... and then adding "sport" to the v5..... adds a grand to a tidy one! doesnt make it what it isnt tho!
    #21
  23. infectus-guy
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    infectus-guy New Member

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    [Jul 10, 2012]
    Just found the purple 1.9 tdi on autotrader now-

    1998 Audi A4 1.9 TDi Quattro 5dr Diesel Avant

    I'm still interested in it, but a 14 year old car with cat D history for £1700 just seems wrong to me. As i said the cat D doesn't put me off as such (takes a lot to put me off <-- lancia owner!), but if i wanted to sell it it would certainly put someone else off, hence the reason why he started at £2200 several months ago and has now gone down to £1700. FSH is a plus, but how much is it really worth?
    Guy
    #22
  24. spartacus 68
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    spartacus 68 Active Member

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    [Jul 10, 2012]
    The easy answer is it's worth whatever someone (albeit an Audi enthusiast) is prepared to pay. It's not in great condition with more than just supermarket car park dings. At this age, I think you should be buying for a couple of years use, not necessarily thinking of it's potential resale value, only because it will only appeal to a like minded person (like yourself) who wants it for the same reasons. If it were my money, then £1,200 tops.
    #23

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