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Audi S3 information, experiences

Discussion in 'A3/S3 Forum (8L Chassis)' started by alex1985blue, Jun 8, 2008.

  1. alex1985blue
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    alex1985blue New Member

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    [Jun 8, 2008]
    Hi All,

    My Partner and I are think about buying an S3, but I have a few hesitations about them.

    1, I have heard that a big fault with them is that they go through clutches all the time? is that through abuse or what?

    2, For the budget that I have I can only get one that has about 80k on it, does that seem a lot for a car that you are spending 8k on??

    3, How reliable are they?

    4, I have spken to jabbasport and they have said to get a facelift model as the software on the ECU itself are really unstable and keep breaking?

    Has anyone else heard of this? He said that the facelift models had much better software, so that when a problem arose on the car, the car would go into protect mode, thus stopping any more parts on the car becoming damaged. He said that the older ones did not do this, and when something went wrong like a senser it caused other parts becoming damaged as well.

    5, What are peeps experiences of them? What are the common faults with them that I need to watch out for??

    Cheers for your help guys and girls,

    Alex
    #1
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  3. voorhees
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    voorhees Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Jun 8, 2008]
    1.No,not a known problem
    2.Ermmm I had my car in Dec 05 and it was 16 grand
    3.fairly
    4.get a pre facelift as the insurance is cheaper and if you want to upgrade the engine this one is stronger
    5.roof rails have corrosion and bumper strips also but the twelve year warranty means they can sort it out,when its hot the drivers door says its open so the lock needs fixing,coilpacks,the suspension is wooden,tha alarm is as loud as a digital watch at the bottom of a well
    think thats a few for you
    #2
  4. alex1985blue
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    alex1985blue New Member

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    [Jun 8, 2008]
    So has no one heard about the problems with the software on the pre facelift models?

    Jabbasport said that the newer software is much safer and stable for the car as it protects itself when a fault appears, stopping any parts getting damaged??

    They have said that they are not remapping the pre facelift versions anymore because the software on the pre facelift models is unstable.

    Does this sound right, or are they talking c**p??

    Cheers for your help guys

    #3
  5. GT130
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    GT130 Member

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    [Jun 8, 2008]
    I think they are pretty reliable but would suggest you put 1k aside to get the car right, if after a few months you dont need the money go to Jabba for a remap..

    I have had a 68k full Audi history car for 4 months and replaced the following :

    Cam belt plus tensioners etc 450
    Power steering pipes and pump 400
    Temp sensor 75
    coil spring 90


    Everytime it went to Audi they pointed out the arb bushes and wishbones were past their best....luckily a kind builder dropped his ladder off his van and I have had all the bars/wishbones/rods/arb/droplinks/ball joints replaced under warranty (incl spraying front bumper), if not I would have replaced the wishbones and arb at some stage costing probably another 400-500..

    I'd suggest you look out for a forum car so you can check out that persons posts and what has been done to the car..

    Good luck - I love the car !
    #4
  6. voorhees
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    voorhees Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Jun 8, 2008]
    why the pre occupation with software problems?
    go to Jabbasport and buy one off them mate.I only drive a ****** and have no gain at all with what you buy.
    #5
  7. alex1985blue
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    alex1985blue New Member

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    [Jun 8, 2008]
    I understand, but I want o make sure that I buy the right car, and I wanted to see if anyone else has heard of this problem.

    Cheers

    Alex

    #6
  8. S3 Wannabe
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    S3 Wannabe Member

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    [Jun 8, 2008]
    had mine for 6 months:

    1) never heard anything about clutches being a prob.
    2) i paid 11 for mine with 73K (but got a very good part exchange on my clio 172 in that) so yours seems okay. I had a moment of concern over the mileage, but that engine was cast from a piece of brian blesseds ass and will go on forever.
    3) slave cylinder went last week, but on the whole no other prob's.
    4) never heard anything of ecu prob's with pre facelift, but i always wanted a newer one anyhow.
    5) coil packs failed on my custom code remap (again last week) but this is not unusual when doing the mandatory upgrade; rusting in parts (apparently), buttons wearing on climate control and other dials.

    it's a great car and i love every minute of it. i always turn to look at it when i get out and walk away, however it's not without a few draw backs. it wallows into corners a little too much for my liking, understeers, and i'm going to upgrade break pads (+poss discs) soon to get it stopping a lot better. oh, and do not hesitate to get it remapped!!!!!!!
    #7
  9. bantam1
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    bantam1 Member

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    [Jun 8, 2008]
    Have had a pre-facelift for nearly 4 years now. 44K when I got it, now on 122K. Remapped from 86K. Still running sweet as ever. Apart from wear and tear never missed a beat, and only prob was needing new brake master cylinder.

    Never heard of ECU probs. Clutch only seems a prob for some after remaps. Mileage not a worry - heard of cars on 170K plus without probs.
    #8
  10. jojo
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    jojo S3 Drift King! Staff Member Moderator

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    [Jun 8, 2008]
    I've got one of the earliest S3's, if not the earliest S3 on the forum, on a T-99 plate. Owned it for thr last 7 years or so and it's been remapped for 5 of them, no problems with the ECU that I know of. The only thing I have learnt recently is that my remap has 6 files and newer cars have 20 files or so in their remaps, mine still makes between 255-260BHP on the rollers, so not too sure what the problem could be?
    #9
  11. simch
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    simch Active Member

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    [Jun 9, 2008]
    Get a prefacelift if you want a lower tax charge next year.....!?

    Get a facelift if you want a nicer dash and slightly more modern feel to the interior. It is possible to upgrade t facelift lights no problem, but the interior of the newer one si a little bit smarter IMO.

    I think jabbasport had some trouble with the really early S3s, T reg 1999 ones. But I think the later prefacelift and facelfit versions all have the same ECU? Motec 7.5?? Something like that anyway. It is a great ECU with lots of clever stuff going on in it!

    Ask jabbasport to mention which engine codes to avoid, then, if worried, avoid them!

    Engine codes are three letters like APY, BAM, APX (!?) etc.
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  12. jojo
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    jojo S3 Drift King! Staff Member Moderator

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    [Jun 9, 2008]
    Since you are worried about a few hundred quid with regards to roadtax, you might want to know that 225 models are more to insure over the 210 model, and performance difference is not noticeable, with both engines mapping to the same power as suggested above.
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  13. fingermouse
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    fingermouse thats me

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    [Jun 9, 2008]
    clutch is only a problem if you drop the clutch at 3000 rpm when your racing from the lights.
    #12
  14. alex1985blue
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    alex1985blue New Member

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    [Jun 9, 2008]
    Ok cool guys,

    What I will do is have a word with jabbasport and find out which engine codes to avoid, then a good job done.

    Ok so the clutches on them are fine as long as you keep away from launching them off the line.

    Thankyou for help guys and girls. I think I am going to try and find one of the facelift models, with the 210 engine in them, as I like the sound of the newer interior.

    Going to head over to pistonheads to see what the differences actually are.

    Thanks for all the help.

    Alex
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  15. themanthatcan
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    themanthatcan Member VCDS Map User

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    [Jun 9, 2008]
    If you want the facelift but with the 210 engine then you'll probably be looking for an AMK engine code (which is what I've got in mine).

    On the subject of clutches I've just had mine replaced at 110k miles and by the looks of things it was the original clutch! It only needed replacing because I had the car remapped and it couldn't handle the extra torque on boost. Pre-remap it was quite happy. I would agree with what others have said about coil packs. If you're going to get a remap then budget an extra £120 to swap all 4 coil packs out, and be warned that you may need a new clutch as well!
    #14
  16. fingermouse
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    fingermouse thats me

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    [Jun 9, 2008]
    coil packs either work or dont I dont see the remap causing you to need 4 new ones tbh
    #15
  17. themanthatcan
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    themanthatcan Member VCDS Map User

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    [Jun 9, 2008]
    I didn't need 4, just the one, but you may as well replace all 4 while you're at it.

    There's plenty of people on here who can mirror my experiences, and even remappers will tell you that the process can highlight faults with what may have seemed like a perfectly fine coil pack.
    #16
  18. jamieface
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    jamieface the only S3 in the villiage

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    [Jun 10, 2008]
    I might be tempted to sell mine if you give me a PM 2000 facelift AMK 210bhp 89000 miles cam belt water pump tensioner all belts new temp sender all new coil packs new diaca and pads all round new rad air con heat exchanger new clutch pedal and will have 4 new tyres end of the month plus a full service !
    #17
  19. Kef9
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    Kef9 Member

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    [Jun 10, 2008]
    I bought mine 1 1/2 years ago and I still love it and will have it for a long time. NOTHING has gone wrong with it whatsoever so its also the most reliable car ive ever owned and considering it puts out 225bhp from a 1.8 litre engine I find that really impressive. Build qulaity is amazing and I still always admire and look back at mine. What a car that does everything you need.

    Oh yes and dont forget that you can pretty much singe anyone off the lights with the 4WD, especially in the rain.When you go back to a 2WD car I get really annoyed at the lack of traction.
    #18
  20. buckas
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    buckas Member

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  21. jonS3
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    jonS3 Member

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    [Jun 10, 2008]
    I might be selling mine too, has had lots changed on it including clutch AND flywheel, it's a 2000 X-Reg pre-facelift but has facelift front and rear lights, and an S3 plate so you'd never know!
    #20
  22. ash_s3
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    ash_s3 Active Member

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    [Jun 10, 2008]
    Im selling my facelift model, already got the remap and upgraded brakes, already had the clutch changed less than 2months ago, also had cambelt, water pump, tensioners, haldex service.
    Its all ready to go and needs nothing!

    75,000 miles
    210bhp AMK engine
    Noggy blue with black leather
    heated seats
    alu mirrors
    park assist
    bose sound system
    cd changer
    4 new tyres
    tax till sept (iirc)
    mot till jan
    #21

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