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Buying Tips for A4 TDI - Need a daily hack!

Discussion in 'A4/A4 cabriolet/S4 forum(B6 chassis)' started by Westy, Dec 4, 2012.

  1. Westy
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    Westy Double Dark Side! Diesel & 8P

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    [Dec 4, 2012]
    Hi guys,

    Some of you may know me from over on the A3/S3 8L board and as you can see from my profile I'm not new to ASN or the Audi scene. I am however completely new to diesel engines and their common faults. I've rebuilt the engine in my S3 and carried out most jobs so I'm not shy with the spanners.

    Anyway, I recently moved house and I now have a 100 mile a day commute which I'm currently doing in my gfs 1.2 corsa while she's driving 30 miles a day in my S3 as this was the cheapest solution. Next year I want to purchase a TDI for my daily, give the corsa back to my gf and have the S3 in the garage on a nice limited mileage policy so it can come out for fun/track days.

    I've been doing a little looking around at B5/B6 A4 saloons & avants and I think I've now set my heart on getting a B6 Avant Quattro. It's not 100% necessary that I have Quattro as I'm now used to driving a FWD car (bare in mind it is very gutless) but I do love it in my S3 and I'm sure a torquey diesel would benefit from it on those wet/icy days.

    So, I apolgise if this has been covered a million times before (I did search) but I'm after some buying tips and info on the models available. What TDI engines came with the B6? Did quattro come with just the 2.5TDI? Is it really necessary? I know about the 1.9TDI variable viened sticky turbo issue, are there any other common faults? When going to view a car, what should I be looking for? I have full VCDS which I'm sure will come in handy. Anything I should look for / avoid? What engine codes are best?

    Any info at all would be helpful.

    Thanks In Advance,
    Westy
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  2. quattrojames
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    quattrojames Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Dec 4, 2012]
    Hi Neil

    The 1.9 came in 100/115/130 power outputs. The quattro came with the 130 engine only.

    The 2.5 comes in 163bhp/180bhp options, the difference being fwd/quattro.

    If it's a commuting tool then a 1.9 is probably a more sensible option, as it's significantly more economic. The 1.9q's are rare, but they are about, and all 1.9 Avant's are holding their value very well. If you scroll back a page or two you'll see the kind of issues they suffer from. They're pretty bulletproof in honesty.
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  3. Westy
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    Westy Double Dark Side! Diesel & 8P

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    [Dec 4, 2012]
    Thanks James good info their.

    So I think I'll set my sights on a 1.9 Quattro. Are the 1.9 quattros just as rare in a saloon as they are as an avant? I'm not too fussed about an avant over a saloon but it would come in helpful while I'm decorating my house and doin regular trips to the tip ;)
    #3
  4. quattrojames
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    quattrojames Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    There don't don't seem to be many saloons on here full stop, at least compared to avants! I can't say I've ever seen a 1.9q saloon.... doubtlessly someone will be along soon to prove me wrong!
    #4
  5. Westy
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    Westy Double Dark Side! Diesel & 8P

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    [Dec 4, 2012]
    I notice you have a 2.5 TDI Quattro. What are the pros/cons of the 2.5 over the 1.9? Is the 2.5 that much more juicy? And I'm guessing road tax is a bit more too?
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  6. quattrojames
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    quattrojames Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Dec 4, 2012]
    I think my road tax was £270 when I renewed, I'm not sure how that compares to a 1.9.. Mine averages 33mpg, but it rarely sees a motorway (there are none in Dorset!) and I drive it pretty hard as I commute at odd times of the day. Some people claim they get 40 from them, I've never got close, I got 37 once driving like a granny.

    A well driven 1.9 can get over 50, although quattro probably costs 5mpg on average.
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  7. quattrojames
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    quattrojames Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Dec 4, 2012]
    PS: for me, the growl of the V6 over the 4 cylinder 1.9 was the deciding factor.
    #7
  8. Westy
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    Westy Double Dark Side! Diesel & 8P

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    [Dec 4, 2012]
    Just did a quick search for 1.9 TDI Quattros and quite a few saloons but they are holding their price nicely. I must admit that the avant looks nicer.

    I might forget the quattro idea as it opens up more cars. A 1.9s MPG does sound very appealing but I'm also after comfort too as i'm in the car 1 hour 15 each way. Are there different trims like S-Line etc that have different seats? Also how easy are the 1.9s to work on? I seem to remember seeing threads where people have needed the whole front of the car off to do a cambelt change?
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  9. VagCabby
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    VagCabby Active Member

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    [Dec 4, 2012]
    I've got a 2.5 163 and averaged 51mpg on my grip to Devon and back from Surrey. So not bad for a v6 :)
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  10. Westy
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    Westy Double Dark Side! Diesel & 8P

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    [Dec 4, 2012]
    My journey is around 35 miles of single carriageway A roads and 15 miles of dual carriageway. I dont drive too mad but do need a bit of right foot for overtaking old ladies & HGVs on the A roads.
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  11. AlexGSi2000
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    AlexGSi2000 Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    I would go for the 1.9TDi.
    I have the 2.5TDi - engine work costs more (for obvious reasons) & they do have some common issues (i.e - worn camshafts)

    As james said, the 1.9 will be more economical for a daily.
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  12. quattrojames
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    quattrojames Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Dec 4, 2012]
    It sounds like the 1.9 would do you fine.

    The 2.5 is a front off job for cambelt, water pump, thermostat etc which scares some people off.

    There are two trim levels, SE and Sport. S-Lines are only Sport trim with a few glitzy extra's. Sport seats are more supportive, but in generall all the seats are very comfortable in my experience.
    #12
  13. VagCabby
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    VagCabby Active Member

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    [Dec 4, 2012]
    I've never driven a 1.9tdi before so can't really compare to the 2.5tdi, my partner has a 2.0tdi 140 a3 and mine feels like a petrol compared to hers due to how smooth it is. But all I can say is I'm happy I went for the 2.5tdi, the sound, torque available nearly all the time and the smoothness of it. Mine around town is similer to the previous post, 33-35 with normal driveing and abit of heavy right foot driving and as said 51mpg driving to Devon with is half motorway half b roads. I say test drive both and see what you prefer.
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  14. Westy
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    Westy Double Dark Side! Diesel & 8P

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    [Dec 4, 2012]
    Ok I think it'll definitely be a 1.9. The engine work doesn't scare me as I'm lucky enough to have a big garage and I've had the engine completely out of my S3.

    I now need to work out whether a quattro is going to make my life any better or not. I can imagine it's a fair bit of extra weight for only 130bhp! My S3 feels bloody heavy with 305bhp.
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  15. stu_m
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    stu_m Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Dec 4, 2012]
    I have a 1.9tdi 100bhp fwd and cant complain

    I have done the cam belt on it and you have to put the front end in to service mode although it is a lot easier to remove it and lay the rad on the floor out the way

    The 100bhp is better on juice then the 130 but only slightly and its less tax I get average of 48 round town and as high as 62 on a run but that was driving really steady average on a run is usually 55-56 ish

    the main thing that goes on them is the stat and the temp sensor and thats about it really!!

    If you want to keep it cheap you could maybe go for a 100bhp model for the cheaper tax and maybe stick a remap on it to give a bit more go and better possibly economy I have seen some 100bhp models really cheap as everyone wants more power if you save £500 over the 130 then there is more then enough change there for a remap...just a thought
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  16. shaz
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    shaz Member

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    [Dec 4, 2012]
    I'd go Quattro all the way mate - especially where I work we get quite a lot of snow so Quattro is good for me

    Although iv had in the past 1.9 / 2.5 both Quattro and non Quattro - fwd do feel a lot pokier when driven hard,

    Annual road tax for my 1.9 Quattro is £195.

    There are a few quattros available - just have a look in autotrader,

    Shaz
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  17. Westy
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    Westy Double Dark Side! Diesel & 8P

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    [Dec 4, 2012]
    Cheers for your comments guys. The B5 prices are fairly low but I've seen some B6 prices less then the B5!

    Anything really big I should keep an eye out for when I look for TDIs? My S3 is on 140k miles and still going strong so I assume that the same mileage on a TDI is small? I'm also guessing that I'll be looking at similar common faults to the ones I encountered with my S3, stat (as mentioned), perishing rubber hoses, tired turbo etc.
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  18. stu_m
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    stu_m Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Dec 4, 2012]
    mine has over 250k on it and still going strong and i know of one with over 400k on the clock!!
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  19. gavsman
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    gavsman Member

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    [Dec 4, 2012]
    250K - it's only just run in then!;)
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  20. chris1008
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    chris1008 Member

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    [Dec 4, 2012]
    Can't reccomend the 1.9 enough. I have the 1.9 130 TDI sport saloon. Thois is the one which comes with 6 gears. Mines remapped now though roughly 160 ish . Great comfortable car for long journeys. If you do go for the sport model the seats are much comfier

    I think my temp sensor or stat is on it's way like others have said they appear to be common. used to sit just below 90 now its about 70. not the end of the world. To do a cam belt it is a front end off job but once it's off you can sit down right in front of it and see everything your doing.
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  21. marktdisport
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    marktdisport Active Member

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    There's a 1.9Q in the eBay section I've had a mapped 130 and it could be a handful in the wet if I'm honest fun but defo a drivers car to get the power down, standard 130 are a bit gay not that impressive all noise no go etc
    #21
  22. Westy
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    Westy Double Dark Side! Diesel & 8P

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    [Dec 4, 2012]
    I'm not too fussed about the performance, as long as its got enough poke to overtake easily. What sort of torque do you get from remapping the 1.9?
    #22
  23. geek
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    geek Member

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    [Dec 4, 2012]
    Just out of interest, how much are you looking to spend?
    If you add the upfront buying costs and then ongoing running costs of both cars I bet you would find it cheaper to just drive the S3 and suck up the fuel costs?
    #23
  24. Westy
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    Westy Double Dark Side! Diesel & 8P

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    [Dec 4, 2012]
    This is something I've looked into and though about a lot. I've even considered taking the S3 off the road for a little while and coming back to it when I have the money to run it alongside 2 other sensible cars.

    I love driving the S3. It has everything that I love about a sporty Audi. The recaro leather seats, armrest, comfort, power, Quattro. But it would cost me around £25 a day in fuel. The corsa currently costs me £15 a day while my gf drives my pride and joy. In an ideal world I'd like the S3 tucked away in the garage and I'd have an A4 and give her back to corsa.

    When I did some insurance quotes it soon became apparent that it wasn't going to be cheap! a multi car policy between the S3 and an A4 was near on impossible due to the S3 being so heavily modified so I asked about using my NCB on the S and starting a new policy on an A4. I was getting quotes of around £800 for a B5 worth £500-£700 so I gave it a miss. I haven't looked into the possibility of a multicar policy for the corsa and A4 together.

    Anyway, I started off looking at the bottom end of the B5 market, the £500 sheds as a cheap runner but now I've moved up to the £3k B6. I'm not sure on what my budget will be next year but probably no more then £3k - £3.5k.
    #24
  25. chris1008
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    chris1008 Member

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    [Dec 5, 2012]
    The old A6 R reg -2005 type are just as nice to drive. some of the earlier A6 TDIs are quite cheap now
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  26. Westy
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    Westy Double Dark Side! Diesel & 8P

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    [Dec 5, 2012]
    Today was a perfect reason as to why I thought I'd need Quattro but I made the 50 mile journey in the corsa fine so I'm not fussed for Quattro so much.

    Might have a look out for a fwd 1.9 100 :thumbsup:
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  27. AlexGSi2000
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    AlexGSi2000 Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Dec 5, 2012]
    Just bare in mind weights too, as they do affect being able to drive on snow.
    My Ibiza Cupra was fine in the snow, however my friends passat was terrible.
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  28. Westy
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    Westy Double Dark Side! Diesel & 8P

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    [Dec 5, 2012]
    After this mornings journey I think I'll be working from home for any further snow days ;)
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  29. chris1008
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    chris1008 Member

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    [Dec 5, 2012]
    narrower tyres are better for snow, all the weight is less spread out and can dig into the snow.

    so the corsa is probably good for the snow !
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2012
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  30. Westy
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    Westy Double Dark Side! Diesel & 8P

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    [Dec 6, 2012]
    Are there any common faults I need to look out for on the B6? On the S3 some of the boot trim and sections of the roof are common for rusting.

    Also where there any recalls that I should check have been done?
    #30
  31. AlexGSi2000
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    AlexGSi2000 Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Dec 6, 2012]
    May be worthwhile taking a look at this thread; http://www.audi-sport.net/vb/a4-a4-cabriolet-s4-forum-b6-chassis/115597-diy-guides-faq-b6-wiki.html

    Off the top of my head the water drainage around the battery area commonly gets blocked - this can be rectified by removing a grommet.

    Also the door wiring looms in-between the door and chassis tend to wear causing central locking / windows / speakers to stop working.
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  32. chris1008
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    chris1008 Member

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    [Dec 7, 2012]
    the roof on the A4's tend to corrode slightly around the gulleys for the water to run off, mine has it, my dads old T reg A6 was the same

    And as for the bulkheads getting blocked, yes it's common we've had just as many A4's as passats with the same fault, and the owners have complained of several faults but all caused by this,

    Water will overflow from the bulkhead and pour in round a few grommets and get behind the carpets, Often submersing a control module in the passenger front footwell causing the lights to do random flashes, central locking play up sort of thing

    This week one B6 came in with the battery going flat and electric fan switching on and off randomly even with the car switched off, We found the ECU in the bulkhead submersed in Ice it was that cold, obviously blocked. Wires corroded, ECU is slightly damaged, had to have the fan bypassed so it comes on with the ignition as he wasnt keen on spending 700 quid for a new ECU !!

    So I would check carefully for shoddy wiring as what ever car you go to look at could have had these issues, I don't like it when people just want their cars bodging up just to get them by, It all has to work correctly for me, Ok fair enough it was a bin but it is actually quite a tidy 02 reg
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2012
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  33. marktdisport
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    marktdisport Active Member

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    [Dec 7, 2012]
    Worn clutches could be costly with DMFlywheels, heater control motors especially the one up the windscreen have gremlins these are around £100 a piece, knocking suspension arms up front are fairly expensive also
    #33
  34. Molnboman
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    Molnboman Well-Known Member

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    [Dec 7, 2012]
    #34
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  35. Westy
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    Westy Double Dark Side! Diesel & 8P

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    [Dec 7, 2012]
    Cheers lads.

    Sounds like the drainage issue is a biggie, I'll be sure to check that out. I've recently just had to replace all the coil pack wiring on my S3 so I know how much of a pain soldering in parts of a wiring loom can be.

    I'll be after a car that's had a recent clutch change and hopefully flywheel. Not fussed about the DMF though as when it needs replacing I'll go for the awesome GTI SMF clutch kit as its been superb on the S3 and apparently is fine for diesels too.

    Keep the advice coming :thumbsup:
    #35
  36. spartacus 68
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    spartacus 68 Active Member

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    [Dec 7, 2012]
    Good choice. :yes:

    I'm currently driving a 2001 B5 2.5 TDI Avant quattro sport (aka Amtrak locomotive) and currently return 43mpg or 500+ miles per tank (£75 to fill to the brim). That's on A-class roads with limited stop start driving. Hit traffic and it drinks like Charlie Sheen after a day's filming! :jester:

    The B6 1.9 TDI quattro avant is an elegant looking car. Even in standard trim with star alloys - it still looks timeless in appearance (bear in mind it's a 2001-2004 car). Still very much sought after. You'll see plenty high milers and the odd workhorse if you look hard enough. Look at this pristine example, and remind yourself it's 8 years old and still commanding a King's ransom.
    Audi A4 1.9 TDI 130 QUATTRO SPORT 5DR 2004

    Only other advice I'd offer is to get a car that already has had the timing belt, water-pump, thermostat and auxilliary belts changed - so you can avoid a £450+ service bill. Front suspension and front shocks will show general wear and tear after 120k+ so expect to change these at some point. Double-check rear springs if the car has a tow bar. Not unusual for the coil springs to shear, especially sport models.
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  37. adamss24
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    adamss24 Well-Known Member

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    [Dec 8, 2012]
    I have 2 avants v6 tdi Quattro, a 1.9 tdi avant Fwd and a saloon v6 tdi Quattro. The v6 avants return 40mpg average, the Fwd 1.9 tdi returns 44mpg average so hardly any savings there. I do have a heavy foot though and all run on wide alloys but for the sake of 1L of fuel more I will take the v6 tdi anytime... Best I had in the 1.9 tdi was 600 miles on the tank, the v6 tdi will do 500-550 miles on a similar journey...
    The pd 130 maps to 160-170 Bhp and will munch the clutch, the v6 maps to 210 and the clutch will be fine... Just to mention the v6 above are mapped on stock hardware and the 1.9 has a map, Egr delete and bv43 turbo... If you close to n.london then I could take you for a spin in either so you can make your mind up...they are for sale as well !?!
    #37
  38. Westy
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    Westy Double Dark Side! Diesel & 8P

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    [Dec 8, 2012]
    Thanks for the comparisons. My main goal is mpg but I want to have fun too. If the difference in running a V6 over a 1.9 is minimum but the fun factor of a V6 over a1.9 is bigger then I might have to reconsider.

    Where abouts in North London are you? My parents are not far from Enfield.
    #38
  39. adamss24
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    adamss24 Well-Known Member

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    [Dec 8, 2012]
    I live in Muswell Hill, N. London, just of North Circular/a406, 10-15 min drive from Enfield... as I said, start tuning the 1.9 tdi and it stops being that economical especially when you have a heavy foot. For the grin factor, I would recomend the v6 tdi any day, I have fjtwelve's old a6 with double the power it came from factory, it's an animal and still returns 32 mpg driven flat out ! Just waiting for a gtb2566 hybrid turbocharger now, looks like it will be a test mule for the hybrid darkside developments are selling !
    #39
  40. Westy
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    Westy Double Dark Side! Diesel & 8P

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    [Dec 8, 2012]
    I remember you now! I PMd you back in march when you were selling an 1.9 Black A4 Avant. I think you sold it just before I came to view it.
    #40

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