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Dealers charging for Washer fluid @ service

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by Eeef, Sep 12, 2006.

  1. Eeef
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    Eeef Lord of War

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    [Sep 12, 2006]
    Yet again when the car went in for a service I made sure that the reservoir was brimmed & yet again got charged for washer fluid.
    When I queried it, the dealer said that as part of the service they drain the reservoir and refill it to make sure the concentration is right.
    Previously I just thought it was a fleecing techinque but I kind of understand their logic.
    That being said, they also confirmed that they would remove the charge, and if I let them know in future they wouldn't bother doing it.
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  3. JohnS3
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    JohnS3 Active Member

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    [Sep 12, 2006]
    That's nice to know. Have you tried to take you own oil?
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  4. marriedblonde
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    marriedblonde Moderator

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    [Sep 12, 2006]
    Look in the boot and they will give the bottle of concentrate they used.

    J.
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  5. Eeef
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    Eeef Lord of War

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    [Sep 12, 2006]
    yep, spotted that :)

    I even sniffed the reservoir to make sure they weren't telling me porkies:blink:
    #4
  6. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Sep 12, 2006]
    Yeah,coz god knows we can't possibly be trusted to make our own washer solution...

    Jesus christ,they really do think we're fecking idiots.
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  7. marriedblonde
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    marriedblonde Moderator

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    [Sep 12, 2006]
    :D Yep!

    but in their defence some people who have their cars serviced truly are...
    #6
  8. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Sep 12, 2006]
    True.

    By all means fill an empty / half-empty one,but deliberately decanting a full one and refilling it is taking the bleedin biscuit !

    What do they charge for it ?
    Pound odd ?
    Say a round quid.
    Multiply that by,say,20 cars a day serviced per dealership.
    Multiply that by,say,150 dealerships in the UK
    (might be conservative,dunno)

    That's an extra £ 156000 on the turnover.

    CHA-CHING !
    #7
  9. Eeef
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    Eeef Lord of War

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    [Sep 12, 2006]
    150 dealerships? I'd have thought more like 50? Anybody know?
    #8
  10. Skittler
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    Skittler Redlined

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    [Sep 12, 2006]
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  11. Eeef
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    Eeef Lord of War

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    [Sep 12, 2006]
    bloody hell! Not exactly exclusive are they.
    #10
  12. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Sep 12, 2006]
    Can you imagine getting away with this kind of **** in other situations ?

    "We charged you for a morning paper sir"
    "but I'd already bought my own,and I didn't ask for one"
    "yes sir,we know,but we threw that one out and replaced it with ours"

    Yeah,right !
    #11
  13. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Sep 12, 2006]
    I think I agree with marriedblonde. Some drivers, not generally the type that would frequent this forum, would expect a dealer to check and make sure the washer fluid is as it should be. I have known some drivers who only ever top up their washers with plain water. I'm sure some do not even know how to open the bonnet let alone anything else.

    If anyone is that bothered about the cost of the fluid all they have to do is to tell the dealer when they take it in not to touch the washer fluid.

    I'm not even sure that the dealers are not doing it to protect themselves. If a driver had an accident and claimed that he could not see properly because the screen was all smeary, some clever lawer in our current 'compensation culture' would try to claim compensation from the dealer for not having checked the concentration was in accordance with the manufacturers instructions, especially if the car had just been serviced.

    I also think the same is probably true about the brake pads and discs mentioned in another thread. The dealer sees the car less often these days and I think they are making sure they cover themselves should anything occur that may involve the brakes at a latter date. If they have pointed out that items may need changing then they are covered. If not there is a possibility they may be help in some way liable.
    #12
  14. benw123
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    benw123 Moderator

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    [Sep 12, 2006]
    At the other end of the scale, you more commonly have dealers (from all networks, including independents) who charge you for a job they didn't complete.

    An old trick I used to do was mark some of the consumable parts. A good one was the oil filter, as these are easy to put a permanent marker pen on. If the mark was still there when you got the car back, you knew you'd been fleeced.

    As for washer fluid, I suppose you could try and colour it with dye or something, to see if they change it. Sounds a bit OTT I know, but servicing is expensive with Audi and you need to know the final cost is at least some way justified.
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  15. Vertigo1
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    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

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    [Sep 12, 2006]
    I can't stand it when the dealer fills up my washer fluid as they always put too much concentrate in. I prefer to have a very weak solution as otherwise the car ends up covered in soap sud stains after using them.
    #14
  16. Spook
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    Spook Member

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    [Sep 12, 2006]
    Applying the same philosophy, I always download and print the fault codes with my VAG-COM before the car goes in for service. It's good evidence if, for example, the dealer tries to replace a perfectly good sensor that they claim was faulty. Conversely, running another VAG-COM check after picking the car up verifies that the fault codes have been cleared and that any problems identified on the pre-service VAG-COM check have been addressed.

    Me, paranoid? I wouldn't be if everybody wasn't out to get me......
    #15
  17. benw123
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    benw123 Moderator

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    [Sep 12, 2006]
    That's a great idea. Taking things further, if you had to make a dispute with a dealer following a service or warranty work, a VAG-COM printout would be good evidence for trading standards or a court.
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  18. Vertigo1
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    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

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    [Sep 12, 2006]
    Although I'm sure Audi and/or the dealer would argue that interfacing with the car's control systems constitutes a breach of the warranty conditions so I'd be careful what you say there :)
    #17
  19. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Sep 13, 2006]
    You should work for dealer PR David,as this has got to be the most 'generous' interpretation of ripping us off that I've ever seen.
    #18
  20. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Sep 13, 2006]
    Bowfer, perhaps I have a different attitude that you. I do not assume that everyone is trying to rip me off all the time. I happen to believe quite the opposite unless and until I am proved wrong.

    I trust the guys at the dealer I use to give me their honest opinion about my car and I have not been given any reason over the past 30 years of using basically the same company to think otherwise.

    I know for a fact that the service guys are given strict instructions about informing the customer of any wear or other problems in connection with a cars brakes and tyres to protect themselves from the possibility of claims against them.

    Perhaps it's normal practice in whatever business your in to rip off customers so that is what you expect from others. I have always worked for organisations that are duty bound to provide their clients, customers or the general public with information that is to the best of their knowledge accurate and correct. I have no reason to think my Audi dealer is anything different.
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  21. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Sep 13, 2006]
    I accept you can only go by your own dealer experiences David,but you were offering explanations for other dealers,when everyone and their granny can see they're 'at it'.

    Emptying washer bottles to charge you for their own stuff = racket
    Telling people their back pads need replaced at low mileage = racket
    Telling people their discs need replacing at low mileage = racket
    Charging people for bottles of oil they don't need = racket

    With specific regard to the brake scenarios,if you don't accept it's a racket then you have to accept that Audi's brake parts must be made of butter,so which is it ???
    #20
  22. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Sep 13, 2006]
    Fair enough - you are entitled to your opinion and I to mine. I'm still sure that the liability question holds good for all dealers, especially where brakes and tyres are concerned.

    As far as the brake pads are concerned they are definitely not made of butter or they would very quickly melt! It may be that they are softer than on other cars but I doubt it. If they are then I'm sure there is a reason and I would like to hear an explanation from Audi before making any judgement. No comment was made about either the front or rear discs or pads at the first AVS service at 19,000. We will see if any comment is made at the second AVS service in around 8,000 miles.

    I am on my 4th A3, the first 1998 8L model I had for 2.6 years and 45k miles, the second 2000 8L for 2.3 years and 46k miles, the third 2002 8L model for1.3 years and 34k miles and my current 2004 8P model is 2.2 years old and has so far done 31k miles. Prior to the A3 I had a Golf VR6 which I had for 4 years and 63k miles. Before the VR6 I had 4 other Audis and 4 Golf GTIs. With all these cars I never once had to change any discs or pads front or rear.

    If anyone thinks their dealer is 'ripping them off' then I suggest they change to a different dealer or ask Audi to check the discs and pads on their car. This is something any dealer can arrange if necessary.
    #21
  23. marmite
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    marmite Counting the Tesco Club points

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    [Sep 15, 2006]
    I strongly agree with h5djr, if you feel that strong about your dealer then don't use them go else where.

    Screen wash is topped up and if your bottle is full they should leave the bottle in the boot for you, in a bag.

    Top up oil is given out as we all know, or some might that the engine is some cases enjoy drinking it 1 litre in 700 miles they say.

    The dealers are out to protect themselves as the world has changed and everyone wants to get at much as they can and complain then try for compensation.

    If you know your bottle if full tell them, they won't book out the screen wash if you have a bottle of top up tell them and they won't charge you.

    Give them a little trust, at the end of the day it is your car do as you wish with and you choose to take it to the dealers.

    I just took mine to repair a seat belt and they said your bf was low and we checked your pads and they seem 70 - 80% worn, but don't worry you have a warning light to tell you when they were worn, they also advised they may have to measure the discs as they seemt o be getting low, very honest in my eyes.
    #22
  24. god_thats_quick
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    god_thats_quick Numptie of the highest order

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    [Sep 16, 2006]
    Has anyone asked the dealers why they have done it and got the correct answer I wonder?

    In the service schedule it says they need to check the washers and headlight washers if you have them. I'm pretty sure but not 100% on this that Audi probably also tell them to top it up after, so they are just doing what they're told. As others have said if you don't like it go somewhere else.

    This doesn't apply to brakes etc, but they should be *slightly* on the causious side, can you imagine the legal side affects if something happened shortly after a service and they hadn't warned you?
    #23
  25. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Sep 17, 2006]
    While I can understand their cautiousness on anything brake related, but it would be nice for them to phone you and ask: "pads have about 5k miles left do you want us to do them?". The specialist I use always phones and gives me the option. Do I want to wait and bring the car in again, or do I just get them to do it now. That's behaviour that then earns my trust. To just trust them because they're an Audi franchise is just plain naive. Let's be honest brake pads/discs are worn a few hundred miles after they're new, so could legitimately be replaced at every service.
    I also don't buy the "we're just protecting ourselves from the UK litigious culture". Why? What's going to happen? Are the brakes going to explode when they get low? No, you get a warning light then if you keep ignoring it for at least 1,000 miles, you eventually get metal on metal. The brakes will still work up to that point.
    As for suing a dealership because I couldn't see where I was going as my washer fluid wasn't the correct mix - I'm sorry, but that's up there with suing your parents because their DNA made you a fecking moron.
    The washer fluid is a scam end of story. They charge £2.80 for this "service" so are obviously diluting it with Evian or Highland spring.
    Wouldn't it be a nice touch for them to just do it free of charge? It would cost them 50p and would make their £80+ hourly rate just a bit easier to swallow. Until I had an Audi I used to get all sorts of freebies when I had my car serviced. I had a Suzuki Swift GTi as a company car once and they used to valet the car and leave a cleaning kit on the passenger seat with screen wipes, a duster, spare washer fluid & a sponge! Probably only cost them £3, but I still remember it. Last time I let Audi near my A4 all I can remember, apart from feeling raped, is being charged (again) for washer fluid I didn't ask for.
    They don't drain your petrol tank and refill it with special Audi unleaded, and they never check your tyre pressures, which is by far and away more important than bloody screenwash.
    #24
  26. Aldo
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    Aldo Active Member

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    [Sep 17, 2006]
    I got charge £1.80 from a Specialist for my resevoir being topped up. I didn't think Audo would aswell, but I suppose they have to pay for the courtesy cars, free Taxi to work/town etc etc!
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  27. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Sep 17, 2006]
    You don't think 10 mechanics earning the dealership £6,000 per day would cover it then?
    #26
  28. marriedblonde
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    marriedblonde Moderator

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    [Sep 17, 2006]
    Personally I'm not concerned they change my washer fluid. But I appreciate what everone is saying regarding this being a con. But £2.80 for a bottle of Vag washer fluids quite cheap IMHO and they also say if you use any other brand of washer fluid and your jets get blocked it's tough luck - yer I know what your going to say another scam. But if you don't put in the right oil and your engine goes bang would they honour your warrenty? Same principle but a bit extreme...

    Regarding the tyre pressures yes they do check them - every time my car gets serviced I then drive straight to a petrol station to adjust hem again. I run my tyres a lot harder than standard.

    J.
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  29. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Sep 17, 2006]
    Blocked jets not covered under waranty? Oh my god, call the police!
    I've never had a blocked jet in 23 years of car ownership, 2 minutes with a pin and away you go, hardly the same as blowing your engine up.
    I think we're talking about the principle of the washer fluid rather than the actual washer fluid itself. It's a trivial topic in the scheme of things, but I remember it pissing me right off when they did it to me. That and charging me £36 to change one dash bulb, which I've since done myself and it takes 10 minutes. I guess some people just have an aversion to being scammed.
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  30. marriedblonde
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    marriedblonde Moderator

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    [Sep 18, 2006]
    The new washer jets use that stupid fine spray patern so a pin doesn't do the trick like the old days...

    But I also agree with people on the principle of it, like I said I'm not bothered by the £2.80 charge for the fluid although I would be a bit miffed at being charged £36 for changing a bulb...
    #29
  31. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Sep 18, 2006]
    All it says to me is that "We don't give a **** about your loyal custom and we'll fleece you at every opportunity". Which proved to be pretty accurate with my local dealer, so now they don't get my loyal custom anymore.
    It's been said already that you need to vote with your feet if you feel you're getting a lousy deal, but the massive differential between service levels & charges shown on this forum between dealers needs seriously addressing by Audi. Personally I would much rather give my cash to a local independent who actually cares about retaining their customers.
    #30
  32. marriedblonde
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    marriedblonde Moderator

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    [Sep 18, 2006]
    Now that post you can't argue with!
    #31
  33. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Sep 18, 2006]
    I agree. Luckily I get excellant service and, compared to some of the prices quoted for service work on this forum, good value for money from my local dealer. Hence I have been a loyal customer of both the Audi and previously the VW parts of the company for the last 30 years.
    #32
  34. dmaudi
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    dmaudi Member

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    [Sep 18, 2006]
    Married blonde, Are you running it as a taxi on weekends? :)
    or do you just want to enhance the understeer?

    seriously though, I agree they do check and adjust, after last two visits I had to go to the garage and take 1psi out of the front and 2psi out of the rear, I find it is far less prone to understeer if cornering under power

    but I didn't get my washer topped up either time :(
    #33
  35. marriedblonde
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    marriedblonde Moderator

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    [Sep 18, 2006]
    #34
  36. dmaudi
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    dmaudi Member

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    [Sep 18, 2006]
    whooops forgot you were drinking (sipping) the dark stuff,

    spooky,

    so the fwd chassis needs harder pressure on the front tyres yet the 4wd seems to need less pressure to get rid of the built-in understeer

    jesus can't Audi manage to get either right, out of the box?

    I find with std pressures mines a bit twitchy, I actually did about 10 miles with them on the fully loaded values after a trip, I'd forgot and nearly lost it on a roundabout as the power transfer to the rear was instant and had no grip to cope, woooahh
    #35
  37. marriedblonde
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    marriedblonde Moderator

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    [Sep 18, 2006]
    LOL...I'll forgive you :)
    #36
  38. mfspen
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    mfspen Member

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    [Sep 19, 2006]
    Strange.
    On my 2.0T, I find the exact opposite. With the tyres at their lowest recommended pressures (35psi F, 32psi R), I get the best grip, turn-in and steering precision. I have Continental tyres.
    #37
  39. marriedblonde
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    marriedblonde Moderator

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    [Sep 19, 2006]
    That would imply the sidewalls of the conti's are harder than the F1's then...
    #38
  40. mfspen
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    mfspen Member

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    [Sep 19, 2006]
    Interesting.
    Do you also find the F1's quiet ?
    ..... as I have found the road roar from the Contis is very low compared to the Dunlops on my previous A3.
    #39
  41. marriedblonde
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    marriedblonde Moderator

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    [Sep 19, 2006]
    They are better than the Rosso's the car came with. But we are not talking earily silent...
    #40

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