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Do all S3's suffer from stereo button wear?

andy2 Dec 11, 2011

  1. andy2

    andy2 New Member

    Went to see an S3 yesterday. The car drove really nicely. An 03 model with 58k on the clock. Had the BOSE sound system too which is a bonus.

    Needed a bit of work though. New rear shocks required (one leaking), cambelt is due, existing tyres were budget, not a make I've heard of before and looked old, so I'd need to replace all 4 tyres. In addition, although there were no signs of any other accident damage, the offside front wing was bubbling at the very front and looked as though it had been filled and resprayed at some point.

    The dealer was asking £6,995 for the car and with the above in mind then he was happy to reduce it to £6,500 for a sale. I would then need to get the work above done myself - estimate around £1,200

    Trouble is, on top of all of this the Stereo faceplate was a mess. Lots of the buttons were worn - some so that you couldn't tell what they were anymore. Kind of put me off really as it really detracts from the rest if the car. Don't think I could live with it to be honest as it really spoils an otherwise great interior.

    Is this stereo wear a problem that all S3's suffer from or is it only a minority? If I keep looking am I likely to find one in good condition?

    Suppose the other option is to replace the whole fascia/head unit but I'm guessing that's going to be really expensive?
  2. jcs356

    jcs356 Brum brum

    Hmm, sounds on the expensive side to me.

    My stereo is just showing signs of wear on the skip forward 1 track button - that's the one to skip a track when I've got the iPod plugged in on shuffle so gets pressed far more than any of the others. My car is nearly 11 years old, so all of the tactile surfaces show some wear but not right through to the base plastic.

    3 possible explanations:
    1. Car has been clocked - check the other surfaces - door pulls, seat belt etc. to see if they are also worn.
    2. Car has had a replacement stereo (but if so, would you really stick a skanky one in??)
    3. Previous owner was a female with long fingernails (or possibly wolverine from the X-Men??) who has scratched the paint off.
  3. macpdm

    macpdm Member

    My immediate reaction upon reading your post was leave it and move on.If you are spending that kind of money I would be much fussier.
  4. Martin82

    Martin82 Member

    Sounds a bit heavy already on price. I'm sure for that much you could get a really good one without having so spend anything.

    Have you checked service history, MOTS and HPI? From what you've said it may have had a knock......are all the lights on the dash showing up correctly and going out (airbag/abs/esp etc?).

    My gut reaction would be to walk away and try elsewhere.
  5. Ian W

    Ian W Active Member

    Mine is on 140k and the stereo buttons are fine, judging from your description of it, it sounds like it's had a hard life.

    Find a better one!
  6. sportstractor

    sportstractor Chugger

    Yeah doesn't sound great for the money, You could pick one in that condition for 5k.
  7. Prawn

    Prawn My other car is a MINI!!!!

    sounds very expensive to me, and the dealer knocking £500 off for what is really £1500's worth of work sounds very tight.

    As for stereo buttons, it doesn't seem to be an issue at all on pre facelift cars with the older climate control and concert head units, but facelift cars seem to suffer from it badly on the climate and stereos.

    Also, it's worth nothing, that from my experience, cars owned by girls tend to show far more button wear than cars owned entirely by blokes!

    Not just due to length of finger nails, but if you observe people, girls tend to press the buttons with their finger tips with the palm of their hand facing downwards, where as most blokes seem to turn their hand over and press the button with the pad of the finger!

    odd observation I know, but it goes hand in hand with the increased button wear!

    Plenty of good ones out there in better condition and well within your budget. What you're looking to spend is now top money, so I'd demand a TOP exmaple!
  8. 16Klappe

    16Klappe I <3 Panda's! Supporter

    Sounds like a minger, I wouldn't be paying that much for a car that needed that much work.

    Yeah, facelift stereo's where just cheaply sprayed black. Underneath the black coating is cheap white plastic, my girlfriends one is a total mess.

    And yes, Prawn is totally right. If the buttons are worn I'd be checking the clutch as well.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2011
  9. Prawn

    Prawn My other car is a MINI!!!!

    I have carried out an experiment to test my theory!

    I just asked my girlfriend to turn her minotor off then on again on the PC, exactly as I thought, she prodded the button with the tip of her finger! Then when I showed her how I would do it, she declared it as 'wrong' and 'strange'

  10. andy2

    andy2 New Member

    Cheers chaps, think you are right. Will continue to look for a better one. Happy to pay good money for a car that's sorted but I'm going to be ultra picky. Might take a while to find a good one in that case?
  11. The Doctor

    The Doctor Well-Known Member

    That's way too much for what sounds like a car with a lot of rough edges. I paid £7.5k for my "03" S3 in July '09 with 65k on the clock, which was spotless inside & out and had 4 brand new Michelin Pilot Sport tyres just fitted. Having said that, the cambelt service was due. So 2 1/2 years on I'd expect to be paying around £6k for one in the same condition. Only slight wear on one of my stereo buttons.

    Love the experiment Prawn.
  12. SteveSAS

    SteveSAS Active Member

    Yes they seem to want top dollar just for the lower mileage (if true). Bought mine a month back with 87k miles on it & FSH (cambelt done only a year ago) perfect condition with 4 brand new tyres, Rs4 alloys & only the temp/fan minus buttons have some wear on them & I paid £5600 from garage.

  13. aragorn

    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

    NEVER buy a car on grounds of low mileage, and NEVER pay a premium for those little digits on the cluster.

    Especially when cars get to this sort of age, a car that gets properly driven with normal miles on the clock (i'd say 80-100k for an 8yo car) will tend to have had more regular maintenance and have been looked after better than a car thats on low mileage and only ever gets driven 3 miles to work and back every day. Take cam belts for instance, many people know it needs done every 60k (for example), but they dont know or conveniently forget it also needs done every 5 years if that happens before 60k. So in effect that car your looking at could potentially be 3 years PAST its belt change interval, and still be on the belt it left the factory with! Tyres also have a finite life, and as you've found, even though the tyres might be servicable (ignoring the brand) they're ancient and need changed due to age.

    Many rubber components on the car also age just as easily with time as they do mileage, so its entirely likely that the bushes etc on a 56k 8yo car are just as knackered as a 100k 8yo car.

    It sounds like a shed, and as others have said its overpriced, and it wouldnt surprise me at all if some miles had fallen off at some point either given the description of the interior wear. It IS a dealer though, and you will obviously end up paying more there than a private sale.
  14. Routledge

    Routledge Wind Deflector Trend-setter

    I'd pay £3,500-4000 for that if I HAD to buy it. Not a penny more. Keep looking.
  15. Poke13

    Poke13 Member

    Yeah as said seems like a lot of work and a lot of wear on the buttons. Mine is an '03 bought with 75k on clock and it only had a little wear on the Air Con/CC panel which I suspect is due to a lady driver as the drivers door mat has a small wear patch where your left heel goes for clutch (must have been small shoes/heels!).

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