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New here (buying advice needed for an A3)

Discussion in 'A3/S3 Forum (8L Chassis)' started by N9ne, Oct 6, 2012.

  1. N9ne

    N9ne New Member

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    Hi all. New here and looking to buy a 2000 A3 1.6 SE which has done 80k miles. I'm more of a Jap / BMW man (my dad owns 2) but looking to buy an A3 as a temporary car to fill the void as I've been without a car for a year now.

    My main questions are:

    1. Are they reliable? I myself have owned Jap cars and they've all been bomb proof. Also, my dad's E46 BMs have also been perfect.
    2. If they're not reliable, what are the main problems?
    3. Do they tend to rust a lot? I've read that rust along the roof rails is common & bottom of the doors?
    4. Is the service schedule below (S3 schedule) the same for an A3?
    5. I read on another thread that the cam belt needs to be changed at 80k or 115k. Which is correct?
    6. Being German, will it be expensive to maintain? I ran an '02 Nissan Almera for 2 years and that was as cheap as chips.
    7. Will the clutch still be ok at 80k miles? I know this depends on how the car is driven etc, but with it being a 1.6, I'm hoping it'll be fine for many more miles to come? Also, do Audis have a self-adjusting clutch (SAC) like BMWs?

    This is the car in question that I'm looking to go and see / buy: AUDI A3 1.6 SE 3DR Hatchback for sale in Doncaster | Auto Trader

    Like I said, I'm not really an Audi man therefore don't know the going rate for these cars. Would you say the price is right for this year and engine (1.6)? Obviously I will check the regular things such as FSH, previous MOT certificates etc, but anything else to look out for such as weird engine noises, electrical gremlins etc etc?

    Many thanks. :)
     
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  3. Vex182

    Vex182 Guess what I drive...

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    Welcome. Yeh the rust is pretty common on some. Clutch is difficult to say, my cars on 101,000 (S3 1.8T) and still is working well. Parts can be pretty expensive but usually are reliable. Only other issue is the display in the centre of the dash - check that they are working ok as some have damaged pixels. Looks pretty tidy in the pictures though, just check that everything works as it should really.
     
  4. Vex182

    Vex182 Guess what I drive...

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    Also clutch on the 1.8t are hydraulic, unsure on the 1.6 though, sorry.
     
  5. 16Klappe

    16Klappe I <3 Panda's!
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    That car is way over priced, I'd expect that to be £795.

    Blue dash, personally I'd rather remodel my retina with a screwdriver than sit behind that every day.

    Unless you are 12 don't bother with the 1.6; get a 1.8t. They aren't that much worse on fuel and are 10x the car.
     
  6. danA3T

    danA3T Member

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    My 1.8ts' clutch lasted until 165k so I'd say reliable. On a 99S it was good body wise too. I however did have a few dead pixels on the dash and a dodgy window regulator. Otherwise it was solid.
     
  7. N9ne

    N9ne New Member

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    Thanks for the replies. I've noted down the things you guys have mentioned. Cheers.

    Haha. The dash doesn't look too bad on the photo but fair enough.

    The reason for going down the 1.6 route - if I were to buy it, I would pass the car on to my brother down the line as he's learning to drive at the moment. But yeah, if the car was for me to keep, I'd increase my budget and go for either an S3 or an '05 A3 3.2 V6. As for the car above, I would try and knock him down on the asking price (as you do) and try and get it for around £1k, but if it's overpriced then I'll keep searching.
     
  8. 16Klappe

    16Klappe I <3 Panda's!
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    I would have a 1.8t A3 over an S3 or a newer V6 8P. I say I would, I do.

    For the price that one is I'd expect the same condition pre-facelift 1.8t, being a 1.6 a grand is it's top money and come resale time it will be much less desirable. If it was a facelift then you can put another £500 on those prices. Personally I prefer the pre-facelift, but I'm a rare breed.

    I'd suggest getting an insurance quote at least, I was driving a stage 2 1.8t with thousands of £'s worth of mods all declared when I was 20 and I paid £830 fully comp. I haven't a clue what a 1.6 A3 would cost to insure, but as a comparison it was only £20 a month more than my Mk2 Scirocco GT2; and that was deemed a classic car.

    A3's are a low insurance group no matter which one you go for, IMO it's worth the jump up. Personally I wouldn't buy an A3 if it wasn't for the 1.8t engine, I don't actually like the aesthetics of the cars that much, and unless you spend a fair whack of money they are boring to drive. With the money spent on them; they are great.

    See how you get on, and best of luck. Hopefully we'll see a thread soon where you've got one and love it ;)
     
  9. N9ne

    N9ne New Member

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    Ok, thanks. I'll keep searching then.

    Yup, already done quotes for the 1.6 and they're very good for me and my bro. Just done a few quotes for a 1.8T now and the price has rocketed. Just me and it's only slightly more (£25) than a 1.6 but with my bro on there the price is ridiculous. And if he is the main driver, then I'm looking at £2.2k. Jesus. :scared2:
     
  10. N9ne

    N9ne New Member

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    Hi all, thought I would update this thread... Still after an A3 and as my brother is now a year older, insurance quotes have dropped by quite a bit so I'm now considering a 1.8T Quattro. I've come across this:

    Used Audi A3 1.8T Quattro sport 5 door for sale - PistonHeads (Ref 1054510)


    The owner says he's only had it for 6 weeks (which set the alarm bells ringing!) as he bought it for his wife to replace her Peugeot 206 but she doesn't like the A3 as it's too quick and more expensive to run. He also says that he's got an A4 as well, so they have 3 cars between them and that's why he's selling the A3 T Sport, but he also said that if it doesn't sell, then he'll sell his A4 instead.

    Now he seems genuine enough and he's in his 40s but he did say the following:

    -It recently had £500 worth of parts + £400 labour costs
    -Failed its last MOT in August and he replaced a list of parts until it passed
    -Cam belt replaced at 44k and 77k + water pump
    -Last serviced at 83k miles and the car has now done 101k
    -Full service history

    Now what I don't get is, if he's only had it for 6 weeks, how did he put the car through its MOT last August?? I'm not sure whether he said that by mistake or whether he's lying about how long he's had the car. My thinking is, he bought this A3 but he's had a heap of problems with it, so he SORN'd it / didn't drive it and bought an A4. He's now 'fixed' the issues and decided to cut his losses and sell it on. Any thoughts? He seemed very genuine on the phone though and went round the whole car answering all my questions. But what also had me worried was, it's been for sale for nearly 3 weeks and he called me, even though he's the seller... Seems kinda desperate to sell it? I could be wrong though? Plus his advert also says he'll take a diesel or Honda HRV as a part-exchange, even though he told me they only need 2 cars?! On top of all that, the recent huge bills and MOT work + it needing a service (?) is even more worrying.

    Thanks for any help!
     
  11. Spatula

    Spatula S3 8P

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    I personally think you've answered your own question there.. but if you're comfortable spending the best part of 2k on a car that doesn't add up, then go for it.

    There are a lot of good examples of A3 1.8t's out there, for the same kind of price range..

    Let the search continue.
     
  12. N9ne

    N9ne New Member

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    Yeah, I guess so! Haha. I think I was just trying to convince myself. With regards to servicing schedule, I'm still a little lost... Are these supposed to be serviced every 10k? What year did Audi introduce LongLife servicing? I know with BMWs it's every 15k / how the car is driven.

    Cheers
     

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