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Newbie: 2003 A4 Avant 2.5 TDI Quattro Sport

Discussion in 'A4/A4 cabriolet/S4 forum(B6 chassis)' started by 23e Heure, Aug 20, 2010.

  1. 23e Heure
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    23e Heure Member

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    [Aug 20, 2010]
    Hi All,

    First post here, so please be gentle!

    I'm picking up a new ebay purchase tomorrow.
    It's a 2003 A4 Avant 2.5 TDI Quattro Sport, one owner, FSH, 100k on the clock.
    It's in black and looks in fair nick for the miles, had cambelkts etc done at 65K, so don't expect to have to do those again for another 20k+
    It's HPI clear, and my mate works at the Audi dealerships who sold the car from new, and it all checks out on his Audi networks dbase.

    So... two basic questions directed at the wisdom of this forum:

    1) - Any specific things I should be checking on the car tomorrow before actually handing over the dough?
    EG where is the VIN stamped on these cars?
    EG It has a tow hook, but of course the seller says 'light use only'...

    It's black and a Sport so has good looks, but is let down IMO but the interior - it's the very basic grey on grey on grey on grey on gr... So...
    2) Are there any cost effective and quick ways of lifting an all grey dash/cloth interior?
    Black floormats?
    What about trim kits?
    Emphasis on 'cost efffective' - I don't plan on spending a packet and trying to pass the interior off as a S4 etc, just want to do something to remove the grey mood!

    Expect I'll have 100s of questions for you all once I actually get the car. Excited!

    Cheers,
    #1
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  3. Phil MC
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    Phil MC SerialAudiOffender

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    [Aug 20, 2010]
    Firstly, welcome along to the site buddy. I'm sure you'll get all the info you're looking for here.

    Nice choice of car, exact same model as mine :thumbsup:.
    It's very important that you post some pics of your new car up as soon as you can to share your joy.

    Here's a few links to pics of mine if you need any comparisons:


    http://www.audi-sport.net/vb/welcome-section/101766-new-a4-v6-2-5tdi-sport-quattro-votex.html

    http://www.audi-sport.net/vb/a4-a4-.../102502-pics-my-modded-votex-rear-bumper.html

    http://www.audi-sport.net/vb/a4-a4-...sis/102727-black-votex-gmbh-bonnet-grill.html
    #2
  4. adamss24
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    adamss24 Well-Known Member

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    [Aug 20, 2010]
    If you have access to internet at the buyer's place then i would check the MOT hystory wich is on gov. website. All you need is the last MOT code + the car reg. no and see if it all adds up. Its a bit odd that every car on ebay its hasnt done more mileage...than 100k and i know for a fact that 80% of cars with "low" mileage on autotrader are clocked !
    #3
  5. 23e Heure
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    23e Heure Member

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    [Aug 20, 2010]
    I'll post some shots soon as I've picked up the car and given it a clean...
    Loving the look of yours - especially the interior!

    Mine's an Avant of course - bought because we'll be needing space for a pram soon... Which brings me to add another question:

    3) Would my car have come with ISOFix childseat anchor points as standard?
    Having not had to install a seat before, I wouldn't even know how to check if the car has them/
    If it doesn't have them, can they be fitted? And at what cost?
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2010
    #4
  6. coyote
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    coyote Member

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    [Aug 20, 2010]
    I wouldnt have thought your A4 has isofix. It can be retrofitted though and quattrojames has done a diy guide including prices CLICK ME
    #5
  7. subaru swift
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    subaru swift Member

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    [Aug 20, 2010]
    nice one mate, get some photos up & ask away,,,,, i did & go some nice fast replys back.

    :)
    #6
  8. quattrojames
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    quattrojames Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Aug 20, 2010]
    Welcome to the forum!

    I've got the 'grey' interior too, and you soon get used to it, black floormats helped, as will putting an overlay over the dash/door/ gearstick trim - very simple but effective.

    The VIN is on the dash, you can see it through the window (passenger side iirc) and it will also be under the bonnet on the bulkhead.

    I can't think of a way to verify 'light use' on the towbar really, short of examining all the rear suspension bushes.

    The quattro system is pretty bullet proof, some minor things such as glovebox hinge, rear washer and front wipers becoming slow are smaller issues, but worth checking.

    The 2.5 engine should be ok as long as the cambelt was done including all ancillaries. The turbo's can suffer from soot clogging the vanes, and fuel pump failures are rare but expensive problems, but you can't really check for those, as long as the cars driving ok.
    #7
  9. 23e Heure
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    23e Heure Member

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    [Aug 20, 2010]
    Thanks All for the welcome !

    Nice tip, thanks! The seller sent me the MOT cert number which meant I was able to check it out in advance - and it does all add up !

    Looks easy enough, super. I'll use this guide once I have the car.

    Sounds promising - got any links to pics of your car interiror, for inspiration?
    #8
  10. quattrojames
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    quattrojames Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Aug 20, 2010]
    I've not done it to mine, but I've seen it done to good effect.
    #9
  11. mikekirkst
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    mikekirkst New Member

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    [Aug 22, 2010]
    I dont personally have the 2.5tdi, but friends of mine (VAS Motion - VW/Audi specialist in Guildford) warned me that they have a serious apetite for Injection Pumps.... Thats why I got a 1.9tdi 130 instead. Get some pics up though mate, always nice to see them! Ebay can be serious dealage sometimes!!
    #10
  12. 23e Heure
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    23e Heure Member

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    [Aug 23, 2010]
    Well, I picked the car up on Saturday and was initially chuffed as chips.
    The car is super clean inside and out, has all the right stamps in the book, MOTs, and all the 'bit's work.
    I needn't of worried about the grey interior - that was just my brother in my ear, who was gutted he hadn't managed to find me a car himself.
    As you said (quattro)james, the grey actually looks good, especially with that quattro badge smiling at you from the dash ;-)

    However, my joy was short lived: about 50 miles up the road on the way back to London, the car started losing power intermittently.
    I've had a good Search on the forum, and now my head is spinning from all the advice re MAF / leaking hoses / failed injector pumps / dead and dying turbos...
    As it's a new purchase, I have the car booked at my local Audi centre for a full service and general checkover, as well as to look at this power issue.
    I am just praying this problem is not expensive (although I did get the car for a good price).
    Before I let a dealer tell me the worst, I want to go in well advised... So, here are my symptoms:

    From the off, the car didn't have quite as much 'oomph' as I'd expected from the V6 2.5.
    Only down in low revs mind you - soon as I was over 1.5k ish, car pulls pretty smooth and strong, hear the turbos nicely.
    Perhaps it's as simple as me learning where the power comes on in a car like this (I had just spent the last 500 miles driving my 1972 911, which is certainly immediate across the tacho!)

    So of course once I've done a few miles to get used to the new car in a sensible style, I decide it's time to open the taps and see what she can do.

    First time I do it is from standatill: right up to the red line in 1st, but then when I drop in to second and give some welly... feels like there's no power. To be clear, there's some 'go' but virtually nothing other than to maintain the current speed.
    After 30-45 secs it's all okay again and it has power again.

    It kept doing this off and on for the rest of the trip back, but only really when I've decide to give it some welly - nothing silly, just enough to pull out and overtake a lorry (ie the very worst time to lose the power!)

    At one point when it did it I put the car in neutral and floored the throttle: the revs went straight to exactly 3k... and stayed there. Foot off gas, floor it again... needle points at 3k and stays there.

    If it's the MAF, that's cheap and easy, right?
    But does it sound like it's something m ore serious???

    Cheers guys for any feedback. Will post some photos next weekend too, although it's a very standard Sport, and I don't plan to mod it.
    #11
  13. quattrojames
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    quattrojames Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Aug 23, 2010]
    Bugger :(

    It doesn't sound 'too' serious.... almost as though the car is going into limp mode. I don't think it can be the turbo sooted up if it's an intermittent problem. I would try and get it on a Vagcom computer for a scan, as that can pinpoint the fault rather than me trying to guess randomly!
    #12
  14. 23e Heure
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    23e Heure Member

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    [Aug 23, 2010]
    Cheers James.
    I guess I'll just hold my breath and cross my fingers waiting for the call from the garage on Weds when the car's in for the once over.

    Will let you know the outcome.
    #13
  15. donsajid
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    donsajid Member

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    [Aug 23, 2010]
    sounds like injection pump to me. When mine went on my 2.5tdi, the symptoms would appear after a stretch of motorway driving, and then a misfire type holding back of the power. As above, get codes read.....and pray its not your pump
    #14
  16. 23e Heure
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    23e Heure Member

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    [Aug 24, 2010]
    Argh. Dare I ask then... how much is new pump plus installation with an Audi dealer??
    This is worst case scenario though, right.
    The car doesn't feel/sound like it's misfring - power is constant, just like it's on 'hold'.
    Dropping off the car tomorrow morning... Nervous!
    #15
  17. donsajid
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    donsajid Member

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    [Aug 25, 2010]
    Well a new pump is about 2k from what i remember, but the best option, if it is your pump at fault of course which it may not be, is to opt for a refurbishment of your exisiting pump. I seem to remember that it was the ecu attached to the top of the pump which was the more likely culprit to fail after a given time but the whole pump is pretty much useless after that anyway, and for a pump refurb you can expect to pay between 6-8 hundred pounds and then there is the labour cost to consider, which are quite also quite considerable. Its basically a timing belt off job, and on these V6 engines, you will struggle to find anyone who will be able to do the labour for under £300, it will be more like £350 - £500 labour costs. So, in summary, not cheap if it's your pump.
    #16
  18. adamss24
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    adamss24 Well-Known Member

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    [Aug 25, 2010]
    Remaval and fitting of the VP44 is not a cambelt job and its doable with the engine in situ (you dont even need to pull the front of the car in the "service position"). Its a bit fiddly but very doable- i've done a few dozens so far ! Also dieselbob refurbish the pump for about 600+ VAT and thats a full job with a brand new ECU, advance solenoid, quantity adjuster and stop solenoid + new bearing bushes and a new camplate+ spring. Cheaper places might do a half job but i have used Dieselbob's pumps a dozen times and had no problems whatsoever. I would do a diagnostic check first to see what comes up. Ussualy the pump gives loads of early signs like: power loss, hard starts, funny noises and a general poor performance...yours sounds like an overboost condition caused by a blocked VNT mechanism on the turbocharger or a faulty MAF... Post the fault codes here and we'll try and help some more.
    #17
  19. 23e Heure
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    23e Heure Member

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    [Aug 25, 2010]
    Well I'm having a nightmare of huge proportions already.
    Garage just called to tell me there's apprx £2500 of work required, plus the service charge of £249.
    AND they have not even looked at the engine/power issue yet! :crying:
    The car came with a full service history, with plenty of what I considered the 'essential' jobs alread done - ie cambelt, discs and pads only 20k ago etc.
    If it turns out that it's the injector pump on the engine, that would take me to almost £5000 of work required.
    At which point... is it even worth me getting them to do the work and keeping the car!!??
    #18
  20. vinesh
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    vinesh Member

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    [Aug 25, 2010]
    Did you buy it from trader?
    #19
  21. donsajid
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    donsajid Member

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    [Aug 25, 2010]
    has he told you what the 2.5 k of work actually is for?
    #20
  22. 23e Heure
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    23e Heure Member

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    [Aug 25, 2010]
    The dealer has now also said the turbo needs replacing = another £1800.

    All in all, if I go ahead with the work + service it's about £4900.

    I am paying for the service, picking the car up then looking at the list / my options.

    Once I have that list in my hand, I'll post it up here and look forward to you guys commenting on cost / need to do all the jobs.

    Am going to have a BIG drink when I get home tonight:
    I bought the car for my pregnant wife to safely drive about with the baby when it comes...
    This setback kills the budget for the nursery etc etc, so she's going to KILL me!

    It was a private sale on ebay... Why did I not get an inspection done??? Don't mind admitting a feel like a complete fool, I'm normally very prudent in my purchasing, :noway:

    Caveat emptor!
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2010
    #21
  23. donsajid
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    donsajid Member

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    [Aug 25, 2010]
    sounds to me like the dealer hasnt the foggiest what the actual fault is, and in order to nail it is basically just replacing every likely culprit!!!
    Definitely worth getting a second opinion....
    #22
  24. 23e Heure
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    23e Heure Member

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    [Aug 26, 2010]
    No, that garage has pinpointed the power fault - they say new turbo required.
    The other costs are related to other advisories.
    Here's the list from Audi Dulwich.

    Can anyone tell me which ones are essential, and which can wait (eg aircon and spare tyre).

    I have spoken with the guy (trader) who sold me the car 'on behalf of his friend' (I know how flakey this sounds in retrospect, but it was all very genuine and the car was clean and with full history).
    I've told him I want to return the car, and will cover my expenses incurred so far (about £500 service + investigation works with Audi Dulwich)
    He's considering his options! Fun. Not.

    Repair 1(X) air con service 19013.78 121.94( ) ( )
    Repair 2(X) b/f/s 0.74916 59.1( ) ( )
    Repair 3(X) req new rear antroll bar 1103.575.36 210.16( ) ( )
    Repair 4(X) req new cam cover gasket x2. fist and clean of engine 3103.528.38 398.18( ) ( )
    Repair 5(X) req new front brake hoses x2 1.5103.519.82 205.71( ) ( )
    Repair 6(X) req new o/s/f & n/s/f lower strat links and c-links x2/bolts 2103.5325.92 626.18( ) ( )
    Repair 7(X) req new front brake dics pited & lepet and pads 1103.5161.6 311.49( ) ( )
    Repair 8(X) req new rear brake dics pited & lepet and pads 1103.594.54232.7( ) ( )
    Repair 9(X) req new front & rear wiper 0.2103.532.33 62.31( ) ( )
    Repair 10(X) note sparetyer 3mm contienetal sportcontact2 235/45r17 94y 0.3103.5115.82 172.57( ) ( )
    Repair 11(X) req more invest on engine fault. found a fault on tpl 2103.50 243.23( ) ( )
    Repair 12(X) req new turbocharger/ seal /gaskets/exhaust bolt.may need exaust manifolds and compensator pipes have to remove turbo fist 3.5103.51275.58 1924.45( ) ( )
    TOTAL 4568.02
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2010
    #23
  25. quattrojames
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    quattrojames Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Aug 26, 2010]
    Repair 1(X) air con service 19013.78 121.94( ) ( )
    Repair 2
    (X) b/f/s 0.74916 59.1( ) ( )
    Repair 3
    (X) req new rear antroll bar 1103.575.36 210.16( ) ( )
    Repair 4
    (X) req new cam cover gasket x2. fist and clean of engine 3103.528.38 398.18( ) ( )
    Repair 5
    (X) req new front brake hoses x2 1.5103.519.82 205.71( ) ( )
    Repair 6
    (X) req new o/s/f & n/s/f lower strat links and c-links x2/bolts 2103.5325.92 626.18( ) ( )
    Repair 7
    (X) req new front brake dics pited & lepet and pads 1103.5161.6 311.49( ) ( )
    Repair 8
    (X) req new rear brake dics pited & lepet and pads 1103.594.54232.7( ) ( )
    Repair 9
    (X) req new front & rear wiper 0.2103.532.33 62.31( ) ( )
    Repair 10
    (X) note sparetyer 3mm contienetal sportcontact2 235/45r17 94y 0.3103.5115.82 172.57( ) ( )
    Repair 11
    (X) req more invest on engine fault. found a fault on tpl 2103.50 243.23( ) ( )
    Repair 12
    (X) req new turbocharger/ seal /gaskets/exhaust bolt.may need exaust manifolds and compensator pipes have to remove turbo fist 3.5103.51275.58 1924.45( ) ( )

    So to break this down a bit you've got:

    1. Aircon - does this work? If so then a service now isn't necessary, unless you want to.
    2. ??
    3. New anti roll bar (£210) - why? They're approx £80 with all bolts from pjmspeedy I think and can be done by any competent mechanic, but I can't imagine its a priority.
    4. Cam cover gasket and engine clean (£398) - Is it blowing oil badly and making the engine filthy? If so then it should be done.
    5. Front brake hoses (£205) - are they rusted? As long as they'll pass an Mot they're ok for now.
    6. Front Strut Links ?? (£626) - Is this due to wear in the bushes? Again if it will pass an Mot......
    7. Front brake discs (£311) - If the pads or ok then I'd leave it for now and get these done in your own time before the next Mot.
    8. Rear brake discs (£232) - as above.
    9. New wiper (blades?) (£62) can wait another month I'm sure.
    10. Spare tyre - whatever......
    11. ????
    12. New Turbo (£2k) - this is the principle issue by the sounds of it. Why does the complete turbo need replacing? If you're happy that this is the principle fault then it sounds like what you need to concentrate on. Find a decent local independant and I would think a new turbo swapped over would cost you perhaps £800 ish.

    I obviously can't comment for certain, but it sounds like Audi are trying it on a bit here! You took the car in due to a running fault and they're trying to tap you up for new wiper blades and spare tyre...... It might be worth taking the car for a mock Mot and seeing if they pick up on things like brake discs being worn and struts etc - as it might be Audi taking the pi$$

    If you've got a decent car there that you're happy with then potentially it's worth investing £1k into it now to make it the car you'd hoped it would be. All the other bits can be done slow time and we can advise you on the best/cheapest way to do that.

    What do you think?
    #24
  26. Phil MC
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    Phil MC SerialAudiOffender

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    [Aug 26, 2010]
    :scared2: sounds to me (As James said) that the dealer is taking the absolute piss out of you here.

    Most of that list are items you or any independant garage could do for buttons, and I'll bet are just advisory issues to be dealt with at your leisure (£62 for wiper blades ffs!! £17 from Halfauds).

    I certainly wouldn't be getting the turbo done at the audi dealer if I were you. I'd go to your local vw/audi independant garage and get a quote for a recon tubo unit first and I'll bet your quote will be a lot more palletable :thumbsup:.

    Good luck.
    #25
  27. jimbo_123
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    jimbo_123 Member

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    [Aug 26, 2010]
    For what its worth I agree with the concensus here get the work required quoted by an independant... I would heartily recommend Dean at 4 rings.

    In the dealers defence though.. I use Dulwich Audi for my B7 and had good "honest" service with competitive prices, I usually deal with Sue in service. Always ask "whats your best price?" ;-) usually get a nice discount!
    #26
  28. 23e Heure
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    23e Heure Member

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    [Aug 26, 2010]
    I've stopped reeling from the shock now, and am looking at it constructively.

    Of course half those jobs can wait, plus the prices are crazy dealer ratecard and can be lowered.
    However, the turbo, (rusted) brake hoses and the cam cover do need doing now.

    The car is cosmetically lovely, but all these things lurking underneath have left a bad taste:

    - Either I succeed in negotiating with the seller to take it back. And then start a search for another A4 Avant B6
    - Or if that falls through, I keep the car and do this stuff bit by bit.

    Either way, I'm still fixed on ending up with an A4 Avant!

    Thanks guys for the ongoing advice. New on the forum I may be sounding like a green numpty!
    #27
  29. vinesh
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    vinesh Member

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    [Aug 26, 2010]
    My old car was from Dulwich Audi.
    #28
  30. 23e Heure
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    23e Heure Member

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    [Sep 9, 2010]
    Hi All -

    Back from a business trip and I'm going to get on with the works on the car.
    Most of the list can wait:
    Think I should get a second opinion on the Turbo (replace if necessary), and do the front brake hoses.

    - Can anyone recommend a good independent specialist to go to in the SE London area please?
    Even though they're mobile, 4 Rings are based a bit far away I think(?)

    Thanks!
    #29
  31. scott b
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    scott b Active Member VCDS Map User

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    [Sep 9, 2010]
    you can get the turbo cleaned whilst on the car, this will help with the power issue
    #30
  32. jimbo_123
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    jimbo_123 Member

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    [Sep 9, 2010]
    I would again recommend 4 rings without a doubt. I am using them today for a job on my B7 and vouch for the quality of work (I am SE London too)..
    Give Dean a call, he is very helpful - nothing to loose with a phone call
    #31
  33. 23e Heure
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    23e Heure Member

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    [Sep 9, 2010]
    Have called and left Dean a message jimbo, cheers
    #32
  34. 23e Heure
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    23e Heure Member

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    [Oct 4, 2010]
    Update for you all: Everything is Finally running right - and I'm at last happy with my car.

    Just checking in to say thanks for the advice and support.

    First up a big thumbs up to Dean at 4Rings: He and his team have offered excellent service at a good price.
    Would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone, and will continue to use them for my car.

    Turns out I didn't need to spend £1800 on buying a new turbo and installing per Audi Dulwich.
    I had Midland Turbo collect the turbo from 4rings in Darftord, service the unit and return it - all within 3 days and at a total cost of £201.
    The car now pulls like a train and no sudden limp mode - turns out it was sticking vanes, causing the turbo to overboost and freak out the ECU.
    So another thumbs up to Midland Turbo - good price and quick, plus they did such a good job of servicing the turbo that Dean said he had to check twice to see if they'd just sent back a brand new one!

    In truth, I did end up spending a fair few quid getting the car right, attacking a lot of the other items on the orioginal Audi dealer list: new rear anti roll bar, new lower front suspension links, new cam covers.

    But now I feel good in the car, and those new bits should last for a l o n g time, so now to enjoy my car and put some miles on the clock.

    Will now be on the forum looking for some subtle tweaks to add to the experience.

    Cheers all!
    #33
  35. iyrix
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    iyrix Member

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    [Oct 4, 2010]
    glad you got it sorted mate. Nothing worse than buying a car then it all going wrong.. now the important part...

    Some pics! :)
    #34
  36. quattrojames
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    quattrojames Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Oct 4, 2010]
    Happy days! Sometimes it's better to bite the bullet and invest in the car so you're happy with it.
    #35
  37. adamss24
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    adamss24 Well-Known Member

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    [Oct 4, 2010]
    Give me a ring on 077 899 12128...

    Regards, Chris.
    #36
  38. 23e Heure
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    23e Heure Member

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    [Oct 6, 2010]
    Hi Chris, I subsequently went with 4rings and am so pleasesed with them, plan to use them on a go fwd.
    I'll defo come back to you though if I need another option.
    #37
  39. adamss24
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    adamss24 Well-Known Member

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    [Oct 8, 2010]
    No problem mate but still 200 quid is a bit steep for just a turbo clean...
    #38

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