A4 Cabriolet buying tips..


Registered User
Hi guys, so looking at the cabriolets because I'm bored of my vectra and want something fun :)

I'm looking at the 1.8T engine..
And would love any tips for what to check when going to look at cars?

Appreciate the help.

Not sure on the engine, but in terms of spec and the cabriolet:
  • Roof condition - no tears, rips or worn areas, no mould, seal around the rear window glass
  • Roof manual release key is present (found in same location as fuse box, red & black t-shape)
  • Wind deflector - these make a huge difference when driving long distances with the top down and routinely sell on eBay for £150-£200. If you can find one that comes with one it's an added bonus.
  • Check both front seats fold forward as they should
  • Check when roof is open, that the two sliding covers where the lid meets the top of the rear seats are intact and move as they should
  • Check door controls (elec mirrors, elec windows) work correctly
  • Check that the movable roof shelf in the boot works correctly
If you find an example where the roof doesn't work, this may (or may not) be an easy fix. See the following thread: http://www.audi-sport.net/xf/threads/audi-a4-cabriolet-soft-top-roof-hood-motor-repair-guide.131801/

If you can't fix the problem yourself there is a good change VagPro can fix it for you, however I don't offer any guarantees of this! Could potentially save you a lot of money if you buy a cab with a non-working roof and manage to fix it for £200 ish.

One thing I would say, is wait for an example with ALL of the extras you want, because retrofitting them is very costly. For example (all costs are estimates):
  • OEM HIDs £2000
  • RNS-E Headunit £500 - £900 (depending on model)
  • OEM Heated Seats retrofit £600
  • Cruise Control retrofit £250
  • Bluetooth Retrofit £400
If you don't know anything about soft-tops, the fabric roofs need cleaning/sealing every 6 months or so. The process takes maybe a couple of hours but should be left either under cover or away from rain/dew overnight to allow the treatment to soak in. This ensures that fabric repels water and I think it contains some chemicals to reduce mould build up. Don't worry too much if the roof doesn't repel water when you view the car, as long as it looks physically in good condition, just be aware that it should be done ASAP and is part of the maintenance for a cab. You can buy an autoglym kit for about £20 from halfords, or I have used an equally good roof sealer also from halfords. 303 is generally regarded as 'the best' but I have only been able to find this online.

Best of luck in the search
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Registered User
You sir are a gentleman!

Thankyou so much for this! Appreciate it a lot!

Will have a full read over and make sure I look for what I can get when I go to check some out!

Thankyou again!

Can't wait to get one and g3t started making it mine!
No worries at all :thumbs up:

1st Mod has to be a SmartTop, about £250, easy to fit yourself and there will not be a day goes by that you regret the purchase. Don't bother with a Kufatech alternative, the SmartTop has better functionality and is more reliable.

2nd mod should most probably be a RS4 RARB (rear anti-roll bar), really does make a difference to the handling and being a cabriolet the stiffer you can make the chassis the better. About £100 - £120 in parts and can be done yourself (with ramps) or for about 0.5hrs labour by a local independent garage. Part numbers are listed on a thread somewhere on here...

One other note, if you're thinking about upgrading the audio to anything other than OEM, get a non-bose system as these are more compatible with aftermarket headunits from what I have read. There is also no subwoofer in the cab (like in the saloon avant), it instead has larger diameter door speakers in the front.
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Registered User
I hadn't come across 'Smart Top' before, Joe, so I just Googled it. I didn't know what to expect but that looks like a useful bit of kit. Does it just plug into the diagnostic socket?

Even my previous car ( a humble Astra G Convertible) had remote operation of the roof plus a bigger boot. I've always felt a bit cheated with the Audi.

PS - Apologies, Dave, for hijacking your thread but there's nothing I can add to Joe's very helpful response to your query. I love my cabrio and get a buzz every time I go out in it with the roof down. I tow a small caravan with mine (heresy!) but it allows me to cruise around the scenic routes in the South of France every year. Best of luck with your search.
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Registered User
Not a problem!

Glad to hear that it gives you a smile when you drive it still! I can't wait to get my hands on mine now! Looks like I'll hopefully be picking it up this weekend!

The Smarttop looks brilliant! Definitely something I'll be saving for with a few other things!

Current list is:
RS4 grill
lowering springs

Also couple of questions,
Searching forums would suggest RS4 grill would be difficult as mine is an SE grill even though interior package is s line!

What's the final consensus on the best way to go about this?
SE bumper will house either the SE or DTM grill (short version)
S-line bumper will house either S-line or RS4 grill (long version)

Just because a cabriolet is an S-line, unfortunately doesn't mean that the front bumper is necessarily also an S-line. they were an option on the cabriolet models and the SE bumper is commonly found on S-line cabriolets:

SE Front Bumper:


S-Line Front Bumper:



Registered User
Bad times when you realise yours is definitely an SE bumper :(

Is there a way of making the RS4 grill for or is a cut and shut job from what I see?

Putting the down payment tonight...
Collect car this weekend
People have modified RS4 grills to fit I believe, or you can buy non-OEM grilles similar to RS4 which are a direct fit. A slightly more common mod is to make the RS6 grille fit into an S-line A4 B7 bumper, as this has no flat number plate area, and bulges out slightly more (I think).

A cheaper mod to give the appearance of a lower SE front end is to add a Seat Cupra-R front splitter. These are about £40 from Seat and are fitted using a series of self-tapping screws into the underside of the bumper. You will also need to trip the posts in the centre, but give it a search on here, I'm sure there is a detailed guide.


Registered User

Went this evening with all the information you guys had given me1
thanks again for all the stuff to look out for...
06 with 64k on the clock...

In terms of getting things done ASAP, its going to be treated to get it ready for xmas

Car looks like a decent model... and put down the down payment on the car..
collect it tomorrow evening.
Here it is!
Looks very smart! Post some more pics when you get a chance!


Registered User
Picked up the car today! And I blooming love it already!
The cleanliness of acceleration noise compared to my Diesel vectra is so satisfying!

Just smiling ear to ear with it!

Couple of questions..

I have a MFSW.. I think..

But the MODE button and the 'mouth button' (next to volume control) just bring up a 'no function' message on my trip computer..

What is the purpose if they do nothing??


Registered User
Mode button toggles to phonebook and back when you have bluetooth phone connected. Use the roller next to Mode to scroll through contacts. You then press the roller to start or end calls......simples !!


Registered User
I doubt it. Would probably need an adapter for the mfsw.

Mine has RNS-E with bluetooth which works pretty well. There's probably a thread on here about retrofitting bluetooth.


Registered User
Will have to look into getng it retrofitted then! lol

Kills me knowing there's 2 buttons that just do nothing on the steering wheel! Haha


Registered User
Think there are quite a few companies that will retrofit the OEM kit for you. Some advertised on here.


Registered User
Thanks for that :) will have a look and see what they say?

Any chance that because it has these that Bluetooth is installed and not intimated or is that to hopeful?


Registered User
Tried that with no luck so guess not haha
Oh well!
But other than that it's amazing!
I love it!


Former Audi Driver
Lovely motor you have mate, can definitely tell it's an SE bumper by looking at the fog light grills. It certainly doesn't take away from the car though

With regards to the badge, it won't fit on your centre grill, the S-Line grills are very similar but they have a cutout on the grill for the badge.


I'm in Cruise control
Had mine almost 5 year and still have no desire to sell it.

I've retrofitted a lot to mine over that time, a lot of cabs including mine came with the SE bumper, the bonus is to this you can get a copy grill, some are better that others mine came from the states had a friend spray it I'm more than happy with it.

Get yourself a cupra type r splitter as well.

Bluetooth audi OEM can be got from eBay via a Polish company, mines been in for four years now and works faultlessly cost about £230

Cruise control there are several people on here who will do it for about £150, again mine was fitted a few weeks after I picked up the car.

I'll post pictures soon and try and find the links for these.

Enjoy your new car.


Registered User
Cheers! Loving it already! Cracking drive, :) makes a change from my Diesel Vectra workhorse!

Splitter is on list along with Cruise, remap and springs.

Looking at Dension options for BT or a simple headunti with connectivity :)

Would love to work out what to do with grill.. Maybe just take off and spray black and get rid of all chrome on car.. Not a big fan of chrome.. Would prefer a black effect on pillars and grill surround

I love it already! Roof down is fun on cold dark nights with mates for laughs!! Haha

Got Autoglym hood treatment from Amazon!

Autoglym 500ml Fabric Hood Maintenance Kit (2 Pieces) by Autoglym
It's reduced.. So a little heads up


I'm in Cruise control
Certainly is.


Registered User
The RNS-E is ideal at purchase(already fitted), but a top of the range Pioneer or similar is perhaps a smarter purchase as it will be all singing and dancing for similar money.

I wanted OEM, but went aftermarket and it works flawlessly.

An example of aftermarket is :

I personally went for :


Older Kenwood and Pioneer units from 12 months ago can be had at decent prices.


Registered User
Lovely, slowly adding to the list!
I was torn between this and the cut n shut job of the rs4 grill! But this seems a little bit cheaper and just as effective!

Cheers! Have you got a full car shot with the grill?

Also was looking at Double Dins..
Really torn.. Don't know whether to double din or Dension.. Made a hint about Dension for Xmas.. So we'll see after 25th then I'll know! Haha


I'm in Cruise control
Ignore the lights this is from when I had the starline fitted.
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