Looking at a 2.8 Quatro


Registered User
Hey guys.

I am looking to replace my TDi as soon as the turbo is sorted or will let the next owner sort that.
I have a budget of 3.5-4.5 k for a new car and I am thinking about a 2.8 quatro (insurance allowing).
What should I be looking out for on the 2.8 spec wise and also any comon issues on the engines/chasis?

Thanks in advance, Lewis


in gear but clutch slipping
heres what i used when i bought mine the other day - not a quattro though..


A4 (1995 - Present)

Evolutions of Audi A4 (1995 - Present):

YearChange or development1995Front-drive and four-wheel drive saloons. 1.6, 1.8, 1.8T, 1.9 TDi (90bhp), 2.6 and 2.6 Quattro (150 bhp).1996Avant Estates: 1.6, 1.8, 1.9 TDi (90 bhp), 1.9 TDi 110, 1.8T, 1.8T Sport and 2.6. SE pack available on all except 1.8T. 1.9 TDi 110 Saloons launched. 2.8 versions also launched. 1.8T now available with optional 5-speed Auto.19972.4 and 2.4 SE launched.19982.5 V6 TDi launched. S4 Quattro and S4 Avant Quattro have new 265 bhp bi-turbo engine with 6-speed gearbox. Revisions: high security locks.19991.8T Quattro Sport launched.2000RS4 sports estate launched.2001New look model launched: Front drive and 4WD Saloons SE, Sport and Quattro, 1.8T, 2.0, 3.0V6 petrol, 1.9 TDi (100 bhp or 130 bhp)1.6 (102 bhp) standard, SE and Sport models. Avant estate range: 1.6, 1.8T, 1.9 TDi, 2.0, 2.4, 2.5 TDi and 3.0 V6. SE packs available on all. Cabriolet introduced, 2.4 and 3.0 V6 engines2003S4 saloon/Avant Quattro introduced, 4.2 V8 (340 bhp). 1.8T Standard/Sport, 1.8T Quattro and 3.0 Quattro Cab introduced.
Bodywork Checks

Standard checks to make on all cars:

Is bodywork free from dents, scratches or other marks? Squat down on your haunches and look along the sides of the car to check for dents. Ripples, small craters or swirly scratches in the paintwork indicate it has been given a quick top coat re-spray. Pull back rubber seals and lift door handles right up. Are the colours the same (but less faded)? If the colour under the rubber looks older than the rest or if there is a build up of paint where there has been an overspray it has been repaired. This tells you the car has been involved in some kind of accident, but it may be minor. You only need to worry if it looks like the car may have been in a major accident (see other checks below). Do both bumpers and all the car’s panel colours match? Are all the gaps between panels (known as shut lines) consistent and evenly spaced? Any big gaps may mean the car has had a poor quality repair after a fairly major accident.Look at the number plates and the reflective mirrors in the back of headlights. Do they all match? If one headlight is darker than the other or the number plates don’t match, it may have been in an accident Open the boot and bonnet. Does all the metal look the same colour? Different colours tell you there have been major bodywork repairs. Is the windscreen free from major cracks or chips?Are all the locks the same? If not, ask why not. Changed locks can mean the car was stolen or broken into.Paint Work. Never see cars in the rain or twilight as either condition makes it harder to sport defects.If paintwork has white marks that rub off with a light rub, it is probably old polish that hasn’t been removed. Whilst it looks bad, it is a good sign; the car will usually clean up well. Is there any rust on the car? Look at all the bodywork, along the sills, under the bonnet and in the boot. Significant rust is to be avoided.
This picture shows a sill being squeezed to ensure it is solid and not rusting.
Squeezing the sill all the way from the front to the back will confirm whether the sill is suffering from corrosion.

Specific Bodywork Checks for Audi A4 (1995 - Present):

AreaWhat to look forWhat it meansWhat to doBodyworkThere are no reported faults on the bodywork. Complete standard checks for rust and accident damage.-

Engine Checks

Standard checks to make on all cars:

Is the exhaust smoke-free on start-up? A small amount of white smoke on cold or damp days is fine. Any blue smoke or excessive smoke means there is problem with the engine.Is the exhaust completely smoke-free once the engine is fully warmed up? If not, there is a problem with the engine.Is there plenty of clean oil? If the oil is black rather than golden brown it needs to be changed and suggests the car has not been recently serviced.

A dipstick is pulled out to check the oil. Oil should be golden-brown & over half full.​
A main oil cap is unscrewed from the top of an engine. This cap looks as it should, with just oil on the inside and no white creamy residues. Is there plenty of water and anti-freeze in the radiator reservoir? Anti-freeze stops the engine freezing and rusting.Are there any signs of any leaks? Leaks must be identified and repaired quickly to prevent further engine damage.
A radiator in good condition (all the fins are clean, strong and complete). The fat top rubber hose should feel bouncy. If it is very soft and floppy or rock solid when the engine is running then the head gasket may be failing. NB Use heat-protective gloves.​
Radiator is by the yellow dot on the right and the reservoir, by the left dot.​
Do all the belts and hoses look strong and free from frays, cracks or tears? If not they may be close to failure which can have serious knock-on effects. Where the model-speciifc checks recommend checking spark plugs, they will look similar to these:



Covered by leads.
Lead pulled off.
In socket.​
If the model-specific checks need you to look for brake fluid or steering fluid reservoirs, they will look like these:

Oil leaks, (where the oil is clinging to the underside of the car) will look like these:

Specific Engine Checks for Audi A4 (1995 - Present):

AreaWhat to look forWhat it meansWhat to doCam beltCheck the paperwork to see if the cam belt has been changed on schedule. On most engines the cam belt must be changed within 110,000 miles. However, many garages recommend that bearings and pulleys can fail at 80,000 so we recommend changing all these parts at 75,000 miles.If the cam belt and associated parts (such as tensioner, pulleys, auxiliary belt, pump belt and fan belt) have not been changed, and the mileage is over these boundaries, the cam belt is likely to fail soon and will cause expensive damage to the engine. Usually the engine has to be replaced or at least re-built.Ensure that the cam belt is changed before the car is driven anywhere if it is coming close to its interval. Changing the belt will cost £220 - £400.Rocker cover gasketLook for oil leaks down the back or front of the engine.A leak in this area is likely to be the rocker cover gasket.Negotiate an £80 discount or have the repair completed.Coolant temperature sensorIf the car stalls or over-revs during your test drive, then the problem is likely to be a faulty sensor.The coolant temperature sensor is most frequently the problem.Negotiate a £45 - £90 discount to have a diagnostic check and sensor replacement.Water pumpListen for any rumbling noises coming from the bottom engine. Keep an eye on the temperature gauge. If the car mysteriously starts to overheat (I.e. the temperature gauge rises above 90 degrees) switch the engine off.If the engine begins to overheat and there is no sign of a water leak, then the most common reason is that the impellers on the back of the water pump have failed and the pump will need to be replaced.Negotiate a £100 discount or have the repair completed.Ignition coil packCheck that the amber engine management light comes on with the ignition and goes off when the engine starts. Leave the engine running and ensure it runs smoothly and doesn't misfire (coughs and splutters).If the engine management light doesn't come on briefly with the ignition, then the bulb may have burnt out or been removed to hide a bigger fault. Have it looked at by a garage. If the light stays on and the car misfires, the most likely problem is the ignition coil pack.Negotiate a £75 discount or have the repair completed.Air mass metersTest drive the car on a main road. Test that the car doesn't run out of power at 70 m.p.h. and doesn't run out of power when accelerating.If the car runs out of power at 70 m.p.h. or has poor acceleration, then the air mass meter usually needs replacing. This is more common on diesels than petrol engines. The fault can be intermittent.Negotiate a £100 - £200 discount

Interior Checks

Standard checks to make on all cars:

Do all the controls and electronics work? Check: heating controls (both hot and cold), radio, windscreen wipers, all windows and sunroof, central locking and alarm. Do all the lights (inside and out) work? Where the model-speciifc checks recommend checking engine management lights, they will look similar to these:



Engine Management




Specific Interior Checks for Audi A4 (1995 - Present):

AreaWhat to look forWhat it meansWhat to doElectric windowsCheck that all the electric windows work properly. Ensure that the windows move smoothly without judder. As the window climbs, put your hand on the top of the glass for a moment to see if it stops the window's ascent. If the window doesn't stop rising remove your hand quickly.If there is slowness or judder in the movement then the motor is close to failure. If the window continues to rise when you put your hand on it, then the regulator needs replacing.Negotiate a £200 discount or have the repair completed.Automatic gearboxOn cars over 80,000 you need to pay extra attention to the automatic gearbox. Take the car for a drive on a main road. The gear changes should be smooth even at high speed.If there is thumping from the gearbox during changes, it needs replacing. If there is judder, or the car is slow to pull away it may just need an oil change. The oil should be changed every 35,000 miles.Negotiate a £2,000 discount for a new gearbox or £150 for an oil change
Specific Suspension Checks for Audi A4 (1995 - Present):

AreaWhat to look forWhat it meansWhat to doMulti-link front suspensionAs you drive the car over rough surfaces or bumps (e.g. speed bumps) listen for a squeaking or knocking noise coming from the front suspension.A knocking noise from the front suspension usually indicates that the suspension links and track rod ends need replacing.Negotiate a £1,050 discount or have the repair completed.Rear brake discsLook through the wheel (removing hub caps if necessary) to the brake disc. If you can see rust on the disc, be alert to the first use of the brakes during the test drive. Listen for an abrasive noise when you apply the brake.If there is significant rust on the disc and an abrasive noise when you brake, then you probably need new rear discs.Negotiate an £80 discount or have the repair completed
Recall History of Audi A4 (1995 - Present):

DateModelRecall01 Nov 1999Built: March 1998 to August 1998Faulty seals could lead to premature wear of the track rod bearings (ends) and if the warning noises are ignored it is possible that the track rod bearing pin could work loose and affect steering.19 Oct 1995Built: July - August 1995On some vehicles equipped with electric window lifters there is a possibility that the rear doors could be opened from the inside when the electrically operated child locks are engaged.08 Jul 1998V6 5 valve engines built: August 1997 to February 1998In isolated cases misfiring after a cold start can cause the air grid in the air mass meter to become detached. In the worst case, this could jam the throttle valve, causing an increase in engine speed.14 Jan 1999Manual gearbox built: July 1994 to August 1995It is possible that the bolt retaining the brake pedal may become loose. This could result in the pedal going to the floor and not returning causing a loss of braking control. VINs: WAU***8D*SA000274 TO WAU***8D*SA152115, WAU***8D*TA000285 TO WAU***8D*TA02928 Jun 1997February 1997 to Mid March 1997The front seat belt height adjuster may not have been manufactured to the correct specification, and could endanger belt wearer in an accident situation.26 Nov 1997Built: between 1995 and 1996In weather conditions which favour the build up of static electricity, the airbag may deploy spontaneously if the driver enters or leaves the vehicle while carrying a high static charge. Audi says this can only happen when the vehicle is stationary, not while it is in motion.11 Aug 2003 Size 288mm x 15mm solid front brake discs may have been fitted instead of 288mm x 25mm ventilated discs. Because of the extra clearance required for the ventilated disc a brake pad could fall out of the caliper as the pads wear down.

hope that is of some help..

happy hunting & good luck finding one !