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Help Please Move to a Audi S4 Avant?

DangerS3 May 15, 2018

  1. DangerS3

    DangerS3 Active Member Audi S3

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    Good morning people. I'm after a bit of advice, I'm expecting a little bundle of joy in August so I need to sell my 8P S3 in favour of something bigger. I was looking at 5 door Golf R/GTi but after seeing my girlfriends 14 plate Focus and knowing that it's bigger, I'm starting to question whether an Avant will be the best way for me to go or if the Golf will be doable?

    We both have dogs, so that will potentially be, us two upfront, in the middle will be a baby and a dog, and then in the boot will be the bigger dog along with pram/pushchair etc etc.

    My criteria is something fast, DSG/S-Tronic and sub £14k(ish). I did think about a 5 year old Avant but a 2.0TFSI but am not sure if it will have enough grunt (even after a remap) but I will happily take any suggestions.

    Cheers
     
  2. jdp1962

    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator TFSI Owners Group Team V6 Gold Supporter Team Tornado Audi S4 Black Edition quattro S tronic

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    I am naturally biased, but if you're comfortable with the running costs, an S4 is an astonishingly good car. It's not just the amount of grunt; it's the delivery, so linear, so sudden, and yet so smooth. If you've not had a six-cylinder engined car before (and forgive me if you have and I'm teaching Grandma to suck eggs) the difference in mechanical refinement over a four-pot is night and day.

    The only caveat is that at the budget and age range you're taking about, you can't exclude the possibility of problems with the S-Tronic gearbox. So when doing your research, make darned sure that anything you're considering buying has a fully-documented and invoiced history of regular gearbox oil changes. The recommended interval is 38,000.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2018
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  3. DangerS3

    DangerS3 Active Member Audi S3

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    Well, I'm blessed with a short commute every day, so economy doesn't bother me too much. I only average like 5-8k a year.
    But no, I've never had anything larger than a four pot. I did almost consider a 2.5 Focus ST before I got the Audi, but I'm glad I didnt because their prices have fallen out their *****. Which is what has put me off a newer Focus ST estate.

    I did worry about these S-Tronic issues, if the box has had regular services then will they not go wrong? Is this just the B8 or the B8.5 also? I read that they revised the box?
     
  4. jdp1962

    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator TFSI Owners Group Team V6 Gold Supporter Team Tornado Audi S4 Black Edition quattro S tronic

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    I'm afraid it's not as simple as that. The older boxes fitted to B8s are definitely more prone to going wrong that the revised box (could be wrong but I think it was from around 2010/11 onward), but that's not a guarantee that nothing will happen. If you do a search, you'll find a lot of comments on previous threads around the risks of the S-Tronic.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2018
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  5. Dippy

    Dippy Well-Known Member Team Monsoon Audi S5 Black Edition

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    Ah the memories! When our first bundle of sh*t, v*mit and screams was due I too decided that an estate car was needed so along came the B5 S4 avant...

    If you plan to keep an older B8 S4 avant stock, then with a decent extended warranty you should be fine with one of the older models as long as you follow Jeff's advice about the service history (and of course an extended warranty will require that the service history was correct). As far as I know, apart from the hassle, all s-tronic faults are fixable because complete replacement is quite practical, and as long as you're not paying that's fine.

    There are some other B8 platform issues, so if you decide to look for one, check the buying guides.
     
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  6. andyay123

    andyay123 Member

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    What are the costs for a replacement gearbox? I’m going to map my car so the extended warranty I have willl become redundant. They are going to service my gear box at the same time as the map. My 2011 S4 has only done 49k and had one previous owner for last 7 years
     
  7. scotty76

    scotty76 Well-Known Member Team Phantom Audi S4

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    £12k...

    https://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?h=0&f=86&t=1615262
     
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  8. jdp1962

    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator TFSI Owners Group Team V6 Gold Supporter Team Tornado Audi S4 Black Edition quattro S tronic

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    Do you know from your service history if the gearbox has had a oil change previously? It's supposed to be done at a maximum interval of 38,000; I'm got a stage one remap and to be on the safe side, I'll be getting mine done at 25,000. Dippy is on a stage two remap and had his gearbox oil changed at 13,000. If yours hasn't already had at least one oil change, it's 11,000 miles overdue. So you might be taking a bit of a risk mapping it. Just something to ponder.
     
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  9. scotty76

    scotty76 Well-Known Member Team Phantom Audi S4

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    Doing my gearbox oil next month. Be approx 27k.

    As a family man myself I can recommend an S4 for lugging kids and kit. It's a great all rounder. Mpg isn't too bad. I get 30+ most days which I'm perfectly happy with.
     
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  10. andyay123

    andyay123 Member

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    36,828 miles carried out gbox oil change. Not ATF but still had oil change thank god.
     

    Attached Files:

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  11. andyay123

    andyay123 Member

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    When I put my car into reverse it can judder sometimes. Obviously this can happen if not enough power is used however I have never experienced this on auto gearboxes only manual.

    Anyone else?
     
  12. jdp1962

    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator TFSI Owners Group Team V6 Gold Supporter Team Tornado Audi S4 Black Edition quattro S tronic

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    Good to know.
     
  13. andyay123

    andyay123 Member

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    Audi receipt states CAM change should be every 75k or 5 years. Mine has not been changed. Oops. Is the suggestion to have this done ASAP? Thanks
     
  14. kettle

    kettle Audi S4

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    I literally bought an S4 avant a month ago moving from an S3 8p and love it.
    I did notice there is a change in quality in the interior.
    Also I do around 450 miles a week on the motorway and it’s just as good on fuel. Less so around the city
     
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  15. jdp1962

    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator TFSI Owners Group Team V6 Gold Supporter Team Tornado Audi S4 Black Edition quattro S tronic

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    I might be wrong (often am) but I thought the 3.0 TSFI engine has chain driven camshafts.
     
  16. andyay123

    andyay123 Member

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    If you look at the receipt a few posts up. It states CAM then says 5 years or 75k. Maybe that’s why it wasn’t changed?
     
  17. scotty76

    scotty76 Well-Known Member Team Phantom Audi S4

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  18. DangerS3

    DangerS3 Active Member Audi S3

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    Ok cool cheers, I assume with how common this appears to be I'm sure I'll find loads of stuff on it. Do you know if this is the same box on the other A4 avants too?


    In all honesty, I will more than likely want to map it. Only stage one though, I dont need to go OTT, maybe an exhaust/backbox.
    Although if I buy private it will be unlikely to have any warranty with it. Well the car is almost 10 years old now, I'd have hoped there is an easy fix for it by now lol.

    Did you find the B8 big enough for everything? Or even a smaller car being sufficient?

    But thank you.


    2 years old now, maybe it's cheaper?


    Small world. What year S4 did you go for?
    Change it quality for the better or worse? This is what puts me off getting an Audi older than my S3, it will just feel dated.
    I very rarely do stop start traffic as I head out of town for work, so another bonus
     
  19. Dippy

    Dippy Well-Known Member Team Monsoon Audi S5 Black Edition

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    That's an engine oil change, not gearbox oil change.
    FYI the gearbox has two oil systems. ATF (automatic transmission fluid) is for the clutches and mechatronics. Hypoid is for the gears. ATF oil and filter should be changed every 38k miles or sooner and the hypoid never. But I have already expressed by views about this elsewhere (note that the RS4/5 hypoid oil should be changed every 19k miles or sooner).

    I'd agree that the most likely meaning of CAM date is for the cambelt replacement, and of course there isn't one for this car. I believe there is no schedule for timing chain service, however pre-CREC chains can lose tension resulting in rattle. noticeable at start-up, and need retensioning.
     
  20. Dippy

    Dippy Well-Known Member Team Monsoon Audi S5 Black Edition

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    Well in my B5 days when folks on forums asked about buying one we used to advise something like "make sure you have £3.5K in your back pocket ready for if the turbos die". Unfortunately for the B8 it is the gearbox and the contingency is a lot higher :(

    The exhaust is not restrictive on the B8 S4/S5 - there are no significant performance gains to be had from any aftermarket exhaust parts.
     
  21. scotty76

    scotty76 Well-Known Member Team Phantom Audi S4

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    @DangerS3 there are specialists who can fix the gearbox which should be cheaper. 3D Transmissions in Reading is one. I believe @razza1 used them when he had his S4. No should I buy an S4 thread is complete without this...

     
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  22. razza1

    razza1 Well-Known Member

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    New box will set you back over £10k, ridiculous cost. Mech unit replacement (which was the most common fault on early cars), between £3.5-£4K. A new box doesn’t come without this unfortunately but you would be able to sell your existing mech unit on if that wasn’t the issue.
    Clutch replacement (dual clutch), about £2.5-£3k.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  23. kettle

    kettle Audi S4

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    I went for a 2013 so was slightly newer than my S3 which was 2010.
    Coming from the 8p I do feel the interior is more modern with the built in screen.
    The quality is better everything feels more solid, I have the supersport seats and the leather seems a lot better nicer.
     
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  24. Deckard

    Deckard New Member

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    Gearbox is crazy price and internet full of horror stories, or stories of knowing someone who knows someone. I bought mine with the box already relaxed, sacrificed colour and spec for peace of mind, and it cost the guy £9k !! If you get used to the power I can highly recommend a revo stage 1+ !
     
  25. ToadConsulting

    ToadConsulting Member

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    Just do it! All I've regretted is why i did not go straight to the S4 Avant (had TDI for couple of years), wont be doing that again (though the TDi was a great car also). I'm actually looking at going bigger so I'm going to check out an S6 Avant to have a proper look at the extra room (and extra cost!) - though maybe I'll just buy a smaller ratbag stroller instead.
     
  26. Owyn

    Owyn Member

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    I've got an A4 avant (albeit a diesel one), a wife, 2 year old, 6 month old and a lurcher. An A4 avant is not big enough for that lot.
    My wife has a Mondeo estate and so we use that if we are all going out, you may have a smaller dog or less requirement of junk/kid paraphernalia but you need to have a good look and an honest assessment before you go for it.
     
  27. youngsyp

    youngsyp New Member Team Monsoon Audi S4 Audi Avant Owner Group Black Edition S tronic Supercharged

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    I made the move from a 2006 5 door R32 in November to a 2013 Black Edition S4 Avant and we have 2 dogs, so not a million miles away from your situation.
    My biggest concern was also the gearbox but after living with DSG on the Gold for 5 years and reading the same horror stories, I was a little more philosophical about the S4. By coincidence, a (2012) car I was due to look at suffered a gearbox issue the evening before I was due to see it and a month later, it popped back up, £1000 more expensive than pre-issue.
    This prompted me to do some research and sift through all the waffle on the web. If you dig deep, it seems the biggest issue that occurs is that the PCB in the mechatronic unit de-laminates, due to a reaction to the ATF, causing the reported issues. Unfortunately, when this happens and the car goes to Audi, they tend to either change the mechatronic unit or the gearbox as a whole, as it's just 'easier'. It's only when one of the specialists investigated a particular 'failure', that the de-lamination was discovered. This can be fixed for less that £1000 IIRC.
    My understanding is that <2012 cars are the most commonly affected by this issue...

    That aside, I can highly recommend the car. It's fitted in with us perfectly and again by coincidence, 2 weeks after I bought it, we found out my wife was pregnant (for the first time), so the car will have to deal with the 2 dogs (Bassett Hounds) and a kid. It'll be tight but should still be comfortable for all. I bought a custom fitted dog cover for the boot and it fits perfectly and stops most of the mess the dogs create.

    I went from a circa 400bhp Evo VII to the Golf so always found it lacking in power and the S4 is certainly a move back to the excitement of the Evo, just tens of leagues ahead in terms of build quality, refinement and handling quite frankly. To get it that bit closer, I'll be visiting Unicorn at the end of the year if all goes to plan.
    I started by looking at S4 saloons, then the S5, with a brief segway to the M235i but came back to the S4 and have always preferred the estate silhouette and the S4, in Monsoon Grey is one of the best looking estates there are in my opinion.

    Go drive a few and use that experience to make your mind up, I'm sure you won't be disappointed.

    Paul
     
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