Moving into the S4 Fold

p3rks

Registered User
Hi All, I'm looking at buying my first S4 and I've settled on a B8 Avant. I've been doing some research and the must-have options are the Sports Diff, Driving Control and HDD nav - is that right?

Also, common problems seem to point to the gearbox and the correct service intervals are a must - is there anything to look out for specifically when testing the car?

Is there anything else I should be looking out for?

Finally - anyone familiar with this car? Reg ends in HHJ if that helps.
https://www.autotrader.co.uk/classi...romSavedAds=true&advertising-location=at_cars
 

ToadConsulting

Registered User
Pretty much spot on - any signs of miss use etc.

I will be putting mine up for sale again soon (had to put on hold in May as want to buy my new car first and work has got in my car Search way) - black has diff etc so keep an eye out
 

scotty76

Registered User
The HDD nav will be out of date by now and is expensive to update so I'm not sure I'd be bothered about that. Sports diff is nice to have but a rare option. Drive control I think you are referring to ADS (Audi Drive Select) which varies the throttle characteristics, gearbox, sports diff and adaptive suspension (if fitted). Again a nice option. If the car has sports diff it should have ADS as standard. I've had mine from new and had to pick ADS when I chose sports diff as an option.

If buying an S-Tronic (auto) make sure it's been serviced every 38k miles maximum. Newer generation boxes are generally more reliable than older ones.

Plenty of S4 owners on here and we don't bite. :) There are also a number of owner threads with day to day tales of life with an S4.
 

p3rks

Registered User
Thanks guys,

ASD is what I meant.

I've read the HDD Nav is better as it can be updated (whereas the DVD can't) and has a high res screen?

The gearbox service, is that time based too, every 5 years? or only mileage based. Any characteristics I should be looking out during the test drive with the box?
 

AndrewW

Registered User
I decided against Nav and instead fitted an aftermarket CarPlay kit to use google maps/waze/apple maps instead. So if you find the right car without Nav that's always an option!
 

jdp1962

Grumpy Old Man
Thanks guys,

ASD is what I meant.

I've read the HDD Nav is better as it can be updated (whereas the DVD can't) and has a high res screen?

The gearbox service, is that time based too, every 5 years? or only mileage based. Any characteristics I should be looking out during the test drive with the box?
Nav costs about £300 to have updated at a dealer and needs doing every year. A DIY kit is about £60 if you're willing to risk it. Many have done so without problem, I'm too risk averse to try it.
 

AndrewW

Registered User
Thanks guys,

ASD is what I meant.

I've read the HDD Nav is better as it can be updated (whereas the DVD can't) and has a high res screen?

The gearbox service, is that time based too, every 5 years? or only mileage based. Any characteristics I should be looking out during the test drive with the box?

If you're looking at an S-tronic, park on a hill with the rear of the car facing up the hill. Move off in reverse at a reasonable rate and make sure it doesn't "jump" out of reverse. This is one of the early signs of gearbox failing especially on earlier boxes.
 

V6_Man

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
VCDS Map User
Thanks guys,

ASD is what I meant.

I've read the HDD Nav is better as it can be updated (whereas the DVD can't) and has a high res screen?

The gearbox service, is that time based too, every 5 years? or only mileage based. Any characteristics I should be looking out during the test drive with the box?

@jdp1962 and @scotty76 have already mentioned about some of the things that I am sure would be of great help.

Re: Stronic service it is mileage and not time based. Ideally the first serviced should've been done at 38k-ish and 20k miles thereafter. So, at 77k miles I would expect the car to have had its gearbox serviced at least 3 times.

If you search the forum you'll find that most of us had the Stronic serviced earlier. For example, I serviced mine at 29-30k miles and at 4 years. So, by the time I reach 77k I would've had mine serviced at least 4 times.

Just listen to/feel for any gear slippages in 2 and 1 as well as check reverse. If these are engaging fine then you should be good to go.

Also, if you have access to Carista/OBDEleven, plug it in and run a scan on the car. It will give you a view of if there are any errors issues including a count of number of times it has been launched, which will give you a good idea of 'use Vs abuse'
 

scotty76

Registered User
@Tashfeen why 38k then every 20k? I've not seen that. Just looking in the service book.

While I'm in here I see 57k miles for "Replacing poly V-belt (for supercharger)".
 

V6_Man

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
VCDS Map User
@Tashfeen why 38k then every 20k? I've not seen that. Just looking in the service book.

While I'm in here I see 57k miles for "Replacing poly V-belt (for supercharger)".

You are right, the service intervals I believe are 38k, 77k and 117k. So, a difference of around 40k between each service.

One of the reason for coming up with my own intervals is because of the risks associated with the box itself. I personally believe an interval of 20k removes any risks associated as well as gives you visibility of any potential issues upfront. Also, most of us here (and me specifically) do not necessarily follow the service schedule that Audi recommends especially around things which has any sort of 'oil' in it. Brakes being the only exception.

It also appears that the car OP is looking at is stock therefore one would expect it to have been driven as it should be. But it is an assumption. Mech failure on B8s was a common, as a forum we are bound to hear more about the problems and less about the 'all ok' cars running out there.
 

Russboy

Registered User
If you're looking at an S-tronic, park on a hill with the rear of the car facing up the hill. Move off in reverse at a reasonable rate and make sure it doesn't "jump" out of reverse. This is one of the early signs of gearbox failing especially on earlier boxes.

The exact problem I had with my S4 Avant, hence it was chopped in asap!
 

scotty76

Registered User
Thanks for the explanation @Tashfeen. FWIW I'll be doing the box oil every 4 years as I won't make the mileage so understand where you are coming from. I did the first change last year.

I guess for the OP as long as its been serviced every 38k miles max it's OK and any more is a bonus!
 

Dippy

Registered User
Good luck with finding one with sports diff, they are indeed rare. Also whilst it was probably unintentional, there have been cases (with myself included) where a buyer has seen an advert for a car with sports diff and then found out that the car does not in fact have it!

Key dates ranges are
2009-2010 cars had the 1st version of the s-tronic gearbox (which has the most fault reports)
2011-2013 (1Q) cars had the 2nd version of the s-tronic gearbox (which still had fault reports)
2013 (2Q) on cars had the 3rd version of the s-tronic gearbox (which has had very few fault reports)
2014 (2Q) on cars had the revised engine which could/should have some of the known problems fixed
 

Lavis89

Well-Known Member
Regional Rep
Check the front wings as well, on the bottom corner of the wheel arch they tend to start rusting
 

scotty76

Registered User
I think the S4 is a pretty reasonable buy on the whole. We could probably boil down the advice to "watch out for the gearbox"! :D

Oh and those fitted with a manual gearbox often (but not always) cost much more in road tax than autos.
 

V6_Man

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
VCDS Map User
I think the S4 is a pretty reasonable buy on the whole. We could probably boil down the advice to "watch out for the gearbox"! :D

Oh and those fitted with a manual gearbox often (but not always) cost much more in road tax than autos.

Spot-on @scotty76. All the other issues, i.e. PCV, thermostat and water pump are less expensive items to fix. £1k max for all. Gearbox on the otherhand can be a slightly big bill at around £2.5-£3k so, you are absolutely right in that it should be the only thing one should watch out for.
 

V6_Man

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
VCDS Map User

forty3

Registered User
HDD is worth getting as you will have the ability to stream music via bluetooth. I retrofitted it for this purpose and have updated maps myself using guides and files from the internet for free although I still prefer using google maps on my phone. It also comes with a slightly larger and better quality screen.

I've tracked my S4 and haven't felt as though I could have done with sports diff. I have an uprated rear anti roll bar which seems to do the job just fine.

Manual gearboxes generally come with the £500 road tax bill (although not all of them for some reason) whereas the DSG come with a bill somewhere in the low £300's
 

coullstar

Registered User
Hi, my car is for sale at the moment if its of interest? https://www.audi-sport.net/xf/threads/b8-sprint-blue-s4-avant.395587/
Its got good history with nice spec and should need nothing doing for a while as Ive just serviced it, new tyres and its had the thermostat done as well.

This is my second B8, first being a manual with ADS and sports diff. I would not say they are a necessity on the car as I pretty much found that 99% of the time your in normal set up. They are great cars and in relative terms have very few problems. Im just selling as Im doing more miles than Id anticipated and I also would like to consolidate a bit of cash for the next couple of years. Let me know if its off interest?
 

redrook

A4 Avant Technik 2.0 TDIe 163ps
Just make sure you get the 3G MMI (silver buttons around the wheel on the console), as you'll get bluetooth audio streaming (a necessity for me) and a better screen/colour screen in dial cluster. I always get slightly depressed when I see S cars with poverty systems.
 
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