New A6 Avant owner - Newbie questions!


Registered User
Hi all,
Just found this forum and it looks great- so I hope you can help me.

I've just bought a 130k 1998 A6 Avant 2.5V6 TDI with a Tiptronic box. Car is solid, drives well (if a bit sluggish) and is very comfortable.

Since buying it a week ago I have started to notice a couple of strange problems that I hope you can help me with.

1 - I noticed a quiet thrumming noise once I got the car over 40- but opening the window showed that the noise was actually more of a rhythmic metallic clatter as though a dustbin lid wascoming loose.. Clearly something to do with the offside front wheel, but I can find anything out of the ordinary- though the noise appears to be coming from a disc-like plate behind the wheel. Any ideas?

2 - My auto box is a bit sluggish,but I've heard that about the Tiptronic boxes. However I cannot select '2' with the selector. The stick moves to position,but the light doesn't come on and performance is unaffected. I guess changing gearbox oil and filters is a start but have you any other suggestions? Anything I should look out for?

3 - Car pulls slightly to the left,but I suspect this is tracking. Anything to be worried about (it's more an annoyance than anything else)?

4 - I have a yellow Oil Sensor warning on the computer display and the oil temperature guage never budges. I am going to a VAG specialist and this is something I intend to have sorted when the car is there, but what could this fault be symptomatic of?

5 - the computer display is a little ... crazed. It's readable,just a bit corrupted. I understand this happens,but how much would I be looking at to get this fixed?

Thanks for any help you can offer.


Registered User
Hi Soxlade.

1. Maybe brakes are binding/chattering slightly on that wheel. The disc behind the wheel is probably the dust shield - you could try tapping it to see whether it's loose or rubbing on something.

2. I didn't get the impression that my Tiptronic box is sluggish, but it depends what you're used to, I guess. :) According to Audi the gearbox oil never needs replacing, but after some computer errors with my 'box I decided to get it done. Getting an independent to change the oil and filter cost me £150 or so - it's not a cheap job. I've never tried selecting 2 with the lever - I only use the + - positions if I want to override the 'box. Can you get into 2 using that?

3. The strut rods are known to wear out on A6s and A4s and will need regular replacement. There was a recall on them by Audi several years ago. If you've got no proof that they've been recalled then it might be worth a trip to your local main stealer to ask advice. If you do want to replace them then you can find complete sets on eBay, although I've been told that they're cheap because they're crap. :)

4. Can't help.

5. The computer displays (DIS) are known for this problem, and it's worse in the summer. If you go to Audi for a solution you'll have to pay £600+ for a complete new instrument binnacle. There's a company in Kent who claimed on the phone that they can repair this problem but they wanted £200 or so and I didn't feel I could justify the cost and the hassle of losing the car for a week. Instrument binnacles are ID-coded to your specific car so you can't swap one from a scrapyard car and expect it to work - you'd need to involve Audi to get the replacement re-coded before your car would start again. (I think it's a security/anti-clocking measure.)