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Viewing A 2003 1.9tdi A4 Tomorrow, What Should I Look Out For? (common Faults, Etc)

seven7ten Aug 19, 2014

  1. seven7ten

    seven7ten New Member

    Hi, I'm new to the forum, have already been trawling through loads of threads and found some useful advice, so thanks.

    I recently bought a 2002 A4 1.8t and after driving 80 miles the oil pressure light came on. I initially thought it was the regular oil light and ended up topping up the oil. I carried on driving for 15 mins and the engine started sounding terrible. I stopped, spoke to a friend, discovered it was in fact oil pressure. I made some calls and the garage where I bought it ended up sending out a recovery truck and picked it up for me. They say they will repair it for me, but I don't really want it anymore having read what I've read, as I think I could have done a fair bit of damage driving it with no oil pressure. What do you guys think?

    Anyway they have a 2003 A4 1.9tdi there, which is a bit more expensive, but I'm thinking of getting that instead and adding a bit of extra cash. It's only done 98k. I saw it briefly when I bought the 1.8t and it looked in good nick at first glance.

    Any tips as to what I should look out for? What are the main common faults with these? If I test drive it any noises or anything else I should watch out for? Any advice much appreciated.

    Last edited: Aug 19, 2014
  2. Mike.M

    Mike.M Well-Known Member

    Which 1.9tdi is it?

    The usual service history, cambelt every 4 years or 40k miles with water pump is recommended.

    Make sure it does not smoke excessively from a cold start and listen for squeaks and rattles over bumps as this normally points to control arms needing doing soon

    Rust on the arches and in the roof gutter rails is a common issue.........otherwise if maintained the 1.9 PD is reasonably bulletproof
  3. seven7ten

    seven7ten New Member

    Thanks for your reply. I've just text them asking which 1.9tdi it is. Ok will check service history. What would excessive smoke from a cold start point towards? Will listen carefully when test driving it and check for rust. If there is rust, is this a major concern?

    Thanks again for your advice.
  4. Mike_B

    Mike_B Active Member

    Any engine run without oil pressure is highly likely to have had a fair old bit of damage I'd have thought. It sounds like it's still under some form of warranty though? I guess it depends on how much damage has been done - what they are prepared to do - and how much you trust them to do it properly.

    I borrowed a friend's 1.9 a few years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it - loads of grunt - more than my current 2.0 petrol I have to say.

    As regards other problems, as you've already had an Audi, you may know of these:

    • Front wipers are known to seize over time - they'll be slow in operation if this is the case. Rear wiper fails internally so check it squirts water, and does the wiping thing properly.
    • Glove box hinge and release catch are known failures. Obvious to check.
    • Window mechs are know to fail - check all windows go up and down properly and without nasty grinding noises.
    • Any evidence of water leaks in the front footwells points to blocked scuttle drains at some point - and resultant possible water damage to the electronics module under the passenger seat. Short of lifting the carpets to check the underfelt it'll be hard to check properly, but a damp carpet would be a bad thing.
    • I'll leave others with personal experience of the known rust problem to comment - but my own view would be that any rust is a problem! Wings can be replaced easily enough of course - the roof rust problem can (I believe) be fixed too - but it's all extra spend.
    • I'm not sure if this applies to the diesels, but on the petrol engined models it's worth taking the plastic engine cover off and checking the condition of the plastic rocker cover breather pipes - they crack as a result of the heat.
  5. seven7ten

    seven7ten New Member

    Thanks a lot for your help, will bear all this in mind when I view the car tomorrow morning.

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