I have officially scored the hat trick of the B7 generation Audi (2005.5-2008 Audi A4/S4/RS4), having purchased my third B7, a 2007 Audi RS4, in August 2020 on somewhat of a whim.
I had naively thought that my 2014 Cayenne GTS would be fun enough to serve as both a daily driver and a sporty weekend car, but I quickly found myself missing the opportunity to row my own gears and was also looking for a car I could work on myself while stay-at-home orders continued on.
Low and behold I found myself at the right place, at the right time, to purchase a B7 RS4 for a very fair price that needed some TLC to get it up to my standards, but still an overall a nice driver.
I was skeptical if the RS4 would feel that different from my heavily modified S4, as part of my goals for the S4 was to systematically improve every component of the car (brakes, suspension, etc.) to the point where it could outperform (or at least hang with) a RS4.
While I still miss my S4 dearly, after 8 months of RS4 ownership I can confirm there is just no comparison between the cars – the RS4 is truly a step above.
What makes you fall in love is the styling – IMO the B7 has some of the best lines of any modern Audi, but the OEM widebody is executed perfectly to give it better lines and make a classic design even better.
What keeps you in love; however, is the engine. It lacks the timing chain issues that eventually causes most B6/B7 S4s to be either mechanically totaled or very painful to own. On top of that, the higher revving V8 of the RS4 has more power (far more than you can mod the S4 motor to, short of a supercharger), better sound, and a wonderful power curve.
The car also hits the right sweet spot in terms of “old school analog” yet modern enough to be comfortable, reliable, and reasonable to drive. While I don’t daily drive mine, you certainly could.
Since picking this car up, I’ve been slowly chipping away at restoring this to its former glory. While it was far from neglected by its previous owners, the last 14 years and 140K miles resulted in inevitable wear and tear…and my goal has to turn back the clock.
The biggest issue for me was preventative maintenance. There are a few major things all B7 RS4 owners should do if they plan to keep the car a long time:
- Remove the intake manifold flaps – eventually a screw will back out, get sucked into the motor, and it’s game over for the engine. This is known as the “de-flap mod” and while the part to do so is only $30, it requires removing your intake manifold to install, so it’s commonly done in conjunction with a carbon clean.
- Carbon Cleaning – this was the early days of direct fuel injection, and Audi kind of screwed up. As a result, this car (and all other direct injection motors of this era) suffer from carbon build up that robs the car of power. You’ll ideally want to do this every 20K miles or so, although can go longer or shorter based on personal preference.
- DRC Replacement – much like the fuel injection system, this was an early attempt by Audi to do magnetic ride control, and it wasn’t that great. These systems are prone to leaking, blowing out, and needing expensive repairs…it’s best to just replace it with coilovers or spring & shock system instea.
- New Injectors – much like the engine can eat an intake flap screw, it can also eat your injectors if they fail. Replace them every 100K miles or so to be safe – I replaced mine when I did the carbon clean & intake de-flap (and DRC delete) so I’ve managed to eliminate all of the major failure points.
The only other major issue that i read about is the oil cooler & lines failing, although you’ll likely have warning signs before this happens. I did have an oil leak on mine, but it was the oil filter gasket which was replaced while we did the carbon clean and it completely eliminated the leak.
Other recent maintenance I’ve done includes:
- Oil change (Motul)
- New OEM belly pan
- New fog light housings
- New shocks/struts (Bilstein)
- H&R lowering springs
- Carbon clean
- Intake manifold de-flap
- Oil filter gasket replacement
- Four-wheel alignment
- Carbon fiber engine refurbishment
- Caliper refinished & ceramic coated
- Sticky button repair
- Cracked carbon fiber interior trim replaced
- Independent fog light mod
- Fixed rear seat backs (falling off)
- Fixed rear sun shade (stuck)
- Fixed center console arm rest (broken off)
- Denison bluetooth streaming module
- Clear corner mod
- Color matched front sidemarkers
- LED fog lamps
- Tow hook cover replacement (was missing)
- Two-stage paint correction
- CarPro Ceramic Coating (paint, windows & wheels)
- Wheels refinished and ceramic coated
- Leather seat repair (previously cracked)
- New floor mats
- Milltek X-pipe & resonator delete
- Euro RS4 Steering Wheel
- New Brembo brake pads
- Wheels rebalanced
- Airbag recall performed
- LED Interior Lights installed
- New rear emblem (trunk)
- New air filter
- New cabin filter
- Intake Manifold gasket
- New bump stops
- Secondary hose line repair
- Radiator hose repair
- Window trim vinyl wrap
- Paint touch-ups
- New fuel pump sender assembly & seal
So as you can see, she’s gotten a lot of TLC under my ownership. If I found an issue, I fixed it…and I’ve kept receipts for everything in a binder. The total receipts has added up to $8,278.26.
The car will eventually go for sale – my plan all along was to find a “driver” and then restore it, put some miles on it, and enjoy the experience. While I was originally hopeful to breakeven or possibly turn a small profit, the amount of maintenance and TLC I’ve put into the car makes that unlikely…but at least it can be driven with confidence for another 50K miles or longer without needing much of anything.
On the flip side, I’ve grown attached to the car as I love how it looks, sounds, and drives, and since it won’t need any more maintenance for a long time, it’s pretty easy to justify keeping it around a while longer.
If you’re interested in learning more, or would like to make an offer, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org