B7 Audi Buyers Guide: 2005.5-2008 Audi A4, S4, RS4
I get a lot of questions from readers who are in the market to buy a used B7 Audi A4, S4, or RS4 and want to know what to look out for, so I thought I’d consolidate all of my feedback/guidance into one post that can be referenced and updated over time. I’ve owned both a B7 A4 and S4 over the past 6 years and been intensely active in Audi message boards and social media during this time, hearing common complaints and issues which I’m summarizing here. Similarly, I want to invite others to chime in here, so please leave a comment with other advice you may have if you’ve bought one yourself. Personally I purchased my B7 A4 and B7 S4 both used, and in both cases I was able to pick up a well maintained car that was free of any major issues or headaches, so hopefully that experience will help others too. Without further adieu, here is a list of things to look out for when purchasing a used Audi A4, S4 or RS4 from the 2005.5-2008 (8E) model years.
B7 Platform Advice (Model Agnostic)
First we’ll start with model agnostic guidance – things to look out for regardless of which trim level you want to buy.
- Maintenance Records – has it been serviced at an Audi dealer? any red flags on maintenance records such as major work done like a transmission or engine replacement? any other service either missing or unusual? Oil changes are especially important, while Audi only recommends oil changes every 5,000 miles, many owners swear by going every 3,000 miles or fewer – at the very least, proceed with caution if it seems like oil changes have been neglected or the car didn’t use proper oil (e.g. took to a Quik Lube).
- Mileage – German cars are built well, but the higher the mileage the more likely it is this car has more wear & tear and may be due for more maintenance soon. Typically you’ll want to seek a car driven <12,000 miles per year, although I wouldn’t necessarily shy away from a higher mileage car
- Price – take a look at KBB.com and determine if you’re getting a good deal or not…remember, mods don’t really increase the value much, and if a seller disagrees you can advise them to part the car out and sell it stock
- Body Condition – any panels misaligned? any paint that doesn’t match up? swirls everywhere? Inspect the body thoroughly from bumper to bumper.
- Sunroof – there was a recall on the sunroofs, so make sure the sunroof opens and closes smoothly and doesn’t get jammed or make any weird noises, this can be a costly repair. Also look for any stains in the headliner around the sunroof, which is a sign it leaks.
- Headlights – any dipped headlight or bulb out warnings? With Audis, these warnings can be both very annoying and expensive/difficult to fix
- Error Codes – have a mechanic use a VAG-COM cable to do a full scan on the car and ensure no other error codes on the car. If so, determine which ones, Google them, and try to determine if they are serious or not.
- Options – there are a lot of nice options out there, try to opt for one with nicer wheels, upgraded exterior (S-line or DTM package) or nice interior bits. Remember that in 2006-2008 things like bluetooth weren’t standard, so your car may not have it. Likewise for backup sensors. With navigation, look to see how old the maps are – they run on a DVD and new maps are about $200 each…this is a good haggling point.
- Tires – how much tread is left? are the tires really old (check this post to determine the age of a tire)
- Multiple Owners – cars turn over from time to time, but a long list of owners, or being sold by shady/less reputable dealers, could indicate the car has issues that owners are unable to fix. When possible, buy from Audi dealers or well known/respected local dealers, and avoid the “too good to be true” pricing from a dealership you’ve never heard of. Google the dealership if not sure, you should be able to tell based on review sites what kind of reputation the dealer has.
- Navigation – frankly, the RNS-E navigation in these cars is not that great. I wouldn’t worry about finding a car with this installed – if you really need it, you can retrofit it for about $800 or less, but truth be told the interface is ancient by today’s standards and it’s ridiculously tedious to use in any useful fashion, not to mention the maps are always out of date and lack real-time info on traffic and whatnot that your smartphone can provide. Bluetooth is nice, thought.
- Avants – the wagon variant commands a price premium generally speaking, as they are very hard to find yet very desirable within a certain crowd. If you’re seeking an Avant, be prepared to act fast and have a little more wiggle room on price than if you were going after a sedan. Oddly enough, the convertibles have the opposite effect and generally have more difficulty selling.
When in doubt, get a PPI (Pre-Purchase Inspection). Most Audi dealers and independent Audi/VW mechanics will do a pre-purchase inspection for $150-200. Some dealerships won’t let you have another independent party inspect it, which should be a red flag that you need to walk away. I highly recommend getting a PPI (offer to pay for it yourself) if not buying from a certified Audi dealer or very trusted dealership.
B7 Audi A4 Buying Advice:
The A4 itself is a reliable and easy to find car. It gets great gas mileage, is surprisingly peppy, looks great, and has a wonderful interior. For the price, it is probably one of the best buys of any German sedan right now. Given it is the most affordable trim level of the bunch, it will be owned by a diverse crowd, some of which will inevitably take better care of their cars than others. The biggest issues with this car is:
- Cam Follower – this $30 part wears out and will eventually destroy the engine. Ideally it should be replaced every 50k miles, but can probably go up to 100k miles without being too risky. Make sure it has been replaced or at least inspected if you’re buying an A4, as a bad one can mean a new high pressure fuel pump (HPFP) and a bunch of internal engine work that can run several thousand bucks.
- Diverter Valve & Coil Packs – both were recalled and revised, but if there is a boost leak or the car doesn’t feel powerful enough, these are the two most likely culprits
- CVT Transmission – in America these only came in FWD cars, and this transmission is extremely expensive ($7-8k) to replace and prone to breaking. If the car has a CVT and >100,000 miles, your transmission may be a ticking time bomb. Proceed with caution. Truly I’d avoid this transmission at all costs, as the only thing it’s good for is gas mileage but if you want good gas mileage you’re better off buying something else – it is simply not a driver’s transmission.
- Boost Leaks – check all of the hoses for boost leaks or leaking noises when idling.
- 2.0T vs 3.2 V6 – the A4 has two engine options, the 2.0 Liter turbo engine (four cylinder) and the 3.2 Liter V6 engine which is naturally aspirated. The 3.2L V6 model is technically the upgraded, more expensive engine, but in practice the 2.0T engine was largely preferred by all types of consumers – for enthusiasts, the 2.0T is easier to modify and get more power out of it thanks to the turbo setup (and the 3.2 is virtually un-moddable as no one really makes parts for it), and for the average consumer the 2.0T gets better gas mileage and is plenty peppy enough. I recommend the 2.0T over the 3.2L engine for those reasons, but nothing wrong with the 3.2…
- S-Line Package – this option gives the exterior upgraded bumpers and side skirts to look like an S4, and really makes the car look sharp. In 2006-2007 this also included interior upgrades and sport suspension, although in 2008 it mostly just consisted of the exterior upgrades. Regardless, I highly recommend looking for an S-Line over the non S-line as it makes the car look much newer and nicer.
B7 Audi S4 Buying Advice:
The B7 S4 (2006-2008) doesn’t have many of the turbo related issues of the A4 since it is naturally aspirated, but there are still has a few items you should look out for. From a high level, be prepared that the S4 isn’t *that* much faster than the A4 – while it definitely has a much better lower end and is all around quicker, the difference isn’t as night and day as you might think. Drive both if you’re on the verge, and read my A4 vs S4 advice if you’re not sure if you want the S4.
- Timing Chains / Chain Rattle – the big thing to watch out for is any rattle noises at startup. Known as chain rattle, this is a sign that the your timing chains need replaced soon – a job that will cost well over $1k in parts and much more in labor, as it requires an engine pull. Stay away!
- Power Steering Pump – A couple of the power steering hoses are near some very hot things in the engine bay, and they tend to fail by springing a tiny leak, usually under pressure, which bleeds out fast. Within a few minutes, the fluid is all but gone, and the pump gets destroyed quickly. It’s expensive because it’s chain-driven from the back of the motor. Listen for noises when turning the wheel, inspect the fluid reservoir and hoses for cracks, and make sure it hasn’t been sitting dormant for a while.
- Oil Changes & Oil Consumption – the S4 takes a lot of oil (9.5 Qts) and some burn oil really quick and need topped up between oil change intervals, known as excessive consumption – this is typically from one of two causes. 1) The PCV valve has died. Many people don’t diagnose this properly, and just figure the car is supposed to drink oil like gasoline. 2) Scored cylinder walls, not a cheap or easy fix. A used engine is $4k + at least $2k in labor to install, and may die any time. No new engines are left for this car.
- Transmission – the manual transmission is a much more fun car to drive. If you’re an enthusiast, I highly recommend looking for a manual (only) as it makes the car so much more fun to drive. They’re hard to find, but worth it. When you do find a manual, look for all of the typical symptoms of a bad clutch as that can be a costly repair as well.
- Body Style – the B6 version and B7 version are very similar but the B7 looks much nicer and also has some powertrain improvements. If you can, save up a little extra and splurge for the B7…likewise, the DTM or 25th Anniversary appearance package is a nice plus.
Audi RS4 Buying Advice
The RS4 is the creme de la creme, and is typically enthusiast owned and well cared for – the buyers have the money to afford maintenance and the knowledge and passion to understand why it’s important – they may also be the most likely to track their cars, so take it for what it’s worth. It’s definitely a fantastic and rare car, but if you’re shopping for one then you probably already know that. Here are a few RS4 specific items to look out for:
- DRC Suspension – the Dynamic Ride Control (DRC) was/is prone to failure, and has been recalled. Make sure the owner had it recalled and replaced, otherwise you’ll be looking to replace the suspension…which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as there are a lot of good aftermarket options out there.
- Brakes – the 2 piece rotors are pretty expensive to replace ($1000 per set) so check the rotor thickness and if they’re getting thin, haggle this into the price. Also, the OEM pads should be dumped immediately as they use brass rivets in the pad construction which eat a nice groove into the rotor surface, ruining them effectively. Audi thought the rivets (which start appearing about 1/2 way through the pad’s life) would wear at the same rate as the pad material and not harm the rotor, but that isn’t the case. A lot of people opt for either Stoptech pads or Carbotech 1521 (Bobcat).
- Carbon Cleaning / Power – the FSI engine leaves carbon deposits in the engine no matter how well the previous owner(s) take care of the car, and every 40,000 miles or so it is a good idea to have the engine cleaned – doing so has proven to free up a lot of lost horsepower and make the car drive noticeably quicker and smoother. If the car has a lot of miles and never had a carbon cleaning, budget at least $1,000 to have this done by a shop with experience in this procedure.
- Clutch – The RS4 only came to the US as a manual, and some drivers may have bought this car not knowing how to drive a stick well…so make sure the clutch feels right and the clutch pedal is nice and firm, otherwise budget some funds to replace the clutch in the near future, too.
My Preference: Get the S4
So you’ve read this far decided you want one…now what? You’re in luck, because it’s a buyers market for the B6/B7 S4 right now. Thanks to overhyped claims of timing chain issues and other maintenance problems, these cars are dirt cheap right now…and there are a ton of them available. While you can you check out your local Craigslist and Cars.com for some nearby examples, open up your search to nationwide through eBay Motors and you’ll find the most desirable options out there – rare colors, nice mods, and often pre-inspected with plenty of paperwork so you know what you’re getting into. Bookmark this page to see all of the S4s currently for sale on eBay and wait for that perfect car – the right transmission, the right color, and most importantly the right price. Enjoy the buyer’s market and get one of the best performance bargains available today – an AWD, V8, german luxury sedan for under $20k. I dare you to find a better deal – you won’t, because trust me I’ve looked every time I get the itch to sell my car and get something new and always come to the same conclusion…the B6/B7 S4 is an absolute performance bargain, even taking into account the potential for a timing chain service down the road. The cost of the timing chain service is already well factored into the price, and then some, so you basically get a car for $5-10k less than its worth now, and run the small risk down the road you might have to pay some of that back if you’re one of the unlucky few who develop issues. Sooner or later the market will catch on to this and the cars will start to go up in price again, but for now I can’t think of a better, more complete car under $20k.
Nick, Great site–just found it! Just out of curiosity, have a pristine 2005.5 B7 S4 Premium package, black on black, no nav, but has everything else (as they all do). Car is stock, put a K&N (replacement) in, have Carfax, technically I’m third owner. Have original every thing with car, floor matts (and after mkt Audi rubber matts), invoice, original ski racks it came with, manuals, all keys, etc; total documentation essentially. Has 74K, runs sweet, no chain rattle. What would you ask for it if selling– as I might. Thank you!!
Brian – sounds like a really well maintained car, and you’re hitting all of the check boxes. I’d suggest going with KBB Excellent Value given the upgrades and options, and stay firm on price. It partly depends on where you live, as if you’re in a small town there are fewer buyers so you might have to be more competitive on price – in a larger area, you should be able to get a solid value. Another good idea is to check Autotrader to see what comparable cars are going for in your area then price near the upper end of that, since your car is obviously well maintained. Then it comes down to your patience – if you’re not sure you want to sell, best to list now for a number slightly higher than you think you can get, and if the right buyer is out there and makes a really solid offer, then great – if not, you’ll have some time testing the waters and know that you’ll need to decrease the price to get a serious buyer interested.
Great Blog and tips for the B7’s. I’m surprised that you didn’t comment on the engine choices. I’ve been thinking about buying an Audi for a while…
Good point Hans – the S4 and RS4 only have one engine option, but the A4 did have two options. Will revise now!
+1 for the s4 content. After owning a B6 and B7 I can confirm oil consumption to check, timing chain noise (listen for extended rattle especially as this can start as soon as 60k even, shops quote 6-8,000 depending on what you do while you’re in there) any electrical related items like the sunroof for sure! My PS conked out on the b6 as well.
B7: much better fit and finish on switches and general feel. Tip Tronic is going to net you better gas mileage due to ease of driving nicely but is still quite fast, 6spd is obviously a blast!
Common issues: minor leakage from valve covers due to inner coating wearing down, remedied with scotch brite + varsol around the edges. Control arms bushings @ 80k, tie rods potentially, and that’s all I’ve run into thus far. Mostly wear and tear.
Great summary. My B7 S4 suffers from high oil consumption (0.5-1 qt per 1000 miles), and had both valve cover gaskets/control arm bushings done at 93k. A question to the author and commenters: how distinct or noticeable is the timing chain problem noise? Anything specific to listen for?
Wade – check out this thread on timing chain noise/rattle, should have what you need: http://www.audizine.com/forum/showthread.php/414598-B6-B7-S4-Timing-Chain-FAQ-Information-Discussion-Thread
Nick, I’m currently looking at a 2006 A4 with a 3.2L V6. The engine was rebuilt by a Master Audi Technician at the dealership. Should I be weary of this car? It’s a great price, and my thinking is that the engine rebuild is actually a plus considering it has 115,000km. What do you think?
Normally I’m a bit weary of cars with replaced engines, but if you have all of the documentation and it was done at an Audi dealership, I’m inclined to agree that it could be a good thing. Has it had a bunch of miles since the rebuild? Typically if there are issues they will surface pretty quickly, so if it’s had 10,000km or so since the rebuild then that’s probably a good sign.
Thanks for the reply. Yes, all the paperwork is available. They replaced timing chain, tensioners, right cylinder head and adjusters. It’s had about 2000km since rebuild, and they’ve warrantied their work for 12-months, or 20,000km.
Great blog, Nick! I got an 08 A4 2.0t s-line 2 weeks ago and I love it. I’m trying to educate myself on these cars so I can keep my car running right, and this helps tremendously! 65k 1 owner with detailed maintenance records helped too. Definitely bookmarking this!
Great to hear, Denice! You can also subscribe to the blog via email if you want updates on new posts, check out the Contact Me page for that: https://www.nickscarblog.com/contact
I have one of those “duh” questions. I think I know the answer, but it would be nice to hear another point of view.
So, I’m in the market for another Audi, as my last one was totaled by some yahoo with no insurance and suspended license, while parked in front of my house. I find an 2005 s4 priced way low. Miles are kind of high at 167k. Anyway the reason its being sold at a really cut rate price is the owner had the dreaded engine “shudder” while driving on the freeway. Says he pulled off and the car died.CEL flashed and then stayed on. Restarted and had a very rough idle (which remains) drove it for 3 days like that without any sort of inspection. This is a week ago and has been sitting since. So the question is; do you think it would be worth buying the car at 5000 bucks and taking my chances with with a major repair? I figure I could dump another 3 or 4 grand into it and it would still be worth it. But then again,….
Keep in mind with an Audi, yet alone an S4, 3-4 grand isn’t going to get you very far in repair. My guess is the engine seized and you’ll need a new one – budget at least $10k for this, which would be a remanufactured engine. You could definitely get it inspected, a quick compression test will tell you what shape the engine is in, but this doesn’t sound like a cheap fix.
HI Nick, I bought a 2005.5 A4 2.0T Avant with manual transmission about a year ago (for $16k–Avant premium) from a reputable import place out of state. It had 67k miles at the time and the seller did the timing belt and other relevant service (also had an outsider inspect it and there were no red flags). I’ve had it a year and have had a series of relatively minor problems with it, but boy do they add up! Love the manual wagon and hate to let it go since they don’t make it anymore but I am concerned with its being a money pit. I had a 2000 A4 1.8T for 10 years and it never cost me this much to maintain. What do you consider average annual repair investment for a car like this? Can’t decide if it makes sense to keep the car, keep investing in it in hopes that it will give me 40-50k more miles or if I have to cut my losses and let it go. Any input is welcome. Thank you!
Yeah the downside is that whenever something breaks, its almost always $1000 or more to fix between parts and labor. I didn’t have many maintenance issues with my A4 or S4 though, so they should be pretty few and far between. Maybe budget $1500/year which should cover one decent sized repair?
First off i just want to say you have one of the best audi blog/diys/info out there ! My 07 A4 appreciates all of the time you have taken to put so much information in one place! Thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
Thanks Kaleb, appreciate that!
Can you see if this is normal? I dont know much about this car, but looks nice and looks like i can afford it.
Hi there – the link doesn’t work, so I’m afraid I can’t help you. Feel free to email me directly at email@example.com and I can help you out that way.
I have a 2007 with the sport suspension. My front sway bar measures 32mm. Was this part of the package? Thanks. Richard
Hi Richard – I believe the front sway bar for A4, S4 & RS4 (sport package or not) is 31mm. Sounds like it is probably stock. I’d recommend the 034 Motorsport front sway bar end links if you’re looking to upgrade: https://www.nickscarblog.com/reviews/034-motorsport-front-sway-bar-end-links
I just bought a 08 b7 the light of the fuel cap open appears and the check engine light later it happen twice do you know anything about this thanks
Just to double check, are you tightening the cap until you get at least two clicks? A loose fuel cap will cause the CEL, so it sounds like something with your fuel cap or fuel tank is wrong or loose.
Nick, your blog is an oasis of knowledge. Thank you. I agree the manuals are the way to go but my crawling commute on the 405 in LA makes a good argument for the automatic. Does the Quattro (B6 1.8T / B7 2.0T) variant also utilize the CVT?
Hi Bruno – no, the Quattro versions of A4/S4 use a Tiptronic transmission, not CVT, so you’re safe there and it’s a pretty decent transmission overall. Go for it and enjoy!
Hey nick, I just bought a 2006 a4 quartto. I was just wondering if there were any mods I can do to make it look more like the s line. I want to black out the grille do you think that would make much of a difference or does the a4 complete look different from the s line? p.s your blog is very creative and informative I’m a girl that really likes cars and your blog is a great place to learn new things!
Hi Monica – thanks for checking out my blog! A black out RS4-style mesh grille is a good way to give your front end a face lift, and you can buy ones on eBay for about $150 that look pretty nice – although if you really want the S-line look, then you should buy an S-line (or S4, same thing) front bumper to replace your non S-line front bumper. Check out my post on front bumper options for more information on that, and enjoy your B7! https://www.nickscarblog.com/reviews/b7-audi-a4s4-front-bumper-options
Hi Nick – I love your blog so far! I want to buy a new car for my teenage son; his old one was totaled. I’m looking for something safe and reliable but also cool. I’ve been looking at the B7 A4’s, and what I was wondering is how reliable they are and how expensive the maintenance is ie how much can I expect to spend per year if I get one in good condition to start with. Thanks!
Hi James – im my experience they were very reliable except for the cam follower issue which Audi has now down a recall/extended warranty for. There are little things here and there that go bad but they’re relatively few and far between – the bad news is that when things do break, the parts for an Audi are a lot more expensive than a domestic car, for instance, so while there aren’t a ton of repairs they can be more costly depending on what you’re used to. The trick as you’ve alluded to is finding a car that’s been well taken care of and hopefully had some of the problem areas already taken care of (cam follower, leaky sunroof, etc.) which should help cut down on it a bit 🙂
what do you think about if the inside of exhaust pipe is black?
Is this car still good?
That’s fairly normal, I wouldn’t say that alone is a red flag unless it’s super excessive. Any idea if the previous owner removed the catalytic converters? Then that would definitely make them pretty black…but even if they haven’t, over time the soot like that is pretty normal. It’s hard to say without seeing it, but I wouldn’t say it’s a huge red flag. My only concern would be if it was burning oil, a leakdown/compression test would be the best way to see if there is an issue there.
it does not have the chip controls carbon/exhaust emissions…
Just bought 08 A4 S-line, blue with gray interior(I like blue a lot), paddle shifters, xenon lights, navi, with 64K miles, 3rd owner, pretty fast I’d say. Always wanted a Audi and this is my 1st one. I have no owners manuals at all and was wondering where can I get one besides ebay? also I did not use PPI so what should I look for on this vehicle?
Forgot to mention its the 3.2L V6 engine.
Not sure on the Owners Manual other than eBay, or an Audi dealer or someone doing a part out. Check out this post for more ideas: https://www.nickscarblog.com/cars/audi-part-dismantlers-cheap-audi-parts
Enjoy the car, it sounds like a good one!
Hey Nick, great information on here! I just entered the world of audi ownership 3 months ago upon purchasing an 07 s4 avant because it looks and sounds gorgeous, even without custom exhaust. Anyhow, I’ve ran into a couple minor problems the most serious of which I should have noticed upon purchase which is hose clamps on power steering pressure side! That and a pretty obvious vibration from the center mass when turning tightly. Could be related, going to have that hose fixed next week. The audi dealership I brought it to for the vibration said it’s normal and just the Quatro working, I however find this hard to swallow. To top it off just the other day (when topping off the power steering fluid) I noticed a ticking sound from the engine, nothing too obtrusive but hoping it’s nothing serious. Any thoughts?
Power steering hose and clamps getting brittle and going bad is pretty common, so don’t sweat that – just typical maintenance. The vibration when turning doesn’t seem normal to me – I don’t experience that anyway. You could start with the power steering fixes and see if that helps, but then I’d go and check your alignment and wheel/tire balance to see if something is just out of balance there. Then last but not least the ticking sound is probably normal, a lot of Audi’s do that. There is chain rattle to be weary of, but a slight tick noise is pretty normal.
Nick, I have to start off by saying what an awesome site you have here. It has always been my go to when I have some questions.
I have an 06′ A4 3.2 and an 07′ S4 Avant, both great cars with nearly 400k miles between them now. I have the Oettinger kit on the A4 and looking to put the same bumper on my S4 because I like it so much- my question is, do you know how much different the A4 vs S4 grille is? I really like the S4 grille but was told that the Oettinger kit will only accept the A4 grille. I already have a blacked out S4 grille that I would really like to be able to use. Also, have you had much experience with the Carbonio 4.2 intake? Is it worth the investment?
Hey Chris – nice collection and holy crap that is quite a lot of miles between them! My S4 is like an infant in comparison (60k mi).
The A4 grille is smaller than the S4 grille and won’t fit – they’re totally different dimensions. The A4 S-line and S4 are the same grille, but the standard A4 grille is totally different dimensions. The good news is you can pick up a replica A4 grille on eBay with RS4 mesh for very cheap that looks pretty slick, check it out: http://www.ebay.com/itm/05-08-AUDI-A4-B7-RS-STYLE-EURO-MESH-GRILLE-W-BADGE-HOLDER-BLACK-/121357429385?fits=Model%3AA4&hash=item1c41776a89:g:whIAAOSw5VFWGCz4&vxp=mtr
I have a B7 S4, unfortunately has scored cylinder walls.
Burns about a quart per 500 miles.
If you’re on the market for one be careful because it doesn’t seem to show up on a leak down test or compression check.
A good way to be able to tell is pull all of the plugs. They may not be black seeing how these cars are so efficient even with that issue but you should be able to notice a build up of crap around the little firing pin of the spark plug, easier to notice when comparing it to a new plug (obviously)
You can get another engine and run the same risk like Nick said or have the block slightly bored and get oversized Pistons to match, while its out the timing chain should be serviced as well. To have both of those jobs at the same time I was quoted $10-13k.
Looks like im going back to my 1995.5 C4 URS6 🙂
Any idea on how risky a spark plug change is on a B7 S4? Seems pretty straightforward after moving the intake and coolant tank. Does the 4.2L have a history of seized spark plugs and stripping the threads from the head? My wife’s Ford/Merc had a TSB on this problem so I’m a bit gun shy given how expensive the S4 is to fix. Thanks!
I haven’t heard any issues with seized spark plugs or stripping threads, but I’ve never done this procedure either so I’m afraid I’m not of much help.
Hey Nick. This is Jerry from South Africa. I have been looking for a S4 v8 b7 which is for sale. I havent found even on though. There are mostly b6 models. Kindly assist me to find the S4 v8 b7 model.
Hi Jerry – I don’t know too much about car shopping in South Africa unfortunately…sorry I can’t be of help!
Hi Nick,I am a proud owner of 2003 Audi A4fsi for 7 months now and have not had any issues with it.I did full service @100k when I bought it and was advised to change the timing belt, special suspension kit and also bought new brakes and tires.It really coated me alot but I love my baby!!! Will appreciate if you have any additional advice and glad to follow your blog.bravo Audi!!
Hi Judd – being proactive in maintenance is the best way to keep your car running strong for years to come, so sounds like you’re on top of things. In addition to your list, I’d definitely keep on top of replacing the cam follower every so often and doing regular oil changes, otherwise you’re in good shape! Also be sure to keep up with the detailing 🙂
Just Purchased a 2005 S4 and was a bit worried about the cost of timing replacement. Went with the ol no fear lets not pass this beautiful car up thought. Its a manual Transmission and after owning a few Audis: 99 A4 2.8 Quattro, 01 TT 1.8T, 06 A4 3.2 CVT jerk bs,,,I must say no comparison. This Car drives like an Audi should…Plus under 7K with 130,000 I cant complain. I do see a few suspension Issues Control arm bushing needs replacing and the sound of strut mounts bad but overall I think this is a gem….What would be the First things to upgrade or replace on this car? Leds all throughout already but with longevity in mind first….Any thoughts would be appreciated…Also Clutch Preference?
I’d start with the control arms and a suspension refresh, sounds like that is what needs love first. 034 Motorsport sells new strut mounts, suspension rebuild, and then I’d go with some coilovers or a koni yellow & H&R spring combo 🙂
Hey Nick, what a fabulous job you’ve done with this site. Neat, informative, helpful as heck.
I notice your A4, S4, RS4 review begins for 2005 year, and I’ve spotted a clean low mile (56k) 04 S4. Is that engine any worse/better than the later version? I’ve read more than I want to about timing chains, so am curious if this earlier engine is slightly more prone.
It’s more or less the same, maybe slightly more prone from what I’ve read but I think that’s just because there are more high mileage B6s than B7s. Audi never really took much corrective action on this.
Good job on the” what to look out for”. I’m a mechanic for 20+ years and you put it down perfect. Straight facts about engine taboo. Thanks buddy !
Ya it’s me again. My wife’s 2006 a4 base 2.0t great car. She bought it with 100k miles. I did all the service water, t belt, pulleys, ect. She’s put 20k on it since. I drove it tonight and noticed a low rpm chatter mostly at idle. It sounds like an Isuzu NPR diesel. Any suggestions? I don’t think the cam follower has been changed. The noise comes from the back of the head.
I’d change the cam follower regardless, if you let it go too long you’ll have a big mess on your hands – I know guys that change it as often as every 20k miles, so even if it has been replaced prior to your ownership it wouldn’t hurt to change it out again. Otherwise, not sure – could be a PCV as they’re known to go bad, although not sure if that would be a diesel noise…
Hi Nick, I’ve spent a few hours reading your blog, great work! I have a 06′ A4 3.2L with 119K miles, and I have some “cold start” problems, first thing that does when I fire it up in the mornings is to cause some misfires, in multiple cylinders, however it comes back to normal after a min or two, do you have any ideas on what could be causing that? I replaced the spark plugs, and fuel regulator #2 that goes by the back wheel, fixed it for a day and it went back to doing the cold start thing, any ideas?
Hi Alex – since you have a 06, call the dealer to see if there is a TSB / software update for your VIN…there was an update to the software that specifically addressed this. If you’ve already had it done, it’s likely either the coil packs or a bad breather valve. Check out this thread for more info: http://www.audizine.com/forum/showthread.php/325294-Hard-Cold-Starts-2-0T
Hi. Love the blog. I’m highly considering joining the world of Audi ownership and I’m doing plenty of research. I have located a 2008 A4 3.2 with the 6 speed manual. Don’t plan on doing much modding besides small cosmetic things Are there any common issues with the V6 in this model year? Anything to expect? Common preventative maintenance?
I’m not as familiar with the V6, but from what I’ve read it is a lot like the V8 in terms of setup, just with two fewer cylinders. Best preventative maintenance is just to stay on top of oil changes, use top tier gas, and don’t let problems linger too long when they pop up. Should be a fairly reliable car for you if it’s been treated well in the past!
Thanks. It’s a one owner car with only 61xxx miles on it. Think I’ll follow through with this deal. Time for me to upgrade. Thanks again.
So I as well have spent many hours reading all the comments and I’m certain an Audi A4 is going to be my next vehicle (as soon as I find the right one)… I’ve narrowed it down to an 08′ B7 S-Line Quattro (preferably manual) or an 09′ B8 quattro (I would do S-Line and all the other bells and whistles, but it starts to get a little out of my price anything after just the quattro option). I guess I’m asking for advice on what the better bang for my buck is? Is it worth dumping money in a B7 with accessories, or getting a plain Jane B8? Who should I put in… the JV All Star or the average Varsity? Thanks for everything!
Hi Jaime – total judgement call at that point, the engines and drivetrains are very similar so it’s a matter of what you like. If you plan to modify it, the B7 will be cheaper to modify…if you want to keep it stock, the B8 is the nicer car even if it doesn’t have all of the bells and whistles. The B8 is also roomier if you plan to have multiple passengers on a fairly frequent basis. The S-line is worth springing for if you can, it makes the car look a lot newer and nicer than it really is 🙂