1998 Audi A4 Reviews from North America

1998 Audi A4 Quattro 2.8L 30v V6

Model year1998
Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership2012
Most recent year of ownership2013
Engine and transmission 2.8L 30v V6 Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 6 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 0 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.0 / 10
Distance when acquired113000 miles
Most recent distance125000 miles
Previous carVolkswagen Jetta

Summary:

Fantastic and reliable. Do the maintenance yourself... cheap

Faults:

- A/C needs a recharge.

- Steering rack needs replacement; $300 in parts.

- Timing belt service coming up soon; $500-800 in parts.

- Thermostat replaced at 113k; took me 45 minutes and $50.

- Rear wheel bearing going bad.

- Clunking in front end.

- Cruise control doesn't work, never had a German car where it did. No problem for me.

- Valve cover gasket at 120k; 1 hour and $200.

The car needs a small bit of work. I do all of the work myself, and will do some preventative maintenance while I'm at it. DO NOT GO TO THE DEALERSHIP. The dealership will kill you on costs. Fix this car yourself if you can, it is simple, and there is plenty of info online on how to do so. I tend to be very mechanically inclined, so I know what is going wrong, when to replace it, and the timing belt will cost me in parts, probably $500-800, if I do the water pump and coolant flush as well.

General Comments:

Even though it may seem this car needs a lot of work, it is the best car I've ever driven. The 2.8 30v is a great reliable engine. There isn't a market for modification so what you buy out of the box is what you get. That said, it is fast enough, and well mated to the quattro drive-train. It corners better than my FWD Jetta, which weighs 500lbs less. The suspension is comfy but surprisingly tight in the corners. The interior is lux and well put together, with no rattles. The interior and exterior compliment each other nicely, and in my opinion could not be much classier. I get 23-24 MPG, can't ask too much more out of an AWD V6.

The 2.8L and quattro in the New England winters is beastly to say the least. I was going to VT and didn't realize they had closed down a length of road for the season. Basically used as a snowmobile trail, 2ft soft and hardpack snow for 5 miles. Nothing but snowmobile tracks... until I killed it with the quattro and bald fuel efficient all-seasons, no worries. Didn't realize I went the wrong way until I saw the closed sign on the other side.

The maintenance intervals are above average. Parts are more expensive, and they seem to break a little more often. If you aren't prepared to do the work yourself, I would suggest you either learn or find a trustworthy mechanic.

Those of you complaining about brakes, tires, clutch, timing belt cost, seals etc gimme a break. Those are wear and tear consumables. Please include gas and oil in your complaints.

The guy on this site who needed to replace 4 batteries and an alternator... you probably needed an alternator and a new mechanic. No reason to dislike Audi or give the vehicle a bad rating.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 31st May, 2013

1st Jun 2013, 10:33

Reliable?

"The maintenance intervals are above average. Parts are more expensive, and they seem to break a little more often."

You contradict yourself.

1998 Audi A4 Avant 2.8

Model year1998
Year of manufacture1998
First year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 2.8 Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 1 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.6 / 10
Distance when acquired112422 miles
Most recent distance112900 miles
Previous carSAAB 9-5

Faults:

Transmission failure at 112900.

General Comments:

I was psyched when I bought this car. Nice radio, comfortable seats, nice look.

I had the car for one week and the car transmission stopped working. I was bummed. Occurred in the middle of winter. Immediately sent it back to the used car dealership. Fortunately I was able to get my money back. Buyer beware.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 26th March, 2013

1998 Audi A4 Quattro 2.8L V6

Model year1998
Year of manufacture1998
First year of ownership2012
Most recent year of ownership2012
Engine and transmission 2.8L V6 Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 6 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.2 / 10
Distance when acquired340000 kilometres
Most recent distance350000 kilometres
Previous carSaturn SC

Summary:

A car for mechanically inclined, quirky owners

Faults:

Car was leaking oil when purchased.

Changed valve cover gaskets.

Door hinges noisy/worn.

Alternator broke 5 minutes after purchased.

General Comments:

Runs quite nice for an older, high miles car.

Interior "as new" after 14 years and 350K.

An OK car for the mechanically inclined.

Many parts very difficult and time consuming to work on, due to the tight squeeze with the V-6 engine/Quattro system. Took a mechanic over "book time" to change the alternator!

More kinky than a BMW. Not a car for a non-tinkerer. Reminds me of an Alfa Romeo/Saab.

Didn't realize that an Audi is basically a VW.

BMW is a more reliable/more conventional car

Reminds me of BMW E30 - small/tossable.

1.8T seems to have far more problems.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 25th August, 2012

9th Mar 2013, 09:37

Update on the above. The car now has 370,000kms and is running well. I switched to Bosch Platinum 4 plugs, and it runs much better on them than other plugs I tried. No maintenance has been required, but I think the previous owner spent a lot, including a timing belt right before I bought it.

I have heard of motors with 800K kms if the oil is changed regularly. I noticed the oil temperature runs at 10 degrees Celsius cooler after the undertray got ripped off by snow drifts. I may slot the opening before I reposition, as I like the idea of cooler oil.

11th Feb 2014, 10:51

Update Feb 2014. The car rolled over 400,000 km on Dec 31, 2013. An hour later a control arm broke in a parking lot. Changed both on one side at $120 in total for parts. Apparently the 2 link control arm assembly is an Achilles heel on these cars.

Now has almost 403,000 km. Pulls like a bull still... no oil burning. The body is still rust free after 16 years. No rips or tears in the interior.

My only car - but time for a back-up vehicle!

12th Feb 2014, 12:35

Yes, the control arms are a known weak spot - but you shouldn't need to replace it more than once every 80K km. That you're now on 400K km is a good sign. How is the Quattro drivetrain holding up? Have you had the oil checked/replaced?

12th Apr 2014, 08:48

The Quattro drive train has not been opened/looked at since I got the car 70,000 km ago. Not quite sure what maintenance (if any?) is required. I drive 100 km (60 miles) per day to work and back. I realize that my reviews look sterling compared to some others, but my LED unit is flakey, my ABS was disconnected before I bought the car, an 02 sensor was gone when I bought the car and I have never bothered to replace it. I have changed rear rotors and pads only (front still not required yet). I may have a wheel bearing starting to go. I use Mobil 1 oversized filters (they also have a "bypass during start-up").

Nearing 410,000 km now, and as it is the highest mileage car I have ever driven... I'm pleased with the car even if it blows up tomorrow. I do open the hood and check oil/look around weekly. I never let the oil go below 1/2L low.

Average review marks: 6.1 / 10, based on 40 reviews