1998 Audi A4 quatro 2.8


Unreliable compared to Japanese cars


The potentiometer on the sunroof broke and the roof opened spontaneously. This is a common problem on the '98 A 4. The switch was redesigned in 1998 I am told. The part cost $100 and the dealer quoted $250 labor. Actual time to install a new part for a non-mechanic is about 30 minutes.

The lights behind the instrument panel blow out and are expensive to have fixed.

The power steer whines in the morning for no apparent reason.

The brakes need frequent and expensive repairs with changes of rotors.

General Comments:

Dealer servicing is too expensive. They go by the book which allocates time for repairs that far exceeds what is actually spent. I have heard dealer mechanics express suprise at the billing amount.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 6th October, 2003

1998 Audi A4 Quattro 1.8 turbo


My enjoyment of the car is brought down by my poor experiences with the manufacturer


The timing belt tensioner failed at 75,000. Service interval for replacement is 105,000.

General Comments:

I have enjoyed driving the car. It runs and drives well.

The failure of the timing belt tensioned is a major disappointment. It happened well in advance of the stated replacement interval. On-line research has shown that the timing belt tensioned failure prior to the stated replacement interval, is or is becoming a chronic problem for pre-1999 1.8T engines.

Although a redesigned replacement part has been introduced, Audi has not acknowledged any problem with the original part, nor have they issued any technical service bulletins recommending early replacement.

The flat-out refusal by Audi to claim any responsibility for the defect and damage caused by it, is making me think long and hard about whether or not I want to buy another Audi/VW product. As much as I enjoy driving their cars, I am really disgusted with their lack of responsibility towards this problem.

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

Review Date: 25th July, 2003

11th Dec 2003, 21:04

I have a '98 Audi A4 1.8T. The timing belt failed at 88,100 miles (2,000 miles short of the replacement mileage in the manual)resulting in severe damage to the valves. Also, 2 pistons were damaged such that they mark the cylinder walls when the crank is rotated. Audi will not assume any responsibility. Although the body is in excellent condition, the repair costs (engine replacement) are in excess of what I can sell the car for. As such, it has been reduced to salvage value.

1998 Audi A4 Avant 2.8


I enjoyed every mile driving the car in for service


6 instrument panels

4 batteries


Engine computer

Climate control computer

Steering rack

Cam shaft tensioner seals


2 speakers

Tiptronic switch

Cruise control switch

Turn signal flasher

Coolant reservoir

Coolant temperature sensor

Fuel guage sending unit

Sunroof switch

2 passenger-side CV boots

Passenger seat bushings

EGR secondary return pipe

Catalytic converter

Knock sensor.

General Comments:

The best handling, best driving car I ever had. Audi was worthless in dealing with the problems and basically told me, in writing, that the car was out of warranty and to go screw myself. They then asked if I would be buying another Audi. I bought a Lexus.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 13th July, 2003

1998 Audi A4 Avant 2.8


A comfortable, great handling money pit with hideous service



6 Instrument panels: #1 was replaced (blown light bulb). #2 was replaced because of erratic ambient temperature readings. #3 was so dim I couldn't read the display. #4 was almost as bad as #3. #5 solved the lighting problem, but it was discovered that #2-5 were the wrong IP. (Keyes blamed Rusnak Pasadena on making the mistake and they repeated it 3 times). #6 didn't solve the original problem ($800 to not solve the problem)

Climate control computer was replaced to solve erratic temperature display. $700 and it didn't solve the problem, but it did make the A/C inoperative.

Engine computer.

Cam shaft tensioner seals (I was told that all 2.8's need these replaced, but most fail under warranty) $900.

Steering rack sprung a leak. $900.


2 speakers.

Catalytic converter.

Coolant temperature sensor.

Coolant reservoir.

Fuel guage sending unit.

Turn signal stalk.

Tiptronic switch.

Turn signal flasher.

2 passenger side CV boots.

Passenger seat bushings.

Sunroof kept popping open (generally at the car wash)

General Comments:

Car's handling and comfort are great.

$5,700 in repairs during year 5 of ownership.

Car is so complicated even Audi dealers can't fix it. A great independent A/C repair shop refuses to touch an Audi, but they will work on any other car.

After Rusnak Pasadena tore the oil filler cap gasket the car's mileage and power went down dramatically. Numerous complaints to both Rusnak and Keyes resulted in my being told, each time, that the performance is normal for a '98. Unfortunately the car only got 23MPG on the freeway and I had no way of proving that it used to get 28. The old 28 returned when the check engine light was on. Keyes said that's not possible even when I proved it. They said if there was something wrong, the car would tell them. "There's nothing else we can do." I bought a Lexus.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 5th May, 2003

27th Jul 2007, 11:33

This is the same owner and writer of the review titled: I enjoyed every mile driving the car in for service. We get it, you had issues with the car!