1996 Audi A4 B5 1.8 from Australia and New Zealand


Pre-2002 Audi sedans should only be purchased if you are absolutely mechanically competent


Worst purchasing decision ever!

Stupidly bought an Audi A4 1996 about 4 years ago for $4000. It has been the worst car I have ever owned. An absolute nightmare.

Repair bills:

Breather hoses = $240.

Compressor for A/C parts and labour: $280.

Oil cooler (massive oil leak below the car). I successfully diagnosed it, and found the leak to be from the oil cooler, when many mechanics said it was the rear main seal, and thanks to an Audi forum, I was able to install the new cooler that I ripped off a VW at an auto salvage yard for $20 and 1 hour labour. Once again, thanks to the advice from users at the Audi forum (I'm not a mechanic by any means).

Cabin vibration (engine mounts), the most annoying problem with the car. I was told that they usually fail, but I was reluctant to spend $800 to have them replaced, so I didn't.

OIL... the oil in the engine had been hardened into bits of black pieces. After several oil flushes, roughly 20-30 pieces of this hardened oil drained out of the sump. They even had grooves embedded into them from parts inside the engine. DISASTER. I think a chimp must have previously owned the car.

Poor fuel economy!!! 13-14 litres would only go for 100kms, tried to fix this by replacing the oxygen sensor and air flow sensor, but failed. Mechanic quoted $950 for the job. I was able to do it myself with salvaged parts for $70. Still didn't fix the problem (oh well, at least a $70 loss is better than $950).

Buzzing muffler / exhaust system. Embarrassing sound to have a car make when taking off. No leaks were found by mechanics. Gave up.

Power steering hose failed. Replaced it myself with yet again salvaged parts from other Audis.

Heater failed due to the water pump starting to fail. No heat in the car as well as A/C (never got the A/C fixed). The replaced compressor also failed, so I gave up.

The list goes on and on...

General Comments:

Don't buy any new or old Audi unless you're willing to fork out $$ on repairs in the future. Trust me. I wish I had listened to the advice given to me.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 25th October, 2012

25th Oct 2012, 18:44

You could have these issues with any car of this age, which has been neglected or badly maintained.

19th Nov 2012, 22:10

Why did you give the car 7/10 on reliability if you feel so strongly that this Audi gave you so much grief?

I would say it sounds average for a car of that age and km. So 5/10 might be more appropriate?

16th Jan 2013, 19:49

What did you expect? You bought an old, high mileage car.

1996 Audi A4 Quattro 2.8 from North America


The only things I've had to do are mostly common on any car.

I replaced both front axles because one side had a ripped boot. Could have just done the one side, but I'm the type of person who likes to replace parts before they become a problem, and I had to replace all control arms in front, which appears to be common with b5 A4s.

Besides that, the car has been great, and anyone who thinks Audi's are expensive to fix, stop going to the dealer; any car is expensive when you take it to the dealer. Trust me, I've had larger repair costs for my 1996 S-10 Blazer than my Audi, and I have a friend with a Cadillac that costs double to keep in good condition.

General Comments:

I love this car. It's another example of wonderful German engineering. The plastics and other interior materials far surpass any American or Japanese product. One of the few car companies that uses real wood, not that fake plastic crap.

The leather is almost new with 150,000 miles; unheard of in any Japanese or US car.

No complaints with this car at all, or my previous Audi A6. I will always buy Audi.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th September, 2009