1996 Audi A4 2.8 quattro from North America


'tis a darn good car


When I bought the car it needed:

-new rocker arm in front right suspension

-new power steering return hose

-back right brake line was leaking

-new timing belt

-new accessory belt.

I was able to replace all of this for under $1000 by going to a non- factory repair shop.

General Comments:

I love this car. It is fun and comfortable to drive. It is also very stylish. The quattro makes all the difference in the world for handling.

It is by far the smoothest ride I have ever been in and is very quiet also. It is not the quickest off the line (0-60mph in about 9) but it tops out at 160 although I have never taken it that fast, but I have often hit 110mph with no trouble what-so-ever.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd September, 2006

1st Dec 2006, 08:30

Surprising that you get all that fixed for under 1000... Typically the timing belt replacement alone would have cost you $600 for labor, and an additional $50 for parts. And that's is NOT at the dealer...

25th Sep 2007, 08:46

Depends where you shop!

1996 Audi A4 Quattro 2.8 from North America


Buy if you can do your own repairs; Lease otherwise


5-speed manual transmission flushed with new fluid at 103k miles. Transmission makes grinding noise only on 1st gear because previous owner had never flushed the transmission fluid as required every 25k miles.

Outer tie-rod ends were replaced at 103k miles. Worn out tie-rod ends causes excessive vibrations while driving. Replacements cost $100.

Original head-unit malfunctioned at 104k miles. New Pioneer head-unit installed.

Sunroof controls are malfunctioning at 103k miles. Sometimes it will close and other times it stays partial open. Replacement cost $150.

Thermostat was replaced at 104k miles. Original thermostat was stuck in open position causing bad fuel economy. Replacement cost $30.

Brake and clutch system flushed with new fluid at 104k miles. Required every 2 years.

Power steering system flushed with new hydraulic fluid at 104k miles. Previous owner flushed with regular power steering fluid! Audi requires use of hydraulic fluid for power steering!

Both catalytic converters rattle loudly at 108k miles. Replacement cost $500 each because only the catalytic converters from the dealership will be C.A.R.B. legal in California.

C.V. boots cracked open on both front axles at 110,000 miles. Both axles were replaced with rebuilt axles. Replacements with core exchange cost $100 each.

Dashboard warped along the edge that is touching the windshield. This occurs if it was exposed to excessive heat from hot summer days. Sun-shields should be used when A4 is parked in direct sunlight.

Unknown location of water leak on drivers side floor during heavy rains. Possibly leaks from the rubber sealing the hood latch cable housing.

Randomly an instrument cluster bulb burns out. Replacement cost $3 per bulb.

Interior dome light switches all fell out. Poor design renders useless interior lighting.

Climate control LCD screen flickers on/off randomly. Just a poorly designed electrical connection for the LCD screens. tapping around the edges of the screen temporarily fixes the flickering when it occurs.

Factory alarm module removed. Alarm would go off randomly whenever the A4 was parked on uneven surfaces.

Low RPM vibrations felt inside cabin during cruising speeds around 30-50mph. This is caused by the back pressure of the exhaust system. Occurs in most A4's with factory exhaust system because 2 mufflers are utilized in conjunction, not separately.

General Comments:

If you are mechanically inclined and are able to service these vehicles yourself, then they are excellent vehicles to own. Parts are expensive, but so are BMW and Mercedes parts.

The 2.8 litre engine is solid, but does not yield performance. The turbo 1.8 litre engines have performance potential, but are not solid and require proper maintenance to avoid seize up from oil sludge.

The ride quality of the A4 is smooth with some wind noise at highway speeds. The handling is excellent in twisty roads.

Original paint holds up well if taken care of. Same goes for the leather interior.

Do not use rubberized steering wheel covers as they will damage and deform the leather steering wheel over time.

Short shifter kit is recommended for the manual shift transmission models.

I highly recommend buying the 1997 or newer models rather than the 1996 because of the tip-tronic transmission, revised climate controls, revised instrument cluster, nicer steering wheel, and increased engine power.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 29th September, 2005

3rd Sep 2006, 05:11

I currently have an Immaculate conditioned one owner 96' Audi A4 V6 Quattro 5 speed, and I must agree with the problems listed in your posting.

My air conditioning LCD screen flickers on and off randomly, I am literally afraid to bring it to the dealership fearing for the cost to fix this annoyance.

The car has 174,000 miles and believe it or not, it's still going! I have installed a brand new OEM clutch, oil pan and oil feed line, driver and passenger side upper control arms, alternator, power steering pump, exhaust sleeves, idle tentioner roller, and a few other lower cost items, although I invested nearly close to 3k in parts and labor.

I can say that I love it and I will buy another one as soon as the chance arrives.

I have the sport package, which was limited since I have gold emblems compared to the chrome ones. I have basically everything you can get in 96' from the dealer like, BOSE factory audio 8 speaker sound system, sunroof, Quattro, heated front seats, heated side mirrors, 16' sport factory rims, 3 spoke S4 inspired steering wheel, ski bag, and other luxury type features.

With this much mileage, I was wondering if I should do a fuel injector service with a throttle body cleaning? I don't know how it would be if its in need of cleaning, but I guess it wouldn't hurt to do, although the dealership said "if it's not needed, don't do it". What would you do?

I am at the point where this entire car just needs new parts and service, I've never changed the trans fluid since I've only owned the car for about 11k, I realize that protecting the syncros is a major and vital part in the clutch and gearing system, but I ask myself... what else can go wrong? It's like a domino affect, and the only reason why I purchased the car with higher miles is because of its flawless shape and condition, finding a good one with a clean title is near impossible so I jumped on this one.

It's a great car, if you have the means to keep up with it, like any other german car not to mention BENZ and BMW.

Email me at excellenceone@aol.com for any help that you could recommend, I am trying to find somebody with similar problems like this. I understand that I'm not the only one with problems such as mine. Thanks and take care,