1996 Audi A4 quattro 2.8L from North America


Fun to drive and wash, but very expensive to maintain and appreciate


Suspension Problems galore. Nothing wrong with it within the first three months than all the sudden it hit me. I went over one bump and had to replace my shocks. I waited a week to fix the shocks which caused my wheel bearings to go bad. One after another all 4 wheel bearings had to be replaced at $250 each. Than the control arms went bad. another $600 job for front upper control arms. Now I am looking at axel problems along with a leaking differential.

General Comments:

My favorite car yet to have owned because of how awesome it looks, feels, and rides. It also ended up being the most expensive as the repairs of this German car costs 3x more than any American car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 21st June, 2005

1996 Audi A4 Quattro 2.8L from North America


Fantastically unreliable but fun to drive.


All eight front suspension bushings have been replaced. Only the two attached to the lower control arms were covered by Audi.

I had the (original) tie rods replaced this year because the right was loose. My mechanic was incredulous that these original tie rods had lasted for eight years since they usually fail in three.

Both rear wheel bearings have failed.

The rear differential oil seal has been replaced twice.

The AC evaporator was replaced two years ago for $1400.

I was stranded at work when the multi-function headlight switch/ turn signal lever failed.

One can smell unburned gasoline in the cabin on cold days. No mechanic has yet been able to solve this problem.

General Comments:

I have spent thousands of dollars repairing and maintaining this car, but I can't bring myself to part with it. I just wish that a tree would fall on it.

I don't understand why Audi's have a good reputation, since they are so unreliable.

My next car will be a Subaru.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 16th May, 2005

13th Sep 2005, 14:24

Well, what can I say about my 1996 Audi 2.8L AWD? I can't tell you how happy I am to finally be done with it. I traded it in for a Saab. OK, here is the list of the problems I had with the car.

1) Bad Transmission - The transmission blew out at about 75K miles. Obviously it was out of warranty and the Audi dealer here in Chicago quoted me $11K to fix it. I have a mechanic that replaced it for $4200. Not fun.

2) Bad Water Pump - The water pump exploded spewing liquid all over my timing belt resulting in a purchase of a new timing belt (2nd one) and the pump itself with every sensor imaginable.

3) Bad Control Arms - I did not even deal with the control arms because I was going to get rid of it.

4) Bad O2 Sensor - Replaced this fellow 3 times.

5) Blown Head Gasket - This was the icing on the cake. I just couldn't take putting more money in this car.

6) Rear Suspension - Very strange sounds came from the rear suspension which I didn't even want to know about.

7) Check Engine Light - If I had a penny for every time the check engine light went on, I would be extremely wealthy. 99% of the time the mechanic could find no problems.

I would strictly advise anyone to avoid the 1996 Audi's. The do drive superbly, but even Bill Gates would balk at continual maintenance issues. I read recently that Audi's are the 2nd most expensive cars to fix under Range Rover. Yikes.

24th Aug 2012, 23:32

The petrol smell is caused by a issue with the charcoal canister. Very easy to fix, and happens to a lot of cars.

1996 Audi A4 Avant 1.6 petrol from UK and Ireland


Comfortable, problematic strong car


Petrol pump failed, roughly £100 for a replacement (not including labor).

Suspension joins faulty, replaced under recall.

Radiator water starting to need regular topping up, not yet diagnosed.

Alarm goes off when it decides to.

Passenger side electric window is lazy, will not respond if moved more than it likes to be (!)

General Comments:

Granted the car is 8 years old and has covered lots of ground, but things have started to go wrong all at the same time.

If it weren't for the fact that someone in the family works in a VW garage, the car would not have been bought in the first place due to high servicing and repair cost.

Car is attractive for an estate, and has roomy boot and front, though a little cramped in the back.

Interior is of a high quality with no loose or rattling panels.

Like many owners, the car has faults with the windows, electrics and even clock; however, I find the standard stereo to be really good.

While acceleration is lacking, the car is fast when wound up, and can be exciting to drive. The big wheels stick to the road very well.

No sun roof or air conditioning makes it a pain to drive in the city at summer time.

Give the service history a good checking over before handing any dosh over.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 9th November, 2004

10th Dec 2004, 16:44

Since writing this review, the car seemed to be misfiring and stalling. This was later put down to a broken head gasket.

Cue two days without a car and £450 pounds later, the old barge is running wonderfully. (As mentioned- these cars are not cheap to maintain).

Suspension arm fault is void after dealer told us that service history is inadequate (thanks to previous owner). This will be another couple of hundred pounds, but then bus should be good as new.

Think we were unlucky with this one; previous owners did not take the care required (and deserved) to look after this car.

Considering buying another car with less in it to go wrong, electronically speaking, but will be sad to part with the A4.