1998 Audi A4 quatro 2.8 from North America


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 from North America


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 from North America


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 1.9 TDI from UK and Ireland


Good looking car with great practicality


The Heating Matrix corroded causing the heater to stop working. The Audi dealer charged over £600 to fix this.

The wheels have started to corrode recently costing £20 per wheel to repair.

The turbo doesn't always seem to work as the car accelerates, but Audi can't find a problem.

General Comments:

The car is quite slow in lower gears and the acceleration takes about 12 seconds to 60mph.

However the top end speeds are good and it drives well on motorways.

The interior is very comfortable and well laid out. I do sometimes regret not paying extra for a car with air conditioning!

The equipment is good, I've got 4 airbags, power steering, electric windows and mirrors etc.

My car is only a 90 hp, I would recommend a 110hp as it may have better acceleration although my car is reasonable.

The stereo fitted is the Audi Concert, it sounds very good and easy to use. I am about to have a CD auto changer fitted also for about £150.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st June, 2003

10th Mar 2004, 15:59

As it happens the turbo isn't "working" all the time. The period from idle to when significant boost comes on is called "turbo-lag". That's the disadvantage of a turbo over supercharging (where lag is almost nonexistent). That's why Audi can't find a problem. Because there probably isn't.