24th Dec 2003, 10:34

I have a 1997 Audi A4 2.8 Quattro with the 5 speed manual transmission. The transmission was replaced after about 60,000 miles. Audi of America would only assist after I hounded them and the dealer. I still paid $1300 of a $5600 bill. Additionally, headlight switches repeatedly fail while driving, with replacement costs of nearly $400 each time. I'll be getting number 5 soon. This is EXTREMELY unsafe at any speed when it happens. Last time, I was driving about 60 mph at 11:30 pm on a dark highway. Front lower control arms are also notorious. I've had them replaced numerous times, finally with a front end kit that Audi paid for. I have contacted the NHTSA, BBB, and Michigan Attorney General and am awaiting their investigations. I am a degreed mechanical engineer from one of the nation's best universities. I recommend Audi to no one.

18th Oct 2004, 07:46

I have owned a 98 2.8L Audi A4 Quattro for the last 4 years now. It has covered 108K miles and the only problem I have had with it in this time is a corroded electrical component in the ECU for the ABS system. I know that the Audi designs alter in the USA so the cars can be made there. I live in England and the car has come direct from Germany. I have heard of faults with suspension, but never with the transmission. I would be interested to find out what differences there are in the designs. I am a Mechanical Engineer working for the Subaru world rally team so am aware of variations in designs creating inferior parts.

11th Nov 2004, 11:45

I have a 97 Audi A4. I ran into similar problems. at 70K my trans. failed. Now Dealer tells me to replace it. AoA says they can't help as usual. I wouldn't be buying another Audi in my life.

9th Feb 2006, 12:15

I have owned a 1996 A4 2.8 Quattro since new and I now have over 215K miles. I have a 5-speed manual transmission and have not had any problems with it.

15th Feb 2006, 19:23

I’m going to add my voice to Audi owners who will never buy another Audi. My 97 A4 was great for the first 20k miles, then the little things started. The driver-side seat heater stopped working. The radio/climate control lights started blinking. The side-view mirrors stopped working. Then we progressed to needing both rear wheel bearings replaced. The A/C developed a leak near the compressor that would cost $500+ to repair. The cruise control ceased to operate. A Quattro wheel sensor needed to be replaced. One side of the exhaust system rotted out and the other catalytic converter is not long for this world either.

Everyone keeps saying, “You can get 200k miles from this car." Maybe so, but it’s probably cheaper and less of a headache to buy two cars and run them for 100k miles each. But the car is good in the snow. I will give you that.

5th Mar 2006, 22:10

My 1998 Audi A6 quatro has every problem a car can have. First I had to change all control arms on both sides. I was told there was a recall, when I went to the dealer I was told my car was not a part of the recall. Then my transmission went. Cost to repair $3000.00, Audi would not assist. My engine mount is bad horrible movement of engine. My cruise control was working one minute and stopped suddenly.

I must say this car ranks as my worst car purchase to date.

I will not recommend this car to any neither will I buy another.

23rd Aug 2006, 19:38

I have a 97 A4 2.8 Quattro had it since new. I have kept it regularly serviced and apart from tyres, brake pads, and other general running expense's, it has been very reliable for 167,000ks. No transmission problems, no major problems at all.

So in a few simple words, keep your Audi serviced by Audi Techies, and fully synthetic oils. And you too will have trouble free motoring.

I love my Audi, and it loves me for taking good care of her. I will definitely be buying another Audi, that's for sure!!!

2nd Apr 2007, 00:42

I purchased a '97 A4 about 2 years ago and though I can't say there haven't been problems, I am NOT going to add my name to the list of people using the "N" word saying they'll NEVER buy another Audi. Watch the brand and you'll see that reliability has gone way up. The 2005 Consumer Reports survey lists Audi as the most reliable European car made at 12 problems per hundred (compared to the best which is Subaru at 8 problems per 100). Which brings us to reason number two, all of the cars rated more reliable than Audi are Japanese and I'm just not a fan of Japanese cars. They don't have the Teutonic-firm yet compliant ride, the more affordable models are too small to make me feel safe (not to mention noisy inside), and, well... they're ugly. I've used to drive the Japanese built Impreza, but I prefer the A4 warts and all - though I admit the Impreza handles better probably because of the A4's weight. VW group does have problems and one can only guess as to why reliability dipped and then went back up again (maybe the labor-centric socialist environment of Germany that is now dealing with the result of building inefficiently: rising unemployment rates!)

I will replace my A4 someday, but it will probably be another A4 (or S4 if the auto gods like me.)

11th Apr 2007, 21:21

I have a 99 a4 Quattro. Bought it two years ago from Fred Lavery in Birmingham. Oh man let me tell you, first few months fell in love with the car, beautiful inside and out, drives like a dream, handles even better. And then the nightmare started. Brake calipers, $400, new brakes, rotors, another 500. Just when I thought I was out of the woods, and back on the trail, the transmission coolant went, running a cool $750 to fix, Fred Lavery Audi Porsche, took their time fixing it, though gave me a nice S4 to drive while they fixed my A4. So, after about six months of no problems, my transmission went at 83K, $7000 to fix, and logically I am convinced its not worth it, but I can't help it, I love this car, so I think I will purchase an after market transmission and have that put in by some other mechanic, not my dealer, I mean good god, $7000 for a $1600 transmission, these people bill out at $139 an hour, I am in law school and I don't think I will be making that much for a while, maybe I should become a mechanic, though I hear the dental is pretty bad. In any case, be very careful when purchasing an Audi, its eye candy, but WILL COST YOU.


27th Jul 2007, 07:14

I just bought a well maintained 1997 Quattro, and it seems perfect in every way; you cannot believe its age coz seems like its 3 or 4 years old max. The only problem I am having is sometimes it feels like the tiptronic gears are slipping or taking a couple of seconds to find their place with some juddering. It's hard to duplicate this as it happens randomly especially when picking up speed from lower gears. Has anyone experienced this? What can I do? You can email me on htkenya@gmail.com . Any advice will be appreciated! Thanks.

Update 30th June 2008:

Since that post this is what happened!!!

I thought it had to do with Audi's ability to change the transmission behavior to driving style (a feature they are famous for) but I was wrong. I sold the car after just 4 months to someone not knowing that there was anything major wrong with the car. A few weeks later while he was driving, the the transmission gave up on the road with major damage. Seems like there were particles (metal/dirt) in the transmission when the ATF was changed, and the mechanics had not cleared them out like they were supposed to. The repairs cost the guy AU$ 6000 (don't know exactly for what parts, but this was excluding labour)and that's not even to replace a whole transmission which would cost double that.

I suggest you go to an authorised Audi centre and get the whole transmission opened up and serviced and get the ATF changed. After the ATF change and clean out, if it still happens then it means they have not cleared out the debris. If any parts require replacement at this recommended mileage/age then DO IT. It's better to prevent it by spending a bit now.

These transmissions are good as long as they are opened up and serviced. Most people avoid that because of the labour costs, but you've got to do it. Audi's are expensive cars to maintain, but better to maintain one and keep it running than have it off the road coz you didn't, and end up like my friend did!