Sounds like you didn't do your research on the car. A little research can go a long way. A bit more research will go even longer.
I bought my 2001 Audi A4 2.8 over a year ago and I made sure to read all documentation, had mechanic look it over, checked car-fax and several test drives.
The car had also just finished its final under warranty service. Had 78k and now has 93k.
Only problem thus far is oil consumption. I have driven this car hard and fast. Hitting 122 on a back country road and it was pulling hard as I ran out of road. Handling is awesome as I have the sport suspension with quattro.
Anyways, find a local mechanic that specializes in VW/Audi's and you might save $500. If you got a deal just eat the repairs. The car should last you for quite some time.
This is a high maintenance car in my opinion. I have a 99 Audi A4 2.8 Quattro and went through a lot of repairs.
The timing belt went at around 80k. I had no idea until the car started overheating. That was $1100.
Luckily I had a good friend who was an Audi mechanic DIY type and he taught me how to work on my car. Since then I changed the tie rods, crankshaft breather hose, brakes, transmission oil, and also do my own oil changes. I had the rear bearings changed by a mechanic. The car runs well, but I would not go so far as to say it is a well designed and reliable car. There are a few weak points where the car is not well engineered. Everyone knows what they are (bearings, tie rods, timing belt) since the same problems keep recurring.
I have a 1999 A4 2.8 Quattro Sport package, which I bought new. This car has 89k miles and has been an excellent vehicle with no major mechanical issues. I have maintained it as suggested by my private mechanic. Never took it to the Audi dealer for repairs. Besides being much expensive there, they are not honest. The timing belt has been replaced recently.
Audis will perform awesome if properly maintained and driven.
My wife drives a 2003 A6 Avant 3.0 Quattro with 50k, and it has also performed excellent.
Audis are excellent cars and handle the road better than any Japanese or American car out there.
I bought my 99 Audi about 4 months ago, and overall, it is a great car, holds the road, it's fun in the snow, and safe. Needs to be well maintained; better to have a private mechanic who can work on Audi's.
My check engine light is on, which is the evap sensor, which is around 200 dollars. I think it is why the gas gauge is so up and down.
I'm looking at buying a 1999 A4 2.8 with 140,000 miles on it. What type of things should I ask about and look for, other than the oil leak (that's being fixed right now)? Thanks a lot.