1998 Audi A4 1.8 T from North America - Comments

7th Mar 2009, 07:31

Just bought a 98 Audi A4 1.8L quattro 130K for $2800. Took it to a mechanic, he recommended timing belt replacement, and he gave me an outrageous price, $840 or else wait and risk belt failure, and then $3000 repairs. I thought he was wanting to screw me over, so I did my research and boy I am glad that I decided to spend the 900 or so for fixing the timing belt. Hopefully the belt will be good for at least 50K miles.

Does anyone know if when replacing timing belt, does it have life time warranty?

7th Mar 2009, 15:00

No such thing as a lifetime warranty on a timing belt -- it's a maintenance item. I bought a used '96 A4 1.8i (non turbo; New Zealand), and as with any of the cars I buy used I immediately get the whole car serviced -- timing belt/tensioners, all the filters, all the other belts, automatic transmission flush and drain, oil, brake fluid drain, alignment, check for worn suspension components. The timing belt on older Audis were cheap -- NZ$40-55 (about US$20-25), but newer ones need tensioners and rollers too, about NZ$550/US$275 plus labour, just for that. But hey -- my Galant's timing belt kit also cost as much.

You never buy ANY second hand car -- Japanese or otherwise -- without getting it mechanically inspected, and you never expect any second hand car, let alone one that's done over 80K km/50K miles to run like a second-hand television. Despite timing belts supposed to last to 120K km, I always replace at 80K km regardless of whether it's Japanese or European. And always figure on spending about NZ$1000-1500/US$500-750 at least on initial full service to counter any neglect.

But most of all, stay away from dealers! They make no money from selling new cars (especially since hard-bargaining buyers armed with dealer pricing information have taken away any margin they could make to run the dealership) ; always find a good outside mechanic who specialises in European cars.

22nd Dec 2009, 12:05

I see the fuss, but really, it's easy to fix.

Change your timing belt! I had a Jetta (same engine as Audi) that I had changed out every 50K miles for $200 (and water pump) and that was that. $200 and 50K miles isn't a bad deal. Really it isn't. Especially what you get. Drive a 98' Accord 4 cyl and a 98 A4 1.8T. BIG DIFFERENCE, same price.

There's also aftermarket Kevlar and performance parts that hold up better. I've seen a Mitsubishi with 125K miles on it's timing belt and it was a Kevlar one. Costs a bit more, but if you want more peace of mind, try it out.

Paying $900 for a timing belt is ridiculous.

8th Aug 2010, 18:53

'01 A4 Quat-1.8t here! You all need to stop complaining! Audis are considered luxury/sports cars... if you drive one, then you are lucky, (like me), and need to maintain your beautiful machines without complaints.

As cars age, things go bad, i.e. vacuum lines, sensors, plugs, gaskets, seals, etc... and yes, these are all German manufactured parts, so you will pay accordingly. Just remember, you chose Audi for a reason. Audi didn't choose you!

I drive the vehicle listed above and have had it for 5 months. It is my 3rd 1.8t engine, (VW/Audi,) and a 1.8t is very easy to maintain and work on if you take the time to learn it and listen to your car.

The timing belt in any 1.8t engine should be changed around 80,000 miles. I pushed a 2001 1.8t Jetta all the way to 122,000 miles without a timing belt job though, so it varies. The belt is not the part that fails, so mechanics that tell you the belt is cracked or worn do not know what they are talking about! The timing belt roller is what commonly breaks, failing to spin any longer and causing the belt to tensify and then snap. Let's not even talk about what happens to your poor rods when this occurs... Inspecting the belt itself is never a way to deduct whether or not a timing belt job is needed. And yes, it is around $1000, because it is an 8 hour job and the water pump should always be replaced during a timing belt job! Always!

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