2008 Audi A6 Quattro 4.2 V8 FSI from North America
Not without faults, but it's still excellent
- Problematic oil leaks (oil filter housing o-rings and valve cover gaskets).
- Control arm clunking.
- Xenon headlight failure (bulb, maintenance really).
- Center arm rest spring clip failure.
- Horn failure.
- Radiator failure (had to remove the nose of the car to repair).
- Timing chain chatter on cold start.
- Ignition coils.
Honestly, with the exception of the radiator failure and the oil leaks, this car really just asked for proper maintenance. It was really great for the time that I had it and was very reliable. Never left me sit. Even when the radiator was failing and leaking, it still got me home.
The ride was good, weather/snow did not slow this Audi down at all - in fact thanks to quattro, it was incredibly surefooted, and it was very well equipped. Best of all, thanks to the 4.2 V8, it was FAST. Steering was prone to both oversteer and understeer in certain situations and was a bit numb for a sport sedan, but I can forgive that. Didn't handle like my E39, but I wasn't expecting it to (though, not much can touch that car in regard to handling).
One big thing to watch out for on the 4.2 is the timing chain - it is one big chain running the whole rear of the engine, and if it goes, it is a nuke. Telltale sign of it about to go is an intermittent or persistent chattering sound on cold start. It could fail the next day, or in 2 years, you never know for sure when. Mine chattered for about 6 months and luckily I got rid of the car before the chain letting go or deciding to bite the bullet and do it. You have to pull the engine for the repair.
The oil leaks on these V8s is also troublesome. The two biggest failures are the valve cover gaskets and the oil filter housing o-rings. If you get oil leaks, do the valve cover gaskets first. If that does not resolve the leak, move on to the oil filter housing o-rings. In order to do the o-rings, you have to pull the intake, which is a far more intrusive and risky job (delicate valve motors that don't like to be disturbed are on the front of the intake). Good news is you can clean the throttle body and ports while you have the intake off. If the oil leaks still aren't gone after both these, then it is likely the oil pan or timing cover; in which case run for the hills or live with the leaks - unless you plan to pull the engine to do the timing chain that is.
Overall, I was very happy with this A6. It had a great look, was very comfortable, reliable, had solid and impressive performance (numb steering not withstanding), stellar build quality/high quality materials throughout, and had plentiful creature comforts/features including an excellent BOSE stereo. If taken care of, you won't be sorry for owning one - even more so if you are mechanically inclined.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 28th October, 2021