1998 Audi A8 Quattro 2.5 TDI from Norway


Too expensive


Transmission MAJOR breakdown at 120000.

Transmission slipping and jerking 6 months later. Repaired twice.

Dynamo renewed.

Air condition not cooling.

All 4 brake discs renewed.

Air bag sensor faulty.

ABS control sensors replaced.

Battery renewed twice.

Cell phone not working.

Xenon light voltage regulator replaced.

Remote central locking will not always work.

General Comments:

Very comfortable car and a pleasure to drive when it is working OK.

Unfortunately repair costs are sky high.

Unreliable car, never know what will stop functioning next time. Will never buy a car like this again. Ever.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 23rd August, 2005

27th Dec 2005, 18:08

This author sounds unprepared and ill-suited for dealing with typical maintenance and repair costs for high-mileage high-end European or Japanese luxury cars. His experience sounds very much like my past experience dealing with my 1994 Mazda 929 and my 1994 BMW 740iL. I also own a 2002 Audi S8, but it has been virtually problem free thus far. If you want a used luxury car that will be virtually problem free for all of eternity, buy a Lexus, but do so knowing that those cars are expensive used car buys and are considered by many to lack the personality of European luxury performance cars. If you want something more exotic, such as the groundbreaking aluminum space frame and Quattro systems, then buy an A8, but be prepared to spend a considerable amount of money in upkeep for an older, high-mileage model.

1998 Audi A8 Quattro 4.2L from North America


Best-made cars on the planet!


Oil pressure sending unit leak at 43,000 miles.

Air conditioner evaporator leak and replacement required at 47,000 miles (buried inside the dash panel).

Front upper control arm required replacement at 47,000 miles.

Valve cover gasket leaked oil onto exhaust manifold at 47,000 miles.

Left front wheel speed sensor fault continues to trip off anti-lock brake system, which has been chronic since 50,000 miles (still does this).

Irregular transmission shifting, especially in 5th gear ("D" position), particularly when under light throttle under 2000 RPM. This has been happening since 60,000 miles (still does this).

General Comments:

This is my third large Audi Quattro sedan, and my first with an automatic transmission.

My previous two Audis were the '87 5000 CD Turbo Quattro and the '91 200 Turbo Quattro 20V (forerunner of the "S-4" engine). The 20V was simply an awesome engine!

The '98 A8 is a phenomenal automobile, but I honestly miss the manual transmission.

I think the transmission in the A8 is over-engineered and it "thinks" too much. During hard off-the-line acceleration, there is a nasty delay while the transmission decides what gear it wants to choose. Here's a suggestion: Use low gear!

Also, I have been having trouble with irregular shifting patterns where the transmission "hunts" for a gear up and down. This happens mostly when under light throttle under 2000 RPM. However, it has come to my attention that the transmission may require a fluid and filter change, and this could be the culprit.

During my first several months of (used) ownership, I was hit by a flurry of mechanical repairs that amounted to about $3500. Although, this was more related to the previous owner's failure to get things fixed.

Audis are such great cars that I can't quibble over repair costs or the occasional glitch.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th March, 2005

10th May 2005, 10:47

Wow, so many problems and you still put up your review with a "Happy" face.

6th Dec 2005, 01:11

I also have a 1997 A8. Best car I've owned. Very reliable and great in the snow. Just turned 100K miles. I've replaced CV joints and some squeaky bushings and done regular fluid maintenance. It also has intermittent squeaky brakes and sometimes a squeaky dash. It presently has a leaking fuel line between filter and injection rail. Audi says I have to change line all the way to tank and that is the only line they have a part number for. I live far away from a dealer in Northern New Mexico and find the nearest dealer service inept. I don't think they want to work on such an old car, so I don't let them. I've also had an ABS problem. A connector that was corroded and engaged ABS at 5mph and below. Also driver's side airbag light is flashing. OBD shows bad switch under seat. $350 for the switch, but $1200 for the labor because they have to take all the leather off the seat to get to the switch. I think that's good for 60K of reliable driving.