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  1. #1
    CarbonFrame
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    My Audi A4 is down for the count!!

    Well Its Over!! My Audi is officially dead. The timing belt broke causing catastrophic engine failure. What started as a good plan came apart like a ball of toilet paper on a steep downhill roll. I was driving home and suddenly that sound clicketyclicketyclicketyclacketyclackety from under the hood. After a tow to the dealer, I was informed my timing belt had broken and introduced my valves to my pistons resulting in a $6900.00 bar tab. Now the car is only worth $9000.00 on a good day. Heres the clincher... Last April the water pump went bad so I had it replaced and as a matter of procedure the timing belt, tensioner, and thermostat were also replaced at that time by my NON Dealer mechanic. I priced the job @ Audi and then asked Dave to give me a quote. He did and was more...but I wanted to give the "little guy" the business. So I asked if he could match the price he himmed and hawed and decided he could match the price. Well I asked Audi what they replaced and furnished dave with that info so I would get the same job done. Well Dave neglected to replace the idler pulley which Audi would have replaced as a matter of routine. The idler froze up and the timing belt broke...Its a sad day. Dave says replacing the idler is not a Routine thing to do during the work he performed....I'm feeling like I got screwed....Bye the "little Guy" What do you think??

    The up side is the new 06 Malibu Max SS sitting in the garage..the down side is the monthly payment
    Last edited by CarbonFrame; 01-21-2006 at 01:05 PM.
    Life is short...Enjoy the Ride!!

  2. #2
    Martini time?
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    I had a 98 VW Passat, 1.8l turbo, 72k miles at the time. We were on vacation 600 miles from home when we also heard the clickety sound, made it back to the hotel where it wouldn't restart. Had it towed to the nearest dealer- 50 miles away. Idler pulley had broken, snapping the timing belt and destroying the 8 exhaust valves. Luckily for us it was a certified used car and everything was covered including the rental car back home and then back the next week to pick it up, and the hotel when we went back.

    As soon as the car was worth what we owed we sold it and I didn't say a word about the engine.

    It was a fun car to drive, just too expensive to maintain and repair.

  3. #3
    Incorrigible Wanderer - R.I.P.
    Reputation: The Walrus's Avatar
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    Ouch!

    I lost the timing belt on my Civic 4WD wagon, but it looks like I could get away for $500 for the work on the head, if I pull it/reinstall it myself. Haven't actually seen the pistons yet, but the shop's seen other Hondas with this engine that somehow escaped without mortal injuries. (Dunno how it's possible for the valves to get bent without the pistons coming into play, but the mechanic insists he's seen it....)

    As for the "little guy", I think he gave you the business--if you provided him with an "authorized" checklist of items you expected to be replaced, and he shined on the idler pulley, it seems to me he's at least somewhat culpable.

    I think my next car's gonna have a timing chain....

  4. #4
    Sooper Dooper Moderator!
    Reputation: il sogno's Avatar
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    We are today getting ready to trade in my husband's Audi A4. It was never quite the automobile that we had hoped it would be. The engine check light has spent the last two years "on". We've spent a couple thousand $$ getting it "fixed" several times - by the dealership as well as with independant mechanics. The derned thing keeps coming back on. My husband says either we're gonna get rid of this Audi or he's gonna shoot it.

    I don't know about bye-bye to the little guy in general, but I would give Dave a big bye-bye. Sorry to hear about your timing belt.

  5. #5
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    Audi's dead to me. Great cars, but jeee-ZUZ!

    I love Audis, and the last three times I've bought cars I've driven them and researched them and then reluctantly decided on Mazdas and a Honda instead.. Same with VWs--almost every owner I know, at least half a dozen people, have had problems, and more often than not the dealers have refused to work with them even when repairs seemed to be covered by warranty.
    In one case a friend paid $1700 for some option package on a Passat, and the car came without it. The dealer didn't mention it, but after a week or so my friend noticed that the options weren't there. The dealer said he could install all the parts in the shop, so if the guy could leave the car for a day, he'd take care of it. They had it nine days, didn't do all the work and billed him for six hours of labor on top of it. Don't know yet how it's going to work out.

  6. #6
    Game on, b*tches!
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    Me too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cory
    I love Audis, and the last three times I've bought cars I've driven them and researched them and then reluctantly decided on Mazdas and a Honda instead.. Same with VWs--almost every owner I know, at least half a dozen people, have had problems, and more often than not the dealers have refused to work with them even when repairs seemed to be covered by warranty.
    In one case a friend paid $1700 for some option package on a Passat, and the car came without it. The dealer didn't mention it, but after a week or so my friend noticed that the options weren't there. The dealer said he could install all the parts in the shop, so if the guy could leave the car for a day, he'd take care of it. They had it nine days, didn't do all the work and billed him for six hours of labor on top of it. Don't know yet how it's going to work out.
    I've lusted after Audi's for years but have had the common sense not to buy one. VW's the same. Great cars to drive, terrible cars to own.
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  7. #7
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Same experiences

    I owned a '96 VW Jetta GLX. Bought it new, kept everything maintained as scheduled. Loved the way the door mouldings fell off on hot day (seems the double sided sided sticky tape they use at the factory wasn't the best idea). Also loved the way the battery exploded when I tried to start it one night.

    Love the way the VW's and Audi's look, but just too many problems (esp electrical).

  8. #8
    CarbonFrame
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    Unbelieveable track record!!

    My Audi was a 98 A4 w/ 2.8L V-6 and the Quatro awd. It was awesome in the snow!! I bought it after driving a 91 honda accord for 3 years. I replaced 1 cv joint and the muffler on the honda in 3 years. I thought I was moving up to affordible luxury when I bought the Audi and planned to give it to my daughter when she turned 16 (a nice safe car). I paid 13,000 for it and had a payment of 320.00 but over tho 2 years we owned it it averaged to be about 500.00 per month between the payment and repairs. I could have bought a new car for that price (or less). So thats what we did 3 days ago.
    Life is short...Enjoy the Ride!!

  9. #9
    Banned forever.....or not
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    Rule #193...Never buy a car with an "interference" engine. I prefer, that when the timing belt breaks, the engine just quits, and the car coast to a stop. Timing belt replacement still isn't cheap, and it's slightly beyond my ability to do myself, so I guess that I'll have to pay someone to do it at 75,000 miles.
    If your opinion differs from mine, ..........Too bad.
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  10. #10
    Drugs: Are Any Around?
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    My father is a auto mechanic, and he says, "There are two types of guys who work on cars: alcoholics and drug addicts." I suppose there are three, being that my dad fits in neither category, but still - a good mechanic is hard to find, especially for foreign cars (and also dependent on where you live.)

    The dealer's shop is there to rake in scads of money - but the thing is, if they screw it up, they have no lame-o excuse like Dave the Small Businessman. Not that their work is always better, but you do have better chance for recourse with the dealer.

  11. #11
    Roadie with unshaven legs
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    Quote Originally Posted by MR_GRUMPY
    Rule #193...Never buy a car with an "interference" engine. I prefer, that when the timing belt breaks, the engine just quits, and the car coast to a stop. Timing belt replacement still isn't cheap, and it's slightly beyond my ability to do myself, so I guess that I'll have to pay someone to do it at 75,000 miles.
    In this day and age you are almost exclusively speaking about a used car if you follow this rule.

    As for VW dealers being idiots, most are. From what I hear, in Europe, VW dealers are like you would expect them to be: kind, courteous, helpful, honest. Somehow that got lost in the translation when they crossed the pond.

    Knock on wood, my '98 Jetta TDI has been nearly flawless in the soon-to-be 8 years that I have owned it. I replaced the rear wheel bearings after about 110,000 miles, replaced one window regulator a long time ago, re-taped the mouldings with 3M double-stick tape, replaced the water pump (there was nothing wrong with the old one but the thermostat failed before and I did not put it back together right and was losing coolant but I mis-diagnosed it as a bad pump), replaced the thermostat, replaced one temp sensor, and replaced the first blown light bulb last month. 161,200 miles on it and I think it should be good for another 150K. I'll only replace it with another TDI if the time comes.

  12. #12
    All I wanted was a Pepsi!
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    Question for you car dudes

    My Pathfinder has a timing chain instead of a belt. When I was researching it the little brochure said it never needs replacement. Is that really true or sales marketing crap?
    "If you have the guts to be yourself, other people'll pay your price." - Rabbit Angstrom

  13. #13
    Martini time?
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    Quote Originally Posted by lemonlime
    My Pathfinder has a timing chain instead of a belt. When I was researching it the little brochure said it never needs replacement. Is that really true or sales marketing crap?
    Well, we had a 91 Sentra, it also had a timing chain. Our mechanic said that it did not need periodic replacing, but that when it broke it was new engine time. It was still going strong at 140,000 miles when we sold it. Now that was a good little car, although turning off the A/C was like hitting turbo boost.

  14. #14
    too fixed, too furious
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    sort of true....

    Quote Originally Posted by lemonlime
    My Pathfinder has a timing chain instead of a belt. When I was researching it the little brochure said it never needs replacement. Is that really true or sales marketing crap?
    if it is anything like toyotas with a timing chain, it is only true because it cost (according to the quotes i got on my truck) about the same to replace the chain as to replace the whole motor. you have to completely tear down the motor to swap the chain, and the shop said to just replace the motor since everything is worn anyway. that's probably what nissan is saying in a sneaky sort of way. runner' till she breaks, replace the motor.
    After defying the grip of the hangman’s noose
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  15. #15
    Arrogant roadie.....
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    Sounds like you have a legal claim against that mechanic. If your state limits small claims to $5k, go for that amount. If it's less, you'll need a lawyer and will have to go into regular court. either way, an idler pulley is part of a timing belt replacement, no matter what he says. He owes you an engine.

    Now, for those who don't know the difference, some engines are 'freewheelers', meaning, there is no piston/valve inerferenc, and some aren't. All diesels are, and a lot of DOHC motors are (but luckily not my Toyota). When a timing belt breaks (or, in the case of a couple car diesels, just jumps 2 slots). the piston hits the valve, bending the valvestem, and possibly more. Most timing belts last 70k to 100k, but if you have an interference motor, you'd better replace that belt when it's due, and do it at the dealer.

    BTW, cars with timing chains don't generally need this service.
    We are the 801
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  16. #16
    Beetpull DeLite
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    As nice as the A3 is, this thread is really making me re-think wanting to purchase one...the IS250 is looking nicer all the time.

  17. #17
    Banned forever.....or not
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    There are many, many new cars out there that have "freewheeling" engines. You just have to do your homework or ask the dealer.
    If your opinion differs from mine, ..........Too bad.
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  18. #18
    A Canadian in Sweden
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    I've never been a huge fan of Audi, though for no particular reason. In the case of the A4, it's just too small for two adults and two child seats. Plus, space for baggage and stuff is almost non-existent in that car. When we go to the mountains in the winter, we need a roof box anyway, which just wouldn't cut it on an A4.
    We have a Ford Mondeo wagon from 1997, now that is a great car. Plenty of space for a family of two plus two, with heaps of room in the back for prams, luggage, groceries, etc. Here's photo of the latest Mondeo (not sure what this is called in North America), our next car. For sure.
    Cheers, Wayne
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails My Audi A4 is down for the count!!-fordmondeo.jpg  
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  19. #19
    Beetpull DeLite
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    Quote Originally Posted by wayneanneli
    I've never been a huge fan of Audi, though for no particular reason. In the case of the A4, it's just too small for two adults and two child seats. Plus, space for baggage and stuff is almost non-existent in that car. When we go to the mountains in the winter, we need a roof box anyway, which just wouldn't cut it on an A4.
    We have a Ford Mondeo wagon from 1997, now that is a great car. Plenty of space for a family of two plus two, with heaps of room in the back for prams, luggage, groceries, etc. Here's photo of the latest Mondeo (not sure what this is called in North America), our next car. For sure.
    Cheers, Wayne
    The Mondeo was called the Ford Contour or Mercury Mystique here in NA, until they ceased production of it in 2000. The new Mondeo sounds similar to our new Fusion (way different than your Fusion), and it shares some interior parts, but it's built on a different platform.

    That looks nice. Why the hell doesn't Ford just bring that here, Estate and all? Hmph.

  20. #20
    A Canadian in Sweden
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    Quote Originally Posted by GirchyGirchy
    The Mondeo was called the Ford Contour or Mercury Mystique here in NA, until they ceased production of it in 2000. The new Mondeo sounds similar to our new Fusion (way different than your Fusion), and it shares some interior parts, but it's built on a different platform.

    That looks nice. Why the hell doesn't Ford just bring that here, Estate and all? Hmph.
    Hi Girchy,
    Been a while... From what I understand, the latest Mondeo received a new body around 2002/2003?, something like that. The interior space is larger than the Saab 9-5 wagon and is pretty comparable to the Volvo V70. The problem with the V70 is that it's not only bloody expensive brand new, but also used. The Mondeo just offers great value for the money, much more than the Saab or Volvo. I thought that I'd seen something similar to it back in Canada, but I just couldn't remember what it was (been a while since I lived there).
    Albert (5 years old) to Uncle Peter (family friend): "Why don't we play another card game, something you can win at."

  21. #21
    off the back
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    busted two timing belts on my old VW GTI 16V. the second was my fault, as i just drove it too long without replacing the belt due to shortage of funds, but the first one broke at around 40,000 miles. second year of VW's 16V engines, and they obviously stressed the timing belt more than VW engineers expected. cost me a crapload of money.

    love the way VW's drive, but they just cost too much to keep running. my next new car will be a mazda 3.
    Eff the King's Guard. Eff the city. Eff the King.

  22. #22
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by twrecks
    Well, we had a 91 Sentra, it also had a timing chain. Our mechanic said that it did not need periodic replacing, but that when it broke it was new engine time. It was still going strong at 140,000 miles when we sold it. Now that was a good little car, although turning off the A/C was like hitting turbo boost.

    What do you mean like?? I have a '92 NX2000 and I was almost sure that turning off the A/C was how the turbo got its power
    Tyler, you are by far the most interesting single-serving friend I have ever met.

  23. #23
    AYHCSMB etc.
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    Quote Originally Posted by handsomerob
    What do you mean like?? I have a '92 NX2000 and I was almost sure that turning off the A/C was how the turbo got its power
    i canceled my date tonite because i decided to sleep in 'til 4.

    get off yer ass and come pick me up. let's go get copious beers.
    One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got into my pajamas I'll never know.

  24. #24
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    IS250 is a joke too

    Quote Originally Posted by GirchyGirchy
    As nice as the A3 is, this thread is really making me re-think wanting to purchase one...the IS250 is looking nicer all the time.
    I looked at the IS 250 recently. I currently own the Acura TL. I was interested in the Lex 250 since it has the option of AWD. The 250 is only 200hp - which, btw, is only about 3 more hp than the new Civic SI ). I drove the 250 and it's a dog - which is also ridiculously expensive (0-60 takes 8.3 seconds - not a stat that they'll brag about when you're at the dealer). The TL with Navi, full leather, sunroof, and XM is out the door at $35k. The 250 AWD will set you back about $42k or so comparably spec'd out. Since it doesn't come standard like on the TL, I asked how much the XM radio was on the 250 - the dealer said with a straight face "$650." That was when I immediately ended the test drive and headed back to the dealer. Nice car, but WAY overpriced. IMO.

  25. #25
    Beetpull DeLite
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    Quote Originally Posted by newridr
    I looked at the IS 250 recently. I currently own the Acura TL. I was interested in the Lex 250 since it has the option of AWD. The 250 is only 200hp - which, btw, is only about 3 more hp than the new Civic SI ). I drove the 250 and it's a dog - which is also ridiculously expensive (0-60 takes 8.3 seconds - not a stat that they'll brag about when you're at the dealer). The TL with Navi, full leather, sunroof, and XM is out the door at $35k. The 250 AWD will set you back about $42k or so comparably spec'd out. Since it doesn't come standard like on the TL, I asked how much the XM radio was on the 250 - the dealer said with a straight face "$650." That was when I immediately ended the test drive and headed back to the dealer. Nice car, but WAY overpriced. IMO.
    Yeah, that's what I've been thinking, too. The IS350 if hella fast, but also way more expensive. One of the reasons I liked the A3 was because it was fast, and the IS sure isn't. But it's economical and nice - just expensive. If I went with that, I'd just get a BMW 325i.

    I'll probably just end up with a Nissan Altima...cheap, efficient, and the most comfortable car I've ever driven.

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