Thinkkker SuperDork
11/1/11 12:03 p.m.

So, getting a 10-12 year old A8 all in all seems like a good idea. At least from a GRM point of view. Does anyone have experience with the huge AWD beast from Audi?

In initial look throughs, its make sure the timing belt is up to date, the CV's are not dead, and the trans is quiet. Anyone have any ideas or knowledge with these?

belteshazzar SuperDork
11/1/11 12:23 p.m.
Thinkkker wrote: So, getting a 10-12 year old A8 all in all seems like a good idea.


Javelin SuperDork
11/1/11 12:26 p.m.

That's a good idea like wearing shoes with nails in them is a good idea...

turboswede SuperDork
11/1/11 12:28 p.m.

The motor is very nice, in another chassis. In that pile of check engine lights and overly complex electronics? Eh, I'll pass unless it is nearly free and I'm parting it out.

SyntheticBlinkerFluid Dork
11/1/11 12:30 p.m.

The only problem with the A8 is like any large German sedan. It has the companies top of the line electronics and that is going to be an issue.

Also, if anything breaks, the parts are a fortune.

z31maniac SuperDork
11/1/11 12:35 p.m.

You knew the answer to this question before you posted it.

So I'll go ahead and say, "Yeah go for it!"

It won't be cussing profusely at the salvage iron in the garage.

BoxheadTim SuperDork
11/1/11 12:40 p.m.

I've owned one.

The gearbox can be very problematic and thus expensive - avoid unless the PO can prove that the fluid has been changed regularly (it's a "sealed for life" box). Timing belt is also a major expense (you pretty much have to dismantle the car to get at it) and the waterpump should have been replaced at the same time. The one in mine hadn't and failed within a 1000 miles of the timing belt change. Oh, and for body repairs you pretty much have to go to an Audi-approved shop to insure they're doing it right and don't accidentally use materials that can introduce corrosion.

Didn't have any electronics problems with mine, but it wasn't fully loaded so it was missing some of the bits that tend to go wrong.

A good one drives well and they can hustle along at an impressive rate of knots.

pinchvalve SuperDork
11/1/11 12:41 p.m.

The Audi V8 however, is a different. This is the precursor to the A8 and was basically a 100 sedan with a V8. The front rotors are some odd design, but are often replaced but Porsche units. Once you find a car with that done, all you have to worry about are the electronics, motor, transmission and body panels.

wclark New Reader
11/1/11 1:30 p.m.

In reply to Thinkkker:

We owned a D2 S8 from 2002 until a year ago. We took great care of it, including changing the tranny fluid to avoid problems, despite AoA insisting it was not necessary (it is - ask ZF the maker if it).

Our experience (the stuff below is the same regardless of whether it is an A8 or S8):

1) Parts that you would never think about failing - do...regularly.

2) Parts are all expensive. Some are stupid expensive and not available anywhere except new from the dealer.

3) A lot of repairs are remarkably time consuming and involve all sorts of special VW/Audi tools or a mechanic who is extremely experienced with these cars.

We spent about $1500 every other month for repairs in the last year or so we owned it.

PS. We also own a 2001 A4. Have since it was new. This one has been relatively problem free for us, though the things that have gone, by and large, have not been cheap...on separate occasions the ABS controller failed (rebuilt) and the ABS pump began leaking (not repairable - but available from the recycle yards).

PPS. VCDS (a.k.a. Vag-Com) is a must for a VW/Audi owner who does not want to become a weekly visitor with the local VAG garage or independent specialist.

BoxheadTim SuperDork
11/2/11 11:32 a.m.

In reply to pinchvalve:

Don't forget that Audi seems to have replaced the parts catalogue for the V8 with a single sheet saying "NLA". There was a buyers guide in a German classic car magazine a few years back and they pointed out that you'd probably need a parts car just to keep one alive and hope that it hasn't the same parts broken on it. Compared to BMW and Mercedes, parts supply for older Audis isn't that great in general and I think this is one of the models that's extremely hard to find NOS parts for.

jrw1621 SuperDork
11/2/11 11:39 a.m.
BoxheadTim wrote: Oh, and for body repairs you pretty much have to go to an Audi-approved shop to insure they're doing it right and don't accidentally use materials that can introduce corrosion.

I seem to remember that when these were new Insurance rates were very high due to this need of a specialty shop to handle the aluminum frame. You may want to shop insurance rates before buying.

If I had my eye on a big, unique highway cruiser at bargain prices I would be looking at an Infiniti Q45.

Travis_K SuperDork
11/2/11 1:10 p.m.

Yeah, A8 transmissions dont last long and are $$$ to fix. Unless you are planning to put tons of money into it i wouldnt do it.

93EXCivic SuperDork
11/2/11 1:27 p.m.

I would personally take all my money put in on the driveway and burn it. It will be cheaper in the long run.

RossD SuperDork
11/2/11 8:29 p.m.

When I had my 9 year old A6, i figured it would have been cheaper and spend less in the shop if i swapped in a MN12 tbird drivetrain into it.

A 04-06 GTO would be a better drivetrain donor, though.

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