RexSeven
RexSeven SuperDork
8/22/11 4:55 p.m.

That's Babelfish-mangled German for "Can you teach me about the 2001 Audi A6?"

My sister is shopping for a car (still). While most of her choices are typical Japanese econoboxes, at one dealership she also test-drove a loaded 2001 Audi A6 2.7L twin turbo. She fell in love with it immediately, even though the gas mileage isn't great and the reviews she read are all love-hate: "I love how this car drives, but I hate how often/how expensive it is to fix things!" I know little about Audis of the era except they probably have typical early-2000 VW build "quality."

My sister knows better, but she's really torn about this. She likened the Audi to a boyfriend who seems really awesome at first, but will leave her stranded on a date sometimes and go see some skank behind her back. She's not even considering other luxury brands (I've suggested BMW, Acura, Infiniti, and Lexus as alternatives). How bad of an idea would it be for her to buy this car? Also, is the N/A 2.8L any better or worse in terms of reliability?

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 Dork
8/22/11 5:11 p.m.

Wow. My wife bought that exact car, new, right before we got married. It was phenomenal. The 2.7T is the engine for that car. Gas mileage in the low to mid 20's, nice performance, beautiful interior, wonderful comfort. We had 100,000 trouble-free miles. Then it started to cost money with the timing belt, and some driveline leaks. Turbo's were the last straw. Make sure the turbos have been replaced!

Javelin
Javelin SuperDork
8/22/11 5:34 p.m.

Lauf um dein Leben!!!

02Pilot
02Pilot Reader
8/22/11 5:35 p.m.

My father has the VAG 2.8 in his 2005 Passat. It's been only OK reliability-wise (it ate an alternator, a coolant temp sensor, cats, and maybe something else I can't remember over 75k or so miles) but it is a miserable engine. Lousy power, industrial noises, miserable fuel economy. Avoid.

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 Dork
8/22/11 6:06 p.m.
02Pilot wrote: My father has the VAG 2.8 in his 2005 Passat. It's been only OK reliability-wise (it ate an alternator, a coolant temp sensor, cats, and maybe something else I can't remember over 75k or so miles) but it is a miserable engine. Lousy power, industrial noises, miserable fuel economy. Avoid.

That may be true of the 2.8, but the 2.7 T is a masterpiece. I can't sing the praises of this car enough, but honestly, with over 100,000 miles and 10 years later, it's best miles may very well be in its past. Buy it only if you can verify that all maintenance has been performed. The timing belt is an expensive proposition. If the turbos are original, they won't likely go for more than 100k. Make sure the driveline isn't leaking and that there aren't any funny noises. The car is sublime if everything is right.

RexSeven
RexSeven SuperDork
8/22/11 6:17 p.m.
1988RedT2 wrote: That may be true of the 2.8, but the 2.7 T is a masterpiece. I can't sing the praises of this car enough, but honestly, with over 100,000 miles and 10 years later, it's best miles may very well be in its past. Buy it only if you can verify that all maintenance has been performed. The timing belt is an expensive proposition. If the turbos are original, they won't likely go for more than 100k. Make sure the driveline isn't leaking and that there aren't any funny noises. The car is sublime if everything is right.

I'm 99.9% sure the Audi has over 100k miles on it. The car did need a valve cover gasket replacement- my sister and father (who drove her to the dealerships) were told this upfront, and Dad actually saw the gasket get delivered and the car in the service bay the next day.

I might go have a look at it myself and play devil's advocate. I will make sure to ask for maintenance records and have a look at. My stance is that if Sis REALLY wants the Audi, she should buy it, but she has to know what she is getting into and be willing to accept the risks. Audi is one of those "you can buy it, but you might not be able to afford it" kind of cars.

NGTD
NGTD Dork
8/22/11 7:45 p.m.

Runen zee assun dee udder vay!

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 Dork
8/22/11 8:56 p.m.

On further reflection, the engine was a pretty persistent leaker. It's not just the valve cover gaskets, but also the cam tensioner seals. The first time the dealer did the repair under warranty, the second time was under the extended warranty my wife bought when she bought the car. You'll want to get under the car and check for gear oil leaking from the center diff. Check the tranny for leaks also.

Don't discount the turbos. That was the end for us. It wasn't the $3500 or so for the parts, it was the fact that you simply cannot replace the turbos without pulling the front of the car off and removing the engine. I've got to believe it's like a 6 or 7 thousand dollar job at the dealer.

RexSeven
RexSeven SuperDork
8/23/11 12:54 a.m.

$6000? Yikes!

She decided against the Audi anyways. Thanks for the warnings!

92CelicaHalfTrac
92CelicaHalfTrac SuperDork
8/23/11 5:42 a.m.

I will have one of the Audi 2.7TT cars at some point in my life. I will use the turbo failure as an excuse to put some big suckers on there. And then laugh all the way to 450+awhp.

Basil Exposition
Basil Exposition Reader
8/23/11 8:39 a.m.

Der Audi A6 gehört zu den Bestsellern der oberen Mittelklasse. Den Ingolstädter gibt es als Limousine, Avant (Kombi) oder allroad. Besonders beliebt ist der A6 als 2.7 TDI. Von Gebrauchtwagen mit Tuning sollte man aber die Finger lassen. Optional gibt es das Luftfedersystem "adaptive air suspension". Oder den ab dem A4 verfügbaren Spurhalte-Assistenten "Lane Assist". Beim Überholen überwacht der "Side Assist" den toten Winkel.

Fragen?

RossD
RossD SuperDork
8/23/11 11:01 a.m.

I had '00 A6 2.7 BiTurbo Quattro with the 6 speed manual. It was a blast! But all the little things that were breaking or non-functioning were taking their tolls. The whole front suspension was going to need replacement and I had fears that the turbos weren't far from needing replacement. Of course, it just a gut feeling and nothing more than fears. But it was enough to spend my year or two with it and send it packing. I did however have enough sense to buy the car from an indy shop that did VAG products and the timing chain at 120k miles (or when ever) was just completed.

The thing that sucks is all the little weak points that the performance biturbo guys tell you to address before getting the computer reprogrammed, were completed on that car.

The thing also has a plastic secondary electric water pump in the valley of the engine near the fire wall. It supplies cooling for the turbos and if there is a coolant leak, it could be that little pump. You have to remove the whole intake/fuel delivery to get to it.

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 Dork
8/23/11 2:26 p.m.
RossD wrote: The thing also has a plastic secondary electric water pump in the valley of the engine near the fire wall. It supplies cooling for the turbos and if there is a coolant leak, it could be that little pump. You have to remove the whole intake/fuel delivery to get to it.

Yup. That was also done on my wife's car under warranty. The car was fantastic, but only because it was brand new and had a warranty. I'd steer clear of a used one. Either way, it's not a cheap car to own.

docwyte
docwyte Reader
8/23/11 4:47 p.m.

I've had two S4 with the 2.7T motor and I'm about to buy an allroad with that motor. The motor is very stout and the turbos on the A6/allroads last a lot longer than on the S4.

There's a lot more air space around the motor in the A6 chassis and the turbos don't seem to bake the way they do on the S4. That being said, replacing the turbos means pulling the motor and a shop will generally charge $2000 just in labor for this job.

While the motor is out is a great time to do the valve cover gaskets, cam seals, EGT sensors and O2 sensors, plus timing belt/water pump, etc.

Buying one of these used means making SURE the maintenance has been done and the car has been inspected by a good Audi shop before handing over money, otherwise you're in for a very expensive ride.

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