The Trouble with used Audis


Bought a 2000 Audi A6 Quattro Twin Turbo last december. 62K on the odo. Ran into a German engineer a few months later and mentioned this purchase to him. He shook his head and said “Wait til you hit 75K miles. An avalanche of problems will appear.”

I discounted his comments and went along merrily enjoying my first German car. Until, that is, I hit 72K That’s when things began to go wrong, like oxygen sensor replacement and a litany of other stuff totaling over $5,000. My last car was a 1987 Toyota Cressida bought new and driven for 225K mostly trouble-free miles.

An Audi mechanic in Sunnyvale, Ca. confided that Audi’s, BMW’s and Mercedes began to have problems at that mileage point and that it’s just the price you pay for such driving enjoyment.

I’d like to hear what other luxury German car owners have to say on this. Admittedly, I am the second owner. But the original owner was a Jewish doctor. No disrespect here, but you know how they are. Was this maybe the problem? Was this Hebrew sawbones taking it out on the Germans by thrashing the car before selling it?

By the way, I’m Jewish and not self-loathing. Never owned a German car til this one came along. But all that hype I’ve been hearing about great German automotive engineering - like DUH! Where’s the beef???

P.S. Thought I stole this car for a mere $10.5K No free lunch here, obviously.


The Audi A6 is likely to be a below average reliability car coupled to pricier repair costs. There is no magic mileage point but in general they give many owners grief.

Lexus which is the mostly the equivalent of Audi, BMW, MB are reliable and also made by Toyota. A nice Lexus used GS400 will retain most of the driving pleasure with better than average repair record.


Well, apparently you did not perform your “due diligence” prior to purchase, because if you had done so, you would have discovered that Audis are:

*Much more prone to having problems (mostly electronic, but also mechanical) than most other makes
*Very expensive to repair

Not a good combination, IMHO!

And, apparently the previous owner also did not do his due diligence–which, incidentally, has nothing to do with either ethnicity or religion.


Whether the car is a problem child depends on exactly what your problems were. Care to list those problems and maybe we can decipher if those are legitimate lousy car complaints or owner inflicted ones?
People often post on here and consider tires, brakes, belts, and maintenance issues to be car faults.

If the German engineer would say this, then the appropriate response should be; “You and your Teutonic friends are behind the engineering, so why should I listen to as incompetent engineer”.

Believe it or not, many cars like this, including Vettes, SAAB Turbos, etc. DO get thrashed by the original owners, although the original owners will never believe they are doing anything wrong to that car at all.
Beat on it for a number of years, trade it in on the next beatee, and the next owner may get stuck with the first owner’s thrashing habits


I’m not a luxury German car owner, because I know better. Your experience is typical. These cars are beautiful, luxurious, etc., but they are VERY expensive to maintain, especially as the mileage increases. Euro-cars are GREAT, if you lease one brand new and turn it in before the warranty period expires. Otherwise, they are more trouble than they are worth.

Have you replaced the front suspension ball joints yet? If not, get ready.


I think ok4450 is right about cars taking a beating. Regardless of whether you’re buying a sports car or a “sports luxury” car, you’re buying car that entices people to jump off the line and spin 'er for all she’s worth.


In reading the Consumer Reports April 2007 issue, it’s interesting to see that some cars with a poor reliability record have an average or even above average owner satisfaction rating. On the other hand, some cars with a very good reliability record are rated at below average in owner satisfaction.

I thnk that one really needs to consider what is important in owning an automobile. If good handling, a sports car feel is important, or the prestige of a particular car is a necessity, then buy what you want and realize that certain things may need to be repaired. On the other hand, if low upkeep costs are the most important attribute along with reliability, then a Toyota Corolla may be the best choice.

If Studebaker would come back into existence and offer the equivalent of the 1957-58 Scotsman, I would buy one in a flash. When I read this bulletin board and note problems that people are having, these would be avoided with the Studebaker Scotsman. This car had a recirculating heater, so there were no blend doors to go bad. There was no multi-function turning signal switch to go bad. In fact, the wiring was very simple. There were no door switches to turn on the dome light. One didn’t have to worry about the armrests coming off the doors because there were no armrests. In fact, I’ll bet the head gasket, if it ever had to be changed, could be done in less than an hour on this flat head engine.

On the other hand, not very many people liked this car (I think I am the exception). The point is that if you enjoy driving the Audi, don’t let the possibility of repairs spoil your pleasure.


Ownership satisfaction and reliability are not the same. Every man who was married to Elizabeth Taylor said he was happy, but she was the Jaguar or Audi equivalent of partners. A friend of mine, an engineer, owned a V12 Jaguar sedan for a number of years. He had previously owned Cadillacs, and other US luxury cars. He still calls the Jag the “Paris Hilton” of cars (high maintenance, unstable behavior), and would never buy a refrigerator with that low a reliability. A friend of my son who owns a Subaru WRX and enters rallies, calls my Toyota a “boring” car. I understand where he is coming from.

OP unfortunately was spoiled by one of the best cars Toyota ever built. To go from a Cressida to an Audi is like moving from Iowa to Pakistan.


“To go from a Cressida to an Audi is like moving from Iowa to Pakistan.”

Now that is one of the best lines that I have heard in a long time!

And, it is true. Personally, I would opt for boring old Iowa, but some yearn for the “excitement” of Pakistan. To each his own, I guess. However, it is sad when someone doesn’t research the repair history of a make and model of a car prior to buying it, and winds up with some “excitement” that he hadn’t anticipated.


Up to this point I have not heard two things.

  1. The OP has not spelled out what problems they have suffered with this car.
  2. The number of people who have actually owned an Audi Quattro.


“To go from a Cressida to an Audi is like moving from Iowa to Pakistan.”

LOL, that is a good line. However, having spent a few weeks working in Iowa earlier this year, I might be willing to give Pakistan a try next time. I think there are some folks in the world who would rather be bored than scared, I do feel sorry for them. BTW, my benz turned over 411K miles today (I am a little annoyed that my headlight burned out today). (-;