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    1. Member Kzoo's Avatar
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      16' S3, 12' Q5
      05-09-2018 03:34 PM #1


      I picked up and 03' A4 Avant on April 28th. I recently purchased a 16' S3 and decided I didn't want to put a ton of miles on it. So I decided to look for a commuter car. I wanted something in relatively good condition that had been properly maintained and had AWD. I wanted a wagon but didn't think that I'd find one. Then this popped up on craigslist. I went to see it as soon as I could. Pressed for time, I gave it a quick once over and took it for a quick drive. Told them that I'd be back if my research panned out. 2 days later: I returned and looked over it a bit more thoroughly and took it for a much longer drive. Everything seems good at the time. Came to terms that I was comfortable with and drove it home. I bought the car with 160k well cared for miles on it. The maintenance history of the car shows that it went in for regular maintenance every 5-10k miles since it was new. So there "shouldn't" be any major issues with the car. *fingers crossed* The car is missing a couple interior pieces that I can no longer order though. Nothing that affects the function of the car, just parts that 'I' have to have and will have to keep my eyes out for in Platinum. Though this won't be a show car, I still have to have everything the way it was from the factory. I'm weird like that. Overall though, the car is in amazing condition! I have an appointment with a local shop that I trust to go over the car and find out if there are any issues that I may have missed. The car is 15 years old, I'm sure I missed something.

      The car's original window sticker is long gone. I contacted Audi of America and got the cars original options and information from them.

      The cars options are as follows:

      Model: A4 Avant Quattro 1.8t
      Build date: 11-21-2002
      Exterior color: Atlas Gray Metallic
      Interior color: Platinum

      Option packages:

      Premium Package
      -Homelink remote transmitter
      -12-Way Power Driver's Seat including 4-Way Power Lumbar adjustment
      -Power glass sunroof with slide-and-tilt functions and pinch protection
      -Leather seating surfaces

      Sport Package
      -Sport suspension
      -17 inch, 6 spoke (Avant) cast alloy wheels with 235/45/R17 performance tires

      Individual options:
      Xenon Headlights with automatic self-leveling
      Bose 215-watt premium sound system with Audio Pilot noise cancellation feature

















      I spent the first week clay baring each panel, then I used Meguiars Ultimate Compound to bring back the original luster of the paint followed by Ultimate Polish and finished with Ultimate Wax. These picture honestly do not do the car justice. It looks truly amazing in person.
      Everyone that I know laughed at me for buying a "wagon". But as they've seen it, one by one have responded with something to the effect of "Oh I'd drive that every day! I wouldn't even be embarrassed." So. I'll call this purchase a win.
      Last edited by Kzoo; 07-26-2018 at 06:16 PM.
      R32 #920 (Sold), Jetta TDI Cup Car (Sold), R32 #4113 (Sold), A4 Avant (Sold)

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    3. Member Kzoo's Avatar
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      16' S3, 12' Q5
      05-09-2018 03:42 PM #2
      When I got the car home and had a better chance to go over it I discovered some things that I was missing or things that needed to be replaced.

      Things I needed:
      1) a complete owners manual set. I found one on ebay for $23.
      2) a jack. That was missing for some reason. I found one at a local parts yard for $40
      3) a new rear plate holder. The one on the car was completely stripped out and I had no way of putting a new plate on the car. I got a new one from the same parts yard for $40 as well. It seemed a bit steep until I contacted Audi for a price. YIKES! Suddenly $40 wasn't so hard to swallow.
      4) a new light switch for the headlights. It looked like crap (soft touch issues) and no longer worked.
      5) new window switches for all doors. They work find but they look like crap (again, soft touch issues) I found the headlight switch and all window switches in a bundle for $33 on ebay.
      6) The passenger side hinge on the glove box is broken. Common issue, however I've not found a "fix" for it as of yet.
      7) Rear drivers side compartment cover with the netting on it. No idea where I'll find that.
      8) Hazard triangle- fixture- door. All are missing from the hatch. Again, no idea...
      Last edited by Kzoo; 07-26-2018 at 06:01 PM.
      R32 #920 (Sold), Jetta TDI Cup Car (Sold), R32 #4113 (Sold), A4 Avant (Sold)

    4. Member Kzoo's Avatar
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      05-29-2018 09:41 AM #3
      Yesterday was a bad day for the car! There has been 90+degree heat here in western Michigan for the past couple days. Yesterday I got in the car to take it for an evening drive and to my disbelief and utter dismay, the headliner in the rear of the car had completely failed and is now sagging.
      There were absolutely NO signs of impending failure prior to this. None.
      I don't know what to do. This is going to make selling this car even harder! Car is posted locally on CL
      R32 #920 (Sold), Jetta TDI Cup Car (Sold), R32 #4113 (Sold), A4 Avant (Sold)

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    6. 05-29-2018 12:09 PM #4
      Quote Originally Posted by Kzoo View Post
      Yesterday was a bad day for the car! There has been 90+degree heat here in western Michigan for the past couple days. Yesterday I got in the car to take it for an evening drive and to my disbelief and utter dismay, the headliner in the rear of the car had completely failed and is now sagging.
      There were absolutely NO signs of impending failure prior to this. None.
      I don't know what to do. This is going to make selling this car even harder! Car is posted locally on CL
      Sagging headliner is typical on these cars. So, you've had the car for a month, and you're already throwing in the towel? What did you think you were getting into with a 15 year old 160K mile Audi?
      So far it's all minor problems you've described. Wait until the coolant flange starts to leak... There's a fun little project.
      GLWS

    7. Member Kzoo's Avatar
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      05-29-2018 12:21 PM #5
      Quote Originally Posted by cbarz View Post
      So, you've had the car for a month, and you're already throwing in the towel?
      Yup.

      I put way too much money into my last car (08' R32) to keep it looking and functioning as new. After a year and half of ownership and roughly $9k, I called it quits and sold it.
      If I start spending money on this, who knows where I'll stop.
      R32 #920 (Sold), Jetta TDI Cup Car (Sold), R32 #4113 (Sold), A4 Avant (Sold)

    8. Member Kzoo's Avatar
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      07-21-2018 09:11 PM #6
      I had the car for sale for a short time. While it was for sale I was looking for another one. I quickly realized that I wasn't going to find another Avant in this condition. So I took it down and started to get the issues fixed. I dropped it off at the Flying Dog Garage for the transmission issue. Under further investigation they found that the car did not have a leak. There was just an absolute mess of tranny fluid under the car from a recent repair prior to me purchasing it. They cleaned the entire under side of the car, checked the fluid level and assured me that everything checked out. Which was great news!!

      Other things that I've done:
      Recharged the A/C - it was a little weak
      changed the cabin air filter - looked as though it hadn't been changed in years!
      Replaced all the window switches. A fairly easy job that I'd been putting off because I thought it would be more difficult
      Finally (just today) got around to ordering the kit to repair the broken hinge on the glove box


      Also, the window wipers got awfully slow last week. Did a little research and found that it is a common issue. I took everything apart and greased the sh!t out of the joints. They work fine again! If it happens again though, I'll just order a new part and replace the whole damn thing.


      I still haven't been able to find the interior bits that I'm missing...
      If anyone has a lead on them, please let me know!!
      Last edited by Kzoo; 07-26-2018 at 06:05 PM.
      R32 #920 (Sold), Jetta TDI Cup Car (Sold), R32 #4113 (Sold), A4 Avant (Sold)

    9. Member Kzoo's Avatar
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      07-26-2018 12:55 PM #7
      Mileage: 164,992


      Today :

      the glove box has been fixed. It took me 2 tries to get it just right.

      A new sending unit was put in for the temp gauge. The needle started doing whatever it wanted. Now it reads right all the time.

      At this very moment...everything is working as it should!



      I still need to order a new down pipe and resonator. Both have some rust issues. Maybe I'll get around to that today...maybe.
      Last edited by Kzoo; 07-26-2018 at 06:03 PM.
      R32 #920 (Sold), Jetta TDI Cup Car (Sold), R32 #4113 (Sold), A4 Avant (Sold)

    10. Member Kzoo's Avatar
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      07-29-2018 06:52 PM #8
      Today, after pestering a very kind gentleman for the past few days I was able to acquire the missing pieces and panels from the rear storage/hatch area...all of them!


      I found a 3.0 avant locally on CL that had been in a front end collision. The gentleman insisted that he didn't want to part out the car, just sell as one unit for $500. I didn't need the whole car though. So I gave him my best sales pitch to sell me the parts before selling the whole car to a scrapper. He caved and I was able to get everything that I was missing plus the rear cargo net. I'll never use that but now I've got it.

      The scrapper who ended up purchasing the car was a super cool jamaican fellow that agreed to sell me the pristine headliner as soon as he is able to get it out. Probably Tuesday.
      I can't call the headliner a win just yet though since I don't have it in my possession. Time will tell. Hopefully they don't mess it up when they take it out!


      Things acquired today:

      1) Rear storage door w/netting. I understand why this is always missing, it doesn't fit quite right and always falls open.


      2) rear cargo net


      3) Bracket to hold the warning triangle case


      4) warning triangle w/case


      5) door that covers warning triangle


      I got all of this, in Platinum(!), for $100.
      That's a win!

      I still have to wait and find out if the headliner ends up being a win though
      Last edited by Kzoo; 08-06-2018 at 02:51 PM. Reason: Add pictures
      R32 #920 (Sold), Jetta TDI Cup Car (Sold), R32 #4113 (Sold), A4 Avant (Sold)

    11. Member Autofahrer's Avatar
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      08-01-2018 10:07 AM #9
      Nice Avant and bringing it back to being a nice car! I planned on buying a very similar car but i wasn't quick enough to buy it. Have you had issues with a super loose interior door handle?

    12. Member Kzoo's Avatar
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      08-01-2018 12:32 PM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by Autofahrer View Post
      Nice Avant and bringing it back to being a nice car! I planned on buying a very similar car but i wasn't quick enough to buy it. Have you had issues with a super loose interior door handle?
      Nope, mine are nice and tight!

      You've gotta be quick when you find an Avant in this condition. Knowing that, as soon as I found this one on CL, I got in the car and drove to see it.
      The only issue I have left to resolve is the headliner. Other than that, she's tip top!
      R32 #920 (Sold), Jetta TDI Cup Car (Sold), R32 #4113 (Sold), A4 Avant (Sold)

    13. Member Kzoo's Avatar
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      08-02-2018 03:19 PM #11
      Mileage: 165,395


      For the past few days the car has had some weird electrical gremlins that I really didn't think too much of. The sunroof not wanting to open or just shutting itself. The window auto up and down features working intermittently. Yesterday I had to try to start the car twice before it fired right up. Today, I stopped for lunch and when I got back to the car, it wouldn't start at all. I phoned a friend, got a jump and off to autozone I went.

      New battery- $160.

      Now all of the gremlins are gone. I'd forgotten just how wonky these cars can get when the battery is failing.
      Not how I wanted to spend my morning/early afternoon but these things do happen.



      Later in the day the scrapper called me and said to come get whatever I wanted off of the car. Unfortunately I was unable to find a DIY on how to get the headliner out of a Avant w/sunroof. All was not lost though. I managed to get some other odds and ends that I'd forgotten about the first time around.

      1)small caps and panel plugs that I was missing

      I don't even know what this plug is for...but it was missing.


      I was missing this little guy on both sides

      2) an unopened first aid kit


      3) the upper console controls (I didn't need these, but I took them anyway)


      4) the lower rear hatch trim w/aluminum trim on it (mine no longer had the spring loaded door on it)


      The scrapper charged me $20 for all of it.
      Last edited by Kzoo; 08-06-2018 at 02:59 PM. Reason: Add pictures
      R32 #920 (Sold), Jetta TDI Cup Car (Sold), R32 #4113 (Sold), A4 Avant (Sold)

    14. Member Kzoo's Avatar
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      08-22-2018 10:28 AM #12
      I thought the voltage issues had been handled by putting in a new battery... It seemed to right up until the moment the car shut off while I was doing 70mph on the highway. I was stranded on the side of I-94 for roughly 15 minutes until the car suddenly decided it wanted to start again. Once I made it back home, off to the Flying Dog it went! Turns out it was just a loose bolt on the starter causing voltage issues which heated up the starter resulting in it shutting down. Once the starter cooled back down, the car would start and run again. They tightened the bolt, retested everything and no more voltage issue!

      Also while it was there I had them address the wiper issue since they slowed way down again. They put in new linkage and spindles. Wipers now work like new!

      The sunroof has also been acting wonky since the time of the initial battery issue. They checked that out and said that I needed a new switch (or dial, whatever you want to call it). I just happen to have one sitting around in the upper console that I took from the salvage car that I didn't even need at the time. So I told them that I'd handle swapping that out myself. Now I just have to hope that the one the I have isn't old and tired as well. *fingers crossed*

      This trip to the shop cost me $373.85
      I can't imagine what Audi would have charged to diagnose and fix these small issues.



      Update:

      Got the sunroof dial swapped out. It works fine now. The sunroof was moving a bit slow so I took it to Audi to have them grease it up. It now functions properly.
      Last edited by Kzoo; 08-22-2018 at 03:18 PM. Reason: Update
      R32 #920 (Sold), Jetta TDI Cup Car (Sold), R32 #4113 (Sold), A4 Avant (Sold)

    15. Member Kzoo's Avatar
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      09-06-2018 12:17 AM #13
      I went full fish bowl today.

      The tint that was on the car when I got it was obviously old, damaged and in some areas cloudy and difficult to see through if the light hit it just right. It just didn't look good anymore.
      I prefer 20% (this was somewhere above 30%) so I was going to need to remove the tint anyway so I could have it darkened more to my liking. I finally got around to it today, using the 409/black plastic bag method. It worked like a charm. It was a bit time consuming but the end justified the means. So for now, the car is a fish bowl and anyone can see me. I'll likely procrastinate for another couple weeks before setting up an appointment to get the windows retinted in 20% ceramic this time. That should darken things down and give it a nice clean look.
      R32 #920 (Sold), Jetta TDI Cup Car (Sold), R32 #4113 (Sold), A4 Avant (Sold)

    16. Member Kzoo's Avatar
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      09-18-2018 01:14 PM #14
      This past Friday I had a friend over that was helping me sort out a choke issue on a 64' Cadillac. Afterwards we were standing around shooting the bull. We ended up standing at the rear of the Avant, which was in the shade at that time. While talking my friend we both began leaning on my car (which neither of us ever do). My friend was leaning on the rear window wiper, which after a minute or two he mentioned he "probably shouldn't be doing that" and then stopped leaning on it. Later that day, once the car was no longer in the shade, I walked outside and found the rear window completely shattered. The pattern originated from the rear wiper...



      Safelite was supposed to replace the glass on Monday. However, they seem to be having a hard time finding the glass. I told them to get OEM glass. They told me they'd let me know when the glass came in, though they never actually said it would be OEM. My friend has offered to pay the deductible.
      Sh!t happens, but this is annoying.
      R32 #920 (Sold), Jetta TDI Cup Car (Sold), R32 #4113 (Sold), A4 Avant (Sold)

    17. Member Kzoo's Avatar
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      09-26-2018 11:52 AM #15
      day #12 Still no rear window...
      R32 #920 (Sold), Jetta TDI Cup Car (Sold), R32 #4113 (Sold), A4 Avant (Sold)

    18. Member Kzoo's Avatar
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      09-28-2018 10:08 PM #16
      Finally got a new OEM window. All is well again.
      R32 #920 (Sold), Jetta TDI Cup Car (Sold), R32 #4113 (Sold), A4 Avant (Sold)

    19. Member Kzoo's Avatar
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      10-02-2018 03:38 PM #17
      AAAAAAnd the very next night, the hatch won't stay shut/latch. Apparently the latch decided to give up...

      $243 later (just for the part)...it's fixed.

      I'm quickly getting annoyed.
      R32 #920 (Sold), Jetta TDI Cup Car (Sold), R32 #4113 (Sold), A4 Avant (Sold)

    20. 10-04-2018 09:13 AM #18
      That's a crappy few days!

      The rear latch thingy was likely just a failed actuator or the rod has been knocked out of position.
      My 2005 A4 B6 Avant has been a constant project, but that's because as enthusiasts, we fix stuff we notice unlike millions of cars around that "never had a problem".
      Keep it up!

    21. Member Kzoo's Avatar
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      10-04-2018 11:28 AM #19
      Quote Originally Posted by GTIfreak View Post
      That's a crappy few days!

      The rear latch thingy was likely just a failed actuator or the rod has been knocked out of position.
      It was a crappy few days. I replaced the part myself so I know that it was the latch mechanism itself that had failed. All other components related to it work perfectly.
      Hopefully I can get back to "trouble free" ownership for a while.
      R32 #920 (Sold), Jetta TDI Cup Car (Sold), R32 #4113 (Sold), A4 Avant (Sold)

    22. Member Kzoo's Avatar
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      11-09-2018 12:27 PM #20
      Mileage: 169,600

      New tensioner pulley- $34

      The old one hadn't completely failed (YET) but it was making quite a racket which made my car sound like a POS. Not cool.

      3 bolts and ten minutes later and all is well again.

      I also finally got around to ordering the new exhaust components. The leak in the flexpipe has finally gotten bad enough that I can no longer put off fixing it.
      That stuff should be here in a few days then the car will be nice and quiet again.
      R32 #920 (Sold), Jetta TDI Cup Car (Sold), R32 #4113 (Sold), A4 Avant (Sold)

    23. n00b
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      11-09-2018 06:08 PM #21
      My B6 around 160-170k miles needed a radiator as it was steaming from the ends, cracked the thermostat housing on the highway and dumped all my coolant (luckily I shut it off when I saw steam). I did the timing belt, water pump, thermostat, and tensioners at that time. Had a cam chain tensioner rattle/knock that required replacing that and the valve cover gasket. And then had clogged cat so bad the car wouldn't even boost and was slow as hell so I put a test pipe on it and new exhaust system. Shortly after that the coolant flange in the rear started leaking on a trip to Las Vegas but I bought a few gallons of distilled water and was able to check and add at every fuel stop. Replaced the flange with an OEM Audi piece that cost $30 at the dealership. Also had a turbo failure and blowing smoke around that mileage too so I put a used no shaft play K03 on it. Did most of the repairs myself and the car has been rock solid since. But around that mileage be ready to replace things. I'm at 195k right now and hoping not to have to do anything til the next timing belt job at 250k.

      I grew up close to Kalamazoo down on the lake in St. Joseph.
      Last edited by Long2757; 11-09-2018 at 06:12 PM.

    24. Member perdaniel's Avatar
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      11-10-2018 07:47 AM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by Kzoo View Post
      AAAAAAnd the very next night, the hatch won't stay shut/latch. Apparently the latch decided to give up...

      $243 later (just for the part)...it's fixed.

      I'm quickly getting annoyed.
      That was expensive. I had the same problem. I bought a 4B9 962 115 C off ebay for GBP17.77 (USD23.05). I haven't had the problem after I installed the new one.
      Quote Originally Posted by PDXGTI8V 2.0 View Post
      ugh, sorry, i like drivable cars

    25. Member thesharkman's Avatar
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      11-13-2018 09:02 PM #23
      hey kzoo,

      Dang, you bought an older car??? you could have just kept the .:R as a daily! Especially since you put so much work into that second one! I know, it's a SICKNESS...lol.

      shark -

    26. Member Kzoo's Avatar
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      11-13-2018 10:45 PM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by thesharkman View Post
      hey kzoo,

      Dang, you bought an older car??? you could have just kept the .:R as a daily! Especially since you put so much work into that second one! I know, it's a SICKNESS...lol.

      shark -
      Hey dude!

      Yeah, I'm a glutton for punishment. You know me!
      I just didn't want to put all the miles from my commute on the S3. I wanted a wagon and I like this body style. So here I am...
      This has become my daily driver. I rarely drive the S3. As you know, I tend to buy cars that need just a little bit of attention. It gives me something to do and keeps me engaged in the ownership. After all, I'm really just a steward of the cars that I own. Honestly I've grown bored with the S3, because it doesn't need anything. It's just, there. It's the first car I've ever regretted buying.
      I was actually reading my old blog on the R32 registry just today. God I should have kept that car!
      Last edited by Kzoo; 11-13-2018 at 11:05 PM.
      R32 #920 (Sold), Jetta TDI Cup Car (Sold), R32 #4113 (Sold), A4 Avant (Sold)

    27. Member Kzoo's Avatar
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      11-29-2018 02:53 PM #25
      Mileage: 169,900

      I finally got around to having a shop replace the exhaust with the parts that I had sourced. It's nice and quiet again.
      R32 #920 (Sold), Jetta TDI Cup Car (Sold), R32 #4113 (Sold), A4 Avant (Sold)

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