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Vent Your VAG Hatred Here!


abelw44
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Evening All,

 

Being a relative newcomer to the beige forum, I fancied a foray into a Project thread. However, as I previously established, the sentiment towards VAG products here can be described as frosty at best. Naturally I assumed I would be hounded off if I were to write a Project thread. However, I thought perhaps it would be an easy solution for venting the hatred of VAG that builds up over time here, and I would thereby be doing a service to the good people of Autoshite. Should this assumption be wrong however, feel free to do the hounding, and I will get my coat!

 

post-24431-0-04579800-1524777675_thumb.jpg

 

So, back in June of last year, I bought myself a big, ugly heap of German rubbish, in the form of an X reg Audi A4 Avant of the 1.8 petrol flavour. Having cost me a mere 100 beer tokens when I bought it, i was chuffed with my purchase of an apparently working car, with almost a year's MoT left on it. How wrong could I be?

 

On getting it home and doing a little further inspection, I discovered that front and rear wheel bearings were grumbling, the front brakes were binding, the rear shock absorbers were beyond the pail and the tires were balding. Splendid, I thought, a list of light projects for me to be going on with. Again, How wrong could I be?

 

I set about replacing the rear wheel bearings. This wasn't a job I fancied myself, as I presumed it would require a bearing press (being a novice mechanic, in case you'd not already noticed from my dreadful car buying tactics....). And so, I made my first major error - booking a mechanic to come and replace the bearings. He succeeded in graunching up the bolts that hold on the brake caliper carriers before admitting defeat and charging me £80. Bother. So I thought, how hard can it be, and set about removing the trailing arm altogether, to give better access and allow me to remove the caliper carriers and replace bearings, which I did with minimal fuss. 

 

post-24431-0-37569300-1524778381_thumb.jpg

 

Sticking brake calipers were traced to stuck slider bolts, and mended. Rear shock absorbers replaced, cheap bearing press bought and used to replace the front bearings.

 

In replacing the bearings, I removed the brake calipers altogether, draining the brake fluid to be changed at a later date. When this date came, I proceeded to (not knowing the tap-it-with-a-hammer-first trick) strip the threads from several of the calipers where the bleed nipples attached. Again, bother. So, I ordered used brake calipers from a breakers yard and received the wrong ones. I ordered them again from a different breakers yard, and received the wrong ones. Finally I got hold of the right ones, and fitted them.

 

No to worry, I thought, I was near the end of the issues and soon miles of trouble free motoring would be mine. I refer to my previous comments regarding my own wrongness here. Having replaced the calipers, I started the Audi again, only to see the ABS light come on, and stay on. Bother. So, (As I was later corrected upon doing without first reading the fault codes.... only so many times I can use the novice mechanic excuse....) I replaced all four ABS sensors. 

 

Finally, I decided it was MoT ready, and booked it in, quietly confident that it would pass. My lack of correctness is now getting dull. It failed on a nice little list of issues, both front springs being broken, and catastrophic Carbon monoxide emissions being just a few.

 

post-24431-0-27759800-1524779034_thumb.jpg

 

Cue jokes about VAG products and emissions.... I can only assume that it was MoTed by VW themselves last time...

 

So currently, I'm in the process of remedying the broken springs issue (and the shocks while I'm at it, as they're tatered too...) and updates will follow, should the VAGness not be deemed too distasteful for this establishment. Please do let me know your thoughts on this, I've no wish to create a disturbance to the autoshite serenity*

 

Thanks,

abelw44

 

 

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This age A4 I think has aged well and gracefully. Yours looks in pretty good nick. Or just photos flattering it?

 

VAG (and German) products are a very nice place to sit inside. Just you're not in a nice place outside when they invariably go wrong.

 

I do like our two Aldis to drive. But I don't think I'll ever be buying one again. Certainly not one that is more than a few years old.

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This age A4 I think has aged well and gracefully. Yours looks in pretty good nick. Or just photos flattering it?

 

VAG (and German) products are a very nice place to sit inside. Just you're not in a nice place outside when they invariably go wrong.

 

I do like our two Aldis to drive. But I don't think I'll ever be buying one again. Certainly not one that is more than a few years old.

It actually is in decent nick - the odd parking scuff but no rust to speak of. Although since that photo was taken, its developed a fairly colossal spot of lacquer peel on the bonnet, which is on my list to fix at some stage. It certainly is a nice place inside, quiet, glorious stereo and comfortable - just would be better if it was working!

 

Sent from my MIX_2 using Tapatalk

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The best behaved and frugal car I had (bar a NA 1.9 Citroen BX, that ran on thin air) was a '91 A4 115 tdi, cracking car bought from a mate for, what seemed like a reasonable* sum of £400. I've been put off late VAG chod, due to my Exeo laughing in my face while dropping a valve and a 20v Passat that drank more oil than fuel.

 

Still love and old A4 though, looks though the failure isn't too sad though, nice looking thing on those wheels and colour.

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Thank you all for your kind comments!

 

The Audi is in pretty good nick, aside from lacquer peel on the bonnet, scabby alloys and really nasty aftermarket rear lights.

 

These I was pondering over a cup of hot brown the other day;

 

e8a951cb146ed665c16714d3221e7cc4.jpg

 

 

8de3af72c2e0367b0c1fb3ed12874109.jpg

 

Any thoughts on whether I might, with some careful masking, paint them up to match the originals? Or is that a recipe for MoT failure?

 

Thanks,

abelw44

 

 

Sent from my MIX_2 using Tapatalk

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I drive a VAG in Seat flavour and I have no complaints about it. Skoda's seem to be quite well liked on here, although it is fair to say mk3 and 4 Golfs don't have a great reputation on this site!

 

I like the A4 Avant, I always thought they were a very smart and understated load lugger and would have no objections if one appeared on my driveway

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Any thoughts on whether I might, with some careful masking, paint them up to match the originals? Or is that a recipe for MoT failure?

Thanks,

abelw44

Sent from my MIX_2 using Tapatalk

Second hand original replacements are probably a simpler bet - this chap has them for £25 each, maybe he will do you a deal for the pair? Has to be a much simpler and safer approach to attempting to paint the ones you have. Plus there is something to be said for returning a car to showroom specifications!

 

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/AUDI-A4-B5-Facelift-2001-1-8-SE-Avant-Rear-Light-Off-Right-Driver-Side/132585052485?fits=Car+Make%3AAudi%7CModel%3AA4&hash=item1edeaf5945:g:m40AAOSwS7Na1H6u

 

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/AUDI-A4-B5-Facelift-2001-1-8-SE-Avant-Rear-Light-Left-Near-Passenger-Side/132585055231?fits=Car+Make%3AAudi%7CModel%3AA4&epid=1860026780&hash=item1edeaf63ff:g:rGIAAOSwV21a1H~d

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As a life long  enthusiast sufferer of VAG chod (And also a relative newcomer) I completely approve of this thread. To be honest VAG gets a bad press but their pre 2005 stuff is actually quite robust, parts are cheap and plentiful and they're all fairly user friendly to spanner on.

 

A4 Avants are a lovely thing :) Clearly the derv models are the ones to have given their longevity, epic MPG and cheaper tax but finding one that hasn't been run into the ground by a procession of eastern european owners and/or folks who are unlikely to ever have a job that pays tax is now very difficult indeed.

 

Yours looks to be a good'un.

 

EDIT: RE the rear lights, if you can put up the local Facebook sites then that's where the bargains are to be had IME... I've got a shed full of spares, most of which I'll probably never need but the majority of which cost £5-£10.

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Second hand original replacements are probably a simpler bet - this chap has them for £25 each, maybe he will do you a deal for the pair? Has to be a much simpler and safer approach to attempting to paint the ones you have. Plus there is something to be said for returning a car to showroom specifications!

 

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/AUDI-A4-B5-Facelift-2001-1-8-SE-Avant-Rear-Light-Off-Right-Driver-Side/132585052485?fits=Car+Make%3AAudi%7CModel%3AA4&hash=item1edeaf5945:g:m40AAOSwS7Na1H6u

 

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/AUDI-A4-B5-Facelift-2001-1-8-SE-Avant-Rear-Light-Left-Near-Passenger-Side/132585055231?fits=Car+Make%3AAudi%7CModel%3AA4&epid=1860026780&hash=item1edeaf63ff:g:rGIAAOSwV21a1H~d

 

Thank you sir, duly noted and eBay originals procured!

 

As a life long  enthusiast sufferer of VAG chod (And also a relative newcomer) I completely approve of this thread. To be honest VAG gets a bad press but their pre 2005 stuff is actually quite robust, parts are cheap and plentiful and they're all fairly user friendly to spanner on.

 

A4 Avants are a lovely thing :) Clearly the derv models are the ones to have given their longevity, epic MPG and cheaper tax but finding one that hasn't been run into the ground by a proce

ssion of eastern european owners and/or folks who are unlikely to ever have a job that pays tax is now very difficult indeed.

 

Yours looks to be a good'un.

 

EDIT: RE the rear lights, if you can put up the local Facebook sites then that's where the bargains are to be had IME... I've got a shed full of spares, most of which I'll probably never need but the majority of which cost £5-£10.

 

Thank you! Biased though I clearly am, I have to agree - they do get a bad rep. It's built like a tank, and although it is beginning to break, it has done over 210,000 miles! 

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I owned a Polo based low mileage 1999 SEAT Ibiza 1.4 for 7 years (until I crashed it in the snow icon_redface.gif ) and it was absolutely fine. Most trouble-free car I have owned to date.

 

With Audis and bigger engined VWs, a metaphorical red flag waves in my mind as there is a high likelihood that they have been driven...how can I put it politely...enthusiastically.

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I currently own a VW type 1, a type 2, a type 53b and a Porsche 944, which as every school boy nose...

They are all alright.

 

My X-308 & my Vel Satis are possibly* more likely to fail me as transport.

 

Of previously owned VAG stuff, the Type 43 Audi 200T was possibly the most exciting. 

Mentally rapid with new and exiting blown turbo pipes to repair with alarming regularity.

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I had one like that but it was a V6 diesel Quattro.

 

I liked it initially. It drove nicely. The engine sounded nice too. So much grip, driving on snow was like tarmac to it. Bit boring though, no matter what I tried i couldn't get it to drift!

 

Steering rack started leaking though so got rid of it. Looked the job up Google and it seemed a horrible job. One article said that a competent mechanic could do it in about 5 hours ' but you will hate your life while doing it'

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They're good cars. My mate at work has had one with the 1.9 TDI lump and it soldiers on year after year with minimal cost.

 

I had a Skoda Superb Edition 100 jobby with the 1.9 engine, it was the best part of the car. They seem to suffer badly with rust round all four arches and on the bootlid. 

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My gripes with VAG products tend to revolve more around the questionable approach to rustproofing and increasingly DIY unfriendliness (e.g. stretch bolts fitted where not needed) - but only on their more recent (approx. 2000-on) products.

 

Trawling the classifieds last week for a suitable* replacement for the Terrible Gooner Twins (may they rest in peace, or at least far away from me) revealed a plethora of massively perforated 2003 Golfs and extraordinarily frilly Passats going for buttons, no doubt boosted by the past six months of enthusastic road gritting: at a guess, the metal recyclers will be full to bursting before long.

 

I would love a Passat B or C3 100 Avant, though I fear they're long since unaffordable.

 

Always thought this era of A4 a nice-looking, understated thing, the A6 even better, and the D2 series A8 a thing of sneaky lustability - and hopefully, like E36 BMWs, these are all now moving beyond being driven by the lower echelons of council estate recreational substance retailers (with ineptly applied blackout tint and WHEELZ YO); beyond the RatLuk pineapple-squad salt-spray goons; and the survivors are finally being appreciated on their own merits as the capable and nicely screwed together cars that they are.

 

And that's a top colour on yours, too.

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