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    Thread: A6 Noob - Reliability

    1. 05-11-2012 02:09 PM #1
      I'm looking to get a reliable daily, Audi A6 preferrably due to it's comfort and decent size. I was looking at the 4.2 V8 or the 2.7T.

      The 2.7T, I believe, is the same engine as the S4. Knowing that B5 S4s weren't so reliable because of that engine, is that the case for the A6?

      As for the 4.2 V8, it is naturally aspirated so I'm assuming there will be less issues with the engine.

      If someone can point me to the right direction to do my research, that would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    2. Member ElliottG's Avatar
      Join Date
      Sep 22nd, 2008
      Montreal, Canada
      '99 Passat 1.8t
      05-12-2012 12:17 PM #2
      Same engine, same problems. If you want a super reliable car, you're not looking at the right one.

      If you're stuck on an A6, get a V8.

    3. 05-12-2012 01:40 PM #3
      Thanks for the response. I just figured it would be somewhat reliable based on reviews I've read online at MSN Autos. I read that the V8 suffered from a weak transmission, but the 2.7T suffers from turbo issues. Do you have an Audi you can recommend around the same price range ($8,000)? Or any other German sedans that are more reliable?

    4. 05-18-2012 02:06 PM #4
      The car is reliable as the owner is. You take care of it it will take care of you. As far
      As German automobiles they all have faults. But the a6 is a great car. I've had mine a year and a half and besides performance work, a timing belt, and an egt sensor the car has been trouble free. I got 48k miles myself on it. Get a well maintained one however. You can easily find a cheap one that will he headaches but it all depends. Look into them and all the service records. Original k03's will need replacing sometime but toss in k04's and Timing belt and a chip and enjoy it for 70k miles with speed class and luxury

    5. Member
      Join Date
      Dec 10th, 2010
      03 Jetta, 06 Jetta(current), 02 Passat, 94 Golf, 05 Jetta, 95 Jetta, 86 Golf Wolfsburg
      06-14-2012 08:35 AM #5
      I am also looking into getting into a C5 audi. preferably the Avant years between 2001-2003.
      out of the c5 platform, what year/engine is the MOST reliable? 2.8L. 2.7L BT, or 4.2L?

      im not looking for power so i dont care on engine size ..my main concern is reliability

    6. Member MikkiJayne's Avatar
      Join Date
      Jan 1st, 2007
      D2 S8, B5 A4 V8
      06-14-2012 03:40 PM #6
      Can you get the 2.8 with a manual over there? That would be the most reliable of all because the auto transmissions are garbage. Its not a case of if they break, but more like when. Yeah, the 2.7T has its issues, but I would take a manual 2.7T over an automatic anything else.
      Throw an Audi engineer down a hole with a ladder and he will fashion a shovel from it and tunnel his way out

      Quote Originally Posted by shwak23 View Post
      You could always call your insurance and say that some vandals tried to swap your car to rwd while you weren't looking.

    7. 07-13-2012 12:47 AM #7
      the a6 4.2 is most reliableof the bunch. biturbo has more issues but with auto transmission, the most common problem(which still isnt too common) is the faulty torque converter and not the transmission itself. i have a 2003 2.7t manual and this car has been a blast. it didnt give me any problem i did not create. software with gutted cats. But other than that my car runs great. i do my services. great car. but fromexperience, the 4.2 and the 2.8 have less reliability issues.

    8. Member mithril's Avatar
      Join Date
      Feb 6th, 2003
      Vancouver, BC
      2002 Audi S6, 2002 Golf GLS 2.0
      07-19-2012 11:24 AM #8
      Engine wise all the NA engines are more "reliable" than the 2.7T, but that's not really a good measure since "reliability" is directly related to maintenance and the 2.7T just happens to require the most in terms of maintenance and is the least tolerant of skipped maintenance. Like any car, the majority of "my car broke down" or "my car's a money pit" etc is can be attributed to people that cheaped out or completely skipped maintenance.

      While the resale value on the C5 has dropped to roughly $0.10 on the dollar from the original purchase price, parts and maintenance costs haven't dropped so you're still paying to maintain an executive level luxury car. The C5 is not a cheap car to maintain properly, expect to budget $2000 - $3000 per year in maintenance costs.... that's not something most people expect for a $4000 - $6000 car so most of the complains I hear in the various online boards are people that bought a C5 because it was cheap then are shocked at the residual costs.

      In terms of model reliability the 2.8L is the most reliable followed closely by the 4.2L and S6. The 3.0L has a bad rep due to a design issue. The 2.7T is actually a very reliable engine as long as the maintenance schedule has been followed and the proper oil used, most of it's perceived reliability issues are related to owners that have skipped maintenance, bagged on the car and/or mod'ed the engine without first doing the preventative maintenance. Maintenance costs on the 2.7T and 4.2L tend to be higher because the engine often needs to be pulled to replace or access parts. Unless you're doing the work yourself labour will usually be more than 50% of your bill. The 4.2TT is wickedly expensive to maintain, but you should expect that if you're buying a $100K supercar in a 4 door saloon suit.

      Common issues:

      Auto transmission - all models have issues with the torque converters. Perhaps slightly more common on the 2.7T as the V6 cars all use the same transmission and the 2.7T has the highest power output. The TC is something you can expect to replace at least one in the car's lifetime. The "lifetime" transmission oil is not really a lifetime fluid, the ATF and filter it should be changed every couple years (if you're really anal) or 100,000 km.

      Oil leaks - if your car has 4 rings on the front it probably has oil leaks. Valve covers, cam shaft seals, PCV spider hoses, etc. Basically every seal can and will leak at some point in the cars life.

      Front control arms - the C5 is a heavy car and the OEM front control arms were not quite as beefy as they probably should have been. These tended to go at about 100,000km but Audi introduced an upgraded replacement part that stands up much better.

      ABS - The electronic controller portion of the ABS system tends to go, especially on the 2.8L. You can either have the controller rebuild by someone like Module Masters or just buy a replacement.

      Water leaks - the drains in the rain/battery tray tend to get clogged allowing water to collect in the rain/battery tray until it leaks into the cabin via the fresh air intake... conveniently located in the same rain/battery tray.

      Cluster LCD pixelation - Overtime the solder joints for the cluster LCD breaks down causing progressive pixelation, eventually the LCD will be unreadable. This was a common issue with all Audi's of this era and the only solution is to either replace the cluster ($1000) or replace the LCD. If you're not a soldering master there are a few companies that offer replacement services for a couple hundred dollars.
      Timing belts - Not really a problem, but they need to be done religiously every 150,000km as the consequences of a failure are pretty catastrophic.

      Model specific issues:

      2.8L - none really, just the above common problems

      2.7T - turbos. The factory K04's tend to go and need replacing around 160,000km. This is an expensive job since the engine has to be pulled to replace the turbos.

      3.0L - The CVT transmission was Audi's first attempt at this tech and was notoriously unreliable. Tends to have more oil consumption and carbon issues than the other C5 engines.

      4.2L/S6 - The engine itself is completely bombproof but the transmission was a weak point on the pre-face models, especially on the 2000's a transmission rebuild (~$4000) is pretty much standard maintenance. This engine is THIRSTY, most people average about 15 - 17mpg if they do a good mix of city and highway driving. My driving is almost exclusively city and I'm really lucky if I average 11-12mpg. Small items will add up quickly, mainly because there is so little room in the engine bay that most repair steps begin with "1. Remove front clip. 2. Remove engine". The V8 C5's are all widebody's and have model specific body panels which are not interchangeable with the rest of the C5 line. New they tend to be more expensive and due to the comparative rarity of the widebody's replacement parts are harder to find.

      4.2TT - The RS6 is just expensive to maintain full stop... you better have deep pockets if you want to own this car. Expect to spend at least $8,000 - $10,000 per year on average for maintenance.

      It's like anything if you buy the cheapest example and/or one with an unknown or spotty maintenance history and you'll probably be sinking a lot of money into fixing the problems that the PO either didn't want or couldn't afford to fix. Be picky and buy best model you can find that has a full maintenance history w/ receipts showing the main issues listed above have been addressed and you'll likely have a very reliable car.

      That's exactly what I did with my 4.2L when I bought it 2 years ago and it's been great with very few issues outside normal maintenance. Biggest problem I've had is that my transmission had to be pulled twice in the first year, but that was all covered under warranty from the shop that had done the rebuild.
      Last edited by mithril; 07-19-2012 at 11:38 AM.

    9. 07-21-2012 03:27 AM #9
      From the users I have heard that the V8 is more reliable, as A6 itself I think it s very good car. I have driven several BMWs in the past, MB and so on. Audi has been and is still in great shape. So I would recommend you to look V8's

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