Very expensive to maintain, unless you work at a shop or do your own repairs.
A bunch of seals for the motor including the turbos
Control arms rebuilt
A bunch of new vacuum lines and emissions stuff
Some electrical issues sorted out.
Also be on the lookout for water leaks, particularly in the trunk.
Last edited by Spray Junkie; 05-15-2012 at 08:46 PM.
I may be a bad example as:
A. I manage a VW based repair facility
B. I know all of the previous common problem repairs have been done
But I absolutley love the car and love driving it daily in traffic...but it's a Tiptronic car. I've got APR software, Bilsteins, H&R Race springs, TT stainless exhaust, and 18" wheels and it's one of the better dailys I've had. Very comfortable for how responsive and nimble it is. That and the car pulls like a freight train with the go-fast bits, but it was resonably quick in stock form too.
Edit: I have only had it for 4.5 months so far.
Going from a B7A4 to a B5S4
-What's it like to live with it every day.
Awesome. I like it more than my B7. B7 had more cool functions but I can live without them.
Mine has been reliable as hell. Never had any issues with it (2000 with 87k mi, got it with 82k).
I did the Tbelt, thermostat, cam seals, valve cover gasket and a bunch of other crap when I bought it. Maintenance hasn't cost me a grand.
It's comfy. Can't wait to rip out the seats for a better set of recaros.
It's a 2.7TT. It's practical but a gas guzzler.
Don't buy this car if you don't have at least $2-3k sitting around for unexpected **** to break
As Gaki says fuel economy sucks but the reward is the torque and quattro system. I plan on driving it to Vegas again this year for Wuste!
Give ya the skinny...
Very smart ECU, it throws CELS if you even look at it cross-eyed.
Boost leaks, rubber TBB & other hoses LOVE to leak, so do the bypass valves also = CEL
Control arms don't last if you push the car, or run big rubber, this may also cause a CEL for the hell of it.
Turbo's love to cook them selves to death, expensive & a ton of labor, this will also throw the CEL on.
Gauge cluster likes to loose pixles, not sure where they want to go, but in the dash is not one place they like to be. This can cause a CEL, & you will not be able to read it. :bang head:
Valve cover gaskets & other things love to leak oil, yup, will throw a CEL & take many, many hours to fix.
Seriously, it's a great car, keep it somewhat stock, & don't thrash it. Random sensors will fail, throw a cel & cost about $100 for the part, & 8+ hours to fix. Get a good one, & you will be ok, get a bad one & it will OWN your A$$!!
Yes, they do indeed throw CEL's a lot! Just about every B5 S4 owner carries a Vag-Com at all times.
I daily my s4. I love it. I spend a fair amount of time in downtown Tacoma and Seattle. So the tip is great for me. In the last year I haven't had any major problems at all. It's almost to 140k. But maint was done before my ownership. I just make sure I take care of it the best I can.
All in all I love it. I'm going to miss it when I get rid of it.
Do some reading in the B5 S4 forum on quattroworld. More knowledge in there than anywhere else on the web. Mad Scientists on the car.
$10k for a low mile car is okay, but I'm not blown away or anything. Unless the miles were ridiculously low, I wouldn't pay much more than 8 or 9k for a stock one, seeing as how you can buy them with upgraded turbos for pretty cheap money these days. If anything I would pay a premium for one with excellent paint and interior. A "rare" B5 nowadays is defined by those factors more than miles and mods if you ask me.
Maintenance records are a must. Have a pre-purchase inspection done by a reputable shop. Finetuning, Redmond Euro, etc. Do NOT buy one without it. Will save you thousands of dollars if you make a bad choice.
Cars are awesome daily drivers. I daily drove mine for 5+ years and it never once let me down. Only breakdown it ever had was from a failed fuel pump. This was the first car I ever owned where I felt comfortable not having a AAA membership. It's never been towed save for one tire blowout on 405 where I couldn't put on a spare.
That said, stay up on the maintenance. If you neglect the car, you will pay the price.
I'm at 122k miles and just swapped the turbos. They weren't even gone yet. I bet I could have gotten at least 20k more miles out of them. The K03s have a bad rep but with a little luck and good ownership habits even they can last a long time. There are original owners with over 200k on stock turbos out there. Frequent oil changes and quality oil are the key.
You'll spend a lot of money if you buy one. They're impossible not to modify, and mods aren't cheap.
BPC>>Shoot when you're hot, shoot to get hot
Another note on mine, it has 157k miles now and drives unbeleivably well. Better than many cars I've owned with under 100k miles. It did get new turbos and engine seals in the last 5k-20k miles (before I purchased)
Bottom line, all the problems below, I would do it again to be a ble to drive such a great car, pulls and handles so incerdibly well.
Others have said it, if you don't do the maintenance yourself stay away! If you can afford to pay someone else to the maintenance, you can afford a much newer car like an A4 2.0T Quattro with a KO4 and be in the same ball park of performance.
I have had mine for a little over two years. What gets you is the cost of maintenance. Mine had 125,000 on the clock and was mechanically sound. I had to replace some sensors and CV axels off the bat, followed by control arms, really not too bad. Then the pressure plate went bad and $1000 in parts later and a weekend of work, I was back on the road. Some more things here and there.
I almost immediately got a chip, that was a mistake, should have stayed stock program and saved for stage III. Reason being is it prematurely cooked my turbos. I just bought stage III and it will go in soon, but hindsight, no chip tuning on KO3's.
I think what really did it, was a few Summer trips up to Steven's with a careful, consistantly pushing higher boost!
I haven't owned one, but have worked on a ton of them.
Here's a list of common issues (most are the same as any B5)
ABS modules fail.
Rear differential seals leak.
Transmission output seals leak.
Auxiliary water pumps leak.
Water pumps leak/fail.
timing belt tensioner and roller failures.
"Y" hose rupture.
Diverter valves fail.
Valve cover gaskets/cam plugs/tensioner gaskets/cam seals leak.
Oil temp switches fail.
Catalytic converters fail.
Upper control arms fail.
Washer bottle pumps split.
gauge cluster LED pixels go out.
Heater cores plug up.
Hazard switches fail.
Turn signal stalks fail.
I think that about covers it
Well, I don't think it was being sold by the Justin Ebensteiner that was booked into the Washington County Jail on charges of identity theft, forgery and submitting a false odometer disclosure whose bail was set at $80,000 so that's good at least. I found it through an auto broker somewhere in a far off land.
Anyway, thanks for all the info everyone. They have been my pinup car for a long time so I'm glad I have a better idea of what to look for and what to expect from them.
i heard he is back in jail, but when i was looking to buy my wrx, i came across his brothers selling an sti and they have a whole slew of "too good to be true" cars out there.
anyhow, b5 s4s: beautiful cars and a ton of fun - but you could not pay me to buy another one
i would not recomend it i have 2 friends with b5 s4 and each are twice the headach of a 1.8t in matanace cost. how ever the love them to death. but you also have to remember any major performace upgrade will cost you 2X that of a inline engine due to the twin turbo setup. also with the cramped engine bay they are unplesant to work on. but they do sound awesome.
I'm Phat cause I'm force fed.
Mine has over 180k miles on it, and has had 'big' turbos on it for well over 100k miles with no failures. The key, like stated earlier is maintaince. The 01E has 1-2 problems when abused (launched), motor will leak like the Valdez, and you will loose any amount of self respect you ever had. So to sum it up, yes, buy one. Don't be scared of mileage though. I would rather buy one with 200k that you have all the records from then one with 78k with no records.
Best way to sum it up: Buy a B5 S4 as a second car. Be ready to drop some coin on it. Buy one that has already been upgraded to K04's (stage 3), then enjoy making Ferraris and 996TT's your bitch. Also have a good shop you trust (AMD... fastaudi.com ) that knows the car.
2001.5 B5 S4 AMD gutted/caged track whore