So you are thinking about buying a used Audi A4, and you want to know what kind of expenses to look forward to after purchasing. While buying a used A4 can definitely be a good way to acquire a luxury car at a great price, you should be aware of the possible expenses that can creep up with common A4 maintenance problems, as well as the expense of the mods you are going to want, if any. Knowing these beforehand can help you make a better decision before you buy.
Common maintenance problems on used Audi A4s include bad timing belts, oil sludge, bad rear windows, and clouded headlights. Other maintenance problems obviously can arise, but these are some of the more common ones.
Timing belts on pre-2000 models go bad earlier than normal. You will need to keep an eye on this, as a broken timing belt can ruin your engine. This repair will cost around $1000 or so if done by a shop, and is usually done around 60,000 miles. If you have a later model A4, the timing belt replacement can wait until 80,000 miles or so. And of course, if you learn to do this yourself you can knock the price down to around $400.
Oil sludge, which can damage an engine, can be a problem in Audi A4s. More so with the 1.8s than the 2.8s. However, this can be an avoidable problem by just making sure you do an oil change every 5,000 miles with fully synthetic oil.
On convertible A4s, the rear window is notorious for coming unglued from the canvas. This can be a difficult home repair as many glue will not hold indefinitely. If not, then a roof replacement might be necessary which will cost upwards of $3000.
Clouded headlight covers can sometimes be a problem on used A4s, but this problem is generally easily remediable by using a plastic polishing kit. Or just buying a new headlight cover, which is relatively inexpensive.
You will also want to decide how much modding you want to do. The 1.8T has more ability for mods, but the 2.8 is just fine for light modding. The first mod you will probably want to add is a new engine control chip, which will run about $500 and give you 50 or so increase in horsepower. After that you can add the various exhaust and intake mods, which are mostly just for the sound and hence may not be necessary depending on your preferences.
Keeping the above tips in mind will help you decide if buying used cars like an Audi A4 is right for you and will fit within your budget.