2009 Audi S5 Long Term Road Test

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2009 Audi S5: Parts Counter Experience

May 11, 2010

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Karl first noticed the turn signal bulb was out in our 2009 Audi S5. We had our sights set on a DIY change so we stopped by the dealership to order a new one. While there we also planned to order up a new set of floormats.

"Oh. We're going to have to special order that bulb," started the parts counter clerk. "We have everything else, just not the bulb you need. These floormats will need to be ordered also." The ETA was two days and we could live with that. So we asked him to order them up. "No problem, sir. I will call you when the parts arrive. The front mats will cost $170 and the bulb is about $20."

The mats showed up on time but still no bulb. It's been a week now. I hope it shows up before the car is scheduled to be turned in.

Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager @ 22,141 miles

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2009 Audi S5: Lights Out!

April 26, 2010

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Our long-term Audi S5 lit up a warning light the other day. Ironically, in this case the warning light was telling me about an exterior light being out, but it didn't specify which one.

I'd seen this warning icon a few days earlier and forgot to check it. By the time I finally remembered the warning icon was out, so I figured it was a fluke (or maybe a loose bulb).

This morning the little light bulb with an "X' through it returned, and before I turned the car's engine off or turned out the lights I parked the S5 and did a quick walk-arould. It didn't take long to spot the problem.

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2009 Audi S5: Tire Check before Road Trip

March 22, 2010

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This week I'm rolling to Vegas in our long-term 2009 Audi S5 again, this time to attend the
CTIA Wireless conference.

I decided to check the tire pressures before I went. The tires are high-po Summers sized 235/35ZR19 96Y all-around.

I was surprised to see that the fronts want 39 psi! That's the highest I've seen for a passenger car.
Do you know of another car that takes that much air?

Another surprise was the Mercury content on the S5, which I think would be common to many vehicles. Who knew?

Catch the CTIA coverage this week on Straightline.

Albert Austria, Senior Engineer @ 19,200 miles

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2009 Audi S5: Oil Level

March 17, 2010

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I don't really consider myself a member of the International Dipstick Lovers Society, but our long-term 2009 Audi S5 has me considering an application for instatement.

It was easy enough to find the oil level menu in MMI, but I found it strange that what you see above was displayed, oh, four minutes after shutting down the fully warmed engine while parked on level ground.

So I re-started it for a bit and re-checked again a couple minutes later. Same screen. Hmm.

Maybe I'm doing it wrong. So I *gasp* consulted the owner's manual. To check the oil. Yes, you read that correctly.

Here's what it said:

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2009 Audi S5: 15,000-mile Service

January 15, 2010

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On Wednesday our 2009 Audi S5 sent up a warning to let us know it was time to visit the dealer for routine scheduled maintenance.

As usual, we brought it to Audi of Santa Monica. The service was pretty routine: Oil change, in-cabin filter, inspection and a computer diagnostic check.

What was also usual, at least for an Audi dealer Santa Monica was the stratospheric cost: $448.76. $255 of which was for labor ($170/hr).

The entire process took them about 5 hours.

Mike Magrath, Vehicle Testing Assistant @ 14,993 miles

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2009 Audi S5: Waking Up to a Low Tire

October 29, 2009

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What a way to start the day. Yesterday morning I was greeted by a low tire warning a minute or so after I left my driveway in the 2009 Audi S5. But that's not to say the tire went low somewhere in those first couple hundred yards--it doubtlessly dipped below the trigger point while the car sat overnight.

The delay comes from the way most TPMS systems operate. The in-wheel pressure sensors and their transmitters are battery powered, but the need for long battery life means they don't broadcast continuously. Update intervals range from once per minute to once every three minutes, and reports are not necessarily issued at engine start.

And that's why I got a half-mile or so down the road before the warning came on.

I drove directly to my neighborhood gas station, where the normal-looking left front proved to be at 28 psi instead of the 39 psi that's specified for an S5 front tire. I topped if off and drove on to the office without further incident.

The reason for this pre-dawn delay was a leaking plug/patch installed last month after Brent picked up a large hunk of debris.

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2009 Audi S5: Say Hello To Gimpy

September 21, 2009

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Yep, our long-term, oh-so-sexy 2009 Audi S5 turns heads all the time. It turns even more heads when its got a too-sexy-for-my-shirt spare tire mounted. Mildly amusing details on how and why this happened follow after the jump.

Last Friday morning, I was playing around with the S5's MMI interface and decided to check the Audi's oil level via the electronic oil dipstick. Officially, the oil level was "OK," but the graphic indicator bar had the oil level about two-thirds of a quart low.

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2009 Audi S5: Creaky Window

July 13, 2009

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Do you see that? Of course not, it's a window. If you actually saw the window that would means it's dirty and we never let our precious test cars get dirty.

Well, windows are supposed to be quiet too, but the passenger side window on our S5 has developed a bit of a grumble. Nothing too bad, just a faint grinding whenever it's on the way down. If you turn your speakers up to 9 or so, you might be able to hear the offending noise in the fascinating video after the jump.

Even if you can't, I can assure you it's there and will be attended to shortly.

Ed Hellwig, Senior Editor, Inside Line @ 5,509 miles

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2009 Audi S5 Steering Vibration't

June 29, 2009

We recently got our Audi S5 back from Audi's tech center to address its steering vibration issue that comes and goes depending on velocity and road surface. On Friday, I took the car home, and noticed some vibration still in it, but it was more of a "feel" thing rather than a "visual" thing. Additionally, I noticed the car would follow seams and grooves in the road. Well, it was almost fixed.

The next morning, before a 200-mile drive, I checked the oil, filled the fuel tank and, hey, why not check the tire pressures? Guess what? The the rears were spot-on but the fronts had been set 5.0 psi under spec. I know they were set by the tech center because they replaced both front tires.

Watch the video to see what setting the tires to the proper pressure (39.0 psi) did for the steering vibration. Excuse poor sound and the "brian phart" when I call it the Audi S4 at the beginning.

Chief Road Test Editor, Chris Walton @ 4,805 miles

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2009 Audi S5: Steering Vibration Follow-up

June 25, 2009

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It's back. Our S5 returned from the Audi technical center yesterday. The purpose was to address the steering wheel vibration we noticed in our long-term S5 and A4 Avant. Here's what we learned.

Audi began by explaining that the vibration we experienced was not a sign of impending failure. And this was not a safety related issue. Rather, it was suggested that wheel balance and tire wear were to blame. At the very least, they were contributing factors to the vibration. So the technicians replaced both front tires and balanced all four wheels. We were told three wheels were out of balance upon arrival.

But that's not all. The fix isn't complete. Additional parts are currently on order with our local dealership to further address the situation. We'll update the status of our S5 and A4 once installation is completely complete.

Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager @ 4,200 miles

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2009 Audi S5: Steering Saga Continues

June 16, 2009

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There it is. Our 2009 Audi S5.

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2009 Audi S5: Steering Failure?

June 08, 2009

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We've had the 2009 Audi S5 in our test fleet for about 2 months now. And every other person to drive it has come to me with concerns about the steering feel. I've heard ten different descriptions, each detailing how the steering system in our Audi is approaching failure.

- "What's up with the steering wheel? It shudders until you turn the wheel, then drives like a normal car." - "Right around 45 mph the wheel starts to shimmy. You might wanna check it out." - "It starts to shake up until about 80 mph. But if you just power through then its fine."

- "Feels like our Enclave did just before the power steering took a dump."

- "You're all crazy. It drives just like our A4 Avant. This must be normal."

Let's see what the dealer has to say about this.

Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager @ 3,500 miles

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Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2009 Audi S5 in WA is:

$192 per month*
* Explanation
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