Joy to drive, pain to spend needlessly for repairs
written on 01-24-2016
We have had our 2005 Audi A6 3.2 for about two years and bought it with about 106,000 miles. This car is a great looking car and very fun to drive, but none of that matters when reliability is an issue. I can honestly say that unless I win the next mega lottery I am never buying another Audi.
Now before you dismiss me as a hater I want you to know I really wanted to love this car. I like German engineered cars. I had a few BMWs before and liked those, and my wife had a 2000 Audi S4 for a couple years that was also a fun car, but had maintenance issues that should haver warned us from buying another Audi. We had an extended aftermarket warranty on that car though, so I guess that helped us "forget" about the issues.
Right from the get go the A6 was trouble. When accelerating from stop signs there was a drastic delay before the car would shift into gear and start moving - you would push the accelerator and nothing would happen for a couple beats and then it would suddenly take off. I finally learned that if I kept the car in sport mode that didn't happen. Sport mode is fun so I didn't mind too much, but my MPG suffered. After returning the car to the dealer I bought it from a couple time they still couldn't fix the problem and offered to put a new transmission in for $1,200. After agreeing to that I soon discovered that did nothing to fixed the problem!
That set the tone for a trend that continued throughout ownership. Every four months or so an issue would pop up that required a trip to the local Audi dealer for repairs. I started to joke with people that a trip to the dealer was always followed with at least $500 in repairs.
The icing of the cake though occurred last week when we brought the car in for a failed battery. At this point we have 123,000 miles on the odometer and we asked them to change the oil as well. Then we got a phone call from the dealer saying that the timing chain was stretched and the car sounded terrible. They would recommend we don't drive it but have it towed if we want a second opinion. The repair would cost $5,000!! And that was just to repair one of four chains in the engine. To repair all four the cost would be $8,000.
Now after reading some forums and talking to some repair shops I have learned that this is fairly common with Audis of this time period. Apparently Audi went to the timing chain versus timing belt set up starting in 2005 and the new chain system trends towards failure on a good percentage of the cars between 110,000 and 150,000 miles. Now some people may say that is is a common result of neglected maintenance. I can tell you I was current on all of my oil changes and service. I can't say what the history of the car was before I bought it, but this drastic problem with a ridiculous repair price tag is unacceptable. If you look up the value of my car, this repair costs more that the car is worth at this point.
So although I typically don't write reviews, I felt obligated to share my experience in hope that I can save some other car buyer from the same fate.
I have owned my A6 for 5.5 years and still enjoy it every time I get behind the wheel. Handles great and fun to drive. The overall quality of the car is very nice. My biggest complaint is the low profile tires. I have spent close to $5,000 on tires since I owned the car. They are good for about 25k miles and the pinch easily. I will admit Most of the issues were caused by me (first time owner of low profiles). I love the way the car handles but not sure my next car will include low profiles.
My 4th Audi and 1st bot with less than 100K on speedo. Bot used on eBay in 08 with 28K; two problems under warranty. Problem free ever since—now 65K on odo. Amazing engineering, ergonomics, design, performance & great fuel mileage for a V8, hiway—28mpg @ 70mph. Has Bose, performance pkg, with 18s. 0-60 mph in 6 sec., great handling for a luxury car. I would HIGHLY recommend this car, especially with the 4.2L V8. Just bought an '01 A6 Avant yesterday for my fiancé; a rare, low-mileage car that looks brand new. Will keep both for years. Of the 5 Audis I have owned only 1 has given me problems, and frankly, I bot it with over 100K on it and expected many of the issues. Will own Audis forever!
This is my second Audi. First was a 2002 A6 2.7t which I really liked. This new A6 is even better. I was leaning towards the Infiniti M35x, tried one with 12,000 miles on it, I'd rather keep my 2002 Audi. I'm glad I found this 4.2. I immediately knew this was the car for me. I also tried the Acura RL and didn't think much of it. Nice car, just not as good as the Audi. Purchased mine used with the sport pkg, advanced key, bose stereo, navi, and can't say enough about it. I'll average around 22 actual MPG. Excellent mileage for a 335 HP V8. We're now going to purchase a A4 for my wife. Amazing car!
Audi A6 drives beautifully when it works, but is very unreliable. Have had my A6 serviced for same problem of all of a sudden shutting down and not accelerating properly 5 times in last 3 months. EPS computer fault system continues to fail. At times won't change gears properly. Buyer beware, and Audi no longer offers free service. Audi so far is refusing to replace the vehicle despite servicing it 3 times for these same issue in last 3 weeks. If you like taking your car to the dealership for service a lot, this may be your car.