2009 Audi S5: Say Hello To Gimpy
September 21, 2009
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.
(Note: Picture was taken while the car was at an incline; proper measurment on a flat surface after a couple minutes of engine shut-off resulted in a slightly lower level.)
So I drove over to my local auto-parts store to buy a quart of oil. Purchase successful, I got back into the S4 only to find the tire pressure monitoring system light lit up. A quick visual inspection of the tires revealed one very-flat left-front tire. D'oh!
Surely, you've seen guys wrenching on their vehicles in auto-part store parking lots before. In my experience, at least, these vehicles look like they're one anti-freeze fill away from the crusher. But hey, not today AutoZone patrons! For your amusement you get to watch an unshaven, flip-flop-wearin' dude change a tire on his new shiny-red Audi S5!
In the spectrum of flat-tire changes, I'd have to say this one was pretty easy -- I'll take a change at an auto-parts store over a road-side change with semi trucks barreling past anyday.
Everything was pretty standard, and the S5 had all the required equipment in the trunk, including the spare tire, jack, lug wrench and the little pin you use to pull off the center cap. Even the lug nuts weren't too hard to loosen, which is always a concern with the dinky lug wrenches they give you in cars.
I pulled off the flat tire and inspected it. There was an impression and toothpick-size hole near the center of the tread width. A puncture wound, for sure, but whatever the offending item was, it was long gone. I'm not even sure when it happened as the tire deflation was pretty quick.
I drove over to my local Tire Pros shop a couple miles away to have them take a look at the tire. "Yep, we can patch that," said my advisor. I left the tire at the shop so I could get back to work. The gimpy S5 drove a bit differently with the space-saver on (some vibration through the wheel, altered ride quality) but otherwise it did alright. Pressure in the spare tire was fine, too.
I went back to Tire Pros and had the patched tire mounted later that day. Total cost was $25. The TPMS warning was still active, though. When I got home, I checked and set all four tires for the correct air pressure and then reset the sensor via MMI.
Oh yeah, and the oil. Topped off with Castrol Syntec 5W-40 (meets the owner manual's recommended VW 502 00 standard). Unlock the power in your gimpy sexy beast!
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 9,061 miles