New owner with some questions [Archive] - Audi Forums

: New owner with some questions

02-27-2012, 08:56 PM
I just purchased a 2004 A4 1.8T, quattro 6 spd. manual with 137k. The previous owner maintained it well and had receipts of major service work completed in the last 15k miles including timing belt, water pump etc. It's due for an oil change and I'm wondering what the intervals should be with this mileage. Also, he said he used castrol gtx high mileage oil. Should I continue to use this or use synthetic? If all goes well, to what mileage will these cars go until? I've never owned a foreign car so I need to become educated on these a4's. Thanks for everyone's help and insight!

03-04-2012, 05:34 PM
First of all, congratulations on your 2004 Audi A4 1.8L Quattro equipped with the 6-speed manual! Don't be concerned about the age or mileage of your car; there's no "drop-dead date" stamped into the design of the Audi B6 A4's (unlike a number of Japanese marques with engineered-in product lifespans).... ;-)

Many forum members have Audi's with well over 250K-miles on the odometer and their vehicles look and run like they just came off of the showroom floor. However, an aggressive preventative maintenance program is necessary to maintain the condition of your new ride; don't wait for something to break before servicing the car. You need to locate a trusted local independent service facility that has the Audi specialist technicians and the proper diagnostic equipment; you can then collaborate with them to plan a rational maintenance program for your car. Don't worry; planning a maintenance program for your Audi doesn't add to the ownership costs and will in most cases permit you to head-off a number of maintenance issues. :D

Ah, yes; the matter of engine-oil and engine-oil change intervals; this topic can and has launched a number of near-religious "wars" on the forum. Definitely use a full-synthetic engine-oil; the stresses placed on the engine-oil by the 1.8L turbo-engine are high and a full-synthetic engine-oil is the only logical choice for long-term engine durability and reliability. Most forum members opt for fairly short engine-oil change intervals (I personally recommend 5K-miles between engine-oil changes) ---- after all, engine-oil (even full-synthetics) are much less expensive than new/rebuilt engines. :cool:

Any full synthetic engine-oil that meets the VW/Audi 502.00 engine-oil specifications should be fine (the castrol gtx high mileage oil the previous owner mentioned isn't one of them). The forum sponsors can help you get the "good stuff" for your vehicle at great prices (e.g., here's the proper Catrol engine-oil for just $7.58/quart, Audi B6 A4 Quattro 1.8T > Maintenance > Engine > Oil > ES#474038 Engine Oil (5w-40) - 1 Quart - ZVW352540SDSP ( ;)

A great preventative-maintenance step for a new Audi owner would be to install an all-aluminum belly-pan on your A4. To keep the hood-line stylistically low on profile, Audi tends to have a number of mission-critical and expensive-to-replace engine/drivetrain components mounted pretty damned low in the engine-bay (oil-pan, oil-cooler, etc.). As a result, road-debris or chunks of ice/frozen-snow can prompt a lot of expensive repairs. The factory belly-pan is made of plastic and is only useful in maintaining the proper under-hood air-flow; the OEM plastic belly-pan tends to disintegrate pretty readily. Since you've got the Quattro all-wheel-drive system, you can't really enjoy the full winter-time capabilities of your Audi if you have to worry about the OEM plastic belly-pan letting your drivetrain take some serious hit-points. :confused:

Look into installing a DieselGeek PanzerPlate belly-pan ( These things are so tough, DieselGeek doesn't even box them up for shipment; they slap the shipping-label on the belly-pan and send it (the UPS/FedEx guys can't hurt 'em). After some spirited rally-car winter-time driving in our Audi's, the worst the road can do to our PanzerPlates is a few cosmetic scratches in the aluminum surface... :lol:

BTW, great choice in selecting the 6-speed manual transmission; it's the only transmission that's good for the life of your A4. Clutches usually last between 75K-miles and 130K-miles (depending upon your driving habits). A great maintenance tip is to change-out the synthectic gear-lube in the transmssion and the front/rear differentials at the same time you have the timing-belt service (every 75K-miles/7-years). It's amazing how much smoother and quieter the car is for about $15's worth of Audi gear-lube and an hour's work... :)

Enjoy the ride! That's what Audi's are here for... B)

03-04-2012, 06:22 PM
Thanks so much mullard! Great info. to know since I'm new to these Audi's. Another question I have is what is truly the best performance chip for my car? There is so much debate out there on this. I see some under a $100.00 up to $700.00. Are these chips reliable and do they cause "more" problems than what they are worth? I truly appreciate all the help!

03-05-2012, 09:33 AM
Sharing knowledge is the point of the forum; over the past few years, I've acquired a really staggering amount of useful information about my Audi's via the forum, so it's only fair that I assist new forum members in maximizing the enjoyment of their Audi's! :D

Chipping the Audi 1.8L turbo-engine is another highly-contested forum topic, so, don't be surprised if a lot of folks jump in with comments about their favorites! I'm going to try to focus on providing you with general-purpose chipping information so that you can make an informed decision between all of the options available on the market. To a large extent, it all depends upon your performance objectives for the car. The performance-tuning chips usually slot into one of three stages of tuning; Stage 1 (~210bhp), Stage 2 (~260bhp) or Stage 3 (300+bhp) tunings.

Stage 1 tunings usually assume 91-93 Octane gasoline and do not assume any upgrades to other driveline components. However, reality usually requires that you at least upgrade the OEM diverter valve. The diverter valve (DV) is an alternate pathway for turbo-boost pressure when the boost-pressure is not being used by your engine. Whenever the throttle body is closed, like during shifts or deceleration, the boost-pressure needs an escape route or a recirculation pathway. If the boost-pressure cannot escape or be diverted during these times, it can back-up and cause mechanical shocks to the turbocharger. A Blow Off Valve (BOV) performs the same task as a DV, but instead of returning the boosted air back into the intake, it vents the boot-pressure out to the atmosphere.

Stage 2 tunings usually assume at least 93 Octance gaoline and an upgrade to at least a Stage 1 clutch (in order to handle the increased torque output of the engine). Keep in mind that anytime you increase boost-pressure, the resulting compression of the intake air results in a substantial increase in the temperature of the intake air, which can decrease the power-output of the engine. A number of Stage 2 owners upgrade their intercooler to provide additional cooling of the intake air, thereby maximizing the power-output of their engine. Be aware that fitting a larger front-mounted intercooler (FMIC) will require a larger front bumper cover; the S4 bumper cover or some after-market bumper covers are required (or extreme modification of the stock bumper).

Stage 3 tunings can assume gasoline Octance ratings up to 100-104. A Stage 2 or Stage 3 clutch upgrade will likely be necessary to handle the increased torque output of the engine without slipping. An FMIC is usually required as well. :eek:

A number of the more polished chip-tuning applications can enable you to program your car's ECU with more than one program. For example, you could select to enable one of several tunings and well as have the ability to detune the car back to the OEM programming, for emissions-testing or "valet" mode (when you don't want another driver to be able to access the maximum performance your car is capable of delivering). So, if there's no ultra-high octane fuel available, you could dial the tuning down to match the conditions available :)

Keep this information in mind when assessing your chip-tuning options. The associated drivetrain upgrades for the higher stages of tuning will definitely impact the overall cost of implementing the performance levels of a Stage 2/3 tuning. Just keep the Quattro system pointed at the ground and enjoy the ride! :cool:

Good luck!

Boy Scout
03-22-2012, 10:37 AM
I have to go with the "Leave the Chip Alone!" group

You have a great car the way it is ... if you want a faster Audi buy one.

The 1.8 is a great engine and the very smart engineers have it already set for you very well ...

Let me get off my soap box ... Welcome to Audi world ... roll up your sleeves and get to know your car to maximumize your enjoyment ...

ECS Tuning-Audi
03-22-2012, 03:39 PM

We have the entire North American Parts Catalog LIVE & Search able on our site if you ever need to obtain OEM parts pricing!

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At the top right hand corner there's a search box where you can type in part numbers or look up the part by name.

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Let me know if you have any questions.