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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,
I run on old German classic and was wanting to buy something reliable and practical for everyday, but at the same time nicely designed and with a bit of grunt.

I've seen a nice looking 1999 1.8T A3. It has 61000 miles on the clock (average) and seems cosmetically very good. However I have a couple of questions.

Firstly Turbos. When do they start to go and what should I look for? How expensive are they to replace?

It made a short sqeeling noise just after ignition. Like when you try to start a car that's already running. The chap said it was something to do with the starter motor and that lots of them do it, hmm...? Originally I thought It was just that I was not used to the car and had left the key turned for too long.

How easy is it to turn off the rear airbags? I will be using a child seat.

Is there anything else I should look for?

Thanks in advance for any help.
Steven
 

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Hi. I have a 1997 1.8 t sport which has done 137000 miles and is still running on the original turbo so i think that these are pretty much bullet proof not like some turbo cars that have a shorter life span.
I have a rear child seat fitted in mine too and wasnt aware there are rear airbags,thought that there were only front dash and front seat side bags,dont know if this is different on a 5 door model as mine is 3 door.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for your feedback t-sport,
the rear airbags are a rare extra even on 5 doors.

I take it you've looked after your turbo, letting it 'wind' down before turning off the ignition etc. I've been 'told' that if ill treated there could be problems not long after 60,000 miles?

Any more comments welcome.
Cheers
Steven
 

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Airbags have to be switched off by an Audi Dealer. Not sure how much it costs but any self respecting Stealer should do it for free to temp you into their workshop for servicing.

As for things to watch out for, here goes;
- Mass Air Flow meter is made of chocolate. Feel for flat spots in acceleration. £70 replacement.
- Cam belt recommended replacement is 60k miles. I wonder if that is your squeeling. Ask if it's been done recently, will cost between £300 & £600.
- Faulty coil packs on some models. Should have been sorted out under warranty, but would be wise to ask.
- Check the servicing intervals. Could be on 10k standard or 20k Audi 'Longlife cycle'. Longlife is designed for mostly motorway milage so would be wise to switch to standard if this isn't for you.
- New discs & pads due at around the 50k mark. Check if they haven't been stretched another 10k. Just cost me £200ish (for uprated components and a DIY fit).
- Suspension bushes wear out around the 60-80k mark (mine are on their way). Not an exspensive component but another thing to try and screw em down on!
- If the car has been modified in any way, they may have put on an induction kit. This is generally bad as the 1.8T engine runs hot, therefore you suck in warm air which isn't ideal!

Overall they're bullet proof. Only problem I've had is the MAF Sensor, which as I mentioned is notorious.

With regards to servicing, put the feelers out for an Audi Specialist in your area. Should save yourself around 30%.

Good luck!
 

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Audi recommend inspection at 60k and replacement should they be found to be faulty. As a general rule, I've always been told that it's a good idea to get them changed at this point to avoid a catastrophic repair bill.

Got my 60k service shortly and have prepped myself for the worst case scenario!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks neo283 and everyone else,
printed out your reply and I'm using it to sound like I know what I'm talking about when checking cars.

Keep the advice coming.

Cheers
Steven
 

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Hi there just read all the post
In ref; to the squealing noise after start up you will find this is common
to these cars, it is just the starter motor staying engaged for a brief moment .
There are two possible remidies
Firstly loosen all the starter motor bolts and retighten or go for the complete
cure which may envolve a new starter motor bendix bush (if available)
Please make all cheques payable to shauns1966 :amen:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks shauns1966 and everyone else who has been kind enough to post their advice.

I have just bought a black A3 1.8 (not a turbo) with a dark grey suede interior. Looks the part and I don't have to worry about a nice big turbo bill in the future.

All your tips and advice allowed me to knock the price down a bit and increased my chances of buying a good motor.

Cheers
Steven
 
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