B5 S4 Avant Reliability

Asked by Aventador937 May 25, 2019 at 09:49 AM about the 2001 Audi S4 quattro Sedan AWD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I’m looking at buying an ‘01 S4 with over
200k miles on it. The second timing belt
service has been done, but I’m wondering
about other reliability concerns or expensive
repairs that these need around this mileage.

3 Answers


The car is probably near death as it has a lot of miles on it. Is it free or really cheap?


Mileage is fairly irrelevant at this point on B5 S4s as the majority of them have been highly modified and had a ton of replacement / repair work performed. Generally speaking, I would advise against purchasing one of these as a daily driver. As a toy or project its a blast (I have one for that use). Unfortunately, many of these cars later in life have been owned by kids/ younger adults who mistreat and wildly under-maintain them...because proper maintenance/ preventative maintenance of this platform is not cheap at all. There's also a plethora of cheap chinese-made knock off parts for these motors that seem like a good idea but almost always fail prematurely. At 200k miles you'll want to have a full leak- down / compression test performed by a dealer or indy Audi tech who knows these motors well. A full VCDS scan of all modules for error codes as well as a few key measuring blocks (block 15/16 to check for misfires, block 32/33 for fuel trims, block 93 to see how far off timing is on each cylinder head). Knowing the previous owner/ trusting them goes a long way on the 2.7T. If it's an automatic, the torque converter is either slipping or about to at 200k miles. If manual, pay attention to how the shifter feels... if 1-2 shift feels notchy or is not easy, the syncro is on its way out and you'll need a new o1e trand or rebuild kit. If the car smokes at warm idle or lets off a puff of smoke between shifts, the turbos are on their way out (if its making a dentist drill noise during acceleration then they're basically already shot).

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