I am considering purchasing a 1999 A8. What are the pros and cons associated with this car? I've heard gripes about the brakes. Are they insufficient for such a heavy car? What are the common mechanical problems with this car? Thanks in advance for your assistance.
10-01-2002, 11:29 AM
You should do a search of the archives, many people
(me included) have asked that question in the past year
or so. I bought a 99 A8 in early August. I am prejudiced,
but I think they are wonderful cars.
Power, handling, ride, luxury features, looks, rarity, value
(if bought used)
It would seem that some components are not built as well
as they should be. There have been many problems with
the power seats - motorized components not working, etc.
Oil leaks - many people have valve cover gasket and other
Parts can be expensive
Dealer service can be expensive
10-01-2002, 01:28 PM
I agree with barryl's comments. To add a few more points:
1) Outside of the usual checklist of buying a used car, I think a key consideration is balancing the cost v. benefit of buying "Audi Assured". In my opinion, if your going to hold the car for more than a year or two, it's worth a couple of grand at least. If anything, you might sleep better. I know I have.
2) Specifically addressing brakes: Our dealer(s) has been replacing the front rotors on my wife's A8 approx. every 5K miles. They replace the rears approx. every 10K miles. The car's got just over 40K miles on it and has been in for brakes more often than oil changes. Maybe next time in I'll offer to pay Audi half the cost for an S8 upgrade - assuming that this will provide a fix. Hopefully Audi will see the advantage of this versus continuing to pay for all of these brakes.
Backtracking a bit - she put 60K miles on her A4 Avant before the rotors were replaced.
3) Other issues with her car (that seem to be somewhat common with other 8s) are: Valve cover gaskets, the "rear seal", and power lumbar supports in seats. All of which hit at around 20K miles with her car but have not reoccured.
4) May sound funny but inspect the lower front grills and belly pan. It's easy to blow them out when backing up from parking stops - the lip can catch the stop and tear the whole front bumper off the car.
5) I've read some things here related to transmissions. We've had no problems but the last time I drove my wifes car, it seemed to "double shift" a few times.
Lastly, even after all this said, I like the car. My wife seems to like it as well. If it were as dependable (and solid) as her A4 Avant, it would be perfect.
10-01-2002, 07:33 PM
From what I see, I think the A8 is an exceptional value. You have to plan on $150 a month in repair bills. If you don't, then don't buy the car. I would take it to at least two mechanics before you purchase it. Let's face it, it is a huge investment in a three year old car. Even if you spend $500 to have it completely checked over at two dealerships that will be less than the taxes you paid on it and a far better use of the money. But I am the kind of person that will put 300,000 miles on a car so I might have a skewed opinion on this.
As for the brakes - there are a lot of upgrade kits and I think it depends on your geographical region as to what you chose.
Common mechanical problems - check for any kind of leaks for the 99's. They are pretty solid, it seems like most of the transmission problems are resolved by this year. Also, I would recommend taking the car to a body shop and making sure that there is no body putty or steel replacement pieces in the car.
10-02-2002, 09:12 AM
Just get a 99 with less than 50K like I did, and you can have it checked out thoroughly for free by an Audi dealer, and you'll get free loaner everytime u go. Cost: $0.
About the brakes...we'll see how far they take me...I don't drive the car like a Granny myself, as a German car shouldn't be driven... =)