I'm new to this forum and wanted to share my experiences with various Colorado "Front Range" Audi Service providers. Throughout the years I've needed service on the following Audi models: 4000, A4, two A6's, S6 and recently purchased a '99 A8.
Here's the short version - McDonald for Audi no-charge service and warranty repair, Sterling Service for everything else. STAY AWAY from AutosportWerks and Phil Long European Imports. Read on for the details...
AutosportWerks (Independent - Broomfield) - TRIED THEM ONCE - NEVER AGAIN! Took A6 for front brakes and front CV boots (preventative maintenance - old CV boots had started cracking). Seven days after brake/boot service, a grinding noise started from front end. Brought car back in, they replaced LEFT wheel bearing but problem remained (charged me 50% of total cost). Next they thought it was the transaxle going bad - quote me around $3000 ($800 labor, $2200 for a used transaxle). I don't think AutosportWerks knows what they were doing with Audi's. They probably know how to change wheels or maybe exhaust systems (vroom, vroom) or have more experience with BMW's. Brought A6 to Sterling Service (below) who correctly diagnosed the problem and replaced the RIGHT wheel bearing. Tried to convince General Manager at AutosportWerks that they caused the problem and should pay, but "can't get no satisfaction...".
Prestige Imports (Dealer - Lakewood) - Brought S6 in for 120K service (mucho $$$) includes timing belt, water pump, accessory belt and new fan bearing (runs off accessory belt). All well for 10K miles until fan bearing fails and takes out accessory belt. Prestige replaced fan bearing/belt under service warranty and severely scratches front bumper and surrounding areas. Service covered repainting front bumper and replacement of clear bra. I give Prestige credit for standing behind their bumbling gorillas in service, but I didn't need the experience/downtime...
McDonald Automotive Group (Dealer - Littleton) - Brought A6 for no-charge scheduled service and warranty stuff - covered water pump replacement (involves timing belt) and other minor items under warranty. Correctly (repair can be tricky and leaky) and expen$ively fixed A4 sunroof after rock shattered glass. Service Dept. helpful on researching service records of potential used Audi's (not McDonald's) to purchase. Had A4 "check engine" light come on but McDonald wouldn't throw a VAG on it without making an appointment! Brought A4 down the street to Sterling who diagnosed a stuck (open) thermostat.
Sterling Service (Independent - Littleton) - Have used them for several "pre-purchase" inspections, routine service and major 60K/120K services. Sterling has helped me many times with knotty problems - for example S6 was missing at low RPM's - I replaced plugs, plug wire extenders, one fuel injector. Finally brought it to Sterling who found an intermittent ignition coil. Also helped with AutosportWerks fiasco above. John has reset various computer alerts for free. Very honest. Only issue is they are pricey however I've NEVER had to bring anything back yet!
Phil Long European Imports (Dealer - Colorado Springs) - DON'T BRING YOUR CAR HERE FOR SERVICE! - Recently purchased a '99 A8 from Phil Long. Fantastic car! Can't wait for one of the wiz bang $$$ widgets to fail! Was promised "Audi Assured Inspection" in 2 or 3 days. Phil Long picked up car and NINE days later returned the A8 with minor damage, parts missing and new scratches. Currently trying to work out issues with AoA, but may end up in court!
Stammler Imports (Dealer - Boulder) - I haven't used them for service. However while shopping for the A8, Stammler had a '98 A8 with 59K miles. Car was shown dirty (inside and out) and Stammler was unwilling to include timing belt with 60K service as condition of sale. I've had several Audi service people (including Stammler's service people) tell me that although A8 timing belt service is scheduled at 90K, it is strongly recommended at 60K. Just didn't get a good feeling about the car or the Stammler, so I dropped the deal!
I do not have any service experiences with the following but would like to hear yours:
Champagne Motors (Independent - Englewood)
Werner's Mastertek (Independent - Aurora)
Ed Carroll Motor Co. (Dealer - Fort Collins)
Elk Mountain Motors (Dealer - Glenwood Springs - realize not Front Range but could need service while up skiing...)
Please post your Colorado Audi Service experiences. Perhaps we could start rating service experiences with Audi "rings". i.e. I give them "OOO+1/2".
08-28-2002, 12:12 PM
08-28-2002, 02:29 PM
Had to have them repair curb rash after my last visit. Wheel was back in < 1 day (kudos to Prestige and the repair guy), looks brand new. That's the only complaint I've had in the half dozen or so visits. Fortunately I have a spare car and live close by, so it was trivial to take the wheel off and give it to them for the day. Had that not been the case, I'm sure I would have been much more pissed off about the whole thing. Only once did they misdiagnose something and require a second visit (squeaky rear end), and they did an awesome job on replacing the tranny and clutch (former under warranty *whew*) a while back.
Being that they fixed the wheel so quickly, I have to give them a OOO+1/2. Had there been no wheel damage at all it would have been a 4 ringer.
08-28-2002, 02:42 PM
European on Riverside did not impress me.
08-28-2002, 02:45 PM
So far no need for any major repairs - they honored all my needs (including a crack in the leather) without complaints.
Just there this week with my freshly waxed car - which the repair guy doing the recall decided it needed to be washed too. Oh well - his heart was in the right place. Recall to replace vac line has resulted in a much smoother engine.
08-28-2002, 06:11 PM
...for years (4 Audis) when I lived in Boulder, including one near-lemon on which they did great work. One of its problems, it turned out, was something no one, world-wide, had ever heard of. Stammler figured it out (took them about a week, including getting parts from Germany) and fixed it, all under warranty and with lots of information flow to me.
They're not big on used cars, I know, but their service department is top notch. HPH
08-29-2002, 07:26 AM
They are usually book 3-4 weeks out. I've had no problems at Prestige.
08-29-2002, 08:38 AM
When my S4 had a torn throttle body boot, I spoke with service indicting it was torn and needed a replacement. They told me they had never heard of torn tbb's on S4's, and that I must have aftermarket parts that caused the problem. My car was completely stock, which I indicated to them, and notified them that in fact Audi had created a replacement part. They continued to tell me that there was nothing wrong with that part. I walked around the corner to the parts desk, and said I needed a new tbb. The parts guy told me that they had "a bunch" of audi S4's come in with a failure of that part and had ordered a bunch of extras. I promptly bought one, went home, and replaced the part myself.
Trying to give stammler another chance, I took my car in for what was an obvious blown speaker. Again, all stock components. I waited 3 weeks for an appt, for them to tell me "yup, the mid is blown, we will order one for you". I waited another 4 weeks with no word from them. I called up and they said "Oh, um, yea your part just came in today" (Yea right). And then they told me that I would have to schedule another appt 3 weeks out to get it fixed. Fat chance. I called up McDonald, and they said they could do it in 3 days in the morning while I waited. Perfect. They said to grab the part from Stammler and bring it down. I tried to get it from stammler (parts guy gave it to me), and when I went to pay for it the service guy wouldn't let me take it. Said I needed to give him the broken one, first. I tried to explain I would bring it back, but no such luck. I drove to McDonald, and they happened to have one in stock to replace mine, and then told me the tweeter was also blown. Stammler didn't check it or something. McDonald ordered it and took care of it within a week.
McDonald is usually pretty good at fixing things, but when I had my stock radio replaced, it looked like they just threw it in and thats it. None of the edges matched up flush with the surrounding plastic and had to schedule a new appt to get it fixed (and also look into some rattles). 2 weeks later, and after having my car for 2 days to fix these problems, I get it back and the radio still isn't perfect, and they couldn't find any of the rattles that took one block of driving to come back. I didn't feel like leaving the car with them for another 2 days.
For non Audi warranty stuff I used Modern Specialists in boulder (for my old 1990 90Q). They are awesome. Never any problems with them, and if any problems creaps back after they have said they fixed it, they will get you right back in and work on it again free of charge. These guys are great and can't say enough good things about them. As soon as my current warranty is up, they will be who I use for all work.
08-29-2002, 09:02 AM
Do you realize that David (their Audi expert) has something like 20 years of experience and has worked with Audi race car teams on multiple occasions? Not to mention founding the RevSport shop in CO Springs? I trust them completely with my car. They're expensive, but they do good work. I have also had nothing but good experiences with Stammler. I think everybody here would really appreciate it if you did your research before you go badmouthing companies and potentially costing them business.
08-29-2002, 09:47 AM
Well ASW must have been having a bad day/week with my A6. Check with them - everything stated is 100% true. BTW - David "supervised" the work.
08-29-2002, 09:52 AM
Sometimes suspension noises are just a crap shoot in diagnosis, and it was good of them to give you the discount they did- that probably meant them taking a $ hit.
08-29-2002, 10:00 AM
I agree some problems are more difficult to diagnose than others (that's why I bring my Audi's to the "experts"). I just get a little testy when the "expert" recommends a $3000 fix for a $300 problem (that they may have caused)...
08-29-2002, 10:15 AM
Great post! - That's exactly what I'm trying to get at. ACTUAL service experiences - good, bad and ugly. We're paying our hard earned cash to keep these Audi beasts maintained. Our lessons learned can help others...
08-29-2002, 10:38 AM
...Down here in the south, we don't. Fortunately, the service dept. in Albuquerque is pretty good, if expensive. HPH
08-29-2002, 11:06 AM
08-29-2002, 01:07 PM
I'm in Colorado Springs. I bought my current ride at Phil Long and have had mixed results. It was missing at idle when I bought it, and it turned out to have several problems. The connection between the coil pack and the spark plug on cyl#5 was weak; the plugs were fouled, and the injectors were dirty. [It was used as a demo, a loaner and co. car for one of the mgrs]. It took 3 visits before it was running smoothly. On the third visit, I told Jeremy Sandoval (Srv coord) I wanted Danny Thompson to work on this car. I've known Danny for 15 years; he's good! He spent 2 months in Ingolstaat for factory training and is the lead mechanic at PLI. It purrs like a kitten now.
For out-of-warranty work, go German Motorsports on S. 8th St. Kirk Royer, like Danny, is Audi factory trained and certified. I used him to fix my previous Audi's after the warranty expired. He has done numerous repairs on my previous ride, the '87 5000CS. He's a LOT cheaper than Phil Long!! I have never had to bring my car back because of something not done right. 4 rings!
08-30-2002, 12:07 AM
I've purchased two new Audis since returning to Colorado: a 2000 A6 Avant from McDonald Automotive Group in Littleton, and a 2002 S6 Avant from Prestige Porsche/Audi in Lakewood.
First the A6 -- always serviced by McDonald... routine maintenance and several recalls were scheduled and performed promptly, done by the hour I requested, with parts always on hand. My only issue relating to to warranted visits were the battles that occurred virtually every time, with regard to loaners or who was going to take care of the rental car. I always won this argument, but it usually required pressing the service manager directly. Non-routine maintenance at McDonald has been a totally different story. A lost headlight-washer cover took two and a half months, and four separate parts orders to get this resolved (first was lost by the paint shop, the second was for the wrong side, the third was painted the wrong color). A failed heater/AC fan took almost two months of delays in diagnosis and then a failure to actually order the part. (I do have one 'above-and-beyond' story related to McDonald, but it was really Audi's regional customer loyalty rep - he and two McDonald folks spent half a day working on sound system related buzzing in the car - modifying and insulating every door lid and ashtray and speaker cove on the car, without a single gripe or "that's just as good as we can do" comment, until I was completely satisfied.)
McDonald's autobody shop on the other hand..... I snagged the A6's front airdam on a curb only a couple months after purchase, and it concerned me both cosmetically and because it way literally dragging the ground and fluttering around as I drove. McDonald was unwilling to even take a look at it for an estimate or to get parts ordered for three weeks, and then they said it would be at least a month after that before it could actually be worked on. I called Prestige's shop and they did the estimate and ordered parts that same day, and they got the car in the following Monday for the repairs. After they were done, I realized they'd not replaced the clearbra, or even included it on the insurance estimate; so they took care of it on their nickel with apologies. A year late I dented a back fender on the A6 and decided again to give McDonald a shot, as it wasn't that pressing, and they'd just built a new "state-of-the-art" collision repair facility down south. The short story: On the day I was to pick-up the finished car, I find out they hadn't even started (my car hadn't even moved all week). They were going to also do the 20K service while they had it, but forgot. It took two and a half weeks and two separate follow-up visits to finally get the job done right, and they never did replace the taillight they damaged with cleaning solvent removing the overspray.
The bodyshop incidents, combined with the loaner car issues at McDonald, prompted me to decide to purchase my S6 from Prestige, despite McDonald's willingness to cut me a better deal on the sale. So far my overriding impression of Prestige can be summed up in one work: Slooowwww! So far, the S6 had three problems come up, and each time it's taken 2-3 weeks to get an appointment to bring it in for diagnosis, then they order parts, then 2-3 weeks more to get back in to make the repairs. I understand some S-6 parts may be unique and unreasonable to keep on hand, but why follow-up appointment scheduling must begin again from the bottom of the pile, I have real difficulty with. (A plus though - no problems or arguments supplying loaners.) Also, twice now, I've ordered parts from the Prestige parts department (that didn't require a service visit), and twice, they've failed to get the orders right the first time.
I've been doing some modding on the S6, and ordered wheels, tires, and a StopTech brake kit on-line and installed them myself; but when I decided on the MTM exhaust, I turned to Champagne Motor Sports in Englewood. I've know Larry (the owner) from Champagne's support of the Rocky Mtn Quattro Club events. So far, Champagne's done the exhaust, changed out and bleed my brake fluid, and done the initial steps of swapping out the ECU and Tiptronic chips for MTM. (This will be MTM's first N.A. S6, so there's some extra machinations involved.) Champagne's service has been very quick, professional, and fairly priced. They only work on Audis, and it shows, as all the techs seem quite knowledgeable and competent. My only comment would be, if you're looking for alternatives outside of Audi OEM or the premium aftermarket brands (MTM, H&R, etc.) that they rep., Larry's probably not going to be all that interested in helping you. Based on the `snail slow' service I've gotten from Prestige, I'm probably going to be using Champagne for my first line "check engine" lights, and little questions and concerns, as they pop up.
I can only speak of Autosport Werks based on my impressions through a couple direct social encounters with their staff, and hearsay from people who have used them. ...but initially they seem like Audis are still kind-of new to them, and they may talk bigger that they're able to deliver. I'm going to make a point of researching more though, and I'd like to hear from Audi owner who've used them, as they appear to have access to a number of manufacturers products and then have a 4-wheel dyno on the premises.
I guess that's more than enough for now. Tschuss!
08-30-2002, 12:13 AM
of my A6...came back looking like new. Quick and reasonably priced.
08-30-2002, 08:27 AM
admitedly no real service experience, but the way those arrogant bastards do business, they will never see any car of mine.
08-30-2002, 10:34 AM
The purpose of my original post was to see if my Colorado "Front Range" Audi service experiences were unique or just plain bad luck. From your responses, it seems I'm not alone. Please keep posting your ACTUAL service experiences (good, bad & ugly), for all to see.
I'm dismayed that with all the money we pay for Audi luxury cars (and dollars after warranty), SOME dealers treat their customers like their doing us a favor. I've seen the word "arrogant" to describe these dealers. At the least, I think we can expect service comparable to Toyota/Lexus (for which I've had better experiences). Also, your posts clearly indicate a preference for QUALITY independent shops after warranty.
I expect service departments to diagnose and fix things in a timely and professional manner (completely, without call backs, without causing additional problems) and keep me informed as to the progress. If parts need to be ordered, timely callbacks/rescheduling should be forthcoming from the servicing dealer. If the servicing dealer does screw-up, I expect them to take responsibility for the screw-up and fix it at their expense.
So where do we go from here? Your comments are welcome.
09-03-2002, 12:52 PM
Prestige Imports: Purchased the car used there and was treated like I was buying new by Justin Adis. He even got me a brand new switchblade key and a valet key at no cost, because the car only had a single switchblade key with it. As for service, expect to wait 2-3 weeks with an appointment or without for warranty work and non-warranty work, then you get to wait another 3 days to 2 weeks to order parts, but in the end the result has always been perfect, you just have to wait for it. Also, they have never offered a loaner, they will call enterprise for you and give you a 10% discount. Not cool if you're not going to have your car for 5 weeks.
Autosport Werks: I bought an APR snub mount and a Stratmosphere SS from them and installed them myself. When I inquired if they had any tips for the install David was very willing to provide advice, and very good advice it turned out to be, and was also very knowledgeable concerning Audi's. I plan to buy more parts from them and probably use them for non-warranty work, even at $80 an hour, because of David's expertise.
2001 A4 1.8TQMS
09-03-2002, 02:36 PM
I have taken 2 A4's through 30k service, no problems yet. Had control arms and links replaced, great service. I think they used to have problems, but have since cleaned up.
09-03-2002, 06:25 PM
Never had a problem @ Rolf Werner's shop. Rolf used to work at Pioneer P&A. He's great with the 10V & 20V engines. I haven't brought my A4 to him yet, since it's still under warranty. He always took great care of my '84 Coupe GT.
He's now got his own alignment rack and very reasonable.<ul><li><a href="http://www.wmastertek.com/">Werner's</a></li></ul>
09-05-2002, 06:21 AM
a loaner or a free rental if I needed it. They were pretty slow on non-critical service appointments, but that seems to be getting better (1-2 weeks). Parts have always been there when my appoinment was scheduled, ordered parts usually next day.