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Old 04-22-2006, 01:56 PM   #441
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Old 04-27-2006, 12:15 PM   #442
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Default How to use the spare when the tires have directional tread

If your tires have directional tread, they need to be mounted on the rims so that they are rolling in the direction of the arrow for the side of the car that they are mounted on. But what about the spare?

Tire Rack suggests that your directional spare should be mounted on its rim as if it were going on the driver's side. They believe based on their data that if you see debris on the road and attempt to avoid it, you are more likely to damage a driver's side tire than a passenger side one. That means that if you're playing the odds, it's not a 50-50 chance, and mounting the tire for the driver's side gives you better odds of it being mounted right to use as a replacement.

What if that's what you had done, but you blow a passenger side tire? Tire Rack says that it's ok to run a tire in the wrong direction for a distance of about 100 miles, but at that point you should either have the original tire fixed and put back on, or you should have the spare remounted so it's going in the right direction.

Because directional tires are designed that way in part to shed water, if you have the spare going the wrong direction on a wet road, you should slow down to 50 MPH or below or avoid interstates entirely so you don't risk hydroplaning.

Information for this post was supplied by Oscar of Tire Rack.
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Old 05-01-2006, 09:55 PM   #443
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Old 05-02-2006, 04:44 AM   #444
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Old 05-05-2006, 01:44 PM   #445
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Default Should you buy an extended warranty for your B5? (wiki)

Because of the six-years-from-inservice-date limitation on the certified pre-owned (CPO) warranty from Audi, most B5s are no longer eligible for CPO, and the remaining 2001s that are will have less than a year left on the warranty. That means if you want warranty protection, you'll have to buy an aftermarket warranty. Should you?

The answer is a big maybe.

Because the warranties offered you by the various providers will vary on what they cover, how much they cost, and what deductible you choose, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. The calculation you want to make is whether your various maintenance bills will be more or less than what you pay for the warranty. Actually, for the warranty to benefit you, your maintenance costs should be at least several hundred dollars above the warranty cost to compensate you for the interest you could be earning on that advance payment.

Here's how you can think about the calculation.

First, check carefully to see what will be covered under the warranty. If your vehicle has a salvage title or has been "modified from manufacturer's original specifications," you may not be able to obtain an aftermarket warranty, at least from some companies. No company will cover a vehicle with modifications that will change the reliability of a covered part. Does this mean if you're chipped, they won't cover the turbocharger? Don't take a salesperson's word for it; if they tell you it will be covered, make sure it is writing on the contract.

Because your B5 will no longer be under manufacturer's warranty, the most common reason to deny you coverage of a problem is that it was a "pre-existing condition." To prevent this happening to you, you should make the warranty company accept an inspection of your vehicle done by an independent shop prior to starting coverage. Some warranty companies require such an inspection. That's a good thing. Also understand that some companies may have waiting periods as long as two months from the time your coverage starts before they will pay for a repair.

Second, virtually no warranty will cover routine maintenance -- fluid changes, plugs, bulbs, filters, wipers -- or consumable items such as brake pads and rotors, shocks, or clutches. While some warranties cover emissions system components, many do not, and several offer an emissions system warranty as an add-on. If you can find a warranty on a B5 that is truly bumper-to-bumper, it will be so expensive that you can't afford it. No warranty company will cover your timing belt change and related work at 60K miles.

Third, most warranty companies differentiate between items that go bad from "failure" or "mechanical breakdown," which most will cover, and "wear and tear" which is more problematic. You need to ask the warranty company specifically if common B5 problems are covered and get the answer in writing. Asking a salesperson will usually get you a bad answer. Review the definition sections -- how do they define a failure, breakdown, or mechanical breakdown? A list of common B5 problems is at the bottom of this post.

Fourth, repair shops report that a single warranty company will cover a problem sometimes but not other times. There is a certain arbitrariness in the system, even though there shouldn't be, especially if you've gotten written clarification of the issue beforehand. Still, that's what repair shops report, so expect some issues to crop up.

Fifth, often a repair will fall under the deductible level, so while it's covered in theory, you'll pay for the repair. A way to get around this is to save up problems and have them all covered under one claim (one visit). Alternatively, you can usually get a warranty with no deductible, although the premium up front will be higher.

Sixth, it will make a difference if you use a dealer or an indy shop to make the repairs, with the indy shop usually being less expensive (so the warranty will be more likely to kick in for dealer work, but you'll still just pay the deductible).

Seventh, the warranty company may insist on your using remanufactured parts. Additionally, the warranty company may not use the standard AESIS (Audi repair manual) repair times, instead using generic (Mitchell's, Chilton, Alldata, etc.) labor guides. For example, instead of paying five hours for a valve cover gasket and cam chain tensioner seal on a 1.8T, they will pay 3, or 2.3, or 4.8. Or they may pay the national hourly labor rate which is less than the labor rate your shop charges. That may mean that your repair shop will either ask you to make up the difference or decline to do the work if they're not willing to eat the difference.

Let's say you have a $100 deductible. What will the warranty cover? On the list of problems below under "Engine," only the cam chain tensioner seal and the oil sludge problem have a good chance of being covered and exceeding the deductible by much. Under suspension, the control arms, tie rod ends, and particularly the power steering rack are big dollar items, and they're often covered, but not always. Getting a new ABS module is a maybe. Wheel bearings will get reimbursed, but not for more than a few dollars if your deductible is $250. Drivetrain seals are usually covered; parts are cheap, but labor will be about $500 before the deductible. Again, check to see what warranty covers before you buy it!

I don't have a lot of data on warranty work on most of the interior items from my sources.

Here's a rough guess bottom line. If you have three big problems (say three of these five: all control arms, both tie rod ends, power steering rack, cam chain tensioner seal, oil sludge), WITHIN THE WARRANTY PERIOD, then your warranty will probably have been worth it. If you have only one of them and a bunch of little problems, or if you can do a lot of work yourself, you'll probably lose money on the warranty. Remember, you're gambling against the professionals who have huge amounts of data on the likelihood of various claims against them, and the B5 has been out long enough that pretty much all the likely problems are known. Warranty companies aren't doing this out of the goodness of their hearts. They exist to make a profit. Think of buying a warranty as betting against the house in Vegas. Some people will win big. More will lose than win. So how much is peace of mind worth to you? If you buy a warranty when you buy the car, the warranty is much more likely to pay for itself (because the warranty company has free use of your money until the manufacturer's warranty expires). But it's too late for that on the B5. The more research you do before you buy, the happier you're likely to be.

Likely Problems after 5 years/50,000 miles:

Engine:

Boost leak - hoses, diverter valve, N75 valve
Pollution control system: MAF, O2 sensors
Gauge sending units
Coil packs
Cam chain tensioner seal
Timing belt/tensioner/water pump
Oil sludge

Drive Train and Suspension:

Control Arms
Tie Rod Ends
Wheel Bearings
Power Steering Rack
Clutch
ABS module

Interior

Instrument panel cluster
Cruise control
Door handles
Sunroof guides, sunroof switch, sunroof drains
Heated seats

Drivetrain Seals

Tiptronic output shaft seal
Rear differential output shaft seals

Note: Several people reviewed this article and made very helpful suggestions which I've incorporated. One person was from a dealer, one from an indy shop, and one from a warranty company. To protect them and the organizations they work for, I won't reveal their names. But thanks to all of them! Any errors in this article are mine alone.
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710N BPV
APR catback exhaust
H-Sport front and rear anti-sways
Koni Adjustable Yellows
A8 big brake kit
Carbotech Bobcat pads
Kumho Ecsta Sports
AWE Tuning center vent boost gauge
APR snub mount
Llumar Fornula One Pinnacle 50% tint
VW Taschenlampe

Link to the A4 B5 Wiki

Last edited by Kris Hansen; 04-29-2009 at 07:56 AM. Reason: added to wiki
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Old 05-08-2006, 06:47 AM   #446
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Old 05-09-2006, 03:02 PM   #447
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Old 05-12-2006, 05:39 AM   #448
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Default Fixed Airbag Light by Clearing RADIO Fault Code

I had the airbag light come on after I did some work on the radio. I had installed an inline FM modulator with a signal amplifier for my XM Commander receiver. Whenever I tried to clear the code for the airbag (driver side high resistance), it would come back on immediately. I was about to take the car in to the dealer.

I checked my RADIO faults and noticed some weird code about controller internal memory error (I wish I had saved the code to know for sure).

I cleared the code. Then I went to the AIRBAG controller and cleared the code (driver side high resistance-01217) and it stayed off.

For everyone who has had this problem, check and clear your RADIO codes and see if that doesn't fix the problem.
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Old 05-14-2006, 05:06 AM   #449
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Old 05-15-2006, 03:03 PM   #450
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Old 05-15-2006, 03:03 PM
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