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Thread: Audi Engine failure

  1. #1
    Freedom Ouray's Avatar
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    Angry Audi Engine failure

    Guys, looking for some insight on my Audi A8L. Over the weekend while in park and just idling the engine suddenly made a horrific noise and after a few seconds shut down. As these things go of course I was at a colleagues house for a work function about 80 miles from home. Flat bed, taxi's, a few hours later the car was at the local dealer and the family was home. Today after four hours of work they notified me that the gears on the rear of the cam shafts on both sides of the engine are worn out, and that the valves are bent, etc. etc. As the car has had every recommended service at the correct intervals at the dealer, including pro actively changing the timing belt last year they have told me that the engine shows no signs of any other wear. Apparently there is a tension chain that may have failed and caused the timing belt to slip thus damaging the heads. Potential cost starts at $13k and they do not recommend doing it as Audi has never seen this occur and are concerned as to what the cause was and if there is other damage. A local garage owned by an ex audi mechanic told me the same. The car is 4 years old, and in perfect shape other then this. Any ideas on how to sell the car? Is it a junk yard call or are there salvage shops that would want it for parts? On the bright side it has given me a reason to drive my Alpina this week while I shop for a new daily driver. When I pulled into the BMW dealer tonight to browse three different customers came up and asked me if the car was for sale and when did BMW "start" making this new model! It is a timeless beauty.

  2. #2
    Freedom Ouray's Avatar
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    Forgot to mention that I can find no similar record of such a failure on the web anywhere.

  3. #3
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
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    What year? and how many miles?

  4. #4
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    I'd try working with Audi's version of BMW NA to see about picking up the repair or a buyback if even the service center is boggled at the cause. This does sound of a failure in the chain drive/tensioner, which is about unheard of anymore on such a new car.

    I've seen BMW reverse deals on some of the original nightmare E65 745s and put customers back in new cars. I would think Audi might do the something similar to get you in a newer A8.
    thegunguy

  5. #5
    Freedom Ouray's Avatar
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    My daily commute is approximately 90 miles, all but 5 of which are highway. The car is a 2006 with 110,000 miles. Due to the commute I always purchase my cars and service them at the dealers. Typically go through a car every 5 years and 150,000 miles. Most times then give them to a family member who gets another 60,000 -80,000 miles out of the cars easily. My plan was to look at a new 7 or the new A8 next spring. At this type of mileage I doubt Audi NA is going to do much but I will give it a try.

  6. #6
    I know that one thing these are are all built on is the 'suitcase engine' concept. Although not something you may want to deal with it is super easy to swap out the motor, and if you can find one at a breakers that is in a car that has been written off in a crash you could end up with a very low mileage replacement at less than the cost of repairing the unit that is in there. If the car is going to a less well off relative who could afford the cost of the new motor and having it installed that could be a bit of a boon. Most large German cars like this are built with a 250,000 mile life cycle in mind, especially as many end up in limo service in the EU, so with a newer motor this car could go on for years.
    Andrew Macpherson

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  7. #7
    Freedom Ouray's Avatar
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    Thanks. A colleague in London gave the same advice. Looking around now for one, being told the cost of the engine would be $4-5k not including installation and would come with a 6 month warranty. Sounds like the path to go.

  8. #8
    Z8Mania
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    I agree its worth while to contact Audi USA. I might be able to help you with a contact there if you want me to do it shoot me an email at jerry at levyhouse dot com.

  9. #9
    Freedom Ouray's Avatar
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    Thought I would post a picture as I went to the dealer today to see the engine in person. It appears that the lower cam on each side of the engine are the ones that are worn down greater then 80% while the gears on the upper cams seem to be in very good condition. Interestingly both the lower cams are the ones that are driven by the timing belt. Not certain that there is any connection but both uppers and both lowers seem to be worn identically, meaning uppers are in good condition and lowers are gone. The condition of all of the cams other then the gears on the lower ones are excellent and show no sign of any wear. Have a Audi A8 consultant working with me and they will talk with the dealer and get back to me by next Thursday. I have located a used engine with 55k miles and a six month warranty but by the time I put it in the vehicle the car might just sell for the cost of the repair. At this point it is starting to look like the car will go for salvage. Shame as the rest of the car is in great shape, no dents/dings, etc and tires only have about 6k miles on them.
     

  10. #10
    Freedom Ouray's Avatar
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    Update, Audi NA just called and strongly suggested that I authorize the dealer to tear the engine apart so that they can learn what caused this to occur as they have never seen anything like this. The kicker was that Audi NA believes that I should pay for this work so that they can learn why the engine failed. Made my decision for me, replacement car is going to be purchased from BMW. I was being a good sport about the failed engine, but this request is insulting.

  11. #11
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    Wow. That's insane. Did you mention that your attorney was having the same problem?
    thegunguy

  12. #12
    Z8Mania
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    Thats crazy! I will send you an email shortly.

  13. #13
    Freedom Ouray's Avatar
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    Audi called back last evening and had a slightly different tune, this time they wanted to offer me a $2,000 discount on the purchase of a new car. Of course that was after they accused me of missing one oil change, which I explained to them I had done on the road and have the receipts to prove it. Very frustrating. I asked them to send me the offer in via email which for some strange reason has not arrived as of yet. Currently on line looking for the new 7 that will be in my driveway within a week. Audi lost two sales as I was also going to purchase an A4 or A6 at the same time. The fact that they do not want to examine the metal on these two cam shafts leaves me speechless.

  14. #14
    in Coral Gables, Florida DirkZ8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ouray View Post
    .... Currently on line looking for the new 7 that will be in my driveway within a week....
    Allow me to help you out a bit here.

    My other suggestion is to consider leasing these cars, regardless of the brand or model, for the length of the free maintenance / warranty period. Not a day longer.
       
    Dirk

    Alpina #142
    www.bmwccca.com

  15. #15
    Z8 Addict Z8doc's Avatar
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    Nice one Dirk..... perfectly matched color to the cool blue waters off of Miami Beach and the Keys. Aaaaaahhhhh!
    Best Regards,

    Jeff
    61995 Silver /// Rot - Original Owner
    Z8 Club of Germany e.V. #102

  16. #16
    Sport Button On racer98's Avatar
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    have contact @ VW NA who overseas this stuff for Audi and I will forward a PM for "Ouray". As others have mentioned Ouray , never have a German engine rebuilt as they are in most cases built like a Rolex, and when they are rebuilt outside of the factory things often don't go as planned.


    Also "Ouray" when your ready to go the route of a used motor, the person selling it should be able to perform a cold compression test, meaning the seller should be able to ground the starter and spin the motor over on the starter out and on the floor in front of you, with out the oil primed in the motor the engine should have a dry cold compression test of 150psi or more across the span of the cylinders. Should there be a 1-5% variance between each cylinder, it's a good motor, but if you get something that has a 10-20% variance between cyl / walk away. I say this the person who you bought the motor from will only "If you're lucky" refund you what you paid for the motor and not for the labor installing or removing.

    ONLY PAY WITH AN AMEX card reason being your super protected should you be sold something bad.

    So make sure the engine has been tested in front of you and have it leak down tested, if all checks out and its good have order a gasket kit for the ex manifolds and any hoses that are impossible to get to on the back of the motor while the motor is out and any other things you can visually see that need to be replaced. Just make sure you do your financial analysis of the final $ if they work out "do it" if not cut your losses and throw it on ebay and say "Auf Wiedersehen"

  17. #17
    Z8Mania
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    Good points Racer.

    I just think its crazy that Audi NA is apparently treating one of their flagship clients like this.

  18. #18
    Sport Button On racer98's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z8Mania View Post
    Good points Racer.

    I just think its crazy that Audi NA is apparently treating one of their flagship clients like this.

    Thanks I can't tell you how many time people buy a motor on an assumption that its good and this is one way of reducing problems and for the rest of you when you buy automotive parts use an Amex card or don't best way of protection for your self.

    And, Yeah VW's problems is that the people who work there now seem to have been former employees over at Lehman brother's. Yeah scary, isn't it ? But the arrogance they have there is something i can tell you, Just ask anyone who has worked with the Germans or the Swiss =========me.

    My Final paper I did before graduating from university, was about VW and porters 5 forces and just the loads of money that VW is throwing away and just not listening to its CUSTOMERS, and case in point, "OP" Audi suffering a fatal oil starvation, and having the owner pay out of pocket just shows you the arrogance they have there, the smart thing the people at audi should have done " sorry for the problems sir lets give you normal blue book value on the car" say $38,000 toward a new Audi or cover the cost the the repair etc. stuff like that creates free advertising but VW/Audi is another planet.

  19. #19
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    Porter's Five Forces - made me laugh out loud. Let's grab some tequila and talk SWOT and Deming. Biz academics are fun.

    I'm voting B7.
    thegunguy

  20. #20
    Freedom Ouray's Avatar
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    Remains to be seen if Audi improves the situation, but yesterday I purchased a new 750Li, pick it up Tuesday.

  21. #21
    Z8Mania
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    Congratulations- what colors? Is it the awd model or rwd?

  22. #22
    Freedom Ouray's Avatar
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    AWD, better for the commute to/from work in bad weather. Space Grey / Black interior. The color looks totally different in person then on line. Wasn't looking at this color at all until I saw one on the lot.

  23. #23
    Z8Mania
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    I agree on the color. Nice choices. What wheels/ tires? If they are the sportier ones you will want dedicated ones for the winter.

  24. #24
    Freedom Ouray's Avatar
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    I was in such a hurry that I am not certain which wheels they are other then 19" upgrades. Will be surprised Tuesday night when I pick it up. The car is pretty much loaded with everything except the night vision and rear luxury seating package.

  25. #25
    Congratulations, it sounds great, I'm a big fan of the new 7, I think it'll make you very happy.
    Andrew Macpherson

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  26. #26
    Freedom Ouray's Avatar
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    Still in love with the 2001 iL but guess I have to live in the present.

  27. #27
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    The 19" is very attractive. My fav on the new 7 is the 20" in the M package. I'm not crazy about the full M treatment, but I like the wheel.

    The 2001 740iL is still a beauty to me.
    thegunguy

  28. #28
    Freedom Ouray's Avatar
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    Cannot make this stuff up. After finding a buyer for the Audi as is, I went out and immediately purchased a new 750Li. Picked up the car after work and left the dealer around 8:45 pm. The next morning as I pulled into the gas station and put the car in park I noticed some shaking. First response is that we do not have earthquakes in the NE, so I looked around the station and no one else seemed to notice the shaking! Looked at the dash which had a warning of an engine problem and that the car was in reduced power mode. BMW Assist was excellent, although slightly shy to admit that I was not fully in the system yet as it was less then 10 hours since I purchased the car the previous evening. With only 73 miles on the odometer the flat bed driver had to look at the odometer to confirm the milage as he thought he misheard the radio call. Long story short, the dealer was excellent, loaned me a brand new fully loaded 3 series with only 9 miles on it, (have to admit that while driving it I did wonder momentarily why I purchased a 7 as it was very nice). Turns out that the tube that connects to a fuel pressure gage had a crack and needed to be replaced. They also did some type of software upgrade. Car has been running perfect since, and after missing a day of work, and giving the watercooler crowd a good laugh, I am happy to own my new car.

  29. #29
    Z8 Madness
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    Sorry to hear this happen to you again and glad it wasn't a major problem this time.

    The 3 series is a lovely car to drive. They really got the driving dynamics right and it feels perfectly dialed in. If only it had more cabin space...
    62050 - Z8

  30. #30
    Z8 Novice
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    I have a 2009 F01 (graphite met./black with sport pkg) with about 12k miles and have not had a single squawk. I think you will be real happy long term with the new car.

  31. #31
    Sport Button On racer98's Avatar
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    Interviewing with VW NA for a jerb , yes I said jerb and in the interview I had to restrain my self about VW, Audi etc quality. when I finished the interview boy did I roll my eyes after that one.

    Audi = over priced VW

    Bentley over priced VW Phaeton

    VW = Mexican Porsche

  32. #32
    Z8 Madness
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    Quote Originally Posted by racer98 View Post
    Audi = over priced VW
    I'm very impressed with the R8 and I think the A5/S5 is a rather handsome car. Don't know much about reliability (never owned an Audi).

    Despite, I'd buy an R8 in a heartbeat if I had the extra $.
    62050 - Z8

  33. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by redz8 View Post
    I'm very impressed with the R8 and I think the A5/S5 is a rather handsome car. Don't know much about reliability (never owned an Audi).

    Despite, I'd buy an R8 in a heartbeat if I had the extra $.
    As a former and one time only Audi owner, I say stay away. Everything on my Audi broke, most things twice. The last straw was coming back from a ski trip and my son in the back seat said "dad my seat is really hot" to which I said "I'll turn down the heater and send some cool air back there." About a minute later he said that same thing and no sooner had he finished talking, my wife screamed that the back seat was on fire. Yeap, the seat warmers went nuts. Never again!!
    C.A. Cardenas (AKA Dan)
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  34. #34
    Z8 Madness
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    Quote Originally Posted by ///M Blitz View Post
    About a minute later he said that same thing and no sooner had he finished talking, my wife screamed that the back seat was on fire. Yeap, the seat warmers went nuts. Never again!!


    Your son could have been seriously injured. This is grounds for a lawsuit. Glad he made it out OK. I'm hearing about Audi's problems from multiple sources. When our X5 lease runs out, in a about a year, we're going to trade it in for a 5 series. Other than that, the Z8's going to be the only toy for a while.
    62050 - Z8

  35. #35
    My ex has the Audi Q7 and loves it, she had the Range Rover before, and prefers the Q7, which so far (18 months in) has been all good, but one of my previous studio managers had an A4 wagon, and it was in the shop almost every month getting little things repaired. It frustrated her like mad, and she sold it after a year or so. Another friend has the A5 V8 sports coupe, and it has been flawless for 18 months, so I think it is luck of the draw, but for Germany's biggest manufacturer that isn't such a good thing to say!

    VAG = Volkswagon, Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lambo, Porsche, Seat, Skoda, and it has 61 production plants in 21 countries, so it is hard to say which ones are great and which are less so.
    Andrew Macpherson

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  36. #36
    Z8Mania
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    Someone once told me a story about an E65 (last gen 7 series) where the seat heater did the same thing. That said- the number of stories I hear about issues with Audis is greater than on the other German luxury brands. I think it has to mean something but it doesn't mean all Audis are bad. They are just not my cup of tea.

  37. #37
    Z8 Madness
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    There was a recent story on CNN about BMW engines losing power due to trouble with fuel pumps. The button line is that no manufacturer is immune to product bugs (e.g., BP, Apple, Toyota, etc.). The real question is how well they stand behind those products. So far my experience with BMW has been outstanding.
    62050 - Z8

  38. #38
    Z8Mania
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    Mine also with BMW.